Street Fighter Articles RSS Feed | Street Fighter RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Street Fighter 2 Mini Arcade Cab Announced By New Wave Toys Sat, 02 Feb 2019 09:23:32 -0500 William R. Parks

While some fighting game fanatics may have their eyes fixed on one of the many new titles scheduled for release this year, including Jump Force, Mortal Kombat 11, and Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, others may prefer to stick with the classics, like Street Fighter 2. Fortunately for those players, a recent announcement by New Wave Toys confirms the company is set to release a new way for fans to play two fighting games of yore.

Specifically, the company has indicated that it is currently accepting pre-orders for its Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition X RepliCade, a "limited edition 12-inch tall, fully-playable replica of the original arcade machine in 1/6-scale, officially licensed by Capcom."

This mini arcade cabinet will give players access to both Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition and Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo.

With the RepliCade, SF fans can play these titles solo, or they can test their skills against friends in two-player combat. Two USB Mini Fight Sticks are included with the cabinet, but players can opt to use a modern USB controller as their weapon of choice if they prefer.

The Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition X RepliCade features a 3.5" flat LCD color screen and "amplified-stereo audio reproduction." The cabinet itself is wood construction, and it is wrapped in high-resolution art printed on 3M vinyl material.

Retail for the cabinet is $119.99, however, players that pre-order during the month of February can expect to pay a discounted rate of $99.99. Pre-orders are available through New Wave Toys' website, and it is expected that the product will ship in the Summer.

Last month, My Arcade unveiled its own new line of retro mini cabinets, offering fans the opportunity to add versions of Bubble BobbleMs. Pacman, and more to their collections. With New Wave Toys' announcement following suit, it is clear that a number of companies have sights set on vintage gaming.

Indeed, following the success of the NES and SNES Classics, it is unsurprising that this would be the case. However, these products take a decidedly different approach than Nintendo's, offering luxury items to serious collectors.

More details on the Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition X RepliCade can be found on New Wave Toys' website.

ELEAGUE: Legitimizing Esports Through Creative Storytelling and Emerging Technology Fri, 20 Jul 2018 11:07:40 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Log in to any sports broadcasting network, and there's a strong chance you'll run into a well-polished documentary or feature on a player's life, technique, or claim to fame. To anyone who cares about sports, the games we watch aren't really about the sports themselves but more about the personalities lacing up to take the field or court. We tune in because we want to see those players succeed or fail, and we want to see how they'll do it. 

The end, as they say, isn't as compelling as the journey. 

It's not surprising, then, that story and competition are uniquely linked. From the earliest days of sport, story fashioned from the splendor of victory and the disappointment of defeat has compelled us to watch, perhaps even more than the innate fun of the sports themselves. It's true in analog sports, and it's true in digital sports as well. 

In many ways, esports is the natural progression of competition. Just as analog sports have evolved from their primal roots, so have they evolved from traditional stick and ball sports -- such as baseball, football, and basketball -- to something if not more advanced, more closely tied to the digital age. Of course, traditional sports still entrance and enrapture us, but it's time to come to grips with a simple fact: sports are evolving, and both fans and broadcasters have to evolve with it.  

One of the companies leading the charge into that brave "new" world of broadcast esports is a name that's become synonymous with sports itself: Turner Broadcasting. Well-known for its coverage of the NBA, the MLB, the PGA, NCAA basketball, and more, Turner was one of the major broadcasting companies to quickly realize that esports wasn't just a fad but instead a legitimate cultural zeitgeist. Because of their foresight, their esports network, ELEAGUE, is one of the fastest growing and most renowned esports-centric networks currently showcasing games and tournaments. 

Speaking with Matt Mosteller, Vice President of Content for Turner Sports, who also oversees production for ELEAGUE, the idea of crafting compelling narratives lies at the center of each ELEAGUE production. As a fan-first esports brand, ELEAGUE seeks to bring esports stories to fans in interesting and creative ways -- some they may have never seen before. 

[Esports is] a great digital property, and there are a ton of young fans that are consuming this content and are ferocious when following these sports. For us, being able to create content and bring in a younger audience is always something that's key. It just made sense. 

At Turner, we're always looking for what's next; what are the new, big sporting events and phenomena? We want to be a part of those and help tell stories around those. We pride ourselves in doing premiere events. We looked at esports -- and being able to jump in and help grow some of those games and create some more premiere events -- [as something we were very interested in]. 

One of the ways Turner looks to help grow established esports such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Street Fighter V, and Tekken 7 is through leveraging its experience in traditional broadcast storytelling. Creating hype around these games in ways both hardcore and casual fans may not have experienced before is an important wrinkle in the company's strategy. 

In many ways, I've seen it work on the "uninitiated" in person. Injecting broadcasts with player profiles, educational segments, and creative features such as this gem featuring ELEAGUE's 2018 Street Fighter V Invitational Champion, Tokido, serve a dual purpose in engaging the hardcore viewer and humanizing the competition for the casual viewer.   

Setting out after that goal, it's the creative work Turner employs outside the game that often sets its broadcasts apart from other esports coverage and analysis. It's crazy polished. It's engaging. It's compelling. The ELEAGUE team uses storytelling to give fans better insight into the every-day lives of these players, showcasing the monumental investment these players put into their training. What's more, it highlights the fact that esports players are just as passionate and skilled as players in the NBA, NFL, and MLB. 

Mosteller says that one of the best ways to ensure all of those boxes get ticked is by giving viewers what they really want, which is access to the players. That one thing is the connective tissue by which the entire organism seems to work.  

The game's the game. There's only so much we can do within the game itself. [But the question is], "What can we do around the game to create this buzz and get people excited and draw in more of an audience?". One of the great things fans love is access. They want to be these players and they want to see them away from the controller ...

One of the things we looked at was, "How can we bring fans closer to the action?", giving them the chance to know these guys. So we've dived into some of the documentary style [content], like the road to the international, the road to the Boston Major this past year for our ELEAGUE Counter-Strike major, and it really gave fans a chance to get to know these teams and see that other side of them, and create that connection and bond that will hopefully bring people back to watching live gameplay. 

That's a tall task when it comes to Joe Public. It's a safe bet that your average sports viewer isn't all that keyed in to esports -- or doesn't hold the niche in very high regard due to general views on gaming. Although studies show that some 250 million people follow esports competitions around the world, that's across all esports properties and tournaments, not a specific event.

In 2017, IEM Katowice brought in 46 million viewers, making it the largest esports event in history. However, that pales to the 2017 Super Bowl, which alone brought in 111 million viewers. This shows that broadcasters have the attention of hardcore gamers, but getting the attention of an ordinary audience requires a bit more finesse. 

In response, broadcasters like Turner have become more flexible.

That adaptability has helped ELEAGUE grow its brand and engage esports fans on both digital streaming channels such as Twitch and BR/Live, as well as TBS. It's been aided by leveraging proprietary and third-party technology. Used in conjunction with more traditional storytelling elements -- features, player profiles, and more -- tools such as eye-tracking technology and Game Command tell story in an engaging, yet more analytical way.  

Without eye-tracking technology, you wouldn't know that many Street Fighter V, CS:GO, and Tekken 7 players move their eyes just as fast, and in some cases even faster, than athletes in almost all traditional stick and ball sports.

That storyline in and of itself not only gives casual fans direct analogues by which to understand esports and overcome some of their initial hurdles, but it also gives hardcore fans the validation they've sought since players started gathering around cabinets in their local arcades decades ago. 

From another angle, ELEAGUE's Game Command gives viewers unprecedented access to professional esports play, specifically CS:GO. In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, viewers streaming matches are able to see not only the main feed (which is similar to a typical sports broadcast on cable), but they are also able to see multiple angles of action, similar to a multi-feed that's sometimes provided during traditional sports broadcasts.

But that's not all. There's a unique wrinkle that takes the game to an entirely new level. With Game Command, viewers can watch specific players throughout the match, easily switching between players and viewpoints at their own discretion. It gives viewers unprecedented access and control to the games they love; and in cases of the uninitiated, gives viewers a new way to learn about the game they're watching. 

Mosteller says that's the whole point: to bring viewers and audiences as close to the game as they possibly can. Just like traditional sports, it's important to build a conversation around esports that grows it from a niche market into something bigger and more accepted. 

We always try to push ourselves on the technology side. And the gaming space is a great place to do that. Whether it was the eye-tracking technology or the augmented reality we've done around Street Fighter or the Injustice League, where we brought these great characters these fanbases know and love to life in the studio and during the broadcast. Those are just some things we can do to spice up our coverage and get the fans excited. 

I think if we're going to continue to grow the esports space, that's something that's big for us: bringing in that more casual audience, especially on TBS where people aren't as used to watching esports on that platform. 

If any mainstream broadcasting company can make esports widely popular, Turner is one of the very few that can do it. What makes Turner Broadcasting unique is that it has a wide array of ancillary properties from which it can pull from to further build hype around the scene. It has specific brands that already overlap with the gaming space, such as Cartoon Network, that further facilitate the push to greater esports ubiquity. 

It's that mixture of styles (a firm understanding of traditional media alongside a genuine excitement and interest in emerging technologies) that's helped ELEAGUE become so popular so quickly. Often, there's not a lot of context around esports matches. By crafting traditional and analytical stories around them, Turner looks to help both hardcore fans and casuals better understand what they're watching. By proxy, that understanding will hopefully transform into wider acceptance of esports as an "actual" branch of sports.  

Much like NFL films has done for the league's 32 teams and thousands of players, Turner uses technology and creative storytelling to craft compelling, engaging, and informative content that breaks down barriers.

It's telling stories where it at first doesn't seem stories could or should exist. By humanizing gaming and crafting stories around each of the scenes it represents, Turner is using ELEAGUE to firmly make the argument that competitive gaming isn't just for the initiated.

Just like traditional sports, it's for everyone. 


To see first hand the way ELEAGUE tells stories around esports tournaments, make sure to tune in to the CS:GO Premier 2018, which starts this Saturday, July 21, at 2 p.m. EDT on Twitch, BR/Live, and Game Command

The group action will go through Wednesday, July 25. After the dust has settled, four teams (two from each group) will face off in single-elimination playoffs held Saturday and Sunday, July 28-29, for their share of the million-dollar prize pool. 

As always, stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on ELEAGUE as it develops.  

Street Fighter V ELEAGUE Invitational Finals Recap Mon, 16 Jul 2018 15:44:19 -0400 Jonathan Moore

To say ELEAGUE's Street Fighter V Invitational has so far been chock full of some the game's most competitive and finest moments might be an understatement. Assembling some of Street Fighter's most talented pros in a single place has the chance to kick things up a notch. 

But as tournaments are wont to do, the Invitational's final rounds proved to be some of the most electric of the competition. With the likes of Tokido, Daigo, and Punk taking the stage, the lineup was utterly mind-boggling. 

Here's what happened. 

Playoffs Game 1: Tokido vs. Punk (Akuma vs. Cammy)

The first match of the night pitted Punk against Tokido, both of whom faced each other at EVO 2017. Although Tokido won that match, Punk was confident his strong play in the Invitational's Group B round would propel him to victory in the finals. 

Both fighters started out prodding each other, showcasing the respect they had for on another. However, it was quickly evident that despite Punk's confidence in himself as the self-espoused "mayor" of Georgia was waning. Tokido easily took the first match two rounds to none, putting the young gun on his heels. 

Playing with great respect for Punk, Tokido played tight, not overextending himself. He slowed the match down so much that Punk's restlessness grew palpable as his play began to unwind into erratic movements and ill-advised risks. One mistake too many helped put Tokido up 2-0. 

A fantastic mid-combo CA put Tokido in the driver's seat during the third game of the match. Going into set point, Punk put his foot on the gas and tried to push Tokido off, but the round was a microcosm of the entire game: Tokido completely bodied Punk -- using the same mid-combo CA (Sekia Kuretsuha) once again to win the set. 

Punk was going to the loser's bracket, but that didn't mean things were over. The American won ELEAGUE's 2017 Invitational from the loser's bracket. Tokido hadn't killed the beast yet.  

