On Saturday, June 22nd, Lunar Phase hosted Full Moon 12, their monthly tournament series based in Brooklyn, New York at Next Level Arcade. A variety of games were hosted at the event, including Samurai Shodown V Special, and The King of Fighters XIII. There were also a few setups for the newest incarnation of Samurai Shodown for players to try the game ahead of it’s release, and a lot of skilled players came out to compete!
On March 23rd and 24th, over 60 participants duked it out in four different games in the “King of Fighters” franchise. Vegas Cup 3 is a KOF-centric tournament held by the local Vegas community and produced by VegasKOF. Players came from 7 different countries to fight in The King of Fighters 98: The Slugfest, The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match, The King of Fighters XIII, and the King of Fighters XIV. Vegas Cup 3 was also a qualifier tournament for the Neo Geo World Tour and lead to two brand new players entering the fray for the NGWT Season 2 Finals in August.
The King of Fighters 2002:
A special thanks to Paul Tiffany and NYCFurby for streaming, cutting, and uploading all the footage! You can watch all the match footage in the official channel here:
ET came ready to play in the beginning of the tournament. His first fight of the day was Luis Cha and he showed his skills in 2k2UM against a living legend like Cha. Each match was close and often down to the last character, but ET scraped by to advance. ZJZ went up against VegasKOF | Layec and he was relentless. While Layec’s Ryo showed impressive and unheard of skill, ZJZ dominated the match and advanced to winner’s finals. ET and ZJZ fought in back to back nail-biting matches, but it was ET that came out on top.
However, in loser’s bracket, the lone Japanese player, Sana, emerged after taking on VegasKOF | Johny. He worked his way through loser’s against Luis Cha and just kept picking up steam.
TC | Pizzero faced off against Vegas Cup newcomer, SeisMX, and eliminated him in a close set. However, Pizzero’s rise met a sudden fall as Layec eliminated him soon after. Layec then faced off against Sana in what could only be a titanic match between two.
Layec had his back to the corner, but his Vice came out swinging with a max mode confirm. Sana answered back by giving Vice the touch of death with Nameless, securing his spot in Loser’s Finals.
Loser’s finals between Sana and ZJZ was electrifying. ZJZ dominated at first taking a 2-1 lead against Sana, who’d fought his way through loser’s to get to this point. Sana switched Kula out for Choi and began his assault on ZJZ’s defenses. In the end, he pulled through and got a shot to run it back with ET.
KOF2k2UM Grand Finals
ET was waiting comfortably in winner’s side of grand finals, but Sana was hungry for victory. He started off with his Kula, K’, and Nameless team and hit the brick wall that was ET’s Kasumi, Bao, and Xiangfei. ET dominated the first two rounds and was poised for victory with a 2-0 lead. Sana went to character select and immediately switched Kula to Choi. From then on, Sana was on a tear, outplaying ET at every opportunity to win three games straight against the EVO champion to reset the bracket. Sana would be one of the very few to reset the bracket on ET that day.
ET went back to character select and picked up EX Chris on his team. From that point, it was curtains for the Japanese challenger. ET dominated from the reset to win 3-0 and secure his victory in 2002.
The King of Fighters XIII:
A special thanks to Paul Tiffany and NYCFurby for streaming, cutting, and uploading all the footage! You can watch all the match footage in the official channel here:
KOF XIII was the next top 8 with a lot of familiar faces. Top 8 winners began with El Matador vs. El Rosa. El Matador had tied for fifth in Vegas Cup 2 having lost to RG | Huevo. This year, he came determined to win. He fought off El Rosa in close matches against his Hwa, Shen, and Vice vs. Mr. Karate, Kim, and Yuri for El Matador to secure his win. ET faced off against VegasKOF | Wero Asamiya in a run back of grand finals from Vegas Cup 2.
ET played a stellar game 1 against Wero, but started to falter as Wero started to pick up steam. His EX Iori had run through Duolon and Mr. Karate in game 2, and ET could only rely on clark to get rid of Wero’s Iori and Mr. Karate. ET mounted the comeback to end all comebacks to put Wero into loser’s with his Clark, 2-0.
