The doors to Shadowloo Showdown, the largest fighting game tournament in the southern hemisphere, were wide open last weekend. 2012 marked the third running of the Melbourne-based Shadowloo event, and the attendance was higher than ever. Many of the best players from both Australia and overseas gathered for the event, all for the chance to prove that they were the best at their chosen game(s). There was a wide selection of games on offer, including Virtua Fighter 5, Street Fighter X Tekken, the recently released Skullgirls, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, The King of Fighters XIII, and Soul Calibur V. Tournaments were held for each, with the preliminary heats being played out over the course of the weekend, followed up by the finals which were played in a separate area (with a projector and seating for the audience).
The event wasn’t just for the experts though. All were welcome to come, and various people had arranged to bring along TVs, game consoles, and fighting games for both themselves and the public to play. While there may have been a short wait, you could enjoy the convenience of having a go at Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, then walking over to the next table and try Virtua Fighter 5. Best of all, there was no shortage of opponents. If you were paying attention, there was also a chance to have a go at the premium demo for the upcoming Dead Or Alive 5 (my personal favourite). Fighting sticks were certainly the preferred controllers, and it was also a good opportunity for those without them to try playing their favourite games with a stick. Taking up a full floor of CQ Melbourne, the whole place was filled with the sounds of buttons being hammered by enthusiastic gamers, both veterans and those new to the experience.
I was present for the entire event on the Sunday (which started at 9am), joining in, filming, and taking photos, with the result that I’ve produced a Shadowloo Showdown coverage video. I captured as many of the finals matches as possible, which you’ll now be able to watch in all their glory. Local Shadowloo organiser and promoter, Ali Abdo, was my special guest and was kind enough to sit down for a quick word and to introduce himself. You can watch the video below.
As you can see, finals matches were played out in spectacular fashion. Custom arcade machines were used for most games, and hooked up to a projector, allowing matches to be viewed on a huge wall-mounted screen. A large audience soon congregated, with almost every seat filled by the end of the day (Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 was especially popular). There were plenty of winners, with all of them being presented with awards and a special M. Bison hat. The international visitors were numerous, and really showed off their impressive skills as the day went on, pausing only to have their pictures taken. Everyone was looking pretty tired by the time the event wrapped up at about 12am, but it was easy to tell that they’d all had a great time, the abundance of smiling faces and high spirits were a testament to that.
This year’s event may be over, but the fighting community never rests. For all you budding Melbourne fighters, Ali also helps to organise smaller community events, where you can simply come along and have some fun with fellow gamers, while learning how to play. For more info, check out the Shadowloo website. Shadowloo Showdown 2012 was a great event, and you can rest assured that it will return for another round next year. For now though, you can check out all the photos from the event in the gallery below.