Lupe Fiasco Kicked And Pushed Through The Celebrity SFV Charity Tournament

On Friday, four celebrities fought for $25,000 towards their favorite charity in the ELeague Street Fighter V competition. They set out to prove that they are more than just celebrities but can also fit into the world of competitive gaming.

Before participants Eva Marie (WWE), Lupe Fiasco (Grammy winner), Reggie Bush (NFL), and Shaquille O’Neal (NBA) went on stage, they all were given advice by the top players in the game with one important rule, don’t jump.

Before they hit the stage, they do their ceremonial signature handshakes with their coaches.

ROUND 1… FIGHT!!!

Eva Marie, playing with Laura, against the NBA Hall of Famer Shaq as he played with Ryu. She didn’t take too kindly with his hidden skills.

Eva got the best of Shaq with the first win, but he caught wind to her jumping and he countered with multiple uppercuts and spin-kicks to win. In between the rounds, while Shaq was celebrating, his coach held the joystick to block until he was able to sit back down. She felt she was cheated and wanted another shot.

ROUND 2… FIGHT!!!

Lupe Fiasco with Ken battles against Reggie Bush’s Zangief. Lupe headed into the competition as a semi-pro player himself after beating pro player Diago Umehara. Fiasco came in strong but underestimated Bush.

Bush got one victory against Fiasco but it wasn’t enough to get him to the finals.

FINAL ROUND… FIGHT!!!

It is down to Fiasco and Shaq, and button mashing was not going to work against Lupe. He referred to this round as “easy money”.

So easy that Fiasco during the match let go of the game board and went into the audience and Shaq still couldn’t finish the job, Resulting in a 0-2 victory for Lupe.

Now that the fun and games are over with the celebrity tournament, the ELeague invitational will resume with the pro players on May 5 with Group C.

CEO Dreamland Suffers A Nightmare Following a $20,000 Loss

Community Effort Orlando Dreamland, known for hosting Super Smash Bros. tournaments, may not be returning in 2018 following its $20,000 net loss. The cost of venue rentals, equipment, and hiring staff for the event are costly according to CEO owner Alex Jebailey.

In a tweet, Jebailey jokes about getting messages regarding the news.

This may be the best option to gather enough money to host the next event. Like other sports, e-sports is also a business that needs funding to host tournaments. The loss doesn’t seem much compared to over $200,000 in prizes offered to players, but the money from the venue and prize money come from two different places.

Payouts can come from a venue if it’s in a local tournament like a neighborhood game store. When sponsors invest in the tournament, that money goes towards prizes, while entry fees to compete goes to the venue and used for hosting including console setups and decorations.

Not bringing the tournament back next year can give more players additional time to pay and to train for 2019. CEO can have a year-long registration with perks for those who register early like free shirts or wristbands. Although the tournament is dedicated to Smash Bros. Jebailey can make up for the cost by incorporating more games into the tournament. Adding other fighting games like King of Fighters and Tekken will bring in more players, bringing in more revenue. Another alternative is to raise the price of admission into the tournaments.

If CEO doesn’t make a return next year, it won’t be over for good. CEO has established itself as the sixth leading Smash Bros. tournament following Super Smash Con, Genesis, and EVO.

This news comes a week after Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios won first place in the Smash 4 finals at CEO Dreamland April 16. If Jebailey decides to bring it back for 2018, he said it will take place at Daytona Beach convention hall for the finals.

Group B Players May Be In The Wrong Place At The Wong Time.

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Current bracket for group B in the SFV tournament airing on TBS April 21 (Photo: E-League)

As Street Fighter V fans patiently wait for the match featuring Victor “Punk” Woodley and Yusuke Momochi in Group A, Justin Wong can look to dominate Group B for a spot in the playoffs April 21.

The competitors for this group include Hiroyuki “Eita” Nagata facing Daigo “The Beast” Umehara, and Justin Wong facing Bruce “Gamerbee” Hsiang in the first rounds. Players Darryl “Snake Eyez” Lewis and Eduardo “PR Balrog” Perez secured their spot in the prelims and are waiting to play the winners from those matches.

The one to watch out for in the competition would have to be Justin Wong. This guy is everywhere, and not only is he highly skilled in Street Fighter, but in other fighting games including the upcoming Tekken 7 which includes Street Fighter’s Akuma.

It would be great to see Wong go against PR Balrog in a rematch. The last time the former Evil Geniuses teammates met were in the prelims, where Perez beat Wong 2-1 and was able to score a perfect KO. This was one of the few times Wong wore his nerves on his sleeve, but if they meet again and if he can let that match stay in the past, we can see a different outcome.

