A recent story has been making waves in Japan, about a temporary government worker of Ota city of Gunma Prefecture, who lied about being a Guilty Gear champion, and it spiraled out of control.
It all started out when 23-year-old temporary government worker, Masahiro Ito (no, not the Silent Hill artist), who is supposedly a high-ranked and respected Guilty Gear player, told friends and co-workers that he was headed to Paris, France, to participate in a major fighting game tournament, called “Autumn Stunfest,” from September 20 through 21.
He took time off work so that he could go on his journey to Europe in order to take on the best Guilty Gear players from around the world. Ito shared images on Facebook of his travels in France and Germany during this time.
Had Ito left it at that, nothing would have likely come of it, but it’s the following part where things got really messy—he claimed to have won this major tournament.
After telling his friends and co-workers, it didn’t take long for word to spread that a Japanese government worker won a major fighting game tournament. The story even got a spot in the Jomo Shimbun, a regional daily newspaper published in Gunma Prefecture. Even Asahi, widely regarded for its journalism as the most respected daily newspaper in Japan, published an article about Ito’s feat.
In the Asahi article, which has since then been removed, Ito stated that he participated in a tournament for Guilty Gear, a fighting game that is loved by hundreds of thousands of players around the world. He said that his talent was acknowledged from online tournaments, and he was invited to the tournament, featuring about 100 other participants from across the globe.
To make matters worse, he said that instead of accepting the 3 million yen grand prize (roughly $30,000 USD) for winning the tourney (which he lost in the second round but made his way all the way to the top from the losers bracket), he opted to be seeded for the next tournament, because his “focus isn’t on making money right now, but to pass the national civil service exam in order to become an official government employee.” Quite the stand up guy.
Needless to say, with that much nationwide attention from the press, a lot Guilty Gear and fighting game fans got wind of it all, and began asking about this tournament called “Autumn Stunfest,” which they never heard of until now. Stunfest is an actual tournament in France, which also featured Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator in this year’s tournament back in May, but the Internet detectives pointed out that there’s nothing about an “Autumn Stunfest” on their official website or anywhere else.
They also found that the images from his Euro trip were actually from random blogs via Google Search.
When Tantei Watch got a hold of Ito and asked him to share more details, Ito said that he knew about what’s been happening online, but he still maintained that he did indeed go overseas to participate in a tournament, but had no way to prove it because the info was only available to the officials of the tournament. He also stated that you wouldn’t find any information on this tournament, because it wasn’t actually a major one, but a small tourney that takes place on a weekly basis with about as many participants you’d see at regular arcade tournaments in Japan.
Ito went on to say that this tournament isn’t related with the regular Stunfest, and it wasn’t one that featured the best players but amateurs, and blamed the newspapers for making it into a bigger deal.
The whole saga came to an end earlier today in Japan, when the Ota City Hall held a press conference on the matter, and revealed that parts of what was said in the interviews were fabricated by their temporary worker Ito. According to Ito, it all started when he told a co-worker he was going to a tournament in France, and there was no going back on his word. That’s when things just got out of hand.
To give you an idea just how out of hand the situation was for Ito and the Ota City Hall, not only was the story about his exposure broadcasted across Japan, but it also seems to have made the news on French television.
When reached out for a comment, a Stunfest tournament organizer said that he has no intention to share his thoughts on Ito’s claim to have won their tournament without actually having entered, but he said that he feels honored to have people know about their tournament. He also added that they’re having the next Stunfest in May next year, and hopes to see Ito participate as a player.
The Ota City Hall is currently deciding on its disciplinary action for Ito, and it sounds like he’ll have a lot more time on his hands to practice Guilty Gear. Look out, EVO 2017.
Update: Apparently the image of the French news, which is being used by our source and various other Japanese media outlets, isn’t real. Recent reports have also revealed that the Ota City Hall will not extent Ito’s contract after September.
The situation with Ito has turned into quite the big topic in Japan, with reports coming from all across the country. News stations have even contacted the Stunfest owner in France to ask about “Autumn Stunfest” and to discuss more about Ito. You can get an idea how things have blown out of proportion with all the images from the media here.
For example, they even went as far as making cartoon images to make it easier to explain what happened:
“We actually have an employee who won a video game world tournament the other day.”
“I don’t want to get in trouble by my parents, so please don’t make a big deal out of this”
“You say world’s best, but I never even heard of you before.”
“The tournament never took place on that day.”
“I didn’t go to France. I didn’t win a tournament.”
“The Okinawa tournament win was also a lie.”