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SoCal Regionals 2017 preview: Street Fighter V and Marvel vs Capcom Infinite

SoCal Regionals has been a staple and one of the few times the fighting game scene takes its talents to the most talented region in the United States. The event will feature 12 separate tournaments including the worlds first major Marvel vs Capcom Infinite tournament. The focus will be on Street Fighter V, but there’s enough for all types of fighting game fans to keep them interested.

The four main events will be Street Fighter V, Marvel vs Capcom Infinite, Tekken 7 and Injustice 2. Marvel will be the most intriguing because it’s a new game, but the SFV tournament will have the most fire power with all the heavy-hitters showing up. All the other events have significantly lower turnouts.

Unfortunately, the event as a whole has much lower turnout than expected. The reason for this is the tournament overlap, which is spreading out the talent. TGS, EGX and CEOTaku are all happening and plenty of Street Fighter and other players are playing elsewhere this weekend. A large portion are still making their way to California, but this explains why the turnout has dipped.

Street Fighter V

Street Fighter V is going to be a mix of the regular Wednesday night fight crew intertwined with some Japanese players and a slew of top-20 players. The favorite heading into the weekend will be the juggernaut Punk but players like Darryl “Snake Eyez” Lewis, Eduardo “PR_Rog” Perez, Justin Wong and momochi could be a problem for Punk.

PG Punk. Photo courtesy of twitch.tv/evo2k

Based off bracket projections, it’ll most likely come down to either Snake Eyez, PR_Rog or 801Strider on the winners side. There’s plenty of potential upsets along the way with names like NO RESPECT, Veloreon and ChrisT waiting to take out the top names. Top 64 will be separated into four separate 16 player brackets that get funneled into top 8.

In terms of must-watch matches, the potential for upsets is there for a lot of these match ups, but I’m looking more towards underrated threats to make deep runs. BrianF vs Smug is a set I’ll be looking forward to. Two of the best Balrog players facing off once again. NO RESPECT with his patented Urien going up against Momochi (and Justin Wong). K-Brad against Verloren could decide that entire pool.

SCR won’t feature the heavyweight bouts, but there’s enough talent to watch a whole bunch of high quality matchups. It’ll also be interesting to see if any of the top four fall. Punk has had early bracket trouble in the past, and there’s names here that players aren’t necessarily prepared for.

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite

Expect the unexpected with Marvel Infinite. Obviously with the game being released last Tuesday the depths of the mechanics and characters won’t be close to fleshed out. Early tournaments are more for feeling out certain strategies and even more importantly, CHEESING.

Week one tournaments almost always come down to cheese. Cheesing essentially means using cheap tactics that haven’t been learned to counter yet and winning. It’s a fleeting feeling of superiority, but it’s undoubtedly effective in the early stages of a fighting game. Let’s look at the players who might take advantage of this at SCR.

Looking at the names attending, it seems pretty straight forward who’ll be able to quickly adapt and have a chance to take the event. The first names to focus on are the veterans: Justin Wong, NYChrisG, Cloud805 or RayRay. Any of these guys are capable of winning, but week one tournaments usually aren’t about talent.

In the end, it will be a combination of a gimmick team or strategy, a lot of luck, and the overall experience of a dedicated fighting game player. At the same time, natural talent can compensate for lack of experience. Expect to see new players giving experienced players a run for their money.

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Featured image courtesy of leveluplive.com

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