Fighting game eSports needs more than just winners, it needs entertainers

The fighting game community has more colorful personalities than any other eSport that I've watched.

There are, of course, people who come to mind outside the FGC, (IdrA back in the Starcraft days, and Doublelift in League of Legends) and these are people we love to root for and love to hate. Either way, players with strong personalities often create stories and heighten drama at many of the events they attend.

Big names and big personalities bring in big value, and there's a reason that some have a much easier time finding sponsorships than others. It isn't always about winning.

Part of what makes competition so much fun to watch are the stories that emerge. Some can be heart-warming while others are filled with drama. Sometimes there are people who stand out by being abrasive. We need villains and heroes in our stories, and the FGC has plenty of both.

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Why I'm really hoping the final Street Fighter 5 Season 2 character drops before the end of October

Believe it or not, we have just two months until Capcom Cup 2017. Players are honing skills, studying tapes and scrambling for last minute qualification points at Street Fighter 5 Pro Tour events, but there's still a very big variable that no one can even begin preparing for yet: the sixth and final Season 2 DLC character.

We don't know for certain the identity of this fighter, but leaks have called the last few DLC fighters to a tee, and predict Guy's master, Zeku, as the next.

All signs seemed to point to Tokyo Game Show nearly two weeks ago, (which saw the reveal of Karin in 2015 and the release date for Urien in 2016) but to the surprise of just about everyone in the community, no character announcements were made this year.

We could be reading into it a bit, but as we watched the commentators as the final day of TGS neared its end, it looked as though even they were holding out for the news that never came. Was it supposed to happen, but then called off last minute?

Regardless, the ship has sailed and we now turn our eyes to this weekend's New York Comic Con. Not only do I hope to learn the identity of the next fighter, I'm hoping for an announcement not unlike Menat's, which promised the character's official addition to the roster just days after the reveal.

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South East Asia Major 2017 results ft. JDCR, Tokido, Saint, OilKing, Momochi

Update: This story has been updated with final results.

South East Asia Major 2017 is finally upon us, and as most years, it's taking place in Singapore.

This is the Asian Regional Finals for the Capcom Pro Tour, so you can look forward to a huge showdown in both the qualifying tournament on Saturday and the actual finals on Sunday, when the leaderboard for the Asian region comes to its climax.

However, that doesn't mean other games are taking a backseat. This is also a Regional event for the Tekken World Tour with a $15,000 pot bonus, so you can expect some extreme battles to take place to reach the end there as well.

Besides these two titles, you will also be seeing a Battle or the Stones Event in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, as well as tournament play in Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2, BlazBlue: Central Fiction, Injustice 2 and Windjammers.

Players expected to attend this event include FOX|JDCR, FOX|Tokido, FOX|Saint, ZW|OilKing, FOX|Momochi, Mago, RZR|Xian, Qudans, ITS|Chanel, GGP|Kazunoko, FOX|Justin Wong, ROX|Knee, Ponos|Moke, Yamasa|Nobi, Scarz|Sako, DNG|Tachikawa, XYZZY, COOASGAMES|Noroma, Yamasa|Take, DNG|Itabashi Zangief, Kkokkoma, Jeondding, Yamasa|Yuu and many more.

Streaming is being done at Capcom Fighters, Tekken, Battle for the Stones, Game Start Asia and Team Spooky.

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'It's difficult for me to leave... I look forward to rooting for Capcom’s success as a fan' - Matt Dahlgren and Capcom part ways after nearly 10 years

The majority of the current fighting game community probably knows Matt Dahlgren as the guy that hands out giant checks to the winners at Capcom Cup, but his run with the major video game company spanned nearly a decade.

That run has reached its conclusion as the Senior Product Manager at Capcom on the fighting game brands is now moving on to other things as he and Capcom are parting ways.

Dahlgren was in charge of marketing campaigns for Street Fighter 5, Street Fighter X Tekken, Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition and assisted in the marketing campaigns for Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers and Capcom's best selling game of all time: Resident Evil 5.

He was also heavily involved in the production of the Capcom Pro Tour, was one of the more prominent representatives the fighting game community looked to for information during the development of Street Fighter 5.

We reached out to Dahlgren, who had a few words to share on the matter.

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Input lag solution could be coming to Street Fighter 5 and other titles with upcoming Unreal Engine update

It's no secret that many modern fighters these days suffer from more input lag than what players are comfortable with. In the case of Street Fighter 5, the amount of input lag averages at about 6.2 frames.

One of the reasons for this is because a lot of today's fighting games are using Unreal Engine 4. Essentially, excellent graphics at the cost of input latency.

