Local Houston players had a good showing at the first major FGC tournament of the year at KIT a couple of weeks ago. It was a sign of things to come. This past weekend, two more big tournaments happened, Frosty Faustings 8 in Chicago, and the ESL Mortal Kombat X season 2 finals.
Ran by one of Chicago’s best Guilty Gear players, Mike “Elven Shadow” Boczar, Frosty Faustings hosted multiple fighting game tournaments featuring some of the best in country. Hamad “WTHamad” Akbar was fresh off a 2nd place showing at KIT when he arrived in Chi-town. He looked well on his way to another top 3 finish before getting derailed by Midwest SF4 stalwart Wolfkrone. After getting knocked in the losers bracket, Hamad was able to fight his way to the grand finals against Wolfkrone. Hamad looked strong early on, taking the first set 3-1, but was unable to seal the deal as Wolfkrone swept the deciding set 3-0 to take the trophy.
Houston had a huge presence in another game at Frosty Faustings as well, Guilty Gear Xrd. As the main draw of the event, this was the one that mattered the most and received top billing. On Friday, Houston’s Kevin “Kensou” Turner and Darren “Faulty Defense” Samora took first place in the 2v2 team tournament. Houston’s Jason “Kid Viper” Srouji teamed up with Nakkiel to take 3rd. On Saturday, the local trio all made it out of pool play to advance to the top 16 in singles. Kensou would lose his first match in top 16, and unfortunately, had to face his teammate Darren in the losers bracket. Eventually, Darren would win and eliminated Kensou. KV was able to advance all the way to the winners final, but would fall to Chosen Ninja. Darren, on the other side, buzzed his way through the losers bracket until the 4th place fight. There he would fight a close set against another old time Midwest player Blacksnake. Blacksnake would go on to advance, but Kid Viper would eliminate him to challenge Chosen Ninja once again in the grand finals. At this point, KV was on a roll, taking the first set 3-0. In the second set, Chosen Ninja was finally able to get on the board, but it was too late. Kid Viper won the second set 3-1 and took home the title!
If that wasn’t enough, yet another local player made huge waves on Sunday. Brad “UA Scar” Vaughn, represented the Kombat Houston local group and Ultra Arcade at the ESL Mortal Kombat X season 2 finals. The top 16 league ranked players from around the world were in attendance for $60,000 in prizes. Scar had just came in 2nd place to CR Sonic Fox at KIT the weekend prior, and Fox looked to be the heavy favorite again. But known for his Demolition Sonya Blade, Scar was primed to prove he belonged there. Scar started off taking down Lar, then top seeded international player Foxy Grampa to advance to the top 8. In the top 8, Scar defeated CR Wound Cowboy to make it to the winners final and faced off against Sonic Fox once again. Unlike last time, Sonic Fox picked a character he hadn’t used at all in this event, Gunslinger Erron Black. The change proved effective as he knocked Scar into the losers bracket 3-1. In the losers bracket, Scar was able to defeat Wound Cowboy yet again and advanced to the grand finals. Scar started off the best of 9 set by trying out other characters to solve Fox’s Erron Black, but it was not to be as Fox would go and take the set in a 5-0 sweep. But it was still a great showing at his first ESL final, and hopefully the start of many more.
That wraps up another exciting weekend of FGC tournaments. Many more are coming up, especially with Street Fighter V coming next month. Insomnia VGC and GameGuys are both hosting local launch week tournaments, and the largest FGC tournament in Texas, Texas Showdown 2016, returns on April 22-24.