Tougeki – Super Battle Opera is Japan’s biggest (and most dramatically named) fighting game tournament, and players from around the world come to compete in the hopes of winning some glory and some prize cash. It’s Japan’s equivalent of America’s popular Evo tournaments, but it seems like the drama coming out of this year’s Super Battle Opera isn’t coming from the games or the competition itself, but rather how the tournament is being organized.
Contestants and viewers alike have flooded Twitter with complaints about the big tournament: for some reason, somebody decided that it would be a good idea to hold a video game tournament outdoors, and it appears the venue is causing a lot of problems: players are complaining about the machines freezing up or lagging (which is obviously a huge problem in reflex based games like fighters,) and pretty much everyone is complaining about the blinding glare on the screens — apparently SBO’s organizers forgot how strong the summer sun can be. Some players even noticed that Japanese cicada insects had begun to nest on or inside the arcade cabinets.
Pic taken by @SRDood on Twitter, showing off how difficult it is to see — much less play — Street Fighter on SBO’s outdoor cabinets.
High ranking Marvel vs. Capcom 3 player Justin Wong explained the situation on Twitter: “I will never come to SBO ever again… There is glare on every cabinet while we were playing and the cabinets are lagging bad. Makes me sad that SBO has came down to this. I will visit Japan for friends and vacation but never again for tournament. The arcade cabinet lags because of the network and this is the middle of nowhere. Just saw a game that froze in 3rd round. Redo match. Goal is to win marvel at SBO and never come back.”
This isn’t the first time people have complained about how SBO is run: last year pro SF4 player Jose Llera was basically denied the chance to compete in the tournament (after being told he had already qualified,) after he spent over $2,000 out of his own pocket to travel to Japan for the tournament. He went as far as to describe the event as “the worst tournament experiences I have ever had.”
The Super Battle Opera is hosted by the Japanese gaming magazine Arcadia, a magazine which I actually kind of like (despite having only a cursory knowledge of Japanese,) and which I used try to buy an issue of every time I swung by LA’s Little Tokyo. I remember reading reports from SBO a few years back and thinking that it must be amazing to go, but from what I understand, the actual event isn’t what it used to be.
Also worth noting: Capcom had previously teased that they would announce a new game during day 2 of SBO, but apparently all they’re showing is some new info on the upcoming HD remake of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.