CouchWarriors League Recap – May 2021

The fires of competition have burned more brightly than ever before across the CouchWarriors League, as we count down the days before the long-awaited BAM12 major. The month of May set a new all-time record for most ranking points on offer, impacting the race across all five CWL games.

In the past, the league rankings have often been dominated by a handful of regional champions who can reliably scoop their local tournament every time – but 2021 is looking different. Not only have we seen a few instances of top players traveling interstate to play spoiler for one event, but almost every game and region is seeing a more even spread of winners as the months roll on. It’s been the perfect way to foreshadow the inevitable clash for bragging rights we’ll see at BAM.

STREET FIGHTER V

Street Fighter May Results

Street Fighter V is likely still the most top-heavy national field, although no one name currently stands clearly above the rest. Defending CWL champion Ervin-Jason “pahnda” Garanovic took out the Queensland ranbat, holding Benjamin “Destiny74” Jakabfy off as he tried to repeat his breakthrough victory from April. Those two and Michael “GodlyEffect” Wright seem to be a step ahead of their competition this year, with Dale Roy the best of the rest as he finished 4th for the third month straight.

Down south, the Christian “ORDER|ROF” Dedalija comeback tour continued with another triumphant sweep of the Victorian ranbat. We also had a fresh face breaking up the podium as Austerzone took advantage of some earlier upsets to sweep into third place.

Xavier “DS|Somniac” Nardella fell to 5th in Victoria after one such upset, but his season continues to demonstrate the value of consistency. He once again backed up points at the ranbat with a huge run in the CouchWarriors Online Series, extending an undefeated netplay streak which has lasted months at this point.

Somniac stayed clean all the way through the bracket, including a smooth 3-0 over old rival Kevin “GG|bksama” Nguyen in Winners Finals. But the wheels finally came off in their Grand Final rematch. The matchup between the two evolved several times; bksama repeatedly chased down Somniac’s slippery Ed to take a set 3-1, prompting a more aggressive approach from Som after the reset. The adaptation was good enough to force a final game, but bksama found enough good hits to hang on for the win. With their head-to-head in games dead even for the night at 6-6, we can anticipate a real classic next time these two collide in a big offline set.

 

TEKKEN 7

Tekken results May

Tekken 7 saw even more hopefuls leaping into an already-packed points race, as noted Alisa lover Budget Chanel swept the Online Series event for his first 5 CWL points. Other fresh faces joined him in the top placings, including fellow grand finalist UoN|twygs and Thiogian “kamasutraspirit” Damalis.

Their appearance hampered the runs of championship hopefuls Harlem Barriball and Peter “Ravenboy” O’Flanagan, but like Somniac in SFV they were able to bolster those Online Series points with a second helping from the Queensland ranbat. There the Grand Finals saw a second consecutive showdown between kewlkats and Tom “yiggs” Ho, with Yiggs winning both sets to take the clear senior position in their rivalry.

Victoria’s contingent of players are beginning to fall a bit behind in the overall points race, due to less Online Series success and less consistent ranbat results. The one player holding firm month to month is DHT|Yagami, who successfully repeated his maiden win from April to easily lead the state going into their home major.

 

SMASH ULTIMATE

Ultimate results for May

I made big promises about the exciting state of Smash Ultimate heading into the 2021 season, and so far I doubt anybody is feeling disappointed. The breakout stars from 2020’s predominantly online tournaments trying to earn their place on the PR charts against the established stars of each state has been riveting narratively as well as a source of quality gameplay. Of course, the CWL Online Series remains home ground for many of these phenomenal young players, with WA’s Fryd Ryce especially prominent. He improved from 3rd to 2nd last month, and in May his rise proved to be inevitable as he took Grand Finals over our nation’s leading Lucario, chizzL.

After Fryd Ryce clutched the Pokemon battle in Winners Finals, chizzL reached into his insanely deep character pool for the eventual rematch. After failing to dent Fryd Ryce with Ridley or Wolf, chizzL seemed to really hit on something with Jigglypuff. His deft control to float around and even under thundershocks caused a stir in the commentary box, and some clutch rests were enough to take a game back. But Fryd Ryce steadied on his Lylat Cruise counterpick, and sealed an exciting victory to stay in the overall points race.

