Mad Catz has announced that Street Fighter IV world champion Daigo Umehara will consult on its future product development and act as an ambassador for the company at gaming events.
Umehara will work with Mad Catz' designers to "offer a professional gamer's perspective to the Mad Catz new product development process", apparently.
"In my opinion, the Mad Catz Tournament Edition FightStick is the most realistic and authentic Arcade Stick available and continues to be my controller of choice when playing in tournaments," Umehara said in typically understated fashion. "I'm excited to be part of Team Mad Catz and look forward to working closely alongside with them."
The stick he's talking about, the excellent Mad Catz FightStick Tournament, is one of the best in its class, and the FightStick range it forms part of receives a refresh this month, with a new Tournament Edition S, which you can read about towards the end of our Super Street Fighter IV review.
Umehara is perhaps best known for his stunning performance in the Street Fighter III loser's bracket final of the 2004 Evolution tournament, when he parried a seemingly endless series of American fighting genius Justin Wong's attacks while on virtually zero health - before unleashing a massive attack to win the match himself. The clip has been viewed nearly two million times on YouTube.
His mastery of fighting games is pretty considerable, as you will know if you read our massive interview with Daigo Umehara about his life and career late last year. Which, if you haven't, you should, as he's a fascinating chap.
You should also check out our review of Super Street Fighter IV, which is out this Friday on PS3 and Xbox 360 and picked up a 10/10 score from Eurogamer's resident Street Fighter boffin Simon Parkin.