I’m slowly getting used to this tournament organisation lark, while the first tournament I ran was over a year ago now – back for the USF4 launch event, I didn’t actually organise the event – that was done by the guys at Xtreme Gaming here in Colchester, I simply ran the tournament. But its coming up to a year since I put Friday Night Fights (FNF) together and you’d have thought that I’d have the hang of it by now…
But thats not to say that I don’t and yet I still lost more sleep over organising FNF’s biggest event to date than I did over my own wedding which was only the weekend before MESSATSU. The guys from Unequalled Media (UM) were tasked with once again planning a big Street Fighter event for EGX, and this year it is no less than a Capcom Pro Tour event. Knowing it was likely to bring a crazy number of players from across the UK and possibly Europe, the UM Guys decided to do qualifiers around the country. And were kind enough to spare a thought for smaller tournament organisers such as myself, giving us a chance to prove ourselves next to the bigger and more established UK FGC events.
And that is precisely why I was losing sleep, I was adamant to make this event run smoothly, to give a good impression to any players who traveled from across the country to take part in our little event. Within a week I went from worrying that I’d planned a large scale event and that I’d not heard about anyone travelling down, leaving just our usual FNF crowd, to worrying that TOO many people were travelling down and the event would end up overrunning, leaving people missing last trains home.
Luckily though my worries were for naught, short of a few people who had registered before hand being 5 minutes late, the whole event ran pretty smoothly. Thats not to say I don’t have a small list of things I’d like to improve on for next time, but certainly it ran well and most importantly on time!
My main focus of the night was always the Capcom Pro Tour USF4 EGX Qualifier, so was putting my effort into running that, but still had a small Mortal Kombat X tournament on the side, more for our FNF locals as it was also the end of our third season of FNF, and while I didn’t stop players who had traveled from London and beyond from entering, I didn’t really push for it either. So we ended up with a very nice mix of locals vs travelers totalling 22 Players for USF4 and 12 for MKX.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to watch any of the early USF4 games, I was either playing my own matches, or recording scores at the desk, but I certainly heard a lot of excitement, and straight off the bat we had a mix of expected wins and unexpected losses from various players. Everyone reporting results very quickly (which I can’t thank the players enough for) and allowing the early stages of the USF4 tournament to run smoothly and quickly.
We played through until the winners final in the winners bracket, and then made a start on the losers bracket. Once we were down to top 8 we then also started MKX running, as by that point all the players who had entered MKX were either in the winners final or had already been knocked out.
It was about this point I managed to watch a few games, having been shamefully knocked out 0-2 myself due to being far more concerned about running the tournament smoothly and professionally (though I did give MOP|C4IQ a run for his money!). I saw our very own Josephyr storm through the losers bracket, knocking out some of the bigger threats who had traveled down. Josephyr started off beating our own Kojer’s Juri before losing to Shivryuken’s T.Hawk to drop to losers, where he beat MOP|LOM|LuckboxQ’s Dhalsim and UM|Chaos3Two’s Akuma oth 2-0 before having a very tough fight with his Vega pitted against Theory Fighters very tanky Honda, where the tanky play style and lack of match-up knowledge saw Josephyr get knocked out.
Our Kinneas too had a good string of matchups. I didn’t get to see many, but his write up of his thoughts is already up, so I’ll steal a bit from that. Kinneas started off against MOP|LOM|LuckboxQ for a Chun-Li vs Dhalsim matchup, it is always tricky fighting Dhalsim as so few people play him so it is hard to learn the match up, so unfortunately didn’t fare as well as he’d have liked and dropped straight into the losers bracket, but he was not done there! Luckily Kinneas would face a more familiar contender at the start of the losers bracket in our regular WOODROWREVIEWS, who Kinneas calmly 2-0’d which helped calm his concerns at going 0 and 2 in the tournament (this writer is feeling his shame right now…). Kinneas would then fight another traveling player in Lover0202 from Romford and his E.Honda. I’d seen Lover’s Honda in casuals and it looked pretty clean, so I’m not surprised to hear that this was quite a close bout, which possibly wasn’t shown in the 2-0 victory to Kinneas. He moved straight on to another familiar fight against one of our newer Friday Night Fight’s regulars, Kazua. Againt he familiarity paid off and a quick 2-0 victory sent Kinneas up into top 8 where he would match up against Shivryuken’s T.Hawk who said before the fight that he had a lot of Chun-Li experience who ultimately defeated Kinneas 2-0 sending him home. Both Kinneas and Josephyr did very well and should both be very happy with reaching top 8.
Another great matchup I saw was in the Winners Semi Final, which was UM|Ren vs FLB|SnakeBelmont, Juri vs Cody respectively. UM|Ren had turned up fairly early and had immediately been impressing people with his clean Juri play, and it was an extremely close match between UM|Ren and FLB|SnakeBelmont. But Cody prevailed, and Juri was sent down to the Losers Bracket.
