Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Filipino Champ" Ryan Ramirez (and the local fighting game scene)



One can't deny the talent of the Filipino athlete. We have made waves in pool, track and field, bowling, boxing; and more recently football and dragonboat racing. Unsurprisingly, this extends to the world of e-sports - competitive video gaming. Recently, a team of DotA players competed in a tournament trying to take home a grand prize of $ 1M. Unfortunately, they fell short. But there is another Filipino e-athlete currently making it big in the fighting game scene abroad.

Meet Ryan "Filipino Champ" Ramirez. I found out about him through watching countless Super Street Fighter 4 AE and Marvel vs Capcom 3 videos on YouTube. I think it's really awesome that he chose that nickname to "represent." (fighting game players often choose a nickname when competing in tourneys) And it's not unfit to add "Champ" to the moniker, either. Ryan has won fighting game tournaments all over the US. H ise consistently in the top 4 or top 8 in major tourneys. At Evolution 2011 (the biggest fighting game tournament in the world held every year), he was in the top 8 at Marvel vs Capcom 3. In a few occassions, he has also beat (arguably) the best fighting game player in the world - Japanese Daigo Umehara.



Just recently, FChamp just came from Japan to compete in Super Battle Opera (SBO), aka Tougeki. Though Evo is biggest tournament held every year, SBO or Tougeki is considered to be in a higher level as it has more skilled players in attendance. Japanese players are "considered" better players than Westerners. Almost all US teams who go to SBO never make it past the first round. But to be able to qualify for SBO and fly to another country to compete is an achievement in itself.

That being said, it kinda sucks that we have such a small fighting game community. Apart from this forum, I don't know where else local players go to. Console games are nowhere to be seen at the Pinoy Gaming Fest. I guess that's understandable since PC games are more accessible what with computer shops on every street corner. I think there are more computer shops than sari-sari stores nowadays. And with consoles remaining as a sort of luxury locally, it looks like the local fighting game scene can use all the help it can get.



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