NorCal Regionals 2013 (26th-28th) Preview + New Divekick Characters and 1st Injustice high-profile tournament results

Time for another FGC blog and another Road to EVO major, the 3rd of the 5, NorCal Regionals!

NorCal Regionals 2013 - April 26th-28th

Disclaimer: The official NorCal Regionals 2013 trailer, with all its Hotline Miami goodness, is brought to you by Giant Bomb's own @lordofultima.

All the main EVO games will be there and joined by Divekick, which will be using the Jefailey build (see more below). All the brackets are at http://ncr11.challonge.com/ so you can check to see which pool of which game your favourite players are in.

MadCatz have offers all weekend during the event: http://www.madcatz.com/ncr-2013-fierce-fights-dynamite-deals/

Stream Schedule**

Friday*

IPLAYWINNER

10 a.m.–2 p.m. Street Fighter x Tekken

2–4 p.m. Persona 4

4–7 p.m. King of Fighters

7–9 p.m. Tekken Tag

TeamSp00ky

10 a.m.–4 p.m. Street Fighter 4 Pools

4–10 p.m. Marvel 3 Pools

Saturday*

IPLAYWINNER

10 a.m.–2 p.m Street Fighter 4 Pools

2–5 p.m. Marvel 3 Pools

5–6 p.m. Mortal Kombat Finals

6–7 p.m. Persona 4 Finals

7–8 p.m. Dead or Alive Finals

8–10 p.m. Smash Bros. Finals

TeamSp00ky

10–11 a.m. Tekken Tag Finals

11 a.m.–2 p.m. King of Fighters Finals

2–3 p.m. Divekick Finals

3–5 p.m. Street Fighter x Tekken Semis

5–8 p.m. Street Fighter 4 Semis

8 p.m.–Close Marvel 3 Semis

Sunday*

TeamSp00ky

11 a.m.–1 p.m. Street Fighter 4 T16-T8

1–3 p.m. Marvel 3 T16-T8

3–5 p.m. Street Fighter x Tekken Finals

5–8 p.m. Street Fighter 4 Finals

8 p.m.–Close Marvel 3 Finals

*All times are subject to change without notice.

**Thanks to user @reddy1124 for pointing out the stream schedule at http://iplaywinner.com/news/2013/4/28/norcal-regionals-this-weekend-stream-schedule-now-online.html

Stream links

Team Spooky: http://www.twitch.tv/teamsp00ky/new

IPlayWinner: http://www.twitch.tv/iplaywinner/new

More to be added as they become available

Speaking of Divekick...

New Divekick characters

If you haven't seen them already, I present to you Uncle Sensei and Jefailey, the latest divekickers (or dropkicker, in Jefailey's case) to be added to the Divekick line-up, as unveiled on Iron Galaxy's Divekick #eSports Hour on their Twitch page.

The Divekick #eSports Hour airs every Monday Night at 7PM PST - 9PM CST - 10PM EST - 3AM GMT, the shows are even uploaded in 5 chunks to the Iron Galaxy Youtube channel. Enter the Lang Zone!

Injustice: Gods Among Us - Civil War V results

Last weekend was Civil War V, it may have not been a Road to EVO major and the hotel venue's internet may have been awful, but Spooky and Arturo still managed to squeeze two decent streams out of 4G.

MadCatz own MarkMan said that Super Street Fighter IV: AE Version 2012's Winner's Final, Loser's Final and Grand Final at Civil War V was the most refreshing he'd seen in a long time. In the top 3 AGE NYChrisG (who won UMvC3 later on)'s Sakura won the tournament in dramatic fashion over VxG EMP Dieminion's Guile and MadCatz Team Spooky's Arturo's Dhalsim (who won SFxT version 2013 earlier on).

Arturo and Skisonic provide commentary for the Injustice Top 3

Civil War V was also the debut of Injustice: Gods Among Us in tournament play and fortunately for the spectator (maybe not the players themselves in the short-term), the Injustice pre-release testers were allowed to compete, showing early examples of high-level play. While the interactables, notorious for being unblockable played a role in the matches, the typically high-level of EMP's REO and Tom Brady and again AGE NYChrisG proved that Injustice is off to a good start in tournaments.

Injustice is not officially at EVO 2013 while MK9 has its final official tournament this year, but if this first tournament is anything to go by, it should be an easy choice to swap NetherRealm game for NetherRealm game next year at EVO 2014.

I will tell you one thing though, it's a good job Arturo and Skisonic manage to do a good job commentating these matches, because the game's music and in-game announcer are almost non-existent. Other than that, good job NetherRealm Studios.

Thanks for reading, see you next time!

Videos of interest

100 Comments

Video Game Movies - TANG, Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist on Kickstarter & Mortal Kombat Legacy Season 2 Trailer

Right now, the biggest hope for live-action movies based on video games not being bargain bin quality is the Internet, two of the most promising are Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist and Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

I first became aware of these two martial artist stunt men's attempt to make a Street Fighter live action series that's actually worth watching when they put up the Street Fighter: Legacy video in 2010 on YouTube, much like Mortal Kombat Rebirth which came out the same year.

As anyone who kept up with MK Rebirth knows it led to a full show, Mortal Kombat Legacy, on the Machinima YouTube channel, which will air its 2nd season later this year, starring Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as (a different version of) Shang Tsung, as he did in the original Mortal Kombat movie.

The Mortal Kombat Rebirth and Legacy creator Kevin Tancharoen has been given the green light by Warner Bros. to reboot the Mortal Kombat Hollywood movies.

Kickstarter Link

The kickstarter for Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist has 25 days left to reach $625,000, currently the total stands at $1580, not great, but campaigns have been known to have a late surge and cross the deadline with days left.

Here's the pitch:

Just as Mortal Kombat Legacy bettered anything out of Hollywood, I know Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist will do the same (especially compared to that really bad Chun-Li film of course).

Don't take my word for it, check out these old TANG episodes by Ryan and Vinny and/or Drew.

