June 24, 2019

A variety of interesting FGC events in June in Japan 2019

Over the weekend there were many interesting FGC things going on. As a Street Fighter fan, that is what I'm primarily interested in.

I'm not even talking about Thaiger Uppercut, or The Fight.

Two tournaments took place that will send the winner to EVO in Las Vegas, Grapht's GGGCup and the Fukushima Gaming Day SFV tournament. One of those was held at a traditional Japanese Hot Springs resort. The College representative team for the JP Street Fighter League was decided, and a few more Arcade qualifiers happened. WE-R1 held a tournament at Round1 on Arcade Hardware, and we got to see some high level Alex play, and SNK had another one of their Samurai Shodown streams, this time with a tournament featuring some well-know pro players.

1 Good Game Grapht Cup

FamitsuAppVS esports tweets out some pictures from the Good Game Grapht Cup.

Team Grapht ran the GGG Cup and had the finals on June 22nd, 2019.

Their goal with this tournament is to give a spotlight to some gamers that are not yet very well known, and create a scene of competition between people who enjoy games, and show that off to people who don't know about the competitive scene. They decided to start off by supporting the SFV community. The winner of the finals will be supported by Grapht for flight and loding to represent Grapht at EVO.

There were four offline qualifiers, and four online qualifiers. The winner of each went on to compete in an eight player finals held offline at eSports Studio Akihabara (a part of the Sofmap store).

Date Qualifier Winner VOD
May 22nd Offline Qualifier 1 Itsuki (Dhalsim) YouTube
May 25th Online Qualifier 1 Naooonn (Akuma) YouTube
May 29th Offline Qualifier 2 Nishikin (Blanka) YouTube
June 1st Online Qualifier 2 Kichi-palm (Zangief) YouTube
June 8th Online Qualifier 3 Ryuukichi (Akuma) YouTube
June 12th Offline Qualifier 3 Pugera (Ibuki) YouTube
June 15th Online Qualifier 4 Speedhunters18 (Cammy) YouTube
June 19th Offline Qualifier 4 Suica (Laura) YouTube
June 22nd Finals (Bracket) Pugera (Ibuki) YouTube

The offline qualifiers were held as part of Fighter's Crossover -Akiba- (the event), the weekly SFV local held at Akihabara eSports Square (the venue.) The tournament was open to Japanese Nationals (e.g., no non-Japanese) and be interested in going to EVO (e.g., no working stiffs with inflexible vacation policies.) Normally FCA has an entrance fee, but for people joining the tournament, the fee is waived, going back to Japanese prohibitions around games of chance with a buy-in and a prize.

I was super happy to see Suica make it in at the last offline qualifier; he's a regular at FCA, and a nice guy.

The finals were streamed live, and were a lot of fun to watch. I'm a Zangief main and was rooting for Kichi-palm. I was surprised to Pugera, who I know as an Ibuki, use G against Kichi-palm when they met. I thought the match between Itsuki (Dhalsim) and Kichi-palm (Zangief) was amazing. I recommend it if you want to watch some classic zoner vs. grappler play.

The top three were:

  1. Pugera (Ibuki)
  2. Ryuukichi (Akuma)
  3. Naooonn (Akuma)
  4. Kichi-palm (Zangief)

2 Fukushima Gaming Day

Chocoblanka tweets about the Fukushima Gaming Day held at a traditional Japanese Hot Springs resort.

Fukushima Gaming Day was a single day event held at a large Onsen (hot springs) resort in Fukushima. When people hear Fukushima, I guess they think of the Daiichi nuclear disaster, but Fukushima is an entire prefecture and has plenty of places other than the nuclear plant. To some degree I'm sure this event was done to boost tourism, as the introductory message from Virtual YouTuber Senno Inori leads me to believe. (What's a Virtual YouTuber you ask?)

They had a bunch of games there, with tournaments:

  • Street Fighter V. The winner of the tournament will be sponsored to go to EVO in Las Vegas, representing Fukushima (with a special uniform) based on support from CRO Incorporated, which looks to be a web development company from a quick look through their homepage.
  • Guilt Gear Xrd rev2. A steamy Double elimination tournament, steamy because it is held at an onsen. The winner gets some special Fukushima prizes.
  • Garou Mark of the Wolves "tournament in the bath". That's just what they are calling it though, they stress that it isn't being held in the bathing area.
  • Various Puyo Puyo eSports stuff: a beginner lecture, serious play with pros, and various other things.
  • A PUBG mobile casual area.

