May 10, 2019

JP 2019 Fall Street Fighter League

Fall 2019 SFL College Arcade banner

On Thursday, 2019-05-09 (as far as I can tell) Capcom released details about the upcoming Fall 2019 JP Street Fighter League.

It has some changes from the Japan Capcom Street Fighter League Powered by RAGE that ran from January 26th to March 21st in 2019 (or from December 4th, 2018, if you include the Beginner Class Auditions). If you hadn't heard of these events, I wrote extensively about them on my personal blog, which as a personal blog for a random dude just writing about hobby stuff, rightly should not be read by many people. It was a really interesting and fun series that followed on in the footsteps of the 2018 RAGE All Star League Powered by Capcom (note the intentionally different naming) and was a pre-cursor to the currently running Capcom Street Fighter League currently running in America. I couldn't find an official link for that, which shocks me, but read this cool article about Toi by Ginni Lou.

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January 30, 2019

The Japan Capcom Street Fighter League powered by RAGE

Table of Contents

1 What is the Japan Street Fighter League powered by RAGE?

2019-01-26 JP Street Fighter League Team Captains

Back at Tokyo Game Show 2018, one of the announcements was a Street Fighter V team three on three league. The Japanese version has three classes of members, one on each team. I wrote about the team composition in a post about the Beginner Class selection, and also mentioned the High Class member selection process in another blog post. Here is the basic information though.

Each team will have one of:

The team play will take place in January and February of 2019. The team captains drafted team members in the Team Draft show streamed on OpenRec.tv on January 26th. I haven't seen too much about this - except for some HiFightTH clips that were likely hard to understand without more context. I don't mean to throw shade on HiFightTH - the guy is amazing and you should support him on Patreon if you have the ability.

How does the tournament work? The teams accumulate points during round robin League play. The three teams with the highest point total advance on to the Grand Finals. Players in each respective class play each other, and point values differ based on that. Each set is a first to two.

  • Beginner Class FT2 winner scores their team 1 point
  • High Class FT2 winner scores their team 2 points
  • Extreme Class FT2 winner scores their team 3 points

Note that because of this, there really is a balance between teaching the team members, and just trying to coast by on the individual performance of the team captain. It is likely that the win rate (well, I guess I should talk to The Game Twok or finish reading Fighting With Numbers 2019 first) for the team captains will be around 50%, so if they can focus and teach their team members to consistently win, that is a probably an easier path to points than trying to train to beat the other pros more consistently. There is relative strength in the different captains, but I'm convinced this structure makes the Beginner and High class members important as well.

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January 27, 2019

Zangief Festival

20190127 Zangief Festival 20190126 Zangief Festival Honoka

On the first public day of the JAEPO (Japan Amusements Expo and part of Tokaigi 2019 Game Party Japan out in Makuhari Messe exhibition center, there were lots of video game, and more importantly to me, fighting game related events. One of those was the "Zangief Festival" set up by the TV Show Ariyoshieeeee (broadcasts Sunday nights at 10pm on TV Tokyo) and Detonation Gaming on the AU Stage. It was streamed on Youtube (see below for links to the video), but was essentially a festival of all things Zangief. I took a few notes below.

Interesting points in the video:

  • 1:10 General introduction to the Zangief Festival from the Ariyoshiiii show. After that are some clips from the show when they were playing SFV, and a trailer for their Jan. 27th episode where they will be playing SFV.
  • 30:00 Aru introduces Itabashi Zangief and Tanaka
  • 45:30 Itabashi Zangief vs. Tanaka Zangief match
  • 54:00 People from the crowd (Zangief only) come up to play against Tanaka
  • Shuu vs ItaZan
  • 1:34:00 Ends.
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January 4, 2019

A grab bag of Japan SFV news: super interesting pre-Capcom Cup Gachi-kun vs. Tokido FT5

There has been a bunch of random news out of Japan that I've wanted to talk about, but I haven't had the time. I try to tweet something every once in a while when I see something interesting on twitter, but I can't always keep up.

So here is a post with a smattering of interesting news I've seen about SFV in Japan lately.

