Daigo Umehara is getting into the holiday spirit of giving and has donated his Capcom Cup prize money to New York University Game Center's Evo Scholarship.
Daigo will be adding $60,000 USD to the 2016 scholarship. The scholarship reportedly gives out approximately $20,000 to $30,000 USD each year.
The Evo Scholarship was founded in 2012, and helps members of the fighting games community study game development at the NYU Game Center. Caster Christian "Skisonic" Sutton was the recipient of the 2015 scholarship.
"This generous donation demonstrates Daigo’s spirit. It indicates that the qualities that make him such a great competitor extend far beyond the game," the NYU Game Center said in a statement given to Shoryuken.com. "His donation also demonstrates the capacity that competitive games have to bring out the best in people. Even though these are games of intense competition and stylized conflict, they create a context to demonstrate the very best qualities of character. This is an irony that might not be obvious to those outside of fighting games looking in; having a heart big enough to donate all of his winnings is actually an indication of what it takes to win in the first place."
Daigo finished second at the Capcom Cup after losing to Ryota "Kazunoko" Inoue 3-2 in the Grand Finals. It was the end to an extremely strong year from Daigo, which included first place finishes at Topanga A League, Stunfest 2015, and NorCal Regionals.
"My pro-gaming life started with SFIV. The CPT Finals were to conclude one chapter of my life. I worked hard everyday. I grew a lot. I had so much fun in the process over the year. I felt fulfilled," Daigo told Shoryuken.com "Being content, I came to the finals. I was thinking that if I had had won any prizes, I would want to give it back to the community, which has supported me all these times. Not only was I able to win the prize, I was able to play my game and express myself. I had great matches, and I had a great fun.
"I sincerely hope the money I donate will help the community thrive further. The stronger the community grows, the further my career expands, doesn’t it? That is not so bad. At least, it would be a much wiser and prudent investment than an Ume-Shoryu?!"
As a result of the donation, the NYU Game Center has extended applications for the program to Jan. 15.
Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore eSports. He's pretty sure Daigo is Ryu IRL. Not in it for the fame or the glory, just the next fight. You can follow him on Twitter.