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Pre Season Match - Sega's First Online Tournament

Discussion in 'News' started by akai, Jul 16, 2021.

By akai on Jul 16, 2021 at 9:25 PM
  1. akai

    akai Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

    Akai JC
    Sega's first official online tournament for the Virtua Fighter esports in Japan. 118 players* will compete in a best out of 3, double elimination bracket. This is not a common format for Sega of Japan's past tournaments in the Virtua Fighter series. Broadcast of the event will start around the 10th round of Losers Bracket to the Grand Final on Sunday, July 18, 2021, 6 PM JST.


    Season 0
    Pre Season Match is the first event to kick off Season 0. Afterwards there will be two Challenge Cup series. The first Challenge Cup starts qualifiers in August 2021 leading to the finals in October 2021. The second Challenge Cup begins next year, January 2022 - March 2022.

    Pre Season Match Players Preview
    A quick glance of which character the participants will use in the event (info based on Dengeki Online wiki) all 19 characters are represented. Sarah players lead the group with a dozen with one player choosing to use Eileen.

    Sarah (12)
    Akira (11)
    Pai (9)
    Brad (8)
    Jacky (8)
    Lion (8)
    Vanessa (8)
    Shun (7)
    Goh (6)
    Jean (6)
    Kage (6)
    Lei (6)
    Taka (5)
    Wolf (5)
    Aoi (4)
    Jeffry (4)
    Blaze (2)
    Lau (2)
    Eileen (1)

    Many notable players are participating in the event, including 13 players that have reached the Master level (ie the God or Lord ranked players on PSN):

    Hatto-sama (TA)
    Janne (JA)
    Zonrenon (Zonchan) (LE)
    Chopper (LI)
    Homestay Akira (AK)
    Mukku (TA)
    Reorao (GO)
    Kubinashi Rider (LE)
    YOU (SA)
    Jin (KA)
    Buruha (SH)
    Ryouto (KA)
    Katayama (PA)

    Tournament Summary
    Challonge Bracket

    The main broadcast (the embedded Youtube video above) showed only the 10th round of Losers Bracket to the Grand Final. However, many participants streamed their matches on their Youtube channels. I will post a small summary for the top three finishers and provide links to some of the participants personal streams.

    Shiro (Jacky, 1st Place): Taking 1st Place is Shiro (picture above) a Jacky player originally from the Gunma region. He previously had the nickname Shironuko Jacky (not to be confused with a strong El Blaze player with the same nickname, Shironuko). Before the tournament, he received a special title "strongest challenger" by defeating Homestay Akira in the Legends Kumite. In hindsight, a foreshadowing of his success for the Pre Season Match. He has been playing Virtua Fighter for 11 years.:)
    Winner Round 1 - versus Guriyan, won 2-0
    Winners Round 2 - versus San no Rashou, won 2-0
    Winners Round 3 - versus Julietta, won 2-1
    Winners Round 4 - versus Buruha, won 2-1
    Winner Round 5 - versus Mukku, won 2-0
    Winners Round 6 - versus Chopper, won 2-1
    Winners Finals - versus Barugo no Jean, won 2-0
    Grand Finals - versus Barugo no Jean, loss 0-2, reset
    Grand Finals - versus Barugo no Jean, won 2-1s

    Barugo (Jean, 2nd Place): Runner-Up and was recently featured in a Legends Kumite. He started playing Virtua Fighter ~15 years ago. He play Jean with overwhelming pressure, resetting the Grand Finals before losing to Shiro for a second time in the tournament
    Winner Round 1 - versus Fainman, won 2-0
    Winners Round 2 - versus Wolf 500 Yen, won 2-0
    Winners Round 3 - versus Ikunai, won 2-0
    Winners Round 4 - versus Manisshu, won 2-1
    Winners Round 5 - versus Katayama, won 2-1
    Winners Round 6 - versus Hatto-Sama, won 2-0
    Winners Finals - versus Shiro, lost 0-2
    Losers Finals - versus Katayama, won 2-0
    Grand Finals - versus Shiro, won 2-0, reset bracket
    Grand Finals - versus Shiro, lost 1-2

    Katayama (Pai, 3rd Place): The God/Lord ranked Pai from northern Japan show a great awareness and utilization of the different stage properties, using wall-specific and ring out-specific combos in his matches.
    Winners Round 1 - versus RYO-TA, won 2-1
    Winners Round 2 - versus Manshi, won 2-1
    Winners Round 3 - versus MSZ-006, won 2-0
    Winners Round 4 - versus Yuucha, won 2-1
    Winners Round 5 - versus Barugo no Jean, lost 1-2
    Losers Round 8 - versus Tomarion, won 2-1
    Losers Round 9 - versus Chibitarou, won 2-0
    Losers Round 10 - versus Chopper, won 2-0
    Losers Round 11 - versus Nidaime Furaibo, won 2-0
    Losers Finals - versus Barugo no Jean, lost 0-2

    What is Next for Season 0?
    Next Month begins the Challenge Cup and ends with the Finals on October 2021. In an effort to get younger players to play Virtua Fighter they have an Under 19 brackets to go along with the regular brackets. Winner of the Challenge Cup will receive the "Star Player" title.

