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Cape Town Showdown 5 - All the blood and bones from the event

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Cape Town Showdown is one of South Africa’s longest running fighting communities and tournament hosts who - if the name didn’t give it away - are based in Cape Town and is the brainchild of Ryan ‘SAPhoenix’ Williams. Alongside a variety of more casual almost weekly get-togethers (where virtual beatings are handed out at one or another venue), the organisation also hosts a less regular beat-em-up fest simply know as Cape Town Showdown (*insert number here*).

This past weekend saw Cape Town Showdown 5 hosted at Kamimodo E-sports Café in Observatory, over two years since the fourth edition was hosted. That meant there were plenty of hungry virtual fighters in attendance, all keen to show their skills in one of the tournament titles on offer. Four titles and one mystery tournament were the order of the day, and this is how it all went down.

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On my arrival, there was already plenty of excitement and bloodshed around. A number of players were warming up on their preferred game (or games) of choice. A number of familiar and new faces were in attendance, but each and every one of them were there to ensure that bodies were bruised and bones broken.

The day’s action would entail tournaments for Mortal Kombat X, Guilty Gear Xrd, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Ultra Street Fighter 4, along with the aforementioned ‘Mystery Tournament’ which was a bit of fun for the 16 players that participated - if playing obscure fighting titles via an emulator didn’t drive you completely nuts first. Or Ballz for that matter…

While fighting is serious business, this along with the general supportive attitude of the players and community shows that the fighting community in Cape Town is not afraid to enjoy themselves and make what needs to happen, happen.

But, there was still serious business to attend to, and it was down to the final four in each tournament when the clock struck around 9pm (or clobbering time as I like to call it) at the venue.

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Mortal Kombat X

Probably the public’s favourite fighting game is not really the fighter’s favourite, but that didn’t stop 32 players from kicking things off in the double elimination bracket. Surprisingly, D1GamerKid, the winner of the Western Cape Mortal Kombat Cup qualifier, was not in attendance, but a number of other top finishers were and the competition still proved to be an intense one.

The final was eventually a battle between Luminous’ Sonya Blade and -_-‘s D’vorah (both having met in the winner’s bracket final too) which went back and forth round after round until it ended 3-2 in the favour of Luminous and resulted in a bracket reset due to him coming in from the loser’s bracket.

The decider saw Luminous (who was the winner of the Mortal Kombat X tournament at the Electronic & Gaming Expo in May) go 2-0 up and look like the favourite to take it, but -_- (also known as Sleepy Face, SadFace and Di Long) rallied to win three in a row and take the match 3-2.

  • First -_- R500
  • Second: Luminous - R200
  • Third: Lindseyboi - R100

The tournament bracket can be viewed here.

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Guilty Gear Xrd

Guilty Gear Xrd may seem a slightly obscure fighting game for many but it certainly threw up a thrilling final match. But that was only after I had marvelled at (third place finisher) PaasHaas’ controller which was a custom-made one with keyboard keys rather than the traditional stick and arcade buttons.

It transpires that he started his virtual fighting career on PC and finds that he still prefers to use the very unusual option as opposed to the traditional controller or arcade stick.

Luminous had managed to secure his second final of the night, with Ennohex being the undefeated finalist up against him. The final was another that went back and forth between rounds and saw Luminous again force a bracket reset. With both players looking a little like their fingers were about to fall off, Luminous bagged the first win, only to again be pipped by his opponent when Ennohex ran in three very close rounds in a row to secure the final 3-1.

I asked Ennohex to talk me through the final from his perspective:

"The final was pretty gruelling. I had a feeling that if Paashaas was eliminated I would stand a pretty good chance of making it. Seeing as I play both Potempkin and Axl, I knew I had a counterpick option to Luminous' I-no. I tried to clinch the match with Potempkin and it was going pretty well for me but I-no trumps Potempkin as far as mobility goes. I played my absolute best though.

When Luminous beat me to reset the bracket, he forced me to counterpick his character. Axl can lock down I-no's mobility with many of his attacks. Even then Luminous still took a game from me while I was adjusting to the character change. Once I adjusted, Lumi was at the disadvantage. Even so, none of the rounds were particularly one-sided. Luminous played really well, I just managed to get lucky with my defence."

  • First: Ennohex – R800
  • Second: Luminous – R200
  • Third: PaasHaas – R100

The tournament bracket can be viewed here.

Ennohex.jpg

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

27 players kicked things off in the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 part of the event, which saw the familiar face of -_- (yeah, I know what I did there) reach the final against HotShot. After two breathless finals, the Tekken final seemed a little more one-sided with -_- taking the winner’s prize of R500 with a 3-0 victory.

  • First: -_- – R500
  • Second: HotShot – R200
  • Third: Tiny_Light – R100

The tournament bracket can be viewed here.

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Ultra Street Fighter 4

The title that is probably both the most familiar fighter and the fighter’s fighting game secured 32 players playing in the double elimination tournament. It was also the game that featured a completely different set of competitors in the top four.

The finals were between Makomba, who played as Chun-Li ,and Skamanke playing as Dudley. Makomba went into the final as the winner’s bracket winner, so based on the results throughout the other finals, it was not unreasonable to expect the bracket to be reset. And almost true to form, that is exactly what happened.

