Young Prodigy 'Money Idol-chan' Shines at Evo Japan Retro Game Tournament

Young Prodigy 'Money Idol-chan' Shines at Evo Japan Retro Game Tournament


A young prodigy stunned audiences at Evo Japan, the prestigious gaming event, with her remarkable victory in a retro puzzle game. Dubbed "Money Idol-chan," the mystery girl showcased unparalleled skill in Money Idol Exchanger, a classic title released long before her time.

Hailing from Tokyo, Japan, "Money Idol-chan" comes from a gaming family, with her parents running the Anegasaki Shooting Star arcade since 2022. Despite her tender age, estimated to be between 12 and 16, she's no stranger to competitive gaming, having honed her skills in the arcade scene.

Evo Japan marked her debut on the competitive gaming stage, as previous events had concluded past her bedtime. This year, however, she seized the opportunity to showcase her talents, and her performance left a lasting impression on fellow competitors and spectators alike.

One competitor, Aaru Hokutomaru, was particularly impressed, describing "Money Idol-chan" as a "comet" whose championship victory in Money Idol Exchanger was nothing short of astonishing. Hokutomaru highlighted her exceptional lever operation skills, which brought a fresh wave of excitement to a game released way back in 1997.

Money Idol Exchanger, a head-to-head puzzle game reminiscent of Tetris, requires players to rearrange descending columns of coins into groups of five or 10. The objective is to prevent columns from hitting the bottom of the screen while strategically clearing the board. Despite its age, the game continues to captivate audiences with its challenging gameplay.

What set "Money Idol-chan" apart was not just her technical prowess but also her strategic flair. Opting for mirror match-ups against her opponents, she injected an extra layer of excitement into her victories. This choice showcased her confidence and added an element of unpredictability to her gameplay, further solidifying her status as a rising star in the gaming community.

Her success at Evo Japan underscores a broader trend in the gaming world, where younger players often excel in retro games despite being born long after their heyday. With their nimble reflexes and dedication to mastering the classics, these young prodigies pose formidable competition to older players.

In January, the gaming world witnessed another milestone when 13-year-old American Willis Gibson became the first person ever to achieve a perfect score in the original Nintendo Entertainment System version of Tetris. These achievements highlight the enduring appeal of retro games and the evolving landscape of competitive gaming.

While "Money Idol-chan" stole the spotlight at Evo Japan, she was not the only champion crowned at the event. Taiwanese player Lin “ET” Chia-hung emerged victorious in the King of Fighters XV contest, showcasing his mastery of the fighting game genre. Meanwhile, Japan’s SHO claimed first place in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, and Kyo secured victory in the Under Night In-Birth II competition.

These champions, alongside "Money Idol-chan," exemplify the diverse talent and competitive spirit within the gaming community. Despite hailing from different corners of the globe, they share a passion for gaming and a dedication to excellence.

In addition to the thrill of victory, these champions also reaped financial rewards, with each winner pocketing $6,000 in prize money for their respective victories. This underscores the growing significance of esports as a lucrative career path for talented gamers around the world.

As Evo Japan draws to a close, "Money Idol-chan" and her fellow champions serve as inspirations for aspiring gamers everywhere. Their achievements remind us that age is no barrier to success in the ever-evolving world of competitive gaming. With determination, skill, and a love for the game, anything is possible.


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