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NorCal Regionals 10: Bringing the hype back to the 4-1-5

With my final photo from NorCal Regionals 10 uploaded, it feels like I’m now back to reality.  If you were one of the thousands of people watching the stream, you missed out on what was, hands down, the BIGGEST NorCal Regionals to date.  With nearly 450 people registering early for the event and tons more on Friday and Saturday, NCR10 was set to be filled with hype. Old Favorites like Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition v.2012 and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 entered the fay, accompanied by a new fighter, Street Fighter X Tekken, NCR10 would once again set the bar for a new fighting game a major events, much like they did with the release of Super Street Fighter 4 at SuperNCR (NCR7)

 

Aside from the Capcom Fighters, other games joined in.  Soul Calibur 5, The King of Fighters XIII and Mortal Kombat led the charge as the other three Road to Evolution 2012 games, but were also accompanied by Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, making another NorCal tournament appearance, its first being at Southtown Arcade.  All seven games brought different varieties of hype, everything from Northern California rooting for their hometown heroes, to the Big Fat Phony crew calling out frauds, there wasn’t a minute of NorCal Regionals that lacked hype.  And while top players in King of Fighters, Soul Calibur V, and Mortal Kombat were off competing at MLG’s Columbus, OH, event, their absence allowed other players, both old and new, to shine in their place.

 

The Entrance to where NCR was

Players await at he entrance to Jack Adams Hall on the SFSU Campus

Coming into the event, I was wary.  I was thinking, “A tournament at a university? This will be an experience for me.”  I have only been to one other tournament at a university, and that was Bragging Rights at Portland State University, but that tournament paled in comparison to what NCR was.  Coming in Friday, and registering, the venue looked great, it looked huge, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I knew 450 players pre-registered online, and from just having run tournaments, I had a feeling an extra 50 to 100 people would be registering at the door.  Fast-forward to Saturday morning.  The 5th level of the Caesar Chavez hall, where NCR was being held was PACKED, the entire entry way becoming standing room only

 

Haunts with iPlayWinner (left) and Raikanami with SRKLive (right) working the broadcasts during NCR10

Players from Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Northern and Southern California, New York and even Korea were standing and waiting to be allowed entry to the venue.  By no means was this event the size of the Evolution Tournaments, but the waiting for entry, and being able to see all the people who were waiting, just added to the hype and brought those feelings of being at and Evolution tournament back.  And when the doors to Jack Adams Hall opened, everyone just moved in, like a dam opening for water, and soon the 5th level of the student center was empty, players dispersing to their designated pool stations, the vendors booths, Virtua Fighter 5 or just to sit so that they could enjoy the action being broadcasted by Haunts and iplaywinner, with additional action being streamed by Raikanami and SRKLive.  Both broadcaster working hard throughout the days to make sure all the content they provided was of the highest quality.

 

Anthony “Crackfiend” Nguyen making sure people are getting to their matches

Many of the players who were participating in the morning pools quickly flocked to the back half of the room, 36 monitors with PS3’s were setup, catering to the 6 Road to Evo Games, waiting to be played, to see who would be the best at NCR in 2012.  Every pool station was packed, not only from the 16 players in each pool, but people who wanted to spectate their friends, and even the big name players in attendance.  The people running the brackets did an incredible job, able to manage 32 players at a time, some of who had to either go play in different games, or play on the broadcast stream, which is no easy task when trying to run a tournament.  But their professionalism helped keep everything on track and on point, managing to get their pools done within their time limit, and get people to their other games, or able to get them to eat their food.

 

RogerDodger and Tasty Steve providing match commentary during The King of Fighters XIII during NCR10

And while iPlaywinner is not short of commentators, this year there was an amazing group of people who were on staff to commentate. While you had NorCal regulars Darry, Magus, RogerDodger, Harrison, Slompo and Hellpockets, this years NCR mixed their talents with the talents of Tasty Steve, James Chen, UltraDavid and even Team Spooky’s Spooky got on the mic to commentate Marvel.  While the crowd couldn’t hear it, everyone watching the stream definitely could.  There were plenty of hype moments during NCR10 which was expertly demonstrated by the commentating crew who was able to keep it professional, but still show the hype that makes up the Fighting Game Community.  They all showed that, while its fun to be vulgar, you don’t need to always bring that vulgarity, and that the hype can be shown without it.  And some of these commentators didn’t even just commentate for an hour or two, they did it for the entire day, they gave their voice to give you, the broadcast viewer, entertainment, and I, for one, commend them for that.

 

86’d Knives (front) vs col.CC Filipino Champ in the UMvC3 Grand Finals at NCR10

From hometown hero victories to clutch victories, and epic victories to dropped combos, NCR10 provided spectators a variety of things they could watch.  With things like NorCal’s EG.Ricky Ortiz defeating Korea’s Infiltration in Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition, NorCal’s col.CC Filipino Champ taking the Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 title over SoCal’s 86’d Knives, and Infiltration defeating New York’s FC|ChrisG to take home the first Major Street Fighter X Tekken tournament title, NCR10 didn’t disappoint in the entertainment department.  Everyone raised the roof when Rufus raised the roof, people rallied behind their local heroes during Marvel, and the Big Fat Phony crew exposed the frauds when they were beat, holding up the signs calling people a “Big Fat Phony”

 

There were plenty of memorable events at NCR, one of the biggest was when 86’d Knives defeated Padtrick.  Notable Marvel vs Capcom 2 Player, Fanatiq, had been training Knives and was by his side when playing against him.  After Knives defeated Padtrick, Fanatiq had jumped up, extremely hype from Knives’ victory over Padtrick, not only because he was happy for Knives, but also because Knives was a huge underdog going into the match.

 

Everyones eyes were on the closing game of the night though.  What would happen with Street Fighter X Tekken and how would the community take to what many called the successor to Street Fighter 4.  The truth is?  The game was moderately received but the crowd had all their energy was drained from Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, and the fact that there wasn’t a hometown hero involved could have played a part in it.  But overall, the crowd enjoyed the grand finals, as well as the WeirdoNeo Dance VIEW ON YOUTUBE

 

I want to give a huge thanks to Terry “Kineda” Ng, the NCR Staff, the staff at iPlayWinner, the staff with SRKLive, and all the event sponsors for putting on an amazing tournament.  This was by far the best NCR I have been to yet and I am excited to see what surprises are in store for future NCR events.

 

Check out the replay of NCR on iPlayWinner’s youtube

Check out my photos from NCR on SmugMug

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