NOTE: I was going to embed the TANG: DOA Dead Or Alive episode too, since that also stars Robin Shou, who's career apparently revolves around poor fighting game adaptations (and more recently Death Race 1, 2 and 3).

NBC Universal had other ideas and at some point had the DOA TANG episode taken down from YouTube for copyright, though I suspect the real reason is that they have a little more pride if their awful fighting game movie, which I find just hilarious.

Thanks for reading.

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Final Round XVI (March 29th-31st) Preview and PAX East FGC News Round-up

Intro

Yep, this is going to be a long one, so if you're interested in

  • Final Round XVI, its Curleh Mustache Battle Royale Exhibition run by VxG EMP (yeah that happened) IFC Yipes and the continuation of the East Coast Tekken Circuit then read on.
  • PAX East happenings ie. Divekick, Daigo, Injustice, New Super Street Fighter IV, you'll have to scroll down a bit
  • News of the biggest YouTuber of the FGC, Maximilian, you'll have to go all the way down to the bottom.

I hope blogs get Table of Contents one day, ah well, let's begin!

Final Round XVI + Curleh Mustache Battle Royale (March 29th-31st) Preview

In terms of legacy, ATL Final Round, of which this is the 16th year, is only 2nd behind EVO.

It's been a while since one of the top 5 fighting game tournaments came around and watching some of the Mad Catz action this weekend (more on that later) has me more than ready for whatever fighting games the Final Round stream by MCZ Team Spooky has to throw at me.

Final Round is not a part of Road to EVO 2013, but that's Final Round's decision.

IFC Yipes is bringing his Curleh Mustache brand of UMVC3 hype to Final Round on Friday with a Team Exhibition. Each team has 5 people and they will battle it to see who the best team in the USA is:

Team NYCTeam NorCalTeam SoCalTeam Latin America
IFC YipesFilipino ChampJustin WongNeo Karsh
Chris GPR BalrogTBATaekua
RayRayCJ ShowstopperTBAFrutsy
Noel BrownNeoTBAKaneBlueriver
MOONSChris SchmidtTBAYahiko
Team Mid-AltlanticTeam MidwestTeam Georgia
DJ HuoshenOmG iTz AndreRoach King
Unkn0wnFrankieGTooMuchDamage
MeepZeusDarius
PZPoyFootwurkSammy
RyRy (?)JDMSome Brown Kid

The East Coast Tekken Circuit continues! The winner of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 gets seeding and a free flight to East Coast Throwdown and the winner of that gets a free flight to EVO 2013. Final Round is considered the premier Tekken event, so there should be plenty of competition on display.

Schedule

http://www.twitch.tv/teamsp00ky/new

http://www.twitch.tv/funkyp/new

Friday, March 29, 2013 - Start Time: 2:00 PM

Curleh Mustache Battle Royal

Darkstalkers Resurrection Invitational

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Regional 5v5 Teams

Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition v. 2012 Singles (to Top 8)

King of Fighters XIII Singles (to Top 8)

Soul Calibur 5 Singles (will finish on Friday)

Melty Blood Actress Again: Current Code Singles (will finish on Friday)

Saturday, March 30, 2013 - Start Time: 10:00 AM

King of Fighters XIII Singles (Top 8 to End)

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Singles (to Top 8)

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Singles (to Top 8)

Street Fighter x Tekken Singles (to Top 8)

Persona 4 Arena Singles (will finish on Saturday)

Mortal Kombat 9 Singles (will finish on Saturday)

Dead or Alive 5 Singles (to Top 8)

Sunday, March 31, 2013 - Start Time: 10:00 AM

All of the following will be streamed by Team Sp00ky:

09:00-11:30 - Street Fighter x Tekken Singles Top 8

11:30-01:30 - Dead or Alive 5 Singles Top 8

01:30-04:00 - Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition v. 2012 Singles Top 8

04:00-07:00 - Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Singles Top 8

07:00-10:00 - Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Singles Top 8

PAX East Round-up

New patch for Super Street Fighter IV! I'm calling it, Revenge of the Character Specialists. No longer will players be stuck getting bodied by Akuma and Fei Long, hurray! Though I do hope they focus more on bringing the other characters up to Akuma and Fei Long's level rather than nerfing those two out of relevance forever.

One of the latest FGC members to be employed by Capcom, Peter 'Combofiend' Rosas, put out the call to users for submissions on what they think who be good changes to each character. Here's to a more balanced future.

The word of Divekick is spreading! Many people called it game of the show. While attendees were divekicking each other, Divekick also got a bit of stream time over at the Mad Catz booth.

Injustice got plenty of stream time on the Twitch TV's own Twitch channel, with Hector showing off new character Black Adam and some high-level play courtesy of MCZ TS Arturo and Nerdjosh. Hector revealed that the two had been visiting NetherRealm Studios quite regularly to help work on getting Injustice ready for tournament play. Hector now passes the reigns over to Ed Boon, who'll be showing off Injustice even more at GDC this week.

Maximilian announces Assist Me Season 3 and continues to be awesome in general

So Max continues to run his main fighting game channel over at http://www.youtube.com/miles923 and his Let's Play channel over at https://www.youtube.com/YoVideogames The main channel has passed over 100,000 subscribers and over 46 million views while his new Let's Play channel continues to grow with over 20,000 subs and 2 million views.

The Assist Me show is how I discovered Max and season 1, 2 and Retro Assist Me (one third Back to the Future parody, one third Assist Me story, one third Marvel vs. Capcom Origins tutorial) is some of the best stuff I've seen on the net.

Max almost managed to get stunt-man and voice behind classic Dante and Ken Masters, Reuben Langdon, to play Dante, which would have been pretty cool. Unfortunately the schedules apparently didn't line up.

Nevertheless I'm excited to see Dante help out Max, Doom and Wesker in whatever shenanigans they get up to.

Some of Max's Let's Plays that I've enjoyed watching the past 3 months include Devil May Cry 1, 2, 3, 4 and DmC and Metal Gear Rising. Sometimes he plays games that I haven't and check it out, sometimes he plays games that I myself have completed and just have fun with it. Make sure to sub to the two channels.

