Fighting game community
The fighting game community is a collective of video gamers who play fighting games such as Street Fighter, Tekken, Marvel vs. Capcom and Soulcalibur. 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.tv.
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 made the fighting game genre more popular. Many people played this game at their local arcades, this spurred competition among many players and the Fighting Game Community slowly started to take shape. Although there were tournaments for fighting games, the tournaments were obscure and had insular events. Unlike how it is today, people could not experience a tournament unless that individual was there in person or if it was luckily recorded on video. This all began to change in the early 2000s due to the rise of streaming media websites like YouTube.
2000–2009: early years
With the popularity of the internet starting to become critical in many people's lives it was only a matter of time before it affected the Fighting Game Community. 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 gather 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.
2009–present: new age of fighting games
After nearly a decade, Capcom announced the development of the next installment of one of their most well-known fighting games, Street Fighter IV. As it had been quite some time since Capcom had released a new Street Fighter game, this new title was heavily anticipated by the FGC. The game received a lot of positive reception from major game reviewers and the FGC. Street Fighter IV single handily brought life back into the FGC by not only rejuvenating the popularity of fighting games but it also created an influx of new players into the community and increased 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.
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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 to drop out of the event. Later, during an interview with Twitch.tv 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.
- Capcom Cup (which is led up to by the Capcom Pro Tour)
- Combo Breaker
- Community Effort Orlando
- East Coast Throwdown
- Evolution Championship Series (or EVO)
- Frosty Faustings
- Final Round
- NoRCal Regionals
- NoRCal Strongstyle (Tekken Tournament)
- SoCal Regionals
- Tougeki – Super Battle Opera (defunct)
- Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament (defunct)
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