That does mean he would have to win through the rounds and beat Snake Eyez. If he loses they will face each other in the loser’s bracket if he beats a pending opponent.

Perez, who mainly plays with no other than Balrog, dominated in the Capcom tour with the character. He is said to be one of the best Balrog players in the game and continues to prove it to his competition. He continues fighting in tournaments after a failed retirement announcement in 2016.

My prediction is we can possibly see this match-up in the playoff spot if Umehara wins against Eita. Leading to a rematch between him and Wong from EVO 2014 where Wong lost in a comeback victory in Street Fighter III. To sum it up, Wong has two scores to settle.

If it comes down to the two I would bet on Wong as he is a Genius World Record holder for his win streak of 300-0. He mains with Karin, but if he chooses to use Akuma sometime in the competition, he will be untouchable.

But we must wait and see if that match will take place, or if there will be upsets in the bracket. The only way to find out is to tune in Friday on TBS.

Esports Possibly Joining The Olympics by 2020

Esports have grown so big that it’s up for consideration for the 2020 Olympics after the International Olympic Committee responded to the International e-sports Federation with the steps needed to make it a reality.  The sport has already been included in the 2018 Asian Games.

This is big news for gamers who spend countless hours online and competing in tournaments. It’s exciting for gamers to know that one day their skills in their favorite games can make them Olympic champions. But hold on from blowing balloons and making space on the shelf because gamers will have questions as to what will make them a qualified participant if this dream sees light.

It’s going to be different seeing these players on a bigger stage outside of CEO and EVO. These are guys who leave with a lot of money from these competitions and I am not sure how much an Olympic athlete makes but these kids, and some adults, make more in a weekend than a teacher or police officer does in a year. But on the other hand, I wonder if there will be a special medal for them?

In the world of competitive gaming, there are multiple games from Rocket League to League of Legends that offer big tournaments with major payouts behind them. Before players make their bid, it’s important to first know what game(s) will qualify. My bet is it will definitely be team player games such as the ones mentioned above that take strategic planning. so I’m sorry, Splatoon players, but you’ll still have to stick to the local competitions.

More people are buying into the growing brand, including the NBA, which announced that they will start their own e-league by next year. The market is expected to grow to a billion-dollar industry by 2019 according to USA Today.

Although the games aren’t mentioned, there are already talks of who will be participating, including Brazil, Great Britain, and the United States. What makes this even crazier is that card games such as poker were pushing for a spot in the Olympics for years, but competitive gaming involves more skills and requires hours of practice like any other sport.

2020 is still some time away and I’m sure as time goes by there will be more details on eligibility and the games that will be offered. Even if it doesn’t make it into the Olympics, the idea that it was considered still shows how far and how big competitive gaming has become.

Zero Doesn’t Break A Sweat At CEO Dreamland As He Wins Championship

Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios proved why he’s a champion after taking down second place winner Ramin “Mr. R” Delshad in a sweep in the 2017 CEO Dreamland competition.

Mr. R was strong coming into the finals after defeating 2016 Super Smash Con champion Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada with his Sheik (Legend of Zelda). He’s last challenge was ZeRo who is a household name in the fighting game. He has a list of championships including EVO 2015 and CEO 2015. He was even personally invited by Nintendo when the Smash 4 title was released for the Wii U.

During their match, ZeRo’s Diddy Kong was too fast and strong for Mr. R’s Cloud (Final Fantasy) and his Lucina (Fire Emblem). The match seems like is was mostly paws and banana peels being thrown everywhere. It was the final moments of the match that made you go “what just happened?”

ZeRo’s Diddy Kong proved that the character didn’t miss a beat following a patch that made him less powerful than before upon release of the game in 2014. But with every side B attack, dodge, and edge guard, Diddy Kong and ZeRo were like the Dora and Boots of Smash Bros.

The best part of the competition were not just the matches themselves, but the sportsmanship between the two players in the finals. Before each of the matches, they would give a respective fist dab. It is a sign of respect in competitive gaming for players to show that they’re friends and having fun.

Although he didn’t make it to the final match, an honorary mention goes to Nairo who gave an impressive performance and can be deemed as the comeback kid as he fought through two other opponents with a 3-2 win with his Zero Suit Samus (Metroid) before he battled Mr. R.

