This weekend was one full of surprises, comebacks, top-tier play and loads of salt. This week’s FGC Recap will focus on two major events, Winter Brawl 9 and Sonic Boom, to kick off the tournament season heading into the beginning of the Capcom Cup Tour for 2015. LET’S GOOOO!!
The first event, held in Essington, PA and hosted by Big E (Eric Small) Gaming, was the ninth installment of the always compelling Winter Brawl. The games featured included major titles like Ultra Street Fighter IV, Ultimate Marvel v. Capcom 3, Smash Bros. Melee/Super Smash Bros. for WiiU, Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-. Other games included were Persona 4: Arena Ultimax, BlazBlue: Chronophantasma, Under Night In-Birth: EXE Late, Dead or Alive 5: Last Round, Soul Calibur 5, Tekken Tag Tournament 1 & 2, Skullgirls, Killer Instinct, King of Fighter 13, Injustice: Gods Among Us and Mortal Kombat 9. Big names within the community scene were also present such as TSC|Sanford Kelly, BIFU|Spab Rog, CTRL|RayRay, MarqTeddy, CDjr, 801 Strider, iPeru, PIE|Smug, TSC|IFC Yipes, MOR|Rico Suave, EG|K-Brad, BT|MarlinPie, EG|Ricky Ortiz, Dieminion, SnakeEyez and many, many more.
Team Spooky handled streaming duties along with Bifuteki, Kombat Network, Kick Punch Block, NYCFurby (Arturo Sanchez) and Smash Studios. Shoutout to everyone involved with making the tournament happen as delays were minimal and commentary (aside from one or two occasions — I’m looking at you SkiSonic) was fantastic. A prime example of a tremendous tournament run the right way. Fans got a real treat in this past weekend’s Winter Brawl 9. The love for organizers aside the meat of the competition is what matters right? Let’s get started with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
The brackets were full of killers and some unexpected faces showed up in the latter rounds like MarlinPie, Yipes and more. BrokenTier’s MarlinPie provided some of more intense moments of the entire Brawl with his comeback to claw out of the Loser Brackets against J Rosa and make his way into Grand Finals. Things were not looking good for MarlinPie’s team of C. Viper, Doctor Doom and Amaterasu with the match point just moments away:
The superlative movement of MarlinPie managed to wrench the victory from the jaws of defeat and, instead, the Grand finals picture suddenly looked quite different. Ultimately the momentum would be cut short by Kosmos and his team of Morrigan, Doctor Doom and Vergil. The technique pioneered by ChrisG (Soul Fist ahoy!) was on display throughout the tournament though MarlinPie still gave the soon-to-be Winter Brawl champion a run for his money.
MarlinPie, though bested by PAG’s Kosmos in UMvC3 did win the Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- (playing as Zato-1) along with the Guilty Gear XX#Accent Core Plus R tournament as well.
Winter Brawl’s Ultra Street Fighter IV tournament proved to be just as dynamic with quality matches throughout. The West Coast v. East Coast rivalry that has long stood within the FGC was heavily emphasized this weekend. There was not only a West v. East team competition (which the West Coast took) but also a 7v7 exhibition (where the East Coast dominated). It was, of course, pure poetry that the Grand Finals came down to one of the West Coast’s very best, Snake Eyez versus a true class act and one of the better Guile players on the East Coast (let alone the US), Dieminion.
A valiant effort by Dieminion to reset the bracket though Snake Eyez’ Zangief was simply better. A strong showing for the Chief Gief champion and noted PSX pad player, Snake Eyez, leading into the coming Final Round and the kickoff of the Capcom Cup Tour for 2015.
Other notable things from Winter Brawl 9: cR|SonicFox placed or won in five different events including taking 1st place in Mortal Kombat 9, Under Night In-Birth EXE: Late, Skullgirls: Encore and Injustice: Gods Among Us. Persia on commentary duty during the Marvel tournament was fantastic. If only she’d had a better commentator partner in SkiSonic. Seriously. Cut it out, man.
Winter Brawl 9 wasn’t the only tournament this past weekend though as Madrid played host to Sonic Boom 2015. Streaming duties were split between the in-house Spanish stream over at MotoKen Team and English commentary provided by ArmsHouse.tv. Fewer games in the Madrid set with Ultra Street Fighter IV showcasing some of the top local and world talent including Infiltration, MD|Luffy (EVO 2014 World Champion), Dogura, GL|Valmaster and Cuongster.
Where to start? Luffy’s poor showing against Dogura and Valmaster (but in particular Valmaster’s Chun-Li just dominating near the end):
The EVO champ goes down yet again much as he did in the recent Canada Cup invitational (though to be fair the poor guy was jetlagged to hell and running late after his flight over from Paris was delayed) though a whole lot of great matches remained. Top 8 rolled around and it was just about then the English streams started suffering from technical difficulties. Lost connection, dropped frames and all sorts of issues plagued the Finals match streams over at ArmsHouse.tv though, as promised, all match footage was uploaded later via their YouTube page.
Grand Finals came down to the r/Kappa sponsored Infiltration vs. GL| Valmaster in a Decapre/Chun-Li matchup that was among the very best in competitive play this past weekend.
Technical difficulties aside the showing at Sonic Boom ’15 was a very strong start to the tournament season and a great lead-in to the beginning stages of the year-long Capcom Cup chase. One thing was for certain after this past weekend. There aren’t just one or two strong names out there dominating the scene but numerous names that will all be clawing their way towards the top as we roll on towards the big tentpole event of EVO 2015.