For the first time in years, the premiere fighting game tournament in Northern California returned back to the Bay Area after spending a few years in Sacramento. Nor Cal Regionals held their annual tournament in San Jose, California in the heart of Silicon Valley at the Doubletree Hotel attracting many players from around the world like in such places like Japan, South Korea, Latin America, Canada, Europe, and of course, the United States especially with this event being a premiere event in the Capcom Pro Tour.
It was very important that this event was held in San Jose over Sacramento because it’s more accessible to get to as San Jose is a more international city than California’s capital. There are more international flights to and from San Jose and the San Jose Mineta Airport has more flights. The venue is also right by the airport and isn’t as secluded as the previous year’s venue despite it being at a tourist attraction. San Jose is easier to get to from So Cal especially when it comes to driving. The Bay Area itself is also a much more desired location realistically than Sacramento as there are more things to do especially as a traveler. The Bay Area fighting game scene is also significantly bigger with many players living in San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, and the many cities that make up San Jose.
The games that made up the NCR 2019 lineup included Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Tekken 7: Fated Retribution, Soul Calibur 6, King of Fighters IV, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Dragon Ball FighterZ, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, UNIST, Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2, Ultra Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Pokken Tournament, and Windjammers. Many other games were played as casuals.
Although there were less games than year’s past, each game got its shine and was streamed at some point mostly in top 8. I do miss the community games as it gave under represented games a chance at the spotlight and were run by community leaders, not just the tournament organizers themselves.
It was interesting to have the top 8 of SFVAE start at 1pm as it probably gave the international players a head start to head to the airport to go home. I was also surprised that it wasn’t the headline game as the final game to conclude the weekend. That honor belonged to Smash Ultimate. Street Fighter was a part of the Capcom Pro Tour 2019 which is a year long grind. Both Smash and Dragon Ball FighterZ did not have a tour at that point yet still went on after Street Fighter V.
It was surprising to have Smash Ultimate be the headline game as many of the top players in its young history did not attend this event which meant a lot of unfamiliar names would have to emerge. It did give a chance to familiar names in the FGC that usually compete in other games a shot to make a top 8.
Another interesting tidbit was the lack of a stream for pool play in Soul Calibur VI. As many people are trying to build a scene to potentially have a world tour for this game and build new names, a lack of exposure really hindered this game and the fact that top 8 for SCVI ran at the same time as SFV.
Other than that, it was an amazing tournament with many games being represented. People were playing titles that weren’t even included in the tournament like Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Capcom vs SNK 2, and many more. With So Cal Regionals suspending their annual tournament until 2020, this event marked the only major in the entire state of California which meant even more folks from Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada made their way to San Jose.
Written by: Timtastic