One of the biggest stars of the e-sports world once again creates smiles while suffering heartbreaking defeat.
American Justin Wong is one of the most successful professional video gamers in the history of the field, but he’s arguably most famous for losing a match. During the Evo 2004 fighting game competition, Wong was defeated in dramatic fashion by rival Daigo Umehara, and while Wong currently can claim nine Evo championships, more than any other competitor, that loss will always be part of his legacy.
So perhaps it’s fitting that while Wong didn’t add to his championship tally at last weekend’s Evo 2017 in Las Vegas, he still got plenty of attention with a failed attempt at glory…this time while taking a picture with model and cosplayer Rose Ma, who was at the event dressed as Street Fighter’s Chun-Li.
Rose Ma (@iamrosema) July 15, 2017
Rose Ma (@iamrosema) July 16, 2017
While standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Ma, Wong stretched out his arm and used his hand to form half of a heart, apparently expecting Ma to follow suit and complete the symbol of love. Ma, however, was simply flashing a thumbs-up, and later tweeted the photo with the message “Friend zone.”
This caught the attention of Japanese Twitter user @RyuUltra, who retweeted the photo along with one of Umehara also involved in a failed Chun-Li cosplay hand heart set, although in Umehara’s case it was the cosplayer herself forming the half-heart.
最強名無しさん (@RyuUltra) July 17, 2017
“I feel really bad for Justin, so can someone Photoshop these?” asked @RyuUltra, and while he was no doubt hoping for something like the photo on the right in the below tweet…
Mihai Radu (@enixtm) July 18, 2017
…the vague wording of @RyuUltra’s request left the door open for multiple interpretations, such as this.
Alright... You guys have went too far this time... LMAOOOO https://t.co/h3GDx8jTba—
Echo Fox Justin Wong (@JWonggg) July 17, 2017
And because of how closely linked Wong and Umehara are in the consciousness of fighting game fans, some contributors decided to scrub Chun-Li from the photo altogether.
エドモンド本田未央 (@E_HondaMio) July 17, 2017
風間雷太RaitaKazama (@kazamaraita) July 17, 2017
For his part, Wong seems to be taking the whole thing in good-natured stride. Maybe it’s because he realizes that the greatest love of all…
(@ChimpanSliver) July 17, 2017
…is learning to love yourself.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s always been kind of proud that Evo Moment 37 took place at his alma mater.