Playoffs Game 2: Problem X vs. Daigo (M. Bison vs. Guile)

Right out of the gate, this game was much faster and more frenetic than the game between Tokido and Punk, with both fighters coming out swinging with heavy attacks, normals, and specials. Daigo, however, seemed ready for everything Problem X threw at him, as he went up 1-0 with superior footsie play. 

However, it seemed that Problem X settled in between matches as things became decidedly more defensive in the second bout. From the looks of things, it was pretty clear that Problem X had caught on to Daigo's tactics -- and Daigo knew it. Showcasing some truly fantastic neutral play, clutch V-trigger activation, and superiro EX play (where the Dai-God didn't miss a single flash kick), Daigo went up on Problem X 2-0.

Things didn't change in the third game as Daigo bodied Problem to get one win away from the winner's bracket. But Problem didn't like the thought of going home so quickly -- he readjusted and brought the hurt to Daigo, pushing with heavy attacks and specials. 

But as was the story of the entire game, Daigo seemingly wasn't phased by the onslaught. He played patiently and defensively, handily winning the final match, and sweeping the British fighter 3-0. Problem X was going to the lower bracket of the finals to face Momochi, while Daigo was going to winner's to face Tokido. 

Playoffs Game 3: Dogura vs. Momochi (Urien vs Cody)

This was the matchup of the awful round-robin fighters; both Dogura and Momochi had gone 0-5 in their respective group's round robin play, only to turn things around in featured play and run the gauntlet to the finals. However, one of them wouldn't be so lucky this time around: this was the night's first loser-go-home match, so tensions were high as the fighters took the stage. 

As things kicked off, Momochi surprised nearly everyone in the studio (perhaps with the exception of the ELEAGUE analysts) by picking Cody over his normal go-to, Kolin.

The effects seemed almost instantaneous. Although Momochi seemed a bit rusty with Cody out of the gate, he quickly pulled things together put Dogura on his heels. As the first game progressed slowly, it was obvious that Dogura wasn't comfortable facing a Momochi-controlled Cody, one he'd not yet seen in tournament play. 

Unable to get his bearings on the character, Dogura struggled to defend against Momochi's attacks and quickly went down 2-0 to his rival. As things moved into the third game of the match, Dogura was out of sorts -- where he even seemed to give up on offensive play, turtling into a defensive stance that never gave him shelter from Momochi's relentless offense. 

Dogura's fate was sealed when he missed several key EX moves and normals in the latter stages of the game. Momochi's pre-match bravado turned into unquestionable arrogance as he toyed with a helpless Dogura. With another win, Momochi sent Dogura home -- and sealed third straight game sweep of the night. 

Playoffs Game 4: Smug vs. Fujimura (Balrog vs. Ibuki)

Smug, feeling like Agent Smith from the Matrix, was his normal trash-talking self before the match. Postulating the possibilities of his future opponents, it appeared he had already started looking past Fujimura -- and had perhaps set himself up for failure in a critical match against a renowned opponent. 

However, it was evident from the first punch that Smug was playing with what would come to feel like divine power as the night wore on. Landing heavy crush damage, Smug pulled off fantastic anti-airs and normals, seemingly having an answer for everything Fujimura threw at him.

Smug's unreal defense -- which helped him block basically every attack from Fujimura's Ibuki -- put the United States fighter in a powerful position coming out of the first game. 

Things didn't change moving forward. Smug continued to completely punish and body Fujimura with a fusillade of blows and reversals. The vibe in the studio went from shocked to frenzied as Smug destroyed Fujimura round after round, exchange after exchange.

Fujimura cam back in the third match with a round-one perfect, but Smug wasn't going to go down. With utter poise, Smug played smart and didn't cave to Fujimura's baits. With the greatest of ease, Smug defeated Fujimura 3-0 for the night's fourth sweep in as many games. 

Fujimura, a player who everyone thought would not only be in the winner's bracket of the finals but perhaps even win the tournament, was sent packing by an up-and-coming star. 

Playoffs Game 5: Momochi vs. Problem X (Kolin/Cody vs. Abigail/M. Bison)

Although Cody had proven a wise choice in his fight against Dogura, Momochi decided to bet on familiarity in his bout against Problem X. On paper, Kolin vs. Abigail was a more balanced match for Momochi, but as things played out, that assumption was quickly called in to question.  

As anyone who's played or watched Street Fighter V knows, Abigail is one of the game's most overpowered characters -- and that fact has never been clearer than in this match. Problem X wasted no time in devastating Momochi's Kolin, outweighing Kolin's tactical prowess with sheer power. 

Problem X controlled the neutral and even though Momochi rarely froze or pulled back his attacks, Problem X was able to take advantage to easily go up 1-0 in the first match.

Moving into the later rounds and matches, it constantly felt as if Momochi was playing from behind. Not only was it difficult to gain any ground in the neutral against such a massiv foe, Kolin just couldn't match Abigail's damage output, forcing Momochi to take several unnecessary risks throughout the game. 

Up 2-0, Problem X oozed confidence as the two fighters entered the set match. But having had enough of Abigail, Momochi switched to Cody. Immediately, it was obvious that Problem X -- just like Dogura -- wasn't as familiar with Cody as he would have liked and quickly went on the defensive. Unable to get a hold on the character, Problem X went down, giving Momochi his first victory of the set. 

However, game four would see Problem X pulling out the big guns with a switch to M. Bison. Going down as the best match of the night to that point, both players took each other down to pixels and less than 10 seconds in two rounds of the match. Despite Problem X's tenacity, Momochi was able to find the small damage to even the set at 2-2. 

But with two matches against Cody under his belt, Problem X wasn't about to give up. He'd seen how Momochi used the character, but more importantly, that Momochi wasn't entirely comfortable with the new addition. Taking advantage of that, Problem X was able to utterly devastate Momochi in the second and third rounds of the final game to take the set 3-2 and send Momochi packing. 

Playoffs Game 6: Smug vs. Punk (Balrog vs. Karin/Cammy)

A loser-goes-home match between two of the most boisterous and animated fighters in the tournament, the sixth game of the night was primed to be one of the most exciting of the tournament. It was also the first U.S. vs. U.S. match of the night, meaning that at least one United States player would go home, leaving only one to take on the rest of the field. 

Throughout the tournament, Punk had almost exclusively relied on strong Cammy play to defeat his opponents. However, Punk knew that Smug had struggled against his Karin before, and in a somewhat surprising move, chose the character going into the game. 

At the beginning, it seemed like a perfect pick: Cammy basically nullified Smug's Balrog. However, Smug's divine provenance shined through -- following a strong start in the first game, Punk couldn't stay out of the corner. Getting utterly bodied by Smug, Punk was quickly overpowered, going down 1-0.  

The second match was more of the same. Smug, playing out of his mind and with only a killer's scowl on his face, bodied Punk to go up 2-0. 

Going into the game's set match, ELEAGUE's reigning champion made a quick switch to Cammy, a move that appeared more desperate than strategic. The change put Smug somewhat on the defensive, but not for long as began dealing heavy damage to take the first round.

Although Punk wouldn't go quietly into the night, playing patiently and defensively to gain a win in the second round, Smug held things together and gave the audience the fifth 3-0 sweep of the night, sending the defending champion home and advancing to face Problem X -- and an Abigail that had given him nightmares the entire tournament. 

Finals Game 1: Tokido vs. Daigo (Akuma vs. Guile)

No one expected two of the very best fighters from the tournament to face each other in the first match of the winner's bracket finals. It was almost unthinkable going into the night that these mythic players would potentially send the other home so early.

Going into the bout, Daigo seemed to be in Tokido's head as he said in a pre-match interview that he wasn't sure if he could beat Daigo and advance to the Grand Final. It didn't help that Daigo had gotten the best of Tokido the last several times the two had met outside of the Invitational. 

Because of that, the game began with extremely methodical play from Tokido to keep Daigo at bay and slowly chip away at his health. The tactic payed off as Tokido took the first match and go up 1-0. 

Strong special play and neutral control defined the next match, with Tokido bullying Daigo's Guile and taking life away in chunks. It seemed like Daigo couldn't get over Tokido's well-placed fireballs and dragon punches no matter how hard he tried.

Up 2-0, Tokido went insane with Akuma in the third match, keeping Daigo constantly on the defensive and always uncomfortable. As his confidence gres, Tokido began taking more chances, ultimately paying off in a lopsided 3-0 victory. Completely shocked, the audience sat in silence as Daigo went to the loser's bracket without winning a single match.

Finals Game 2: Problem X vs. Smug (Abigail vs. Balrog)

With one of the Invitational's hottest American fighters taking on frenemey Problem X, the audience erupted in chants of "U.S.A.", filled the studio a nationalistic fervor that only fed Smug's already overflowing confidence. 

As one of Street Fighter V's scummiest characters took on one of its spammiest, things started out hot with Problem X reminding Smug why Abigail is one of the hardest characters to beat. Dealing  heavy damage and soaking up crush after crush, Problem X threw smug around the arena to body Smug into an 0-1 corner. 

But there was something in Smug's eyes that told us all he wasn't about to go down without a fight.  In Match 2, he came back strong and completely dominated to win both rounds and tie things up 1-1. Putting Problem on his toes going into the third match, it quickly became evident Smug wasn't scared of Abigail after his Match 1 jitters -- Smug took Match 3 to go up 2-1 on Problem X. 

Smelling blood in the water, Match 4 was more of the same. Smug dominated Problem X in every conceivable way, sending the British fighter packing. Winning 3-1, Smug showcased what a jumpback really is -- and why his Balrog was the character to beat.

Finals Game 3: Smug vs. Daigo (Balrog vs. Guile)

Coming off a loss to Tokido in the winner's bracket, Daigo didn't take a red-hot Smug lightly. It was a match between an excellent, nearly flawless Guile against an unbeatable Balrog. On paper, Smug should've had little chance against the Dai-God, but his momentum and ferocity were unmatched, spelling doom for the seasoned pro. 

As things got underway, Daigo knew he had to play it slow to survive against Smug's Balrog. And in the early goings, it seemed like Daigo had a strong gameplan: no matter what Smug threw at Daigo, he didn't lose his composure and kept the attack methodical and patient.

But even patient play couldn't keep him from going down 1-0. 

Emboldened by the American's win, the crowd grew louder going into the second match. Daigo collected himself and pushed forward, using strategic flashkicks and booms to wear Smug down. Weathering the storm, Daigo evened things up at 1-1. 

Going into the third match, each player looked to slow things down, jabbing at each other, playing the neutral, and testing each other. Smug took the first round with a pixel after forcing Daigo into the corner. A flash kick secured the round two for Daigo after a barrage of hits forced him to trigger early. But in a match that would eventually define Daigo's night, the veteran's patience and persistence weren't enough to best Smug, and he went down 2-1. 

As the crowd erupted, the two went into set match, both drilling away at each other, taking off massive amounts of health with reversals, specials, and throws. Here, in what some thought would be a defining moment, the legend of Daigo reared its head to force a fifth game. 

With things tied up 2-2, set match saw insane defense from Smug in the second and third rounds. In what may go down as one of the most critical misses of the tournament, Daigo whiffed an almost certain CA to get punished by Smug. A blocked flashback into a devastating uppercut sealed the match for Smug, sending him to the Grand Finals to face a disciplined Tokido.  

Grand Final: Tokido vs. Smug (Akuma vs Balrog)

Coming into the Grand Final from the loser's bracket meant that Smug had to reset the bracket to take the ELEAGUE trophy home. As if that wasn't difficult enough, he had to do it against Tokido, who was not only the defending EVO champion but hadn't lost a single game during the SFV Invitational. 

Starting things out, Tokido played very patient -- but perhaps too patient. Even dropping a huge combo early on, Smug was able to assert his dominance in with clutch play after clutch play -- with some combos completely mystifying both the audience and commentators alike.  

In many ways, it appeared Smug was destined to win -- as if he was unbeatable. Thinking he would win the second round of the second match, Tokido pulled off what would have normally been a match-ending Critical Art, but leaving Smug a pixel, his opponent pushed back and defeated Tokido with his own CA, riding that momentum into the next round to go up 2-0. 

