I was a bit skeptical of the venue, but Cineplex in combination with WorldGaming and PS4 did a tremendous job in terms of production, and overall enjoyment of the event. Everything started at 3pm, but I arrived a little bit late. As I walked into the theater, to my surprise, it was almost full. It’s a big theater that holds 500+ people, and I would say they did a good job filling the seats.
The overall energy was positive from start to finish. Upon finding seating, I was given a Street Fighter / WorldGaming headband which I immediately wrapped around my forehead. May as well soak in the total experience. The crowd was rowdy, and particularly loud in the area I was sitting in.
During the event, the gamers played in an elimination style format which was broadcasted on the big screen. A long row of gaming and production equipment was setup right below the screen where the gamers and game casters sat. They sat facing away from the screen and towards the audience in a neatly organized line.
In between games to keep the crowd engaged, a greasy host wearing a trashy white suit barked over a microphone giving away prizes and encouraging funny little contests among the crowd. As the event went on, he grew a little bit on me, but not much. Some of the prizes that were raffled away included Collectors addition Street Fighter V PS4 games, gaming headsets by Sennheiser, and limited edition game guides. On top of those prizes, t-shirts were constantly being thrown into the crowd by attractive young promo girls. Cineplex also offered a pretty sweet little deal for food giving us the option to purchase an all day gamer food pack for 19.99.
The cosplay nerds were also out in full force, with a bunch of the crowd dressing up as their favourite Street Fighter characters. I have to admit, it looked like they were having a lot of fun and some of the cosplay outfits looked really good.
As we got closer to the end of the tournament, and only a handful of the elite Street Fighter V players competing in the tournament were left, you could feel the intensity level rise within the overall atmosphere among the casters, the players, and the audience.
In the finals, a champion was crowned. A gamer by the handle Chirithy playing on Chun-Li defeated Phiffe_Dawg who was playing on Nash. Chirithy was awarded the top prize of $10,000 and bragging rights as the best Street Fighter player in Canada. Second place received $4,000, while third place received $1,500. Below is a completed chart of the cash payouts:
|1ST||$10,000 CAD Cash Prize|
|2ND||$4,000 CAD Cash Prize|
|3RD||$1,500 CAD Cash Prize|
|4TH||$750 CAD Cash Prize|
|5TH – 8TH||$350 Pre-Paid Credit Gift Card|
|9TH – 16TH||$200 PlayStation® Store Cash Card each|
|17TH – 32ND||$100 PlayStation® Store Cash Card each|
Overall, the experience was a positive one and I hope to attend the next WorldGaming tournament hosted at Cineplex studios. Even my girlfriend who is not fond of games had a good time. Her interest was engaged by the crowd, the casters, and even the greasy host. She even took a lot of pictures and asked me a lot of questions about the game.