Lunar Eclipse Phase: SNK brings SNK/KOF community together to celebrate a long history of fighting games
Last weekend, Lunar Phase hosted an SNK-focused event named Lunar Eclipse Phase: SNK at Next Level Arcade in Brooklyn, New York. The games hosted ranged from classic titles such as Samurai Shodown II and The King of Fighters ’98, to more modern titles like The King of Fighters XIII and The King of Fighters XIV. Numerous players came out from all over for the two day event, which I had the pleasure of attending personally.
While Friday was centered on side tournaments and exhibitions, Saturday was focused on the main tournaments. 9 games split between two streams provided by Lunar Phase themselves, and Min from 2Old2Furious, combined with 61 different players fighting for the gold, made an amazing weekend that was fun for everyone. Including the numerous spectators who came out to see what SNK games are all about.
After the event, I took a moment to sit down with Lunar Phase co-founder, LP | Monta and conduct a brief interview about how this event came to be. I also gained some insight into the operations behind the scenes.
Deezee: First off, I want to thank you for hosting such an awesome event last weekend. I had a great time and it looks like everyone else did too! Just to give everyone a background on how this event came about, tell us a little about Lunar Phase and what they do.
Monta: Lunar Phase is an event hosting and broadcasting group that mainly focuses on the FGC. While we mainly focus on French Bread titles such as Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late(st) and Melty Blood; we’ve also been very interested in doing other events that may have never been done before or are rarely seen within the FGC. We focus on the community first and E-Sports second.
Deezee: I definitely felt like I was hanging out with everyone rather than competing in a serious environment. It’s a good way to help battle nerves while playing. So, what brought up the idea to do an SNK-focused event?
Monta: Well 2 things: One of them was seeing the SNK guys come out every other week or so just hang out and play their game (usually KoF02UM and KoFXIV).
Second was inspiration from an event called Makai Cup. Which is a Vampire Savior specific event and thinking that it’d be cool to try implement something similar for the SNK community.
Deezee: Ah, very cool! We had a lot of notable players come out last weekend. I was very surprised to see some of the Louisiana and Texas crew on top of players from all over the Northeast. Were you expecting so many people to come out?
Monta: I was very optimistic on the potential for people to come out but it was definitely a bit more for certain games then I expected there to be. My biggest surprises were definitely the Louisiana group, El Rosa and the guys from Brooklyn Video Games. Did not expect Garou to reach 20 entrants like it did either or even the 30 people for KoFXIII.
Deezee: If you give people a place to play their games, they’ll find a way to show up. How did it feel when SNK opted to sponsor the event? I even saw some Japanese tweets mentioning Lunar Eclipse as well!
Monta: Felt pretty good to be more “official”. Glad to see SNK supporting events the way they do with things to give out to people who play their games and other support programs. I actually didn’t even know that some Japanese were talking about the event. In the future I would like to bring some and see more international players from different parts of the world.
Deezee: Yeah. It was very kind of you to raise money to fly out Luis Cha to participate. What made you want to bring a player to New York to compete?
Monta: I wanted to increase the hype for the event and bring more of the SNK community together. The added competition is always fun to watch as you see our local players trying to take him down in the games that he’s so well known in. I’ve also done this for Super TSB last year where I flew two Under Night players from different regions to come compete with us, and overall it definitely improved the quality and enjoyment of that event. In the future I would like to keep doing this.
Deezee: That’s good to know. From all the feedback I’ve read on Facebook and Twitter, it seems like this past weekend was a success. How often would these SNK-focused events come up if you continued to host them? Would you do anything differently for next time?
Monta: An SNK Event at this scale will continue to be an annual thing. Although as an effect of the event other community members such as DaiAndOh, Tamashii Eater, and Animonk are trying to run events and groups for Samurai Shodown 5 Special, Garou and The Last Blade 2. I would also like to keep seeing KoFXIII ran here in NYC; I feel that it is a game that is deeply loved and overall it’s always fun to watch.
If I did this again, I’d try to make it a Saturday/Sunday Event so I could split more time between games. I would also have to have a cap for the amount of games someone can enter; People entering 8 games was definitely crazy. For sure I’d try to split the time between the KoF games a lot more and try to give people more room to run casual sets.
Deezee: Despite some games running overtime, the overall feel of the event was overwhelmingly positive. Thank you again for giving our community a fun weekend! Before we finish up, where can people watch and support Lunar Phase?
Monta: You can support Lunar Phase by following our Twitter. You can also tune in and watch our events from home via our Twitch Channel. If you are interested in hanging out with us, join the Northeast French Bread Discord. Even though it is French Bread, we play and talk about a wide variety of games and topics.
I can personally say that Lunar Eclipse: Phase SNK was one of the best regional events I’ve been to in a long time. Lunar Phase did a great job hosting our community, and I look forward to seeing their group grow in the future.
Doctor Butler even created a hype reel highlighting some exciting moments from the weekend!
If you wish to take a look at the brackets and results from the event, feel free to check them out here.
Photo credit: https://twitter.com/goldencen