Melbourne FG Scene Guide

So you want to play fighting games in Melbourne. You have a copy of SSFIV, and you have a great time just screwing around with the game with your buddies.

But something’s missing. There’s a competitive fire inside of you that you can’t satisfy by just bodying your friends. You want to get better. You know deep inside, you are the best. You’re the next Diego Umejuarez.

You just need a place to display your skills and make that prize money.

Well if you live in Melbourne, you might be surprised to hear that there is a burgeoning fighting game scene here. And in general since the release of SFIV, the fighting game scene all over Australia has been getting bigger and bigger.

But it’s hard to find the basic details. Who people are, where to go, and really important things like that.

We have the national fighting game site Ozhadou. And we have the Melbourne-based site Shadowloo.com.

And you can find a ton of useful information about your local scene in those sites. But if you’re new to the scene and don’t know anything, how would you know to go to this site for casual meetup venues and dates, and this site for player profiles and FAQs, this site for national news, and this site for international news?

It’s quite a lot to expect new players to simply know where to go. It’s easy for the rest of us who are already in the scene to know the difference between Couchwarriors and CCH, and the difference between BAM and Shadowloo Showdown. But it must be really confusing for anyone else.

This is meant to be an easy guide that hopefully will give newer players a clear sense of how things are in the Melbourne scene.

Monthly tournament schedule

The best way to judge your skills is to go to tournaments. Luckily for you, there are two tournaments every week in Melbourne! Generally the arcade tournaments are held on Thursday, and the console tournaments are held on the weekend. Here’s the general schedule:

First week of the month:

Thursday: Box Hill Time Out Super SFIV Arcade Ranbat.

Where: 609 Station Street, Box Hll Vic 3128 (Click link for map)

Time: Generally starts around 7 PM.  Ends around 10-11 PM.

Guys who runs shit: Ali (EXC355UM)/Andy.

One of Melbourne’s two arcade tournaments, the Box Hill Ranbats are a big part of Melbourne’s arcade history. Boasting the best arcade cabs in the city, in a premier location with great Asian food and women, this location is a hotspot for the best players in the city.

Normally the threads for the tournament will be put up in the Ozhadou tournament thread ahead of time, and Shadowloo would provide detailed previews, recaps, reports etc.

Saturday: Couchwarriors Monthly Ranbat

Where: 710 Station Street, Box Hll Vic 3128 (Click link for map)

Time: 1.30 PM to 10 PM

Guy who runs shit: Loki.

Couchwarriors is the major Melbourne console monthly tournament, and occurs on the first week of every month. A lot of games are played at this event, not just SFIV AE, there’s Marvel, 3rd Strike, Smash, Virtua Fighter, Soul Caliber etc. Couchwarriors is also a great social event, and a good place to start making friends in the scene.

The Couchwarriors organization also runs BAM, and they currently reside in the Gamerhold section of Shadowloo.com. Again, usually the threads for the tournament will be put up in the Ozhadou tournament thread ahead of time, and Shadowloo would provide detailed previews, recaps, reports etc.

Second week of the month

Thursday: Galactic Circus SSFIV AE Ranking Tournament

Where: Galactic Circus, Crown Entertainment Complex. (Click link for map)

Time: Starts around 7 PM

Guy who runs shit: Chris Ho

The second arcade tournament in Melbourne, this tournament is held inside Crown Casino. Where there are other vices if you find yourself drowned in saltiness…

The easy way to remember the arcade tournament structure is that the two arcade tournaments alternate every week on Thursday. This tournament is a new addition to the Melbourne monthly tournament schedule, so it needs all the support it can get. Support all the great work Chris Ho has been doing!

The threads for the tournament are usually put up in the Ozhadou tournament thread ahead of time.

Friday: Chris’s Club House

Where: 11 Stanton St, Abbotsford. (click on link for map)

Time: 6 PM till late

Guys who run shit: Muttons and Ali (EXC355UM)

CCH is a casual console meetup, more for training and leveling up. Mostly SSFIV and MVC3 is played here, but if you want to play any particular game, just bring a setup for it. It occurs on every second and fourth week of the month.

Encore Pizza’s number is 03 9419 9969.

The threads for the meetup will be put up in the Ozhadou tournament thread ahead of time, and Shadowloo would provide detailed previews, recaps, reports etc.

Third week of the month

Thursday: Box Hill Time Out Super SFIV Arcade Ranbat.

Details are same as above.

Saturday: Higher Education Street Fighter Deakin Uni

Map: http://www.deakin.edu.au/campuses/InteractiveMapBurwood.php

Time: 11 AM to midnight.

