Winter Brawl 9 Preview!
Winter Brawl often signifies the beginning of the road to EVO in earnest. We know what the EVO line-up is, the Smash community begins the year showcasing its best at APEX (which nearly didn't happen this year, more on that after the preview) and in what has become a popular trend we know what fighting games are coming round the corner in Spring in time for EVO.
I've always enjoyed watching the North East Coast players fighting in big tournaments and there'll be plenty of them in their own back yard! I'm definitely going to watch some KOFXIII and BlazBlue since they're not at EVO this year. I haven't seen much of competitive Persona 4AU so that's also on my list.
Winter Brawl breaks with East Coast tradition and makes USFIV the main event, not UMvC3. Maybe they're hoping the main event's grand final will be less free than last year's main even GF, a rematch between EVO 2013's winner Flocker and runner up Justin Wong, in which Justin crushed the man he used to have a lot of trouble against and people started to believe he would win EVO 2014 (which he did).
Streams and schedule
Note: Only Spooky and Bifuteki are live on Friday with USFIV teams and UMvC3 teams respectively
- Team Spooky - Spooky: http://www.twitch.tv/teamsp00ky - All USFIV and UMvC3 all weekend, plus Dead or Alive 5 top 8 & Guilty Gear Xrd top 8 on Sunday
- Bifuteki - http://www.twitch.tv/bifuteki - Dead or Alive 5 on Saturday, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 & Soulcalibur V all weekend, plus Tekken Tag Tournament 1 top 8 on Sunday
- Kombat Network - http://www.twitch.tv/kombatnetwork - Injustice and MK9 all weekend
- Kick Punch Block - http://www.twitch.tv/kpblive - KOFXIII and Killer Instinct all weekend
- Team Spooky - Arturo Sanchez - http://www.twitch.tv/nycfurby - Guilty Gear Xrd on Saturday, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax and BlazBlue CP all weekend, plus Under Night In-Birth EXE: Late top 8 on Sunday
- Smash Studios - http://www.twitch.tv/smashstudios - Smash Melee and Smash Wii U singles on Saturday, doubles on Sunday
APEX, the tournament that almost never was
APEX happened and was the subject of my last blog and it was awesome, but if you tuned in during the final day or if you're a criminal and didn't tune in at all you probably don't know that it almost never took place.
Remember that extreme snowy weather that hit the east coast? Well when one Smasher decided to play a prank and set an alarm off at APEX's venue the fire marshals shut everything down when it was discovered that the hotel being used as the venue had significant structural damage from the weather that had not been repaired.
In steps Twitch to immediately find a new venue and the Smash community hustled to spread the word and organise transport to the new venue
Despite losing all of Friday and all the time it took to set up in the new space, not a single tournament was dropped, all were completed, how it happened I do not know, other than the APEX staff and the Smash community are some of the best people in gaming. Well done to everyone involved, they all deserved a great event and that's what they still had.
The Rayman Smash Wii U Leak(?)
Twitter was a buzz the other day when a supposed leak hit the net of Rayman being a DLC character in Smash Wii U after Mewtwo, the video clearly showed the selection screen with moving cursor and unique character portraits for both Mewtwo and Rayman. But that was all part of the plot!
Turns out it's an extremely convincing fake by YouTube user Omni, who's intending to cash in on his 450,000 views by starting a series in which he "Smashifies" fictional characters into the Smash Wii U selection screen. If you watch the video you can see just how much detail he puts into his Mewtwo and Rayman efforts, modifying existing character images to create new looking ones and replicating the character select section exactly as it features in the actual game. Nice job!
Of course some salty people are calling foul and resenting any notion that this make lead to a cool YouTube series and demanding some form of punishment for Omni. Nah, not happening. I for one look forward to which characters he does in his next videos.
FGC talent acquisitions and departures
I've got two hires and one departure for you this month. The two recruitments are Smash community members D1 (as seen in the APEX story above) and Crimson, who are now employed by Twitch to represent the Smash community much like Mike Ross represents the FGC. D1's deal also seems to fall in line with Mike Ross, allowing D1 to continue to commentate events like EVO and Smash and still facilitate his roles in the Smash scene.
I still can't believe I've moved on to royal colored pastures. The thing is, I got a job with a company that lets me still do community manager work. I can still cast if the opportunity arises as well. Thank you so much for everything people. One of the best days of my life.D1 (Twitter - https://twitter.com/xD1x
The departure is number one British player and Guinness Book record holder Ryan Hart who departs Team Dignitas. It seems Dignitas is going all in on PC games esports and initially offered Ryan the opportunity to continue to represent them while they attempted to cobble some sponsors together for him, which has been respectfully declined by Hart who is now a free agent. Traditionally a Sagat player, Hart was put off by the USFIV Sagat changes and switched to Ryu, resulting in a great showing at Capcom Cup in December.
First they were thrown into a volcano, now they'll fight in one!
Tekken 7's arcade intro is online, complete with subtitles! Putting the focus of Tekken 7's story squarely on expanding and ending what we know about the bad blood in the Mishima family and the devil power is the best move the Tekken team can make.
Tekken's story got a little out there in recent games and a lot of people have fallen off but now we go back to the simple supernatural family feud that drew people in in the first place, I can't wait!
Not to be overshadowed by the story, I've also got a gameplay video as Pikachu-Harada shows off the move-list of new characters Lucky Chloe and Shaheen. Obviously Harada's speaking Japanese so you won't get the context, but you can see which moves causes which animations, such as Bound! etc.
How to Get Your Friends Into Fighting Games in Five Easy Steps
This article on Shoryuken by Suriel Vazquez seems like a good way to get friends into fighting games at parties. Click it for advice on the 5 steps of Make Them Spectators First, Play Pickup Matches, Make an Event Out of It, Add a Pinch of Salty Bets and Foster the Fighters.
With most people, saying, “Come over and play some fighting games,” will only get you so far. “Come over, let’s do stuff, and I dunno, get drunk, maybe?” on the other hand could work wonders. If that “stuff” happens to be a few rounds of Divekick or Nidhogg after you’ve all gotten tired of Cards Against Humanity, all the better.
Killer Instinct Aganos reveal
Aganos is a big golem, as big in Killer Instinct as Hugo is in Street Fighter, except as you'll see in the video, the game zooms out differently for Aganos so that he doesn't cover the life bars. Check out the Twitch archive to see!
Thanks for reading!
This was a big one! Hope you check out Winter Brawl 9 this weekend and if you're not busy tomorrow night (Tuesday! The 17th!) maybe you should watch the season finale of Video Game Championship Wrestling, VGCW: End Game 9? It's live 11PM local time (GMT) which is 6PM for you east coasters and 3PM for you west coasters. Visit the VGCW website for more details on the card and watch at http://www.twitch.tv/bazza87!