Echo Fox’s latest acquisition of competitive talent has sparked a lot of attention and well-deserved fanfare. They’ve essentially formed a Justice League-equivalent of tournament titans representing the Street Fighter, Smash Bros., and Mortal Kombat communities.
Given the amount of talent Echo Fox has on board, other teams throughout the FGC scene may have reason for concern. Everyone is dreading what Justin can do, given his Capcom Pro Tour performance. We’ve seen Sonic Fox mop up the competition at EVO 2016. Both Tokido and Momochi have demonstrated their prowess on numerous occasions, while Scar and MKLeo continue their rise to greatness.
And while Chocoblanka wasn't too active last year, both Momochi and her have been teaching students through Shinobism, a Street Fighter training program.
(Note: Given the fact ChocoBlanka doesn't compete regularly, some may be wondering about her latest sponsorship. In response to an inquiry on Reddit, Echo Fox FGC manager Antonio Javier explains that ChocoBlanka was specifically signed to handle Shinobism. "They're going to be doing A LOT this year," he says.")
Needless to say, Echo Fox is in a very good position to shake things up this year.
The move shouldn't come as much of a surprise, especially since various entities have been taken an active interest in the fighting game community. Between ESPN's mainstream broadcast giving the grassroots scene more visibility and the fact that ELEAGUE top brass (Turner's esports brand) has expressed interest in the FGC, the future looks promising.
Now that former Evil Geniuses manager Antonio Javier has returned to managing players — what’s next on the horizon? Though they’ve picked up plenty of talent to be set for the year, this move is likely the first step in a much bigger agenda. And that means older esports teams should probably start evaluating the value they’re currently offering players. Many would love to pursue a full-time career, but the lack of a strong salaried forces some to look into other options to sustain a reasonable livelihood.
You have to wonder why other organizations that have been around much longer didn’t make this type of power move much sooner. Naturally cost is a big factor, and Echo Fox definitely isn’t doing this for charitable causes. That’s what makes this all the more intriguing.
In recent years, Justin Wong has juggled working at Nvidia while regularly participating at tournaments throughout the season. Now he’s expressed interest in exploring the potential of competing in a full-time capacity. This would suggest that Echo Fox may be looking to take things to the next level for FGC-represented players. According to a tweet from Echo Fox's new fighting game manager Antonio Javier, this is just the beginning.
Specifics of the team’s agenda haven’t been revealed as of yet, though we should expect to hear some new developments soon.