Fighting game community
The fighting game community is a collective of video gamers who play fighting games such as Marvel vs. Capcom, Mortal Kombat, Soulcalibur, Street Fighter, Guilty Gear, The King of Fighters, Blazblue, Samurai Shodown, Super Smash Bros., Tekken and many others. The fighting game community started out small in the late 1990s and throughout the 2000s referred to as the grassroots era, but it has grown to a larger scale in the 2010s, with many tournaments being held across the world. This is predominately due to the rise of esports and digitized viewing habits on live streaming sites such as Twitch.
The game Street Fighter II: The World Warrior was a huge success when it was released in 1991 and is regarded as one of the most influential video games of all time. It refined and popularized the fighting game genre and introduced many now-staples of the genre, such as combos and character selection but most notably, it allowed players to directly compete by fighting against each other in the game, while earlier games primarily had players compete by comparing highscores. During the mid-1990s, a Street Fighter II tournament scene had coalesced in various cities across the United States. Highly competitive communities formed naturally in Chinatown Fair in New York City, Super Just Games in the Chicago area, and the Golfland arcade halls in Sunnyvale and Stanton, California. Players were also finding each other and discussing strategies through the internet on message boards. In 1996, the "Battle by the Bay" was conceived in order to quell debate over who was the best Street Fighter player in the country.
2000–2009: early years
In early 2000, a forum was created called Shoryuken.com which was named after the iconic Street Fighter attack. The site became the main go to forum for many fighting game competitors and it quickly attracted the community to create major tournaments to gather the best players from around the country. One of the most major tournaments that gathers players from around the world is called The Evolution Championship Series. In middle of the 2000s the FGC's popularity began to fade due to lack of new fighting games, the overall sales of the genre, and some problems within the community. It was not until 2009, when there was a new spark in the community. After nearly a decade, Capcom announced the development of the next installment of one of their most well-known fighting games, Street Fighter IV. The game received a lot of positive reception from major game reviewers and the FGC. Street Fighter IV brought life back into the FGC by not only rejuvenating the popularity of fighting games, but also creating an influx of new players into the community and increasing the number of competitors.
After the success of Street Fighter IV, new fighting games began being developed and the FGC expanded with more tournaments. The tournaments even started being live-streamed with Twitch so many people can view the tournaments. There are also sponsor-ships from franchises like Evil Geniuses, Broken Tier, and Mad Catz, which pays players for free advertisement.
The overall size of the community remains a very small proportion of the fighting game market overall. Some of the genre's biggest selling games, such as Tekken 5, Super Smash Bros. and Mortal Kombat X, have sold in excess of 5 million copies. In contrast, the same games might only attract 1,000-2,000 entrants at a large tournament. Typically some 20-30% of players fight online.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2016)
A highly publicized incident of sexism occurred in 2012 on a live streaming event, when Street Fighter x Tekken player Aris Bakhtanians made comments about a female player's bra size and other inappropriate remarks, leading to the female player dropping out of the event. Later, during an interview with Twitch he is quoted as saying that "sexual harassment is part of a culture, and if you remove that from the fighting game community, it's not the fighting game community." He later apologized for his comments.
Hundreds of online and offline tournaments are held worldwide every year, ranging anywhere in size from less than ten to over 10,000 entrants, depending on the location, entry fee, prize pot, and game or range of games available. Tournaments are typically run through grassroots community efforts, although an increasing number of tournaments are being sponsored by stakeholders like Capcom, Twitch, Red Bull, and Nintendo.
Examples of large fighting game tournaments and tournament series include:
- Berlin Tekken Clash
- Canada Cup
- Capcom Cup (which is led up to by the Capcom Pro Tour)
- Celtic Throwdown
- Combo Breaker
- Community Effort Orlando
- East Coast Throwdown
- Evolution Championship Series (or EVO, and EVO Japan)
- Frosty Faustings
- Final Round
- KIT and KITX
- NoRCal Regionals
- NoRCal Strongstyle (Tekken Tournament)
- Pokémon World Championships (Pokkén Tournament, led up to by the Play! Pokémon program and various other regional, national, and international tournaments)
- REV Major
- SNK World Championship
- SoCal Regionals
- Summer Jam
- Tekken World Tour (Official Tekken tournament series)
- The Big Yin
- Tougeki – Super Battle Opera (defunct)
- Ultimate FIghting Arena
- Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament (defunct)
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- [Evo 2018]
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