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Street Fighter IV official UK championship - Full report and every fight in video

The 13th of June was one of those occasions that makes you glad you’re a gamer. One of those days that crystalises everything that’s great about our pastime; about the things it can achieve and the people it brings together. It was also the day a GamesRadar editor was publically beaten up by a 12-year-old, but more on that later.

Walking into the shiny London venue hosting Capcom’s first official Street Fighter IV UK championship, it was immediately clear that this was going to be a good day. It was but early in the afternoon (1pm, with the tournament proper only starting at 6) and most of the day’s combatants were still in transit from points all around the country, but the huge room reserved for warm-up fights and heats was already abuzz with anticipation. I was here to report of course, but as a Street Fighter devotee since 1992 it was hard to suppress a skip and a giggle.

But I wasn’t just here to report. A couple of months earlier, Capcom had announced that the tournament would be run in parallel with a second title battle reserved for the UK games press. Within seconds I had replied to the invitation with a volcano of gleeful affirmatives.

However, much like the original SFII’s World Warrior contest, the total number of entrants had come in at single figures. Perhaps word of my entry had sent a shockwave of fear through the industry. In fact that’s almost definitely what had happened. Whatever the reason, things were now a lot more interesting. It would be easier to get a high placing, but infinitely more crushing if I got walloped. Still awaiting confirmation of my nemeses, I headed over to the warm-up machines to begin some last-minute honing of my occasionally mighty Bison.

Arranged in squared islands of four screens each, those 360s were to be our home for the entirety of the next 5 hours, but frankly, three times that wouldn’t have been too long. Those glowing screens were like camp fires to a nomadic Street Fighter tribe. The qualifying players had travelled the length and breadth of the country to meet, and as the room steadily filled, the party atmosphere grew and grew. Tournament old-hands mingled with first-timers mingled with press mingled with Capcom, in what felt increasingly like a jubilant one-day Street Fighter theme park.

Stories were swapped, tips were exchanged and fight upon fight was fought. There was a genuine sense of every little pocket of the community coming together to share its own particular brand of Street Fighter culture amongst a celebration of it as a whole. It was, in a word, brilliant.

But for all the joviality, tension was rising. The hour of my title showdown was approaching and I still had no idea of whom I was up against. I checked up with Leo, Capcom’s UK PR manager. He revealed that my one and only confirmed opponent was to be a writer on one of Radar’s sister magazines, who shall henceforce remain nameless. Reason being that a couple of hours and a passed fight time later, he hadn’t turned up. Having fought us both in the past, Leo had revealed that he thought I had a pretty good chance of winning, but such things mattered not any more. My opponent had thrown it by default and the title was mine! Go Radar!

Above: I was right to look pensive. Things were about to go very wrong for me.

But as it transpired, my victory was not to be so naively easy. In the absence of a climactic journalistic battle for death or glory, we decided I should fight an exhibition match after the main finals. But who of the assembled warrior ranks would be my opponent?

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17 comments

  • Elbo444 - June 30, 2009 9:16 p.m.

    @animeman all you need to do is play it more, if you think it's too hard it's because you haven't tried hard enough, if you just bothered to learn a characters moves, learn when to use them, and just learn some basic fighting game strategy, it would be fun
  • Selectedpayload - June 24, 2009 10:21 a.m.

    If you didn't lose, it wouldn't of been GR.
  • FLStyle - June 22, 2009 11:37 p.m.

    Ryan Hart rings a bell, I believe he's a Tekken pro, as well as a SFIV pro apparently.
  • llSAIYANll - June 21, 2009 9:44 p.m.

    Good games even though my coursework stopped me to qualify these games would have been really hard but great matches.
  • Diamondis - June 21, 2009 2:53 p.m.

    @Animeman The game is not hard, you just suck at it. Just beause you can't pull off any moves you get in a huff and call it a bad game when in fact it has one of the most in depth tutorials I've seen (Trial mode)which teach you the basics and advanced stuff. The text is fine on any decent TV, you need to upgrade. I have a cheap 19" LCD and it's fine on that.
  • Diamondis - June 21, 2009 2:50 p.m.

    Game text is too small? I play on a 19" screen and it's perfect. I've also played it on LCD, Plasma and CRT monitors with no problems. Stop blaming the game when it's your shitty TV.
  • animeman - June 19, 2009 10:51 p.m.

    @ flyawave Dont get the game! It looks good when other people play it but it sucks. It is way to hard and the text is terribly small so unless you have a huge tv it will be hard to read.
  • Diamondis - June 19, 2009 8:11 p.m.

    Just watched your match Dave, oh dear :3 The kid was ok for a 10 year old but damn man... How did you lose that?! reCAPTCHA: gashed credentials
  • colemanb - June 19, 2009 7:21 p.m.

    good show ahtah 4th!
  • Diamondis - June 21, 2009 2:54 p.m.

    Ugh, double post -.- Though I got the captcha wrong. Sorry.
  • frmonth - June 20, 2009 7:59 p.m.

    BUT THE GAME IS HAS A TWELVE RATING NOW THAT TEN YEAR OLD BOY WILL STAB SOMEONE AND GO TO PRISON AND DEVELOP MANY VIOLENCE ISSUES (only joking lol, dont worry he did'nt beat you to badly) ReCAPTCHA: ol antibody
  • Linken4 - June 20, 2009 4:04 p.m.

    I love how everyone was like, jeering at you, and praising Charles.
  • LittleTaco - June 19, 2009 10:29 p.m.

    lol they should've put SONY vs Microsoft
  • Diamondis - June 19, 2009 7:46 p.m.

    I missed out on getting a place in this tourney by less than 2k GP =( Stupid college work.
  • MechGyver - June 19, 2009 6:59 p.m.

    I think its worth saying that,Let me hear the battle cry, calling on the wind,let me see the banners fly Before the storm begins,let me feel the spirits soar, destroy the enemy, striking at the evil core,for all the world to see,this day will last forever, deep in the hearts of men,courage and victory, remember, remember,One shot at glory,in the crossfire overhead,fate stands before me, words have all been said,one shot at glory,driving hard and seeing red, destiny calls me,One night of fire,one shot at glory,fighting on with dignity, in life and death we deal,the power and the majesty,amidst the blood and steel, i still hear the battle cry,the call goes on and on,i still see the banners fly, the battles always won
  • flyawave - June 19, 2009 5:39 p.m.

    i should realy get SFIV
  • Cyberninja - June 19, 2009 4:57 p.m.

    you guys always have to the lucky ones (first)

Showing 1-17 of 17 comments

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