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.

47 Comments

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!

42 Comments

Season's Beatings: Ascension (28-30 Sep) Preview & more FGC News!

These Fighting Game Community events read more like Wrestling Pay Per Views all the time.

http://godlike-entertainment.com/

Season's Beatings: Ascension Preview!

This event is taking place in Cleveland from the 28th to the 30th, featuring all sorts of games and players from EVO as well as new games that have been released after:

Featured games

If you saw EVO this year you'll know that it was the Mexicans and the Koreans who stole the show in a lot of the games on display, and many of them are making the return trip to the USA for Ascension including these two crazy KOF players:

the SSFIV: AE 2012 EVO Champion Infiltration

and one of my favourite players in UMVC3, Mame Spider.

Recent releases, TTT2, P4A and DOA5 will all be at Ascension, I'm looking forward to seeing what the highest level matches of those games look like. If you've seen or taken part in the Giant Bomb P4A Community tournaments you'll know how fun that game is. TTT2 has had a very positive response from the 3D fighting game players and DOA5 was just released so we'll have to see how that goes, if it's half as nuts as the story was in the Giant Bomb Quick Look it should be good to watch at least.

Stream links:

http://www.twitch.tv/consolecombat

http://www.twitch.tv/addmitt

http://www.twitch.tv/gallopingghostarcade

http://www.twitch.tv/sixfortyfive/

http://www.twitch.tv/shadowedfate

Due to Bus problems Spooky is not currently at the event, will update if he makes it during the weekend.

http://www.twitch.tv/teamsp00ky

Jeff Gerstmann vs. Max, Max completes Retro Assist Me series

Maximilian is the most prominent member of the Fighting Game Community on Youtube (34 million views) with his fighting game and FPS videos. His Assist Me show is particularity good, check out episode 1 out of 4 of Retro Assist Me. 1/3rd Back to the Future parody, 1/3rd part continuation of the Assist Me story and 1/3rd introduction into the recently released Marvel vs. Capcom Origins.

Both Max and Jeff's first online ranked match in Tekken TAG 2 when it first came out was against each other and was recorded in Max's video of his impressions of TTT2's online.

Other News from Shoryuken.com

http://shoryuken.com/2012/07/31/divekick-finds-publisher-one-true-game-studios-closes-kickstarter-still-honoring-backer-rewards/

http://shoryuken.com/2012/08/05/egjustin-wong-becomes-first-american-to-take-home-the-gold-at-super-battle-opera/

http://shoryuken.com/2012/09/26/injustice-gods-among-us-collectors-edition-revealed-includes-dc-collectibles-statue-exclusive-character-skins-and-more/

Thanks for reading! Tune in this weekend!

53 Comments

Why I enjoy Final Fantasy Tactics gameplay more than other RPGs

I tried this game before but I got permanently stuck in one of the story-dungeons when I was under-levelled for a temporarily 1 on 1 boss fight. I recently started a new game, with saves on the world map (turns out I didn't need them), this time completing the game. It's one of my favourite RPGs I've played. It has:

  • A levelling system that allows customisation within certain limits
  • Combat which has strategic movement that is more than old-school turn-based RPGs but less than free-roaming RPGs
  • Putting time into levelling doesn't simply increase your level but isn't too complex to the point of multiple branching skill trees
Many enjoyable systems make all classes fun

Some of my most fondly remembered titles of the genre include Persona 4, Dragon Age: Origins and The Legend of Dragoon. All three have their positives and negatives but I can always say that while I enjoyed the gameplay in these, story progression and character development always held my interest more. FFT is the only one which is the opposite. Gearing up characters in certain ways, grinding out job points to buy useful passive skills, doing the math to see whether my dragoon's jump will land on top of an enemy in time etc.

Towards the end I found my class-specific created characters dropping out of my squad for the various storyline characters with their many Holy/Divine/Fell/Templar Knight Job Skills, but all that meant was that I had new characters to grind out Move +2, Critical: Restore HP, Treasure Hunter, Equip Heavy Armour or Counter for, which the aforementioned created characters would be very useful for. When four Monks go out into a battle with a White/Time Mage, equipped with Job Points Boost, you can be guaranteed that you'll be coming away with plenty of JP at the end.

Insert Sword and Shield here

I would be more than happy to play a FFT game on current and/or next generation consoles and I have the perfect PS3 game to be used as a base, Valkyria Chronicles. The real time/turn-based hybrid style of Valkyria Chronicles, combined with what makes FFT one of my favourite RPGs could make for a game that I'd take over some of the recent Final Fantasy games any day.