Running the Gauntlet in Loser’s
Loser’s bracket began and RG | Huevo vs. TDF | TxC ViolentKain was up next and it was a match not seen since EVO 2016. One person was going home and one person was advancing. Both competitors fought hard in back and forth sets with RG | Huevo mounting a solid defense with Clark in the first game and ViolentKain battling back with his Mr. Karate in the second set. In the final set, ViolentKain kept the pressure on with his Kyo to finish off his opponent 2-1.
The next elimination match was TC | Yoshi vs. VegasKOF Layec. Sporting the only Chin in top 8, TC Yoshi tore through VegasKOF’s Mr. Karate, but Layec’s Hwa Jai managed to pull off some unheard of maneuvers to tear through the rest of Yoshi’s team.
In the second set, Yoshi brought it back with his Chin and finished off Mr. Karate and Hwa Jai. It all came down to Layec’s Maxima. A few exchanges were all it took for Layec’s Maxima to rip through Chin and Shen, ending the match in a tense back and forth where Layec baited Yoshi to roll so he could punish with EX Maxima Press.
El Rosa and ViolentKain were up next in a team elimination kill for Texas Crew. El Rosa sported Vice, Mature, and Hwa Jai while ViolentKain kept his EX Iori, Kyo, and Mr. Karate. The first match went convincingly to El Rosa as he gained a solid lead against Violent Kain’s EX Iori and presented brick wall to ViolentKain’s offense. The second set was all EX Iori as he managed to rack up damage performing the Aoi Bana rekka infinite multiple times for an OCV.
After that loss, El Rosa switched out Shen for Kensou for the final fight. ViolentKain did not let El Rosa’s Kensou started. He anti-aired with the rekka into the infinite series. EX Iori secured two more confirms into the infinite series against Hwa Jai. As a result, this put El Rosa in a big disadvantage, and softened him up for the ViolentKain’s Kyo to finish the job.
Maxima breaks top 5?!
In another team kill, VegasKOF Layec would go up against VegasKOF Wero Asamiya. The two competitors and teammates went at each other, and Layec came out on top in the first set sporting his Mr. Karate, Shen, and Maxima while Wero played Mr. Karate, EX Iori, and King.
Layec showed immense skill with his Mr. Karate in both sets to deal with Wero’s Mr. Karate and EX Iori. He rode the life lead to his first victory. Wero adjusted and brought it all the way back with his team in the second set. It came down to Layec’s Maxima in the last round, and he did not disaapoint. Maxima held the line and secured victory for Layec, 2-0 over Wero Asamiya.
KOF XIII – Winner’s Finals
ET vs. MTDR | El Matador promised to be an exciting match. ET was the returning Vegas Cup champion in KOF XIII. Matador came in as the hometown hero in his first Winner’s Finals for KOF XIII at Vegas Cup 3. The first two sets against the champ were intense and rough for Matador who struggled to stop the offense and spacing tactics of ET’s Benimaru. The last set was an adjustment made by ET and solidified his defense against every opportunity by Matador to crack him. As a result, ET secured his victory 3-0.
VegasKOF Layec vs. TDF | TxC ViolentKain saw two titanic teams fighting for a chance at El Matador in Loser’s Finals. Layec was riding high from his dominate matches, but ViolentKain was on fire from the fantastic play he displayed in the earlier matches. Layec played Mr. Karate, Maxima, and Hwa Jai while Violent Kain stuck with his Mr. Karate, EX Iori, and Kyo.
However, Mr. Karate did a lot of work for Violent Kain in maneuvering around Layec’s defenses and breaking stalemates. As a result, the match was tense and everything was put on the line. Riding that momentum from the last match, ViolentKain came out on top to advance to Loser’s Finals for KOF XIII.
MTDR | El Matador would face off against TDF | TxC ViolentKain in his final chance for the crown. The hometown hero put up a miraculous fight against Violent Kain. However, the challenger put up a daunting fight with his Mr. Karate, EX Iori, and Kyo.