Or just watch these two videos, because they're funny-ass shit.

Thank you for reading, watching and hopefully not getting bored, see you next time and make sure to tune into Final Round this weekend!

20 Comments

!LIVE! PAX East 2013 FGC events - Daigo, Divekick, Lang Zone, Mad Catz & Team Spooky, FGC Panel

Welcome to the PAX East 2013 Fighting Game Community events blog.

Divekick and the Lang Zone

PAX East Exhibitor Hall

Divekick is confirmed for PAX East, it's listed on the PAX East under Dave Lang's Iron Galaxy, which is in the top-left corner of the Exhibitor Hall.

With the recent trailer released showcasing new graphics, UI and gameplay additions, It'll be very interesting to see what new gameplay changes are found by players there.

And of course if you missed it check out the

new trailer that Jeff put up last night

.

Mad Catz and Team Spooky present Mad Catz Unveiled on Thursday Night

This pre-PAX show, streamed by none other than Team Spooky will feature some of Mad Catz best sponsored players including Japan's Daigo Umehara and France's Kayane who was featured on Kotaku recently for winning a Soulcalibur V match while turned away from the screen.

The Location:

"Guilt, located on legendary Tremont St. and historically renown to be the heart of the Boston nightlife, is the perfect venue to host the coolest event on the gaming calendar."

When: Thursday, March 21, 2013

Where: Guilt - 275 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116

Time: 9:00pm – 12:00am

Admission: Free

More info: http://www.madcatz.com/unveiled/paxeast/

Fighting Game Community Panel

MarkMan, Gootecks and James Chen, three big names in the FGC will be hosting this panel on Saturday at 5PM in the Arachnid Theatre.

As the growth in competitive gaming and eSports rises, one community is primed and ready for the spotlight: the fighting game community. Influenced largely by the success of games like Street Fighter 4 and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the fighting game community has grown into a cottage industry with members planning and organizing their own events, content producers streaming live and on-demand footage and prominent members getting hired by major developers based on their accomplishments in the community.

Join community leaders for a discussion about the current state of the FGC and its major events and projects, as well as the what the future may hold for the growth of the community.

http://shoryuken.com/2013/03/06/gootecks-markman-and-james-chen-hosting-fighting-game-community-panel-at-pax-east-on-march-23/

This seems like an interesting panel to attend, hopefully it'll be recorded in some capacity so that I can watch it too.

Next Monday: Final Round XVI Preview and FGC News!

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Uncharted 3's multiplayer re-released as Free-to-Play on PSN

Very curious about diving into this now that it's F2P.

As with most F2P releases, you'll be able to level up a certain amount, up to level 15 of 75 in this case, for free. $5 will unlock levels up to 25, $20 will unlock all the way to level 75. Individual items, whatever they may be, will be around $0.99 each.

"The thing that's most interesting is what does it do to the population of the community? How many more players will we get? How many players will buy in-game items? How many will just play the free version? How many will ignore the co-op? How many will buy level upgrades?"

"If this model were to take off like gangbusters and perform at a level that turned the eyes of Sony, then I have no doubt that would play a hand in the future of how these games are approached from the beginning. For now, we're just testing the waters." - Robert Cogburn

Dear Naughty Dog, please avoid pay to win strategies, try to keep it balanced.

I have two questions regarding this, will we see a lot of freemium models on PS4 if this succeeds and where's line between a good freemium service and an exploitive one? Because there'll be plenty of companies wanting to push that boundary as far as they can go.

I also wonder if it can carve an eSports niche out for itself, I do recall an Uncharted 3 event on the fighting game stream of one of the big MLG events last year, but MLG's fighting game stream barely gets 1000 viewers at its biggest events in comparison to the hundreds of thousands who tune into League of Legends and Starcraft II. So as far as I'm concerned, it is yet to be seen what Uncharted's multi-player can add to competitive gaming.

For now I can only applaud Naughty Dog for trying and hope they don't screw it up for potential downloadable games in the future.

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Winter Brawl 7 (Feb 23rd - 24th) Preview & more FGC & EVO News!

The Road to EVO 2013 continues with Winter Brawl 7, brought to you by Big E Gaming, in Philadelphia from the 23rd to the 24th of February.

This event was a late addition to the Road to EVO this year, with South California and North California Regionals both getting an official Road to EVO spot, as well as two of the biggest events of the year, UFGT9 (Chicago) and CEO 2013 (Orlando). The North East community of the USA, where some of the planet's most well-known fighting game names from New York and New Jersey (IFC Yipes, Sanford Kelly, Chris G, LI Joe, Team Spooky) are from, were seemingly a casualty of EVO's plans to avoid too many events with too many seeding points up for grabs (which lead to cases of seeded players playing fellow seeded players in the first rounds at EVO 2012).

But the North East scene rallied, Winter Brawl 7 has been added and it looks like a great event to watch this weekend.

Now that we know the 8 games at EVO, they will all be present at Winter Brawl, including the people's choice, Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Streams and links

StreamNameLink
Primary (All)Team Spookyhttp://www.twitch.tv/teamsp00ky/new
Secondary (3D fighters)8wayrunhttp://www.twitch.tv/8wayrun/new
Secondary (Capcom)bifutekihttp://www.twitch.tv/bifuteki/new
Secondary (Anime fighters)Team Stickbughttp://www.twitch.tv/st1ckbug/new
Secondary (Mortal Kombat)Kombat Networkhttp://www.twitch.tv/kombatnetwork/new

Or as always you can use the handy Twitch FGC page which will show all of these and more - http://www.twitch.tv/team/fgcpros

Korea's EVO 2012 & Capcom 25th Anniversary Champion for both SSFIV and SFxT, Infiltration, leaves his sponsorship team Western Wolves

The best player on the planet is officially a free agent after he announced his departure from the fighting game division (which has a partnership with Mad Catz) of Western Wolves.