Misc JP News
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Capcom Street Fighter League Powered by Rage Beginners Class Auditions

The candidates for the Beginner Class Street Fighter League

1 What is the the Capcom Street Fighter League Powered by Rage?

This is the new three on three team league battle that Capcom Announced at the 2018 Tokyo Game Show / Japan Premiere. It will use SFV's team battle mode, and each team will consist of three members: an Extreme class member, a high class member, and a Beginner member. OpenRec and Abema.tv (which really are the same thing, just using two different interfaces to present the content) have been broadcasting an audition series for the beginner members. I thought I would take some notes about them.

Who are the extreme class players? If you guessed it might be similar to the captains from the RAGE Street Fighter All Star League Powered by Capcom, you're right! Here are the Extreme Class members:

  • Itabashi Zangief (Capcom Pro Tour 2018 #2 finisher)
  • Tokido (Capcom Pro Tour 2018 #13 finisher)
  • Fuudo (Capcom Pro Tour 2018 #17 finisher)
  • Mago (Capcom Pro Tour 2018 #17 finisher)
  • Daigo Umehara (Capcom Pro Tour 2018 #25 finisher)
  • Nemo (Capcom Pro Tour 2018 #25 finisher)

The High Class players haven't been announced yet, but it says that they "are under 22 years old as of 2019 March 31st, and will be selected with a strong emphasis on their ability". So that should be interesting - making sure they are under 22 years old injects some younger players into the mix.

What about the beginner class? They are "People who have started to practice recently, and will play seriously from now". There were interviews November 13th, 2018 that reduced the pool from 30 people down to 18 people. They are all models, actors, idols, or comedians who have not ever played, or only just played a little bit of Street Fighter. So now they are entering into a series of auditions / competitions to reduce their number down further to the final six selected.

Episode # Broadcast Date Link Challenge
1 2018-12-04 OpenRec.tv N/A. Just pass the interview to get in.
2 2018-12-09 OpenRec.tv Perform 3 CAs in a row in training mode.
3 2018-12-16 OpenRec.tv Clear 10 trials in Challenge Mode.
4 2018-12-23 OpenRec.tv Play 100 matches.

This series of shows will select the seven players for the draft that will be used for the six teams.

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December 25, 2018

2019 January and February Fighting Game Events in Tokyo and Fukuoka

Previous: 2018 October, November, and December Fighting Game Events in Tokyo | 2019 January and February Fighting Game Events in Tokyo

Seems like I've gotten into the habit of tracking FGC offline events in the Tokyo area. This isn't a comprehensive list, but feel free to contact me if you want me to add anything.

Very generally:

  • On Tuesdays there is a DBFZ, Tekken7, and Soul Caliber event run by Jiyuna and MajinObama at Red Bull Gaming Sphere, Map. It is actually officially sponsored as well!
  • On Wednesdays SFV (Fighter's Crossover Akihabara – FCA is the event name) at Akihabara ESports Square (the place, Map) starting from 7pm. There are usually around 20 setups, all with sticks. The place has a bar with food too.
  • On Thursdays there is usually a SFV event at Red Bull Gaming Sphere, Map or sometimes BeasTV's Jikoken TV with Fuudo.
  • Also on some Thursdays there is a DBFZ event orgaqnized by Kagecchi at Akihabara eSports Square.
  • Studio Sky (Map) announced on 2018-09-14 that they will be an open esports space, and as part of that I'm not yet sure of their schedule, but I add information about their events when I see it.
  • Shot Bar Lucy has different events on different days, and usually on Friday night is an all-night event featuring various games (Map), Calendar.
  • The Plaza Capcom at Kichijoji (Map) has the Capcom eSPORTS Club which has free SFV setups, and often runs events.
  • Game Bar Cross-up in Umeda, Osaka (Map) usually does SFV on Tuesday, Guilty Gear and BlazBlue on Wednesday, and KOF14 on Thursday.
  • Check Gaijin Gaming Brothers for information about Smash related events in Japan. I add Tokyo based events to my list, but they track events all over Japan with English information.
  • Syogepi-events has a Google Calendar of his events. He often runs platinum and under begginer friendly events. They have an English based guide to participating in their events.