These matches are not just enjoyable but can be used as training clips to those who are looking to become the next ZeRo or Mr. R. Players can study combos and gameplay, especially if they main Diddy, Lucina, or Cloud. Now with CEO over, ZeRo will be headed to his next competition Dreamhack Austin April 28.  He ended the weekend at No. 1 from 376 participants in singles and number one in doubles along with third place winner Nairo.

Now with CEO over, ZeRo will be headed to his next competition Dreamhack Austin April 28.  He ended the weekend at No. 1 from 376 participants in singles and number one in doubles along with third place winner Nairo.

 

 

Illinois College Is The Latest School To Offer Esports Scholarships

 

Photo credit: Illinois College website

 

It was announced yesterday that Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL, will offer scholarships for students to participate in competitive gaming.

This shows that Esports are recognized as a sport and deserves the same amount of attention as others. Although they didn’t mention how much will be offered to the players who are admitted into the program, there will be students looking to get a good education based on their skills in video games. The games that will be played are also to be determined.

It was a week ago when the University of Utah announced they were introducing a varsity Esports program to their athletics department. Schools including Robert Morris University in Chicago is one of the dozens who have teams who compete for prizes.

Other than scholarships and programs, classes are also being offered in gaming. Emerson College is launching an intro to Esports course in the fall. This is a good thing because now students get to see how it ties in with other sports including how players train and injuries they can suffer from the sport.

Now, just because they are offering these programs doesn’t mean your classic days of Super Mario on the Nintendo will land you a free tuition. If you watched gaming competitions, these are players who’ve spent hours playing, streaming, and watching tutorials in their favorite games from Dota to Super Smash Bros.

And just like any other sports team if you under perform you can get cut and lose sponsorship. I would hope there will be guidelines for people to join such as they should be streaming either on YouTube or Twitch 20 hours a week, compete in local tournaments twice a month, and take yoga because losing can be stressful. But those are just some ideas schools should include.

The program at Illinois College is said to debut this fall.

Punk And Momochi Will Face Each Other For The Qualifying Spot In E League Playoffs

 

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Photo credit: E League

 

Without switching his character of Karin in Street Fighter V, Victor “Punk” Woodley, 18, went through Thomas “Brolynho” Proenca,  Yusuke Momochi, and his training partner Bryant “Smug” Huggins to land a spot in the qualifying playoffs spot during the E League invitational on TBS April 7.

Punk shows exactly how powerful Karin is during gameplay by giving two stuns in the first game. It didn’t take much time for punk to get cocky with his gameplay. There were times during the games where I actually rooting for the other guy and hoping to show him that he’s not as invincible as he may think. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

During a post-round interview after beating Smug,  Punk said “It’s just another day”, as some fans booed. It’s like you want to hate the guy but at the same time, he is so good you have to give him his props. But he has to continue to be on his A-game now that Momochi advanced to the playoff qualifying spot after beating Smug in the loser’s bracket.

Yusuke Momochi, 31, is one of the best Street Fighter players from around the world. He plays with a poker face, leaving his emotions at the door until after the round. In the loser’s bracket, based on his performance against Punk earlier, it seemed that Momochi was not in the right state to finish out the round. However, his Ibuki showed that he is still as dangerous as perceived by his competitors and teammates. Although Smug tried his best to come back strong with Balrog, there was no denying that this guy is one of Echo Fox’s elite competitors. His teammate Justin Wong sent a post immediately following the sweeping victory:

Now it comes down to next Friday, as Punk and Momochi will meet again to see who will advance to the playoffs. The last time they met was on March 27 when Punk beat him twice to advance to the next round. This meet is more than just the playoffs for these two as they each have something to prove.

Punk could establish himself as one of the top pros in the game by making it into the playoffs and going on to the finals will make him a household name. Momochi, on the other hand, has a shot at redemption to beat the man who defeated him twice. How sweet the feeling will be if he can take Punk’s playoff hopes away as he earns back the credit and respect from not only Punk but his fans as well.

The characters they choose must be carefully selected since Punk only main is Karin, that can be a downfall on his part because that allows Momochi to study the skill set of the character. Momochi uses two characters between Ibuki and Ken, both of whom are fast and have combos that will leave even the best players dizzy. Unless we see a change-up on Punk’s side, it can be a one-sided matchup. Whether they win or lose in Street Fighter, the most damaging thing that can happen to a player is if the opponent gets a perfect KO.

Next Friday will indeed be one of the best return matches in E League as one fights for his future and the other fights for redemption. Who shall prevail? Tune into TBS for the playoff round between the two pros April 14.