This season’s established “big 4” of Victoria continued to brawl over the top places in their latest meeting. Bradley “GZ|DD” Kun finally got one back against sometime doubles partner Jonathan “KANGA|Jdizzle” Douglas, who had taken the honours over DD in Grand Finals the last two months. With Jdizzle out of the way, DD just had to hold off CWL 2020 points leader Sebastian “GZ|SebPro101” Poli-Tabone to take home the win amidst an ultra-stacked Top 8.

In fact VIC was so stacked this month that it again spilled over into Queensland, where visiting VicHub PR honcho R!OT|THE GWIF made a big impression on their May ranbat. Kyra “Spammage” Corben ultimately defended the home state’s pride to secure a second consecutive win. Daniel “Recon” Guo made a big step up to secure a podium finish and leapfrog up the season rankings.

And while all of this goes on, reigning CWL Smash Ultimate champion Joshua “KANGA|Ghost” Francis continues to rack up the wins in Adelaide’s Cheese League monthlies. He’s now 3/3 for trophies there this season, in absolutely lethal form, and looks to already be a certainty for another Season Finale appearance in 2021.

 

SMASH MELEE

Melee results for May

Over in Smash Melee it’s actually the absence of the defending champion which promises the most interest for this season. With Sora taking a hiatus the Victorian crown is the subject of a running duel between Miles “LGC|DonB” Dobney and KANGA|Dekar. This month it was the Legacy veteran stepping up, with a win in the ranbat and a strong 2nd in an Online Series dominated by out-of-state ringers.

Queensland remained highly unpredictable, with neither the March nor April ranbat winners appearing in the Top 8 this time around. Instead Carlisle “Kami” Miller improved from 3rd last month to claim the maximum 10 ranking points, while a chorus of new names also entered themselves onto the CWL 2021 leaderboard.

 

DRAGONBALL FIGHTERZ

DBFZ results for May

DBFZ is the “new” game on the block for CouchWarriors League this season, but the community is very well established with some clear leading characters set up to control this inaugural championship.

Queensland’s rising star RelatingBeef registered back-to-back ranbat victories while relegating MitchN64 to the bridesmaid’s role for the third time this season. The 10 points weren’t free, however – RelatingBeef took a humbling loss to Phillip “APEX|Newspectre” Repia along the way. Newspectre also registered his first CWL points at the event with an eventual 5th place – something to build on in coming months.

RelatingBeef attempted to double up with a win in the CWL Online Series, but was thwarted by a strong field including noted netplayer the_racoonisme and interstate rivals from Victoria. Ray “Agent17805” Usanto in particular was poised to maintain the highest individual points total across all CWL games just by making Grand Finals – which he accomplished. But once he got there, “Agent Numbers” ran afoul of Nolbie, who made a big comeback to CWL competition this month.

Not only did Nolbie take the W in the Online Series, but we got to watch a repeat of the match in the VIC ranbat – also ending in defeat for Agent. This set Nolbie up against Agent’s long-time rival John “ZEDDD” Le, one of a handful of players good enough to make leaderboard for multiple games this CWL season. Nolbie proved the stronger in DBFZ however, completing a stellar overall performance for May.

 

That’s all the results from May’s CWL competition! With so many events every month, it’s important to keep checking the league website and smash.gg/league/couchwarriors-league-2021/ for the upcoming schedule. And remember #BAM12 is just a month away too – smash.gg/bam12 to register for the events there. See you all next month!

BAM12 Registration Roundup!

Get hype! The biggest AusFGC news of the year is the biggest AusFGC event of the year: BAM 2021.

Battle Arena Melbourne is making its comeback in 2021. Held from July 9th-11th, #BAM12 will feature the peak of competitive play for fighting games across Australia as part of the CouchWarriors League, as well as a rare chance for our top talent to battle world-class opposition. Expanding the gaming on offer, alongside BAM will be ITZ Gaming PC LAN (more on that below)!