"I am no longer part of Western Wolves, but I had an unforgettable year in 2012 and I wish them the best in the future. Thank you everyone!"

https://twitter.com/Infiltration/status/304670432848670720

No-one knows whether this is merely a formality before some else announces that they've signed him or that he's flying solo for now, but I doubt he'll be without a team for long. Not that he would need to a team to pay to go to any tournaments after dominating all the high profile tournaments last year.

Dieminion posts his early thoughts on the Street Fighter X Tekken version. 2013 Tier List

Disappointed to see Hugo all the way at the bottom, he actually seemed useful for ending combos when SFxT was first released.

Sega Cup 2013 - April 20, 2013

Sega is attempting to push Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, even if no-one else seems interested. $16,000 in prizes will be up for the 128 entrants in April -

1 $3,000.00

2 $2,000.00

3 $1,600.00

4 $1,400.00

5 $1,100.00

6 $1,100.00

7 $900.00

8 $900.00

Japan's EVO 2011 Street Fighter champion and resident Virtua Fighter legend Fuudo will immediately be labelled as the favourite to win this event. Justin Wong, still part of Evil Geniuses, has announced his entry into the event, giving it some much needed star power.

On a personal note I applaud Sega on the winning structure they're using, looks like event 8th place will make a decent amount of money.

That's all folks!

Despite embedding the video at the top the new Giant Bomb has stopped me from embedding anymore, otherwise I would've posted some more interesting stuff, ah well. Hopefully that'll be fixed for the next blog.

31 Comments

Presenting the line-up for EVO 2013 - INJUSTICE is in! 9 games! Hype!

Update 3

On Wakeup SRK E133 last night (May 8th) EVO director Joey Cueller (MrWizard) announced that due to Injustice blowing up in the FGC, they're going to do an official Injustice tournament. This means there's 9 games at EVO 2013, which hasn't happened since EVO 2004.

Update 2

The Breast Cancer Charity Drive has ended, Super Smash Bros. Melee is going to EVO!

1st - Super Smash Bros. Melee$94605

2nd - Skullgirls- $78760

3rd - Super Street Fighter II Super Turbo- $39567

List of nominees

Over $200,000 in donations has been reached, a great day for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

-----------------------------------

Update - The line-up is official!

8 Games? That's crazy.

What is the Players' Choice?

Mentioned below is a Facebook poll held on the EVO page to see which game you wanted to see at EVO 2013. Every game that got over 500 votes is now eligible. If you want to see your game at EVO, you must donate to Breast Cancer Charity!

The USA Road to EVO season

There will be 4 Road to EVO events with Seeding Points available this year, a much smaller amount than last year. Top 16 at each of these 4 events will get seeding points.

SoCal Regionals

NorCal Regionals

Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament 9

CEO 2013

and more unannounced international events!

More info - http://shoryuken.com/2013/01/08/evo-2013-details-game-lineup-get-your-game-to-evo-and-road-to-evo-events/

-----------------------------------

The Road to EVO season is about the begin! Many events will hold seeding point tournaments between now and July leading up to EVO 2013 (July 12-14 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas). This evening we'll find out which 4 to 8 games will be given the main stage spots.

When?

Today (the 8th) 7PM PST / 10PM EST / 3AM GMT

Where?

EVO 2012 Line-up

Potential EVO 2013 Games

My Predictions

The only two guaranteed to return are of course SSFIV and UMvC3. My guess is that they'll also replace Soulcalibur V with Tekken Tag 2, making its EVO debut.

After that? it's anyone's guess. Each game with the exception of the yet-to-be-released Injustice has something going for it, whether that's an existing fan-base, large community support or large developer/publisher support. Street Fighter X Tekken has a lot of negativity after its poor high-level showing last year, Capcom hopes to fix that with the Version. 2013 release. You may be wondering why the 2001 GameCube release Super Smash Bros. Melee has been included. The reason is that on the EVO Facebook page, a poll was created for users to vote for which game they would want to see at EVO 2013. The winner by some margin was Melee, the favoured game of the Super Smash Bros. franchise. Even PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, heavily influenced by the Smash Bros. series, has a shot with Sony's support.

NetherRealm Studios is in a strange place at the moment. With MK's competitive popularity fading and Injustice not out until April, it may be another year before you see a NRS game on the big stage. Unless Warner Bros. really puts in the effort to support Mortal Kombat for its 3rd (and presumably final) Championship.

Dead or Alive 5 may be the most played fighting game by casual fighting game fans this year, and has the support of IGN's IGN Pro League, but is that enough to ensure two 3D main stage games this year? Probably not.

The games I'm pretty sure won't be a main stage game this year are Skullgirls, Guilty Gear and Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown. Skullgirls, through various problems, some the fault of its developer, some not, was unfortunately the disappointment of last year. Guilty Gear and Virtua Fighter I believe will find themselves out in the cold in favour of their more popular 3D and anime counterparts, TTT2 and P4A.

The King of Fighters XIII had the 3rd largest entrants last year behind Street Fighter and Ultimate Marvel 3, and 95,000 viewers (on the English speaking Twitch.tv stream alone) tuned in to watch the Grand Final. But it hasn't had much to say for itself since, other than the recent Atlus Fighting Championships. Maybe this is Persona 4 Arena's time, with its fun game, supporting community and the pre-existing Persona fan-base.

Check back or watch the stream to see who the EVO founders have selected this year!

PS. IGN's IPL picks up Street Fighter - Can the FGC become eSports?

PPS. @FLStyle on Twitter

216 Comments

IGN's IPL picks up Street Fighter - Can the FGC become eSports?

This weekend the announcement was made that Capcom had given IGN's IGN Pro League its blessing to use its games. For the first time Street Fighter games will have official tournaments at an eSports event, namely the biggest name Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition and the most infamous game of modern times, Street Fighter X Tekken. Interestingly the most watched game at EVO 2012, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (which peaked at 99,000 viewers on the English speaking Twitch.tv channel alone), is notably absent for now.

