EVO KOF 15 Finals: WHAT’S IN THE BOX? cover image


Former EVO champ Xiaohai won EVO KOF 15 Finals, but only one question is on everyone’s mind: What is up with that box on his lap? Let’s look.

Not to overshadow what ended up being a fairly hype EVO KOF 15 finals, but WHAT IS UP WITH THIS DUDE AND THIS BOX? Sponsored by fightstick maker Qanba, former two-time (now three-time) EVO champion Zeng "Xiaohai" Zhuojun left but only one question on the minds of fans as he won King of Fighters 15 in style.

What is up with the box around my man's fight stick?

Now, we of course know that the actual reason is twofold. Not only does it potentially block an opponent from looking at your inputs, but it also dampens sound from buttons. In theory, this can keep your opponent from guessing when you're grinding out a special that requires a lot of motions.

But that reason is stupid, bad, and no fun. And if we're being honest, I don't know enough about KOF to analyze this EVO King of Fighters 15 Finals properly. It was a fantastic and close match, but it's just not my game.

So, instead...


Yes, we're going there. After all, I was a breaking news reporter for a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper at one point. Surely, if anyone can get to the bottom of these deep, gnawing questions then it's yo boi HammerBarn.

Let's get down to it. There's truth to uncover.

POSSIBILITY, THE FIRST: A sentient box won EVO KOF 15 Finals

<em>The look of a champion</em>.
The look of a champion.

In a world where the existence of UFOs is becoming ever-more possible, we cannot discount any potential weirdness. And, yes, this even includes the possibility that a sentient and anthropomorphic box just won an EVO tournament. Much like in the animated classic Ratatouille, the box was the real chef and Xiaohai, his faithful companion.

Someone call Disney now because we might just have the next major animated film franchise on their hands that can, in turn, be adapted into a live-action mess.

When asked for comment on their victory, Boxxy Boxerton, Esq. gave an impassioned response.

"Please, for the love of all that is holy, don't send me back to the Qanba factory! I DESERVE MY FREEDOM!"

A sentient box

Such bravery. Maybe this is like when a horse wins the Triple Crown and they get to live out their days on a stud farm. Get your pre-orders ready now for their future offspring, coming to EVO 2024!

SECOND POSSIBILITY: Xiaohai's making a return

We're not here to make assumptions, but the fact is that Xiaohai hasn't won an EVO tournament (before today) since 2014. That's a long time to go between tournament winnings. Knowing this and hedging his bets, it's entirely possible the KOF god decided to potentially cut his losses and return the fight stick after the tournament.

And if you've ever been to a convention of this size then you know it's impossible to safely stash your belongings. So, he decided to keep the original box right in front of him at all times and protect his investment. I mean, look: I get it. We've all been there. I once bought a suit purely to wear to one wedding and then promptly returned the thing.

You do you, champ. No judgment here, and especially not towards the EVO KOF 15 Finals winner.

THE TWIST POSSIBILITY: It's a stick in a box

Allow me to paraphrase a legendary song by the SNL pop parody group The Lonely Island.

'To all the players out there with fans to impress
It's easy to do just follow these steps

1, cut a hole in a box
2, put your fight stick in that box
3, win EVO with the box
And that's the way you do it

It's a stick in a box. Nothing more, nothing less. Alas, none of these are a particularly satisfying answer. Maybe it's just that he's really good at King of Fighters and the box got us all talking about it.


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