Covid Is Pulling the Plug on Beloved Japanese Arcades


On January 16, 2021, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike tournament legend Tominaga made a rare and critical mistake. Deep into the final round of a first-to-10 bloodbath against Kuni, a Ryu great who's similarly known for precise gameplay, Tominaga's murderous Makoto backed Ryu precariously into his own corner. Seizing the opportunity to close the book on a white-knuckle hour of back-and-forth showmanship, Tominaga dashed in for a grab that would have ensured victory. But he mistimed the outstretched reach of the tiny karate wunderkind to give Ryu the opportunity to escape. This was Kuni's moment: a golden blink of time when jumping away from the opponent at such a distance would mean coming down on Makoto like a meteor--and yet, another mistake.