Pop-offs are a part of competitive gaming; even if the two players have never even interacted before, the adrenaline from the competition is enough to make the winner jump and roar. But in fighting games, when the competitors have beef with one another, a pop-off isn’t just a celebration of a victory; it’s sending a message, a release of emotions that have been building up for days, weeks, even years.
This is what went down at CEO 2019 in the Mortal Kombat 11 competition, when Buffalo upset MK11 legend Scar, and proceeded to do one of the hardest pop-offs ever seen at a tournament. Whether you thought it was cringe or epic, one thing is for sure: it is ingrained in the memory of every FGC fanatic.
Scar Vs. Buffalo: The History
To set the stage for just how outlandish this pop-off was, it’s important to note that these players had some history outside of the game. Several weeks prior, Buffalo had made a big upset against Ninjakilla, winning 2-0 at a tournament. Generally, top players dislike a “best of 3” format because it allows for more random results and the better player will usually come out on top if the set is long enough.
Scar, fresh off a huge win at Combo Breaker 11 over SonicFox, went to Twitter to allude to this, and it set off a fiery exchange between him and Buffalo.
Twitter spats happen all the time, especially amongst competitive gamers, but unlike so much online trash talk, these two would actually face off just weeks later in the MK11 tournament at CEO 2019. And wouldn’t you know it, Scar vs. Buffalo would be a “best of 3.”
The Pop-Off To End All Pop-Offs
You can watch the whole set here, but full spoilers: Buffalo wins 2-0, which I’m sure just added additional salt to Scar. The second Buffalo gets the winning hit, we witness one of the most aggressive, over-the-top pop-offs you will ever see.
There were mixed reactions to this pop-off; many felt that it went on way too long. Some people thought that Buffalo was incredibly childish, while others thought it was all within the spirit of the fighting game community, and that Scar’s tweets were essentially making the bed that he would have to lie in. Scar handles the ordeal rather well, considering how much Buffalo is in his face.