NEC 2011 - December 3/4
Northeast Championships has always been a fighting game community staple for numerous years and this year is no different with the best of East Coast and some West Coast folks visiting to duke it out. One reason why NEC is pretty big is that it is the first major for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Lots of crazy and new technology will be shown, but probably also more of the same old goodness that vanilla MvC3 provided. Be prepared to see lots of players get "Wesker-ed" (referring to level 4 Dark Wesker) and maybe the same old Phoenix sheninegans too? It is going to be interesting too to see whether players will stick to their old guns from vanilla or maybe they're confident enough with some of the new characters from Ultimate. From what I seen so far, Nova, Hawkeye, Vergil, and Frank West have been the new rising stars, but don't be surprised to see some blowups by others from the new cast like Phoenix Wright, Firebrand, and Strider. As I mentioned earlier, the best from the East Coast will be there along with some visitors from the Westside such as EG Justin Wong and Broken Tier's Clockwork. I think there are more WC players coming too, but I'm not sure exactly who's going. Anyway, Ultimate MvC3 will likely be the hypest thing at NEC, so definitely check that out. This weekend will also be the last major for Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition as the 2012 update will be out in two weeks. I still expect good stuff from that tourney as well as Mad Catz's Wolfkrone and Dieminion are my picks to win that one. Of course there are other games as well like Mortal Kombat and King of Fighters XIII, but NEC is going to be some sick stuff.
The first stream of AE 2012 hosted by iPlayWinner - 12/3
For those who can't wait for SSFIV: AE 2012 wanting to see what's new, there is a special event hosted by iPlayWinner at Southtown Arcade in San Francisco. NorCal's best from EG Ricky Ortiz, col.CC Filipino Champ, and more will be there going at it and also showing off the new changes for this version. The changelog is out there on SRK, Eventhubs, and Capcom-Unity if you want to know if your character got nerfed or buffed or see if the twins got hammered badly. Since its at Southtown Arcade, it is indeed the arcade version that gets the update first while consoles still have to wait for another two weeks.
The return of Bar Fights!!! - 12/11
Col.CC Gootecks is bringing back Bar Fights next weekend at Los Angeles. If you remember how these go, its basically concept matches of first to 5 or whatever in a certain game among the best players. The only concept match revealed so far is Finger Cramp's Jago against col.CC Mike Ross in a first to 5 in Ultimate MvC3. The finals of Beyond Gaming's Rise of the Web Warrior tournament will also be happening there as (its kind of funny) it is a SoCal vs. SoCal matchup between shglbmx from the OC and Steinmania from the Box Arena at San Diego. I expect most of the other details will be revealed on Cross Counter Live this Tuesday by the man himself on thestream.tv. For us LA folks, it is free entry, but seeing how past events like this went, come early to beat the crowds because it is gonna be packed at the new venue Gootecks picked somewhere in LA. I'll likely be there as I know its gonna be good times.
SoCal Regionals 2011 - December 17/18
Level Up is back again for SoCal Regionals as it takes place at UC Irvine. Most of the SoCal communities are running their specific games from Test Your Might doing Mortal Kombat, Dream Cancel with King of Fighters XIII, Level Up Your Game/Avoiding the Puddle for Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (yeah the arcade version of TTT2!), etc. It is also another big major for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as we will see the best of the West Coast along with some EC visitors going for the crown. This is also the first major for Super Street Fighter IV: AE 2012 being its the first weekend after its console release, so expect big things from this one especially from the international players that are competing (there should be a few coming, but nothing official yet from the Level Up crew as we'll found out in a matter of days). In addition, some of the fighting games out next year will be playable at SCR too. Street Fighter X Tekken will likely be the big one there as maybe a new build will be present that will include everyone's "favorite" thing to talk about, aka the gem system. Namco Bandai is also there with Soul Calibur V (out in the end of January) and Tekken Tag 2. Skullgirls will also have a big presence there as well if you have seen recent Wednesday Night Fights streams with people showing that one off.
Yeah, its a big month ahead for the fighting game community, so whether you're a player, spectator, or a stream monster, things are gonna be hype as we're ending the year strong.