With much of the outstanding play we'd already seen over the course of the night, Smug reset the bracket by going 3-0. The crowd frothed with excitement, and Smug sat in confident disbelief that he had just swept one of the best Street Fighter players in the world without breaking a sweat. 

However, as it often does with any sport, halftime was the intermission within a tale of two halves. 

In a quick succession of events, Tokido looked like a changed man, coming out extremely strong on both offense and defense to punish Smug in the first two matches of the second set, winning handily -- and not dropping a single round. Smug fought back, taking both rounds of the third match to pull closer at 2-1. 

It what was a flurry of matches -- the second set flew by at breakneck speed -- the two combatants ferociously fought for dominance. In a valiant effort, Smug took Tokido to the line multiple times, only to be defeated again and again. 

It was the end of a Cinderella run. Tokido dominated the second set and took the tournament with the greatest of ease, winning the ELEAGUE final 3-1 and taking home $110,000. 


To see all the action from the 2018 Street Fighter V Invitational Finals, head over to ELEAGUE's Twitch channel to see a complete replay. Stay tuned for more news and information on not only Street Fighter V, but next year's ELEAGUE Invitational. 

Header image credit: ELEAGUE

Shaq (Fu) Leads Star-Studded Street Fighter V Charity Tournament Thu, 28 Jun 2018 13:42:01 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Not only can Shaq ball -- he's a formidable opponent in Street Fighter V. But just like it was in last year's ELEAGUE charity SFV tournament, his path to victory won't be easy. Standing in his way will be his arch-rival and former pro wrestler Natalie Eva Marie. 

In 2017, Shaq pulled off the controversial upset over Marie to win the tournament (with a little help from ELEAGUE's Tasty Steve). And the highlight of this year's celebrity showdown charity event is surely the anticipated rematch between the two avid Street Fighter players. World Series champ Jimmy Rollins and 13-year NBA vet Baron Davis will round out the field. 

However, these celebs won't just be competing for bragging rights for an entire year, they'll also be competing for their favorite charities. The winner will receive the majority of the showdown's prize pool for their charity of choice. 

Here are the charities each player will be supporting in the showdown: 

The one-night tournament will be single-elimination and feature two first-round matches and a winner's match to wrap things up. Analysis of the celebrity showdown will be provided by ELEAGUE staples Steve "Tasty Steve" Scott, Zhi "Zhieeep" Liang Chew, Stephen "Sajam" Lyon, and Reepal "Rip" Parbhoo. Josh Gray will emcee the tournament. 

Tune in to TBS tomorrow night, Friday, June 29, at 11 p.m. EDT/PDT to catch all the action. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on ELEAGUE and Street Fighter V as it develops. 

To catch up on all the action (so far) from ELEAGUE's Street Fighter V Invitational, check the links below: 

ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational Group D Highlights Mon, 25 Jun 2018 16:25:17 -0400 Jonathan Moore

There's no doubt that Group D of ELEAGUE's Street Fighter V Invitational was the most talent-rich and explosive group of the entire tournament. Appropriately dubbed the "Group of Death", Group D proved to be a veritable gauntlet for all of its fighters -- regardless of their pedigree. 

The group featured not only some of the FGC's most decorated fighters and fiercest up-and-comers in players such as FChamp, Fujimura, Infiltration, and iDom, but it also featured two of the five Japanese fighting game gods: the legendary Daigo and infamous Haitani. 

Going into the night's featured matches, seasoned vet FChamp and relative padawan iDom found themselves on the outside looking in, eliminated in the lower bracket by Haitani. 

Yes, the field was so fierce and full of carnage that even Haitani found himself in the lower bracket to start things off. But would the initial bracket stay that way? Of course not. Here's what went down in featured play.  

Daigo vs. Infiltration (Guile vs. Menat)

Coming into the match, both Daigo and Infiltration had played very well in the group's round-robin play. Daigo had gone 4-1, while Infiltration had found his balance and finally found his balance, beating the field sans Daigo and Haitani. 

Operating a bit out of his comfort zone, Daigo began the match using more normals than specials in order circumvent what could be devastating reflections from Infiltration's Menat. 

Both fighters were slow to use their critical arts, letting each game play out defensively for the early rounds. Each fighter pecked at the other, with infiltration's Menat keeping Guile's power at bay, forcing Daigo to resort to a few booms and a lot of normals in Game 1.

However, Infiltration came storming back at the beginning of the second game to body Daigo's Guile. Employing patience and tight air-to-airs, Infiltration won the second game with an absolutely insane combo into critical art for a whopping 40 hits. 

Moving into Game 3 and Game 4, Infiltration proved a fierce and worthy adversary for Daigo, pushing the legend to the limit and forcing him to adapt his playstyle. Intelligent play put Infiltration up 2-1 going into Game 4. But Daigo wasn't going to go down that easily. 

Tying things up 2-2 going into Game 5, Daigo completely changed the way he played Guile. Going from nearly all booms (so, so many booms) in Game and Game 4, Daigo nearly dropped booms entirely to focus on jump backs and normals. 

The tactic worked in Daigo's favor, catapulting him past a pesky if powerful Infiltration and into a rematch with Fujimura. Infiltration would go on to face Haitani in the lower bracket. 

Haitani vs. Infiltration (Akuma vs. Menat)

Much like Dogura and Momochi before him, Haitani had blazed his way through the first two challengers in Group D's lower bracket. He was on fire coming into his match with Infiltration, and he was going to be a very, very tough opponent for the recently defeated fighter.

If round-robin history repeated itself, we'd see Haitani getting the best of Infiltration. But is that how it would play out?

As things got underway, it looked as if it actually would. Haitani quickly -- and handily -- won the first round of the match's first game. It was a fast, 23-second victory that stunned the crowd, put Infiltration on the defensive, and ultimately gave Haitani the first game. 

Down 1-0, Infiltration wasn't about to get bodied and sent home so easily. Settling in, Infiltration weathered the Haitani storm, making the legend play in the neutral and dodge what seemed like relentless orb volleys from a strategic Menat. Several key reflects and a clutch critical art pushed Haitani to the brink -- and gave Infiltration his first victory of the match. 

Things played out similarly in Game 3, putting Infiltration up 2-1 going into a critical Game 4. Where once it looked like Haitani's choice of Akuma -- a character he had only recently began playing -- would pay off, the chances of a character other than Necalli getting him to the Invitational's playoffs grew smaller by the second. 

Ultimately, Haitani's play just wasn't enough. A slippery Infiltration forced several huge misses from the fighting game god, while an impenetrable defense meant that even the attacks that did land often did minimal damage. 

Infiltration was a changed player in his bout with Haitani. Where he taunted Daigo, showboating with Menat between hits and games, none of that was to be found against Haitani. Infiltration had settled in -- and that was very scary for whoever was set to face him in the coming matches. 

Daigo vs. Fujimura (Guile vs. Ibuki)

Fujimura had proved his dominance over Daigo earlier in the night during round-robin play to secure the number one seed. Calm and collected, Daigo sought revenge -- and a straight path to the Invitational's playoffs on July 13. 

Playing on the training stage, it looked early one very much like a training match with Daigo bodying Fujimura in Round 1 of the first game. Continuing that dominance through the second round, Daigo easily took the first game, with Fujimura looking like a shadow of his recent self. 

However, it was a tale of two games. Not to be sent home so easily, Fujimura collected himself and entered the second game of the match with a renewed fire in his eyes. It what proved to be an exact mirror of the first game, Fujimura this time bodied Daigo to even things up 1-1 going into the third game. 

As play went on, the respect each player held for the other began to shine through with surgical defensive play and even a few crouching stare downs where both Fujimura and Daigo sized up his opponent before moving in with fierce, calculated attacks. 

Not to be outdone by his opponent, Daigo mixed things up in Game 3 to throw off the surging Fujimura. Where he once was using booms and baby booms to cause confusion and ward off his opponent, Daigo tweaked his strategy to employ devastating EX flash kicks and precision air throws to go up 2-1. 

I'm not even going to try and describe the match's epic fourth game. You'd be better to watch it right here.  

Ultimately, though, Fujimura's rally wasn't enough to push him past the Daigod. The latter moved into the Invitational's playoffs while the former dropped down to the lower bracket to face Infiltration. 

Fujimura vs. Infiltration (Ibuki vs. Juri/Chun-Li)

For the second time in the tournament, a 5-0 round-robin one seed found himself in the lower bracket -- and on the brink of elimination. Fighting for his life, Fujimura had his work cut out for him as he entered play against Infiltration. Despite his win over the South Korean player earlier in the night, nothing was a given in the Group of Death. 

Things started fast and furious with Infiltration's Juri wreaking havoc on Fujimura's Ibuki right out of the gate. But the surprise pick by Infiltration wasn't a match for the tenacity and superior play of Fujimura and Ibuki. Well-timed neutrals and a ravaging shuriken stunned Infiltration and put Fujimura up 1-0. 

In what some saw as a desperation move -- and one that was ill-advised considering Infiltration's acuity with other characters -- Infiltration switched things up going into Game 2 by picking Chun-li, a character that he hadn't had much success with earlier in the night. 

Much like it had proven to be a bad decision against Fujimura's Ibuki in round-robin play, the choice was a bad decision once again. Having only been playing Chun-li for three days, the unfamiliarity with the character showed as Fujimura obliterated Infiltration in the second game of the match. 

Despite getting utterly destroyed in the previous game, Infiltration chose to stick with Chun-li and show why he was so committed to the pick against Fujimura by netting two victories in a row to take game three.

But the power of Fujimura ultimately proved too much for Infiltration. Like a toddler still learning to walk, Infiltration simply made far too many mistakes that left him wide open to boomeranging shurikens. 

Fujimura advanced to the playoffs, breaking the one seed 5-0 curse that dethroned Luffy in Group A. 


ELEAGUE'S Street Fighter V Invitational is a five-week competition that pits some of the world's best Street Fighter pros against each other for $250,000 in prizes. Now that the Invitational's group play is finished and the playoff bracket is complete, be sure to watch the final matches on ELEAGUE's Twitch channel, as well as TBS, on July 13. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more coverage of the tournament, as well as Street Fighter V, as it develops.

ELEAGUE's SFV Invitational Prepares for the Group of Death Thu, 21 Jun 2018 15:45:38 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Prepare yourself, fighting game fans. The time has come for ELEAGUE's Street Fighter V Invitational Group D round -- otherwise known as the Group of Death. 

The Invitational's previous three rounds featured some truly scintillating play from household FGC names such as Tokido, Problem X, and Punk -- but what we've seen so far might very well pale in comparison to what will go down in the ELEAGUE studios in less than 48 hours. 

And the action will start right out of the gate. 

Two living Street Fighter legends in Daigo Umehara and Haitani are set to face each other in Match 2 of round-robin play(!), while Fujimura, Infiltration, FChamp, and iDom will round out the star-studded field while vying for the group's number one seed. 

Stakes are high, the competition is fiercer than ever before, and anyone could win -- or go home.  

"Group D stands for the Group of Death. It was clearly constructed with entertainment top of mind, with it bringing such heavyweights as EVO Champions Daigo, Infiltration and Filipino Champ. Get your popcorn ready."

-- Zhi "Zhieeep" Liang Chew, ELEAGUE Analyst


Starting tomorrow, Friday, June 22 at 3 p.m. EDT on ELEAGUE's Twitch channel and B/R Live, Group D round-robin play will get underway, with competitors facing each other for a chance at two spots in the Invitational's playoffs -- and a prize pool worth more than $250,000.

Fans can see the entire round-robin schedule by visiting ELEAGUE's website

Following the livestream, be sure to tune in to TBS at 11 p.m. EDT/PDT to see the group's strongest world warriors square off in the upper- and lower-bracket Group D finals. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and info on ELEAGUE and Street Fighter V as it develops. Make sure to check out our ongoing coverage of the tournament here

Street Fighter V Invitational Group C Highlights Mon, 18 Jun 2018 15:55:16 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Another Friday meant another raucous melee at ELEAGUE's Street Fighter V Invitational. This week, the story was all about the good ol' U.S of A: four home-grown fighters entered the arena to vie for the chance at the ludicrous first-place prize money. And while only Smug made it out for NA unconcussed, his victory means we will see at least one more North American representative in the Invitational's finals on July 13. 

