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Help get Poongko and EX Pugera (top Ibuki) to NorCal Regionals 2015 - /r/Kappa crowdfunded campaign has 5 more days to go

You've helped to send Infiltration, Kitasenju DJ and Kazunoko to Final Round 18 this weekend. It's all thanks to your generous donations that these world warriors will now have a chance to prove themselves against some of the biggest names in the competitive Street Fighter circuit at this incredibly stacked tournament, and potentially score a much-coveted spot in Capcom Cup 2015.

Now it's time to show some love to some other worthy champions. The next /r/Kappa crowdfunding campaign has gone live, and this time the community is looking to send Poongko the Machine and Japanese Ibuki character specialist EX Pugera to NorCal Regionals 2015 from April 3 to 5.

Poongko, of course, is coming off of a huge win at Cannes Winter Clash at the start of the month. You've already seen how entertaining this guy can be on stream. He's left the world of Street Fighter once, but now he's back with a vengeance, practicing a whole lot and streaming very regularly. You can watch him train on his Twitch channel here, and he needs your help to get to the Capcom Pro Tour premier event.

Meanwhile, EX Pugera put up a fantastic showing at EVO last year, coming in at 9th place, and he's looking for an opportunity to show the rest of the world what Ibuki can do, and why many Japanese players consider the female kunoichi to be within the top three or five characters in Ultra Street Fighter 4.

If you'd like to help get these players out to NCR, here's what you can do -- there are two ways to donate.

Updated: Kombat Kast airs tomorrow, will show new '-ality'; Boon further hints at Spawn, and has Mortal Kombat X gone gold?

Updated: Ed Boon just sent out a tweet saying that the Kombat Kast is indeed scheduled for tomorrow. We can also expect to see another new "-ality."

Eariler: NetherRealm Studios' own Ed Boon has been very active on Twitter these past couple of days. Whether it be his own original tweets or simply addressing questions from followers, Boon has said some interesting things over on social media.

One of the first things you may have noticed in this story is the gold Mortal Kombat X logo in our banner. That wasn't a result of our awesome image editing skills, but rather, Ed Boon's new Twitter profile picture. This is leading his Twitter followers (us included) to believe that Mortal Kombat X has gone gold (meaning development is complete and the game is ready to ship out to retailers). With the game's release date now less than a month away, we feel that's a fair assumption to make.

If that news isn't good enough for you, though, you may be happy to hear that more reveals could potentially be dropping as early as tomorrow.

According to Boon, he and his team are currently attempting to prepare another Kombat Kast stream for tomorrow. During the last broadcast, it was mentioned that the next stream would show off the three newest characters in the Mortal Kombat universe: Jacqueline Briggs, Takashi Takeda, and Kung Jin, who are the daughter of Jax, the son of Kenshi, and a descendant of Kung Lao, respectively.

Perhaps we'll see the MK spawn in action tomorrow. And speaking of spawn...

Another Mortal Kombat X announcement coming this Friday? Boon continues his kryptic hints on Twitter

As the headline states, Ed Boon is at it again! The Mortal Kombat creator recently took to Twitter to set forth another hint at a potential Mortal Kombat X reveal.

Boon tweeted out a picture that simply reads "Friday," depicted in the same style and font as previous Mortal Kombat X announcements. The only other hint in the tweet is a question mark. I know that you're probably thinking, "but DreamKing, that's far too cryptic a hint to assume we'll see something new this Friday!" Well, there is one other reason why I feel that NetherRealm Studios is gearing up for another reveal. Continue reading to find out what that is.

'Hugo is top tier... Man! He's top tier!' - 30 Things Online Player NEVER Say: A new skit by Ernesto Lopez Jr.

Last time we posted a skit by Ernesto Lopez Jr., he covered 40 things that all online players say -- and damn, were they accurate.

This time, however, Ernesto took a different approach. Today, he shares with us a skit that features 30 things you'll never hear an online player mutter.

"That wake up Ultra was really smart!" Yeah... no. No one has ever said that.

Anyway, be sure to check out the new skit below, and let us know which of these sayings was your favorite.

'Europe's biggest obstacle is lack of character diversity' - Problem X discusses Europe's strength, Street Fighter 5 hopes, top tiers in USF4 and more

Just a few weeks ago, Cannes Winter Clash wrapped up, and a whole plethora of talented players attended the event.

Thankfully, I was at the event representing our site, and managed to grab many interviews with players, which we will be publishing daily for about the next two weeks.

Next in line is one of UK's finest, CG|Problem X, who speaks about his switch to C. Viper, top 5 strongest characters in Ultra Street Fighter 4, the strength of Europe, Street Fighter 5 hopes and more. You'll find a snippet to get you started right below.

MajinTenshinhan: You used to play Seth, and still do, but switched mainly to C. Viper. Why did you pick specifically Viper, and how do you feel that the change has worked out for you?

CG|Problem X: I switched to C. Viper since she has more health and more burst damage. Therefore, her comeback factor is huge, making her a great character for tournaments.

