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Opinion: Progression and Support in the Fighting Game COMMUNITY

With all the recent Fighting Game Community discussions that have been going on recently, there are things that need to be said, things that should be said and things that shouldn’t be said.

 

With that, this is what needs to be said.

 

If you have an event in your local area and you aren’t supporting it, do you really feel you are helping your community or the scene as a whole?  Forget the drama, forget the BS and drop the egos.  Whether you’re new to the scene or have been around for a while, you should always want to try to help your scene.  To me, if you have beef with the organizer, set your ego aside and squash it because odds are that beef is years old, and if you let stuff in the past effect you now, you aren’t helping anything.

 

Progress is only going to happen if people want it to happen, and if there are people that hinder progression, then how is the scene going to evolve.  It doesn’t matter if its local, national or global, when you see how other games are progressing and the current state of their communities, who says that the same can’t happen with fighting games.  Does it have to happen the same way?  No. Can it get to the point where there are large scale tournaments like Starcraft 2’s GSL or League of Legends’ LCS without following a competitive PC gaming formula?  Yes.

 

The most ideal way to get that to happen is to get the creators involved, but that is easier said than done.  When you look at League of Legends (LoL) or Starcraft, when you look at their respective companies, Riot and Blizzard, how many games are they actively focusing on?  For Riot it’s ONE game.  ONE.  For Blizzard?  Its ultimately 3 games, World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 and Starcraft.  Now on the other hand, lets look at Capcom. In 2013, Capcom has already released 5 games, and are slated to release another 9 games for the rest of the year (Source). With a roster of 14 games through this year, as well as focusing on updates and changes, like Street Fighter x Tekken v.2013, Its not as easy for Capcom to involve themselves in every tournament and event.

 

On the other hand, you have a company that just released a game that has seemingly ignored large scale tournaments that have been going on.  Yes, that game is Injustice: Gods Among Us.  Injustice pulled 179 entrants this past weekend at Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament 9 (UFGT9) in Chicago, Illinois, but NetherRealm Studios, nor Warner Brothers Games had no involvement in the event.  Why?  Some people are saying that NRS or WB are throwing everything and the kitchen sink into the Evolution 2013 World Finals, but is that really the way to go about it?  The Injustice players are supporting this game like crazy, events are pushing this game to get numbers, and in my eyes, this is a huge opportunity that NRS and WB can take. People want to see Injustice at a prime time spot, and while its up against Street Fighter and Marvel vs Capcom, the overall support doesn’t justify a Risk vs Reward.  So again I ask, WHY does NRS or WB not respond to event planner requests about having NRS support at these events.

 

Now the bigger question is, what is the formula to make it so that Fighting Game tournaments become draws like LoL/SC2 events, not just in terms of actual competitors but stream views in the 100K+ Range?

 

Honestly?

 

There is no simple 1+1=2 formula for this.  Currently you have the staff at Evolution opening up tournaments to be part of a Road to Evo 2013 circuit as well as a union of Tournament Organizers on the East Coast helping to unify those events.  Being able to work together and help not only your event flourish, but the other events you are connected with, is one of the first steps to progress.  Personally, I’ve always wanted to liken Fighting Game Events to how Tennis runs their events, however the only difficult part about that is its something that is much more difficult to do globally.  However in the United States, creating a circuit of events where you have 4-6 events be your Grand Slam events with one in each region and then the other events are seen more as a Masters series event, it can help to unite events without diminishing others.

 

But these changes can’t be made only by tournaments and organizers.  Changes also need to be made by players and participants.  Once you become a top-tier player, you are no longer JUST a player.  It doesn’t matter if you were top 10 years ago, 5 years ago or reach that stage tomorrow, once you reach that level, you have to be responsible for your actions and how you present yourself.  We all get angry at events, or about events, but when you have a social media account where EVERYONE knows who you are and who you represent, deciding to start drama with people or event organizers only damages the evolution that is trying to be created.  If a PR or marketing firm from a company looked at how some players handle themselves, whether its on a stream, Twitter or Facebook, and it’s not a good insight, they may write the whole idea off.  It doesn’t matter if its just one person or a slew of people.

 

The other thing that needs to change is giving in to the drama. It’s human nature to want to tune in and spread the drama, that’s the way that the majority of people work.  If it wasn’t, then there wouldn’t be over 240 hours of different, albeit, useless drama shows during daytime TV.  With all the drama, just like I said previously, companies are not going to want to involve themselves with that.  Sure some positive things can come from the drama, but why would you want the drama to bring you to a better conclusion

 

But after all that is said and done with, at the end of the day, there is one thing that needs to be said.

 

Progression needs to happen.

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