On July 13th-14th, 2019, San Jose, California was the host of NorCal Strong Style 2019 at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton which is amazing since it’s right next to the airport for those traveling from far away. It’s one of the rare events that’s not an E-Sports one as it’s community driven. It’s a grassroots tournament for Tekken 7: Fated Retribution featuring some of the best players in the series. Many players attended from Northern California, but many others came from places like South Korea, East Coast, Midwest, The South, Southern California, Thailand, and Japan.
This format changed from year’s past. This time, it’s team based with it being 3v3 instead of the usual individual tournament. The format still sticks with double elimination, but it’s definitely team oriented with each player getting two lives to survive the set. Some teams were formed just for this event, while some have been long formed. It makes matchups seem really intriguing.
It’s also one of the few majors where one title is the featured event as opposed to many majors featuring various different games. The main event is the teams tournament, but there were many other side events too. There was the single elimination tournament like Supreme Battle Opera used to have. There was the Tekken 3 tournament which definitely is old school. There was a random character and only using one button tournament. It is Tekken 100%.
Lots of casual setups were used. Some arcade cabinets were brought in for both Tekken Tag Tournament 1 and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for those that wanted that classic arcade head to head feeling.
Here are some things that I really loved about this event. First, it’s a grassroots event meaning money isn’t the primary reason to play. It’s for the love of the game and to play against the best. It was reminiscent of when I first got into the fighting game community before E-Sports came in and splashed the scene with dollars. It is 100% community driven.
The next part I loved about this event was that it was free for spectators. At many events, they do charge an arm and a leg just to attend to watch high level play. I also enjoyed how punctual everything was. Everything ran on time. People stepped in to help with anything whenever someone needed help with the event. It really reminds me of the majors in Japan like Cooperation Cup to be honest.
Team tournaments are often seen as a side tournaments at majors, but this one was the main event. There were lots of teamwork needed to win. Usually in tournaments, it’s this “me against the world” kind of mentality, but this one, it was all about uplifting your teammates to victory. I dig this kind of positivity.
NCSS is definitely one of the best ran majors I’ve ever been to. I’d say the Tekken community is up there as the best community in the fighting game community and video games overall. Everyone enjoys the game from the best to newbies. I’m glad to have been part of this amazing production.
Written by: Timtastic