So, last time we talked about fighting games (see: CEO with The 3rd Runner: The Rift), we left off with a pretty big question: could the regulations over typical FGC behaviors, perceived by the higher ups at Capcom as thuggery, hamper the overall Evolution Championship Series experience, in favor of a more sanitized and less entertaining enviroment, more akin to other eSports competitions?
Well, except for a couple of pretty dumb decisions made mostly to pander to the ESPN 2 audience (because surprise surprise, the Street Fighter V grand finals were broadcasted there too!), I can safely say we’re not yet in MOBA territory: players faced eachother side to side like usual, still showed spontaneous signs of respect beyond conventional handshakes, like little fistbumps and eventually hugs, so yeah, they still haven’t robbed us of our emotions!
Unfortunately, though, i can’t say anything about our beloved Heels, because this year they apparently didn’t make it to Top 8, and the most villanous player i can describe is Hollywood Sleep, Killer Instinct’s champion, that still proved to be a pretty decent person outside the metaphorical ring, only displaying his inner Heel by showing off a damn ruthless Gargos (the final boss character of Killer Instinct, which is -needless to say- pretty overpowered); we can assume they maybe dropped their villanous personas for this special occasion (after all they were on national TV this time), saving boisterousness and theatrics for smaller, less public events? We may never know until the next WinterBrawl.
What we may know is that ESPN’s management section doesn’t like women’s physical attributes, beaches and white rooms full of squares, since they forced all Street Fighter V players who used female characters with slightly skimpier outfits to switch to alternate costumes, banned the “Kanzuki Beach” stage because the 10mm of water on the ground could “alter the perception of the characters’ position” and the Training Room Stage, a white room with a square pattern on the walls and floor, generally used as the “grand finals” stage because the squares helped players manage their spacing better, because…well…it looked bad. Now, while these restrictions WERE stupid, the Training Room problem was solved by Capcom, that recently made a stage just for competitive events like EVO and Capcom Cup, the bombastic Ring of Destiny…which is now being sold to us uncultured swines for 25 bucks…one step forward, two steps back, right Capcom?
Even through all these restriction, though, the tournament went great i must say, with Infiltration completing the download of the “Final_Apocalypse.exe” program into his brain, managing to pull off three (three!) no damage, perfect victories DURING GRAND FINALS with his flawless Charlie Nash against Fuudo’s R. Mika (one of the ladies who got their costume censored) which, even though put up a good fight, couldn’t really stand against the Sonic Hurricane called Infiltration. The other tournaments were, of course, no less exciting, with Pokken Tournament being surprisingly hype and the Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- finals showing off the power of a fan-favourite returning character; the katana wielding american Zorro: Johnny. Omito, Johnny’s user, still got soundly beaten by Machabo’s monstrous Sin Kyske. Last but not least, the Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 tournament was finally won by Chris “Touhou” G, who surprisingly didn’t burst into a maniacal laughter after realizing his victory, like the son of a Succubus and a Demon that he is, and instead reacted quite…modestly.
So, to put it short, this first year of the FGC’s eSports transition went smoothly all things considered, and probably had a good effect on the community’s growth…but as much as i hate leaving discussions open, this isn’t the kind of subject you just archive and leave be: truth to be told, I feel this is just the beginning of a new era for the FGC, and like in any “new era”, changes will be inevitable, even if sadly only time will tell what kind of changes they will be. As far I can guess, though, we behaved pretty well this time, so i feel no further restrictions will be needed in the future.
What do You think, dear reader?
I just hope you found both EVO and my article over here entertaining, but this time for the insight you’ll have to look on EventHubs, DustLoop or whatever wiki your game of choice has when it comes to competitive, this is The 3rd Runner, off to practice some Sol Badguy Fafnir Counter Hit mixups!