Mystery company announces $100,000 fighting game series
There's a new big-money championship series for fighting games that will feature many of the most well-known fighting game tournaments on board. But almost norhing is known about the company putting up the cash.
Avyd, a company that was virtually unheard of before this week, announced the $100,000 fighting game championship in Orlando, Fla. yesterday. The series, running at some point in December, will cover six games: Street Fighter 5, Mortal Kombat XL, Guilty Gear Xrd, Killer Instinct, and the two most popular Super Smash Bros. games: Melee and WiiU.
Eight players in each game will qualify for the final through a combination of major fighting game tournaments, online events, and last-chance qualifiers held at the final. The winners of each final will get a share of the $100,000 to be awarded between the six games, although an exact breakdown of prizing hasn't been announced.
The in-person qualifying tournaments will take place at already-established events: NorCal Regionals, Combo Breaker, CEO, CEOtaku, The Big House, and SoCal Regionals. Not every event will host qualifiers for every game. Avyd will host three additional online qualifiers, the details of which have yet to be announced.
The first such qualifiers for Street Fighter 5 and Mortal Kombat XL will be this weekend’s NorCal Regionals, who announced on Thursday that Avyd was the event’s title sponsor this year. The announcement came just one day before the start of the event and one hour before Avyd announced its championship series.
The announcement was met with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Detractors made comparisons to ReveLAtions, the Video X-Games, and Epic! Gaming Lounge; all high-profile fighting game events that came out of nowhere and promised huge payouts, only to fail to pay either some or all of the promised money. Others expressed excitement about more opportunities for players to earn money, pointing to the good reputations of the involved tournaments and their organizers, including Robin “JuggleRob” Harn of The Big House and John Choi of NorCal Regionals.
Very little is known about Avyd. The company’s website has just three pages: a front page where people can sign up to receive updates, a press release made on Tuesday announcing the company’s launch, and Thursday’s announcement. Its Twitter account was created in January 2013, but the earliest visible tweet was made this February. Both its Twitter account and its Facebook page showed minor activity prior to this week.
Shoryken’s Ian Walker reported that Avid is owned by a Wyoming-based LLC called Esports Global Holdings. He also reported that there could be a link between Avyd and Call of Duty team Enigma6, although the nature of their connection is unclear.
A request for additional comment from Avyd was not returned before publication.
According to its Tuesday press release, the Orlando-based company’s goal is “to remove barriers of entry into esports for all gamers, from the casual to the extremely dedicated pro competitor.” The company spoke of launching an esports platform in beta this spring, one which it claims will simplify "many of the processes gamers have become accustom to using on other websites” and include “many features that have never been seen before.” But it gave no specifics as to what those features will be. Avyd also plans to run LAN events this year, but whether those events will be a part of or in addition to its fighting game championship is unclear.
Still, those most closely involved believe that the series will be successful.
“I wouldn't put my name on something if I didn't fully know what I'm getting involved with,” said Alex Jebailey, lead organizer of both CEO and CEOtaku.
His faith was echoed by Rick Thiher, lead organizer of Combo Breaker. "I understand the skepticism,” he said. “I'm also just hopeful. I know the community has been burned in the past. I've been burned in the past. If we never take any chances though it'll be hard to have random things turn into good things.
“[At the] end of the day I just want more tourneys. Avyd wants to throw one."
Image via Avyd