The rest of the Losers Bracket played out, and leaving us with just our Top 3 remaining, we took a short break while I set up, rather on the fly, a streaming station so we could record the last 3 fights. Unfortunately a combination of a new latop, downloading the software for both recording, using the capture card and creating an overlay turned out to be a bit much, and while we got audio, none of the video recording actually worked, the software fell over before we started, and somehow the record button ‘reversed’ itself, so “start recording” actually stopped recording and so on, so while the separately recorded audio worked nicely, instead of the actual matches being recorded, I now have a lovely collection of videos of character select screens and button checks… To say I’m disappointed would be a massive understatement.
But because I was commentating on the 3 finals, it meant I did get a good watch, which was great to see, and can give some written account of the matches in question!
Winners final saw FLB|SnakeBelmont’s Cody face off against PlatinumKid’s Oni. Having seen the Cody in a match earlier as well as PlatinumKid’s Oni in casuals before the tournament started I knew this was going to be a fun one (I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Oni too!). All of the matches were very close, but for the most part FLB|SnakeBelmont stayed ahead, he brilliantly stayed away with stones and on-point anti airs before picking just the right time to rush in and bust out some big damage. While PlatinumKid found frequent comebacks by playing a zoning Oni (something I didn’t really expect to see) and also fighting brilliantly when backed into the corner (Dieminion would be proud of that!) using fantastic use of the roundhouse button. While FLB|SnakeBelmont took an early lead, it was amazing to see PlatinumKid adjust on the fly, while I wouldn’t say he fully downloaded his opponent, he certainly closed the gap at the end.
Ultimately though FLB|SnakeBelmont overcame PlatinumKid, and knocked him down to the Losers Final, while advancing to the Grand Final himself. Platinum Kid would meet TheoryFighter in the Losers Final, but unfortunately TheoryFighter took too many character changes to find a character he could really fight back against PlatinumKid’s Oni with. While his Sakura had done well in earlier points of the tournament, She fell hard to the wrath of Oni, prompting the first character change. TheoryFighter had to change characters again before coming to the Honda he knocked Josephyr out with earlier, and managed to hold his own against the power of Oni pretty well, using Honda’s defensive tools to good use, but it was too little, too late. Platinum Kid was headed back for his rerun against FLB|SnakeBelmont in the Grand Final.
We had expected this to be closer than their previous fight had been, PlatinumKid had adjusted beautifully earlier, but somehow hadn’t kept pace between their fights, falling quickly to FLB|SnakeBelmont’s Cody in two straight rounds, then trying a switch to Guile, which seemed like a good idea – he’d been doing well zoning with Oni, who isn’t best known for zoning, so Guile, one of the better zoners, seemed like a good shot. While closer I don’t think his Guile was technically as good as his Oni, so when his Guile only just lost the third round, Platinum Kid returned to the character select screen – who would he rest his tournament outcome on?
Platinum Kid returned to Oni, and for a moment it looked like he had started the come back, some excellent reversals and impressive combos that would make Sanford Kelly smile. After a very unfortunate whiffed Kara-Demon he fall back to the zoning game with just chip to go to play it safe, but FLB|SnakeBelmont bet the farm on a beautiful EX Zonk FADC to Ultra took the tournament – beating PlatinumKid 3-0 in the Grand Finals.
We had been given 4 EGX qualifying spots to give away. But it turned out that FLB|SnakeBelmont had already qualified, so everyone else in the top 4 got their spots, and then we had the players at joint 5th playoff for the last spot which was won by Shivryuken.
The Top 5 were therefore:
TFL|Snake Bellmont (already qualified)
For those interested in the USF4 Bracket it can be found here.
We then finished off the MKX tournament, which I saw very little of, Winners Final was Platinum Kid vs Xerte (my younger brother no less), but PlatinumKid’s Goro was too much for Xerte’s D’Vorah, beating him 3-0. Xerte then faced a very familiar match in the Losers final, against another FNF regular in Luna. This has been a daemon for Xerte (and everyone at FNF tbh) for a while, and from what I was told afterwards it was an extremely close fight, as the 3-2 score will attest to. But Luna did, once again, manage to overcome Xerte to advance to the Grand Final against Platinum Kid.
This resulted in the second hiccup of the night, we don’t usually have the DLC characters available, but one of our regulars does have MKX on Xbox One, so had downloaded his profile. But unfortunately the console crashed and needed to be restarted, and the owner of the DLC profile had already gone home, so we had no access to the DLC characters, which could have been a problem as our Final did include a Goro player.
Luckily though PlatinumKid wasn’t too phased, he just switched to Mileena, and did, just, manage to topple our local MKX champion Luna 3-2.
Top 4 for MKX were:
MKX Brackets can be found here.
Once everything was done and dusted, we did a quick prize giving, dishing out various prizes kindly donated by Mad Catz UK and Capcom UK to the top 3 USF4 players, the top MKX player as well as the top 4 players from the whole of FNF Season 3 (Luna -152pts, Kinneas – 91pts, DW|Kuniku – 68pts, Xerte – 65pts)
Huge thanks to our host venue, Xtreme Gaming (@Xtreme_Gaming) for all their help in organising this, and for letting us make use of the venue for free. Mad Catz UK (@MadCatzUK) and Capcom UK (@CapcomUK) for providing prizes and Unequalled Media (@a) for providing me with the opportunity!