Coming out of the vicious preliminary rounds, the story line of Friday's featured matches was the intense play of Snake Eyez, who had blazed through the competition's round-robin play with only a loss to Nuckle Du. Going into featured play, he was the number one seed -- and he was playing at the very top of his game. 

But what may have been of even greater note going into the featured matches was that Justin "JWong" Wong, a name synonymous with Street Fighter and a living legend, had been eliminated from contention by a plucky Brolynho in the first game of featured matches. We'll be seeing him on the analysis desk next week -- and any of us rooting for him will have to go to our backups as the tournament moves forward. 

In a group where none of the players made it into the playoffs for ELEAGUE's Invitational 2017, things were chippy throughout the night. Here's what happened.     

Problem X vs Smug (Abigail vs Balrog)

The first winner's bracket match of the night was a struggle between two super powers in Great Britain's top-ranked Problem X and North America's confident (and dangerous) Smug. The two had faced off at NCR back in April, with Problem X using strong Abigail play to come out the victor.

Friday's first bout would end in similar fashion. 

Calling Problem X a cheater just before the match, Smug added fuel to Problem X's fire, none of which he needed to win with a powerful Abigail. 

The beginning of the game was all high intensity, with Abigail and Balrog both landing massive hits on each other. The crowd quickly came alive with the frenetic play and heavy combos lighting up the screens in the ELEAGUE studios -- and the first round went down as one the most intense matches in 2018's Invitational.

But as things calmed down and the two fighters settled into more defensive stances, Smug fell victim to several high-damage normals and EX moves to lose the first match of the game.

Not matter what Smug tried, he couldn't overcome the strong play of Problem X and Abigail. Vicious hit after vicious hit gained screen advantage for Abigail again and again, pushing Smug into stun after stun. Pushing hard, Smug didn't give Problem X much to work with, but Problem X was so focused and knew Smug's tendencies so well that the U.K. standout was able to easily body Smug for most of the game. 

Despite a Smug win in the second round of the third match, Problem X handily won the game 3-0 to move forward and face Snake Eyez.

Smug would move down to the lower bracket to take on NuckleDu. 

NuckleDu vs Smug (R. Mika vs Balrog)

NuckleDu and Smug had already faced off in Match 13 of round-robin play, with Smug coming out on top. A.) And going into this lower bracket match, it was clear that although Smug had just come off what could have been a demoralizing loss to Problem X, he was focused and ready to redeem himself.

Smug immediately showed the power of Balrog as he pushed NuckleDu's R. Mika into the corner to gain screen advantage and win the first round. With NuckleDu flipping the script in the second round for the win, he parlayed that small energy into a huge stun/K.O. combo in Round 3 to take the first match from Smug. 

As the game continued, each combatant traded heavy blow after heavy blow while sprinkling some truly stellar defense in between. Clutch command throws and Nadeshikos placed NuckleDu in the position to win early, but Smug wouldn't go away, taking the second match and evening the game 1-1. 

Extremely smart plays by Smug, as well as some well-placed combos, kept him well in the game as the two combatants went into Match 3, but NuckleDu's insane defense and clutch Critical Arts pushed the game to an elimination round where Smug stalwartly defends a flurry of attacks to a  push the game to a final match. 

Channeling that energy into pure focus, Smug quickly pushed NuckleDu into the corner to gain screen advantage. Relying on V-trigger, patience, and fundamentals to take control of the final match, Smug completely bodied NuckleDu, sending NuckleDu home as Smug advanced to the last game of the lower bracket against an unlikely opponent. 

Snake Eyez vs Problem X (Akuma/Abigail vs M. Bison)

With the 2018 Street Fighter V Invitational being the first time these players had faced each other in either Street Fighter IV or Street Fighter V, the x-factor in the duo's round robin match was Snake Eyez' willingness to take risks against Problem X's Abigail. 

So the question going into the match was: would he be able to do it again? 

Early on, that seemed the case as Snake Eyez quickly bodied Problem X with v-reversals and huge combos to take the first round of the game. However, Problem X wasn't going to let the European curse keep him out of the winner's circle. Quickly falling in stride after his first round loss, Problem X punished Snake Eyez to win two rounds in a row and finish off the match with a perfect. 

Realizing that his Akuma wasn't going to work against the savage offense brought on by Problem X's M. Bison, Snake Eyez changed to Abigail going into the second match. But like a true master, Problem X didn't get phased. Instead, he used his knowledge of Abigail against Snake Eyez, punishing him over and over with catastrophic EX moves and v-reversals. Against Abigail, Problem X made M. Bison look like a god. 

Knowing his hopes of moving into the playoffs were dwindling -- and that Abigail wasn't the answer to M. Bison -- Snake Eyez switched back to Akuma in the third match seemingly out of desperation. And initially, it seemed to work as Snake Eyez quickly gained a first-round perfect. It was almost as if Snake Eyez was a different player, showing complete focus and patience to body Problem X. 

Unfortunately, that power wouldn't last long. Problem X returned in rounds two and three a ferocious predator, crushing the Euro curse to win 3-1 and move into the playoffs. 

Smug vs Snake Eyez (Abigail vs Balrog)

Again it was Smug vs an Abigail. And by the look on Smug's face, he had had enough of Abigail, falling to Snake Eyez in round-robin play and having faced the same from Problem X just an hour before.

But with Snake Eyez in danger of being eliminated from the tournament despite coming into the featured matches as the number one seed and having played like a freak for the entire day, it was no one's surprise when he chose Abigail going into the game. 

Playing great neutrals and landing some stellar jump ins gave Smug hope early on -- and it showed in his play. Slowing things down, Smug made Snake Eyez play at his pace and by his rules, using surgical normals and ex moves to slowly whittle Snake Eyez down. 

However, that didn't mean Snake Eyez wasn't able to get the best of Smug from time to time. Trading matches, the fighters went into Game 3 bodying each other, landing heavy body blows and doing hefty damage. Smug again slowed the pace to get the better of Abigail early in the third game, gaining screen and pushing Snake Eyez into the corner for victory.  

With things tied up 2-2 going into the final match of the game, the tension in the ELEAGUE studios reached a fever pitch. The crowd cheering for Smug to pull off the victory, both players traded blow after blow, neither relenting to the barrage inflicted by the other. And just as it looked Smug was about to achieve victory, Snake Eyez viciously countered ... and in fact, I'll just let you see what happened to send Snake Eyez packing and Smug into the playoffs. 


ELEAGUE'S Street Fighter V Invitational is a five-week competition that pits some of the world's best Street Fighter pros against each other for $250,000 in prizes. This week, Group D takes the stage. You can watch the matches on ELEAGUE's Twitch channel, as well as TBS, each Friday through June. 

Want to know what went down in Group A and Group B? Click here and here to find out.  

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more coverage of the tournament, as well as Street Fighter V, as it develops.

Street Fighter V Invitational's Group C Features Top American Fighters Fri, 15 Jun 2018 11:26:07 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Over the past two weeks, ELEAGUE's Street Fighter V Invitational has showcased some of the very best fighters in the world. The matches held inside the ELEAGUE studios at TBS have been fast, furious, and at times, straight up mind-bottling with both champions and underdogs alike showing why they're the cream of the FGC crop. 

But heading into tonight's Group C matches, it's the tournament's American stars that are set to punch their ticket to the Invitational's playoffs on July 13 -- and truly light the competition ablaze. 

In a change from recent weeks, four of the six world warriors set to face off tonight hail from the United States:

  • Justin "JWong" Wong
  • Du "NuckleDu" Dang
  • Bryant "Smug" Huggins
  • Darryl "SnakeEyez" Lewis

Early predictions from ELEAGUE's Sajam and Zhi have "NuckleDu" making it through winners and into the playoffs, but as we've seen, literally anything can happen when fists start flying. 

Group C's preliminary round-robin matches start at 3 p.m. EDT today on both Twitch and B/R Live.

Group C's featured matches -- which will showcase the group's final four -- will air on TBS at 11 p.m. EDT/PDT tonight

The American hopefuls will not only have to compete against each other but also against a Top-20 Benjamin "Problem X" Simon and a plucky Thomas "Brolynho" Proenca, who's strong Necalli play has led him to upsets over championship players such as Infiltration at 2016's Brooklyn Beatdown. 

To catch up on the Invitational's previous rounds, be sure to check our coverage for Group A here and Group B here.  Stay tuned to GameSkinny for complete coverage of Group C following tonight's bouts. 

Street Fighter V Invitational Group B Highlights Mon, 11 Jun 2018 13:04:06 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Over the past two weeks, ELEAGUE's Street Fighter V Invitational has turned out to be a phenomenal and continuously surprising tournament. In last week’s Group A bouts, we saw a reigning EVO champ in Takido, as well as a tenacious Group A underdog in Dogura, make it to the playoffs. It was a night full of comebacks and shocking twists. 

Friday’s Group B matches provided more of the same. 

Moving out of round-robin play and into the bracket finals, Punk, Phenom, Momochi, and Commander Jesse were the four contenders left standing. In an almost perfect mirror of Group A's standings, Momochi went winless in round-robin play but ignited going into bracket play to defeat both 801Strider and Fuudo in the first two matches of the lower bracket. 

What’s more, Jesse "Commander Jesse" Espinoza, a contestant on ELEAGUE's The Challenger: Street Fighter V found himself in the Top 3 entering bracket play -- much like Jonathan "JB" Bautista did the week before in the Group A round.  

However, the primary storyline going into the night was the rematch between Punk and Phenom. Earlier in the afternoon, the two world warriors had faced off in the very first match of round-robin play. There, Punk bested Phenom just as he had in ELEAGUE’s 2017 finals — Phenom even had a similar nightmare drop. 

So going into the bracket finals, both analysts and fans alike desperately wanted to know if Phenom had truly gotten over “the drop heard around the world” -- and if he would get one more shot at Punk. 

Everyone would soon know the answer, but Phenom first had to get past Commander Jesse.

Phenom Vs. Commander Jesse: (Necalli vs. Dhalsim)

Ahead of the match, the atmosphere inside the ELEAGUE studios was tense — especially between Phenom and Jesse. Both were hyper-focused, dedicated to moving on to the impending match against Punk. Jesse told the audience he was just happy to be on such a great stage, but the look in his eyes said otherwise: he wanted to take down Phenom, too. 

The first game of the match started off clean for Phenom as he landed early heavy attacks to put Jesse into stun. A quick commando throw from Phenom took Jess down and secured Phenom's first-round victory in only 19 seconds. 

Although it wasn’t looking good for Jesse going into the second round of the first match, Jesse buckled down and set into focus. More composed, Jesse played very defensively and stretched out the second round. Both fighters went down to (crazy) low health, with Jesse pulling off the round victory with 39 seconds left on the clock.

However, it was one of the rare highlights for Jesse in the game. 

With Phenom up on Jesse 2-0, the third match of the game set the stakes high for Jess. Despite his every counter and adjustment, Jesse simply couldn’t get a consistent bead on Phenom. Not only was the concern palpable from the audience — it was written on Jesse’s face as the fighting resumed. 

Turning into a huge offensive battle between both players, Jesse pushed and brought Phenom to the brink in an excellent show of patience and poise, stealing another round from Phenom. 

But Jesse’s success would be short-lived. In the subsequent rounds, Phenom came out swinging, pulling off punishing command throws and completing clean jump-ins. In what proved far too much for Jesse’s Dhalsim, Phenom was able to cover incredible distance and activate clutch v-triggers to win the game 3-0 and advance to face his arch nemesis Punk. 

Jesse would move down to the “loser’s” bracket to face Momochi. 

Momochi vs. Commander Jesse (Kolin vs. Dhalsim)

Despite the veritable battle he had just fought against one of the best Street Fighter V players in the world, Jesse’s next loser-goes-home matchup would be one of his hardest of the night … and perhaps his last. 

Momochi had already proven a powerful bracket competitor by defeating 801Strider and Fuudo in the first two matches of the lower bracket. And that was after he had gone 0-5 in round-robin play. However, based on matches between the two earlier in the day, Jesse had gotten the best of Momochi, so it was anybody’s game going into the first round.