Street Fighter 5 isn't the only game in this genre that uses Unreal Engine though. Games like Tekken 7, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, and the upcoming Dragon Ball FighterZ do as well.

For the longest time, it looked as though this was something we would just learn to deal with. This is pretty much what we as fighting game players have done thus far.

Now, however, it looks as though a solution has finally been presented. The developers of this engine have updated it to address this problem.

Would it even be significant enough though?

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Zeku quite possibly has the largest moveset in the Street Fighter franchise

The Zeku reveal ended up being quite interesting. It was quickly apparent that this was actually two characters in one.

Essentially what this comes down to is Zeku having two separate forms: an old form and a young form.

We've already seen what both forms can do thanks to his move listings. There is actually very little in common between both stances.

Zeku's old form is going to have a very mid-range feel to him thanks to his Bushin Gram specials. These offer a lot of range and allow him to control space.

Meanwhile, his younger form will be very similar to the Bushinryu style that Guy offers. A speedy rushdown character, essentially.

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'You gotta know when to jab' - Punk, Smug and PR Balrog on the secret to success at Street Fighter 5

I've been trying to make it out to as many Capcom Pro Tour events as possible in recent months, and while out on my travels I've been lucky enough to have some pretty interesting conversations with some pretty interesting players.

I was able to hold my own back in the Street Fighter 4 days with Gouken, but have yet to see that same success in SF5. As a more competitively-minded player, I've been trying to figure out the seemingly elusive "secret" to consistent wins when it comes to Street Fighter 5.

While I don't believe anyone has a single statement that will suddenly unlock success in a manner as simple as the headline of this story might suggest, I do think tapping briefly into the minds of top players may help with my and any others' progress as we strive for growth in this unforgiving iteration of Street Fighter.

While at SoCal Regionals this year, I was able to speak with RISE|Smug, CYG|PR Balrog and PG|Punk, and get their respective inputs on the matter. Punk is currently the number one ranked player on the CPT leaderboards. Smug has shown consistent growth in leaps and bounds with his Balrog and is all but qualified for Capcom Cup this year.

PR Balrog has had less success this year than in years previous, but is still known as one of the smartest and most naturally skilled players the FGC over. I asked them to keep their responses short and sweet so as to give people more digestible nuggets of information to process.

Here's what each one had to say:

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Does Zeku in Street Fighter 5 use stances or are there two fighters? What's the deal? X-Kira claims to have the answer

If you haven't seen it already, you need to check out the Zeku character trailer for Street Fighter 5. His playstyle looks to be very unique compared to previous characters.

Something that everybody is wondering about is his stance change. He appears to have an old form and a young form.

In particular, we're not really sure if both forms are actually Zeku. One theory suggests that he has an apprentice that serves as sort of a younger body double -- in other words, you play as two characters instead of one.

So what is Zeku's secret? Capcom has yet to spill the beans so far...

A known data miner, X-Kira, has made a statement regarding Zeku's stances. They seem to have a clear understanding on what's going on here as they speak with confidence in the matter.

X-Kira's predictions have been mostly reliable in the past, so this is likely what we'll hear from Capcom later in the future. It is stated that both are actually Zeku -- the old version uses the "new style" and the young version fights similar to Guy by utilizing "Bushinryu."

X-Kira's statement on Zeku's stances image #1
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Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

'This is going to get me to play this character, Capcom!' - Maximilian, VesperArcade, and BornFree impressions roundup for Zeku

So Zeku has been revealed as Season 2's final DLC character for Street Fighter 5. I'm sure we've all had some reactions to this particular trailer.

Being that he appears to have two separate movesets (old and young forms), it's sure to catch people's eyes. Not only that, but the young form looks very reminiscent of Strider Hiryu, another of Capcom's characters.

How did some of the main FGC content creators react to this trailer? What are their impressions?

Being that Maximilian has always been a fan of Strider Hiryu in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, you can certainly expect him to have a response to Zeku switching to his younger form. Would this be enough to get Max back into Street Fighter 5?

VesperArcade was also able to give some impressions on the trailer. Overall, Vesper seems pretty happy and even wonders what might've happened if this was the trailer that Capcom had showed off during EVO.

Finally, we have BornFree talking about Zeku as well. Since we don't have a full explanation about him from Capcom yet, BornFree attempts to dissect the functionalities and mechanics of the newest character.

There is a little bit of language NSFW used here.

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Did you notice the Street Fighter 1 Ryu image in the new Arcade Edition trailer? BornFree points out a few things you may have missed

BornFree is back from his adventures at New York Comic Con, and has finally gotten around to giving us his hyper perceptive perspective on the brand new Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition trailer.