    *Side Note: Entry exceeded over the 128 player limit and a lottery was done to determine who gets to participate. Unfortunately, 10 players did not confirmed their participation by the required deadline.

    Source of Information - Virtua Fighter esports / Dengeki Online Wiki / Dengeki Virtua Road Episode (first half) / ChiefGutti
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021


Discussion in 'News' started by akai, Jul 16, 2021.

    1. akai
      1st Place - Shiro (Jacky)
      2nd Place - Barugo (Jean)
      3rd Place - Katayama (Pai)

      Proper summary maybe later. Sleep first!

      Edit: challonge bracket, then nap! :p
      Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
    2. faster 10 lightning
      faster 10 lightning
      for curiosity since I missed the event, the option "coming soon" in the game's main menu was for this tournament?
    3. akai
      Not for this tournament. I believe it is still not 100% sure what that empty slot is for on the Main Menu of the game . But I assume the big summer update (regular online tournaments, team battle mode, and simultaneous play in rooms) should include that "coming soon" mode.

      My guess it is the regular weekend tournaments where the winners get a special title.
      faster 10 lightning likes this.
    4. Shinobi
      Great tournament, I really enjoyed! I guess these players are the young blood of VF? Very happy to see new champions!
    5. faster 10 lightning
      faster 10 lightning
      thank you
      Yeah I think it will be some kind of torunament too, but like I always say, I hope it will be the quest mode instead.

      Finally saw some matches of this tournament, not bad, these young VF players are already at a good level.
    6. akai
      Slowly updating the first post with the tournament info.

      This coming Sunday, on VF_Officiai Sega channel, Itabashi and Shiro will be guests on a show to go over the Pre Season Match. In addition information on game update with an exhibition of the "Team Battle"!

      Both Shiro and Barugo no Jean are in their late twenties and seem to have started playing the game seriously during VF5, so still 10+ years of experience! It will be interesting to see if the The Under 19 tournaments will garner more interest to an even younger generation.
      Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
      faster 10 lightning likes this.
    7. faster 10 lightning
      faster 10 lightning
      He (Shiro I suppose) looks a lot younger, more like early 20 lol
      So they are in the middle ground between veterans and newbie (age-wise).

      There will be a under 19 tournament? Interesting.
    8. akai
      After the Pre Season Match ended, the winner of the event Shiro and producer Seiji Aoki interviewed with 4Gamer. I translated (with help of Google Translate :ninja:) and summarized portions of the interviews with additional notes in this post. Please check out the original Japanese 4Gamer article as there maybe details that is of interest to you that did not get translated or can be translated differently than what is described in this post!
      Shiro (Left) and Aoki (Right)

      Shiro's matches against Barugo no Jean.
      - His first match in the tournament was against Guriyan (KA) a former Star Player from Kyushu region. He thought this will be tough, but after defeating Guriyan 2-0 he used that early momentum to survive to the finals defeating many strong players along the way.
      Winner Round 1 - versus Guriyan, won 2-0
      Winners Round 2 - versus San no Rashou, won 2-0
      Winners Round 3 - versus Julietta, won 2-1
      Winners Round 4 - versus Buruha, won 2-1
      Winner Round 5 - versus Mukku, won 2-0
      Winners Round 6 - versus Chopper, won 2-1
      Winners Finals - versus Barugo no Jean, won 2-0
      Grand Finals - versus Barugo no Jean, loss 0-2, reset
      Grand Finals - versus Barugo no Jean, won 2-1s

      - Winner's Final - the first game was determined with fast pace action and combos; second game was more deliberate pace. Instead of combos being a major factor it was a mix of throws and a mid-low strike game. Shiro won 2-0.

      - Grand Final and the Reset - Barugo took the momentum from winning Losers' Final to decisively beat Shiro 2-0 in the Grand Finals. Shiro reflected that he did not attempted to throw Barugo very much in the Grand Finals. So Shiro went into the reset deliberately throwing more. You can see Shiro, used more throwsfirst game of the reset, he Knee Strike [6][4][P][+][G] and Smash Upper [2_][3][P]

      In Grand Final - Shiro attempted at least 7 throws in 8 rounds. Of those 7 throw attempts, 3 were successful.
      In Grand Final Reset - Shiro attempted at least 18 throws in 10 rounds. Out of those 18 throw attempts, 12 were successful.

      2nd Part of the Article was an Interview of Shiro
      4Gamer - Did you have many opportunities to fight with Barugo no Jean outside of the tournament?

      Shiro - I played against Barugo no Jean many times in Final Showdown. While not as active as 10 year ago, I continued to play the game, not getting bored or quitting the game.

      4Gamer - A main reason for the popularity of the Virtua Series was the team competitions. With this competition being an individual online tournament, was it difficult to play in a quiet house?