I don't really track free play events or tournaments at arcades - there are lots of them. maplejpca tells me that there is a free play UNIST every Friday night from 8pm to 10pm at Sega Nishi Shinjuku. The arcade scene is vibrant, and you are likely to find competition at any arcade, but some are more well known than others. You might want to check out

  • Mikado Arcade, Map Takadanobaba
  • Taito Station Shinjuku East Exit, Map
  • Various arcades in Akihabara, Club Sega, Hey!
  • Various shops in Akihabara like the retro game store Super Potato, Map
  • Play Spot Big One 2nd, Map. Out in Chiba, but good place for 3rd Strike or Melty Blood. (Thanks Arlieth!)
  • Game Newton, Map. Lots of ST setups.
  • Your Warehouse, Map Kawasaki (For the crazy design)

If you are comfortable with Japanese, Kakuge-checker.com has a comprehensive list of offline, online, and other events going around all over Japan. I don't know how he/they/she does it.

I will also track events in Fukuoka in January and February for people who might be headed to EVO Japan.

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September 27, 2018

What might the Capcom SFV Arcade Cabinet mean for SFV in Japan?

Capcom announced that they would release an Arcade Cabinet Version of Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition at the Japan Premiere. The audience was super excited about it. I've been living in Japan for the past 12 years or so, and had some thoughts on the announcement. I've been a big fan of street fighter since I first ran into it at a local Pizza Shop in West Windsor, New Jersey, and played a lot of Champion Edition, Super, and Super Turbo through college. Then I went off to grad school, and doing a PhD took up a lot of time, so I didn't get to play much. I kind of missed SF3 more or less. I did have a summer internship in Japan where I played a bunch of Zero2 in the arcades, but I would only occasionally go down to China Town Faire in New York, and when I did I usually played Super Turbo. So I was out of the scene for a while.

When I moved to Japan, that was just when CapCom was running location tests for Street Fighter 4, and I went to one of those. It was great. I played a whole bunch online for years. I never knew about the scene there though because it isn't obvious how you are supposed to learn where all the action is at. I would just go to my local arcade after work, and play there. When Street Fighter V came out, I got that and played online. In the past two years though, I heard on the Jump In Podcast about the Akihabara eSports Square offline local, and I realized that I wish someone had gathered up information about locals and arcades in English. So I started to do that. I also started to write blog posts about offline events happening in Tokyo, hopefully to help others find out what is going on. As a Street Fighter fan living in Japan, I'd like speculate a bit about what this announcement might mean.


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September 26, 2018

2018 October and November Fighting Game Events in Tokyo

Previous: 2018 August and September Fighting Game Events in Tokyo | 2019 January and February Fighting Game Events in Tokyo and Fukuoka

Seems like I've gotten into the habit of tracking FGC offline events in the Tokyo area. This isn't a comprehensive list, but feel free to contact me if you want me to add anything.

Very generally:

  • On Tuesdays there is a DBFZ, Tekken7, and Soul Caliber event run by Jiyuna and MajinObama at Red Bull Gaming Sphere, Map. It is actually officially sponsored as well!
  • On Wednesdays SFV (Fighter's Crossover Akihabara – FCA is the event name) at Akihabara ESports Square (the place, Map) starting from 7pm.
  • On Thursdays there is usually a SFV event at Red Bull Gaming Sphere, Map
  • Studio Sky (Map) announced on 2018-09-14 that they will be an open esports space, and as part of that I'm not yet sure of their schedule.
  • Shot Bar Lucy has different events on different days, and usually on Friday night is an all-night event featuring various games (Map), Calendar.
  • The Plaza Capcom at Kichijoji (Map) has the Capcom eSPORTS Club which has free SFV setups, and often runs events.
  • Game Bar Cross-up in Umeda, Osaka (Map) usually does SFV on Tuesday, Guilty Gear and BlazBlue on Wednesday, and KOF14 on Thursday.
  • Check Gaijin Gaming Brothers for information about Smash related events in Japan. I add Tokyo based events to my list, but they track events all over Japan with English information.

I don't really track free play events or tournaments at arcades - there are lots of them. maplejpca tells me that there is a free play UNIST every Friday night from 8pm to 10pm at Sega Nishi Shinjuku. The arcade scene is vibrant, and you are likely to find competition at any arcade, but some are more well known than others. You might want to check out

  • Mikado Arcade, Map Takadanobaba
  • Taito Station Shinjuku East Exit, Map
  • Various arcades in Akihabara, Club Sega, Hey!
  • Various shops in Akihabara like the retro game store Super Potato, Map
  • Play Spot Big One 2nd, Map. Out in Chiba, but good place for 3rd Strike or Melty Blood. (Thanks Arlieth!)
  • Game Newton, Map. Lots of ST setups.
  • Your Warehouse, Map Kawasaki (For the crazy design)
read more (7308 words)

