The day began bright and early, kicking off at 8 AM PST for pools matches in Street Fighter V, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Guilty Gear XRD -Revelator-, Ultimate Marvel v Capcom 3, Tekken 7, Mortal Kombat XL, Pokken Tournament along with every other side tournament imaginable. There will, for example, be a competitive Catherine tournament at EVO 2016 (much like last year) and it is surprisingly compelling. There were, however, a few select panels running throughout the day that promised a lot of new details on Street Fighter V and Killer Instinct.
Street Fighter V Panel
There is no mistaking that Street Fighter V, Capcom's latest in the long-running series, has managed to bring in a lot of new eyes on the tournament scene. It had issues at launch, though the team over at Capcom have been whipping it into shape as time has gone on. The game's appeal is large and it has helped to grow the FGC as a whole since its release. Tournament entry numbers and viewership have proven that but Capcom is far from done with their flagship title.
No new characters were announced but some new costumes are incoming including R. Mika and Chun-Li's summer outfits. Both are available now for $3.99 They also mentioned that all colors for costumes will be available for sale soon. The current means of acquiring them, via Survival Mode, is an exercise in frustration and offering the option to simply purchase them is welcome.
Other incoming bits include "nostalgic" costumes for both Alex and Ibuki including their familiar Third Strike outfits and the Thailand stage from Street Fighter II. The big news, however, came in the form of the Capcom CPT Premiere pack.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn9jaQKlPOc
Those who wish to put some funding directly into the Capcom Cup prize pool fund can do so with the Capcom CPT Premiere pack as a portion of all proceeds raised go directly to the 2016 prize fun for the Capcom Pro Tour finals in December. New costumes for Chun-Li, Cammy and a third "mystery" outfit to be determined later along with a new stage, "Ring of Destiny", that includes dynamic scrolling banners to display the tournament on tap that week. It will be available for use at EVO this weekend supposedly. Every character will also get the CPT's color scheme, blue and yellow, as a theme as well. This is an interesting step towards offering more investment from the fanbase in the product. It's similar to Dota 2's compendiums as means to boost the prize fund for The International.
Killer Instinct Panel
Iron Galaxy and Microsoft took to the panel stage immediately after Capcom to talk about what's next for Killer Instinct. The presentation kicked off with a look at the "KI Ultra Tour". $15,000 will be split between the Top 8 of EVO 2016 followed by $45,000 for numerous KI World Cup Events, with Ultra Arcade in partnership, and the remainder ($40,000) will be for KI Ultra Tour online matches. The KI Ultra Tour will wrap up with the KI World Cup 2017 in San Antonio, Texas.
"Shadow Lords", the upcoming story mode for Killer Instinct, received a major preview at this panel including the main reason for its existence. Gargos, a series mainstay villain and playable character, is looking to take over the globe."We've gone through the classic fighting games and found the worst of the worst of unfair boss buffs, and handed them all to Gargos," mentioned KI team developer James Goddard. The only way to deal with Gargos' downright unfair amount of buffs to his power is to complete missions throughout the "Shadow Lords" mode. Each playthrough makes for a different aspect of Gargos "disabled" and, thus, encourages multiple playthroughs.
Players, too, will have the option to gain buff-granting equipment through the game's story mode that not only help against Gargos but can be taken online into a separate multiplayer mode that should result in plenty of salty matches. "Shadow Lords" releases on September 20th with an incoming limited beta for players happening within the next month.
The eight and final character for Season 3 of Killer Instinct will be unveiled tomorrow before Top 8 begins in Killer Instinct. What does Iron Galaxy have up their sleeve this time? Tune in tomorrow, fight fans, for all the details.
