A big tournament, known as The Battle Of Destiny: Road to Evolution (the title almost sounds like something from an old rock album) recently took place in the UK, and The Stinger Report was there to scope out how things went. From The Stinger:
The UK Capital played host to what must be the largest gathering of Street Fighter IV machines seen outside of Japan.
At the ‘Battle of Destiny: Road to Evolution’ – the first organized event of its kind, held at the London Metropolitan University student halls.
The whole event organized by the Neo Empire team [Image 0162], the number one fighting games community. Established in 2005 the community has proven a strong ‘Play-Power’ community able in this case to move mountains.
Beyond the showing of the SFIV machines, a large number of console machines were in operation playing the latest and greatest fighting games. This major tournament was held linked with a number of championship play offs, with the winner sent to the EVO2008 Championship series in Las Vegas
The main event for The Stinger however was the appearance of the Street Fighter machines. The event supported by Capcom Europe, and by their PR Manager Leo Tan [Image 313]. To date only a small band of UK media had seen two SFIV machines that had been based in a locked room at Capcom’s London HQ – now the players had their chance.
For the first time for the UK playing public six Street Fighter IV cabinets where placed on free-play for a hoard of eager fingers. Hot-off the boat the ‘Vewlix’ cabinets running the Taito Type-X² architecture were installed by the Neo Empire team.
The machines were not equipped with the IC Card feature, and obviously not connected on the NESYS infrastructure, but this still represented the largest placement of SFIV machines outside of Japan.
On average cues of over 20 eager players filled the hall where they were located and grew as the day continued. As this report is filed the two day Battle of Destiny event is continuing – visited on a steamy Saturday in London, it is expected that the Sunday opening is breaking all records on attendance.
This was a major event, with players rushing to re-join the cue once played. The games were limited to only three bouts as winner, players having to be prized off the cabinets. Copious amounts of video was being taken soon to fill the web, and all of the aspects of this latest game code build will soon make the UK gamers the most up-to-date on the game.
These six machines are expected to be given another airing in the European player scene, but at the moment there is no plan for a proper ROI test in a arcade (though the Stinger can reveal that heated communication with possible distributors was still ongoing) – the hardware being shown more as a marketing tool for the coming consumer release than as a serious amusement opportunity.
For some of that video, check this out (by user Smoothyworld):
It’s great to hear that the tournament was a success and that it provided an opportunity for players to get their hands on the game instead of just the press. Still, as The Stinger discusses in the last paragraph it appears that the arcade units continue to be used more for a marketing tool for the console versions rather than for the arcade version itself, and that is a shame that we’re not going to quickly forget.