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Guilty Gear Strive: Tournament Mega Digest for July

Guilty Gear Strive’s most exciting tournaments from the month of July (Image via Arc System Works)
Guilty Gear Strive’s most exciting tournaments from the month of July (Image via Arc System Works)
ANALYST

Riding the wave of its release and the absolutely fantastic netcode, Guilty Gear Strive has spawned an innumerable number of tournaments and exhibitions since its release, and each of them has spawned timeless matches and given the spotlight to players that never had one before.

While it’s impossible to list every one of these tournaments and talk about every player, this bundle of information will do its very best to list as many of these tournaments and their outcomes as possibe. The main parameter used to select them today will be their popularity.


Guilty Gear Strive’s most exciting tournaments from the month of July

Dreamhack Beyond

The top 8 of Dreamhack Beyond: Guilty Gear Strive (Image via Top8er)
The top 8 of Dreamhack Beyond: Guilty Gear Strive (Image via Top8er)

Dreamhack Beyond this year was ahead of the curve as far as online engagement goes. It was truly the best implementation of an online “festival” with a multitude of events that users could participate in and interact in via an online space resembling an MMORPG.

It even engaged and rewarded players similar to an MMORPG by giving quests and experiences to players that were active. It truly was an incredible experience.

Amongst the many tournaments hosted, one was for Guilty Gear Strive with a prize pool of 2500USD. And it was an absolutely fantastic tournament that saw the incredible Ramlethal player, Kelly “SQ” Chapdelaine, take the top prize.

To view the VOD for the top 8, check out the video here.

Next Level Battle Circuit (NLBC)

Team Spooky’s premier tournament circuit’s most exciting tournaments the past month have all been for Guilty Gear Strive. There have been exceptional matches for every weekly Guilty Gear Strive tournament thus far. Within July, NLBC #68 - #71 have taken place so far, and the prize pools for each of them were crowdfunded by matcherino (70/20/10 payout for top 3 finalists)

Each NLBC allows players from the Contiguous United States (excl. Alaska, Hawaii) and Canada to participate.

Listed below are the results, prize pools and VODs for every NLBC for Guilty Gear Strive in July.

NLBC #68 [4th July] (Matcherino crowdfund: 1504USD)

The top 8 of NLBC #68 (Image via Top8er)
The top 8 of NLBC #68 (Image via Top8er)

NLBC #69 [11th July] (Matcherino crowdfund: 1267USD)

The top 8 of NLBC #69 (Image via Top8er)
The top 8 of NLBC #69 (Image via Top8er)

NLBC #70 [18th July] (Matcherino crowdfund: 1000USD)

The top 8 of NLBC #70 (Image via Top8er)
The top 8 of NLBC #70 (Image via Top8er)

NLBC #71 [25th July] (Matcherino crowdfund: 474USD)

Top 8 of NLBC #71 (Image via Top8er)
Top 8 of NLBC #71 (Image via Top8er)

LEVO

LEVO is easily the most popular tournament series of the month of July, and there’s three main reasons:

  • It boasted some of the best, most charismatic commentators like Sajam & Vicious
  • It was organized by Super Smash Bros. Melee legend: Leffen
  • It spawned the most popular grand finals to date because of the participation of the FGC’s most polarizing champion: SonicFox

The best thing that happened during LEVO was the solidification of a rivalry between the North American scene and the European scene for Guilty Gear Strive. Something that could never fully manifest in an online environment due to netcode limitations of past games.

And in tribute to this, the grand finale of the LEVO tournament series in July was a Guilty Gear Strive 10v10 team exhibition between the best players of North America and Europe. A nail-biting event that will only fuel competition between the two regions in ways never seen before.

The first two Guilty Gear Strive LEVO tournaments in July had separate brackets for NA and EU, that were further split into beginner brackets and regular brackets. The prize pool for both of them was crowdfunded by matcherino in addition to a 1000USD base pool (80% of the pool was used for payouts to the top 8)

Listed below are the results, prize pools and VODs of the LEVO tournaments in both EU & NA (Beignner’s brackets not included)

The Big LEVO [July 3rd - 4th] (Prize Pool: 1000USD + Matcherino: 3,891USD)

NA

Guilty Gear Strive matches that took place in the NA bracket can be found here.

The top 8 of Big LEVO NA (Image via Tax1k)
The top 8 of Big LEVO NA (Image via Tax1k)

EU

The Guilty Gear Strive matches that took place in the EU bracket can be found here.

The top 8 of Big Levo EU (Image via Top8er)
The top 8 of Big Levo EU (Image via Top8er)

The Big LEVO 2 [July 25th - 26th] (Prize Pool: 1000USD + Matcherino: 2171USD)

NA

The Guilty Gear Strive matches that took place in the NA bracket of Big LEVO 2 can be found here.

The top 8 of Big LEVO 2 NA (Image via Top8er)
The top 8 of Big LEVO 2 NA (Image via Top8er)

EU

The Guilty Gear Strive matches that took place in the EU bracket of Big LEVO 2 can be found here.

