My original plans last summer were to play two more seasons (3 and 4) on Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. However, following season three and the Super Brawl III tournament, I’ve decided against another season. Please allow me to explain.
The main reason I am deciding against a 4th season is mainly due to lack of interest. It become very obvious this past season that interest was dying for SFIV. Despite the various versions, the game itself is basically a three-year old game. Not many games last three years in terms of popularity. In the end, only the die-hard fans continue to play games with great reply value, like SFIV. However, in the past seven months, I felt like I had to use a defibrillator a couple of times to keep the season going. I’d hoped the six-month commitment asked of everyone before the season would prevent such things from happening, but no such luck. Now, for those members that remained active all season, please don’t think that I am writing about you. Nothing could be further from the truth. Its members like Von, Xenon, Haduken, Marcopolo, Subes, CapitolC, SupremeKing, ND2130, Guurenlagen, and others that kept me going as well. Because of that loyalty to the league, I remained determined to push-on through the season. In the end, we had a great end-of-season tournament in Super Brawl III (congrats again, Xenon!). Nonetheless, the scars of this past season wore on me by the end.
Interest in SFIV is only going to decrease exponentially with the release of SF vs. Tekken coming out in March. That game is very similar to the SFIV engine (compared to the Tekken engine), and appears to be the next Capcom Street Fighter venture. Don’t be surprised if some of you are playing Super Street Fighter vs. Tekken: Championship Turbo Arcade Edition in a year or two. I say “some of you” as I, personally, have little interest in playing the game. Partly because I never was a fan of Tekken, so the combination excites me as much as a Capcom vs. Marvel game. I’m not slamming either game please understand. They just don’t hold my interest. Perhaps that will change. But as for SFIV, another season will be a real challenge as members begin playing that game or other games when they should be playing SFIV. That would result in another season like the one we just had, and that is something I definitely want no part of.
Now, I have considered continuing the league with a much smaller, die-hard group. Members like Xenon and Haduken have pledged their commitment to play again, but I fear even they would grow bored in a small league. Part of the reason the league was so successful these past three seasons (way beyond my original vision) was because we all got to play a whole wide variety of players and characters. The problem with a league of 10 members or so is that we all soon know each other too well. Members like Xenon and Haduken would get tired of playing each over and over. Personally, I would not look forward to getting stomped by either guy every other week either. The original Champions and Contenders format from season one & two would work well with a smaller group, as it was originally intended. The drawback would be the same group of skilled players battling it out every week. No variety. No unknown. Getting new players to join the league would also be a challenge for an older game.
My last idea for the SFCCL this year was to hold several events throughout 2012 instead of a season. Some of the events would be live events like 2v2 Tournaments, Survivor Series tournaments, and War Games. Once a year I could host a Super Brawl tournament online that would take place over several weeks like we’ve done these past three seasons. This is something I am still considering doing this year. The biggest challenge with this new format would be the amount of advertising and marketing I would have to do to get people to show up. Without a league to directly advertise to, I would have to go to any & all message boards around the internet to let players know about these various events. Without any tangible prizes other than bragging rights, the prospect of this idea seems limited.
I’ve enjoyed my last couple of weeks of off-time. I actually got time to play my library of games that I haven’t played over the past couple of years. I’ve completed Infamous (the first one) so far and am currently playing MotorStorm Pacific Rift and Need For Speed Hot Pursuit. I even started playing an oldie-but-a-goodie again, Warhawk. In the upcoming months, I will be busy with Batman Arkham City, Uncharted 3, Red Dead Redemption, Star Wars The Force Unleashed II, Infamous 2, & MotorStorm Apocalypse. It will be a very different gaming experience since some of those titles are one-player offline games. However, I’ve already started thinking about how a Motorstorm online league would work! That was my first favorite game for the PS3 as evident by my PSN avatar.
I purchased my copy of ‘vanilla’ SFIV back in February 2009. I traded in Little Big Planet for it, since I never liked the actual game play of LBP. Too many Super Mario instincts kept me from enjoying the game! So, I made one of my few transactions ever at GameStop, and traded LBP for SFIV. Within a month, I was running an online tournament that led to the birth of the SFCCL. Since then, I’ve been running this league on a daily basis for 33 out of the last 35 months. The only two months I had off were between seasons one and two. Season two ran over season three due to the PlayStation Network crash last spring.
So I hope you can understand where I am coming from. Over the last month, I’ve gone back & forth over this decision. In the end, the part of me that wants another season is shouted down by the facts of the situation I’ve listed above. Oh, I still plan to be busy playing games. And this whole process has made me realize that while I am an average fighter/gamer, I am a kick-ass organizer if I do say so myself. And I do!
Thanx to all the players and members that have made the SFCCL so successful over these past 3 seasons. There are too many people to list here, but you all know who you are. Especially to those who actually donated money to the league. I’ve always tried to be appreciative of every member since the league would not exist without members. Bottom line – treat others as I would have wanted to be treated. If I could make a living out of running this league, I would have done so by now! I’ve made a lot of friends online. I’ve learned a lot about myself and from others. Thanx for believing in the SFCCL, and thus, me. Even in the darkest hours of the league, I still had fun time running this crazy place. I expect the SFCCL to return one day in one format or another. Maybe, one day, there will be a global tournament known as the SFCCL run by yours truly. And it would make EVO look like a neighborhood picnic. (EVO couldn’t afford me!)
Perhaps with the next Street Fighter game or another fighting game. Only time can tell.
In the meantime, excuse while I enjoy my vacation. I will still be around playing SFIV online under my SFCCL-SALonghorn screen name… looking for the next fool to message me after a match. Be forewarned – you will be YouTubed! Anyone interested in bringing back this league or other such ventures, please contact me. I'm always open for new ideas. But if you want to see me online regularly, send me a Friend Request to my main PSN screen name, SALONGHORN.
Once again…thanx for everything. And good luck