Over the past 18 months, the four-way debate has been going on between:

  • the eSports community who want fighting games at their events as the next step to becoming the next Poker Series boom
  • the top FGC players who want to compete on the bigger stage and grow the community
  • the majority of the FGC who don't want to sacrifice everything they've built themselves on a gamble of conforming to eSports
  • Capcom, who refused to believe that any eSports organisation would do right by their games and community after MLG had previously burned bridges*

*

Back in the early days of eSports when the internet wasn't as accessible as it is today, when MLG featured a Street Fighter game an in eSports event, it had 1) only one stream for multiple games, which caused animosity between different gaming communities colliding in stream chats and 2) very little community input, tournaments where run on the whims of MLG, against the community and Capcom's wishes.

Now it seems, three of the four, IPL, Capcom and the top FGC players, have come to an agreement. Whether the rest of the FGC will follow remains to be seen, but here's what been said so far:

What is Capcom saying:

Matt Dahlgren of Capcom explains that it was the lack of confidence in potential partners that led to Capcom staying away from eSports events and focusing on supporting grassroots events. One of the main reasons cited is the tendency for eSports events to force a divide in players by hosting events at the same weekends as some of the major FGC events. Capcom won't merely let IPL use their games, they're going to have an integral part in making sure it's done right. One part of this includes installing a member of the FGC in IPL to represent the majority of the FGC, to make sure that their voice is represented. That man is Mike Ross.

How is the majority of the FGC having its say:

"The only thing that you hear is that people are so concerned with running stuff on the same dates and just throwing money out at the players, and I've already already expressed, if you throw a $20,000 tournament for 1st place and you have that on the same day as say, Final Round, CEO or something like that, that is not a good look. Yeah you'll get like 8 to 16 players that show up such as Justin Wong that have a good shot at winning but the community will always support the community events. so as long as we avoid that as a key product, we can work on other stuff later, but we have steps of things we need to do to maintain good relationships with everybody."

This is exactly what will make this partnership work where other organisations would fail. MLG have been running tournaments for Mortal Kombat, Soulcalibur V, The King of Fighters XIII and Tekken TAG Tournament 2 along with Starcraft II and League of Legends recently and any clashes with community events have been met with, "oh that's a shame, but we've got other gaming communities to deal with too, clashes are inevitable, look at all this money you can win!" Which while true to an extent, will never see MLG get full scenes of each respective game to fly out to their events.

On the surface IPL seem to want to do this right.

What's the top FGC players' reaction

Obviously as one of the top names in the FGC, this means big things for Justin Wong, but what interests me about this interview is Justin's preference for a longer, open-invitational tournament with all players rather than a smaller tournament with 32 players. But at the same time he also says that if you have longer sets (in any competitive game) then the better player will always come out on top. So it's no surprise that he says that a 32 player tournament with longer sets would be better than either with short sets. What IPL will go for in 2013 is currently unknown.

Is what IPL saying and doing two different things? IPL makes a good start

Arguably the biggest surprise of the entire weekend emerged in the latter part when IPL announced the dates for IPL6, March 29th to the 31st, the exact same weekend as Final Round. Final Round, in terms of legacy, is the 2nd most important FGC event behind EVO. 2013 will be Final Round's 16th annual event. Many instantly took to news reports of the IPL announcement and Twitter to voice their concerns of IPL doing exactly what was promised it wouldn't.

Within 48 hours of the initial announcement, IPL was put on the spot, here's a statement from the Final Round facebook page today:

I've just been informed by Capcom representative "Matt Dahlgren" that there will be no conflicting fighting games events with IPL and FR 16 next year. I would like to thank Capcom's Matt Dahlgren and IPL officials for not scheduling their first fighting game event on the same weekend as FR 16.

Later IPL put their own statement out on Twitter repeating the same. This is the biggest gesture of an eSports company doing right by fighting games to date. They certainly didn't have to do this, many people have pointed out that the venues for both events more than likely had been booked well before this weekend and that IPL could've easily cited that and gone ahead with having a competing set of fighting game tournaments that weekend. No-one would blame them. But they would've lost the trust of Capcom and the community quicker than anyone previously.

If this is a sign of things to come and IPL7, presumably in June, manages to avoid CEO 2013 (June 28th - 30th), IPL8 in September and IPL9 in December (long after EVO 2013 in July) will be a prime position to fully get the FGC on-board. This could be the start of something big.

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Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Grand Finals

We are heading into the end of the year with lots of FGC events coming up, read on for:

Events - Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Grand Finals, Curleh Mustache 5 (EVENT COMPLETED), North East Championship (EVENT COMPLETED)

Results - Atlus Fighting Championships, Giant Bomb Persona 4 Arena community vs. GameFAQs Persona 4 Arena community

News - R.I.P. Southtown Arcade, Reverge Labs lays off Skullgirls team - Skullgirls team goes indie, Next Level Arcade Documentary

Also check out - IGN's IPL picks up Street Fighter - Can the FGC become eSports?

Event Previews

Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Grand Finals - San Francisco - December 8th

Featuring Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (Version 2012), Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Online Edition and Street Fighter X Tekken.

The SFIV Bracket

Remember hearing about the $500,000 tournament series that Capcom announced earlier in the year? Well that's been going on since July and the last one in Telford, England will be December 1st. With any luck Capcom will put together a new trailer after that with the full list of players and I can replace the one you see above with that.

Only the winners (and runner ups in some cases) qualify for this tournament, which is how it'll be completed in a day instead of three like EVO. With qualifying tournaments all around the globe you can be guaranteed that the best players in the world will be at the finals. $125,000 of the $500,000 has been reserved for the finals which means there's plenty of money to play for.

The black sheep of the list of games on show is most definitely Street Fighter X Tekken, but Capcom has that base covered too.

The Street Fighter X Tekken winner will be handed the keys to an all-new custom designed Scion FR-S Sports Coupe. Capcom has partnered with Scion, Five Axis and Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), to create a one-of-a-kind Street Fighter-themed sports car, complete with video entertainment hardware from SCEA and a modified exterior from Five Axis including a custom FIVE:AD aero kit, spoiler, wheels, as well as many more premiere components from leading automotive aftermarket companies.