BAM’s status as Australia’s top Major on the official circuits brings together players and broadcasters from all sorts of games, and CouchWarriors are going in even harder on that big-tent ethos with this year’s event. Whether you count yourself among the hardcore competitors, niche game specialists, casual fans, artists, cosplayers, or game developers, #BAM12 has something to offer.

 

You can buy your ticket to the show – $25 for spectators, $60 for competitors and casual play, along with sign up to individual events through the main portal at smash.gg/BAM12. Now, read on for a quick blow-by-blow of the individual attractions that will make this another amazing BAM!

Registrations are open now at smash.gg/BAM12

OPEN-ENTRY BRACKETS & COMMUNITY TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

The heart and soul of BAM, our TO’s will be running official brackets for the following games over the weekend: 

  • Street Fighter V: Champion Edition 
  • Tekken 7 
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Singles & Doubles) 
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee (Singles & Doubles) 
  • Guilty Gear Strive 
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ 
  • Mortal Kombat 11 
  • Soul Calibur VI 
  • Dead Or Alive 6 
  • Killer Instinct 
  • Rivals of Aether 
  • Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown
  • Brawlhalla 

 

That’s a TON of chances for you to become a BAM champion this year! All of these tournaments will feature their own prizes, with timetables staggered across the weekend so you can fit in as many sets as possible. Schedule will be released soon.

 

We’re also producing a second schedule of community-led tournaments, featuring a broad cross-selection of cult-hit games, special rulesets and other fan favourite stipulations. Check the schedule closer to the date so you don’t miss out on these wild and wonderful side events!

 

ARTIST’S ALLEY RETURNS 

Artist's Alley announcement

After a great reception for the community artists appearing at past BAM events, we’re renewing our efforts to attract more amazing local creatives to table at BAM12! However, table space will still be limited compared to a normal convention, so make sure you fill in your application at the link below ASAP (closes June 18th).
Those artists who do secure a spot will be showcasing their work to the entire Australian FGC, as well as the audience of the ITZ Gaming LAN event n! The Artist’s Alley is open to creatives from a variety of disciplines, even if their work doesn’t focus on fighting game characters. We just want to see some incredible art at BAM12!

bit.ly/BAM2021Artists

 

BAM12 INDIECADE

Indiecade announcement

Indie game developers have a special reason to have their work appear at BAM. We’re eager to promote the work of local devs who are creating all genres of game to shine before our huge audience of passionate gamers. While it doesn’t have to be a competitive game, indie devs who have presented at BAM before have relished the insightful feedback on mechanics and game balance from attendees. Fill in the application form below (closes June 6th) to negotiate space for your demo or other preview in our dedicated indiecade space on the main BAM floor! 

bit.ly/BAM2021IndieArcade 

 

VOLUNTEERS

Volunteer applications open

Of course, every BAM runs on the skill, charisma and pluck of our heroic volunteers – community members who take the chance to help ensure that the event lives up to its long tradition of excellence. Volunteers get free spectator passes and can also register normally as a competitor – we will work with you to ensure that your volunteer duties don’t clash with your tournament matches! We also treat volunteers to food & drink throughout the weekend, and access to the famed BAM afterparty once the festivities are all wrapped up. It takes all-hands-on-deck to run an event of this size, so fill in the form below, join our TO staff and loyal community, and do your bit to make BAM12 a hit!

bit.ly/BAM2021Volunteer

 

STREAMING TO FANS AT HOME AROUND THE WORLD

As befits the status of an international Major, BAM12 will feature simultaneous streaming broadcast for many of the official brackets, as well as some community tournaments! A list of the main games and streams is below, with full details to be announced closer to the event. Note that some official world series events will instead be featured on the international channels for those circuits.

twitch.tv/couchwarriors – Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Mortal Kombat 11

twitch.tv/couchwarriorssmash – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Singles & Doubles)

twitch.tv/melbournemelee – Super Smash Bros. Melee (Singles & Doubles)

twitch.tv/couchwarriors2 – Dragonball FighterZ, Guilty Gear Strive

Further channels for more events to be announced

 

ALL THE MAKINGS OF GREATNESS

Pulling off Australia’s biggest fighting game event ever isn’t easy – but luckily, CouchWarriors has received gracious support for #BAM12 both within the community, and without. We have the tireless efforts of the CouchWarriors committee and regional organizers to thank, along with all of our outstanding volunteers who will be giving their time to make BAM a reality. Our long-time PC hardware sponsor Mwave have once again pledged their support to the event as well as the broader CWLeague tournament season. 

