Lessons Learned in the FGC

Lessons Learned in the FGC
Date Published: 6 December, 2018

What is the FGC? If I were to break it down to its simplest definition, the FGC (Fighting Game Community) would be referred to as a community who is involved in fighting games in some form or fashion. The involvement can be exemplified by playing, spectating, or even just supporting the community in any way.

However, that standard definition doesn’t do the FGC justice, as the question “What is the FGC?” doesn’t leave much room for interpretation, though by changing the question, and asking rather “Who is the FGC?” would result in many different answers depending on the individual.

Therefore, as someone who has been around fighting games for nearly two decades, but only having considered myself a part of the FGC proper for the last six years, the lessons I have learnt may not be extremely dated, but are valuable ones nonetheless.

Lessons Learned in the FGC WP 05
Tournament organizer and commentator ShinSyn calling out the competitors in grand finals for colluding.

Respect the game.

Integrity and respect are two qualities in the FGC that I resonate with most, and whether it is by shaking your opponents’ hand, showing appreciation to tournament organizers, giving your best effort, or anything, respect is a major factor in the FGC.

Respect also translates into respecting the game and its competitors, regardless of the scope or scale. The lesson ‘Respect the game’ has been exemplified numerous times in the FGC, however, perhaps none as memorable as when FGC commentator ShinSyn stood up against possible collusion during a BlazBlue: Chronophantasma grand finals at Frosty Faustings VI.

Lessons Learned in the FGC WP 04
Dizzy moments after defeating SonicFox at ComboBreaker 2015.

Nothing is ever guaranteed.

The accessibility of fighting games with regards to open invite tournaments makes the possibility of upsets and spectacles to occur during any given event. It has been a lesson learned by many fighting game players throughout the years, however, the sleeper pick in this category occurred during ComboBreaker 2015.

After being well on his way to establishing himself as one of the most dominant forces in not only NRS, but fighting games as a whole, SonicFox’s fall to the hometown hero in Dizzy during an incredible reset and back and forth Mortal Kombat X grand final at ComboBreaker 2015 was a reminder to everyone that no result fighting games is a given.

Lessons Learned in the FGC WP 03
Team WNF surrouding SnakeEyez after his victory vs team NorCal at SCR 2014.

Stay humble.

Fighting games by nature are incredibly humbling. Whether by factor of not playing to the best of one’s ability against someone playing above expectation, exemplified by SnakeEyez’s first round loss to Keoma at Capcom Cup 2015, or simply being overwhelmed by the competition, as experienced by LordKnight’s first encounter vs Yuma at EVO 2013.

However, outside of the popular picks which include the infamous “What are you standing up for?” line by Ricky Ortiz after Wolfkrone celebrated an early victory. As well as a similar instance, that happened to Woshige vs Ogawa at EVO 2015, the complete reversal by SnakeEyez vs team NorCal at SCR 2014 is one of the best examples of why fighting game players should remain humble.

Lessons Learned in the FGC WP 02
Gamerbee moments after losing to Momochi in the grand final of EVO 2015.

The hero doesn’t always win in the end.

The journey Gamerbee was on during his EVO 2015 run seemed practically destined. A course that took him down to beating his arch rivals throughout the way, coming back from the brink, going through countless of mentally draining rounds, and even a dramatic controversy towards the end, Gamerbee was fated to be crowned a champion.

However, unlike fairy tales, fighting games aren’t written in a way where the “hero” always comes on top. They are simply judged by who is best at a given moment, and as heart aching as it was, Gamerbee’s fall to Momochi in the final round of EVO 2015 was evidence of that fact.

Lessons Learned in the FGC WP 01
Mike Ross hosting Capcom Pro Talk with his guest KBrad.

Everything has to end someday.

As one of the most pivotal figures in the modern FGC, Mike Ross was practically the face of the community. He fought for us as a competitor, he entertained us a host, and perhaps most importantly, he educated us as a person to stay true to who you are, exemplified by his decision to step away from the FGC after failing to resonate with it any longer.

While he’s still around in a smaller capacity, the way that Mike Ross exited the FGC, is something that will constantly remind us that no game, tournament, player, or business will remain a part of the FGC forever. Therefore, you should appreciate it while you still have it.

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