After 2020 Decimated Live Fighting Game Events Great Online Play Is No Longer Optional

2020 sucked. You know it, I know it. It was amid this chaotic year that the fighting game community found itself pushed out of the arcades, hotels, and convention centers to which competitors had grown accustomed and into the unpredictable world of online play. Early on, organizers were unsure if the community could survive, but now, it’s clear that its competitive spirit lives on. It’s just a matter of whether fighting-game developers can get their own acts together.

In the months preceding the covid-19 outbreak, the fighting game community pretty much functioned as normal. Regional tournaments provided exciting moments on a regular basis, the Tekken 7 world finals concluded with a new villain, and the prestigious Evolution Championship Series announced its 2020 lineup.

The first sign of trouble didn’t come until February 20, when a weekly Granblue Fantasy Versus tournament in Japan was canceled out of concern over what was then a new outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus. Fighting game tournaments across the world quickly took notice of the dangers covid-19 presented to their events, with some organizers openly worried about the future of their events after the steep financial hit of canceling venue contracts and refunding would-be attendees.

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