Guy who runs shit: Spidercarnage/Igor

Deakin is a casual console meetup that happens once a month. The venue at Deakin is really big and has big screens and a projector, so not only are fighting games enjoyed here, but there are also movies and Street Fighter videos played on request. Recently there has been a run of classic Arnie movies at Deakin, but sometimes tournament streams are also put on the big screen at Deakin. Come here for a full multimedia day of enjoyment.

The threads for the meetup will be put up in the Ozhadou tournament thread ahead of time, and Shadowloo provides detailed previews, recaps, reports etc.

Fourth week of the month

Thursday: Galactic Circus SSFIV AE Ranking Tournament

Details are same as above.

Friday: Chris’s Club House

Details are same as above.

The next month

The cycle simply repeats itself.

Tournament Majors

OHN: The original Australian major. Held in Sydney, in May this year.

BAM: The Melbourne major. Held in Melbourne, last year saw an excess of 280 attendants. Happens later in the year, and is the major that wraps everything up.

Shadowloo Showdown: The new big boys in the scene. Held last year in December, but this year in June. Last year SS attracted big names like Tokido, Mago and Gamerbee. This year after you watch the trailer below you would think we need a bus driver…

Places to go

Arcades:

Bluehouse: Corner of Russell Street and Bourke in the city.

Galactic Circus: Map can be found above.

Box Hill Timeout: Map can be found above.

Highpoint arcade: Horrible setups, don’t go there.

Quality of cabs: Box Hill > Galactic Circus > Bluehouse>>>Highpoint

Shadowloo HQ: This is a hidden location where you must break into the inner hidden circle of Melbourne to find the location.

No, not really. It’s Ali, Sol, and Bosslogic’s house. They’re three of the friendliest people in the scene, so once you get to know them you can probably come over to witness the machinations behind Shadowloo.com and get to play many top players that hang out there.

Sites to visit:

Ozhadou: The original Australian fighting game site run out of Sydney, Ozhadou now serves as the primary forum/bulletin board where people go to exchange information and to put up tournament/meetup dates. Come here to grab Xbox live tags, go on IRC etc. The Ozhadou staff run OHN.

Lurk there often to keep up to date with the happenings in the scene.

Shadowloo: A Melbourne-based site that is more news-centric, both international and local. The team consistently pump out fantastic visuals and a lot of original content such as combo videos and a weekly show. The Shadowloo staff also run Shadowloo Showdown in Melbourne.

Couchwarriors

They used to have their own site, but they now reside on Gamerhold, the sister site of Shadowloo.com. Couchwarriors were the organization that made console Street Fighter big in Melbourne which has complemented the traditionally strong arcade scene very nicely. The CW staff are some of the nicest people you’ll meet, so getting to know a few of the staff will integrate you into the scene very quickly.

Fighterbase:

A great resource if you want to get in some online games. This is a database of PSN/Xbox Live  contacts of almost every known player in Australia.

Shoryuken: Go here for everything else.

How to get started:

First off, think about your decision. Fighting games require a hefty time investment, and some actual thinking. You might need to splash out the cash on some hardware and for time in the arcades. Without serious commitment, you won’t get anywhere competitively in the scene.

That said, many people in the scene choose to play casually; they might follow the tournament scene as spectators and choose to go to events just to have fun and to enjoy the social aspect of things. Nothing wrong with that.

But alright. Let’s say you’ve decided you want to make a serious effort to get good at Street Fighter.

1-      First off, you need to decide whether to play on stick/pad. Both have their advantages, but the vast majority of the community play on stick.

Pad users can definitely play at the highest level in fighting games, but one major, major advantage I see in learning to use a stick is; you can play in arcades.

It’s that simple. To take full advantage of Melbourne’s arcades (which we should treasure considering the arcades in massive cities like New York City are closing down), you really need to learn how to use a stick.

That’s just my opinion, but if you want to get a stick and are unwilling to pay the incredible high prices for importing a stick from overseas (good sticks are really hard to find in Australia), be sure to hit up Ozhadou’s Buying and Selling forum.

There you might be able to get a second-hand stick for much cheaper than buying it outright, and there are a lot of friendly techies there who can help you with international orders, dual-modding your stick, etc.

2-      Practice. Before you enter a tournament, make sure you can actually do a combo first. At this stage you’ve probably gone through the SRK forums and watched tutorials on Youtube.

Good place to start with Marvel is the SRK MVC3 Hyper Guide.

Vesper Arcade makes really good SSF4 tutorials.