Now once I've played the shit out of Torchlight II I'm going to try another isometric turn-based RPG on the PSP, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together.

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EVO 2012 Preview - July 6-8 - The world's best meet in Las Vegas

Evo Championship Series 2012 - The World's Best - Fighting Games vs. eSports?!

Evo 2012 - Live from Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, NA

It's time for the big one folks! Following last year's EVO 2011 and the Road to EVO 2012 season we are now just one week away from EVO 2012, the world fighting game championships. 2012 has certainly been packed with events this year leading up to EVO and now the best players from around the world will meet in Las Vegas.

EVO 2011 Recap

http://www.eventhubs.com/news/2011/jul/29/evo-2011-live-stream-team-sp00ky-x-iplaywinner/

Featured Games

Records are being broken for EVO 2012, we've got over 3,500 entrants playing mixtures of the titles this year, with $100,000 in prizes up for grabs.

GameSuper Street Fighter IV: AE 2012Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3Street Fighter X TekkenThe King of Fighters XIIIMortal KombatSoulcalibur V
Pool$25000$15000$9000$11000$23000$5000
Entrant153612488961072256416

Capcom - The Rise of SSFIV and UMvC3 and the Fall of Street Fighter X Tekken

Thanks to the release of SSFIV: Arcade Edition Version. 2012 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the two games will be a lot more balanced affair this time around. No longer will the top 8 be dominated by Yun, Fei Long and C.Viper and no longer will Level 3 X-Factor Dark Phoenix be the overbearing character she was. Players are in a much better mindset for both games and going into EVO 2012, the winner of both AE 2012 and UMvC3 could be one of any 20 to 40 players.

And then we have the proverbial red-headed step child of fighting games, Street Fighter X Tekken, making its 2 vs 2 debut (448 teams) at EVO 2012.

  • Gems are practically unusable because of the amount of time needed to set them up each match would double or even triple the time taken to complete the tournament
  • The DLC on the disc/playable online hacked characters nonsense had left a bad taste in everyone's mouths
  • Labelled by tournament players as Jab X Timeout, the game simply isn't fun to play or watch at a competitive level

Fighting Games and eSports

There's been a lot of debate about fighting games joining the eSports movement and while Capcom have stated their position is firmly against their games featuring at MLG (following an attempt in the past during the days when an event only had one stream, the fighting games viewers and the Starcraft viewers collided in the stream chat), MLG in turn turned their attention to other games outside of Capcom, those being Mortal Kombat, Soulcalibur V and The King of Fighters XIII.

Following two events at MLG in which MK and ScV had over 70 entrants at both, KOFXIII failed to break 40 entrants on both occasions. With the general assumption that KOFXIII will be dropped, many in the eSports camp dismissed KOF for its community not supporting their game. Yet look at the amount of entrants at EVO for the game, eclipsing both MK and ScV combined. Why? A very good article on iPlayWinner argues that for all MLG's prize money and high production value, the one thing they miss is the most important thing that Community events like CEO 2012 and UFGT8 do. They make you think, "You want to be a part of this," through engagement and the sense of community. http://iplaywinner.com/news/2012/6/18/the-salty-runback-community-effort.html

Also Featuring

The 25th anniversary Super Street Fighter II Turbo Tournament of Legends 32 man invitational plus Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown ($15000 prize pool from Sega) and Skullgirls ($1000 prize pool from Autumn Games) side tournaments.

Thursday (July 5th 10PM PDT) Pre-show!

Fighting game player and Evil Genius's own Floe (master of the Floe Face) has had a very popular stream channel http://www.twitch.tv/eg_floe trying to become "The Guy" in the crazy platformer indie game, I Wanna Be The Guy. This Thursday on stream 1, Floe will rage for everyone's entertainment playing I Wanna Be The Guy: Gaiden in the official Evo pre-show.

Indie Game Showcase

In an effort to provide some interesting indie titles to an audience receptive of them, EVO this year will feature 7 indie titles, one of which you may of heard of if you've seen my previous event blogs for UFGT8 and CEO 2012.

The 7 titles will be Aztez, BaraBariBall, DIVEKICK, Nidhogg, SpyParty, Super Comboman and Super Time Force (three of which need pages creating on Giant Bomb, get on that!).

