Summer Jam 2021 happened in New Jersey this weekend as the first major fighting game event of the year. Big E Gaming hosted their first offline tournament since Winter Brawl back in February 2020. The event featured numerous fighting games and attracted competitors from across the United States.
“The last two months of planning this I was… stressed,” said tournament organizer Eric “Big E” Small. “I didn’t know how things would go or how people would perceive it, but I like what happened this weekend.”
STARTING THE WEEKEND
While Summer Jam 2021 was a two-day event from August 28-29, the local venue Sector X hosted team tournaments on Friday. This included single-elimination brackets for Tekken 7, Street Fighter V, Soul Calibur VI and Guilty Gear Strive.
The Tekken team event was won by team “Jersey Boys” which consisted of Joey Fury, Nashi and Inkog. Showoff & Lord Knight won the Strive bracket, while Wetkunai & MaiLyn won Street Fighter V. Soul Calibur was won by Linkorz & OmegaXcn.
Main event brackets began on Saturday with live broadcasts of exciting matches from each game. Since the event was only two days, all games had their top eight players decided by the end of the first day.
BRINGING THE HYPE BACK
As the most exciting part of any fighting game tournament, the “Top 8” finals brackets at Summer Jam 2021 did not disappoint. After a long day of players battling their way through pools, some new faces ended up in the finals as well as familiar names returning to the offline environment.
“When I was seeing the names signing up, it’s a lot of top players; we had Anakin over there for Tekken, Bloodhawk coming down. The competition’s always good here,” Big E stated.
Finals day began with Mortal Kombat 11 and Street Fighter V. While Grr won the MK11 bracket after a bracket reset over KingGambler, NoNeedToTalk claimed first place in SFV over MaiLyn with a convincing 3-0.
Team fighters took the stage next as Dragon Ball FighterZ and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 top eights began. Both games were won by NYChrisG, who defeated LegendaryyPred 3-1 in a DBFZ grand finals reset and 3-1 over Wedge in a UMVC3 bracket reset.
— Bifuteki (@Bifuteki) August 30, 2021
The evening moved on with 3D fighting games Tekken 7 and Soul Calibur VI. In a top eight full of exciting moments, Shadow 20z’s 3-0 sweep over Komanda crowned him as Summer Jam’s Tekken champion. Meanwhile in Soul Calibur, Linkorz took a clutch final round to win 3-2 in grand finals over EndersJ.
Guilty Gear Strive was the final game of Summer Jam 2021. With 313 entrants, Strive was by far the largest tournament of the weekend. K7 Showoff’s Leo looked unstoppable as he became the GGST champion, defeating SoSickNASHFAN’s May 3-0.
ONWARD TO NEC
“I hate that I have to cap it at 800, but I really feel that everybody’s gonna love the venue. I feel good about it… I’m happy. I got back in the groove and I feel great about NEC,” Big E said about the upcoming event.
Summer Jam 2021 showcased the return of East Coast fighting games offline, and the community looks ahead to what the future holds at Big E Gaming events and beyond.
Featured image courtesy of Big E Gaming
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