This past weekend, the northern California fighting game community experienced its first Red Bull Proving Grounds event at Dave & Buster’s in Milpitas. With over 90 entrants in attendance, some of NorCal’s finest Street Fighter V talent such as ROG|Kelvin Jeon, Circa|LPN, BJ Unchained, Pavocado, Mattypie, WFX|Samurai and many others, the competition was intense, loud and fierce throughout the night as all the participants aimed to score as many points as possible in this first event of the Proving Grounds circuit.
The early goings of the tournament saw a couple of surprising upsets: Eric “Brass” Beck, the NorCal Guile specialist, sent Miky “WFX|Samurai” Chea and his Akuma to the losers bracket in round three of the winners side in an extremely close 2-1 set. German “Ultima” Marroquin and his patented Rashid sent Brian “BJ Unchained” Jeon and his Necalli into the losers bracket in the third round. The latter was eventually eliminated by another Rashid, in the form of Andrew “Lamerboi” Nguyen, placing only 32nd overall in the tournament.
Ultima would then be sent to losers by Circa|LPN’s M. Bison in winners quarters in another close 2-1 set. The former would go on to eliminate WFX|Samurai from the tournament off-stream (2-1 as well) before succumbing to Kelvin Jeon’s Urien 2-1 in losers semis.
Kelvin would then battle it out with Pavo “Pavocado” Miskic to determine who would face Circa|LPN in grand finals. Once again, it was another intense set with Kelvin’s oppressive Urien eliminating Pavocado’s precision-based R. Mika 2-1. Then it was down to two.
Kelvin would start off with his new secondary, Ibuki, against LPN’s M. Bison. Right out of the gate, LPN scored a quick 25-second perfect in the first round against Kelvin! This didn’t phase him though, as he would fight back with two quick rounds of his own taking advantage of Bison’s weak defensive options by getting in with EX Kunai and V-Trigger conversions to start Ibuki’s deadly 50/50 mixups to win the first match. Kelvin would go on to win the second match in similar fashion to reset the bracket against LPN.
The first match of the second set was more of the same from Kelvin, as he did not let LPN get started on offense by making him waste his V-meter so he couldn’t start a comeback with Bison’s game-changing V-Trigger. Kelvin took the first match easily which prompted LPN to counter-pick with his pocket Kolin, which he only used a couple of times earlier in the tournament. Kelvin continued his dominance by taking the first round putting him on tournament point, but LPN would adjust by slowing the pace down and whittled away at Kelvin’s life bar to take the second match and forcing a third and final game. Kelvin answers back by going back to Urien, where he wins the first round putting him on tournament point yet again. When it looked like Kelvin was going to the second round and the tournament, LPN slows it Kelvin down yet again–and pulling out some clutch Kolin mixups he hadn’t shown at all yet to steal the second round! However, Kelvin stayed calm and got an early life lead which he maintained to defeat LPN and win the first round of NorCal Rivals.
You can watch all five parts of the tournament below, which was streamed and uploaded by Team Spooky.
NorCal Rivals Round 1-SFV-Top 16 Results (95 entrants)
1st: ROG|Kelvin Jeon (Urien, Ibuki)
2nd: Circa|LPN (M. Bison, Kolin)
3rd: Pavocado (R. Mika)
4th: Ultima (Rashid)
5th: WFX|Samurai (Akuma)
5th: PH|Nando Tovar (Juri)
7th: Lamerboi (Rashid)
7th: Brass (Guile)
9th: SRK|El Cubano Loco (Vega)
9th: Mattypie (Ibuki)
9th: Ghodere (Zangief)
9th: Apologyman (Rashid)
13th: Andy (Kolin)
13th: Paincak3s (Cammy)
13th: TAVNT (?)
13th: Kimo (Zangief)