Questions about tournament play

Hi, I used to be a videogamer during back in the SNES / PS era, but eventually quit because fighting games were some of my favorites and they were in the decline. Anyway, I’m trying to get into fighting games again, this time on ranked matches and maybe a tournament, but since the tournament scene in fighting games is completely unknown to me, I have a few questions.

  1. Although I plan to acquire an arcade controller, I tend to struggle with PPP or KKK combinations and some console fighting games had the options of setting these combinations to a single button (usually L2 and R2). Can it be done with the 7th and 8th button of the arcade controllers? Is this legal?
  2. Noobiest question ever. What do people mean with “their main character”? Does the main character has to be registered when entering a tournament? How many alternate characters are allowed? What prevents the game from becoming a “pick your character first. No pick you first. I insist” situation where everyone is trying to counterpick the other? Is someone forced to choose first? Is there a way to make hidden choices so no one gets to counterpick?
  3. Which console is more used for sanctioned play, PS3 or X360? Any bet on which one of the following generation may be used the most?
  4. Beside EVO, which other tournaments are famous worldwide? Is there an online sanctioned tournament?
  5. Which game has the best online community besides SF4?
  1. As long as it’s a button macro that’s provided by the game (selectable in the control settings) then it’s okay to use.

  2. You don’t register your character with a tournament, unless it’s some sort of character-locked tournament. A person’s main character is exactly that, the character that they’ve put in the most time and effort with, and that they feel most comfortable playing. Most tournaments allow for double-blind character selection, where a player can request that their selections be given to the judge to be input into the game.

  3. PS3 is used at Evo, but many tournaments use XBox 360 because it handles Capcom games better. As for next-gen, we’ll just have to see. I’m getting a PS4 personally though.

  4. There’s no “sanctioned” anything. There is no overall authority that makes one fighting game tournament more “legitimate” than another. That said, there are a good number of majors that occur throughout the year, to include CEO, UFGT, NCR, SCR, Final Round, ECT, the upcoming Summer Jam and The Fall Classic. Since online games generally suffer from lag issues, online play isn’t really seen as being legitimate for tournaments in the eyes of most fighting game players.

  5. By “best” I assume you mean “biggest.” That would likely go to Marvel and Injustice.

Completely agree with above ^

Great answers!

As long as the game lets you set the buttons that way in the options menu, it’s allowed, unless specifically stated differently.

Their go-to character in the absence of other pertinent information (aka who your opponent plays)

Usually, no. Unless it’s specifically stated as a “character lock” tournament

No limit

Good question. You can demand a “blind pick,” where each player secretly tells a third party which character they’re going to use (or writes it down), and then they are bound by that choice. In sets of games, the loser is allowed to counter-pick or switch characters, but the winner must keep their character. In Japan, character lock is more prominent than in the US, though.

Nowadays it depends on tournament. Evo is PS3 because Sony pitched in for the PS3’s way back when I believe, but 360 is considered more stable for Capcom games.

Famous worldwide? Fighting games are niche, man. Evo is the only one that really gets worldwide press (although international players may attend many of the other majors, like UFGT)

In terms of number, definitely Marvel. In terms of quality? That’s, like, just your opinion man.

  1. It is legal. As long as it’s done through the software, i.e. the game’s button config options let you configure PPP or KKK to a single button, it’s fine. Side note: turbos aren’t allowed.

  2. Your main character is typically your best character. You don’t have to list all of your characters at a tournament unless it’s a character-lock tournament, which is rare nowadays. There’s no limit to how many characters you’re allowed to use. But if your goal is to do well in a tournament, there’s always one or two characters that are your BEST characters, and the one you should probably use.

In case both players don’t want to pick first, you can ask for a ‘blind pick’. Basically, you both tell another player or TO which character you’re going to use (without your opponent hearing it), and then you both pick your characters. If the player picks a character that’s NOT the same as the one he told the third-party person, then that’s breaking the rules.

  1. Depends on the tournament. The majority of tournaments run on xboxs, but it’s really up to the TOs of the tournament. Evo runs on PS3s, but in general, most players prefer to play on xboxs. No comment on the next generation of consoles, as their game lists don’t mention very prominent fighting games, not to mention the logistics of running a console for tournament play that requires a constant connection to the internet or any of that nonsense.

  2. There are no such things as sanctioned tournaments. Anybody can run a tournament anytime they want. Bigger tournaments, which we call majors, usually try to follow the same tourney rulesets as Evo, especially if they’re part of Evo qualifier tourney series for seeding points. In general, offline tournaments are taken MUCH more seriously than online tournaments, since fighting games perform best in offline conditions.

  3. Depends if you’re looking for the quality of the netcode or for the biggest player pool. Marvel, 3soe, and SFxT, all have pretty solid communities playing the game, but the netcode varies between all three. Just play whatever game you like the most.