Just as the game between Phenom and Jesse had started off slow, so did the first match between Momochi and Jesse. Each player played neutral, attacking intermittently to test the other before jumping in with bigger prods.

Ultimately, it was Jesse who gained first damage and a win in the first match.

However, the confident look on Jesse’s face would soon fade. 

Despite the fantastically patient play from Jesse, Momochi’s Kolin played very aggressively, mauling Jesse for huge multi-hit combos. In the second match of the game, Jesse pulled off some incredible normals, specials, and throws, but got slammed into the corner after badly faltering. Where he was able to weather Momochi in the first match, Jesse dropped both rounds of the second. 

With the bout tied 1-1, it was obvious that Momochi had flipped a switch as he stared across the stage into the very fabric of Jesse’s soul. 

From then on, Jesse had rounds where he showed echoes of his former brilliance, but nothing he did could stop the onslaught that was Momochi. At times, Jesse looked petrified, locked in place by Momochi’s viciously relentless attacks. In the third game, Momochi landed multiple consecutive throws to go up 2-1 in the game. 

Things only got horribly worse for Jesse. In the following match, Momochi straight bodied Jess in the first round. And although Jesse fought back valiantly, taking Momochi down to a tic of health, it was too little too late for the Southern California hero. 

Jesse lost 3-1 -- and Momochi put himself in position to make it to the playoffs. 

Punk v. Phenom (Cammy v. Necalli)

This was the match everyone had been waiting for. Going in, Punk talked a ton of smack to Phenom, letting him know that he wasn’t going to be bested — no matter what his opponent threw at him. Phenom took it in stride, but from his body language, it looked as if Punk’s pre-match smack talk had (perhaps) gotten under his skin. 

Phenom started the game aggressively, pummeling Punk with normals and specials, interspersing a few throws for good measure. Phenom pulled great v-triggers, too, defeating Punk in first round. 

Into the second round, Phenom once again started strong, quickly putting Punk in the corner.

As Punk missed a crucial anti-air, Phenom jumped in again, pummeling Punk to gain screen advantage. But as the first match wore on, Punk leveled the playing field with a clutch critical art and disciplined, yet terrifyingly powerful normals to come out on top 1-0 in the match. 

Despite Phenom’s aggressive play throughout the next two matches, masterful blocking and defensive play from Punk kept the Norwegian player from connecting just about anything consequential at all. In the second match, Phenom struggled to connect anything early, with Punk utterly devastating him in all aspects of the game. And although Phenom started to come back in the later rounds, Punk firmly put him in his place with a completely dominating Match 2 performance -- and one that would inform the rest of the game.

Ultimately, Phenom couldn't overcome the sheer will of Punk, the alpha. Winning the game 3-0, Punk quickly forgets Phenom and issues a warning to Tokido, his first matchup in the upcoming Invitational playoffs: 

I don't really care about many opponents. I just care about the one that I play next and that's the only guy that I feel like has haunted me -- and he's the only guy I have to beat to regain everything. And that's Tokido. I just want Tokido to know that I'm coming for him next time and it will not be as free as last time. 

Momochi v. Phenom (Kolin vs. Necalli)

When these two fighters had faced each other earlier in the day, Phenom had completely disrespected Momochi with four consecutive throws and a savage win. The crowd was ready to see if Momochi would finish his Dogura-esque lower bracket run and redeem himself against Phenom or cave under the pressure of securing so many consecutive high-profile wins.

The winner would go on to fight Dogura in the playoffs. 

As the first match of the game began, both fighters started fierce. Both immediately jumped in each other’s faces, trading normals and specials to come even in health. The intense fighting eventually subsided into more cautious approaches by both players, with each only unleashing in short spurts of violence. 

Momochi secured the first round, and the second began more freely than the first, with both Momochi and Phenom trading places in the right corner — and trading rounds. 

As Kolin neared, stun in round three, Momochi pushed Phenom across the stage and the two played in the neutral before erupting into a hail of attacks from both sides. Ultimately, Momochi won the first match to go up 1-0 in the game. 

As the game wore on, Momochi continued to bring vicious, unrelenting attacks to bear, mixing in unbelievable range to wreak havoc on Phenom. Two devastating multi-hit combos sealed the first round of the second match for Momochi as Phenom's attacks couldn't seem to find their targets. 

Going into the third match, a seemingly desperate Phenom switched from Necalli to Guile, hoping to force Momochi into a new strategy. Alas, the character change didn't change the tenacity and ferocity of Momochi’s play. The one-sided match played out completely Momochi's favor. 

Phenom went home, and Momochi spectacularly won four straight 3 out of 5 games to advance to the playoffs against Dogura.


ELEAGUE'S Street Fighter V Invitational is a five-week competition that pits some of the world's best Street Fighter pros against each other for $250,000 in prizes. Next week, Group C takes the stage. You can watch the matches on ELEAGUE's Twitch channel, as well as TBS, each Friday through June. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more coverage of the tournament, as well as Street Fighter V, as it develops.

Street Fighter V Invitational Group A Highlights Mon, 04 Jun 2018 11:43:27 -0400 Jonathan Moore

It's no surprise ELEAGUE's Street Fighter V Invitational Group A matches were full of thrills and clutch performances. 

With some of the best players in the world facing off for a chance at $250,000 in prize money, all bets were off. And even though the high-energy atmosphere carried with it a sense of camaraderie and respect, it wasn't long before the gloves came off. 

After several hours of round-robin play, where the players fought for a place in the Invitational's Group A finals, there were a few interesting surprises in both the upper and lower brackets. For starters, both MenaRD and PR Balrog found themselves on the outside looking in when the Group A finals began. A feisty Dogura had handed each of them eliminations in some truly inspiring play in the lower bracket.  

But perhaps even more unexpected was that Jonathan "JB" Bautista, winner of ELEAGUE's The Challenger: Street Fighter V competition series, found himself in Group A's Top 3 alongside EVO champions Luffy and Tokido. 

As the combatants prepared to face each other in the finals, stakes were high: Two street fighters would go home, while two would advance to the Invitational's ultimate arena. 

JB v. Tokido (Rashid v. Akuma)

The first match of the finals saw JB taking on Tokido. It was the quintessential David vs. Goliath match: a champion facing an up-and-coming star.

It's true that JB's made a name for himself in areas of the FGC because of his Rashid main and performances at NLBC and WNF, but facing such a tough opponent in Tokido was an almost impossible task from the start.

JB fought valiantly as he and Tokido respectfully duked it out in the match's early games, testing each other with quick normals and EX prods. However, JB's aggressive play led to some missed opportunities and left him vulnerable at key moments -- which Tokido took full of advantage of.

Ultimately, Tokido's Akuma proved too much for JB and Rashid. Tokido's compact play led him to victory in the fourth game of the match as he drove JB into a corner, activating for heavy damage. Tokido followed up with an expert Sekia Kuretsuha to send the relative newcomer to the lower bracket to face Dogura.

JB v. Dogura (Rashid v. Urien)

This was a match that saw some truly great play between two tenacious combatants, with both JB and Dogura showcasing amazing offensive and defensive capabilities. Dogura had already beaten (however shakily) MenaRD and PR Balrog, so he was well warmed up for JB as the bout began -- but that didn't mean he came out swinging. 

Early in the first round of the first match, it was a defensive battle between the two, each feeling the other out with quick attacks and baits. A few clutch plays from JB and misses by Dogura helped JB win two rounds in the match, but ultimately, Dogura proved too much for the youngblood challenger: expert knee drops and throws by Dogura initiated stuns at key moments, leaving JB wide open for devastating combos. 

In the final round of the match, Dogura unleashed a near-perfect Aegis. And although blocked by JB, what appeared to be a missed final block opened him to a Dogura normal followed by a devastating EX counter that secured Dogura's 3-0 win, sending JB home.

Tokido v. Luffy (Akuma v. R. Mika) 

With JB eliminated from play, focus shifted to what would become the bout of the night. Two EVO champions facing off in Group A was surely exciting, but what would happen next was something that may very well be forever etched in Street Fighter's lore. 

In a match that went for five riveting rounds, Luffy's R.Mika utterly devastated Tokido's Akuma in the first two games. In Round 2 of the first game, Luffy was so effective that he gained a perfect victory over Tokido in only 19 seconds, shocking the crowd and commentators alike. 

However, Tokido was undeterred and came storming back. In what might be one of the best examples of focus in all of Street Fighter V play, Tokido recalculated his enemy and tweaked his strategy to land combo after combo on his opponent, effectively using nullifiers, counters, and clutch defensive play (alongside the rarely used dive kick) to best his opponent 3-2. 

Yes, Tokido, down 2-0 in the match, won three games in a row against one of Europe's best players to advance to the Invitational's finals. It was one of the most insanely entertaining finishes in professional Street Fighter

Luffy v. Dogura (R. Mika v. Urien)

Coming off such an exciting match in Luffy v. Tokido, the match between Luffy and Dogura took on new meaning. Going into the match, Luffy seemed to have lost the swagger he had held only half an hour before. It was clear that the loss to Tokido had affected him in both attitude and play. 

As the first game got underway in this final match of the night, both players attacked aggressively, trying to body the other into submission. Much like in the bout between Luffy and Tokido, Luffy proved how powerful R. Mika really is as he employed and landed throw after throw, giant swing after giant swing. He won the first game but struggled in the second. 

There, Dogura took both rounds with patient, methodical play, something that would come to define not only Dogura's play over the next three games but his play throughout the rest of the match. Alongside a few missed Nadeshikos and mistimed throws from Luffy, it was a strategy that saw Dogura best Luffy and advance into the finals, capping a task most thought incredibly improbable at the beginning of the night. 


ELEAGUE'S Street Fighter V Invitational is a five-week competition that pits some of the world's best Street Fighter pros against each other for $250,000 in prizes. Next week, Group B takes the stage. You can watch the matches on ELEAGUE's Twitch channel, as well as TBS, each Friday through June.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more coverage of the tournament, as well as Street Fighter V, as it develops.

Gift Guide: 10 Clothing Items for Gamers Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:53:58 -0500 ReadyPlayerPaige


Buy now from Hot Topic for $14.63


This Street Fighter shirt shows off Ryu's bearded look, and for a fighting game icon like Ryu, all it takes is a beard to show off his battle experience. This shirt is the ultimate gift for fighting game fans!




If you're interested in our other gift guides for gamers, you can find them here!


Buy now from Hot Topic for $14.63


He's sick, he's evil, and most of all, he's twisted. Grab this retro-style T-shirt depicting the trademark character of the Twisted Metal racing game series: Sweet Tooth. This shirt is the perfect gift for anyone that loves metal, clowns, racing games, or all three of them!



8. Mario & Luigi Slippers

Slip on some slippers with attitude! You can keep your friend's or family member's feet warm with the iconic Nintendo brothers, Mario and Luigi -- as slipper shoes!


Buy now from StylinOnline for $29.99.

7. Phantom Panic

Spooky and devilish, the Mario villain, Phanto, is probably the cause of many childhood nightmares. However, Phanto has probably never looked quite as stylish as it does on this T-shirt!


Buy now from Fangamer for $24.

6. Windjammers - Jammin'

If you live in the northern hemipshere, the holiday season probably isn't the best time to time to go to the beach and throw some frisbees around -- but you can still show off your style and attitude with this retro WindJammers T-shirt!


Buy now from Fangamer for $24.

5. Super Mario Jumpmen at Work T-Shirt

This T-shirt will make you feel like a constructor and get you to work hard! The stylized Super Mario art shows off a slightly different side of the Mario franchise. You can get this Jumpmen at Work shirt from FanGamer.


Buy now from Fangamer for $24.

4. Prototype 2 Leather Jacket

Feel like the ultimate hero with the leather jacket worn by the protagonist of Prototype 2. It probably won't grant your gift recipient the shapeshifting powers of Alex Mercer, but it certainly can't hurt to dress like him!


Buy now from Stylowears for 99£.

