Year of fighting game tournament

Illustration of an article titled Fighting Game Tournament Year

screenshot: Capcom

Year of reviewYear of reviewLook back at the highs, lows, surprises, and outstandings of this year’s video games and their surroundings.

I smoked in 2020. You know it, I know it. It was in the midst of this chaotic year that the fighting game community was pushed out of the arcades, hotels, and convention centers that competitors were accustomed to, and into the world of unpredictable online play. .. Initially, the organizers weren’t sure if the community could survive, but now it’s clear that their competitiveness remains alive. The only question is whether fighting game developers can put together their actions.

In the months prior to the outbreak of covid-19, the fighting game community was functioning almost normally.Regional tournaments offered exciting moment Regularly Tekken 7 World Final Concluded with a new villain, And the prestigious Evolution Championship Series has been announced 2020 lineup..

The first signs of trouble didn’t come until February 20th every week Granblue Fantasy Verse Tournaments in Japan Cancel From concerns about what was the new outbreak of the new strain of coronavirus at the time. Fighting game tournaments around the world quickly realized the dangers of covid-19 presented at the event. Some organizers were openly worried about the future of the event after being hit hard by canceling the venue contract and refunding to prospective attendees.

Such a large face-to-face gathering was unusual in 2020.

Such a large face-to-face gathering was unusual in 2020.
Photo: NorCal Regional

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t look good at this point,” said NorCal Regionals organizer and veteran. Street Fighter Rival John Choi Said Kotaku At the time.. “We can handle the thousands of dollars lost due to sunken objects, labor costs, and miscellaneous expenses, but we can’t handle the venue cancellation fees borne by the hotel. The blow to NorCal Regionals is about $ 50,000 and we manage it. You can’t do it and you’ll go bankrupt immediately. “

From there, the community saw a cascade of canceled and condensed events. SNK Postponed indefinitely That King of Fighters XIV And Samurai spirits Championship.High profile Tekken 7 The exhibition between the teams representing Japan and South Korea was reduced after two Korean players chose to stay at home rather than risking a trip. Final combat, Year-end Mortal Kombat 11 competition, Last chance qualifying was canceled and face-to-face watching was reduced.Capcom Cancel The first half of the Capcom Pro Tour, and finally Evo It’s called quit Towards 2020.

Some organizers Like the combo breaker Rick TiharExpected the offline event to remain on the 2021 card, so players wondered what to do for the rest of the year. That gap was quickly filled with both existing and newly established online contests, but they weren’t the same. The inherent latency of online play is a consistent obstacle to high levels of competition in many games, as fighting games usually require the ability to make instant decisions and execute strategies in just a frame. .. The demand for competent netcode has begun to increase as there is no way to play directly without risking infection.

The swell of this support, especially Technology known as “rollback” netcodeIt’s not that I’m deaf.rear Unofficial mod Improved Street fighter VExclusive (and defective) rollback net code, Capcom Tried similar improvements in-house, It didn’t stop Top player from quitting the official tournament..Namco Bandai did the same Tekken 7, Slightly good result..Classic games like Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R And Fatal Fury MARK OF THE WOLVE Received rollback net code via post-release patch Large spikes Based on their online player. Guilty Gear The developer Arc System Works has since promised Next Guilty Gear Strive Use rollback net code.

Unfortunately, not all fighting game developers are accustomed to the community.Group Super Smash Bros. DX Fans created Slippi Third party program Adding rollback net code to an old school platform fighter via a Dolphin emulator seemed like a daunting task. smash The community finally shed light at the end of the tunnel. But The Big House, the first major online tournament with mods, Nintendo had to cancel the competition After learning that a company emulates a GameCube game 19 years ago.

“I’m very disappointed in that year [where] Our only option is to play online during a pandemic. It was also when I was told that the path was closed. Robin “Jagle Guy” Hahn, the organizer of the Big House About Nintendo’s decision at that time.. “I don’t have all the answers, but I still believe Melee attack Find a way. We always have and do so. “

Nintendo’s overwhelming policy is smash A community that continues to this day, where many prominent players and personalities demand that Japanese companies work with the community to solve these problems, rather than closing the event altogether. Nintendo argued that it was within the right to wield its weight since the Big House used the “illegal copied version.” Melee attack It made up the threat to that “intellectual property and brand”. Ridiculous bullshit..

If only Nintendo doesn't get in the way, close competition is good, thanks to the unofficial netcode.

If only Nintendo doesn’t get in the way, close competition is good, thanks to the unofficial netcode.
image: Nintendo

That doesn’t mean that fighting game developers have completely given up on official tournaments.Capcom resumed after the first half of the Capcom Pro Tour was cancelled Street fighter V Play with the online variant Set to exit offline In the Dominican Republic next February.. Street Fighter League, company team base Street fighter V The competition is still going on in earnest, but we have been forced to delay the start by a few months. Replace a handful of players Those who could not travel due to restrictions in their own country or who left cautiously. Namco Bandai concludes a series of online national championships. Dragon Ball Fighters Straddle four Country. However, none of these events were able to accommodate the grassroots tournaments that the community lost in 2020.

Fighting games have long been hampered by the lack of stable online play. If the only way to get a good basic experience is to travel to an offline venue, it adds yet another barrier to entry for new entrants.Some developers including Killer instinctWith Iron Galaxy Studio Mortal KombatNetherRealm Studios has made great strides towards implementing high-quality rollback net code by 2020.

But that’s not enough anymore. The large fighting game scene is actually a complex ecosystem of many small communities that needs depth and diversity to survive. Every company that creates fighting games needs to seriously discuss in-house how to play the game and how to bring the online experience as close as possible to what players enjoy offline.

If players cannot quickly return to face-to-face competition, it is imperative that the next generation of fighting games be played correctly online. If players, newcomers, and veterans are similarly forced to combat the current constraints and frequent and predictable frustrations of today’s online play, it could hinder the future growth of a competitive community. Not much. The strength of this community has always been linked to a consistent grassroots organization, which means making competition feasible for groups of as many people as possible.

If the virus has been trapped in your home for a year (and counting), state-of-the-art netcode is critical to achieving that goal. The community knows this, and publishers need to ask if the continued presence of the competitive scene is a priority.

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