TOPANGA, known for their Japanese Street Fighter IV tournaments, recently announced their new UMvC3 branch tournament, featuring 8 of Japan’s top players.
The tournament will feature 8 of the best players from the Kantou region (mainland Japan) and it will be an offline, single-elimination tournament. The game format will be just like the SFIV: AE tournaments in a first-to-10 fashion and will go on for 7 weeks. The prize money of 50,000 yen (roughly $616) will all go to the tournament winner. What makes this tournament significant is the proof of the recent rise and popularity of the Marvel vs Capcom series, which has always been much more dominant in the West.
The first match-ups have already been decided during a live drawing via Twitch TV stream. Here’s a preview:
OGTY vs Tokido
Abegen vs VX
Uda vs Nemo
Frieda vs Jeo
The man known as, “Kubo”, helped gather attention to the scene in Japan, with his excellent skills and entertaining personality. His popularity led to having tournaments named after him such as the KUBODSGARDEN (KVO x GODSGARDEN), a play on the popular GODSGARDEN SFIV: AE tournament, and he also helped behind the scenes of the KVO tournaments. In the KUBODSGARDEN tournament, we saw Rei-chan win 1st place and the prize of a ticket to EVO 2012.
Unfortunately, Kubo has left the scene to concentrate his career on Persona 4: Arena and Under Night: In-Birth. It was previously expected for the scene to drop in Japan, after a big name such as Kubo left the scene, but it did the complete opposite as the fans are even more enthusiastic to take his throne as Japan’s best.
Up until now, those two tournaments held in Osaka were the biggest UMvC3 tournaments in Japan. For the first time ever, the TOPANGA UMvC3 tournament will be held in Tokyo. Some of us may be familiar with players such as Frieda and Nemo, who will also be participating, not to mention one of the Three Gods of Fighters in Japan, Tokido a.k.a. The Murder Face.
The Japanese level of UMvC3 hasn’t been up to par with the West, mainly due to the lack of interest, but after seeing several more players from their side participating in this year’s EVO 2012 and more, we may be seeing a wave of Japanese players in the scene. Be sure to keep an eye out on this tournament, as it may feature one next year’s EVO 2013 top players!