The top 8 of Big LEVO 2 EU (Image via Top8er)
The top 8 of Big LEVO 2 EU (Image via Top8er)

LEVO EU vs NA-EC 10 v 10 Invitational Exhibition (July 31st) [Matcherino crowdfund: 778USD]

The Guilty Gear Strive matches that took place during this exhibition can be found here.

Team tournaments are a little trickier to explain than a regular tournament and the results can’t be simplified into a simple top 8 graphic. To explain the format in simple words:

  • Each of the 10 players in a team will have a single life, one loss means a knockout
  • In every round, both teams will decide the order in which to send out players. Corresponding to the order, everyone will play their match (an FT3), and will either knock out whoever they’re matched with and vice versa
  • In sequential rounds, the team that failed to retain more players will have to stand its ground by having all remaining members battle against the team with the advantage
  • The team with the advantage will send out only the necessary number of players to eliminate the other team.
  • This process will continue until all members of a team are knocked out.

Hopefully this brief explanation helps explain the nature of the happenings in the LEVO 10v10 exhibition and glorify the incredible comeback that the EU made against NA in rounds 3 & 4.

The results of the LEVO 10v10 exhibition (Image via LEVO)
The results of the LEVO 10v10 exhibition (Image via LEVO)

After round 2, the EU had only 2 players left to go up against 4 of NA’s players. And in round 3 & 4, they held their ground and eliminated all 4 of NA’s remaining players. Truly an incredible sight to have witnessed for Guilty Gear Strive enthusiasts.

Ronin Rumble Rivals

Ronin Rumble Rivals did not get much of a spotlight in July despite hosting two incredible Guilty Gear Strive team tournaments. These tournaments take a large amount of time and resources to host, and as a result are mostly managed in a rather unorthodox and opaque fashion. They’re funded by matcherino (payouts to the top 4 teams), and naturally made possible due to huge amounts of support from the community.

Listed below are the results, prize pools and VODs for the two Ronin Rumble team tournaments that took place in the month of July.

Ronin Rumble Rivals: Turf Wars (July 27th) [Matcherino crowdfund: 502$]

The Turf Wars is a 8 team, single elimination team tournament. Each team represents a different region of North America. For information on the different teams, please observe the graphic below.

The different regions of Turf War (Image via Ronin Rumble)
The different regions of Turf War (Image via Ronin Rumble)

For information on the composition of the different teams, you can click here. The outcome of the Guilty Gear Strive Turf War was:

  • The South East Coast (1st place)
  • The North East Coast (2nd place)
  • The Gulf Coast & Team Mexico - Tie (4th place)

The VOD for the tournament is linked below:

Ronin Rumble Rivals: Ronins X SkyFarers 5v5 Team Exhibition

This was a much simpler invitational Guilty Gear Strive team tournament between the veterans of Samurai Shodown & Granblue Fantasy Versus. The victory was ultimately secured by team SkyFarers, but the matches were close and ridiculously fun to watch.

To view the VOD for this tournament, check out the video below:

TRL vs OBI 15 vs 15 Invitationals (July 3rd)

This was easily among the most popular Guilty Gear Strive tournaments in July. A 15v15 exhibition team tournament between 30 of Japan’s best Guilty Gear Strive players. It was so anticipated that it even featured an english commentary stream done by JiyunaJP simultaneously.

As if team tournaments weren’t time-consuming enough, the twist featured in this tournament was that every player had 2 lives. It made the pacing and rules of the tournament a little more complicated, but more importantly raised the difficulty faced by each team to win.

Similar to EU’s incredible comeback against the EC in the Guilty Gear Strive 10v10 exhibition on the 31st, this tournament featured an incredible comeback made by Daru's I-NO, who against all odds flipped the tables around against the enemy team whilst being the last survivor of his own.

To watch the VOD, check out the video below:

Other tournaments

There are far too many Guilty Gear Strive tournaments to list in a single go, and it would be an absolute pleasure to do so. However, it would be pointless as with every passing second, there’s probably another tournament that just got birthed that may surpass something already listed here.

The scene is extremely dynamic, and hopefully it stays that way. For a few honorable mentions:

  • Tampa Never Sleeps has been hosting tournaments very consistently for Guilty Gear Strive alongside their other projects. Their tournament VODs are also definitely worth studying
  • The Bamboo Barrage is a tournament series organized by the e-sports organization Panda (affiliated with many notable pro players like Punk & Justin Wong). They have definitely raised the stakes, and it’s going to be very exciting to see how their series grows.
  • Arc System Works in collaboration with Tonamel hosted a single elimination Guilty Gear Strive tournament in Japan called Guilty Gear Duel Online

Hopefully this digest helps readers become a little more familiar with the Guilty Gear Strive scene around them, and encourages them to seek out more tournaments and help the community grow.

Some TOs will be discouraged and perhaps drop their attempts to capitalize on Guilty Gear Strive, and newer ones will take their place. But at the end of the day, the Guilty Gear Strive scene will grow and the road for the community will be rich with opportunities.


Edited by Nikhil Vinod
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