Momochi and Chocoblanka were invited out, and shared some of the MC duties along with Sasa. There was also a Puyo Puyo pro player, and a few other people.

I could really get behind holding more tournaments at Onsen - it is a great way to relax, and gently remind people to shower before pools.

The Button Mashers crew was involved, and streamed parts on YouTube. Unfortunately, the sound isn't great, as the house mic really reverbs on stream and there is nonstop button mashing noise, but that is fixed at about an hour in. The SFV participants are Fukushima related (born, live, or work there to some degree) so I can't say that I recognized anyone. Links below go into the YouTube archive at the appropriate point.

Momochi, Chocoblanka, and others were tweeting throughout the event. You can browse the Fukushima Gaming Day tag to get a feel for what the place looks like.

3 JP Street Fighter League College Finals

The College Finals feed one team in the JP Street Fighter League 2019 Fall Tryout session. You can check out the bracket on Challonge, or check out the collegiate fighting game site for information about the teams. I was cheering for team "We love Moyashi", consisting of Kawano (Kolin from the JP SFL), Shuto (nee Anman, Urien from JP SFL) and Okumura Mami (Blanka from the beginner class of JP SFL). I thought the "Old man suppression team" looked strong too, with Motchan (F.A.N.G. from the JP SFL), Yasu (Rasheed), and Yuji (Chun-Li), and team 20 Sotsu, with Amano (a strong local Nash), Kinoko Boxer (a strong local Boxer, who was the JP SFL tryouts), and Tsudayu (Alex). You can watch the archive from Capcom Fighters JP on Twitch if you are interested. The results are:

  1. Old Man Suppression Team. Motchan (F.A.N.G.), Yasu (Rashid), Yuji (Chun-Li)
  2. We love Moyashi. Kawano (Kolin), Shuto (nee Anman, Urien), Okumura Mami (Blanka)
  3. 20 Sotsu. Amano (Nash), Kinoko Boxer (Boxer), Tsudayu (Alex)
  4. FGC. Abeshi (F.A.N.G.), Supikun (Cammy), sibazuke (Guile)

Congratulations to team Old Man Suppression Team who will go on to the JP SFL Tryouts!

4 JP Street Fighter League Arcade qualifiers

Taito updated their results page with one more team coming out of Taito Station BigBox Takadanobaba. The team is named "Muscle Steak" and consists of Yuzupon, Nari-kun, and JoJo Tarou. I'm keeping track of general information about about the JP 2019 Fall SFL here. Basically, each of 30 arcades throughout Japan holds a 3-3 team tournament, and the winner goes on to the Arcade championships, from which three teams (9 people) will advance to the JP Street Fighter League Try-out stage.

5 WE-R1 Grand Prix

WE-R1 Grand Prix was held on Saturday June 22nd, ran on Street Fighter V: Arcade Type hardware at Round 1. There were 32 players, 20 of them invited by WE-R1 (or WE-R1 players) with the remaining 12 filled out by open registration. There was also an endless Kumite against pro players. HiFight was talking about it, so it got a good deal of attention, but the YouTube Archive is worth looking through as well. Congratulations to Gunfight57 for winning! That guy holds down a full time animation job in Tokyo, and still finds the time to take part in competitions like this, as well as all the time needed to get Alex up to a high level. Amazing.

6 SNK's Samurai Spirits Dojo Streams

The tweet above has links into the 4th, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd SNK "Samurai Spirits Dojo" streams.

SNK has been running some nice streams about the new Samurai Showdown in Japan. I watched the 3rd episode last week, since Harumy was on it, and she's always a lot of fun. She's been very vocal about how much she likes Samurai Spirits, and is really looking forward to the upcoming release. They also had Seira Ryu, the voice actress for Wu-Ruixiang, on the third stream and she was a lot of fun.

In fact, you can listen to her Japanese, English, and Chinese message from the archive:

The 4th stream has the voice actress for Shiki (Chitose Morinaga) and a tournament featuring some media people and players (President Watanabe from Mikado, Kainuma from Mikado, Toyoman San-kyodai an editor from Famitsu, Dosukoi Hanako a Shinobism Streamer, Goro from Dengeki online, Nagapon from Famitsu, Kurita Oyakata from Dengeki online, and Harumy from Shinobism).

I'll give it a watch when I get a chance, but I've really enjoyed the various coverage of Samurai Shodown so far, from James Chen's coverage to this local SNK stuff. I chatted with Harumy about the game a bit the last time I saw her at eSports Square (she also grinds out SFV) and I really enjoy her enthusiasm for the game. I'll definitely pick it up when it comes out on PC.


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