I feel the switch has worked really well, as I am now able to cover some of the cast that was very hard for me with Seth, like Yun, for example.

Hit the jump to check out the rest of the interview.

No chip KO's in Street Fighter 5? From gray damage to crouch teching, Vesper Arcade goes over all the game mechanics we've seen thus far

Before we even think about getting started here, please keep in mind that this is a work in progress. Any or all of these aspects observed here can change.

We've seen a fair amount of fighting game mechanics in the past quarter century or so. From super meters to guard breaks, gray damage to reduced damage at lower life percentages, tons of nuances have come and gone from game to game.

Here we have Vesper Arcade's analysis of what we've seen so far from the game trailers and the exhibitions for Street Fighter 5.

The observations range from things like how fast the timer ticks to how quickly you gain special meter. This analysis is incredibly insightful, and does a great job of answering the questions that serious gamers will likely have.

This analysis really helps one get acquainted with the game. It gives us insight into Street Fighter 5's feel, flow and character.

There's plenty to watch as the video itself is just short of half an hour in length, so hit the jump and get started!

'I'm the most complete Marvel player but I don't think there is a clear #1...' FChamp talks Final Round, his new job and his plans for the future

Final Round 18 was a huge hit this past weekend with a huge list of international names and fierce competition. Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 victor, Filipino Champ, sat down with The Score eSports to discuss his tournament win.

In true Filipino Champ fashion, the Marvel veteran tweeted out a slightly snide, "I can Block" after his impressive showing at last weekend's tournament. The tweet itself received much attention and was a great segue into his post tourney interview wherein he revealed a major part of his in game mindset.

"Defense to me is the highest attribute in fighting games and I work hard developing my defense over time. Thanks to it my tourney results are pretty consistent."

Moving on to ask where Champ places himself on the top player list for Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, he replied that he's "the most complete Marvel player but I don't think there is a clear #1. Chris (Gonzales), Justin (Wong), and I are all tied I think. No one else comes close."

Pretty bold words, but with the track record to back them up, it's difficult to disagree. Champ would go on to discuss his current practice situation as well as his new found fire for Street Fighter. Hit the jump to see more.

The Wong Factor can't be stopped, Momochi makes incredible reads, and more in these Final Round 18 highlights from day 3

The final day of Final Round 18 marked even more upsets and intense action than we thought could follow an equally intense day 2. Not only limited to Ultra Street Fighter 4, amazing moments happened in almost every title played at the tournament. We've highlighted a select few for your pleasure, but you could probably find even more. That's how stacked this tournament really was.

r/Kappa|Kazunoko vs. BT|Marlinpie

No, this isn't Street Fighter; it's Guilty Gear Xrd grand finals. After being knocked into the loser's bracket and crawling his way back into grand finals, r/Kappa's Kazunoko certainly didn't seem in a winning position until he reset the bracket where he continued to dominate all the way through the next two matches and tournament point.

Whatever had shaken BT|Marlinpie, though, looked to have vanished. Regaining his composure, his Zato was able to take Kazunoko's Ky down to a sliver of health. Long sets are full of ebbing and flowing with momentum, and this seemed to be no different. But Kazunoko had other plans. Making a miraculous comeback, he cornered BT|Marlinpie and kept the pressure and combos going until he took the round and the tournament.

Click image for animated version

This would not be the end of the upsets and wild action of Final Round 18's highlights. To continue seeing intensity that easily rivals yesterday's action, continue reading below.

Daigo vs. Smug, Snake Eyez counter-picks Bonchan, Tampa Bison fights Arturo Sanchez - Relive Final Round 18's best USF4 matches yesterday

There's still a couple of hours to go before top 8 for Ultra Street Fighter 4 at Final Round 18 begins. While you wait for the high-flying action to begin, now's a great time to relive some of the best moments from the tournament so far -- some of which you've already read about in our summary and highlights story yesterday.

The full archives for yesterday's Final Round 18 USF4 matches can be found in the Twitch archives on the Capcom Fighters channel, but only if you're a channel subscriber. If you're not, though, the official Capcom Fighters has uploaded five of the best matches from yesterday's stream to help tide you over until top 8.

These matches include the long-awaited match between Japan's MCZ|Daigo and USA's PIE|Smug, the incredible Snake Eyez vs. Bonchan match in which the former counter-picked against Sagat, Tampa Bison vs. TS|Arturo Sanchez, and more.

So go check out those match videos (embedded below), and tell us which USF4 set from yesterday's stream at Final Round 18 was your favorite in the comments section afterwards.

Jin Kazama appears in Tekken 7 as hidden sub-boss character

Just last week, character data in Tekken 7 revealed that Jin Kazama, among other characters, is indeed in the new game.

It appears as though Jin is already in Bandai Namco's new fighter, but not necessarily as a playable character as of right now. This particular warrior can be found in-game as a hidden sub-boss during stage 4 of Arcade Mode.

