This Weekend in Competitive Gaming [7/13-7/16]

EVO 2017 Announcements:

EVO Skullomania

This was such a gigantic weekend for competitive gaming! From Dreamhack Valencia to EVO 2017, it was so much to take in. I’m not going to bore you with all of the Top 8s from every game that happened for EVO, but there’s so much more than that! If you click this handy link, you can find all of the winners for the multitude of fighting games. The ones I paid the most attention to were Street Fighter V, Smash [Yes, really], and Blazblue: Central Fiction. However, the real thing that interested me were the bevy of announcements! There was some gameplay of Dragonball Fighter Z, which is mind blowing, and new DLC characters/new games are also on the way! The fighting game community has never looked stronger, has never had so much going on that happened to be so exciting! But with so many things going on, I could not keep up with everything. I heard that Sagat and Sakura are confirmed for Street Fighter V Season 3, but not Oro/Viper/Necro. That’s just hearsay though. If someone can confirm/deny, I’d appreciate that.

Speaking of Street Fighter, the first news I happened upon was the reveal of the next DLC character for Street Fighter V! This is a really odd choice because it’s another boss/character from Final Fight, Abigail! They’re Hugo-sized; RE: They’re absolutely freakin’ gigantic. Someone said to me that “They are the size of two Kens on top of each other”. They appear to have a dash, a parry, and a ridiculous amount of power behind their blows. I don’t know how I feel about them yet because giant characters seem kind of dumb. Either they can dash through fireballs/zoning techniques, or they can’t, and are just kept at full screen forever. That’s awful. I understand wanting to add to the diversity of the game, but Abigail just seems like such a peculiar choice. But they are not the only addition to the Fighting Game Scene! Tekken 7’s Harada announced something much bigger [in my opinion anyway]! Southtown’s Big Boss, Geese Howard That’s right, Tekken locked down another amazing crossover character. This one I did hear live and the crowd reaction blew me away. “PREDICTABLE!” echoed the crowd everytime Geese used his counter-throw. Honorable mention goes to MVC: Infinite adding Darkstalkers’ Jedah, and Marvel’s Gamora!

A pair of games were also announced, one from Arika [the team that created Street Fighter EX], and from ArkSys, who are already working on Dragonball Fighter Z. One intense game wasn’t enough!? First, the Arika team are bringing back a lot of the Street Fighter EX characters into a fighting game planned for next year. This game will be the newest addition to the “EX” series. But as of yet, no huge details are available, except for one giant one: SKULLOMANIA IS CONFIRMED.  That’s right, Skullomania, possibly one of the coolest Street Fighter characters ever, will be playable. ArkSys unveiled “Blazblue: Cross-Tag Battle” which will also come in 2018. This one is the bigger one for me [and probably will for a lot of anime fighters] as it will include: Blazblue, Persona 4: Arena, and Under Night: In Birth franchises. Is that not enough: Do you need more? RWBY gets its fighting game debut in this crossover battle! Icons: Combat Arena is going to be coming as well from the Project Metroid team … but the dislikes to likes is insane. I will probably cover the controversy behind that at a later date.

Dreamhack: Valencia

Dreamhack Valencia

Hirez Studios took over Valencia, Spain with SMITE, Paladins, and Hand of the Gods: Smite Tactics. I watched so many intense matches! I admittedly thought that NRG would go all the way, but the Digntas vs. Team Rival gameplay blew my mind! Congrats to Dignitas in their 3-2 win over Rival though! But I really want to talk about Paladins. First of all, congratulations to Team Cryptik for their win! That means NA won a major! That’s one of the best things I’ve heard in ages. But the real announcement, the real win came for the Paladins community at large. The “Paladins Community Tournament Series” is on the way, and it’s the biggest tournament yet! This could be the largest tournament of this variety ever. A 350,000 dollar pool for the community is on the way, starting August 1st and runs for ten months across 7 regions: Southeast Asia, Russia, North America, Brazil, Latin America, Europe, and Oceania are eligible, except for current Paladins Premier League players. So I believe that means that pro players can’t show up and make the tournament less fun for players. I do not know if that counts for people that stream for pro teams but are not on the team. This is not the only announcement though; in the coming weeks, we’ll learn more about things like Paladins: Console Wars and an all-new Paladins Premier League. The Paladins scene is really heating up, and I absolutely cannot wait to see what’s coming! Maybe there will be an MMOHuts team coming your way soon? Who knows?

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