NorCal Regionals: Recap

As Friday evening came, we were all anxious to get to The Domain Hotel. We knew it was a private event for the Norcal team qualifiers that night, but since we know a few people we figured we could find our way in some how. As NAT-mECHA was rounding up the troops, I floated around the lobby talking to all the familiar faces. One of those faces was Albert Carmona himself from Keystone II. We immediately recognized each other from our first introduction at WCW last August.  We chatted a bit and that was when we got the go ahead for The Box Arena family to join this private party. Once we were all together, (DJFrankFresh, Kuizzy Ef Baby, NatMecha, BeefCake, Nemo, ShadyK, and myself) We strolled in to see… EVERYONE was invited to this private party!?! Well, since John Choi is such a great guy, he and his team came to a decision that this shouldn’t be a private event, rather a gathering of friends, fighting games (and alcohol) on a cold Friday night in Sunnyvale.

After our long night of casuals and laughs, we all finally split our ways to get to sleep sometime in the early morning. Before we knew it, Saturday morning arrived and it  was time to get to registration between 9 and 10am. Someone once told me that if a tournament ran on time it was broken, so apparently this was the most broke ass tournament we had ever been to. Sign-ups were actually closed on time, and the tournament started without further delay. I do recall a little mishap with the brackets being printed in micro font, but that was fixed with an amazing sense of urgency at a local Kinko’s. The event was run with 4 pools among several TV’s lining the walls of a private banquet room. For the SF4 event alone there was 220 entrants, so there is no need to describe the smell or the temperature after the first hour. One of the most convenient aspects of this event was that the distance from the event room to any given person’s hotel room was no more than a 2 minute walk. There was no need to stand in that room all day either, we all had tons of options of things to do, and places to obtain drinks and snacks of all kinds. For a $20 venue fee for early birds, and no spectator fees at any time, this event was well worth the money.

Around 7pm, we were at top 16 of the SF4 tournament and we decided to celebrate our team’s success with a trip Yume Sushi which was located right across the street. Some amazing memories were created there involving some 30% off sushi rolls and Sake bombs. Unfortunately, right when we got there, ShadyK and I were receiving some panicked texts saying they were about to start top 16 and he needed to get back to play a Balrog by the name of Crackfiend. We hurried back, he got that match out of the way (with no victory 😦 ) and headed right back to our food. The rest of that night seemed to be a blur, but what I do recall is that it was one of the best Saturdays in recent Box Arena history. Our hotel room was frequented by several top  players including Combofiend, LB, Dash, Sin, DaggerG, Leviathan, Joe Dubbs, Fat Bear, Ed Ma, and Afrocole. The networking of the weekend was astounding, and we did a great job making our presence known at NCR. Once again, our night ran into the early morning, and we eventually dispersed into our own sleeping quarters for some rest.

Sunday morning arrived with a warmer climate, and a sense of calming relief. There was no rushing or panic on Sunday because the SoCal Vs. NorCal exhibition wasn’t scheduled until 6pm. We decided to make use of our spare time and take a trip to the City of San Francisco. BeefCake and Nemo stayed behind and found themselves watching a victorious Charger game at a local Chilis. ShadyK, NatMecha, Kuizzy Ef Baby, DJFrankFresh, and myself crammed ourselves into a Honda Accord and took that 40 minute trip to Boudin’s Restaurant and Bakery in the heart of Frisco. 3 hours and $250 later we were headed back to The Domain for the main event! 5V5 : SoCal vs. NorCal.

When we got back, we took our seats in the back of a second Ballroom on the 2nd floor. This Room was set up like a movie theater. One large, unusually clear Projector and one station to use for the exhibition and SF4 top 8. Just like the rest of the weekend, the 5V5 started promptly at 6pm. The energy in this room was unbelievable. I can still see that Skinny Asian guy(Crackfiend) yelling to the Crowd, “Who are we??” and the crowd would respond in unison, “Nor Cal!!!” All I could think of while this was going on was how Salty they were all going to be when Socal beat them in their hometown. Glancing up to see a woman in front of me named Sugar Betty with cupcakes for the winning team made me even MORE anxious for SoCal to win because I know how much our boys love cupcakes! (I wasn’t supposed to say anything, but her husband slipped me one and it was nearly the best I had ever had) There is no need to describe how the 5V5 went because im sure you all watched the Stream, but if you don’t know… SOCAL IS THE BEST AND WE TOOK THAT WITH VALLE AND SHADYK STILL STANDING. Until next time NorCal…. good job on graciously accepting your defeat. Your team is good and FelepinoChamp(yes, with bisiya accent) has enough energy for all of you. Congrats to Ricky Ortiz for winning first in 3 games (boy you are GodLike) Alex Valle for taking 2nd, and ComboFiend taking 3rd in SF4. Way to Rep Socal!

We wrapped up our evening with an Excessive amount of Plum wine and snacks from the Korean Store. Our room was jam packed with some good friends we had and made over the weekend including Combofiend, LB, Dash, Sin, DaggerG, Leviathan, Joe Dubbs, Fat Bear, Ed Ma, Afrocole and Jessica. We lost a few members of the party to a Bikini Bar Across the street, but made them back soon after for a night filled with SF4, complaining Residents, a broken bed, Security guards, and eventually leading to the police at the door of chaotic room #331.

Thank you to all of NorCal for making this trip worth it for all of us. iPlayWinner, thanks for all the coverage and Streaming this event for the world to see. John Choi, Albert Carmona and the rest of the crew that ran this virtually flawless event, we appreciate what you are doing for the community and will support you 100% on any future endeavors. It was great to see MarkMan of SDTekken, and Princess Faye who always seem to make there way out for support. Glen, AJ, Kelly, and Kara from GYT, you guys never fail to cover Sf4 events with great photography and video. We really look forward to working with you in the future. Seth Killian of Capcom, it was great talking with you and thanks for all the advice, we cannot wait to work on those bigger and better things.  Woo Hoo SSF4! Until next time, The Box Arena <3’s you.

❤ Hun-E-Bee

We would also like to make an apology to John Choi for noise that we caused on the last night of the event.

We hope to see everyone soon! Hopefully at our own event 🙂 January 9th! Save the date!

Official Results provided by Eventhubs

NAT-mECHA out!

The Box Arena and ShadyK chillin’ in SF before 5v5 Exhibition match

Hype for NorCal for the 5v5 Exhibition Match

SoCal comes back with their own flavor of HYPE! 😀

SoCal reigns supreme over NorCal! 😛

Raise the Ricky Ortiz!

San Diego’s Finest with SoCal Team Captain- Alex Valle

Post-NCR Crack Session 🙂

More Pictures at our Smugmug Page


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