The first ever Hadouken Fest took place in Xalapa, Mexico over the weekend, celebrating on of gaming’s most prominent aspects – the competitive scene. This truly unforgettable event gave gamers from both North and South America a change to compete, have fun and strengthen the reputation of the local eSports community.
Announced all the way back on August 19, 2016 and sponsored by Hydra Pro Gaming, Hadouken Fest 2016 drew in an exceptional amount of people and quickly transformed from a small local gathering to a national affair with big names such as Waymas, Sabriton, 72K, Kusanagi and Pony in attendance. The event finally began in December 17, with a livestream on Twitch (where I made an appearance as a guest commentator). The first tournament was all set up, and a few players took the remaining time for some friendly practice matches to heat things up. It was then that the first call-in was made, and the first ever Hadouken Fest tournament began with Super Smash Bros. For Wii U. While smashers were duking it out, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 players started to set up their arcade sticks and Xbox 360 controllers. I could see players were using a lot of new characters that weren’t the popular Dr. Doom or Vergil, which was an indication things were about to get even more interesting.
Actually, every tournament was exciting to watch. I was running consistently between UMVC3, KOF XIV to Super Smash Bros. and I’ve never had a dull moment. Every player always had something to give and I was even taking notes from exceptional players. For example, Watching Sabriton’s comeback against Pony in UMVC3 was the highlight of the first day, and one of my all-time favorite eSport moments. Hadouken Fest was chuck full of moments like these. If not during UMVC3 matches, it was Waymas pulling off a major comeback against Tencionalrock with Wario in Super Smash Bros, and pretty much every single time someone chose to play as Robert in KOF XIV.
I was ecstatic to test my skills against some of these people, and even when I got utterly destroyed, I learned about each game – even on Super Smash Bros, which I’ve been playing a lot. Above all, it was a blast meeting people from different teams and crews from all over Mexico, and it was even nicer to see just how friendly all these awesome players were. It’s this kind of maturity you would expect from these kinds of competitions that makes me look forward to the next event.
I am glad to say that Hadouken Fest 2016 was an resounding success. The ambiance was incredible, and my personally experience was one that I would have to work hard to recreate. The lead organizer Ivy Corgan made a Facebook Page for future Hadouken Fests, and released a public Facebook statement where she talked about how proud she was about the event as a whole (as translated from Spanish):
“Making an event such as this is not easy to do (…) There were a lot of complaints that made me feel down. However, there were also a lot of positive things I was being told that made me continue forward and that was the best feeling for me. The Hadouken Fest was an event that started as something small and local, but I finally hit me when I realized that the community can do amazing things as long as the willpower for it is strong!”
Here’s hoping that the next Hadouken Fest brings even more people to Mexico, including more international players. If you ever get the chance to attend, snag your plane ticket to Mexico and prepare for what could possibly be one of the biggest tournaments in Xalapa, Veracruz.
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Rock Sepulveda from Thunderstruck for helping with this coverage. He is a really cool and level-headed dude, and I appreciate all the help he provided.