A Dutch gamer is wowing onlookers at a Street Fighter V tournament but it’s not his move combinations that are the source of amazement – it’s the fact he’s also blind.
Sven is competing in Spain’s Sonic Boom tournament, playing as fighter Ken. He faced a Japanese competitor in a best-of-three series that saw this extraordinary man victorious. [via kotaku]
In interviews, he explained that he went blind at five-years-old due to cancer.
“I was afraid that I was not able to play computer games anymore because I was blind, but then Capcom released Street Fighter II on the SNES, and I was so happy I was able to play the game just by the sound,” he said.
He went on to say that he prefers playing Street Fighter V due to its exceptional sound quality which helps him follow the actions better, “When a character’s kicking and punching they make sounds in different ways. You have to study the sounds for a long time,” he explained.
Sven uses “auditory cues” to help him stay in the fight and preempt the moves of other players, using a headset so he can listen to the full range of sounds, such as a slight body movement or shift in weight.
It’s not the first time a someone disabled player has pulled off this kind of incredible feat. A blind gamer from the UK named Sightless Kombat previously made waves for his uncanny ability on the beat’em-up Killer Instinct.
Much like Sven he spent years studying the sound quality of the game paying close attention to “counter breakers, shadow counters, how various characters played and their controls.”
These guys are amazing, and they more than prove the extraordinary potential of our senses.