Apparently there'll be an all-new announcement at the event too, but with Darkstalkers Resurrection and Street Fighter X Tekken Version. 2013 already announced, what is this new secret?

Stream Link - http://www.twitch.tv/capcomfighters (Stream is live 24/7 replaying the qualifiers as the case was with EVO)

More Info - http://www.capcom-unity.com/haunts/blog/2012/11/16/sf25th-grand-finals-location-and-event-details

Qualifiers below

Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition v2012

EG|Ricky Ortiz (Rufus)

Happy Medicine (M. Bison)

BT|Dieminion (Guile)

Wolfkrone (C. Viper)

WW|Infiltration (Akuma)

AvM|GamerBee (Adon)

MCZ|Tokido (Akuma)

GR|Breno Fighters (Cammy)

MCZ|Daigo Umehara (Ryu)

RZR|Fuudo (Fei Long)

AGE|Snake Eyez (Zangief)

EG|Justin Wong (Rufus)

Problem X (Seth)

Alioune (Cammy)

MCZ|Mago (Fei Long)

EG|Momochi (Akuma, Cody)

Street Fighter X Tekken

EG|Justin Wong (Rufus, Chun-Li)

EG|Ricky Ortiz (Rufus, Chun-Li)

ER|Tatsu (Vega, Xiaoyu)

UYG|NuckleDu (Guile, Zangief)

WW|Infiltration (Rolento, Ryu)

TH|Poongko (Kazuya, Ryu)

AvM|GamerBee (Julia, Jack-X)

GR|Breno Fighters (Ryu, Chun-Li)

MCZ|Tokido (Dhalsim, Cody)

Yukimura (Ryu, Kazuya)

Sethlolol (Law, Kuma)

Combofiend (Julia, Marduk)

Alioune (Jack-X, Lili)

Fuzzy (Cammy, Rolento)

EG|Momochi (Rufus, Cody)

Kingstonn (Ryu, Rolento)

Street Fighter 3 Third Strike Online Edition

EG|Justin Wong (Chun-Li)

Nica KO (Yang)

BOC (Urien)

MCZ|Tokido (Chun-Li)

MOV (Chun-Li)

Mester (Yun)

Gunfight (Dudley)

EG|Momochi (Urien, Yun)

Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix

Afro Legends (Balrog)

Damdai (Ryu, Dhalsim)

WW|Laugh (Sagat)

MCZ|Tokido (Vega)

John Choi (Ryu, Sagat)

ShotosAllDay (Ryu, Zangief)

Aero Rockman (Guile, M. Bison, Dee Jay)

Fuzzy (Ryu, Cammy)

Curleh Mustache 5 - New York - November 24th

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is the game of choice for the invitation-only tournament created by the man who popularised the terms Curleh Mustache and Mango Sentinel, IFC Yipes. Yipes himself has been winning some major tournaments as of late, the former MvC2 EVO world champion doing some good work with a strong Nova, Spencer, Doctor Strange team.

Much like the SF25th Finals, only top talents will be competing at this event for one day only. Make sure to check it out!

Stream link - http://www.twitch.tv/teamsp00ky

More Info - http://www.brokentier.com/blogs/news/6699846-curleh-mustache-vol-5-east-coast-edition

NorthEast Championship (NEC XIII) - Philadelphia - December 1st / 2nd

The more traditional event of the three, NEC is an open-entry event for all the popular games with multiple streams spanning a weekend.

NEC XIII is the first stop on on the East Coast Tekken TAG Tournament 2 circuit (which I think is a brilliant idea by the way):

The rules to this tournament circuit are simple. If you win the TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2 tournament at Northeast Championships 13 in Philadelphia, then you will be awarded a plane ticket to FINAL ROUND XVI. If you win FINAL ROUND XVI, you will be flown to East Coast Throwdown 5. If you win ECT5, you will be flown to Evolution in Vegas. If you’re local to any of these tournaments that you’ve won a trip to, we will pay for your hotel room instead of the flight. The four of us from Big E Gaming, FINAL ROUND, and East Coast Throwdown want to make sure TTT2 is the most memorable TEKKEN for you guys yet, and what better way than to fly you around the country to represent your home turf?!

So potentially one person, providing he/she wins TTT2 at NEC, Final Round and East Coast Throwdown could go to two of these events for free and then EVO 2013 for free. The odds that one person manages to pull it off are slim, but I'm looking forward to seeing the winners of these events competing at the next one, undoubtedly with a bullseye on their chest.

Check out all the sponsors and prize pool money bonuses too, NEC is shaping up to be a good watch.

Stream Links -

STREAM: (Main) --http://www.twitch.tv/teamsp00ky

2nd Stream--Tekken/SCV and more Jaxel:http://www.twitch.tv/8wayrun

3rd Stream--All around Bifuteki: www.twitch.tv/Bifuteki.com

4th Stream Smash(Brawl and Melee)-- Calvin-VGBootCamp and Mark-Clash http://www.twitch.tv/vgbootcamp and http://www.twitch.tv/clashtournament

5th Stream P4A/BB/GG - Alan: http://www.twitch.tv/St1ckBuG

More Info - http://shoryuken.com/forum/index.php?threads/dec-1-2012-northeast-championship-nec-xiii-dec-1st-2nd-in-philadelphia-pa.167658/ & http://bigegaming.com/?p=303

Results

Atlus Fighting Championships

Atlus teamed up with Mad Catz and the live-streaming services of Level|Up Series on the 17th to have the Atlus Fighting Championships, showcasing The King of Fighters XIII and Persona 4 Arena. Level|Up has uploaded the Persona 4 Arena tournament, hopefully they'll upload the KOFXIII tournament too.

Giant Bomb Persona 4 Arena Community vs. GameFAQs Persona 4 Arena Community

I confess that I didn't touch the Atlus Fighting Championships stream for the entirety of the GB vs. GameFAQs P4A tournament, personal investment to see Giant Bomb players do well and all that.

