With the announcement of OHN11 two weeks ago, perhaps you’re mulling over the possibility of attending. Perhaps you’re on the fence, and need a little bit of a push over the line. Chances are if you’re on this site, and you’re reading this, you have at least a passing interest: so maybe this article is for you.
If you’re an online warrior, arcade fiend, or just an interested bystander who has never come to a fighting game tournament before, you might be asking: what’s the big deal? Why would I want to come to Sydney in February?
Well, for your interest, I present five reasons why you should be at OHN11.
1. The Best
That’s you, right?
You don’t want to be that person who’s stuck at home, watching the finals on live stream, saying to yourself: “That guy? I bodied him for free just last week!“, wondering what might have been if only you’d entered. You don’t want to see him lift up that trophy. He doesn’t deserve it. You deserve it. You’re better than him. You’re better than all of these scrubs. You have 3000 PP. You’re a fighting game god.
Okay, fine, so maybe you suck. That’s okay too. What better way to level up than to play against the best? With so many setups, and a full day dedicated to casual games – not to mention plenty of time talking shop in the audience – whether it’s about steeling your mettle, learning new technology, or simply eking out those wins against the best of the best, almost everyone comes away from tournaments like OHN a better player – or at least, a saltier/hungrier one.
So don’t sit at home and ball up with regret. Prove that you’re the best – or the worst. Trust me, the wonderful meritocracy that is the fighting game community will be better for your input.
2. The Games
AE. Marvel. Tekken. KOF. Virtua Fighter. Persona. Primal Rage. Sailor Moon. If it exists, and it’s a fighting game, chances are it’s been at OHN.
Yes, we have a bunch of officially recognised games, and no, we don’t have time to cover literally every fighting game that has ever existed on the official schedule. However, OHN organisers have had a long-standing tradition of running do-it-yourself tournaments for just about any fighting game that has ever been anything to anyone, such as Super Turbo and 3rd Strike. Chances are, if it’s not called Street Fighter X Tekken, and you play it, someone else does too, and there’s probably a tournament for it.
Of course, if you don’t hear about a DIY for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters, that’s okay – because you could always throw out the feelers for a tournament of your own. If you have the means to make it happen, and enough interest to move it along, chances are we can accommodate your wishes.
3. The Hype
Do you enjoy screaming at videogames? Do you enjoy talking trash? Do you enjoy cheering on your guy until your throat is hoarse? Excellent: so do we.
Hype is one of those intangibles that’s incredibly hard to define unless you’ve experienced it. What we do know about hype is that it’s infectious, like herpes, but unlike herpes, you can share it with everyone in the building without making everyone incredibly angry.
It’s hard to know what it’s like if you’re a practised stream monster: there’s a certain something about being at a tournament that just makes some people go crazy. And that’s okay, because chances are they’re not alone. Maybe it’s the red room. Maybe it’s the loud noises. Maybe it’s the money. Maybe it’s FaYD’s lollipops. Whatever it is, hype and fighting game tournaments go together beautifully. If you’ve never been fortunate enough to experience it first hand, then perhaps you should come to OHN. Even if you go two and out, there’s still plenty of fun to be had in the audience.
4. The Extracurricular
Speaking of fun to be had, OHN is famous for its extracurricular activities. We’re all here to play fighting games, it’s true, but even the most hardened competitor should blow off some steam once in a while. Whether it’s Hebretto’s famous OHN karaoke, late night BBQ, a quiet drink (or thirty) with friends, banging out some casual sets in hotel rooms, or just, well, seeing Sydney, there’s plenty to do outside the walls of the Red Room before, during, and after the tournament.
If you’re super-committed to the idea of playing games until your hands fall off, Galaxy World is mere minutes away from the venue. It’s usually buzzing with activity throughout the weekend. Feel free to scare the regulars with the sudden and unexpected influx of quality play.
It’s safe to say that no matter what your poison is, Sydney’s a pretty fun place to be – and if you don’t want to hang around stinky nerds all weekend, then that’s cool. There’s plenty for you to do.
5. The People
Okay, let’s face it. Games are fun, and traveling is fun too. But what makes tournaments like OHN great is the people. To your parents, significant other, or workmates, we may be a pack of unkempt weirdos who get irrationally excited over pixels on a screen (which I guess we are sometimes), but in truth, the fighting game community is, for the most part, an incredibly friendly and tight-knit lot with a network that stretches from coast to coast. In short, we’re just good dudes.
OHN is run by the community, for the community, and it’s been running for 11 years solid. No corporate interests, no ulterior motives, no smoke and mirrors. Just a bunch of people who are passionate about what they do.
Come and put faces to names. Come and meet people from all walks of life who you’d otherwise never have a chance to talk to. Come and make new friends, or catch up with old ones. Come and enjoy a weekend with a bunch of like-minded idiots.
Come and body some fools.
See you in February.
Thanks to Kientan and Panda Photography for the images.