“While on the surface EVO is a fighting game tournament for hardcore fans, dig a little deeper and you’ll learn that it’s much more than that. EVO has always pushed traditional gaming outside of the expected, and far past the norm. As an event, it represents how vast & varied gaming can be, and how much crazy fun can be had when it’s all mashed together into a weekend of tournaments & BYOC. A lot of these tenets & goals line up one-to-one with the core of independent game development. With this in mind, I’m extremely excited that EVO has partnered with the other indie game developers to showcase their games in the Indie Gaming Showcase.

Plus… we all can’t wait for the FGC to absolutely tear our games apart!”

Nathan Vella
Co-founder & president, CAPY (Super Time Force)

Stream Details

For the first time, EVO will be streamed on Twitch.tv, Spooky and Haunts from Team Spooky and iPlayWinner will be handling the stream duties once again, following their successful showing last year.

Stream 1 (Pools, Quarter-finals, Semi-finals, Finals) - http://www.twitch.tv/srkevo1

Stream 2 (Pools, Quarter-finals, Semi-finals) - http://www.twitch.tv/srkevo2

Stream 3 (Panels) - http://www.twitch.tv/srkevo3

The guys at shoryuken.com have set up a handy Custom Player (complete with the weekend's full schedule) page for viewing all three streams and chat however you want at http://evo2012.s3.amazonaws.com/live/index.html

$12 720p HD stream = Annual Evo $10,000 College Scholarship for Gamers

http://evo.shoryuken.com/2012/06/26/shoryuken-com-introduces-the-evo-annual-10000-college-scholarship-for-gamers/

Get your Evo 2012 Ticket! This is a one time purchase for the Evo 2012 streams, July 6 - 8, 2012.

Proceeds will go towards the foundation of an annual $10,000 Evo college scholarship for gamers pursuing degrees in gaming and technology. Evo 2012 ticket holders will receive:

EVO 2012 ticket holders will receive:

»No ads

»720p quality streams

»Access to chat

»Custom Emoticons

»The warm fuzzy feeling of helping your fellow gamers fulfill their dreams

All for the price of $12.00.

In Closing

With UFGT8 and CEO 2012, I could've easily said, "if you watch one fighting game stream this year..." but to be honest, as good as they were (and as much potential they have to be on the same level), they don't currently compare to EVO. EVO is the tournament that all players go to above any others and there's a reason why EVO 2011 broke the 85,000 concurrent (2.2 million unique views) stream viewers (on the ustream stream channel alone) mark.

I hope you can tune in and make this even bigger than last year.

Official EVO 2012 / 2k12 Livestream Discussion Thread (July 6-8)

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Daigo Umehara returns to the USA - CEO 2012 Preview - June 15-17

CEO 2012 - Daigo competes, DIVEKICK returns and playing games in a wrestling ring

We are just over 3 weeks away from EVO 2012 (Evo Championship Series on Giant Bomb) in Las Vegas with two Road to EVO tournament season events remaining. This weekend's event is CEO 2012.

Daigo 'The Beast' Umehara, sponsored by Mad Catz, among other championship wins, is the Evo 2009 Street Fighter IV world champion and the Evo 2010 Super Street Fighter IV world champion. It's a safe assumption that his fame on the internet came from the "Daigo Parry" video from Evo 2004.

His last appearance on US soil was EVO 2011 in which he failed to win a third straight SFIV tournament, swapping his tried and tested Ryu for the then (now nerfed from the highest of fighting game tierland, but at the time was) dominant Yun in Arcade Edition. He has since returned to Ryu (with Yun and Akuma in reserve) and will compete at CEO this weekend (as well as playing exhibition matches vs USA rivals) before EVO (July 6th-8th) to avenge his loss to Americans, Koreans and fellow Japanese players alike.

Other awesome stuff this weekend at CEO

  • The main stage will be a wrestling ring, fucking nuts

Where Can I watch this amazing event?

Team Spooky is handling the streaming once again at http://www.twitch.tv/teamsp00ky

Secondary stream is at http://www.twitch.tv/ceogaming

About CEO

CEO 2010 was put together from start to finish in only 3 weeks and ended with a turnout of over 350 gamers and spectators(125 entrants for Super Street Fighter 4 alone making it the biggest fighting game turnout in Florida's History) throughout the weekend.

CEO 2011 looks to build on that with over 6 months of preparation to become one of the largest gaming competitions in the Southeast USA. Since the first Tournament under the moniker of CEO, there have been over CEO 10 tournaments in the Orlando area with a consistent turnout of over 70-100 competitors at each one for such popular Games as Super Street Fighter IV and Blazblue.