  • Both GB and GameFAQs will form a team. These teams will be formed of exactly 12 people, not more. If one of the websites has less people than 12 signing up, then we'll have to adjust to the lower limit. For example, if GB has 12 people willing to sign up but GameFAQs only has 9, then 3 people will need to be cut from the GB team so that the teams are balanced.
  • The order of the participants in a team will be pre-determined before everything starts and matches will work like a standard, single elimination team tournament. For example: GBTM1 (Giant Bomb Team Member 1) vs. GFTM1 (GameFAQs Team Member 1). If GBTM1 wins, then the matchup will be GBTM1 vs. GFTM2 and so on. A team loses when all of their members are eliminated.
  • All matches will be best 2 out of 3 rounds for 99 seconds each round. Winner will be best 2 out of 3 matches. This isn't double elimination or anything, so when a member is eliminated, they're gone FOREVER.
  • A player that loses a match is allowed to switch characters, however a player who wins must choose the same character as his previous match.
  • If a player drops during a round, it is up to the opposing team to decide if they get a rematch or not.
  • We'll probably all be paying attention to this stuff, but save replays if, for some weird reason, players decide to have their match in a private lobby.

There are other videos with the entire tournament but TheFakePsychic's streams are always my preferred method of watching Giant Bomb Persona 4 Arena content.

The tournament was very close with each side having players enjoying large win streaks but eventually it came down to the final two players for each team (staged!), it was exciting stuff and I tip my hat to and all the GB P4A players for making it one of the best sub-communities on Giant Bomb.

News

R.I.P. Southtown Arcade

Another arcade with ties to the Fighting Game Community has bitten the dust unfortunately. Southtown Arcade, known for its affiliation with FGC stream and website IPLAYWINNER (including the Frame Trap show), has announced its closure, citing a bunch of reasons why it must close.

Due to a number of circumstances, Southtown Arcade’s last day of operation at its current location will be Sunday, November 25th, 2012. We’re really sorry for the sudden nature of this announcement, but we were hoping that we would be able to resolve a number of outstanding issues in order to continue normal business operations, and, unfortunately, our optimism did not bear fruit.

Check out the full statement here - http://www.southtownarcade.com/

IPLAYWINNER will continue to run events at a new as of yet unannounced venue.

Reverge Labs lays off Skullgirls team - Skullgirls team goes indie

The release of Skullgirls came and went and not much was heard about it after that. The game, while having some good ideas, had trouble with an initially small community getting smaller instead of larger, not being picked up by EVO for EVO 2012 and no patch to the game's post-release issues after Reverge Labs laid off the entire Skullgirls staff in June before a patch was completed and released.

But now it will see the light of day:

Welcome to Lab Zero Games.

Forward-thinking and retro-minded, Lab Zero Games is an independent game development studio founded by the original team that brought you Skullgirls. Lab Zero intends to continue its critically-acclaimed work on Skullgirls as well as leverage its unique design and artistic sensibilities to develop new games.

As many of our fans know, Skullgirls had more than its fair share of difficulties getting to market, but thus far none have been quite this dire: last June, the entire Skullgirls team was laid off from Reverge Labs.

To try to prevent such calamities from befalling us, our games, or our fans again, the Skullgirls team decided to form its own studio.

Autumn Games, the publisher and owner of the Skullgirls property, is fully behind the new studio and will continue to work with us in the future on all Skullgirls-related endeavors, such as the just-released patch, more merchandise and a few other things we can’t quite announce yet.

http://labzerogames.com/

Next Level Arcade Documentary

Living in the UK, I have the dubious distinction of having never watched an episode of the West Coast's main fighting game weekly Wednesday Night Fights (Starts at 4AM my time or something crazy like that). But the East Coast's main fighting game weekly, Big Two, streamed by none other than Team Spooky and features many favourites like Aquasilk and Chris Hu, I can.

Check out what goes on at Next Level Arcade on a typical Big Two evening courtesy of owner Henry Cen.

And that about does it for this FGC event/news blog thingy. I'll be updating it as appropriate in the coming weeks. I leave you in the capable hands of Chris Hu as he teaches you some English. Shout out to for pointing me in the direction of NEC.

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Canada Cup 2012 (26-28 Oct) Preview and TONS of FGC News!

It's that time again!

Canada Cup Preview!

Canada Cup is most known for two things, a world cup 5 vs. 5 style competition in SSF4AE (in addition to the usual singles tournaments) and the $8.95 fighting game community meme.

As discussed in the above video, Team Europe had to pull out of the event, the other 8 teams are:

Team USA 1, Team USA 2, Team Canada 1, Team Canada 2, Team Japan, Team Korea, Team Netherlands and Team South East Asia.

So there's going to be plenty of global competition on show during the weekend, lots of EVO standard matches and the accompanying hype is guaranteed.

As for 8.95? Well to watch last year's stream in HD you had to pay 8.95, but the non-HD stream was plagued with a stream producer who kept pressing the "play an ad now" button as soon as matches ended, but for stream viewers who are watching with a 10-15 second delay, would miss the ending of the match. It features as a joke in Divekick. To put it in context, remember the Daigo Parry video? Imagine the 8.95 version.

Hilarious.

Stream Link

http://www.twitch.tv/team/canadacup

Zangief wins his first Street Fighter IV major

Two games, two downloadable upgrades, four years. Not a single Zangief player had won a major. Until this weekend, when AGE | Snake Eyez defeated Justin Wong in a grand final that was a great example of patience and spacing. It was incredibly tense and a great end to the LA Qualifiers of the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary tournament.

Team Rush Hour returns and with it, some of the funniest FGC content you will see

Sit down and let Aquasilk and Chris Hu, Team Rush Hour, spin you some tales about a League of Legends player forgetting to turn off his stream after playing LoL and indulging in some "self celebration" as he triples his viewership in 5 minutes. Also features the explanation to Chris Hu of where "I pee on some little girls" comes from. Couldn't stop laughing when I saw it live, ahhh funny stuff, shout out to Team Rush Hour.

