So here we are... the first Perspective of 2015. A whole eleven months worth of FGC action lies ahead & there's no telling what it has in store for us. Then again, that's actually the point I want to make today. After the jump, I'll elaborate...
For anyone that either doesn't understand or recognize that word I used in the title header, "Titanomachy" refers to the Great War of Greek mythology between the Titans & Olympians. According to legend, it's said that this ultimate battle shaped the very face of the mortal world. In terms of gaming, which I imagine will be easier to visualize for some of you, think God of War 2. I first laid eyes on that beautiful word while reading Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. (If you ever get the chance, I'd strongly recommend giving it a read... truly great stuff.) Another, more genteel way of describing it would be a classic 'changing of the guard'. No matter what, such an occurance is inevitable. However, "inevitable" is a word that carries a certain stigma with it, especially in regards to the FGC.
Although EVO is technically our Super Bowl/Finals Series, it's placement on the calendar allows for some confusion regarding what counts as the proverbial 'last word'. Granted, it is our grandest stage & the event itself is the endurance challenge to end all endurance challenges, but all the months and events afterwards have the opportunity to shake things up. At bare minimum, opinions can be greatly affected in the months after EVO. Furthermore, there's always the chance for a 'dark horse' to surprise people. Matter of fact, that's exactly what happened. Going into EVO 2014, no one could have guessed that a Rose player would go on to win USF4. Lo & behold, a calm, quiet & focused Luffy did just that. Shook up the world in the process, too.
What amazes the most about his win at EVO was the backlash it created for his chosen character, Rose. Suddenly, she became Public Enemy #1. Mind you, that was utterly ridiculous, but this is the kind of behavior the FGC is prone to. If anything, the fault there really lays squarely on the crowd itself. Everyone was so jacked up over the "USA vs JPN" schtick that the idea of someone outside the chosen FGC Hollywood Elite could take the event seemed preposterous. But that's what happened. Luffy didn't do anything except come to play his game & that won him an EVO 2014 title. Again, the backlash for Rose that ensued was just silly. Had it been any of the 'usual suspects', no one would have complained. Like I said before, "inevitable" is a word that makes the FGC uncomfortable.
Fast forward a few months to KiT15. Grand finals in USF4. Sitting on match point from being eliminated, WTHamad woke up and came back to go 6-2 for the title. He even forced a character change from his esteemed opponent. Was this some form of conspiracy at work? A down south "trick bag" being opened? Or maybe some of that old country voodoo? No, nothing of the sort. Just someone else playing their game & rising to the occasion. The fact that he did so against a member to the so-called Hollywood Elite is frankly immaterial. Your opponent is only ONE of the factors you're fighting against during a high stakes match. From what I've seen, far too many entrants suffer from stream jitters and it is high time that become a thing of the past.
Which leads me to this weekend & Curleh Mustache. I am quite proud to say that my brothers-in-arms did exceptionally well at the event. One could even say they exceeded expectations and since I'm the one writing this article, that's exactly what I'm going to do. They may not have all gotten to the same spot on the mountaintop, but they fought their respective ways up that hill. Only one reached the zenith, however... Cosmos. Cosmos went on a tear all throughout the tournament. Chances are that not too many people (outside of our ranks, that is) picked him to take it all. Along the way to the top, he took on a number of the Hollywood Elite and breezed right by them. In fact, my favorite moment of the night was watching the stream after he swept through the Grand Finals with a 4-0 and most of the crowd was dead silent. I try not to use this word unless I'm eating, but experiencing that moment was... oh, hell, I'll just say it... delicious!
I remember watching the The Dark Knight and hearing Joker's speech about "the Plan": No one freaks out as long as things go according to plan, even if that plan is terrifying. In a roundabout way, the same is true of the FGC. As long as the preferred cast of characters doesn't change, everyone apparently seems happy with the thick miasma of complacency that has befallen our humble culture. However, as many great men & women have said before me, change is only scary when it doesn't happen. Given these three particular victories I mentioned today, perhaps there's some hope for change in 2015. It may not be comfortable for everyone, but the old world must sometimes be torn down if a new world is to prosper.
Until next time... keep fighting the good fight, my friends.