3. Super Mario Pajama Pants

Buy now from Hot Topic for $15.60


Get warm and cozy with these Mario pajama pants -- a perfect gift for the chilly holiday season! Available in all sizes for girls and guys.



2. Star Fox 2 Cover T-Shirt

Buy now from ThinkGeek for $14.99


Letting you fly through galaxies in a spaceship and take down your enemies as a heroic fox is probably one of the coolest things Nintendo ever let you do as a kid (or adult). If anyone you know is a Star Fox fan, you can surprise them with this T-shirt depicting the cover for the Star Fox 2 game.



1. The Legend of Zelda "Be Prepared" T-Shirt

Buy now from ThinkGeek for $19.99


This holiday season, bring this shirt home for that Zelda fan you know. With a reference to one of the most memorable quotes from the NES classic, this 8-bit styled Zelda T-shirt is sure to please.






There is nothing like a store for nerds and gamers. ThinkGeek, Hot Topic, and other great retail stores have some of the best gifts for gamers, nerds, and more. If you know anyone like that, you'll also probably know that they sometimes like to show it off in how they dress.


Here are some of the best nerd culture apparel you can buy for your friends and family!

Capcom's Street Fighter Popularity Contest Now Live Tue, 24 Oct 2017 07:51:55 -0400 Allison M Reilly

Who's the best Street Fighter character? With your help, Capcom's determined to answer that question once and for all with its Character Popularity Poll. Running from October 23 to November 5, the winner of the poll will be announced January 16, the same day as Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition's release. 

Per the rules of the contest, each entrant can only vote once. 

The Popularity Poll includes Street Fighter mainstays such as Zangief, Vega, Blanka and M. Bison, as well as newer faces like Zeku and Necalli. 

Capcom ran a similar poll in 2013, asking fans to vote for their favorites to help with marketing and future games. Ryu won that poll, followed by Ken,
Akuma, and Chun-Li.

Will Ryu win again? Will Ken finally take the top spot? Or will one of Street Fighter's more obscure characters make a break for internet stardom? The only way to know for sure is to vote in Capcom's poll and wait until January for the results!

These 5 Video Game Franchises are Turning 30 This Year... Feeling Old Yet? Mon, 01 May 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Dan Roemer

#1 - Metal Gear

Developed and created by Hideo Kojima and published by Konami and released originally in 1987 for the MSX2 and a few months later for the NES. Metal Gear is without a doubt one of my favourite franchises in gaming, this game arguably created the genre of stealth-action games as we know them today.


The concept of "stealth" in a video game in 1987 was almost unheard of.


Metal Gear would later see a sequel in 1990 in the form of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake which doubled down on the stealth aspects of the game, adding the ability to hide beneath objects and crawl. Metal Gear would then later come to the PlayStation in the form of a soft reboot known as Metal Gear Solid.


That incredible start menu music will forever be burned into my mind from when I first started the game up on my PlayStation.


Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear as a franchise itself would go on to receive critical acclaim (including from myself, check my video review) -- and would become one of Konami's most iconic franchises and would basically rocket creator Hideo Kojima into video game developer stardom, hence my placement for Metal Gear on this list.


The series would go on to tell one of the most intricate and extremely complex storylines in games spanning across decades between two very similar looking protagonists, but yet who end up being incredibly different.



The series would see plenty of sequels and spin off games and until recently the future of the franchise seemed bright and was gearing towards a Metal Gear 1-2 remake to complete the loop...



... But sadly the future now seems pretty dim for the series, with creator Hideo Kojima fired from Konami and his studio now having left Konami and the drama from what ensued has heavily damaged Konami's reputation and Metal Gear as a franchise. Konami however still insists Metal Gear games will be made,  but considering what they've shown so far for the next upcoming Metal Gear title -- Metal Gear Survive, I can't say I'm impressed nor are the fans.



Did you play any of these games when they originally came out? Have you got any fun stories of your time with these 30 year old games to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Before we get to my #1 pick, here are some honorable mentions of other notable games from 1987.

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!


Developed and published by Nintendo and released in 1987 for the NES (although originally released in 1984 for the arcades) -- Punch Out on the NES was one of the definitive NES games of the era. But since its release it hasn't had many notable releases other than Super Punch Out for the SNES and since it was originally in arcades in 84' -- it didn't make the list.

Kid Icarus


Developed by Nintendo R&D1 (one of Nintendo's oldest development teams, they were making arcade games and Atari 2600 games prior to Nintendo ever creating their own hardware) -- and of course published by Nintendo. Kid Icarus was originally released in Japan in December of 1986, however it would later release in North America in July of 1987. The game overall received mixed critical reception upon release, but long term it became a cult classic on the NES. Sadly it didn't make the list simply because it was more or a less a one hit wonder for over two decades until 2012's Kid Icarus: Uprising on the 3DS.



 Developed and published by Konami and released originally in arcades in 1987. Contra is one of the definitive run and gun games from the era and still has a lasting legacy to this day, the only reason it didn't make the list was simply because future releases just simply weren't as notable as others on the list.

Double Dragon


Developed by Technōs Japan and published by Taito, Double Dragon is one of the definitive beat em' ups of the era and arguably along side River City Ransom kick-started the popularity in 2d beat em ups as a genre. Double Dragon is still going strong today, with its latest releases of Double Dragon Neon and the classically inspired Double Dragon IV. Once again the only reason it didn't make the list and trust me -- this was my original #5 -- I just feel future releases weren't as notable as the original trilogy.

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards


Developed and published by Sierra On-Line, released originally in 1987 for DOS based systems. Leisure Suit Larry was basically an adventure game, in which the ultimate goal was simple; get laid.


Despite the game having barely next to no advertising due to the graphic content and humour, Leisure Suit Larry ended up being a sleeper hit and would go on to spawn plenty of sequels and remakes. However it didn't make the list because simply once again future releases aren't as notable.

#2 - Final Fantasy

Developed and published by Square and released in 1987 for the NES, the company now and days go by Square Enix since 2003 after both Square and Enix merged into a single company.



Final Fantasy was originally under the working title of "Fighting Fantasy" -- however Square at the time was on the brink of bankruptcy, so they decided to rename the game "Final Fantasy" -- ironically -- as they figured this would be their final game before shutting the doors.



However Final Fantasy ended up becoming a huge critical and commercial success for Square and would end up becoming one of the most prolific JRPG franchises of all time and is now celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and I'm sure we'll see more big announcements and plenty more Final Fantasy for a long time to come.


#3 Mega Man

Another game developed and published by Capcom and released in 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The original art-work for the North American release is notorious for being incredibly bad, just look at that gun he's holding -- almost everything about that cover is so bad it's good.



However as we all know Megaman would shoot to superstardom in the late 80s and early 90s and would receive a plethora of games, including spin off games, comic books, and even a few cartoons.


As for modern day Megaman, Megaman 10 released in 2010. Things sure have... Changed?


However today Megaman is more or less in a weird state of limbo, hence why it's in the #3 spot. Capcom has seemingly given up on our blue hero and there hasn't been any major release for Megaman aside from re-releases and ports, however co-designer Keiji Inafune did decide to do his own thing for better or for worse in the form of Mighty No. 9.

#4 Street Fighter

Developed and published by Capcom who unlike Test Drive's developers and publishers are still very much alive and kicking to this day. Street Fighter started its humble beginnings in 1987 as well, released originally for the arcades, the game would later release in 1988 and beyond for multiple systems. It received ports for DOS systems, PC Engine, TurboGrafx CD, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.


The game itself featured two player competitive fighting and up to 12 different characters -- however you could only play as Ryu as Player 1 and Ken as Player 2.



The other characters (Retsu, Geki, Joe, Mike, Lee, Gen, Birdie, Eagle, Adon, and Sagat) were purely AI controlled.


So basically you could only have a match between Ryu and Ken as Player 1 and 2, as for the main single player of the game itself, you go against AI controlled opponents from different regions.


All in all it didn't review too well from critics and wasn't really that notable, but Street Fighter II would change all of this and propel the franchise into main stream popularity.


The latest release in the series, Street Fighter V


Once Street Fighter II broke into the mainstream, the fighting genre would never be the same. Everything from spin off games, cartoons, movies and live action movies, Street Fighter is without a doubt the most popular fighting games in the genre. But it places #4 on this list simply because the original game wasn't very notable and vastly different to what the series would end up becoming.

#5 - Test Drive

Developed by Distinctive Software -- which was originally founded in 1981 and later went defunct in 1991 and published by Accolade (later known as Infogrames) -- who since 2009 are also sadly defunct.


The Test Drive series however to this day lives on, now owned by Bigben Interactive as of writing this. Test Drive began its humble roots in 1987 and was released for the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari ST, and Commodore 64 for DOS operating systems.


With only five cars to choose from (Lamborghini Countach, Lotus Esprit Turbo, Chevrolet Corvette C4, Porsche 911 Turbo (930) and the Ferrari Testarossa) -- and a single course to choose.



However the course was broken up into five stages, each separated by a gas station. The gameplay was pretty basic over all, you'd simply drive on a two-lane road while avoiding other vehicles and outrunning police speed traps.


But for the time almost nothing like this existed on console, it was cutting edge in what was possible for a game like this. Today the series still lives on -- but it hasn't seen a release since 2012's Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends.



Thirty years ago was a damn good year for gaming (I actually wouldn't know first hand, I was born in 1992) -- However what I do know is this era brought back console gaming from the fallout of the industry crash. We witnessed the rise to power of Nintendo and early years of SEGA, Square, Konami, Capcom, Activision, Electronic Arts, and plenty of other iconic companies and with that -- plenty of iconic franchises were born from this time period.


So let's go ahead and take a look back 30 years ago and break down the top 5 game franchises that began in 1987 (no sequels, brand new intellectual properties only) -- that would leave a lasting legacy to this day.

11 Awesome Video Game Bromances Sat, 18 Mar 2017 21:59:59 -0400 Shark Tank Gaming

Since the conception of the term "bromance," we've seen more and more examples of this type of friendship in all forms of pop-culture. To those who still don't know, a bromance is the relationship between two male friends that breaks the walls of mere friendship; they become "brothers." If there's one thing women hate the most, it's their man in a bromance.

We've had movies (mostly comedies) portraying this inseparable bond between buddies but (all alliteration aside), video games have used many bromances in their own stories, Here are STG's 11 Best Video game Bromances, bro... 

Mass Effect Trilogy

Commander Shepard & Garrus Vakarian

Garrus:"Nobody would give me a mirror. How bad is it?" 

Shepard:"Hell, Garrus, you were always ugly. Slap some face-paint on there, and no one will even notice." 

Garrus:"Ha-ah! Don't make me laugh, damn it. My face is barely holding together as it is. Ah, probably for the best. Everyone was always ignoring you and hitting on me. Time for you to get a fair shot at it."

Throughout their adventures in the Mass Effect series, Shepard and Garrus form a strong bond while trying to save the galaxy. If you played as fem-Shep, then you could have formed an even tighter relationship... Ahem.

But this is about the bros, so it stands to reason that sharing multiple near-death experiences would have only strengthened their friendship. Having similar personalities and a sense of humor helps, at least in our play-through.

Gears of War Trilogy

Marcus Fenix & Dom Santiago

Marcus: "What are you doing here?"

Dom: "Getting you out. Here, put this on." 

Marcus: "You could get into a lot of trouble for doing this."

Dom: "Not anymore. Things have changed. C'mon."

Another tale of friendships strengthened through battle and near-death experiences -- all while trying to save the world -- Marcus and Dom shoot their way through multiple alien species, as their mission is to eradicate all and save humanity. Two muscle-bound bad-asses carving their way through tough-as-nails aliens, all while spouting one-liners? This would definitely solidify a bromance.

Assassin's Creed II, Brotherhood, & Revelations

Leonardo Da Vinci & Ezio Auditore Da Firenze

Leo: "The blade is finished, though it will require the removal of your ring finger. It is the way the blade has been constructed."

Ezio: "Bene (fine). Do it, quickly."

Leo: "I'm just joking with you Ezio. In the past such a sacrifice was required but I have found a way to modify the blade."