While the conditions to make Jin appear are currently unknown, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada stated that the stipulations are difficult and a bit obscure.

You can check out a few images of Jin in Tekken 7 below.

Click images for larger versions

Source: Masakarijin on Twitter. Via Avoiding The Puddle. Tip sent in by Hisokae.

Perfects, Sagat's fireball into U1, and legit Thunderbolt setups: Watch Smug battle Bonchan, Tokido, and Mago in these USF4 FT5 sets

During Final Round 18 weekend, the best Dudley in the US, PIE|Smug, ran a number of FT5 sets against players attending the event.

Luckily, Joshua Taylor managed to record some of these exciting bouts. Among those filmed we have sets featuring Bonchan (Sagat), MCZ|Mago (Yang), and MCZ|Tokido (Akuma).

There are some great moments here, including Bonchan's sick cr. MK, fireball, FADC, U1 confirm, Smug's Thunderbolt setups, and much more. Although the footage here is shaky-cam, you can still catch all of the action.

Check out the matches after the jump.

Kazunoko: 'I somehow managed to defeat Velociraptor, America's strongest Gouken... that's probably the strongest Gouken in the world!'

During the 3-on-3 Ultra Street Fighter 4 team tournament on Day 1 of Final Round 18, MOM|Velociraptor managed to perform a one-character victory for his team against Team /r/Kappa -- Infiltration, Kitasenju DJ, and Kazunoko.

Beating out any of these /r/Kappa warriors would have been a feat in itself -- but MOM|Velociraptor's Gouken managed to take down all three of them, back-to-back. It was the first time Velociraptor had played against Kazunoko, and the latter left the set very impressed with the American Gouken specialist's skills.

And as fate would have it, the two players once again had to face each other in the singles USF4 tournament at Final Round 18, this time for a spot in the top 32 play-offs in the losers' side of the brackets.

Kazunoko managed to trounce Velociraptor this time around, with a score of 2-1. He's finally overcome his opponent, and has earned the right to gloat over it or trash talk.

But neither of that was what he did. Instead, Kazunoko only had the highest praise for his American opponent.

Arturo Sanchez rampages through the brackets with Dhalsim, Momochi counter picks with Elena, and more in these Final Round 18 highlights from day 2

Day 2 marked the beginning of the singles tournament at Final Round 18, and it was full of upsets and wild moments. It's no secret that this is the most stacked tournament of the year so far. We've selected some of the finest moments from the tournament for you.

TSC|Sanford Kelly vs Gol Boi Toi

Kelly and Boi Toi had been locked into a tight match going into the third match. Despite Sanford Kelly being on set point, the Oni player was down on life, and Gol Boi Toi's Chun-Li was sitting on a full bar of meter and had Ultra 1 ready to punish any fireball attempts.

Sanford tested Gol Boi Toi's reactions, throwing multiple fireballs. Boi Toi responded in time, but had his super activate instead of his ultra—a heartbreaking moment for the Chun-Li main.

A fireball war continued as the two inched close to one another. Sanford, knowing he needed something big, canceled his fireball into a raging demon, went through Chun-Li's, and won the match in a crushing victory that may haunt Gol Boi Toi for a long time to come.

Click image for animated version

Read below to check out even more highlights from this stacked tournament.

Mew2King: "Not all custom moves should be allowed; custom Villager ruins the game" - Cites an actual example from a Smash 4 tournament

Should custom moves be allowed in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U? Within the Smash competitive community, the jury's still kind of out on that. There are arguments for and against custom moves being allowed in tournaments.

Some major tournaments, such as the EVO 2015 Championship Series, are allowing customs. While others like Community Effort Orlando (CEO) 2015 Fighting Game Championships will instead be banning customs, simply because "too many hours need to be invested in single player modes to unlock moves for [a form of] competitive tournament play that a vast majority of players may not be able to invest in doing."

But if custom moves are to be allowed in a tournament, top Smash player Mew2King believes that organizers would definitely need to lay down some ground rules as to which moves or move sets are banned.

"All customs should not be allowed, in my opinion," says Mew2King in a tweet published late last night.

Gamerbee finally beats Daigo in tourney, NuckleDu styles for 20k, Xian picks apart PR Rog: Highlights from day one of South by Southwest

We've only gotten through one third of the action thus far, but the South by South West Gaming Fighters Invitational has had us on the edge of our seats multiple times today.

Ricky Ortiz vs NuckleDu
Our first exciting moment saw Du, TL|NuckleDu, Dang flaunt his successful flurry of offense at EG|Ricky Ortiz.

As is characteristic for Du, his Guile went on an offensive rampage with normal after normal, giving Ricky's low-stun Rufus a run for his money.

Click image for animated version

Though Du surely had the momentum here, Ricky would quickly turn things around, eventually beating Du cleanly in the set. Perhaps it's not always the smartest to taunt Pretty Ricky, especially when there's $20,000 on the line.

Hit the jump to see more from SXSW including TL|Hamad's relentless offense and AVM|Gamerbee's second chance.

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