Here’s what went down at the Philippines’ biggest fighting game tournament

Photos from REV Major Philippines

 

Do It Again.

Those were the signature words branding this year’s Rev Major at The Tent at Solaire last Sept. 28-29.  Hosted by Gariath Concepts, the eSports tournament is the country’s biggest annual fighting game tournament. This year’s tournament spanned the entirety of the FGC (fighting game community), as it hosted 12 main fighting games for its main tournament, and numerous others for its side tournaments. 

Filipino kids usually grew up religiously playing one of two video games: Tekken or Dota, with some opting for Counter-Strike. I grew up playing Dota instead, so my experience with Tekken and other fighting games usually just boiled down to small games vs. a CPU opponent. I still remember raging over losing to the usual “cheesy” Tekken characters, Eddy and Lili, on the occasions where I actually had someone to play with — a real hallmark of being a klutz when it comes to playing these games.

Despite my inexperience, I was very aware of the fighting game competitive scene coming into REV, especially for Tekken and Super Smash Bros. Fighting games bring out some of the most hype within the field of eSports, and they’re very easy to understand and enjoy, even to a viewer with little-to-no knowledge of the games’ intricate mechanics. 

Day 1 of REV Major was packed with gamers from all over the world.

Day 1 was absolutely packed. The Master-level Tekken tournament alone had 386 entrants. On this day, each player had to lose twice to get eliminated — a result of the Pools game set-up. Pools are basically the group stages of the tournament, where every entrant gets grouped into “pools” of players — these are the players the entrant will primarily go up against as they advance throughout the tournament. The main area of The Tent was filled with TV-and-console set-ups for the 12 main games that were running. In addition, there were three stages up front that showcased a particular matchup to the crowd, and to the stream on Twitch.tv.

This was where I felt the love of the local FGC. Everywhere I looked, there was someone (two someones, actually) enjoying the thrill of competing in a fighting game. From Tekken to Smash to Marvel vs. Capcom (MVC) to Soulcalibur to UNIST to BlazBlue to Dragon Ball FighterZ (DBFZ) to Samurai Shodown, each individual community felt united by this one, massive tournament bringing them all together under the same tent.When people got knocked out, they stuck around to support their friends and maybe even learn a thing or two. 

Nobi vs Son of Nobi for Tekken 7

I mostly just wandered around watching over people’s shoulders, and occasionally sat down to watch the games on the main and side stages. Every game got their time in the sun — I watched local Tekken star AK take on Japanese Yoshimitsu player Eyemusician, a Link try to zone out a Dr. Mario, and local DBFZ player Xanxus try to hold off the Japanese invasion. Legendary Japanese Tekken player Nobi squared off against a Filipino fan named Son of Nobi, in one of the most memorable moments of the tournament. The greatest fighting game player of all time — Daigo “The Beast” Umehara, even made a special appearance, blessing the venue with his godlike presence.

Ranida Games’ Bayani, the first ever Filipino homegrown fighting game, was also part of REV Major

I even checked out the side tournaments, where smaller, beloved fighters such as personal favorite Melty Blood (I’m a big Type-MOON fan!) and older MVC titles were being played. I was particularly glad to see a tournament for Ranida Games’ Bayani, as I had already given it a go before.

 

[READ: We tried the Philippines’ first homegrown fighting game]

 

MVC, Smash, Street Fighter, DBFZ, and Tekken all had their finals on the main stage on Day 2. In the end though,  all this day ended up becoming was a celebration of the FGC. Winners were crowned for each game, but in a sense, it’s the entire FGC that won. In the end, the Filipinos were ecstatic to have their heroes from abroad come over — for the players, fighting them was a learning experience, and for the fans, getting the chance to meet them was an unforgettable opportunity. At the very least, I can say that I myself have been inspired to pick up the controller again and give these fighting games a fair shake.

So if you need me, I’ll be practicing Leo stance mix-ups and punishes. I’m ready to Do It Again next year.

Tags:
#events #games

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