The end result of CEO 2011 turned into one of the most hype EVO Season tournaments with over 650 competitors Entering Super Street Fighter 4: AE, Marvel Vs Capcom 3, Blazblue Blue, Smash Bros, Tekken 6, Mortal Kombat, Soul Calibur 4 and Arcana Heart 3 bringing in people representing 22 US States and 9 International countries. Max Attendance was a little below 1,000 people tripling CEO 2010's Numbers.

CEO 2012 Has already been Signed for set at the Wyndham Orlando Resort June 15th-17th, 2012 and with over a year to prepare and the community becoming stronger than ever it will be amazing to see how it's 3rd year does and the amount of people it can bring together.

CEO has become the joint effort of one of the strongest gaming communities around and its sole purpose is to bring together friends and foes with a passion for fighting games.

Source - http://ceogaming.org/about

In Closing

I've been hooked on Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 matches for quite some time now, the tournaments are so fun to watch, but there's just something about SFIV, when you have top players from around the world going up against each other, that makes it special.

Hope you can tune in this weekend, at least during the finals on Sunday night, I can't wait, thanks for reading.

Pictures of relevance!

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Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament 8 Preview (debut of DIVEKICK!)

UFGT8, one of my favourite Road to EVO events is all this weekend, featuring the return of the Mystery Game Tournament and the debut of DIVEKICK!

Just look at the trophies they'll be playing for (which are related to a the post-credits ending in The Avengers)!

Infinity Gauntlet Trophies!

The main reason why UGFT is so popular is because of the extras you get other than the EVO seeding point tournaments that come with the rest of the events. Last year's Mystery Game Tournament (which is by no means limited to fighting games) was my personal favourite event.

MGT 2011

Street Fighter 1, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Pong! The randomness of not having played a fighting game vs making a competitive match out of something like Mario is not only hilarious but just as exciting as any of the main fighting game tournaments (knowledge of the games not necessary!)

This year however, the Mystery Game Tournament has a new rival in DIVEKICK!

I don't even know what this game is capable of, but I'll have a fun time watching.

Where can I watch this?

http://www.leveluplive.tv/ is where you can watch both streams at the same time (and not have the chats up if you don't want those), Stream 1 by Level | Up Series and Stream 2 by FocusFire.

And here's the final day schedule for Sunday:

Hope you tune in!

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$500,000 Capcom Tournament Series post Evo Championship Series

Capcom announced details on the half a million dollars they're giving away in competitive gaming in the form of a 25th Street Fighter anniversary themed tournament series to begin after EVO 2012.

Super Street Fighter IV: AE 2012Street Fighter X TekkenStreet Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online EditionSuper Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix

Schedule:

Remaining Evo Championship Series Dates

EventDateLocation
Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament 8May 25-27Chicago
NorthWest MajorsJune 2-3Seattle
Montreal Annual TournamentJune 2-3Montreal, Canada
East Coast ThrowdownJune 9-10New Jersey
CEO 2012 ChampionshipsJune 15-17Orlando
MidWest Championships 2012June 22-24Nashville
Evo 2012July 6-8Las Vegas

Capcom Tournament Series Dates

DateLocation
July 28-29Austin, TX
August 11-12New York (Location Pending)
August 26Taipei, Taiwan
Mid-SeptemberTokyo, Japan
September 27-30London, England (in conjunction with Eurogamer Expo)
October 13-14Sao Paulo, Brazil (in conjunction with Brazil Game Show)
October 27-28Los Angeles, CA
October 31 – November 4Paris, France (in conjunction with Paris Games Week)
December 8 FinalsSan Francisco, CA

Glad to see that they're putting some effort into supporting the competitive scene, though I have my doubts over their ability to run these tournaments. Maybe they'll get most of the people who have been running the Evo tournaments to do it for them. I'm also curious about the games themselves, the only one of those four that is being played and is liked is AE 2012. I don't recall HD Remix or 3rd Strike Online ever featuring at a tournament recently (if at all ever) and everyone hates Jab X TimeOut.

No Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3?

Yeah it's not technically a Street Fighter game but unless Japanese players participate in AE 2012 then the most exciting game to watch at tournaments is UMvC3.