Mwave Sponsorship announcement

Furthermore, this year marks a new partnership with ITZ Gaming LAN – their 1000-seat BYOC LAN will be taking place under the same roof as #BAM12 over the same weekend. We have arranged for both events to be open for spectators from the other sidegiving attendees the chance to take in even MORE exciting tournament action, as well as our range of exhibiting artists and Indiecade developers! Check out ITZ Gaming on social media for further details, or to book a BYOC spot for their event.

 

It’s going to be an absolutely frenetic weekend, a momentary gaming paradise under one massive roof. Don’t forget to register on smash.gg/BAM12 – and we’ll see all of you in July!

 

BAM Returns July 9th to 11th at MCEC!

That’s right. BAM is coming back on July 9th to 11th, 2021 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The FGC’s biggest national event will be returning with the hype, community and competition we all love.  This year BAM will be colocated with ITZ LAN, a 1,000 seat BYOC PC LAN. Making this “ITZ BAM” even bigger for the gaming community.

Stay tuned for Registration info and more news and updates!

#BAMThrowback – Remembering Our Best Moments

2020 was meant to be an incredible year for our FGC, and specifically for Battle Arena Melbourne. BAM12 had an impressive list of World Tour tournaments to draw top internationals, great sponsors, the CouchWarriors League finale and increasing momentum from years of successful “big BAMs” at the MEC, ready to break all records and make news worldwide. The event is only postponed, not cancelled, so we can still look forward to our annual calendar highlight. But it’s painful to be set back after so much hard work, by a force well outside anybody’s control.

With the originally planned event dates coming and going last weekend, it would have been easy to get sucked into further disappointment. Instead, CouchWarriors took the chance to launch the #BAMThrowback hashtag, asking our community to throw up their best memories and photos from years of BAM past.

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COVID-19 Update and Online Tournament Schedule

It has been a tough month or two for any community that relies on live events – our FGC included. Those following our social media accounts will know that the realities of the coronavirus pandemic have forced CouchWarriors to make a number of changes to our 2020 plans, including postponing tournaments or moving them online. To ensure an easy reference for our community over the next few months, we’re collecting those announcements in one place.

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CouchWarriors and Twitch extend esports partnership with 2018-19 Fighting Game Ranking Season: BAM Path to EVO

CouchWarriors and Twitch extend esports partnership with 2018-19 Fighting Game Ranking Season: BAM Path to EVO

 

  • Inclusive Esports Ranking season and league ladder for events across ANZ every month.
  • Each event live stream will feature on Twitch TV’s front page.
  • Earn points to set ANZ FGC esports players on a path to Australian championships at BAM
  • Top ANZ BAM players awarded flights, accom for EVO World Championships in Las Vegas!

 

 

Thursday, 27th September – CouchWarriors and Twitch TV have announced BAM Path To EVO, a qualifying path for ANZ fighting game esports players across multiple local and upcoming online events.  The series, featured front page of #1 gaming streaming platform Twitch TV, starts as of this month. Points earned will be tallied on a combined league ladder, leading to the national championships at BAM (Battle Arena Melbourne). From there, champions in three games will go on to EVO World Championships in 2019.  

