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Daigo On Retiring From Street Fighter: "I Just Can't Imagine Not Playing"

The legendary Street Fighter V pro Daigo "The Beast" Umehara spoke with us at length about a variety of topics, but his answer about stepping away from scene really stood out.

Daigo “The Beast” Umehara is synonymous with professional Street Fighter. He’s been at or near the top of the fighting game scene since he was a young boy, starting with Street Fighter II before becoming a household name with the “Daigo Parry” in Street Fighter III: Third Strike. That was back in 2004 however, and at age 37 the specter of retirement may start to slowly rear its head. We asked Daigo about it at EVO 2018, and his answer will make his fans very happy.

When we raised the idea of retirement to him and whether or not it has ever crossed his mind, the leader of the CyGames Beast team could not have been more clear: Daigo is not going anywhere. “I’ve never dreamt of the day where I would retire from what I love doing,” Daigo explained. “God forbid something happens to me and I can’t play the game anymore, that might be the day I need to retire. I don’t know when that day will come, I just can’t imagine not playing. I enjoy playing the game, and there’s nothing else I want to do in my life.”

While his answer doesn’t surprise us, he’s certainly not showing any signs of slowing down either. Capcom currently ranks him fifth in the world in Street Fighter V, his excellent Guile play keeping him in the hunt for the Capcom Cup. He doesn’t put any pressure on himself to win anymore, as he also told us “there was a time in the past where I felt a little bit of pressure that I needed to win, but nowadays I’m really grateful that I’m in this position and because of that I am able to enjoy the tournaments everywhere I go.”

Simply put, Daigo “The Beast” Umehara will remain a part of the Street Fighter scene for a long time to come. If you should cross his path in an upcoming tournament, may the Street Fighter gods have mercy on you.

For more on EVO 2018, check out our talk with Daigo's CyGames Beast teammate Keita “Fuudo” Ai, as well as a chat with the man who knocked him out of EVO, Hajime "Tokido" Taniguchi..

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