This weekend, Friday May 25 to Sunday May 27, the Road to EVO 2012 continues with Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament 8: Infinity, or UFGT8. Taking place at the Crowne Plaza Chicago-Northbrook in Northbrook, Illinois, the tournament is the third of four Road to EVO Pit Stop events, preceded by FINAL ROUND XV and NorCal Regionals 10 and followed by CEO 2012 in June. As a Pit Stop event, EVO will be giving out cash bonuses at UFGT8 for several titles: $1000 each for Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Ver. 2012 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and $500 for SoulCalibur V.
The UFGT8 official game line-up for is expansive and varied, and includes the six main EVO titles, arcade classics and of course the Mystery Game Tournament:
- The King of Fighters XIII
- Mortal Kombat
- SoulCalibur V
- Street Fighter X Tekken (1.00*)
- Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Ver.2012
- Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
- Mystery Game Tournament
- Street Fighter EX3
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo
- Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
- Vampire Savior
*Because of a fatal bug introduced the latest update (Ver. 1.04) the SFXTK tournament at UFGT8 will be played on the original version of the game (Ver. 1.00).
In addition there will be tournaments for Super Balrog Ball and DIVEKICK, as well as a free tournament for Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown.
To the Next Level
$42 Blanka, Balrog Ball, Mystery Game Tournament, FloeFace. If you participated in or watched last year’s UFGT7, you’re probably familiar with at least some of these terms. While the UFGT series itself has its roots as a small house tournament, the 2011 revival of the series was more than just a fighting games tournament. Director and mastermind Adam Heart, perhaps better known as Keits, is expanding on that foundation and has over the past several months released a wealth of information for this year’s event on the UFGT website. Infinity Gauntlets and the already highly-anticipated DIVEKICK are just a few things you might have heard about. A combination of fighting games tournament, carnival and convention, UFGT8 has enough unique and special features that a few paragraphs will hardly do the event justice. This article will try to offer a quick look into what will be going at this year’s tournament.
Players, Entrants & Pools
UFGT8 is looking to be one of the largest tournaments for the year, with a large number of skilled players from across the US coming to the Chicago area to compete. According to Keits, 430 players have registered online, including Justin Wong, fLoE and Ricky Ortiz of Evil Geniuses, CD jr and REO of vVv Gaming, MRN.MCZ|Wolfkrone, col.CC|Mike Ross, Alex Valle, FC|NYChrisG, and many more. While the brackets are seeded, expect to see some clashes in the early rounds from top players from the region and the nation.
The Master Pool Directory for UFGT8 has already released is available for viewing.
Avoiding the Tournament Standard Time Vortex
Keits is known to run a tight ship when it comes to tournaments, and the pool system at UFGT8 is designed to keep everything punctual and minimize pool overlap for the players. While there will always be potential issues –Justin is registered for all but two games and also has a panel on Saturday– the multiple layers of oversight should keep things running smoothly.
I GOT PAID (and so did 13th place): The Ultimate Payout System Ver. 2012
Looking beyond the typical Top 3 or Top 8 payout, UFGT7 introduced The Ultimate Payout System (UPS) which utilizes an extended pay scale, and that system has been upgraded to Ver. 2012 for UFGT8. The goal of UPS is to insure that the 10% of entries are paid, at double the entry fee at the least. As the number of entries increases, so does the the number of players who will get paid as well as the pot bonus. This system will be used at UFGT8 as well as the upcoming CEO 2012.
In addition to the EVO Pit Stop bonus, Warner Bros. Games and NetherRealm are offering a $1000 bonus for Mortal Kombat, while Autumn Games and Reverge Labs are giving out a $500 bonus for Skullgirls as well as another custom Foe Hammer arcade stick. This bonuses will be distributed across the top 8 with a somewhat even gradient.
Prizes * Infinity
Beyond simple cash payouts, there are plenty of prizes to be won at UFGT8. A variety of prizes will be given out through Door raffles, Fun and Games raffles and panel raffles. Perhaps the most coveted of all prizes are the Infinity Gauntlets. The six Infinite Gems in each gauntlet grants the wielder infinite power. Only 12 will be given out, for the winners of most tournaments (SSFIV AE, UMvC3, SCV, KOFXIII, Skullgirls, SFXTK, MK, Mystery), the Super Balrog and DIVEKICK tournaments, and even though raffle. Who will claim the power to rule the universe?
Returning Favorites: Character Auction & Mystery Game
Returning from last year are the Character Auction tournaments, now with more games: KOFXIII (8 players), SSFIV AE (16 players), SFXTK (16 players), UMvC3 (32 players). The format is relatively simple: players make bids for certain characters, and that character goes to the highest bidder. It’s a great chance to see top players using different characters and $4 Ibukis beating $42 Blankas.
From Street Fighter 1 to Deadly Warrior to New Super Mario Bros. Wii to low damage, infinite Lv.3 X-Factor lag-simulated MvC3, last year’s Mystery Game Tournament was incredibly random and entertaining to watch. Every round is a new game, so quick adaptive skills and solid fundamentals across multiple genres are necessarily to carry oneself to the later rounds of the tournament.
