4 Tips for Attending Your First Fighting Game Community Event
Remember to have fun!
Talk to Your Peers
This being your first event, there’s a lot to see and do so don’t get overwhelmed. You’re in a place filled with plenty of like-minded individuals; don’t be afraid to talk to them. Not only are you here to put everything you’ve learned from your hours upon hours of at home or online training to work, but you’re here to learn. Talk to players of the game that you’re competing in, play some casual games with them, discuss your enjoyment of the game or things you found to help in matchups against other characters. It’s okay to be friendly to everyone who is competing in your tournament because they, like you, love the game and want to see it grow. When you’re competing, you can get in the zone all you want, but outside of that everyone is there to have fun!
Speaking of having fun, that should be the number one priority when attending a major FGC event! Don’t go in expecting to take it all on your first try, very few do. But your goal is to get your feet wet and get used to the atmosphere while having fun with everyone there. If you’ve never played in a tournament setting before, it’s going to be an interesting change of pace. The sounds of the people around you watching, the fact that the player you’re facing sits right next to you, the anxiety of possibly messing up in front of hundreds of people, and the fact that there is often times quite a bit of money up for grabs. These can all be pretty intimidating and scary things to tackle. While everyone is just as motivated as you are to win it all, if you lose, don’t let it break your spirit. You, by simply attending the event, are now better than a large majority of other players. But after your losses you know that you have plenty more practice, learning, and refocusing to do before you take it all at the next one. Perhaps the next event, shoot for top 32 and work your way down. If you do win and place pretty well, don’t let that get to you. The last thing you want to do in the FGC is stop playing your game, go off track of your usual routine, or get a big head thinking you’re too good. The people you beat are now all gunning to beat you and you’ll never know when someone better is right around the corner!
Spectate Your Game
Be sure to watch other players play the game you’re competing in, you’ll definitely have plenty of things to learn from it. Take note on players that play your character, watch what they do in comparison to your own playstyle, maybe they’ll do things that you can implement. It’s also an opportunity to watch other players play different characters. Think of it as a time to meditate, or to discuss with others how characters play. While you might not make a character switch while right at the event, you might consider changing your main character that you play for future events. You might be able to exploit new weaknesses in characters that you didn’t see from your own personal practice sessions. When playing fighting games, you’ll come to recognize that no matter how old the game is, it’s always evolving as players get more creative. Combos get rediscovered and then changed ever so slightly to output more hit stun, damage, or reset into another even bigger combo.
Spectate Other Games
Take the time to watch other tournaments. If you’ve ever been curious of a game before getting into it, or just hadn’t seen any high level play of a particular one, sit in to watch it! Yes, you can watch games on Twitch all you want but quite literally nothing will beat the live experience! The energy and intensity of the crowd will really get you motivated to not only better perform in your own game, but perhaps to pick up that new game. Then (right back where we started), talk to the players of that game you just watched. You’d be surprised as to how many are really willing to teach. Even if you have no desire to play the game you’re spectating, you may just enjoy being a part of the crowd.
Your first event is essentially the gateway for you wanting to come back to more and more in the future. Face off against great rivalries, see the action before your very eyes, and best of all a really close-knit community that is a great experience to be a part of!