On January 7th, 2018, the annual five on five team tournament for Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike returned for their 16th edition for what is known as Cooperation Cup 2018. The venue was at Hulic Hall in Asakusabashi, Tokyo, Japan. It allowed people to form the best five person team possible to compete against some of the best in the world.
Prior to this main event, there was a Pre Cooperation Cup tournament the day before which is the warm up. In this tournament, it too is a five on five team tournament except everyone on the team must play the same character. There were teams that only played Ken, ones that played only Yun, ones that played Chun-Li, and more. There were multiple teams of the same character.
Cooperation Cup was a free event for spectators to attend. It’s not everyday that you get a tournament that’s focused on one title only especially 3rd Strike. Usually at most FGC events, it’s centered around multiple games, and most of the tournaments are singles along with double elimination.
There were notable names like MOV and Daigo Umehara, but there were a lot of hidden killers. There were folks that just never travel to compete in tournaments, but were still amazing and capable of beating the best. Folks that just still grind out this game in the arcades were doing work for their teams. Teams not only came from Japan but also the United States, Europe, and various other places around the world.
Anyone that ever grew up playing fighting games at the arcade would love this event. All games were played on an arcade cabinet which meant no one had to bring arcade sticks and set ups. There was no option to play on pad for those that prefer playing on controller.
What made this event awesome was that it was a grassroots event. There wasn’t any corporate sponsorships or money on the line. E-Sports made no difference here. The closest thing to a sponsorship was that there were people passing out free Red Bull to attendees. In these parts of the world, pride and glory are more important than a monetary prize. There were no vendors that sold things except the tournament itself if one wanted a program guide and/or a t-shirt which sold out very quickly.
At this tournament, there were many people that played the best characters, but the ones that played lower tiered characters ended up getting the crowd behind them. Many people played underutilized characters which brought excitement to the crowds.
In all honesty, this is definitely the best ran FGC tournament I’ve ever attended. Everyone showed up to their pools and played all their games on time. There was the main stream which was in Japanese and an English stream as well. When one match ended, instead of filling time with commentary, they just aired another match that was in play which is fantastic for those tuning in from home.
All attendees also did their part to make sure this event was a success. Everyone picked up their trash, threw it away, and didn’t leave any litter around. When pools ended, everyone helped clear the path by moving the arcade cabinets to the side. By the time top 8 was about to be finalized, everyone had helped with clearing the entire floor space of litter and moved all the arcade cabinets so that they can fill up the area with chairs in time for finals to happen. When a certain area needed to be cleared like the main stage, everyone cleared.
Many upsets happened at this event. There were tons of named I didn’t know but became a fan of because of their gameplay with gutsy play. Favorites went down, underdogs became the heroes.
I really enjoyed this event. This event was made for those that just enjoy great Street Fighter play. Many Street Fighter pros either came to compete or support the event. It was astonishing how many international people came out despite the high caliber of players from Japan and not being able to win money. Meeting people at this event was also one of the highlights as everyone just appreciates great play from talented gamers. This event is how all FGC majors should aspire to be like when the community comes to make sure it becomes a success.
Written by: Timtastic