Oftentimes, I’ll read (or watch) something about the History of Pro-Gaming and the interesting people (Pro-Gamers) that populate it. From FPS fanatics who make hard earned cash fragging each other in televised events akin to gladiatorial matches, to RTS wizards who idolize Starcraft to the point of it becoming a national (and worldwide) phenomenon. This time it’s about the pro-gamers and fighting games.
A three part video called “Run It Back: The Road To SoCal Regionals“, created by Zaid Tabani, documents the struggles of a group of Street Fighter IV/Super Street Fighter IV players as they try to rise to the top of the ranks. The video is pretty rough, quality wise, and it might turn some people away. But if you’re like me, and have a vested interest in the world of pro-gaming, that little setback won’t stop you from watching the series (which is very lengthy, about a 2 hour run-time).
Part 1 deals with the struggles of three players trying to qualify for an event called “Wednesday Night Fights“, really only testing their skills and judging their ability to get into the SoCal regional; players Jorge Medina, James Chen, and Brett Lehar, all playing a local tourney and we see who wins and who gets eliminated along the process. There are also interviews with the event creators; Alex Valle, Jimmy Nguyen, AJ Papa, and Frank Reyes. Part 2 deals with the continuing struggles of the three players listed above, and how they plan on trying to qualify for the SoCal match that’s coming up, talking about their lives, and why they play so hard. The 3rd part is the most interesting, as it’s finally time for the SoCal Regionals, and the three players finally have a chance to make it (or break it) in the professional leagues. Part 3 has many interviews of fighting game alumni, such as Daigo, Seth Killian, Mike Watson, Tokido, and a whole slew of past and present masters players of the fighting game genre.
The series has lots of history on the fighting game scene and is worth the watch to understand why fighting games, and the pro-gamers that play them, are so popular. A great watch, and you’ll probably learn something too, and as the saying goes “Now You Know, And Knowing is Half The Battle” (Stolen that from G.I. Joe).