      Shiro - The difference from playing at home compared to the arcade is very different. The reason I continued to play Virtua Fighter was because Abare-ba, team leader of Abare-ba Bokujou, invited me to be part of his team for Beat-Tribe Cup. So it definitely felt lonely not hearing the cheers and heckling. Also, I have heard many stories of arcade players not comfortable playing with the arcade stick on their lap.

      4Gamer - The tournament allow players to change character if you lose one battle, did you had a sub character?

      Shiro - I did not prepare a sub character for the tournament. Strength of characters changes considerably depending on the stage. Since stage selection was set to random, I just stuck with Jacky.

      4Gamer - The Challenge Cup series is the next official tournaments of Season 0. Any suggestions on what you would like to be improved in the future?

      Shiro - Time constraint only allowed a subset of the matches to be broadcast live. I would like the broadcasts to build on the drama of how players reached to the final matches that were broadcasted. For example, no one would have expected me to be one of the 6 remaining players left in the tournament (laughs). Having some way for viewers to see who I or had beaten to get there would be nice.

      4Gamer - Most of the media, including this tournament made it difficult for players in their 20s, such as Shiro yourself, who have played an active part in the tournament scene, to be in the spotlight.

      Shiro - I'm 28, so I'll be in my thirties in two years (laughs). Barugo no Jean is 29. There are other players in their 20s who are on the front line. I think it is possible that our generation and players in their early twenties will grow and lead the scene in the future.
      Looking back at 15th Beat-Tribe Cup Team List, I found the teams that Shiro and Barugo no Jean participated in.

      Team 暴れ馬牧場 Abare-ba Bokujou [Abare-ba (LA) / SHENRON (GO) / Shiroko☆Jacky (JA) / Imaru (LA) / Ranka (LI)]

      Team さんりお Sanrio [Barugo no Jean (JN) / Neppa (JA) / Kamereon (PA) / Noko (BR) / Oniku (JE)]

      4Gamer - Since the development of "VFes", there have been many talks about increasing the number of pro players. Do you want to become a professional player?

      Shiro - I don't want to be a pro player, but I would if I can play a role in revitalizing the "Virtua Fighter" scene.


      Third Part of the article was an Interview with VF Producer Seiji Aoki

      4Gamer - First of all, please give us your impression of the first official online tournament in the "Virtua Fighter" series.

      Aoki - Even though it was the first tournament for "VFes" it was positioned as a preparatory tournament before the start of the Challenge Cups, the result was as exciting as if it was for a big tournament. Young people were in the finals, I hope that star players will come out from Shiro's generation. There will be more tournaments in the future, so I think it was a good opportunity to hype up "VFes".

      4Gamer - It looks like there was no trouble with running the tournament and it ended with smoothness that is unusual in many e-sports or online fighting game tournaments. Are you examining the factors behind the success of that area?

      Aoki - For me, it was the first time running a tournament for Virtua Fighter. Our company, however, have been running tournaments for a couple of years with "Puyo Puyo". So I think this is one of the reasons why the tournament was able to proceed smoothly. There were many cases where the matches between players were 2-0, which is probably the reason why the match progressed. I thought it would have been nice to get entangled a little more, but for the first tournament, smooth management was a priority, so I'm relieved for the time being.

      4Gamer - From the perspective of Virtua players, it was an online tournament with double elimination rules, which is quite rare, but did you have any confusion there?

      Aoki - I agree. I think that they were able to proceed smoothly in that area as well. It is a result that a new generation of star players who are likely to rewrite the history of the series was born, and that even "Virtua Fighter" was able to respond that e-sports development would be successful.
       However, there are some issues in the operation. For example, I think it would be better to change the specifications so that the stage can be selected. Online events likely will continue with random stage, but I think there are still issues with how to show it offline. I would like to identify issues and improve the offline competition that will be held in Season 0.

      4Gamer- How about the response of "VFes" itself, which has been about one and a half months since its release?

      Aoki - We are refraining from publishing specific numbers such as the number of downloads, but more people are playing than we expected. When it comes to how much it exceeds...two to three times more, it's hard to say with real numbers.

      4Gamer - At the next official tournament, there are two divisions, Free and U-19. With "VFes", which seems to be a relatively old age group, you decided to make a division for younger generation but not for the older generation. What is the intention for this?

      Aoki - I wonder if there are many teenagers who are actually playing "VFes". However, as part of Sega, we want to see young people play the "Virtua Fighter" series and participate in e-sports competitions. There was a debate about whether we should make the division for 19 years old or younger, or a little higher, 24 years old or younger. I wanted people to know that I want the younger generation to participate, so we decided U-19.

      4Gamer - You mentioned earlier that a player of a generation like Shiro won the championship, but will you continue to consciously discover star players?

      Aoki - Yes, I am quite conscious, but that does not mean we are making any special selections. I thought it would be great if a new star player could be born from the younger generation. I think it was a result in the sense that a new history is about to be born, including the fact that this final was between Barugo and Shiro.
       On top of that, I want to work with the "VF Old Men" (VF Oji, VFおじ) who has continued to play the Virtua Fighter games for a long time and with legendary players to create a community that will lead the younger generation.

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