Xian Wins First SFV Capcom Cup Event at Final Round 20

A character switch in season two for Xian (Kun Ho Xian) partially boosted his play at Final Round 20, leading to his first victory in Street Fighter V. The opening tournament of the Capcom Cup 2017 had a familiar feel to it with Xian taking the win over Fuudo (Keira Ai). The two former USF4 Evo champions showed they are contenders in Street Fighter V.

First off, Xian has seemingly found his new main in Ibuki. After trying to make F.A.N.G. viable in season one, a character switch was warranted. Xian picked a character that had similar attributes to Gen in Street Fighter IV; Ibuki’s burst damage makes her among the best characters, and Xian meshes perfectly.

Regardless, it’s good to see Xian back competing at his potential. His character choice in season one clearly held him back to some extent. The switch to Ibuki makes him a contending threat at every event. He’s a player to keep an eye-on through the rest of Capcom Cup.

Unexpected Results 

In the first tournament back from the offseason of SFV, the results were zany. Established players in season one fell outside of the top 17. Top eight only featured four Asian Born players, as NuckleDu (Du Dang) finished third, KBrad (Kenneth Bradley) finished fourth, and 801 Strider (Gustavo Romero) rounded it out in fifth.

Despite failing to beat Fuudo and advance to Grand Finals, NuckleDu had another strong outing. It’s just another top-five finish and his counter-pick strategy seems to have strengthened going into season two. Looking ahead, the top three definitely look like three of the favorites to win Capcom Cup.

Final Round featured tons of talent, and as a result, Ricki Ortiz fell out of the bracket in 33rd alongside Kazunoko (Ryoto Inoue). It was a tough tournament as most top players wanted to make an appearance for the kickoff event. It also set a precedent heading into this season that anyone and any character can win at any tournament.

Character diversity

In all of top eight, seven unique characters were used. Cammy, as some have suggested, seems to be the strongest character in the game. She had a strong presence. Players are still finding what works, but this was a good first look.

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Kenneth “KBrad” Bradley

KBrad not only came in and stole the show, but he put on a dazzling display of skill during his run. Finishing in the top four at an event of this caliber is a testament to his overall game. But despite that, he’ll be remembered for his match against Wolfkrone (Joshua Philpot). One of the longest standing personal rivalries in the fighting game community hit a boiling point when KBrad secured the victory.

Additionally, Kbrad was the talk of the entire weekend. The set at Final Round is just another chapter in what should be a highly entertaining 2017. Either way, this was a great event to start the new year.

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NBA eLeague

The NBA and Take-Two Are Changing esports

The NBA and Take-Two (Makers of NBA 2K) are teaming up to change esports in a major way starting in 2018. The NBA and Take-Two have partnered to create a professional, competitive NBA eLeague.

Traditional sports games have fallen behind in the world of esports. Games like League of Legends, Pokemon, Halo, Counter-Strike and Dota2 have had been dominating competitive gaming and are already paying gamers million of dollars.

The NBA is trying to take a piece of that pie. There is so much money to be made from gaming that traditional sports need to innovate before they get left behind.

The NBA and Take-Two are trying to set the trend for these traditional sports. This bold leap could change the gaming industry like never seen before.

So what exactly will this NBA eLeague be and how will it run?

How Will it work?

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit: https://geekiversedotcom.com)

The eLeague, as Adam Silver has called it, will be a professional gaming league run by the NBA and its franchises. Each NBA team will be in control of their own 2K virtual basketball team.

For example, the Chicago Bulls will have the eBulls and the team will manage its roster just as they do for the on-court basketball team. There will be general managers and a salary cap.

All 30 NBA teams will be involved and this season will mirror the real season. Gamers will be paid a salary to practice, train and compete for their respective teams and the only difference is they will be training with a controller instead of their body.

These teams will be through a real draft, similar to the traditional NBA draft. Each team will have five professional gamers on its roster. They won’t be playing with LeBron James, Steph Curry or Kevin Durant but instead they will play with their custom created avatars that they work on to improve.

