The Malaysian Fighting Game Community (FGC) is slowly growing, and with the launch of Street Fighter V, it has sparked the interest of many our local warriors’ competitive spirit. And such spirit was shown in full force in the IT Centre Cup 2016. Held at the IT Centre in Berjaya Times Square, this Street Fighter V tournament has attracted 40 participants not only in the local KL vicinity, but also participants as far as Penang and Johor.
We went to see for ourselves the skills our local boys have when it comes to Street Fighter, and we were totally blown away.
What is to be gained? The winner here gets a sponsorship by Flash Vision to compete in the upcoming South East Asia Majors, a Capcom Pro Tour event that will be held in Singapore this October. The top 16 will also secure a paraphernalia of swag, including medals, gaming mouse, and powerbanks.
All 40 participants were grouped into 8 groups in double elimination format, with the winners from both brackets of each group advancing to the top 16. Matches were played in a best of three (or a first to two, based on the tourney’s organisers’ wording) for the grouping stage, with the top 16 played in a lengthier best of five/first to three format. Being a double elimination format, losing a game will not knock out a player out yet, but instead dropped into the lower brackets, also called losers brackets. This is a longer, more gruelling path to the finals, and losing a match here will be the end of the line.
The crowd of 20-40 people managed to attract casual spectators who were dropping by the IT Centre and even the employees of the many shops as well! Aside from the main stage and two setups at the side, there’s also a casual setup for anyone who wants to give Street Fighter V a try. The whole event was livestreamed on Twitch, with a set of shoutcasters calling the shots of the main stage matches.
Making it to the top 16 was a diverse character list played by the players. We have Dhalsim, Nash, Vega, Guile, Balrog (with a pocket Juri, interestingly enough), Zangief, at least three Rashids, at least two F.A.N.G.s, Alex and Laura being played throughout the top matches.
JBT KOF MASTER’s performance as F.A.N.G. was certainly a showstopper, as his progress through the group stages he dominated his opponents despite using what most would see as a low tier character. The crowd erupted in joy as KOF MASTER finally dropped a round, not a full game, just one round. It was a huge moment from what was utter dominance beforehand. And his reign of dominance did end as KOF MASTER faced IamChuan, a Guile main. Chuan’s path to the Winner’s Finals was also full of wins, though playing Guile means most of the wins comes from patient play. Chuan took a straight 3-0 win against Endy, who also plays F.A.N.G. and Laura before taking another 3-0 win against KOF MASTER at the Winner’s Finals, showing some cracks to what was a ludicrously strong performance.
But was it really cracked?
Over to the losers brackets, the longest run we see was two matches from both Guardian2emperor and JBT ST, reaching two consecutive wins before being knocked out of the competition. YassBass’s impressive work with Dhalsim was not enough to stop KOF MASTER’s F.A.N.G., sending him down to losers. YassBass managed to win a match before losing to another F.A.N.G. played by Endy, who proceeds to the Losers Finals in a F.A.N.G. mirror match against KOF MASTER. KOF MASTER takes a win with a 3-0, and faced IamChuan again in the Grand Finals.
The Grand Finals was a really close match, as KOF MASTER has successfully “downloaded” Chuan’s playstyle and adapted accordingly, a similar storyline seen during EVO 2016 Street Fighter V Finals. Yet Chuan did not give up without a fight. An insane comeback was made during match point for KOF MASTER to reset the bracket, but a calculated defence play has Chuan’s Guile with a only a sliver of health smashed through KOF MASTER’s half full health gauge and ended the set with a double K.O., resulting a draw. It was intense!
Eventually the bracket was reset, but despite intense pressure both players played to their best, with lots of back and forth between the two. The game ends with a very close match, where Chuan misses his chance to tie the game 2-2 and play one more set by eating an overhead attack.
Congratulations to all that have managed to reach the top 16. The victorious JBT KOF MASTER will be heading off to the South East Asia Majors, that will happen at GameStart Asia in Singapore this October under sponsorship of team Flash Vision. Major props to team G3E. The Shah-Alam based team was in full force with their black and lime green jerseys, with at least three of them making the top 16.
The top 16 of IT Centre Cup are as follows:
1. JBT KOF MASTER
7. JBT ST
9. G3E] Aleouf
13. FV MARK5
Check out all the action from IT Centre Cup 2016 in the form of VODs available on FlashVision TV YouTube channel. Want to join in future events by the Malaysian FGC? Check out their Facebook Group for the latest updates.