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Ladies and gents, I present the real Fighting Game Community

Disclaimer: I'm going with the assumption that we all agree that the actions of Aris on the Team Tekken half of Cross Assault was completely wrong and that if you have an opinion on the matter that you want to discuss you have 2 articles by Patrick and various additional articles by many video game journalism websites in which to do so.

So what I'm trying to do with this blog is give an accurate representation of what the Fighting Game Community is all about. Unintentionally or not, coverage by the video game media (including Giant Bomb) has painted the FGC in a very negative light. In the eyes of the average internet savvy gaming culture person, the FGC is the people that are covered in the media. By that logic, Aris is the FGC, because Giant Bomb, Kotaku, Destructoid, Penny Arcade etc. never write about anything else.

What is the FGC?

Yes, the scene is rowdy and uses colorful language. A lot. But that’s just the hard candy shell. It does not define us. Ask any long-time player about their favorite memories and almost no one will tell you about the time a caster yelled some obscenity, or the time someone popped off in another guys’ face. People will tell you about their first event, or maybe a particularly memorable grand finals, or the fun times hanging out with friends after the event, or the fantastic trip to a new place where they met new people and became friends. That is what defines us.

No drama. No popoffs. Just a few thousand or so players from all walks of life who share the same passion. You don’t have to hear what people are saying or understand the intricacies for Street Fighter IV to appreciate what makes this scene special. And this isn’t an Evo thing. This magic happens every week on a smaller scale all over the world.

http://shoryuken.com/2012/02/29/back-to-basics-getting-beyond-the-drama/ Evo co-founder, Tom Cannon

What the FGC does when it isn't involved in controversies with video game media.

Please watch this video, this is the FGC, this is heartfelt and should be shown to as many people as possible. Keep an eye out for the comments from Twitch,tv's own Ben 'Fishstix' Goldhaber.

Final Round is the biggest FGC tournament event on the East Coast, Final Round XV (15 years!) is happening this weekend. The Cross Assault grand final will be held here today (Saturday March 3rd) at 10PM PST. As a Road to Evo event, Evo Championship seeding points will be given. Watch it!

Spooky (of Team Spooky) hasn't been home for 3 weeks, he streamed Winter Brawl, the second Road to Evo event, then he streamed Team Street Fighter and commentated all week for Cross Assault and now he's streaming Final Round XV. And now MLG is hoping he will produce their Mortal Kombat, King of Fighters XIII and Soulcalibur V tournaments at the MLG Winter Championships. He is the hardest working man in the FGC and a prime example of the hard work and passion in the FGC.

After everything that's happened, why is the FGC now hesitant to speak with the video game media?

Patrick at least understands that the FGC sees itself presented very poorly in the media. If Patrick and other members of the video game media don't meet the FGC half-way, then nothing will be accomplished. What do I mean by this? I mean that if Giant Bomb wants to cover the bad, then they have to cover the good too. Now Patrick would tell you that Giant Bomb has covered the FGC, when they ran the story about Noah Solis just after Evo 2011 last year - http://www.giantbomb.com/news/meet-noah-solis-the-8-year-old-fighting-game-wunderkind/3600/

But Noah is no more representative of the FGC than Aris is. The article about Noah is not a FGC article, it's a Noah article, the Aris article is not a FGC article, it's an Aris article. If you want to cover the FGC, then you have to cover what makes the scene what it is, as Tom Cannon put it, what defines the FGC. That is the way sites will build bridges with the FGC.

Thanks for reading. As a fan of the FGC and GB member I hope to see better relations between the two in the future.

UPDATE:

Big thanks to Patrick for checking out Final Round today.

What do the females of competitive gaming have to say for themselves

The issue of sexism in competitive gaming has come to the forefront recently, but it's been a problem for many years. David and James speak with four guests, Monique Mendoza, Kara Leung, Sherry Nhan, and Tricia Sugita, about what it's like to be a woman in a competitive gaming community, how women in gaming are treated, and what can be done to provide a better atmosphere for women gamers.

Sorry for the lack of editing, I just transferred it here directly from Twitch because my download and upload speeds would have made a file like this take forever.

Please subscribe here, follow us at http://twitch.tv/ultrachentv, and like us at http://facebook.com/ultrachentv. Also follow David on Twitter at @UltraDavid, James on Twitter at @jchensor, and the show at @UltraChenTV.

  • Show starts about 3 minutes into the video
  • There's a big loud noise at 5:58 and a few more into the video, watch out for that
  • James and David's volume does vary because they're sharing a mic
139 Comments