One area of concern most people come up with is how can they do this if everyone is going to just be a 99 overall player who can do everything? NBA2K has already fixed this issue in their latest version of the game.

archetypes and badges

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit:https://www.youtube.com)

NBA 2K17 really wanted to make sure that each player had their own specialty. In previous years a player could make a point guard who could be 6-foot-7 and earn all badges to become the most unstoppable player of all-time.

There are three solutions they came up with to halt this.

The first is with archetypes. For all examples in how this works, we will stick to looking at point guards.

When you create your player you can pick a position. Once you select the position you wish to play, you must pick an archetype. The archetypes for point guard are the following: playmaker, sharpshooter, lockdown defender, shot creator and slasher.

Depending on the type of point guard you decide to become, you will have only five badges you can upgrade. That is the second part of the solution: the number of badges one can upgrade. In NBA 2K there are dozens of badges a player can get that makes them better.

One of those badges is the pickpocket badge. To unlock the pickpocket badge, a player must get a certain amount of steals within a season. The pickpocket badge makes a player more effective at stealing the ball.

As you can see in the picture with the sharpshooter, pickpocket is not one of these upgradeable badges for that archetype. What that means is that the pickpocket badge must stay at the bronze level.

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit: YouTube)

If the sharpshooter archetype gamer unlocked the limitless range badge then they could upgrade it from bronze to silver then to gold. Once a player has a gold badge they can upgrade it to the hall of fame level. Hall of fame badges allow a player to be great at that skill.

By allowing gamers to only have five upgradeable badges, they have stopped people from becoming players that are great at everything and 99 overall.

The third way NBA 2K17 has made it difficult to become 99 overall is by including park reputation.

Park reputation is a tier system in which can only be aquired by playing at MyPark. There are five levels to each tier. The tiers are as follows: rookie, pro, all-star, superstar and legend.

A player can only get to 95 overall before the game will not let them upgrade anymore. To earn more upgrades, one must reach levels one, three and five of the superstar tier at MyPark. The amount of games and time it takes to reach those tiers is extremely straining and does not come easily.

These three additions have really helped NBA 2K level the playing field and made a game that requires multiple different skill sets, rather than just a bunch of players who can do all. This is something NBA teams will have to look at when constructing teams for their NBA eLeague.

2K HAS ALREADY TESTED THIS

There is a mode in NBA 2K called Pro-Am that allows all these different gamers to take their custom players play in five on five games similar to an NBA contest. These teams become really competitive and are an example of how an NBA eLeague team would look. NBA 2K have already held two major tournaments over the past two years to test how this would work in a legitimate format.

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit:http://www.usatoday.com/sports/)

The first one was called the Road to the Finals which took place in 2016. This year NBA 2K held the All Star Tournament which would gave 250 thousand dollars to the winning team Still Trill.

Over two million people streamed the final game, according to NBA 2K, proving that there is a market for competitive traditional sports games. The tournament showed is that these skilled players are capable of drawing a lot of viewers.

There are over 110,000 teams on Xbox alone in the Pro-Am game mode. The teams and players are already around waiting to be picked up by NBA franchises.

Why This Will Change eSports

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit: Matthew Hagan)

The potential of this idea is unlimited. Currently, getting the NBA to be involved is monumental for the growth of NBA 2K as an esport. The NBA is the first professional league in the United States to create their own esports league.

The success with the two tournaments that NBA 2K have already run proves that there is huge interest in this game. Eventually the NBA eLeague could expand to more teams than just 30. There could be hundreds of teams in each region of the world. Eventually there could be regional championships that lead to a world championship.

An eLeague allows people who could never play in the NBA a chance to become NBA stars. This includes people who have disabilities and are unable physically play the sport. It doesn’t matter your size, weight, or gender, anybody who is good enough on the sticks can end up being drafted to an NBA eLeague team. That is something that no other professional sport can offer.

This is just the beginning for the NBA and Take-Two. Once the money begins to flow they will realize they need to expand the field. Before you know it there will be an NBA2K Hall of Fame and a list of new NBA eChampions.

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