 

This new phase of the esports partnership will support ongoing events across the ANZ fighting game community. Players at monthly CouchWarriors, Ozhadou and Standing Fierce events around the region will be able to earn points to see who is performing best at local tournaments, while event streams feature on the front page of live streaming platform, Twitch.TV  

 

Players in Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, and Super Smash Bros 4 WiiU will each earn points tallied on a shared leaderboard at BAMPathToEVO.com.au, and the top scorers will receive travel and a qualifier opportunity at BAM11 in May, 2019.  The top ANZ player at BAM in each game, will once again travel to Las Vegas, USA, to participate in the EVO World Championships!

 

The first phase of the partnership began in May at Australia’s largest Fighting game major, BAM. Three champions then played for Australia at EVO. Now, the pathway is now open to more players around Australia and New Zealand, starting this month.

 

National Ladder and Community Partners

The centralised ladder has launched on BAMPathToEVO.com.au and will grow in features as event results roll in. For more information on the ranking points system, visit https://www.couchwarriors.org/bam-path-to-evo-with-twitch/

 

The first three states to join the series with their regular events will be in Victoria and Queensland through CouchWarriors, Sydney through Ozhadou, and New Zealand through Standing Fierce.

 

Next events and where to watch

 

Each regional points champion will be provided travel and entry into BAM11!

 

Online tournaments each month

In addition to the local community events, further points are available for participants in one online tournament each month per game.  More details of each tournament and how to sign up will be shared on couchwarriors.org/bam-path-to-evo-with-twitch/  and BAMPathToEVO.com.au very soon.

 

Events for everyone

Players in other fighting games will still earn local ranking points. So if you love playing more than SFV, Tekken and Smash 4, players are always encouraged to build their local scenes by playing all games they would like to learn or compete in.

 

To find out more about each fighting game community in ANZ, visit:

 

CouchWarriors: www.couchwarriors.org

Ozhadou: www.ozhadou.net

Standing Fierce: www.standingfierce.com

 

How to join as a partner event or sponsor the series: [email protected]

 

— ENDS —

 

About Twitch

Twitch is the leading social video service and community for gamers where tens of millions of people come together each day from all over the globe to interact around live and on-demand content. This includes watching, talking, and chatting about video games and esports, as well as traditional sports, anime, music, the creative arts, and other shared interests. Twitch also runs TwitchCon, the annual convention for celebrating the Twitch community. For more information about Twitch, visit our Press Center, Twitter feed (#Twitch), and Blog.

 

 

About CouchWarriors

CouchWarriors, established 2006, is an expert in gaming tournaments and esports events.  A community run not for profit with over 10 years experience, grown from the vibrant fighting game community.

Hosts of Battle Arena Melbourne (BAM), Australia’s largest open entry esports tournament event. CouchWarriors offer casual and grassroots events, scaling to tournaments at the national level.  Both beginner to expert players have room with our inclusive approach, from a professionally minded tournament team.

CouchWarriors also offers commercial events services from tournament organisation and administration, live streaming, event management and staffing. CouchWarriors have supported events including Melbourne Esports Open, Madman Anime Festival and PAX Australia.

For more information

www.couchwarriors.org

www.facebook.com/couchwarriors | www.twitter.com/couchwarriors

 

Contact

Press [email protected] | General [email protected]

BAM10 Survey – Your Feedback!

This year CouchWarriors celebrated its 10th year of Battle Arena Melbourne with BAM10.

Our biggest event yet, attracting over 2000 attendees, BAM continues to grow and improve year on year. As part of the event this year we sought feedback from our attendees to get a better sense of what we are doing well and where we can improve.

This years event featured the best of Australian and international talent in the fighting game community and there was no lack of entertainment. Matches were electric, with spectators on the edge of their seats, holding their breath as players battled right down to the last inch of health before triumphing. Besides the usual tournaments we also had our first appearance of Nintendo hosting both Splatoon 2 and Pokken tournaments and the PC LAN area that hosted its own tournaments.

 

Let’s take a look at the survey!

 

A little about our community

 

The attendees of BAM10 are all kinds of ages with our attendees being mostly between the ages of 14-30. Most of the respondents were male (96%) but our female community is growing with female respondents competing in events across BAM10 including Street Fighter, Smash Bros. 4, Splatoon 2 and Dragon Ball FighterZ.

