So, guess who’s back from a little hiatus? And this time we talk about competitive gaming, finally! Not quite eSports, as much as “WWeSports”, because Evolution 2016, the biggest fighting games tournament of the year, is only a week away! So, to better get “in the zone” with this Whole fighting game business, today we’re talking about Evo’s louder little brother: Community Effort Orlando.
Now, part of the reason of this “pause” i took was that i couldn’t find a proper way to talk about an event like this, since it’s not really the same as E3, and since it’s a tad late to discuss the highlights of the various tourneys, a matter that would also require countless hours of technical explanation, let’s focus on a different, but not less important, topic: a “rift” that it’s starting to form between Community events and “official” events.
Allow me to explain: the fighting game community is famous for being a lot more similar to the old school pro-wrestling scene, revolving around “personas” and “feuds” rather than teams and coaches, like “regular” eSports, and with feuds come various degrees of trash talking, grudge matches with money on the line, and general behaviors that don’t take the PG limits of the eSports scene much into account. All of this, even if in some cases can get slightly obnoxious, is pretty entertaining and has contributed to give to the FGC its unique flair and “personality”, and community founded tournaments like CEO are the best way to witness both its virtues and vices. CEO in particular is the one that tries its best to be somewhat wrestling based, with players facing eachother in actual boxing rings, the catwalk to the ring for those who want to try more “theatrical” entrances and a straight up belt (like the one in the picture above) given to tournament winners! Quite fancy, huh? Because we’re not done! Get this: after years and years of buildup, players getting more and more elaborate entrances (Kenneth Bradley’s replica of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s, complete with Stunner performed on the referee, along with Dieminion’s Undertaker entrance, both from last year’s CEO, being the pinnacle) and mentions of the tournament from actual wrestlers, CEO ’16 hosted a once-in-a-lifetime Street Fighter V showdown between New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Kenny Omega (pictured above, on the right) and WWE’s Xavier Woods, both already well known above-average Street Fighter players, both well determined to put on a show and to bring their recently born “friendly rivalry” to an end: it was the closest the FGC has ever been to becoming what i like to call “WWeSports”, and honestly even more entertaining than some of the most recent WWE events.
That sounded quite hype, right? Well, sadly there’s no coin with just one face, and the other face of this coin doesn’t really like how this whole situation has been evolving, having other plans in mind for the fighting games competitive scene: we are, of course, talking about Capcom, Street Fighter’s publishing company and the one with the biggest influence when organizing competitive events, being Street Fighter the most conpetitively played fighting game.
You see, since the release of Street Fighter 4, the FGC has been slowly but steadily growing, gaining notoriety and getting more and more in the public eye, a public eye that came to consider those player behaviors as “thuggery”, an adjective that Capcom -of course- didn’t like to see associated with events they sponsored, so they straight up introduced more and more regulations in regards of gambling, trash talking, money matches and so on, to try and “conform” EVO and Capcom Cup with the rest of the MLG-organized events, instead of continuing being the “black sheep” of the bunch: the consequences of these “disciplinary actions” will be seen for the first time at this year’s EVO, broadcasted for the first time on ESPN2…will there be that much of a difference? Will the personas we all know and love be hampered by the trash talking regulations? Will it feel too “sanitized”?
We’ll find out in a week, i guess!
While this article wasn’t that insightful, i hope you found it at least entertaining, this is the 3rd Runner, going back to Guilty Gear Xrd’s training room, since i don’t have a ps4 to play Street Fighter V.