September 24, 2018

My comments on the 2018 Japan Premiere and Tokyo Game Show

I was a volunteer for the 2018 Japan Premiere, which was held at the Tokyo Game Show. I took a few pictures, and thought I would write up me experience here.

read more (4882 words)

September 23, 2018

A series of Momochi Tweets about the 2018 Japan Premiere

At this year’s Japan Premiere 2018 Momochi tweeted a bunch of interesting tweets. I’ve collected and translated them here. English after the embedded tweets.

read more (667 words)

September 14, 2018

Studio Sky transforms into "Gaming Office Studio Sky"

2018-09-14 at about 2pm JST, Momochi announced that Studio Sky is undergoing a change.

Here is a rough translation.

read more (445 words)

August 21, 2018

August 17, 2018

A report on the signing ceremony for the "Japan and Saudi Arabia eSports Match" agreement.

4gamer.net posted an article about a new Japan - Saudia Arabia eSports venture that will take place in January 2019. Ian Walker started an interesting twitter thread about the FGC and taking money from Saudi Arabia. I think he has a good point there, but since this is the second time I've seen someone talk about this article, I thought I would put up my translation here so people can see the source, and then talk a bit more about the implications.

My translation follows. As always, all mistakes are my own, I'm not a professional translator, etc. I haven't done any real editing on this, and it is a bit rough in places.

read more (905 words)

July 26, 2018

Why would a 5th grade girl enter a Pro Gaming team? We ask her what she thinks about it.

Fugu here. I thought this was an interesting article, so I decided to translate it. The US equivalent school year might be either 5th or 6th grade. All errors are mine, I'm not a professional translator, constructive criticism is welcome. In interviews like these, the interviewer will often directly address the intervee by name, I might drop that to make for a more natural sounding interview at times. If I use "you", it will generally be ths subject of the interview, Honoka-san, unless it is clear from previous context. Please see the source article at inside-games.jp for a much nicer formatted version with nice pictures.
Momochi (left), Honoka-san (middle), Touru-san (right)

Momochi (left), Honoka-san (middle), Touru-san (right)

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July 25, 2018

2018 August and September Fighting Game Events in Tokyo

Previous: 2018 June and July Tokyo FGC Events| Next

Seems like I've gotten into the habit of tracking FGC offline events in the Tokyo area. This isn't a comprehensive list, but feel free to contact me if you want me to add anything.

Very generally:

  • On Tuesdays there is a DBFZ, Tekken7, and Soul Caliber event run by Jiyuna and MajinObama at Red Bull Gaming Sphere, Map. It is actually officially sponsored as well!
  • On Wednesdays SFV (Fighter's Crossover Akihabara – FCA is the event name) at Akihabara ESports Square (the place, Map) starting from 7pm.
  • On Thursdays there is usually a SFV event at Red Bull Gaming Sphere, Map
  • On Friday there is usually a SFV event at Studio Sky (Map). Studio Sky announced on 2018-09-14 that they will be an open esports space.
  • On Sunday there is usually a SFV event at Studio Sky (Map).
  • Shot Bar Lucy has different events on different days, and usually on Friday night is an all-night event featuring various games (Map), Calendar.
  • The Plaza Capcom at Kichijoji (Map) has the Capcom eSPORTS Club which has free SFV setups, and often runs events.
  • Game Bar Cross-up in Umeda, Osaka (Map) usually does SFV on Tuesday, Guilty Gear and BlazBlue on Wednesday, and KOF14 on Thursday.

I don't really track free play events or tournaments at arcades - there are lots of them. maplejpca tells me that there is a free play UNIST every Friday night from 8pm to 10pm at Sega Nishi Shinjuku. The arcade scene is vibrant, and you are likely to find competition at any arcade, but some are more well known than others. You might want to check out

  • Mikado Arcade, Map Takadanobaba
  • Taito Station Shinjuku East Exit, Map
  • Various arcades in Akihabara, Club Sega, Hey!
  • Various shops in Akihabara like the retro game store Super Potato, Map
  • Play Spot Big One 2nd, Map. Out in Chiba, but good place for 3rd Strike or Melty Blood. (Thanks Arlieth!)
  • Game Newton, Map. Lots of ST setups.
  • Your Warehouse, Map Kawasaki (For the crazy design)
read more (4433 words)

July 13, 2018

Capcom supports SFV as an eSports game in Japan

A note on word choice: I used the word "eSports" here a lot. People have strong feels about that word. I don't mind it so much, and I could just as happily write "popularizing fighting games" or something. I certainly don't think eSports means you need to wear a suit, I think you generally should always be respectful of people regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation, but eSports probably does have more of a monetary aspect in it than the grass roots does.

