Get ready for the next battle – because CouchWarriors League is back for 2021!
Rising from the ashes of last year like a wakeup shoryu, Australia’s first unified fighting game circuit has begun a fresh season, now with more games and more events to compete in!
With monthly ranbat events in four state centers and the revamped CouchWarriors Online Series, there’s a huge expansion in the amount of season points available – which seems destined to produce a much tighter title race in each of the five featured fighting games.
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!
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
Things have been heating up in Australia’s fighting game community all month, and it’s not just good spring weather. Tournament registrations are up, prize pools have been raised, and even in embattled Victoria there are signs that coronavirus is slowly receding – giving us hope of holding CouchWarriors League events in person next season.
This excited atmosphere was heightened further in the Smash Ultimate scene, as the successful Cospendium Open series decided to merge its remaining event schedule with existing CWL monthlies. With the stakes having risen twice already since August, it’s no surprise that this weekend’s Ultimate tournament was even more hotly contested than the last one.
The quality of competition improved as well; there were plenty of ranked names among the 125 who entered. Yet again, we enjoyed seeing proven winners clash with the brigade of fierce, up-and-coming competitors who have made their own names during this year’s online tournament blitz. And quite often it was the latter who triumphed!
The first fortnight of September has kicked off the endgame for CouchWarriors League 2020, with the national FGC organiser announcing that the remaining events on its tournament calendar would award double the normal ranking points to top 8 finishers!
This change goes some way to addressing the unexpectedly low number of points available this season after COVID forced a switch to monthly online events. Now you can imagine a chance for almost anyone to make a late run at top 16 – the cutoff point for invitation to the $2000 season finale event!
The new points bonus looks to be most impactful for the leaderboards in Street Fighter V and Smash Bros. Melee, which were the first two games contested for the month. These points races have been static and lopsided all season, with interstate rivals Joshua “GZ|Sora” Lyras and Davin “Davox” Mai dominating Melee while Ervin-Jason “pahnda” Garanovic and Xavier “DS|Somniac” Nardella were holding it down in SFV.
These players amassed their lead in the first months of the year while full points were still available at offline events, and then have continued to put in enough work over the monthly CWL Online events to remain above the reach of their competition. Will a few months of double points give in-form players like ORDER|Travis Styles or Jacob “Sock” Waddell the chance to reel these frontrunners in, or will they just lift their game to match the higher stakes? These September online events were our chance to find out.
Last Saturday’s CouchWarriors League event drew 110 entrants for Smash Ultimate – the first turnout of that size since May.
Despite the packed field, this month turned out to be just another chapter in the fast-solidifying dominance of two players who have owned these online ranbats – as they finally begin to see that consistency pay off on the leaderboard.
July 19th brought us the third event of the new online Smash Ultimate league created by Cospendium and Kanga Esports. With overall leader Joseph “Doctor A Ness” Cresnik sitting out this time, there was the opportunity for a winner to close the gap he’d started to open over the pack – and 142 smashers showed up to try their luck. Oh, and the winner would get to lean back in a new Zenox gaming chair at the end of the day.
Another awesome month of online competition brings new developments to the CWL leaderboards!
The weekly CouchWarriors League Online events each focus on one of the major games supported by the League, with the placegetters receiving League points as part of our ongoing tournament season. Our monthly winners also received Steam vouchers from CouchWarriors.
A handy reference for our online tournament schedule during the pandemic period is on Twitter. You can always check the current standings for each game and player in CouchWarriors League here.
Well, 6 months down and 6 to go. 2020 may have turned out to be an inauspicious year to launch our new CouchWarriors League, but just like any FGC great, we’ve adapted. Online events have kept the CWL leaderboards ticking over during the pandemic months, and we’ve even seen new players gain big opportunities from this unusual focus on netplay. Certainly for those who live outside of the main metro regions this season is looking like their best chance to make a tilt at national recognition!