Canada’s Largest Fighting Game Tournament Has A Disastrous Showing


    In a classic case of corporate involvement messing everything up, the largest fighting game tournament in Canada experienced its worst showing yet.

    Canada Cup paired up with Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo (EGLX) with the hopes of creating the ultimate gaming tournament/convention combo. Unfortunately, mismanagement led to poor scheduling, fire hazards, a severe lack of setups for the tournaments themselves, and even the power being shut off…in the middle of the Street Fighter V finals.

    Canada Cup has been the nation’s most prestigious fighting game tournament for several years – helped by the fact that it’s a sponsored event for the Capcom Pro Tour, meaning dozens upon dozens of top fighting game players make their way up north to compete for points, prestige, and prize money. With esports continuing to grow, Canada Cup pairing with EGLX, the largest gaming expo in Canada, seemed like the next logical step.

    Unfortunately, the two brands don’t mesh well – with EGLX focusing on game demos, panels, vendors, and popular gaming trends, whereas Canada Cup serves as an important tournament for many competitive and professional fighting game players. This led to some disastrous moments throughout the weekend.

    For starters, Canada Cup was relegated to a small corner of the hall booked for the event, while other gaming competitions, demos, and related attractions ate up the rest of the space. Hosting multiple events and games that feature hundreds of players is impossible in such as a tight space – the smaller the space, the less room for setups, and less setups means the tournament takes much longer to run. This always leads to schedules getting completely destroyed.

    Speaking of schedules, the Top 8 finals for Dragonball Fighter Z and Super Smash Bros. Melee were both scheduled at the same time; despite the fact that Leffen, a top player in both games, was in attendance and expected to make both. As a result, he had to disqualify himself from Melee just to focus on competing in one game.

    It wasn’t just competitors who got shafted at this event. On Saturday, the fire marshall deemed that anybody else being allowed into the hall would be a fire hazard. As such, nobody else was allowed in – exhibitors, competitors, crew members, and even employees working the Nintendo demo booth at the event were all barred from entering. This lack of planning on the part of the organizers left even more attendees disgruntled.

    The cherry on top of the event was during the last day of the event on Sunday. After getting through most of the finals for each game, the main event, Street Fighter V, was set to kick off. There was only one problem: they weren’t even halfway through Top 8 when it was announced that the power would get shut off at 6:45 P.M. This resulted in some matches being played off-stream to try and speed things up; something that is rarely done, even at the local level.

    Of course, this didn’t save the day and the power was cut off in the middle of Loser’s Finals between Justin Wong and Xiaohai.

    Lap Chi Duong, the longtime lead organizer of Canada Cup, is planning to release a statement to address many of the issues people faced during the weekend, but it seems like it will be very hard to salvage some of Canada Cup’s reputation so long as they paired with EGLX. The widespread complaints from the average tournament goer say a lot about this event’s appeal, and it’ll take some serious work to make Canada Cup a must-attend event like it was in the past.