The two competitors traded blows round for round and Skamanke took the first, third and fifth round against Makomba’s second and fourth round wins. This forced the bracket reset and saw Makomba come out swinging to secure the first two rounds with seeming ease.

Skamanke then made the decision to ditch Dudley and switch to Evil Ryu, which proved to be an inspired choice as he took the third round with a perfect display to pull things back to 2-1. He then stuck with Evil Ryu and proceeded to take the next two rounds to secure the match – and first place – with a 3-2 scoreline.

  • First: Skamanke – R500
  • Second: Makomba – R200
  • Third: CrazyGunJack – R100

The tournament bracket can be viewed here.

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The Final Round

After all the blood, sweat and tears had been mopped up off the floor and wiped from the screens, we got some final words from the Cape Town Showdown organisers themselves. It does seem that for the man that was there at the beginning, it is time to step away from his baby and will see Nick ‘Ennohex’ Robertson-Muir take up the mantle and “continue to refine the process Ryan started as best I can.”

Ennohex had this to say about the event:

"We tried a lot of new things, and certainly bit off more than we should have. The WhatsApp system was novel. The only reason we abandoned it was access trouble. It was too hard for SAPhoenix (Ryan) to control it, and the stream, at the same time. The show was good, but filtering out the no-shows wasted a lot of time, and was unfair to the other competitors - next time we will definitely be creating the bracket on the day instead.

Then there's the issue of "next time". Ryan has expressed that he will no longer be able to host another Cape Town Showdown (this was something that I knew from the very beginning), so the tournament was a bit bittersweet for me. I know he wanted to address all the participants on the day about it, but time constraints prevented us from doing that. Otherwise, I was really happy about the tournament in general."

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An interview with a Phoenix

In closing I chatted with the passionate Ryan ‘SAPhoenix’ Williams about the event.

How was CTS 5 for you? It certainly seemed like a good turnout and another growth in numbers again?

"CTSV was an awesome, albeit exhausting experience. It was an amazing turnout for sure and there were quite a few new faces, which is always great to see. We had a number of challenges to contend with though that adversely affected our scheduling and efficiency, but I do feel that we succeeded in many respects and that this will ultimately pave the way forward for future events.

There were a number of new things that we decided to introduce this time around. It was our first time streaming a CTS event (which I thoroughly enjoyed), we experimented with Whatsapp messaging for match administration (which was a bit hit-and-miss, but will most certainly be refined in future) and we ran a mystery side-tournament (which I regret having to rush due to time-constraints). Overall, I'd say we did pretty well and as long as attendees enjoyed the event, I'm happy."

Highlight of the day for you?

"Too many to mention! If I have to pick one particular moment, it would have to be the Guilty Gear: Xrd finals matches. The level of play was nothing short of amazing.

It’s been a while since CTS 4, will fighters need to wait so long for CTS 6?

"I'll take this opportunity to mention that my CTS associate and good friend, Nicholas Robertson-Muir (Ennohex), has assumed the role of CTS Tournament Organiser. CTSV was my last event as Tournament Organiser. I have officially resigned and Nicholas will be responsible for the planning, preparation and running of CTS events from now on. Will fighters have to wait long for CTS 6? Nic's the man to ask!"

What do you hope to still achieve with the local fighting scene?

"My journey as CTS Tournament Organiser has come to an end, but I'm still a member of the local fighting game community. That has not changed. My goal remains the same: to continue to generate awareness for our scene and to grow and serve the community as best as I possibly can."

There are still plenty of players just on the periphery of the competitive fighting scene. Do you have any advice for those a little nervous to jump in and compete against other competitors at tournaments like these?

"My advice to those who are nervous would be, don't be afraid of trying new things. Believe that you can accomplish what you set out to do. Believe in your ability. Believe in yourself. I can certainly understand that events of this nature can be very intimidating, but all you need is a confident attitude and the willingness and desire to succeed. It doesn't matter if you lose at your first tournament.

What matters is that you learn from your mistakes and keep improving. And don't forget to have fun! We also have several skilled and knowledgeable community members who are more than happy to assist new players. Anyone that is interested in joining our weekly sessions is more than welcome to get in touch with us via our Facebook page."

Thanks for your time. Is there anything you would like to add in closing?

"It's been a fun ride and I've enjoyed every minute of it. I would like to thank everyone that assisted with CTSV, whether it be contributing screens and consoles, or assisting with administration and commentary. I wish Nicholas everything of the best as our new Tournament Organiser and I know that he will elevate CTS to new heights. I look forward to seeing more people join our ever-growing community so that fighting games can eventually be recognised and accepted as a truly popular gaming genre, not just in Cape Town, but in the rest of South Africa as well."

It is always a sad day when a valuable member of a community decides to call it a day, but the success of the recent event and all of the efforts of the community will see the competitive fighting scene in South Africa continue to grow.

Additional photos from the event can be viewed here.

Photos Source: Zombiegamer

Cape Town Showdown: Twitter | Facebook / Zombie Dredd: Twitter  /  MWEB GameZone: Twitter | Facebook

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