I've noticed lately that Capcom Japan has been doing some good things to support SFV as an eSports vehicle. A lot of people are concerned that any eSports activity around fighting games should keep in mind the grassroots origins of the Fighting Game Community, and I agree that is important. I do think there is space for a variety of content around Fighting Games, and while I love the Open Tournament format, I also see room for other kinds of events and entertainment. I'll write a bit about some of what Capcom has been doing, which is decidedly on the eSports side of things, but I still think is good for fighting games, and the community at large.


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June 25, 2018

Yoshimoto Gaming BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle tournament

The tournament is Single elimination, First to Two, random stage. Loser can change characters.

VOD up on youtube, with top 8 beginning from 3:19:50. Teddy Bui had a great comment with the players and timestamps, which I used to put this together.

Koji KOG (Waldstein / Tager) was in the tournament, but lost just before Top 8. I always loved Koji KOG's T.Hawk, and I love that he's got the big body team in this game.

The commentary team says that all the people in top 8 are well known, but with my Street Fighter background, I don't recognize the names. :-( Before the top 8 everyone introduced themselves. Lots of people from the Kanto (Tokyo) area. Kubo is from Nagoya. Dojidoji says that he has enjoyed this game so much he only gets 3 hours of sleep a night. I was hoping they would talk about the rules for this top 8.

Before the finals

Top 8:

Results:

  • 5 Taro (Yu/Tager)
  • 5 Minami (Ruby/Es)
  • 5 ROW (Ruby/Carmine)
  • 5 Dojidoji Otoko (Yu/Hyde)
  • 4 Ho-Chan (Ruby/Jin)
  • 3 Makkoi 8-sei (Ruby/Gordeau)
  • 2 Senaru (Waldstein/Vatista)
  • 1 kubo (Hyde/Ruby)

Kubo received a Yoshimoto Gaming jersey (which he is obligated to wear at EVO - the website had some interesting information about the conditions, and that was one of them) and financial support to go to EVO. Kubo says that he plays other games as well, and will continue to play BBTAG and other games. Ozawa from Arc System Works gave a little speech afterwards too, and said that Kubo was very active in the Cross beta test period, thanking him for that. He says that the DLC released on the 19th was cleared to use at EVO, and thanks everyone for coming today.

The tournament was at Akihabara eSports Square, and Kagecchi helped organize it. I don't think he gets enough recognition outside Japan for the work that he does for the scene - he puts on the weekly Fighter's Crossver -Akihabara- locals, and often organizes other events, like the USF4 side tournament at 2018 EVO Japan. Please thank your local TO and go to your local tournaments!

June 23, 2018

Interview with Itabashi Zangief: You can't win just by "being good".

This interview is from entrenet.jp. Published on 2018-06-22. I could not find an attribution to the interviewer, but if you know who it is, please let me know and I'll update this post.

I'm an unabashed Itabashi Zangief fan, so I really enjoyed reading and translating this. I'm not a professional translator, and I take some liberties here, but I think the feel of the article comes across. The original article is formatted a bit better, but this gets the information across just fine.

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June 12, 2018

Sako and Ryuusei join FAV Gaming, and we talk to them about it

Sako and Ryuusei have joined FAV Gaming to start their fighting games division. This famitsu article has an interview with them, and I thought it would be fun to translate it.

Just a little bit of background information on G'z Brain: they are a publishin / web site / marking / consulting company that is most well known for publishing the Famitsu gaming magazine, and are part of the larger Kadokawa publishing family of businesses.

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May 27, 2018

About Japan's RAGE Street Fighter V All★Star League powered by Capcom

RAGE is running an "All Star" League for Street Fighter V in Japan this year. This post will talk a bit about what RAGE is, provide information in English about the event, and include links to streams. I'll keep the post updated with new information as I see it. Many of the source links will be in Japanese, but I'll note when there is an English link.


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