Advancing to the next set, El Matador brought the fight to ViolentKain with Kim by tearing through Kyo and Mr. Karate. EX Iori waited as an anchor in a 2 to 1 situation, and that did not stop him. Against all odds, Iori ran through Kim and finished Yuri in the second set with a rekka infinite.
Now, 2-0, El Matador switched out the Mr. Karate for Benimaru. ViolentKain’s Mr. Karate presented a wall to Kim and Benimaru in the first part of the set. ViolentKain found the holes in the offense by El Matador and used reversals to break through. The match ended with Mr. Karate tearing through El Matador’s anchor, Yuri, for an OCV finish to eliminate Matador 3 to 0.
KOF XIII Grand Finals
On Winner’s side, ET sat comfortably waiting for a challenger. Meanwhile, ViolentKain had climbed all the way to Loser’s side of of the bracket. ET had to win 3 matches and ViolentKain needed 6. ET got in one round, but ViolentKain battled back to reset the bracket 3 to 1.
The returning champion switched around his order to place Mr. Karate at anchor and shore up his defense. ViolentKain blew past them by converting anti-airs, empty jumps, command grabs, and even instant supers for impressive amount of damage. He tried to stay ahead of ET as he mounted is comeback.
In the reset, ET regained his composure and battled with everything he had by switching out Clark for Hwa Jai. ViolentKain was still hungry for victory and fought back against the champion. Hwa Jai presented a significant challenge to ViolentKain’s team in the hands of ET. The final match began with ViolentKain managing to sink the Hwa Jai to even up the score. However, ViolentKain fell to Mr. Karate as ET rose again as the champion for The King of Fighters XIII at Vegas Cup 3!
This weekend, the Neo Geo World Tour stops in LA for the Socal Retro Gaming Expo. Players competed in intense fighting over two days to crown the KOF XIV champion of the event. It came down to Luis Cha and TxC | El Rosa. Luis Cha battled out of loser’s bracket in Grand Finals to force a reset with a 3-0 lead. On the reset, El Rosa battled back and took the qualifier spot 3-1. This will be El Rosa’s first time qualifying for the Neo Geo World Tour.
The 11th monthly tournament hosted by Dream Cancel had exciting matches on PS4. Hawaii Monkey took his Joe and ran through loser’s bracket all the way to loser’s finals. There was intense back and forth between Purest (Shota), but Hawaii Monkey could not be stopped. He took that momentum into Grand Finals against KenshixHimura. Using his Joe, Monkey rushed down Kenshi into a bracket reset and took the title. Not new to online tournaments, this marks a return for HawaiiMonkey to competitive KOF XIV after a break.
Full Moon #9 in New York City featured some big name competitors like Marco Polo, Vic Viper, Romulus, and Shadow780. Top 4 was an intense back and forth between Vic Viper and Animonk, leading into a tense fight between Shadow780 and Animonk. In Grand Finals, Marco Polo took his patented Luong to a 2-0 victory to take the crown.
The month of December will be very eventful for King of Fighters XIV events both online and offline in the US! The “King of Winter” is a campaign to bring awareness to these stellar events with their rich talent! Spearheaded by the collaborative efforts of the US KOF community, Dreamcancel will be promoting these events!
Don’t miss out! If you can’t attend, be sure to watch!
We hope you enjoy this action-packed December as the “King of Winter” rages on! We’ll be adding more tournaments in to the list as they’re announced. Be sure to also check the Worldwide KOF Calender to keep aware!
Matcherino is a eSports crowdfunding & streaming site that is currently being used to help crowdfund NorCal Regionals 2017! They currently use PayPal at the moment, so feel free to contribute what you can for the prize pot!
Check out this SNK supported monthly tournament that features King of Fighters XIV, that will be held in Manhattan, New York! This event goes down March 18th, at XenoZero! It will be streamed live on the twitch.tv/kpblive stream!
I was asked to write down my thoughts about heading to the recent edition of the Chicago area winter tournament stalwart: Frosty Faustings.
Traveling from DC headquarters up in the Twin Cities, MN to Chicago twice annually (for both Frosty’s and Combo Breaker) is a time honored tradition now for the members of the KoF scene in Minnesota. We drove down Thursday morning so we’d have lots of time to settle in and find other players to get games in with.
