Thanks to all who attended and competed this weekend as part of the twelfth Battle Arena Melbourne!! After a two year wait, the fighting game community returned to Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre to reunite old friends and reignite old rivalries in the heat of offline competition!
About a month ago, we announced that the classic “BAM Bounties” contest would return at Battle Arena Melbourne 2022. Top players from each of the CouchWarriors League featured games will enter the major with a price on their heads! If you’re the first to best these players in their favorite game over the weekend, you can immediately cash in for a bonus prize. Sounds good, right?
Not so fast. These aren’t just random schmucks who lucked into the odd win; with months of bruising competition under their belts already in 2022, our CWL leaders have more than proven their credentials as champions of their chosen games. They’re some of the most exciting and experienced players in the Oceanic FGC!
So to make sure you’re prepared for BAM2022 (in less than 2 weeks!), let’s take a closer look at who you’ll be trying to take down…
The hype train for Battle Arena Melbourne next month is picking up a ton of steam with each passing week, and we’ve got a couple more announcements here which are sure to help fuel that engine!
Not only has the list of fighting games represented in the tournament schedule grown significantly since the initial announcement, but CouchWarriors have now confirmed the return of the “BAM Bounties” competition – offering special prizes to anyone who can take down the top-ranked players of CouchWarriors League in their favorite game.
There’s a very special atmosphere around the Australian FGC this month – an excitement nobody has felt for several long, major-less years. The twelfth-ever Battle Arena Melbourne finally has a scheduled date and venue, and the biggest international esports tournament on the national calendar is now open for player registration!
Taking place at Melbourne Exhibition Centre from May 13th to May 15th, BAM is a celebration of everything happening in fighting games, right in the heart of the city’s renowned CBD. It’s also the heart of the CouchWarriors League tournament circuit, offering a huge injection of ranking points alongside other prizes and competitions. Attracting champions both domestic and international across a huge range of games, this is the pinnacle of competition for every player (and spectator!) in OCE.
When we write fighting game history, 2021 is going to go down as the Year of Gear. The bold presentation and fortuitous timing of Guilty Gear: Strive has brought the hard-rocking franchise from the fringe of the FGC into the mainstream. And the willingness of Arc System Works to remodel some aspects of the core system has invited many new Guilty Gear players to make Strive their entry point, mixing it up with anime veterans on more even footing.
With all that momentum it was inevitable that GG:ST would make it onto the CouchWarriors League circuit as our newest featured title. Last month’s Battle Arena Nightclub was the first opportunity for players to pick up ranking points on the Strive leaderboard. But even that clash of Melbourne’s finest turned out to just be an appetizer for August’s CWL Online event – the first real chance to see who could stand supreme in this new game at the national level.
Sunday, July 11th saw a year of pent-up competitive energy unleashed from a highly unusual venue. Inflation Nightclub and Entertainment Complex has been a party fixture on Melbourne’s King Street for decades, but they’d never seen anything quite like the crowd of 240+ FGC diehards hollering over the noise of the venue to celebrate a knockout blow.
With a brief window to take advantage of lowered COVID restrictions but no way to facilitate a full-sized major, an event was planned to carry on the spirit of BAM in the best available venue, and thus we got to enjoy #BANC – Battle Arena Nightclub 2021.
The pivotal final month of Saturday online events for CouchWarriors League 2020 has delivered a barrage of top-flight competition, with three games having concluded their ranking seasons so far. The last two weekends were a study in contrasts; Smash Melee was reduced to a victory lap for an unstoppable champion, while Tekken 7’s overall season winner wasn’t decided until the very last blow!
Another weekend has passed, and the last CWL Online event for the month is in the books. With only one more event left on the schedule for each game, October represented the last real chance for any new names to show up and make a tilt at qualification for the Season Finale. Players whose qualification was already locked in were still there at full force as they battled tooth and nail for top placegetter payouts.
This weekend also saw a bit of league rules weirdness, as players in the South Australian scene seemed like they might have grabbed an extra chance at those prizes. Capitalizing on their relative freedom from COVID-19, the locals took this chance to finally restart their “Cheese League” ranbat series, which in an ideal season would have been the main way for SA players to earn their CWL points.
While it’s a terrific sign that we have players getting back into offline play, CouchWarriors quickly clarified that there were no extra points suddenly up for grabs as a result – to be fair to players in other states, it would still be CWL Online or bust!
This weekend gave the Australian fighting game community a bittersweet taste of what 2020 might have held, were we not forced to spend most of it at home. For the first time since summer, the CouchWarriors League schedule was able to feature something more exclusive than an simple online ranbat, as the Tekken World Tour Online Challenge travelled down under!
The 2020 CouchWarriors League is well onto the home stretch, and halfway through October competition we can really see who is pulling ahead among the top contenders for each game.
Both the Street Fighter bracket on the 3rd and the Melee competition on the tenth pulled 24 attendees, giving us short but extremely fierce tournaments. It seems like after the initial boom of contenders entering following the double-points announcement, we have once again crunched the numbers down to just those players with the most points, or the most self-confidence. Read more