This was always going to be a good combination. A master craftsman, painter, engineer, and all-around genius working with a sneaky, efficient master assassin. Ezio and Leo are the prime example of a great bromance, willing to risk their lives for one another and achieve their goals together. A bromance spanning across decades and countless Templar conspiracies sees this relationship to the list. 

Jak & Daxter Series

Jak & Daxter

Daxter: "Please, Jak, you're such a wimp. I could have taken them myself! Maybe you should sit on MY shoulder for a while."

This mischievous duo requires no introduction to many gamers. The Jak & Daxter series scored a massive following due to the captivating platforming, dialogue, and beautiful graphics. Naughty Dog definitely know how to create their characters/worlds and these two are no exception.

Daxter is usually riding Jak, pushing him forward and showing a somewhat false, yet still inspiring, sense of bravado from atop Jak's shoulders. However, when the time comes, Daxter has proven to be the ultimate ally as they go on a quest to not only change the furry friend back to his original form, but also to save their world as they know it.

Ratchet & Clank Series

Ratchet & Clank

Ratchet: "If I can get that, I can get past those robot guards."

Clank: "Robots are not so easily fooled."

Ratchet: [trying to trick Clank by pointing at something] "Ahh! What's that?"

Clank: [falling for the trick, Clank turns his head] "What?"

Ratchet: "Uh-huh..."

The only other duo that seemed to pick up hot on the tails of Jak & Daxter, this ingenious little robot and his marsupial accomplice span their known galaxies going on bounty hunts, stopping villainous henchmen and bosses along the way.

Ratchet & Clank are right up there with the Jak & Daxter games (though they have released a few more installments than the former).They have amassed their own cult following, even managing to take part in one of the most dangerous combat sports arenas in the universe and survive!

Street Fighter Series

Ryu & Ken

Ryu: "Let's leave the talking to our fists!"

Ken: "Can these things even talk?"

Everybody's favorite fighting duo from the Street Fighter series undoubtedly belong in this list. With a bromance spanning decades now (how do they stay so damn young?) and more than a few ways that it could have ended very, very badly, these two show us what true brotherhood and friendship can be. 


Contra Series

Bill Rizer & Lance Beam

Considered one of the hardest game series ever made, Contra puts games like Dark Souls and Battletoads to shame with its insane difficulty system (a true SNES staple). Many controllers have been broken against walls via fits of rage and epic moments of completion in this game, which solidified its place in history.

Contra brought forth two bad-ass bros, Rizer & Beam. Shwarzenneger and Stallone got nothing on these two. Side scrolling, shooter action at its finest.


Army of Two

Tyson Rios & Elliot Salem

Phillip: "No problem, fuck-o."

Rios:  "Fuck-o? Who says that?"

Phillip: "I'm gonna kill you both, slice you open and go to an aerobics class wearing your intestines for leg warmers!"

Salem: "I mean... does that even make sense?"

Elliot Salem & Tyson Rios, two bad-ass dudes who clearly live through hundreds of death-defying moments together, covering each other's hides. Their job? Being a complete 'Army of Two', with Salem & Rios, flanking, tactics, firefights and one-liners are literally their life.

Playing as these two mercenaries really pulls everything together if you have your very own bromance buddy sitting next to you playing co-op, even if things get a little weird.

Telltale's The Walking Dead -- Season 1

Lee & Kenny

Kenny: "Hey. Lee. You know how to pick a lock, right?"

Lee: "No, why would you say that?"

Kenny: "Well. You're... you know... urban?"

Lee: "Oh, you are NOT saying what I think you're saying."

Kenny: "Jesus, man! I'm from Florida! Crazy shit comes out of my mouth sometimes. Sorry."

Lee first meets Kenny at Herschel's farm after saving Clementine from a couple of zombies and bringing her along with him. Kenny has his wife Katja and his son 'Duck' there with him and things seem to be going kind of well.

As this is Telltale's TWD, this peace and serenity is short-lived. After a chaotic and surprising zombie attack, Herschel's son is killed and the gang are banished from the farm.

Lee and Kenny continue to do what they can with the ragtag group of survivors they meet up with but Kenny starts to lose his wits. This forces Lee to make some seriously hard decisions for all of them. A bromance that stands the test of time (or at least until the last episode of Season 1), Lee & Kenny are the perfect example of a true bromance, looking out for each other (and their subsequent 'families') no matter what happens; arguments, punch-ups, and all. 

Uncharted Series

Nathan Drake & 'Sully' Sullivan

Sully: "I'm sweating like a hooker in church!"

Drake: "You took a hooker to church?"

Sully: "Nate, let's just pretend for a minute that I don't really care about any of that and cut to the chase will ya?"

Drake: "Man only interested in the climax. You must be a real hit with the ladies."

Sully: "Never had any complaints."

Now there can be the argument made here where Sully isn't really a 'bro' and more of a father figure, however as they are not related by blood, this still counts as a great bromance. 

Throughout the Uncharted series, Sully is Drake's mentor and partner, keeping him focused and getting him to continue using his head and not his, erm, other head. Regardless of how you personally view their relationship, Sully is bonafidede bro in all aspects of the term and continues to be there for Drake no matter what.

Now Nathan's real brother, on the other hand.

Sonic the Hedgehog Series

Sonic & Tails

Sonic: "We good to go or what, Tails?"

Tails: "I've built a TV out of paper clips..."

Sonic: "Yeah..."

Tails: "...and reprogrammed a super computer using dish washing detergent and a toothpick..."

Sonic: "I know..."

Tails: "...So look, fixing a propeller on a biplane? That's about as difficult as taking a nap."

Sonic: "Kay, I did not need your whole life story. A simple "good to go" would have been cool."

Tails: "Alright. Good to go!"

These two heroes need absolutely no introduction to the gaming world (unless you've been living under a rock you're entire life). Sonic & Tails are the ultimate bros, taking part in adventures throughout the entire Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.

Once thought to be a female, Tails' first name is actually Miles, so show us one woman with that name, but I digress. Tails can fly and Sonic can run really, really fast. Put these two together and you have a bromance that spans across decades and still moves strong to this day.


So there you have it. The 11 Best Video Game Bromances that STG thought deserved some attention. Next time you pick up any of these games, see how much you notice.

So what did you think about the list? Any that should have been mentioned or that we seemed to forget? What did you think of the bromances listed? Leave a comment below and look out for our next article!

Crossplaying: A Form of Self-Expression and a Way to Have Fun Sun, 15 Jan 2017 23:47:18 -0500 Unclepulky

At the college I attend, the majority of students are members of the LGBT community, myself included. There are some students who completely know who they are, while others are simply curious, and are experimenting. Either way, it is a very open-minded place.

Sadly, the world as a whole is not as open-minded a place, with some countries such as Russia continuing to be especially homophobic. Even in countries such as the United States, which claims to be a land of equal opportunity, people continue to face prejudice and discrimination for their sexual identity, and/or, their sexual preferences.

With these open minded thoughts in place, let's talk about cosplaying!

Cosplaying is both a great form of self-expression, as well as just being a way to have a lot of fun. It's something a lot of my friends and I do, and we always have a great time. However, as seems to be the case with any form of entertainment, there is a dark side to cosplaying.

Often, people, usually trolls, will come up to cosplayers, and point out everything wrong with how they look, or just make other rude comments.

Frequent victims of this verbal abuse are crossplayers. Crossplayers, for those unaware, are people who cosplay as characters who are of a different gender than them.

Both in person and online, I see crossplayers taking mountains of abuse just for dressing up as a character they love, who just happens to have different reproductive organs and hormones.

Something quite sad is that I've met a number of people who, while usually accepting of the LGBT community, still look down upon crossplayers.

Now, I am a member of the LGBT community, but not everyone who crossplays is. There are an abundance of crossplayers out there who don't care about gender at all, and just want to have some fun.

Sadly, a double standard seems to have been set. In more cases than not, I find that while the average male attending a convention will have no problem with a woman dressing as a male character, if a man has the audacity to dress as a female character, they'll receive disdainful looks and harsh remarks in response to their hard work.

Good cosplay require a lot of time, effort, and money. And for most of us, it's just a form of recreation. While I'm usually the first person to call this statement out as outdated, this is definitely one case of, "if you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all."

The world is filled with problems, and unfortunately, wide spread homophobia isn't going to stop for many, many years. In my eyes, the very least we can do is allow crossplayers to enjoy themselves at conventions. Either way you look at it, when you're cosplaying, you're not really yourself anyway.


For anyone curious, some of the cosplays I've done are of: Kazuma Kuabara from "Yu Yu Hakusho," Cassandra Cain from DC Comics, and I'm currently working on a cosplay of Kyoko Sakura from "Puella Magi Madoka Magica."

Brawling for nearly 30 years -- A brief history of Street Fighter - Thu, 29 Sep 2016 11:36:08 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

As of today, Street Fighter is nearly 30 years old and within that time they have experienced a unique history. The fighting game series created by Capcom has become their second best selling franchise. Here is a a brief timeline.

Despite what most fans may remember, the series first debut was actually in 1987 for arcades. Street Fighter was a fighting game that starred Ryu as he fought in worldwide tournament against various foes. The game allowed second players to play as his blond, red gi wearing, rival Ken. The game was well received at arcades in Japan and aboard.

World Warrior sets the world on fire

Now armed with newfound  popularity Capcom sought to create a sequel. In 1991, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior was released in arcades. The game eventually saw ports to the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo home consoles. 

It was the first one on one fighting game that allowed players a pool of characters to use -- The game also was a first where players were able to use fighters from different corners of the world -- Players were introduced to Chun-Li hailing from China, the good-natured Dhalsim from India, the villainous Vega and so forth. 

Street Fighter II became the face of competitive videogames and by 1993 Capcom earned over 1.5 billion in worldwide sales. The game saw various updates and the character roster increased. The game's popularity continued to grow.

Ryu and friends get younger and things get serious

Now in 1995, during the era of the PlayStation, Capcom released Street Fighter Alpha. During the mid to late 1990s, the series consisted of three titles released for arcades and the consoles. Alpha's narrative took place years before Street Fighter II and featured a younger cast from Street Fighter and other games.

The game included air blocking, counters, 3 super combos, and overall it provided players more strategic options. The visuals were more expressive and almost cartoonish. The series continued to enjoy considerable popularity.

Third time's the charm

In 1997, Street Fighter III: New Generation was released in arcades and served as the direct sequel for Street Fighter II. The game was somewhat polarizing for fans. Aside from Ryu and Ken, the game featured no character from the previous games. In fact the lead character is now the younger wrestler Alex and no longer Ryu.

The roster of characters increased by three with the 2nd Impact release. In 1999, with the release of Street Fighter III: Third Strike, the roster grew to 20. It bears mentioning, that Third Strike is considered by many fighting game and series fans as the best game of the franchise.

Many reasons lead to a few specifics. The game's animation and sprite work is wholly unique. The level of depth for both offensive and defensive responses isn't available in almost any other game. This is thanks in large part to the game's deep parry system, which allows you to deflect an opponents attacks without taking any damage, and counter.

A resurgence and revival

The series experienced its largest hiatus for nearly 10 years until Street Fighter IV released in 2008. The title was released for consoles a year later and this marked a shift in it's popularity. In what could be called a revival, many fans of the past and new fans gravitated to the new game. With the advent of the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, many fans were able to take part in online competition.

Street Fighter IV also increased its roster with other releases. At the same time, the series arguably returned to be the poster child of competitive fighting games. As such, over the years, the Evolution Fighting Championship Series, streams, and tournaments became highly popular.

The fifth round and going strong

It could be argued the height of Street Fighter may have not been reached yet. Even though Street Fighter V was released this February, it was met with a less than favorable launch post launch. Despite this, hardcore fans and the fighting game community at large have continued to support the game. 

In its final sendoff, Ultra Street Fighter IV introduced the world to the Capcom Pro Tour. The tour is a yearly accrual of events and tournaments as players worldwide prove themselves. From the moment it launched, SFV marked the beginning of the second CPT season. Street Fighter has come a long way. In nearly 30 years it continues to move forward as eSports most recognizable figures.