Most of our attendees had attended a BAM event in the past (60%) but we had a lot of first timers attend this years BAM. Of those who had attended previously, most people had attended more than two events.

Our tournaments

78.5% of responses were competitors with most people competing in Tekken, Dragon Ball FighterZ and Street Fighter. It was a big job for some our TO’s this year with so many different games being run at BAM10. CouchWarriors has been working hard to ensure tournament bracket updates are timely and easy for people to access. Our community’s feedback showed that this really came through with 89% satisfied with the running of brackets, 84% satisfied with bracket updates and 81% satisfied with the equipment provided.

There were shout outs to our TO’s for doing an amazing job as well as a request for more TO’s to help with some of the larger tournaments to reduce stress if possible.

BAM10 overall

BAM10 was a massive hit with our community with 93% definitely coming back next year  and 94% recommending BAM to their friends. When asked overall how satisfied people were with the event, there were no dissatisfied results which 96% being satisfied with BAM.

This is an excellent result for Australia’s biggest Fighting Game Tournament and is proof of how our hard work, dedication and devotion to BAM is seen and experienced by our attendees.

We’d like to thank everyone who completed the survey for their feedback. There was a lot of amazing ideas and we are looking forward to bringing them to life next year at BAM11!

 

Thanks to Jodie “Eevee” Langford for producing the survey and compiling this article

Gfinity Elite Series SFV Players at Battle Arena Melbourne 10.

The upcoming GFINITY Elite Series will feature a large selection of Street Fighter V players from the community. With BAM10 as the major fighting game event in the calendar year just finished, it’s a great opportunity to look at how these players finished up. How will this latest ranking of the top SFV players in the country play out when the teams face off at Elite Series in the coming weeks?  Their placement at BAM10 will be a good gauge!

The Chiefs main Squad

At the moment, it looks like Chiefs are in the box seat, with the only two Australian players to make top 8 against fierce local and international competition both in that team. In fact, Somniac, as top placer via tiebreak with Bksama, won a trip to Vegas as our EVO representative.

Watch the winning moment: https://clips.twitch.tv/BlazingSmoothLapwingPJSalt

However, a few close calls in pools and previous tournaments suggests some upsets from the likes of ROF and TravisStyles are certainly possible.

Check out all of the players and their teams that came to BAM 10.

See the full BAM10 results list here (Photos and videos linked)

7th Somniac Sydney Chiefs
7th Bksama Sydney Chiefs
9th Travis Styles Melbourne Order
9th ROF Melbourne Order
13th RumoursOfGhosts Melb Avant Gaming
13th ZG Sydney Chiefs
17th GhostChips Brisbane Deceptors
17th Zed Melbourne Order
17th Bug Melbourne Order
17th FREEZA Sydney Roar
25th Camzace Brisbane Deceptors
25th Rupps Perth Ground Zero
25th Caesura Perth Ground Zero
25th BurnoutFighter Melbourne Order
25th Cadzow_ Sydney Roar
25th Dale Sydney Roar
25th Pahnda Sydney Chiefs
33rd RobbieSla. Brisbane Deceptors
33rd SpaceGhost Melb Avant Gaming
33rd Syo Perth Ground Zero
33rd Falco Sydney Chiefs
49th AwildLLAMA Melb Avant Gaming
49th MiM Melbourne Order
65th Staticz Perth Ground Zero
65th Schenkhan Perth Ground Zero
97th AcrylicSaint Sydney Roar
97th Bao Special Brisbane Deceptors

 

Tons to do at BAM10 on a Spectator Pass!

This year at BAM10, there’s more than ever for you to do, even if you only enter the event with a Spectator pass! It’s only $20 for the whole weekend available online or at the door. While only Competitor Passes can play in our hosted tournaments and casual areas, here is the list of fantastic activity on offer at BAM10.

1. See incredible matches first hand as competitors duke it out in the pools and on stage.

2. Play Preview Games Soul Calibur VI and EX Fighting Layer

3. Join in the fun at the Nintendo Play Area

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