This article is part of our FGC series.
Here we are, everyone. After three days of fighting game action, it’s all come down to this.
Championship Sunday at the Norcal Regionals 2018.
With so many games going down on this final day, I figured I would breakdown all the action quick-hit style. So come with me as we journey through the Top 8 for Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Street Fighter V!
- Starting out the day with some Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite and Christopher “NYChrisG” Gonzalez is still too damn good. Not only did he make it to another grand final, but he easily 3-0’d to get the win. He continues to be the king of MvC.
- Can I just say that MvCI just looks weird after playing so much Dragon Ball FighterZ. I’ll take anime over this weird “trying too hard to be realistic” art style this game has going on. Also, what is this 2-vs-2 in a tag team business?? 3-vs-3 or riot.
- Now that MvCI is done, let’s get into some Tekken 7. I always forget how technical this game is. No big flashy special moves, no stuns. There isn’t even a combo counter on the screen! Sure, you have Rage Arts, but they get blocked and countered so often that you don’t really see them much. For the most part, it’s just straight up classic fighting game action. Punch your opponent more and win.
- No one punches their opponents more in Tekken than Echo Fox players. Seriously, what is it with this team and dominating fighting games? It’s even more apparent in Tekken 7 as we’ve seen Kim “JDCR” Hyun Jin and Choi “Saint” Jin Woo in the top-four in three of the biggest tournaments (EVO 2017, Tekken World Tour Finals 2017, and Final Round 2018). Well, make that four tournaments as they did it again this time.
- Like clockwork, Saint picked up the win after a tense final set against Qudans. The sun never sets on the Echo Fox Empire, apparently.
- DBFZ time and we start out with Derek “Nakkiel” Bruscas showing off his new team, Panda Global! After tweeting earlier in the day that he had signed with Team Youporn in what ended up being nothing more than an April Fool’s Joke (bet you forgot that was an esports organization, huh?), he dramatically put on a Panda Global jacket to announce his actual team. Unfortunately, he was immediately defeated 2-0 in the losers’ bracket. Keep an eye on this guy moving forward, though!
- Shoutout to Naoki “Moke” Nakayama and NYChrisG for playing Trunks in a sea of Adult Gohans. With so many players leaning on the oppressive character, it was nice to see some other characters on the roster get some love.
- We’ve got ourselves a runback...of a series from MvCI earlier in the day between Jonathon “Cloud805” Morales and Steve “Supernoon” Carbajal. Both players are running Kid Buu, which is awesome because his kit is pretty fun to watch.
- I have to take a second and talk about the level of hype that this game has brought to the FGC already. As the casters talked about a lot over the weekend, we’ve already got regional rivalries popping up (NorCal vs. SoCal was a big one this weekend) as well as rivalries between players. All this after two months. Imagine what things will look like in a year or two.
- I’ll admit, I’m newer to the FGC -- having only followed since the 2016 Capcom Cup -- so excuse me if y’all already know this, but Chris “HellPockets” Fields was killing it on commentary all weekend long. While I missed Michael “Yipes” Mendoza, HellPockets filled that spot pretty damn well.
- Supernoon coming out of nowhere with a hell of a showing this weekend. He took a clean 2-0 over Yusuke “Momochi” Momochi to secure a top-four placing. This was after he finished third in the MvCI bracket earlier in the day. Along with Nakkiel, this is a guy to keep your eye on as the year progresses
- THIS SET BETWEEN NYCHRISG AND SUPERNOON! My word. Supernoon with the 1-vs-3 comeback using Kid Buu, including taking down 90 percent of ChrisG’s Vegeta’s health with about 10 percent of his own. The final exchange where he back-dashed to dodge the Dragon Rush before moving in for the final bit of damage was absolutely insane. Again, watch this kid!
- Goichi “GO1” Kishida hot damn. Moke probably put him closest to the brink, but of course Goichi pulled it out in the end and added yet another win to his mantle. Can this man be stopped?
- Alright, it’s Street Fighter V time! Right out the gate we jump right into Du “Nuckledu” Dang vs. Daigo “The Beast” Umehara in one hell of a match. Nuckledu has been pulling out all the stops this weekend, playing three (!!!) different characters instead of sticking with his signature Guile. It was his Cammy that took down the legend and put him in the winners’ finals.
- This man Kong “Verloren” Hyungsuk has been putting in work this weekend. He came out the gate firing on all cylinders against Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi in the winners’ semifinals. Tokido managed the reverse sweep, but Verloren damn sure made him work for it.
- Lee “Infiltration” Seon-woo in the losers’ bracket is a weird thing to see. But he expertly navigated the Menat mirror against Justin Wong to move into the losers’ quarters.
- I think we need to sit down and talk about Abigail. This character is seemingly catching people off guard left and right. The sheer size of this dude is enough to throw anyone off, I’ll admit. But the buffs that he received with the release of Arcade Edition have catapulted this guy into a seemingly top-tier character here in Season 3.
- My man Verloren taking it to Infiltration in the losers’ quarters! He even forced the EVO Japan champion onto Juri after taking a 2-1 lead. Verloren simply couldn’t hold it together against Infiltration in the end, though. But still, top-six!
- After some long sets earlier in the night, Daigo absolutely bodied Bruce “GamerBee” Yu-lin Hsiang in the losers’ quarters. Watching him play is like watching poetry in motion, I swear. The legend lives on!
- D’oh! Nuckledu with the accidental pause that loses him a round in the winners’ finals. It ended up being pretty crucial since this one went to five rounds and Tokido picked up the win. If this ends up being the end for Nuckledu, you have to wonder if this was a fatal mistake.
- Balance patch coming on April 3! Wonder if that will adjust some of the issues we talked about above with Abigail.
- EVO Japan and Final Round champion, who?! Daigo knocked Infiltration all over the place with a 3-0 decimation in the losers’ semfinals. This man is just looking so damn clean!
- Excuse me while I chant “USA!” over in the corner by myself. Daigo unceremoniously kicked Nuckledu around in the losers’ finals and I’m sad now. Told you that the pause would come back to haunt him!
- THIS GRAND FINALS SET! Okay, I know it was fairly one-sided with Tokido winning 3-1, but Daigo made this thing incredibly close. Both Games 3 and 4 went down to pixels as he almost managed to get a reverse sweep going. In the end, Tokido proved just how strong he is with yet another notch in his growing belt.
And there you have it. Another stellar weekend in the FGC is in the books. Congrats to all the winners.
Now we get to just sit here and wait until we can experience all of this again soon. Until next time!