A few days ago EVO Online was officially canceled. It got canceled because allegations were being posted on Social Media by different people in the FGC about EVO's former CEO Joey (Mr. Wizard) Cuellar as he was accused of sexual harassment and pedophila. The accusations had made players, developers of the EVO Online games and publishers of games assigned for "special exhibitions" to drop from the event entirely which later lead to the cancelation of this event. Cuellar admitted that what he did was true and he is no longer the CEO of EVO, with Tony Cannon now occupying the role. So this weekend what was supposed to be Ben's quest to go 2-2 in Them's Fightin' Herds never happened because Mane6 (TFH developer) made the right call to pull their game out of EVO in response to Cuellar's crimes and Ben of course pulled out too. It was without a doubt the correct decision to cancel this event after learning about the former CEO's inexcusable behavior in the past. However, clearly it sucks for the players who were training and getting ready for the event and as of right now they have not tourneys to compete in.
Now for Ben's case he may not be able to challenge the best TFH players out there in EVO, but perhaps there could be another tournament that could take its place. What's I'm talking about is a potential Giant Bomb Community Fighting game tournament. Much like what EVO Online was gonna be designed to be, it will be an online only tournament where community members on this site can compete and whoever wins the tournament could get a GB reward such as a month or 2 of free premium content. But what about Ben, who was training very hard to compete professionally in TFH? Ben can be involved by being a final challenger to the champ of the tournament and if the champ manages to beat Ben, the champion can earn an additional month of free premium content. It would be similar to how Giant Bomb ran the Mortal Kombat Scrub tournament in 2011 where Alexis Gallisa won the tournament but had to take on Jeff for one last fight. Or Ben could compete with the rest of the community in a bracket style tournament and whoever is the competitor who is the runner up to Ben (if Ben wins the tournament) or whoever beats Ben in the tournament can be rewarded a month of premium content (double the months if you beat Ben in the finals). Of course these are all ideas I'm throwing out here and it doesn't have to be entirely this. If anyone else here has other ideas on how these fighting game brackets can be organized got ahead and comment in the thread. Also, if GB wants to do a Scrub Tournament for an online fighting game by having the crew and guests compete to win a bracket, that would be awesome too.
"But wait. The way you are framing this tournament is as if Them's Fightin' Herds is the only game in the tournament. Please don't tell me the Pony fighter is the one game in this tournament." There can be other games too. There can be a Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath tournament as well considering how good the netcode is for that game and if people want to take Robocop to the top of a fighting game tournament, be my guest. Plus Jeff could get involved in running that tournament if he has any desire to do so. Killer Instinct can also get a tournament if the community is willing to participate in that game's online too despite it being a 7 year old game. If the community wants to have tournaments for games like Tekken 7 or DBFZ (despite the imperfect online those games have) they can have tournaments too.
Of course, the online fighting game tournaments here at GB is only possible if A: GB folks like Ben, Jason, Jeff and even other Bomb crew folks are willing to help organize the events and B: if the community actually wants to participate. Granted I don't know how many people here in the community are super skilled fighting game players and the general level of competition may not be as fierce as the competition that Ben had originally trained to battle. But Ben's training video footage of Them's Fightin' Herds definitely sold me on purchasing that game soon, well that and hearing that the story mode is a RPG/fighting game hybrid where you traverse on a map classic Final Fantasy style but the fights are fighting game battles. Granted Ben will crush me at the game right now but I'd be willing to participate in an online tournament for games like TFH or MK11 Aftermath if GB wants to run its own community fighting game brackets. I'd be curious if the community here at Giant Bomb would want to participate in an online fighting game tournament here as well.