Bandai Namco is hoisted to hold two sets of online events for Tekken 7 and Soul Calibur VI, both of which are set to begin in September and end in December.
During the Japan Fighting Game Publishers Roundtable, representatives announced the Tekken Online Challenge along with the SoulCalibur Online Challenge. The roundtable discussion saw leaders of the Japanese fighting game industry meet online to discuss the past, present, and future of fighting games. Tekken producer Michael Murray was amongst the people in the discussion.
Registration for both the Tekken Online Challenge and the SoulCalibur Online Challenge have opened, although neither challenge will begin until September. No dates have been revealed just yet.
The two events follow Bandai’s unsurprising cancellation of all physical tournament events for Tekken, SoulCalibur and Dragon BallFighter Z World Tours, owing to COVID-19.
The developer had initially announced that it was “finalizing online competition event solutions for the remainder of the year”, and that it would “have more news to share soon”.
As opposed to using the online challenges as overarching circuit events like how Bandai’s World Tour events would typically function, these will be run as standalone regional events.
The SoulCalibur event will only be open in three regions over the course of two months. The event will take place in Japan in September. In November, the event will be run in Europe and the United States, although no details have been revealed on how the regions will be split up. The developer has listed the US as East and EU as West.
Tekken players may have a better chance of challenges taking part in their region, with the tournament slated to cover 6 different regions over 10 events. The regions are namely EU, US, Oceania (Australia), Korea, Japan, and the Philippines. Unlike the lack of region-related specification with SoulCalibur, Tekken sees the EU and US regions divided into different sub-regions.
First-place winners of the Tekken events will walk away with USD$500, while second and third-place winners will be awarded $300 and $200 respectively. Special exhibition winners will also be awarded $500.
Upon completion of the main Tekken tournament, winners of the open tournament will be offered a chance to win more prizes playing in a “Special Match Set”. The set will see a best-of-five player go up against another skilled player who will be pre-selected by tournament organisers.
A Tekken 7 Pre-event Weekend will take place between August 15th to 16th. Open tournament entries are also live now on Smash.gg, although only residents of US West can participate.
Bandai Namco will reveal more details about each event as September approaches. These events are the developer’s earliest first-party events since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the developer will not provide any official support for offline events, it stated in a press release that individual organisers could still continue to host physical events at their own discretion.
“We urge competitors and fans to seek tournament details through event websites and to use their best judgement regarding their personal on-site participation,” it said in a press release.
Game developers like Bandai Namco have had to act fast and smart in order to stay relevant while trying to recoup the losses faced from the cancellation of live events that were scheduled way before the virus hit.
“We want to thank our competitors and fans for their understanding in this matter and we look forward to bringing back physical events when conditions permit us to do so. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay connected,” Bandai Namco shared in its press release announcing the cancellation of its World Tour events for the 2020 season.