Born goes through the trailer scene by scene taking note of all the happenings to analyze and speculate what Capcom may or may not be setting up for SF5 in 2018.

For instance, we get only a quick glimpse of Chun-Li in a flowery room, but there may be some evidence saying that this is a reference to perhaps the most memorable scene in the 1994 treet Fighter 2 animated film... especially when you take one of her latest DLC costumes into account.

BornFree also points out an image of the original Ryu from the 1987 Street Fighter arcade game. It sits amidst the cityscape during the scene with Menat and her crystal ball.

We also investigate why Capcom chose to use all but one of the currently revealed Season 2 characters in this trailer, as well as a few other topics.

It all may be looking into things that aren't actually there, but given his track record, we'd be willing to bet Born has at least a few of these speculations correct. Let us know what you think after you watch.

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Final Fantasy's Cloud was almost the Soul Calibur 2 guest character on PlayStation 2

Bandai Namco's 2002 hit fighting game Soul Calibur 2 could have had a very interesting guest character enter the fray.

Nao Higo, the localization producer on the game, joined in on a recent episode of the 8-4 Play podcast to discuss some of his past experience in the industry. When speaking on his time working at Namco, Higo revealed that the PlayStation 2 guest character for Soul Calibur 2 was actually supposed to be Cloud Strife from the Final Fantasy series.

According to Higo, a deal fell through at the last minute, which led to Tekken's Heihachi taking the guest character slot.

"A deal fell through on that one -- it was supposed to be someone else," Higo explained. "So, apparently they were working out a deal with Cloud. It would have been incredible, [but] at the last minute it got canned."

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Capcom showing off latest content for Street Fighter 5 and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite at New York Comic-Con, catch the stream here

New York Comic-Con is in full effect this week, and today the action keeps rolling with more Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite and Street Fighter 5 goodness.

A panel listing on the official NYCC website notes that Capcom will be visiting the Twitch stage to show off the "latest content from two of their popular fighting games."

Yesterday, we saw the official announcement for Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition. This update is set to release in January and will add brand new game modes, a second V-Trigger for all characters, and more.

On the Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite front, we have the game's first three DLC characters dropping on October 17th. Sigma, Black Panther, and Monster Hunter are all playable on the NYCC show floor.

The listing did not specify what we might see today, but a live stream is taking place on Twitch.

You can catch the live stream after the jump.

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Who has the most EVO wins in history? Here's a list of everyone that's won two or more titles at the world's largest fighting game tournament

EVO is the most prestigious tournament in the FGC. This is where the true legends of fighting games are created. There are thousands of entrants every year who try to make their name, but in the end there's only one person for each game that takes home the title of EVO champion every year.

That's why it is so impressive when someone wins it more than once. This isn't a common occurrence either. Dominance in the FGC tends to only last one year, or maybe two, as some young upstart often comes in and takes their throne.

But that doesn't mean it never happens. In fact there are actually 17 people who have beaten all the odds and won multiple EVO championships. Let's take a look at those people, and find out what they're doing these days.

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Seven minutes of new BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle gameplay footage

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle is an upcoming fighter that pits characters from BlazBlue, Persona 4, and other series against each other in 2v2 team bouts. Today, we have all new footage showcasing the fighting title in action.

Arc System Works has released a little over seven minutes of gameplay featuring the currently announced characters on the roster. You'll see Ragna, Jin, Hyde, Linne, Yu, Yosuke, and Ruby Rose played throughout.

In addition to these fighters, we also see brand new stages make their debut in this video.

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle is currently playable at New York Comic-Con 2017. It is likely that those in attendance will be able to get their hands on the build shown in this gameplay video.

Today's showcase gives us a glimpse at some of the character's assist moves, supers, and general playstyle. We also see some sort of combination attack performed by the two characters on one player's team.

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle is due out sometime next year.

Click image for animated version

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NuckleDu created a 3D miniature version of himself

Liquid|NuckleDu is currently known as one of the greatest Street Fighter 5 players right now. He was, after all, the winner of the Capcom Pro Tour finals last year.

He has apparently taken to Twitter to showcase something interesting. He has created a 3D model of himself.

This figure is able to fit into his hand. It's obviously a lot smaller than the real NuckleDu.

It is surprising just how closely it matches his appearance. It almost looks lifelike.

So essentially, NuckleDu has created a miniature version of himself. Almost like a "mini-me" of himself.

I guess next we'll see him demanding a sum of money if he should win the Capcom Pro Tour once again...

Mini 3D model Du image #1 Mini 3D model Du image #2
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Source: NuckleDu's Twitter.

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