For its entire existence Frosty’s has been one of the premiere national tournaments for anime players, especially Guilty Gear, but it has also for many years attracted Midwest KoF scenes (MN, Chicago, Indiana, Ohio etc) to meet up and duke it out. Over the last three years, tracking with the overall expansion seen in other FGC events, Frosty’s has gone from being run in medium sized bars to full blown majors-sized venues. Last year there were definitely struggles seen in venue size being too small, split areas of where brackets were run, as well as some very late running brackets. We chatted about these issues on the way down and hoped the move to an even larger venue would improve the tournament experience.
The venue opened up on Friday and we made our way down from the also crowded overflow hotel just down the street. Already a testament to the increased popularity of the Frosty’s event was that the venue hotel had sold out Saturday night sometime just after Thanksgiving. We were not accustomed to having to be worrying about getting a room at this normally modest sized regional event, so we late to booking a room. Getting to the venue the scope of why this happened was clear.
Four years ago Frosty’s was being held in a moderate sized bar/gaming space called Game Pazzo in a strip mall. We walked into a venue that was at least as big as the old UFGT/first Combo Breaker venue, which is to say a large sized major tournament. It was quite impressive that they’ve managed to evolve this far! Across the board there was a electrifying atmosphere all weekend as news of Xrd Rev2, the first major US tournaments for both SFV season 2 and BlazBlue CF happening here and a bevy of top players in each game traveling to the event, brought a truly majors-tournament level of excitement.
Having traveled to CEOtaku in October this was the second major I have attended for KoF XIV. Friday I spent all my time in the venue getting games in with players from Atlanta, Michigan, San Francisco and lots of other places. Outside of the first UFGT during the KoF XIII era, I have never attended a tourney that matched this one is the amounts of different KoF scenes that have been able to make it to a single event. It was very heartening and fun to get so many matches in with so many different people. We tried to go to sleep early, but struggled to leave such a lively venue.
Saturday for tournament day the heavy hitters showed up. Top players El Rosa, Violent Kain, Kusanagi, Goichi, KCO_Pedro and KaneBlueRiver all traveled to the event, as well as local area gods James Jr., Mario E and Mooney Blues. It was a stacked tournament and I was sad to miss quite a few great matches in pools that could easily have been a grand finals at a lesser tournament. All told more than 70 people registered for the KoF XIV tournament.
Top 8 was the most exciting I’ve see live so far for a XIV tournament. With the absolute thriller being Mooney Blues v Goichi from Japan which I won’t spoil for you. As a game XIV seems to be developing a fun to watch ‘high stakes’ sort of meta with people fishing at mid to long range into Max Mode or baiting movement at close range. Violent Kain was especially good at punishing people for ill timed movement options.
After the tournament was complete everyone stuck around the stations to get in more casuals even though most were exhausted at that point. Violent Kain and El Rosa recorded a FT10. KCO_Pedro got lots of games in with anyone willing. But, one of my favorite moments of the event was late on Saturday night as a dozen or so of us just stood back and looked at the character select screen explaining our thoughts on various characters and where XIV might go in the future.
As me and the other Minnesota players were leaving the venue to pass out in our hotel room we ran into Kane Blue River who showed us the amazing prize each person in top 8 got:
He also gave us great advice in that whenever we can do this (meaning travel to tournaments) we should. Kane said there were a couple players back in Chile that we easily as good as him, but simply couldn’t travel. Solid advice and motivation to try to get to as many events outside your scene as possible. We drove home Sunday with hours of discussions about where XIV is headed as a game, which characters need more exploration and of course what we can do as a scene to improve our play.
To end this I really need to say what an amazing job the TO’s of Frosty Faustings did this year. They have evolved so far in the nine years and this tournament ran as smooth as any I’ve ever been to. If anything they may have already outgrown the size of their event again by next year. Hope to see everyone again at Combo Breaker in May.
Check out this SNK supported monthly tournament that features King of Fighters XIV, that will be held in Manhattan, New York! This event goes down January 21st, at XenoZero! It will be streamed live on the twitch.tv/kpblive stream!