Hype. It’s a word that has a special place in the hearts of fighting game fans. The fighting game community throughout the years has maintained its own branded kind of hype: loud, out of control, and most importantly, as real as it possibly gets.
This past weekend, REV Major Philippines put on full display precisely that hype. Intense matches were had and 7 champions were crowned. Here is our full rundown of the results.
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 -- IPT’s Anton Castilla vs Bryan Balcorta
IPT Anton is touted as one of the strongest contenders when it comes to UMVC 3, winning numerous tournaments and placing third in last year’s Manila Cup, just behind world superstars Kenneth “K-Brad” Bradley and Justin Wong.
In the opposing corner was Bryan, himself no slouch either. He’s won tournaments of his own in the past, however he has yet to win an actual game against Anton even in casual sets. Coming into REV Major, he tore through the brackets winning all his games. With Anton as his last obstacle in the grand finals, it was a climactic do-or-die for Bryan.
The match started good for Anton as he took the first game cleanly but Bryan managed to answer back winning the next two matches. In game two, Bryan showcased some pretty impressive anti-Phoenix tactics, making use of Morrigan’s meter draining capabilities to deny the Anton the Dark Phoenix comeback. Despite switching to a Dr. Doom, Vergil shell, Bryan was still able to outplay him, taking his first win against a long-time nemesis.
“I wasn’t really confident coming into the tournament. The nerves usually get me.” Bryan states. “This is the first time I beat Anton in any match. This was a definite achievement for me, especially during the dying days of Marvel.”
- 1st Place – Bryan Balcorta
- 2nd Place – IPT. Anton Castilla
- 3rd Place – IPT. Garrett Baluyot
Injustice 2 -- Cosmic Gorgons’ Juan Miguel Champo vs PBE’s Matt ‘Pinoy 172’ Javier
From Marvel to DC, Injustice 2 was up next on stream with facing off against. “I was pretty confident coming into the tournament.” Matt explained.
Sure enough, the confidence showed in his gameplay as he won all his matches leading to grand finals. He initially won over Champo’s Harley Quinn with Aquaman in convincing fashion, but Champo made the switch to Black Adam and managed to take one off. That would be Champo’s only victory, as Matt switched to Superman. Making good use of Superman’s zoning abilities; Matt won the next two games to take the championship in the first big Injustice 2 tournament in the country.
“I’m excited. This is just the first one, I can’t wait for the next big tournament” Matt exclaims. “I’m hoping Manila Cup is just as hype.
- 1st Place – PBE. Matt “Pinoy172” Javier
- 2nd Place – CG. Juan Miguel Champo
- 3rd Place – PBE. Alexander “Bully” Lim
Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 -- PBE Mark Anthony “Noob” Casing vs GetNews’ Pekos
Noob is currently the undisputed best Guilty Gear player in the country. However despite his reputation, he’s had bad luck when it comes to facing off against international players. It started back in Manila Cup 2015 where he lost to Abegen in losers finals, then just last year he got sent to the losers early on by Ryouta “Kazunoko” Inoue. This year, he lost to Japanese player Goichi “Go1” Kishida over at Saigon Cup. If there was ever a time to break the curse this was it.
Noob started things off with Raven as his pick, going up against Pekos’ Sol. Unfortunately, the pick was ineffective and he was forced to go back to his main, Zato=1. Doing what he does best, Noob’s pressure game was relentless and Pekos was forced on the defensive throughout most of the match. Unfortunately for Pekos, there was just no escaping Nobiru, and Noob took the set and the championship. The win gives the Philippines its first title ever in a tournament with international competitors.
- 1st Place – PBE. Mark Anthony “Pinoy172” Casing
- 2nd Place – GetNews. Pekos
- 3rd Place – Andrew “JIYUNA” Fidelis
King of Fighters 14 -- Peter “Papable Peter” Chua Jr. vs Renato Balimbing Jr. Renato
Burn to fight! King of Fighter 14 grand finals had two North Mall players going at it, Peter “Papable Peter” Chua Jr. and Renato Balimbing Jr. Renato had previously won the first big KOF 14 Summer Salt this past March after taking it over Eiji “Igi” Quido. Back then, Peter was eliminated right before getting to top 3. It was clear he was well prepared going into REV Major, winning every game going into grand finals.
