I know I might get some heat on this but please hear me out:
I think one of the major downfalls for the fighting game scene in the US is, and I hate to say it, the Japanese coming and participating at our Evolution Tournament.
Well let me explain. Evolution is the biggest fighting game event in the US and people spend hundreds of dollars trying to prove themselves on the largest staged of the year. And since the Japanese have been invited to Evolution, they have won nearly every game each year. While its fun to compete vs. the Japanese it never really showcase top American player pitted among other top American players. Who really was the best US CvS2 player last year, Combofiend? Ricky? Choi? Should we accept the one that placed the highest? Why allow the Japanese to compete in a tournament we know they are most likely going to win and in the process eliminate many top American players. Why not have Evolution to be the main spot to find out who the BEST Americans players are and then have the top 5 placers compete in an exhibition with the Japanese to see if the US can beat Japan or not.
What will this accomplish? First of all, players are probably more willing to spend hundreds of dollars going to Evo believing they might have a shot in winning. People may argue that hey if you want to see how good you are go to MWC or ECC or TS, well not all the top players will be at one spot like Evo and since it is largest event of the year, many players save up each year so they can attend Evo and only Evo. (Going to tourney isnt cheap!) When players start to realize that going to Evo is like giving the Japanese money while not really showcasing who the best US players are, I believe the increase in percentage of players going to Evo will start to slow down. Unless the scene is so watered down that we dont care who the best US players are and would rather just watch the Japanese trounce us down each year.
Second, it would give an above average player a chance to qualify to play the next day rather than be in a pool that not only has Japanese but also a top American. (Two years ago GGXX Daigo and CB were in the same bracket) Above average players who spend hundreds of dollars going to Evo should be given a change to next day rather than get eliminated because a Japanese is in your pool, oh and guess what so is second best US player too.
So should we just exclude the Japanese from coming? No obviously not I think thats one of the major draw is to be able to play against the Japanese. What should happen is that a portion of our entry fee should go to cover the Japanese airfare cost. But I’m sure a lot will say that isn’t enough. Maybe so, but if you see the results only the top player really has a chance to make money third place may get $200, by giving a portion of our entry fee to the Japanese it will alleviate a lot of their cost as a whole and while the tournament is going on we should have consoles setup for the Japanese to play money matches to whomever wants to challenge them whether for a dollar or five dollars for a best out of 3. This would give other Japanese player besides the top 3 a chance to make money and give players who might not have the fortune to play a Japanese in a tournament a chance face them in a money match. Ok maybe the details isn’t perfectly in place I’m sure by Evo we can come up with better setup.
In my opinion Evolution should be the US Nationals and if everyone wants Evo to be this international affair then SRK or whomever should setup a real national for just US player to attend so that we will know who our best players are. As of right now all we know are top players but not the very best.
I hope I’m not the only one that feels this way.