Recap: NRG Presents: Road to the Golden 1 Center!

Disclaimer: Prior to the event, I was contacted by my friend and all-around awesome guy Cory Vincent to do some coverage of the tournament for Last Token Gaming. Also, thank you to Pregame Burgers and Beer for hosting this event!

Smash 4 (or Sm4sh for short) and Street Fighter V are both games that require immense mechanical skill, superb innate gaming sense, and astute Meta knowledge. Every match is about precision, efficiency and skill working together towards victory. An input mishap, inflexibility of playstyle, or a misread can completely shift momentum in the opponent’s favor. These factors are at the heart of what make both games an adrenaline, pumping, heart pounding experience that is as much frustrating as it is enjoyable.

A small sample size of the Street Fighter V side.

Yet, the most important component to these games is less the game itself and more the community built around them. Many tournaments are just as much about competing against one another as it is working together to help each other improve: Players will watch others playing and begin gleaning and analyzing the matches for player and character data. There’s a competitive camaraderie that is remarkable and fun to be a part of.

On Saturday, March 18th, local eSports team NRG, video game podcast VideoGameBang! , and Capital Fight District hosted an event called NRG Presents: Road to the Golden 1 Center. The tournament was for both Smash 4 and Street Fighter V. All those who signed up for the event were fighting to be in the Top 4: the Top 4 players will be playing some matches during halftime of the Sacramento Kings vs. Milwaukee Bucks at the Golden 1 Center. Not only that, the top 4 players get to hang out with NRG| Nairo (the only person to beat ZeRo in a grand finals).

While there were some rough spots during the tournament (like every tournament), it was very exciting to see one of the first eSports team hosted events in the Sacramento area! Unfortunately, I also did not get to see much happening on the Street Fighter V side.Here are some of the highlights I had about the tournament.

Shooting a promo video for the Sacramento Kings game on March 22nd for the halftime show.

Majority of the Sm4sh Players were at their first tournament

Any tournament has the grounds for seeing a new comer come out of nowhere to win the tournament. It’s an awesome time for newcomers to the tournament scene to come out and test their skills against other players to see where they can improve. Unfortunately, and this is not intended as blame, new players often get buried under notable tournament players. NRG Presents: Road to the Golden 1 Center is the first tournament I saw comprised of majority newcomers to the tournament scene. The only two players I’d seen that are known staples at tournaments were DSS (ranked #4 in the NorCal Regions for Sm4sh) and 8bit ROC.

Winners Final between DSS (Metaknight) vs. Wic (Link) – DSS won in style with a solid 3-0 defeat.

If anything, it made the experience feel less like a tournament or more like a training experience with plenty to learn from for both the player and spectators. Players would do matchup breakdowns for characters while analyzing the matches occurring. When the brackets were eventually getting into the quarterfinals, those eliminated started friendly matches to work on techniques or new characters.

Furthermore, some newcomers onto the tournament scene left some solid impressions. Wic and Leo, two brothers looked very impressive with their characters (Wic was Link, and Leo was Ike). Marcos H., another Link Main, pulled off a solid upset on VGB| MaskedHero (a great Ryu main), and even got a stock off of 8bit| Roc with Jigglypuff. Hopefully they’ll come out to play in future tournaments.

Uncommon Characters Shined in the Tournament

The tournament also showcased some characters that aren’t often seen in top tournament play. DSS is an amazing Meta Knight main, pulling off excellent true combos and forcing his opponents to play to his pace. DSS won all but one of his sets with ease eventually losing one of the sets in the grand finals to 8bit| Roc. As stated above, Marcos was able to take a set with Jigglypuff against 8bit| Roc’s R.O.B. Considering Jigglypuff has no combos or throws that have follow ups, she’s considered one of the worst characters in Sm4sh. It was awesome to see her get a shining moment.

Although a Little Rocky, the Tournament was very Successful

To me, a tournament has one big metric that determines if it was successful or not: how much fun participants were having. It was very apparent that everyone was having a great time on both the Sm4sh and Street Fighter V side. Hopefully, NRG sees this tournament as a test run for future major eSports tournaments in Sacramento. Overall, it was a great time and experience.

And to the Top 4 players going to the Kings game on Wednesday, best of luck and have fun!

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About

The moment he was born, Terry Randolph knew he would play video games. Okay....not the exact moment he was born, but definitely at an early age. His affinity for video games was cemented in the multiple tantrums he threw while being dragged away from playing Sonic the Hedgehod at his daycare when his parents came to pick him up. Since then, Terry continues to enjoy all the experiences gaming provides. He also loves to write short stories and ambitious novel projects. Last Token Gaming was born from both his love of writing and video games. Twitter: @wanderinganbu Email: terry.r@lasttokengaming.com

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