Matching up against the previous champ, Peter won the first two games pretty easily, despite Renato’s adjustments and team changes going into game two. In game three, it seemed that Renato was able to make the adjustment, making quick work of Peter’s Kula before clutching it out with Mai in the end with a Climax Super. In the end though, Peter would outplay Renato, ending the set with a huge combo from Iori to take the trophy.
It seems though, that Peter wasn’t satisfied with just winning the tournament. During winner’s finals, he took a phone with a picture of Chinese top player Zhuojun “Xiao Hai” Zeng onscreen, and proceeded to draw a big “X” on it. We’ll leave you to decide what to make of this gesture.
- 1st Place – NM. Peter “Papable Peter” Chua Jr.
- 2nd Place – NM. Renato Balimbing Jr.
- 3rd Place – NM. Ardy Panganiban
Super Smash Brothers for Wii U -- TSF’s Kendrick “Psi Force” Cheah vs Justin “Cheese” Labad
Sunday started out with some Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
Kendrick currently sits as the man to beat after winning the Manila Smash League back in May. Cheese didn’t let that deter him as he took game one quickly with a two stock victory. Psi Force then managed to clutch out the next fight, landing a crucial whiff punish back throw in game two. Game three ended with a scramble, and Cheese came out on top catching Ness’ recovery on the evasive roll with a forward air attack. In game 4, Psi Force managed to anticipate Cheese’s position on recovery, tagging him with a PK thunder and launching him with an up air attack to tie the set two games to two.
It was now do-or-die time for both players coming to the last game. Psi Force managed to get the upper hand early with an early spike attack. Cheese manages to even up the stock lead with an up throw on Psi Force, but Psi Force manages to catch him for a Back throw in the end, taking the game and his second straight major tournament win.
- 1st Place – TSF. Kendrick Lolarga “Psi Force” Cheah
- 2nd Place – Justin “Cheese” Labad
- 3rd Place – PBE. Mikel “Godz” Godinez
Street Fighter V -- IPT’s Joshua “Yoshi1995” Rappert vs Nopparut “Book” Hempamorn
Book was riding a hot streak in losers bracket, beating everyone with his Ken. Yoshi stood as the last Filipino to defend the home turf; and defend it he did.
“I analyzed his matches prior to grand finals, and I noticed he wasn’t really jumping that much” Yoshi explained. “I totally focused on the ground game.”
Throughout the matches, Yoshi managed control and outspace book, as well as getting several important reads. “Once the score was 2-0, I felt like I had him figured out” Yoshi says. A final combo into a sudden EX Headbutt gives Yoshi the set 3-0 and the championship.
- 1st Place – IPT. Joshua “Yoshi1995” Rappert
- 2nd Place – Nopparut “Book” Hempamorn
- 3rd Place – IPT. Michael Anthony “Manza” Manzana
Tekken 7 -- The Knee vs The JDCR
The top 16 of the Tekken 7 tournament was a sight to behold, filled with so much drama and hype moments. The grand finals of Tekken came down to a showdown between to Tekken Gods, JDCR and Knee. They already met each other in winner’s finals, and their set was nothing short of spectacular. Fights were coming down to the wire and clutch decisions were made all ‘bout long. It was JDCR who took the game over Knee, but not after going down to the last round of the last game.
Intensity was not lost , as both continued to pick at each other’s mind. Games were coming down to the last tick of the timer, the last round of each game. By game 4, JDCR had the upperhand with the set 2-1 in his favor. During the final round of the match, Knee landed a sweep, leading into a highly damaging combo. Down on the ropes, JDCR catches knee with a grab, and a final low hit to take the championship.
Those who have followed the Tekken scene for a long time may be familiar that there is some history between Knee and JDCR. They’re not on the best terms to say the least, so you can imagine how surprising it was to see Knee offer JDCR a handshake after their final match. JDCR accepted the gesture without fuss, and the crowd cheered.
- 1st Place – EchoFox. Kim "JDCR" Hyun Jin
- 2nd Place – Jae Min "Knee" Bae
- 3rd Place – YAMASA. Take
“I am extremely happy with how the event turned out” Playbook owner Richard Brojan states. “The two day event went really well.” When asked what improvements they could’ve made:
“I guess just getting a bigger venue and get more people.”
Rev Major was a turning point for the local Philippine fighting game community. Not only was the event a major success, it also showcased that we as a community can run large scale events, compete against the world and that there is a place for other games apart from the usual MOBAs. With Manila Cup coming up this September, the future definitely is looking bright.