Fight Your Rival: Episode 5!

Welcome to episode 5 of Fight Your Rival! This week, we talk about the recent partnership between CBS, MLG, and Twitch.tv, talk about even more Tekken Tag Tournament 2 console features, and even do some time travel to 94! What are we doing there? You’ll just have to watch!

Chinatown Fair Reopening May 5th

Photo Credit: NeoGaf

While it was revealed last month that legendary Manhattan arcade Chinatown Fair was being restored by new owners, Bowery Boogie has revealed a few new details regarding its rebirth. The once grimy enclave where the best virtual warriors in NYC once battled it out is now being repainted with a bright, Easter-esque color scheme. The new CF is meant to be a “family friendly” location, and will feature some brand-new machines as well as a card-swipe system that will replace tokens and quarters. Finally, it’s only a matter of weeks until we can step foot in the venue, as the supposed opening date is May 5th.

While CF was once a vortex for the best talent in the fighting game community, the new vision for the arcade might not attract too many top players. Let’s just hope a few classics like 3rd Strike and Capcom vs. SNK 2 get salvaged.

We’ll be at the all-new Chinatown Fair as soon as it reopens, so stay tuned for tons of coverage!

Editorial: How Should The FGC Grow?

In the days following Rob Steele and LI Joe’s conversation on April 4th during the ThisisLIJoe stream, there has been a firestorm of discussion involving “how will Brazzers sponsoring players affect the FGC?” There is an interesting point to consider in all of this. How is it that an individual’s decision, and ultimately action, can come to affect the entirety of the FGC? Did the FGC get branded as violent, unfriendly, and dangerous after Noel Brown beat the hell out of Smooth Viper at 8 on the Break?

No, but was that notion already there… A little bit, it’s about the culture that has been carried for years within the FGC.

From a business perspective, Brazzers has nothing to lose by sponsoring LI Joe. For one, this has been amazing publicity (most of it was free) and has been directly to their target demographic (18-35 year old men), so of course Brazzers would want to get into the FGC. Some have complained about how this makes the FGC look bad following the events of Cross Assault and I have to say this plainly about the FGC. Is the FGC sexist…. A little bit. The language, the fashion…we have work to do as a group before we can even begin to discuss the ramifications of big time sponsorship and money into the scene. We need to clean up our act as a group and change what is acceptable practice in our circle before we can even start talking about meaningful corporate sponsorship from companies who are not directly related to the FGC. Because people are asking how Capcom will respond to a company like Brazzers trying to get into EVO, we will have to ask how any other major sponsor will want run an ad for their product after one featuring a  drawing of a scantily clad woman with an overabundance of cleavage . Meaning, Capcom, SNK, Atlus and many other game companies are in many ways responsible for atmosphere that bred the culture that Brazzers is now capitalizing on.

More than that, we have to ask an very serious question, and this is one that strikes to the core of what we are as a loose affiliation of players. Are we as individuals going to be penalized for our clothing, our affiliations, or our potential sponsors? Because if we are then it seems that the tournaments we hold so dearly are not nearly as open as we were led to believe. So what does it mean when a player pays their entry fee and does their thing but cannot say where they got their money from? Sure, the EVO tournament organizers can stop LI Joe from putting ZZ infront of his name on stream. But can they stop him from wearing a T-Shirt? I would have to ask how they can justify doing so after announcing the Mai Shiranui shirt promo for KOF XIII entrants. Even if they do stop him, will it matter? Meaning even if they shut Brazzers out of every major EVERYONE will be talking about it. So it’s not like it’s going to go away.

If people want the FGC to become more prominent then we need to become more professional during primetime. Meaning we have to improve our look from nine to five if we want things to grow. Insofar as to say that every prime time main stream should be as professional as possible (think Ultra David and James Chen style of commentary) and keep the ridiculousness on the side streams after dark. For example last year during So Cal Regionals they ran a Nor Cal v. So Cal 5 v. 5  (which was some of the most fun I had watching a stream in a while).

The important point about this is not the hype or the craziness but instead the timing and airing decision. Whereas it’s not that the hype has to disappear, but it should be during off hours or on a secondary stream. This 5 v. 5 was held late around 11pm if I remember correctly and on the alternate stream. Which is important, because it allows for people to still have their fun and sponsors can avoid potentially awkward situations when the hype gets heavy.

