Last night marked the highly anticipated return of Wednesday Night Fights (WNF), one of Southern California’s premier fighting game tournaments, at the new eSports Arena located in Santa Ana, CA. Players brawled into the early morning with a variety of games, including Ultra Street Fighter 4, Mortal Kombat X, Guilty Gear Xrd, Super Smash Bros. 4, and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, along with a variety of other games brought by players looking to expand their local gaming communities.
Images of the venue below:
— Arcade Shock (@ArcadeShock) October 22, 2015
— Nesica Cab Comm Mgr (@Jyosua) October 22, 2015
A walkthrough of the Arena can be seen here:
Players, fans, and commentators alike expressed their excitement over the new WNF:
— David Philip Graham (@ultradavid) October 22, 2015
— James Chen (@jchensor) October 22, 2015
— Chan (@blckspottdzebra) October 21, 2015
WNF attracted a healthy number of entrants last night as well, with the hope that future events will be just as populated. Ultra Street Fighter 4 pulled in 107 participants, while Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Mortal Kombat X had 24 and 36 participants, respectively. Smash 4 had 39, and Guilty Gear Xrd had 16.
Organized by veteran fighting game community figurehead Alex Valle, WNF began in 2011 through a joint partnership between Valle and Mike Watson, also a veteran to the SoCal fighting game scene. The event was formerly hosted at another SoCal venue named Super Arcade until it closed down late last year, where it provided Southern California’s fighting game communities with a proving grounds for players to test their skills. Since Super Arcade’s closure, WNF was hosted through online tournaments until the arrival of the eSports Arena. Now WNF is bigger than ever before, thanks in part to the Arena’s spacious venue and its travel accessibility for fighting game players who live in the Los Angeles County, Orange County, and San Diego County areas.
Valle also aims to revitalize SoCal fighting game scenes by fostering new communities, as he stated on his website:
We understand the hardships and want to offer you an opportunity to grow the scene the right way. We want to work with passionate members of the community to be ambassadors of your favorite titles. If you are interested in community building, we will provide you/your organization a road map on how to promote, run tournaments, acquire set ups, and stream on your own channel at WNF! Your event will be promoted throughout our social mediums every week and your stream channel will be part of our Level Up Team Member’s page on Twitch! All YouTube replays from your archives will also remain on your channel!
He aims to host what he calls Main Events, in which players compete in sponsored tournaments and receive prizes at the end of the season, and Community Events, which are player-hosted tournaments that define their own rules. The current Fall Season lasts from October 21st to December 16th.
Though WNF ran later than anticipated, and a few computer bugs were present, Valle hopes to improve upon last night’s experience to bring fighting game players exciting experiences, while maintaining the fighting game community’s grassroots origins.
— eSports Arena (@eSportsArena) October 22, 2015
Footage of the venue.
The eSports Arena launches this year at an unspecified date. It aims to support a wide variety of games, from MOBAs to fighting games to shooters and beyond. In addition to providing gaming communities with comfortable and accessible spaces to host their tournaments, the Arena also seeks to support the growth of burgeoning eSports scenes:
eSports Arena’s unique modular facility allows for small to large scale highly produced eSports and entertainment events. eSports Arena will also host daily video game competition, produce unique digital content, and rent space/equipment to the eSports/interactive entertainment industry at a fraction of the cost of traditional venues.
eSports Arena will be capable of building and sustaining audiences over an extended period of time allowing the eSports world to have consistent national events and competitions on any title – any time.
WNF is hosted every Wednesday Night and boasts a multitude of streams through which fans can watch their favorite fighting games, which are announced on Levelup Live’s Twitter feed. If fighters aren’t your cup of tea, you can also check out the websites for other games at the Arena by heading to their front page.