In two words, I have summed up the extent of the talking points about why I or any other average tournament goer should attend the Video X Games tournament on the island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean. Well, that’s being a little disingenuous, but that phrase became an iconic part of the FGC for the 4-6 month period that the tournament was being promoted, more so than any other part of the marketing. Aside from “da beech,” it also had people we were supposed to like promoting it too! Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez, Mike Ross, Justin Wong, Peter “Combofiend” Rosas, Chris Gonzalez, Ryan “Fillipino Champ” Ramirez, Maximilian “Maximilian_Dood” Christiansen, even celebrities outside of the FGC like known cosplayer and model Jessica Nigri and rapper Soulja Boy. And if all that wasn’t enough, there was eighty five-thousand dollars in total up for grabs. By God, if you didn’t attend VxG, you were missing out on an event that was going to be the greatest thing to grace the FGC since perler bead art!
…Until it happened, of course.
Y’know, it? Big organization comes out of nowhere, promises a bunch of money, then splits before ever handing out more than 1/3 of said money? Yeah, that.
Welcome to another edition of “Money for Nothing,” where we look at tournaments in the FGC that promised big and then failed to actually deliver, in more ways than one. Today’s featured tournament is the VxG event from 2013, which may actually be more infamous for the buildup than the actual controversies. But we’ll get to that.
As a youngster, I was all over TestYourMight.com. The FGC is full of characters, and forums were the ultimate haven for loud personalities to shine, thanks to the anonymity of the internet. But this kind of digital autobahn isn’t for everyone, and tempers can flare even under the most innocuous of circumstances. Some of the bolder individuals in the community may even go so far as to engage in flame wars, under the guise of “keeping it real.” While this is all well and good, there is a time and a place to engage in a war of words with geeks on a forum.
I definitely don’t recommend keeping it real if you happen to be a member of the team running the majority of large scale tournaments for the community.
Back in the dizzay (The dizzay is roughly 2014, just for reference), the NRS scene had grown a bit, but was still pretty small. I wanna say that the NEC 2013 tournament in Philadelphia was the biggest tournament we had that wasn’t Evo, with a whopping 127 entrants. And that was an anomaly! So, needless to say, we weren’t headlining any tournaments.
One thing that hasn’t really changed since then is how much of an imbalance there was in the location of the various NRS scenes across the country. My local Arizona scene was very, very small, and California was a 6 hour drive away to hold casuals with a slightly bigger group, although no less talented; Injustice 2 Pro Series finalists George “Nubcakes” Silva, Rogue’s Frank “Slayer” Perales, and Echo Fox’s Jivan “Theo” Karapetian were three of their regular players. Aside from another small holdout in the Washington area, the western part of the country was pretty sparse when it came to bumping NRS hubs.
Let me start off this post by defining a feeling that many people in the fighting game community are experiencing now but may not quite know how to articulate. From Webster’s Online Dictionary:
Schadenfreuden. – Enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others.
Schadenfreude has infected the FGC very quickly in the past couple years, and it’s pretty obvious why. But first, a little backstory:
Capcom, many years removed from their glory days, released sequels to its incredibly popular franchises Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom in pretty rapid succession in the late aughts. Both of the series’ previous entries were revivals of sorts, new games in franchises that had been long dormant, with Street Fighter 4 first hitting arcades in in the Summer of 2008, and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 arriving in February 2011.