Day 1 Pools
The number of entrants in games such as Street Fighter V, Smash Bros. Melee and Wii U broke records for this year's EVO and resulted in a whole lot of brackets to work through. Street Figher V, with over 5,000 entrants, will continue its pools on Saturday but, for now, the most notable events of Day 1 for SF5 consist of Brazil's own Keoma being eliminated by Chile's Chancho Kay (who made waves at Lima Salty 3 earlier this year), Graham Wolfe getting knocked out very early 0-2 and ROM also getting bounced out quickly at 0-2. This player tracker can help keep track of your favorite pro's progression through the ranks to Top 8.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQNJ3nA8CwE https://twitter.com/FightingGameGif/status/754195701786107904
Rion (Ky) vs. GGP|Kazunoko (Raven)
Machaboo (Sin) vs. Nakamura (Millia)
Ogawa (Zato-1) vs. PG|MarlinPie (Zato-1)
Omito (Johnny) vs. TopGaren (Zato-1)
Other favorites such as DLink| LordKnight, Faust player Nage along with HM|Dogura also finding unceremonious ends to their road to EVO Finals. Can MarlinPie hold up against the likes of such killers as Kazunoko and Ogawa? Tune in Sunday to find out, anime people.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa9IGC2-R7Y
The entirety of Tekken 7: Fated Retribution's pool play, all the way to determining Top 8, can be found above courtesy of Bifuteki's YouTube channel. Saturday's Top 8 for Tekken 7 looks like this:
Saint (JACK-7) vs. Knee (Bryan, Akuma)
GeeseMaster (Feng) vs. Secret|Poongko (Akuma)
Take (Bryan) vs. Yamasa|Nobi (Dragunov)
Narakhof (Claudio) vs. Circa|Speedkicks (Hwoarang, Lars)
A big surprise has to be Korea's JDCR not making it through to Top 8. He was the odds-on favorite to win the whole thing and he doesn't even qualify through. Two welcome surprises, however, are in Team Secret's Poongko making it with Akuma and Circa|Speedkicks powering through with Hwoarang's lightning legs. I watched all of Top 16 and it was well worth a look for those at home. Some seriously intense matches that have only left me salivating for more Tekken 7. Top 8 of Tekken 7 kicks off on Saturday at 9 AM PST on SRKEVO1.
Smash Bros. Melee has worked its way down to Top 32 on Day 1 and the remaining Smashers include the likes of Mang0, HungryBox, Mew2King and more. The entire Top 32 bracket is as follows:
SF|Javi vs. PG|Plup
C9|Mang0 vs. mYi|Ice
WFX|Shroomed vs. Tempo|Axe
Liquid|Hungybox vs. Liquid|Chillindude
Swedish Delight vs. CLG.PewPewU
FOX MVG Mew2King vs. Gravy
Duck vs. VGBC Chudat
Armada vs. Lucky
Smash God vs. SPY|Nintendude
G2|Westballz vs. CLG.SFAT
SP|Cactuar vs. TGL|DruggedFox
Tempo|S2J vs. Froot Loop
EMG|n0ne vs. COG|Wizzrobe
SP|Zhu vs. Laudandus
Amino Mike Haze vs. SS|Colbol
PG|Wobbles vs. The Moon
A few names aside from the usual jump out of this list and those who've followed the Smash scene for more than the past few years will know full and well that some of the founding fathers of the scene are in the mix. Daniel "Chudat" Rodriguez is one of the original members of the Southern California scene who helped establish Ice Climbers as a viable choice though they were once considered extremely low-tier. Kashan "Chillindude" Khan has been around since the inception of the Melee competitive scene and his work in crew battles and in team competition is well known. Some of the Smash Brothers are out in full force alongside four of the Five Gods (Mang0, HungryBox, Armada and Mew2King). Top 32 will roll on Saturday starting at 4 PM PST on SRKEVO3https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KplTqjiHoiA
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U or Smash4 seemed to be in quite an interesting spot going to EVO 2016. The registrant numbers were immensely high, the golden boy ZeRo had been on a bit of a losing streak and upstart dT|ANTi picked up the win at last month's CEO 2016. It was a day of near upsets and what feels to be a possible shakeup within the power structure of Smash4. The usual suspects are assembled but some new names are out and about as well. The Top 32 is as follows:
SS|Mr. E vs Vinnie
Regi vs CL6|VoiD
LLL|Mr. R vs Kamemushi
Earth vs Xaltis
dT|Dabuz vs Komorikiri
Ally vs MVG dyr
Liquid|Nairo vs Ranai
Larry Lurr vs Abadango
TSM|ZeRo vs Hyuga
NME|Tyrant vs Naifu|KEN
Ito vs K9|sBruce
Pugwest vs Dath (Does he use male or female?)
SS vs Rich Brown
UR|Ned vs Marss
PG|ESAM vs PG|Trela
Vexx|Day vs Circa|6WX
How will Smash4 shake out? Can ZeRo return to the mountain top at EVO? Will ESAM make waves, Ally bring the thunder or can someone such as Larry Lurry or Mr. R solidify their place in the ever-changing pantheon of greatness? So many questions going into Top 32 on Saturday. All the action starts on SRKEVO2 at 8 AM PST.
That's it for Day 1 of EVO 2016. We'll be back for more tomorrow with an updated look at pools/finals of tournaments and bring more stories/images from the front lines of the FGC's biggest event. Stay free, Internet.