You can call him many things, but the message last weekend was loud and clear: do not call him washed up! After a disappointing ninth place finish at the all-star Summer Fighter Arena invitational -- REO has bounced back in Raleigh to take the title at MLG Summer Championship!

It was the perfect culmination to a storyline that has run throughout 2012. Unquestionably one of the world's greatest Mortal Kombatants -- REO has grappled with the question of his ability to follow through on an attack against the top tier in 2012.

As contemporary to CD Jr, it was comparisons to his peers that threatened to overshadow REO's performances at the beginning of the year. While the 2011 Evo Champion (Perfect Legend) kept watch from the sidelines, the Evo Series was dominated by the one-two of the VSM tandem, REO the sub-boss to CD Jr's opening perfect run.

The script flipped at Final Round XV, where the Winter Brawl Runner-Up relegated CD Jr to his first Evo Series loss, and a third place finish.

From there, REO picked himself up two more Championship victories on the Road to Evo -- supreme title holder at Toryuken (May 20) and CEO2012 (June 17)! The CEO 50pt victory secured REO's #1 seeding status with an entire event still remaining on the Series calendar, putting all the momentum behind him ahead of the 2012 Evo Championship World title match!

Perfect Legend's absence from the majority of the year furthered some question about the legitimacy of the reigning World champ, while REO took up the expectations of favourite status. A 59pt lead over his nearest rival set up the tantilizing prospect of REO's ultimate rise to power and a fairytale reversal of the Evo 2011 final. Alas; with everything bet against the house, REO would be all the poorer for his successes when it all went awry at the worst possible moment.

Classic Match: Perfect Legend versus REO (Evo 2011 Championship Match)

What happened in Vegas did not stay in Vegas.
For some, the memory of REO at the 2012 Evo Championship is defined by what he didn't do, while 2011 becomes the retroactive story of a two-time reigning Evo World Champion.

Eliminated in straight sets by A f0xy Grampa during the Evo 2012 Quarter Finals -- the VSM EMP #1 seed was a shocking early exit claimed by a Kung Lao mirror match. It was a major rub for the journeyman (Grampa) who took British representation as far as it would go, but his success came at the price of preventing REO even final sixteen honors.

The loss clearly had an effect on REO. He reprised a ninth place finish from MLG Spring Championship by losing pool tie breakers at Summer Fighter Arena to EGP Tyrant and GGA . In a post interview with Test Your Might, REO resigned himself to secondary status after the result, "I'm not sure why people still consider me a heavy-hitter [...] with my recent performances. It's easy to wrongfully assume a player [is] "off" when they're up against a superior opponent. The reality is it's not necessarily the case with being "off". It's just the player who I am fighting is better than me..."

REO went on to praise his opponents and downplay his status within the field [in the interview], but when push came to shove in Raleigh, clearly this old war horse still had some fight left in him!

REO may wish to downplay his status, but the Summer Championship victory is simply belated confirmation of the skills he possesses. Utilizing the strengths of an ever-popular Kabal, [REO] dashed through Fighter Arena rivals to take the $6,000 purse and an invitation to the coming MLG Fall Fighter Arena, in New York City!

Summer Fighter Arena winner and constant threat, Pig of the Hut finished equal third with VSM Maxter. CD Jr represented Team DMG with an impressive runners-up finish, while the man with the perfect plan and two Evo World titles was bumped to fifth. GGA Osu16bit will get a chance to bring his Kitana back to Fighter Arena in the Fall, a strong seventh.

Major League Gaming Summer Championship Top Sixteen:
2. DMG CD Jr
3. VSM Maxter
3. Pig of the Hut
5. EMP KN Perfect Legend
5. KH Showtime
7. GGA 16 Bit
7. FR Clint The Beast
9. KN Crazy Dominican
9. KH Cat713
9. VSM Insuperable
9. KN Detroit Balln
13. Tyler Lantern
13. Winter Warz
13. CoCo Forever King
13. GGA Dizzy

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