So we can still be crazy, hype as hell, and get as loud as we want. But if we want to expand fighting games beyond the niche that they are, then we need to start carrying ourselves differently when the eyes of the world are upon us.

tl;dr

Stop wilin’ out when other people are watching! Do it after dark!

Help out Next Level and be entered to win a custom TE stick!

Next Level Arcade needs your help! The Brooklyn gaming venue that has been host to a year’s worth of fantastic tournaments is looking to acquire some Candy Cabinets in order to run older fighters such as Super Turbo and Capcom vs. SNK 2. Next Level’s Ben Fong will be holding a special raffle next Wednesday, March 28th during the Big Two stream to raise funds for the cabinets. The winner of the raffle gets a fully customized MLG TE arcade stick!

Check out the Facebook event for the raffle here, and read Ben’s full statement below:

I was wondering if anyone in the east coast (preferably) or anyone that has Astro or Blast City candy cabinets available for sale and must be willing to ship it to Brooklyn, NY. I need 2 of them and they must be in good condition and complete, (must have control panels, and functional monitors with wiring accessories). Let me know what you have. This is a serious inquiry!

I’m going to be starting a contest at the Big Two tourney on March 28th, 2012 and I’m going to be raffling off a dual modded MLG TE stick (done and customized by me personally as prize) to start donation drive as means of gathering funds for these cabinets. It will be featured on stream with Team Spooky on March 28th 2012 and donations requests will last for a week before a winner is selected. More details to come!

If you guys can, these cabinets will be contributed towards the community in New York City and East Coast, and they will be put in a loving a and caring home by the players in Next Level. Much of the old games such as Super Turbo, Vamp Savior, many CPS2, Neo Geo games will be played on these machines and these games will eventually be streamed. Please help us out and revive the old days! :D
-Ben Fong

Big Two Streaming Live Tonight!

It’s Wednesday again, which means that NYC’s top talent are going to be battling it out to claim the weekly championships of SSF4: AE, UMVC3, and the newly released Street Fighter X Tekken. There’s never a shortage of hype matches, crazy upsets, and hilarious commentary during a TeamSp00ky stream, so be sure to tune in to Sp00ky’s Own3d channel tonight at 7pm!

UPDATE: Tonight’s stream is being featured on Henry Cen‘s twitch.tv channel.

Also, if you find yourself in NY and can get to Brooklyn, come get in on the action!

Next Level Arcade

4018 8th Ave

Brooklyn, NY 11232

http://www.nycnextlevel.com

Chinatown Fair to Reopen?

While shooting some extra footage for their documentary Arcade: The Last Night at Chinatown Fair, filmmakers Kurt Vincent and Owen Strock discovered that the historic downtown game center may be rising from its grave. While original Chinatown owner Henry Cen is keeping busy with Next Level, Vincent and Strock met a man named Lonnie who was moving the old games back in and is believed to be taking over the arcade. This is HUGE news for NYC fighting game fans, as some of today’s top players were bred at Chinatown Fair. We will be sure to keep a close eye on any future developments regarding Chinatown’s reopening.

You can read the filmmakers’ full statement below:

This is a still frame from footage we shot on March 14, 2012.  Owen Strock and I were shooting b-roll for the movie around Chinatown Fair when we noticed the security gate at 8 Mott Street raised.  Earlier in the week, Sam, the previous owner of Chinatown Fair, told me someone was re-opening the arcade.  But you hear a lot of things.  I wasn’t sure how likely it was happening.  Now we know.  A group of men were moving some of the old games back inside.  One of the men introduced himself as Lonnie.  He told me they were hired to move in the games and empty the trash that remained inside.  I spoke with Henry Cen, co-owner of Next Level and integral part of the old Chinatown Fair, and he told me a guy named Lonnie was reopening the arcade at 8 Mott Street.  I am guessing the Lonnie I met is the Lonnie reopening the arcade.  It’s interesting to note that if this is the same Lonnie, it isn’t the first time he has been involved with a beloved NYC institution.  Lonnie told me he used to bartend at his uncle’s place, Max’s Kansas City.

I love how the story of Chinatown Fair keeps going.  I suspect it will never truly end.

-Kurt