Great Games at a Steal: Minecraft, Street Fighter, Grand Kingdom, Star Ocean and Dark Souls III Tue, 06 Sep 2016 18:00:02 -0400 Kat De Shields

All of us gamers here at GameSkinny love to save money, so it's safe to assume you do, too. Check out these bargains on classics and recent releases.

Minecraft for PS Vita

Build on the go and save 35% off list price with this Amazon voucher. Don't let the creepers get you. 

Street Fighter for PS4

Get the standard edition for 58% off the list price. Or, get the collector's edition for 58% off, too! Either way, you're kicking mucho ass and you haven't even started the game yet. 

Grand Kingdom for PS4

This tactical RPG is a ton of fun. Scoop up your copy at 58% off the regular price. 

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness for PS4

If you haven't played this sci-fi odyssey yet, you're in for a treat. While you're at it, save 54% off the regular list price. 

Dark Souls III

Although this deal is only available for Amazon Prime members, there's no better time to try out a free trial to purchase this hard-ass game for $20 off. It will be money well spent and frustration well earned. 

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I’m always looking for new awesome products, so please send me your favorites at

Video game speed dating: Finding the best fighting game franchise for you Wed, 29 Jun 2016 11:27:20 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Do you ever feel... stuck? Bored with your current relationship? Has the spark gone away? Are you getting frustrated with things that you once found charming and unique? Maybe the game you once saw as the best fighting game ever just... isn't anymore. If so, it's time to move on.

Fret not. Breaking up is hard to do, but you'll be happier for it. If you've answered yes to any of the above questions, it might be time to find a new fighting game to call your own.

In that spirit, we've compiled this brief overview of most of the major fighting game franchises with active competitive scenes, rated for game speed, friendliness to new players, and how active the game's competitive scene currently is.

Welcome, folks, to Video Game Speed Dating.

Super Smash Bros.

New-player-friendliness: 5/5
Game speed: 2/5
Activity: 4/5

Ah, yes. Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U. Even though the last bit of DLC has already dropped for the game, the scene continues to grow, thanks in no small part to the fact that the game is fairly easy to pick up and play at a relatively competitive level. Of all the titles on this list, Smash 4 is probably the best fighting game for newcomers to the genre.

Unlike Super Smash Bros. Melee, this version of the game is slower and more methodical. While there are advanced techniques like dash-dancing, pivoting, and foxtrots to learn, mastering fundamental play is more about mindset than twitch reaction times.

Success in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U comes from being able to read opponents and predict, based on their tendencies, what they'll do next. Oh, and by the way, if you want a guide on how to level up your Smash 4 game, we have one right here.

A great match for:

Methodical gamers who can appreciate a zero-to-death combo as much as a good prediction, and who don't mind memorizing strategies for a, frankly, insanely expansive character list.

Skip it if:

You get frustrated by campers, or have trouble dealing with projectile characters in fighting games. 

Super Smash Bros. Melee

New-player-friendliness: 1/5
Game speed: 5/5
Activity: 3.5/5

Perhaps more than any other fighting game on the market today, Super Smash Bros. Melee simply looks different when professionals play it. It's frenetic blink-and-you'll-miss-it action.

Being at all competitive in the insanely-fast-paced world of Super Smash Bros. Melee requires mastery of advanced techniques like wavedashing, as well as split-second reactions to what your opponent is doing.

All that is to say, the barrier of entry here is high, but if you're able to clear it, you'll be rewarded by entering a scene that has played host to some of the best moments in fighting game history.

A great match for:

Gamers who don't mind devoting months to mastering techniques, knowing that they are necessary to even compete at a basic level, and who then won't mind spending more time mastering character specific combos and honing reaction time.

Skip it if:

You thrive on instant gratification

King of Fighters

New-player-friendliness: 3/5
Game speed: 3.5/5
Activity: 2/5

The King of Fighters series has always been one of the more niche fighting game franchises currently running, especially when compared with the bigger franchises like Super Smash Bros. and Street Fighter

Despite this, the modern King of Fighters games are about as close as gamers can get to an older school 2D fighter like Street Fighter Alpha, or to a lesser extent, Marvel vs. Capcom. This is probably the best fighting game series out there for gamers that grew up mastering cancels and long combos, and who are a bit alienated by the slower, meatier direction the Street Fighter games are taking.

Time will tell what King of Fighters XIV brings to the table when it is released this August, but with Street Fighter V disappointing many fans of the series, there's no time like the present to explore other options.

A great match for:

Gamers who miss sprite-based 2D fighters of the late 1990's and early 2000's, but who are alienated by the additions made by 2D fighters like Guilty Gear.

Skip it if:

You don't like having 75% of your health bar destroyed by one combo

Mortal Kombat

New-player-friendliness: 3/5
Game speed: 2.5/5
Activity: 3.5/5

Chicago's Netherrealm Studios, the brains behind Mortal Kombat, have been hard at work these past few years. After partnering with Warner Brothers, the Mortal Kombat series of games (and, by extension, the Injustice games) have become huge, cinematic affairs with expansive character lists. 

The great thing about the growth of these games, however, is that the mechanics of the game have largely stayed the same throughout its existence (well, the weird 3D games excepted). Mortal Kombat's combo system has always been juggle based, rewarding players who are patient with their button presses with long combos that easily eat through opponents' health bars.

Yes, the developers have added advanced techniques and gameplay elements to the title throughout the years, but the meaty, bloody combat of Mortal Kombat X will be familiar to gamers, even if they have not played a game in the series since Mortal Kombat 2.

A great match for:

Gamers willing to workshop their own juggle combos and resets in an effort to find a zero-to-death combo.

Skip it if:

You don't like having 100% of your health bar destroyed by one combo

Guilty Gear

New-player-friendliness: 2/5
Game speed: 4/5
Activity: 3/5

With the recent release of Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator, the Guilty Gear scene has been infused with some much needed life. Unlike King of Fighters, Guilty Gear prides itself on complicated gameplay that requires careful meter management and in-depth knowledge of a burst system to string together combos. 

That said, for players that loved the more complex elements present in the later Marvel vs. Capcom games, Guilty Gear scratches that itch very nicely. Players will need to completely immerse themselves in the game's mechanics to succeed, mastering burst types, dust attacks and aerial rave linkups, all the while attempting to avoid one-hit-kill special attacks.

There's a lot to think about here, and the action gets very intense and hard-to-follow at the highest levels of play, but for connoisseurs of the 2D fighter genre, it's hard to find a game with a higher skill ceiling, even if you count Guilty Gear's similar-but-more-combo-focused cousin, BlazBlue. The best players out therewill find a lot to love in this fighting game franchise.

A great match for:

Gamers who don't mind learning and mastering unfamiliar mechanics.

Skip it if:

You don't want to have to practice in lab for, like, a year to be competitive. 

Street Fighter

New-player-friendliness: 2/5
Game speed: 3.5/5
Activity: 4/5

Despite Street Fighter V's rocky launch, and all the issues that came from Capcom releasing what was, in effect, an incomplete game, Street Fighter V is a mechanically sound fighter that follows in the footsteps of Street Fighter IV as another fighter where you really have to pick your moment to attack.

Though the removal of focus attacks in favor of character-specific V-skills and V-triggers has sped the game up considerably, combos in Street Fighter games are (generally) not as long as they are in other 2D fighters. This means that matches are more of a push-pull affair, where one mistake doesn't necessarily mean the end.

Because of this, it's generally easier for new players to pick up Street Fighter V and learn it, since they have more time to identify and try to learn from their mistakes. While the skill ceiling is high, the barrier for entry is low.

A great match for:

Fans of Street Fighter IV, gamers who prefer to learn by playing instead of by spending time in the lab.

Skip it if:

You don't want to fight hundreds of people online who main Ken

We hope that this has been helpful! Again, we know that it is sometimes scary to try something new, but it can also be exciting and fun. So next time date night comes around, light a few candles, dim the lights, put on some music, and pop the fighting game that is best for you. Really, you can't go wrong with any of them. They're all knockouts.

(NSFW) This guy's releasing nude and bikini mods for Street Fighter 5 Sat, 30 Apr 2016 07:33:25 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Like it or not, nude modding is a part of the PC gaming scene -- and fighters are definitely not exempt from the community's thirst for more skin. Street Fighter especially, considering the iconic status of so many of its female characters.

It was only a matter of time before Street Fighter 5 got the sexy mod treatment, and one guy's been at it since late March. TerryXX is his name, and making nude and swimsuit mods is his game.

TerryXX's mods give the girls of Street Fighter 5 a few more costume options, with less being more in this case.

So what sort of mods does he have for each girl so far? Well, there are the nude mods themselves -- which there are for Cammy, Laura, and R. Mika at the time of writing. You can get the download link for any of the mods listed on his Patreon page by clicking on the post title to see the full post description.

He's also created a fair amount of bikini and micro bikini mods, which leave at least a little to the imagination. He's already completed these for all the girl, though Chun Li's isn't quite the same, Cammy's already gotten special treatment in the form of a police bikini costume, and he's worked up a costume for R. Mika to look like Kagura from Oneechanbara.

TerryXX only posts new mods on his Patreon page and is asking for pledges to buy new hardware to create higher quality mods. It's up to you whether you want to support his efforts, but the mods themselves are available to anyone who wanders onto his page. His most recent additions are nude mods for Laura and Cammy.

More mods are definitely going to seep their way onto his Patreon, hopefully with more variety as he works up the models for each character. It seems a crime that he hasn't put out more Chun Li mods, it's a travesty! But an R. Mika is fine too.

Top 5 most fabulous characters ever! Thu, 05 May 2016 04:39:38 -0400 Cresta Starr



League of legends

We could not make a list talking about fabulous characters without the Gem Knight himself. Taking the top spot is Taric from League of Legends. This champion has been fabulous since his release back in 2009. Now, he has a new visual update to finally match the beauty that the whole League of Legends community has seen in him from the beginning. In addition to a visual update, Riot Games has updated Taric's lore as well. This beautiful yet fallen knight now has a compelling story that makes him seem more human and less ethereal. Regardless of his past, connoisseurs of beauty and "fabulousness" will find that his gems are truly outrageous.


Do you agree? Disagree? Feel like we missed someone? Comment below with your thoughts!


2. Mega Amphros

Pokémon X & Y

Mega Amphros on the list may come to you all as a shock (#punsofdamage) but this Pokémon has some serious fabulous staying power. Amphros goes from from drab to fab in a single Mega Evolution. There is even tons of fan art that has this Pokémon as the spokesperson for hair products like L'Oreal and Vidal Sassoon.


3. Vega

Street Fighter

As one of the OG fabulous game characters, Vega swipes his way into the 3rd spot on our list. This beautiful narcissist from Spain has been stealing hearts since his first appearance as a boss character in Street Fighter II. He values beauty over anything else -- which is why he wears a mask when he fights, to protect the gorgeousness of his face. In fact, Vega is so fabulous and vain that his mansion is beautifully decorated with portraits, all of him. With his long golden braided hair and nails perfectly manicured to a point, how could we not put him on this list?


4. Jean Armstrong

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations

Jean Armstrong is the proud owner of Trés Bien in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations. He loves to do non-passing drag, and boy does he look fabulous doing so. His French Maiden drag persona, Claurice, possesses all the qualities to make even the most seasoned drag queens blush. Jean is a bit of a kleptomaniac, which is how he ends up in jail in the game. Even though he is a thief, we love him and he has managed to steal a spot on this list.


5. Leblanc

Final Fantasy X-2

Leblanc is cocky and self-centered, which makes her perfect for the number 5 spot. Badass in her own right as the leader of the Leblanc Syndicate, she is your rival for much of Final Fantasy X-2. She's not all wit and sass, however -- she does have a soft spot for people who have nowhere else to go (often taking them in as one of her own). So not only is she is fierce and fashionable, she also has a heart of gold (which she probably stole) as well.


There are always characters that stick out for all the right reasons in games and in series -- because they're absolutely fabulous.


In this short list, we will visit some of the fiercest characters in their respective games. Using the criteria of: Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent (thanks Rupaul), we have selected 5 awesome characters for your viewing pleasure. Each of these characters posses an awesome flair that gives sass to their game. Lets begin!