But it is definitely a good thing to get comfortable on your chosen controller first before you attempt to enter tournaments.

3-      Just Show Up. Choose an event, and just go there! Don’t lurk in the corner when you get there, make an effort to introduce yourself and shake someone’s hand.

You see this big muscly jerk on the left here?

That’s Ali (EXC355UM) the main man  behind Shadowloo.com, and despite his jerkface appearance is an extremely friendly guy who will introduce you to everybody and will definitely make you feel welcome. He’s at every event and has done this for countless people, me included.

Once you know a few faces, it’s a lot easier to come back the next time and go into conversations, ask questions about matchups and things like that.

You most probably won’t do so hot at your first tournament- don’t get discouraged. Everyone starts out at the bottom. Use your early elimination to go talk to people.

The Melbourne scene is really open and friendly. Everyone will share strategies and will be willing to help you, and tell you what you’re doing wrong. Heavy Weapons will even give you relationship advice.

And that’s it really. Once you’re in the scene, we will put our claws into you and not let you go.

Until you get a girlfriend.

Notable faces


Toxy

Best player in Melbourne. Cross yourself if you get him first round in a tournament.

And his buddies…

Heavy Weapons

Vocal, top Sagat player in Melbourne.  Very willing to help new players out. Is Greek, so you can count on him to show up late.

Carnage

Top comedy player in Melbourne. Prepare to get uppercutted. Once won an international dice competition.

Naruga

Technical, execution fanatic, know-everything Sako lover. Keeping the Asian spirit alive in Melbourne.

Hoppa

International party boy. Can throw sonic booms and breakdance at equal breakneck velocity. Has extremely long, insomnia-curing Guile vs Sagat matches with Heavy Weapons…that are somehow kind of exciting too.

Shadowloo

Sol

Best player from the Shadowloo/TEC cabal. Extremely versatile, will body you with every character except Hakan. Get his signature before he becomes…

Bosslogic/Just-S

Graphics guru and part of the Bison army in Melbourne. Internationally known for his beautiful SF art and hype trailers. Loves Justin Bieber.

Pyro

Handsome co-host of the X-Report. Top Boxer/Yang player. Beats Ali at Point Blank 2. Also does programming for Shadowloo.

Couchwarriors

Loki

Also known as God. Capable of being in twenty places at the same time, running a bracket, and giving you parking instructions, all at the same time. Despite his moniker, is actually not very mischievous. Former president of CW, looking to step back a bit from the role because of the infernal institution of marriage.

Nick

Loves Third Strike. Hates everything else. Tell him you love Third Strike and that SFIV is a load of steaming horsecrap and you just made a best friend for life.

Berzerk

Known as “the CEO of Madmen Entertainment” or “that Virtua Fighter guy who keeps bugging me to enter his tournament”, Daniel puts his industry experience to good use as Couchwarrior’s PR warrior. Once competed on a professional level on behalf of Australia in Dead or Alive 4. He knows his E-sports. Gets way too much free stuff for his own good.

…Miscellaneous

Andy

Staunch tournament organizer. Taking a bit of a break now, but watch out for his Zangief when he comes back.

Somniac

Absolute Offence. Best Bison in Melbourne. Knows a lot about the game,  so feel free to bombard him with questions. Was once given a tiny model of a turtle from Tokido.

Cactus

The Golden Child. Best Sim in Melbourne. Strangely modest, scratches his beard when winning.

Also plays Scott Pilgrim: The Video Game.

Spidercarnage/Igor

Runs Deakin and the Don’t be a Scrub Podcast. Big supporter of the community behind the scenes. Plays Dee Jay, loves Super Turbo and hates IBM.

Bugsimus

The stream guy to end all stream guys. The audio-visual expert, but the AV expert is me. Does a ton for the community recording stuff and is our one man version of Team Spooky. Plays Juri, Honda.

Humanbomb

Best player in Sydney. Daigo fanboy. Otherwise known as the Devil.

Stay away from…

THK/Doctor Shoe

He’s crazy, man.

Update: Changed the name.

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5 Responses to Melbourne FG Scene Guide

  1. Pingback: Melbourne FG Scene Primer | Being a Scrub

  2. nick says:

    man find a worse photo of me muttons 😛

    Good read though buddy.

  3. muttonhead says:

    I actually tried to find a funnier picture of you Nick…maybe I need to look harder. Cheers man, appreciate it.

  4. Burnout says:

    LOL @ Just-S’s face XD

  5. muttonhead says:

    What are you talking about Kev that is his face 😛

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