Conventional Thinking: The Saturday Panels
On Saturday, UFGT8 will host a series of panels throughout the day, touching on a number of subjects and featuring prominent members of the community. While the panels won’t be streamed live, they will be recorded for later viewing.
Panel 1 11:00AM – Local Community Building – Bringing Players Together
CEO organizer Alex Jebailey and Level|Up President Alex Valle discuss the essentials to marketing and developing local scenes and tournaments.
Panel 2 12:30PM – Drive Cancel – An Introduction to KOF XIII
Juicebox Abel of DMG.MCZ discusses the distinguishing features of The King of Fighters series and adjusting to the system from a Street Fighter-based background, while co-host Romance of vVv discuss the strengths and quirks of the KOF XIII cast.
Panel 3 2:00PM – The Art of Lame – A Study in Defensive Play
BT|Dieminion and FC|NYChrisG, students of the East Coast Lame school of thought, explore the defensive play style and its application in UMvC3 and other fighting games.
Panel 4 3:30PM – The Wong Factor – A History of Fundamentals
Fighting game legend EG|Justin Wong speaks from his personal experiences on the importances of fundamentals, including understanding the game and reading the opponent the personal challenges in both victory and defeat.
Panel 5 5:00PM – Third Strike Online – GGPO & Reviving a Classic
Iron Galaxy Studios CEO Dave Lang talks about reviving 3rd Strike for the Online Edition of the game and how his studio implemented the GGPO system into the classic.
Panel 6 6:30PM – Team Spooky – The Man Behind the Hype
Victor Fontanez aka Sp00ky, King of Poverty, details his history and his motivations in the world of streaming and offers his opinion on subjects involving the fighting game community.
Panel 7 8:00PM – Documentary Screening
Airing of a yet to be announced Documentary.
Until Someone Gets Their Eye DIVEKICKED Out
The Fun and Games Corner from the last year returns, with new and updated games. Balrog returns as Super Balrog Ball, with two variants. Street Fighter 21 returns as Kombat 21. And then there’s DIVEKICK.
DIVEKICK is developed exclusively for UFGT8 and has already caught interest the world over. The game is simple yet complex. Dive and Kick are not palette swaps as they have different abilities: Dive jumps higher while Kick has a lower height restriction for divekicks, for example. The game will be available for play in the Fun & Games Corner for Friday and Saturday but will be on the main stage Sunday with an actual tournament.
Schedule & Stream
UFGT8 will have two streams for Friday through Sunday. Stream 1 will be provided by Level|Up, while Stream 2 will be provided by Focus Fire. You can watch both streams at http://www.leveluplive.tv/.
UFGT8 will be getting its start at the Pre-Game Show on Thursday. This will be a special exhibition with nine players: Alex Valle, NerdJosh, Chauncy “TRU” Talon, Floe, Justin Wong, Juicebox, Alex Jebailey, UltraDavid, and TheBranten. While there aren’t any clear details on what exactly the exhibition is, it will test the knowledge and adaptability of each of the players.
All times are in CDT (UTC -5). This is one hour behind EDT, two hours ahead of PDT. The Pre-Game Show Special starts at 8PM CDT, 9PM EDT, 6PM PDT.
Thursday May 24th
12PM – Ballroom setup begins
2PM – Check-in and Emergency Registration is open
7PM – Check-in and Emergency Registration closes for the night, Pre-pre-game show begins.
8PM – Pre-Game Show Special (Only staff and special guests allowed in the ballroom at this time)
10PM (or as Pre-Game Show ends) – Volunteer Training / Staff Scheduling
Friday May 25th
12PM – Ballroom opens, Check-in and Emergency Registration re-open
1PM – SSF4 16-Man Character Auction
3PM – SFxT and Mystery Pools Begin, KoFXIII 8-Man Character Auction
5PM – 3SO and EX3 Pools Begin
7PM – SSF4, SCV, and VS Pools Begin
9PM – UMvC3, KoFXIII, and MK9 Pools Begin, 3SO Finals
11PM – SFxT 32-Man Character Auction, VS Finals
Saturday May 26th
10AM – Ballroom opens, Skullgirls and ST Pools Begin
11AM – Panels begin downstairs, see Panel Schedule
12PM – VF5FS Pools Begin
2PM – Pools Continue
4PM – SSF4 Semifinals, SCV Semifinals
6PM – T6 Pools Begin, UMvC3 Semifinals, KoFXIII Semifinals, MK9 Semifinals, ST Finals
8PM – SFxT Semifinals, Skullgirls Semifinals, VF Semifinals, Mystery Semifinals
10PM – VF5FS Finals, T6 Finals
11PM – UMvC3 32-Man Character Auction
Sunday May 27th
10AM – Finals begin (schedule TBA)
10AM – Sign up for Super Balrog Ball Tournament, DIVEKICK Tournament, and community run side events/teams events.
11AM – Teams, Super Balrog Ball, and DIVEKICK tournaments begin.
5:30PM – Raffle giveaways on stage, gather around with your winning tickets!