EVO founders announce the winners of the EVO College Scholarship winners

One of the things I was really intrigued by at this year's EVO 2012 was the $10,000 College Scholarship that was paid for by the 720p PPV stream viewers (of which I was one, because the archive was locked behind the pay wall). After 500 entrants, three winners have been picked, good luck to the winners in getting educated up.

It took longer than we expected, but we have finally awarded the first ever Evo College Scholarship! The response was enormous; in our first year we received over 500 applications. Thankfully, the number of PPV viewers for Evo 2012 have allowed us to add one additional scholarship. So for 2012 we will grant two $10,000 awards, along with a special $500 creative grant! An enormous THANK YOU goes out to all our online viewers and to Capcom, Namco, Warner Bros, and Atlus for allowing us to run the PPV.

Source - http://shoryuken.com/2012/10/24/announcing-the-10000-evo-scholarship-winners-for-2012/

Atlus announces the Atlus Fighting Championships for November

No Capcom games, no Namco games, no NetherRealm games, just good ol' The King of Fighters XIII and Persona 4 Arena courtesy of Atlus and Mad Catz and streamed by Level Up Series http://twitch.tv/leveluplive More details to come in November

http://www.levelup-series.com/levelup-presents-atlus-fighting-championships/

MLG picks up Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for MLG Dallas - Fall Championships (November 2-4)

In a much anticipated move, Major League Gaming has dropped one Namco game for another, with Soulcalibur V stepping aside for the new game TTT2. Tekken has had a history with MLG, Tekken 6 having a successful run in the past. Will this be as successful? With MLG's new efforts in fighting games it's going to be interesting to see

  • If TTT2 can repeat what Tekken 6 did
  • If Tekken players will turn up to Dallas
  • If the MLG fighting game stream can actually break 1000 viewers, with it's many adverts, esports production and wub wub wub

When "One woman’s battle against the anxious masculinity of the fighting-games scene" isn't what it claims to be

I've seen an alarming rise in the amount of abuse of women in gaming articles recently, while it's disheartening to read these stories, I believe that the more it's reported, the more sexist idiots will get exposed and shown the error of their ways, one I especially enjoyed reading recently was the story of the Black Cat cosplayer who embarrassed and humiliated a bunch of childish sexist interviewers at last week's New York Comic-con. http://beautilation.tumblr.com/post/33538802648

The next article to shame wrong doers is Maddy Myers piece about her fighting game adventures - http://thephoenix.com/boston/recroom/145892-one-womans-battle-against-the-anxious-masculinity/#ixzz2AGeCw78L. This article was brought to my attention by none other than Giant Bomb's own resident anti-FGC staffer, Patrick Klepek in his latest "Worth Reading" article, with the intro in linking to the article (and a direct quote) "It's too bad some ugly seeds continue to give the fighting game community such a bad reputation."

I gave this article a read (which begrudgingly clicked to 5 separate pages, come on people, this is 2012!) and I can confirm I'm in agreement with Maddy that what she went through wasn't very pleasant and unfortunately it's seen commonly in many geek subcultures.

A couple guys come up and try to make conversation with me. They both ask the same questions: "What are you doing here?" "Why did you come?" They seem genuinely curious. My response — "I just wanted to play" — doesn't satisfy either of them. They keep asking that same question with different wording. So I say "I don't know" until they go away.

Another guy walks up and asks if I have the next game. Sure, why not. He tells me it's his first time here; he's got a stick with him, and he looks excited. He asks if I've been here before, and I admit I have. "You're a regular!" he exclaims. I laugh. No, not exactly.

As I'm reading this, a theme starts to emerge, which is cemented by the 4th page. These guys are not the fighting game community, they are random gamers, no different from the ones who we all receive hateful messages from on XBL/PSN. Take this section from page 4:

I lean against the doorway and watch people play for 10 minutes. While I loiter, no one asks if I need help or seems to notice me, but I don't mind this so much; I'd rather be ignored than stared down, and I enjoy watching the game. Finally, an employee asks me what I am doing there. I ask him in return if the store would consider organizing an Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 night.

Turns out, the game nights get dictated by corporate, he explains, so they don't even have copies of UMvC3 on hand. "If we did have a copy, you could play it," he says.

"What if I told you I had a copy right here?"

By now, the guys in the room have turned around. Several stare at me in bewilderment.

"Oh, shit," says one of the male players, "I bet she's a pro."

"I'm definitely not," I say, laughing. "I'm just not very good at Street Fighter X Tekken. I thought I might convince you guys to play this instead if I brought it."

"How did you even know this was happening?" someone asked. "We just saw the store and came in."

"Oh, I Googled around for fight nights, and this was one that I found," I said. The guys look at each other. I can't tell if they're impressed or freaked out. A little of both?

My game's title screen flashes over the TV. More guys walk into the back room with exclaims of interest.

"Marvel vs. Capcom? I love this game," says one of the newcomers. "You all play this game? You guys all have Xbox?"

One of the other guys points at me. "I only have a PS3, but she has an Xbox. This is her game."

The newcomer stares hard at me. "It's your game?"

Time to go through the motions. "Yes." "You play this game?" "Yes." "You play video games?" "Yes." "You have an Xbox?!" "Yes." "Whoa! You gotta give me your gamertag!" "No, thanks." "What? Why not? You have Xbox Live, right?" "I do, just . . . no, thanks."

The guy turns and walks right out of the store. He doesn't come back.

The guy who pointed at me says, "That was weird."

"It wasn't that unusual," I say. "Not for me."

"Oh, right," he says. "You're a girl who plays video games. And that's pretty weird." It's not a compliment. He says it with a hint of concern in his eyes, as though he's letting me know that I have a symptom of some larger, mysterious disorder.

Now other than the ignorant comment at the bottom about Maddy apparently being pretty weird and the creepy guy who left, it seems quite clear to me that this entire thing is amateur hour, a "fight night," put together by some store employees and not a fighting game community event. Labelling this as "bad seeds" of the fighting game community is a mistake on both Patrick and Maddy's part.

Thank you for reading once again!

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