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Team Spooky Will Stop Running Next Level Online Fighting Game Tournaments [Update]

Update (11/4/2022, 5:00pm): Victor “Sp00ky” Fontanez uploaded a video on his Team Spooky YouTube channel explaining everything and bids farewell for now.

Original story

After 108 weeks of organizing fighting game tournaments online during the past few years where COVID-19 messed up offline tournaments, Team Spooky will be discontinuing its Next Level Battle Circuit Online tournament series.

Team Spooky leader Victor “Sp00ky” Fontanez has officially posted on Twitter and said on a Next Level Battle Circuit stream that he will be taking a hiatus from organizing the Next Level Battle Circuit Online fighting game tournament series. His colleagues Henry Cen/@goldencen and Arturo “Sabin” Sanchez/@nycfurby will do their best to return players to online events and asks that players support the Next Level tournaments. He also apologizes for the quality of the last few NLBC tournaments and online experiences on behalf of the staff.

“As of today, I will be discontinuing my series of weekly online events. Of course @goldencen / @nycfurby will be trying their best to return players to offline events, so please support Next Level, which was my original intent with this series.

NLBC Online is not a part of any official league or tour.

We have/had the final say on who is allowed in the tournament, regardless of region! We can choose to not let you in for any variety of reasons, including making our life harder / more annoying / pissing us off. (In the same way, you don’t have to like it.)
We chose to include players if we think they could add to the hype. (You don’t have to like it but it’s our choice).

Generally the idea was to default to the best possible connection experience, so poor experiences from far away regions had to be mitigated.”

As for what he will do next? He will be doing more casual streams and work closely with Tenomedia for future events. It seems like he will still work on fighting game streaming and tournament work, but as a partner rather than running things with a small group and himself.

“As for me, I am pretty tired. I stretched myself quite thin for these events, including doing things I had no common sense doing ($1 crowdfund per sub? What was I an idiot?) and I am put into a spot where the best thing to do is move on. I will be doing much more of my casual streams as well as working closer with Tenomedia on some future events and doing more of the things I want to do. I see a general pessimism to the idea that I can just have fun and do casual streams ala Max/Aris, but I’m going to do what I like to do now.”

Hard DayS Night

Running fighting game tournaments, or any online/offline video game esports tournament and streaming it is a lot of tough work. You can ask folks like Infinite Carnage, Flash Vision, and Battle Arena for further proof on how thankless the job can get at times.

To run one for free and weekly as well as having many, MANY people complaining about connection issues and being barred from participation due to being in different regions than stated is going to take a toll on even the most patient of tournament organizers/streamers. Basically what I’m saying is that Spooky deserves a break from doing what he does. What he doesn’t deserve is all the unnecessary flak from people and players with unrealistic expectations.

We would like to wish Team Spooky all the best in his future endeavours. Thank you for the streams, commentator work, tournament organizing, and all-around fighting game shows. Here are a few examples of the fighting game community from around the world giving their thanks and warm wishes.

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