By Rande Archer
The best of Baton Rouge’s fighting gamers banded together Sunday night at The Cove to figure out who amongst them was truly the best, and to figure out if they thought they were nice. Starting off with 18 competitors toward the beginning of the night, the numbers slowly dwindled down as the night grew colder and the fights got hotter. Eventually only eight remained to ask the tournament title question of the evening, “So You Think You Nice?”
Hosted by Level 482 Gaming, the tournament centered on the fighting game Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, which brought out the skills to get the bills. The bills being the top dollar prize of the evening, $200 cash with lower cash prizes for second and third place. The tournament was triple elimination, and the competitors had to bring their own wired controllers so that no interference could be caused during the matches. The tournament was streamed lived over the internet on 482 Gaming’s twitch channel, twitch.tv/level482gaming. In addition to the stream, defeated or resting competitors provided commentary live.
“We have done a lot of events to where we kind of know who really are the best commentators,” said Daniel Lusk, senior advisor for Level 482 Gaming. “If I really could, I would try to pick a sub match on the stream like the second runner-up, to where I could have the person that was waiting, one of my better commentators, and then I could stagger them with someone else. Just through us playing a lot of tournaments, and having a lot of folks commentate I know who I want to have talking.”
The decision to use a fighting game for the tournament is rooted in the skill set required and the emphasis on the individual rather than teamwork, which is demonstrated in team based tournament games such as Unreal Tournament, Counter Strike, Battlefield, Call of Duty, League of Legends or Defense of the Ancients.
“I used to play those kinds of games, DoTA, Counter Strike, and what not,” said Lusk. “But the problem was, because they are team based games you will get angry at things you can’t control. Whether it’s a teammate messing up, but in a fighting game it’s all on you. There’s no other player to blame about messing up besides you. And that’s why I chose this. I used to play other games competitively, but nowadays I only play fighting games. It’s pretty much like competitive working out. You become really good at it and test up against it, but in the end you can only blame yourself. You can’t blame the other person for messing up, it’s why I play it.”
The highlights of the evening could be determined with two matches in the tournament. A blood feud continued from a match a year ago which ended with another defeat as the competitors Ty Hebert and James Butler duked it out with a 3 to 2 win for Hebert. Another highlight match of the evening pitted New Orleans native and a ghost in the Louisiana Marvel fighting community, Stone Nguyen against local champion and rival Van Vo. Nguyen prevailed and fought his way up the ladder against Baton Rouges best, ultimately winning the tournament.
“I was expecting Van to take the tournament,” said Lusk. “Van had told me previously he had played Stone in other tournaments and Van had done well against Stone. So I was thinking Stone being on unfamiliar turf and playing against Omar, who beat Stone a few days ago in casuals. So playing against Omar, Van, and Gary, would be too much for Stone to conquer. He did it, and I’m surprised to be honest.”
Nguyen, now living in Houston, has a history of playing competitive fighting games, and tournaments. The format of Sunday’s tournament and the selection of opponents drew him. So while visiting family here in Baton Rouge, it was natural for him to compete in the tournament.
“I was told about it a while back and the idea of a Swiss tournament where you play against everybody and see who does the best like out of most of the people is actually pretty rare for this type of tournament,” said Nguyen. “For these gaming tournaments it’s usually too many people and you can’t do that type of format, so it was very interesting to me and I wanted to try it out. Also a lot of the people here, I wanted to see how they stacked up because it’s been a long time since I got to see them play. I was definitely not disappointed.”
In addition to making appearances at the local Pop Art shows, Level 482 Gaming hosts a casual gaming event every monthly second Sunday at The Cove where anyone came come out and enjoy some casual matches. To see if they have any other upcoming events please visit their Facebook page, facebook.com/level482gaming/ or follow their Twitter page @lvl482.