Editor's note: Go for the games and comraderie, stay for the tacos — or is it the other way around? Either way, Evan's coverage of Underground Gaming Tournament League 4 is really interesting; don't miss the audio interviews and pictures collage. -Demian
The rise of Xbox Live and PSN have given us the luxury of on-demand multiplayer, but there's still something to be said for playing the old-fashioned way, face-to-face. Or in the case of the Underground Gaming Tournament League, playing with over 100 people in a huge warehouse decked out with TVs, video games, and game-related art.
This last weekend, UGTL4 brought together game enthusiasts from all over Southern California to listen to music, watch live art, gorge on tacos, and play in a highly competitive Street Fighter 4 tournament.
This video is a compilation of audio interviews and photographs featuring the artists, the event staff at UGTL4, and the tournament finalists (Alex Valle, ComboJack, and Mike Ross). (Photos by PK aka Ryan â€œThe Hammerâ€ť Gayatinea.)
Overall, UGTL4 was downright awesome. Read more about the event and the future of UGTL after the break.
According to Bryan Marquez, founder of UGTL, Street Fighter 4 is just the beginning. Specifically, Marquez mentioned the possibility of hosting a future event for Modern Warfare 2.Â More importantly, Marquez expressed his vision of building a strong gaming community in Southern California, where anyone could come to compete with the best, meet new people with similar interests, or just soak in the atmosphere.
My only concern with UGTL4 was that the sale of alcohol prevented the event from being accessible to all ages. Some of my fondest gaming memories took place before I became a legal adult, and I think it's unfortunate to neglect the audience that needs something like UGTL the most. But it's understandable;Â a huge fine for â€œaiding and abetting a minorâ€ť could easily bring an end to the UGTL and everything itâ€™s trying to accomplish. After his initial interview, Marquez explained that he would love to eventually coordinate an all-ages event.
After speaking with UGTL4 staff and attendees, it became quite clear to me that the UGTL is truly dedicated to providing a place for a unified gaming community to grow. With that in mind, I think it is up to community members to ensure that something like UGTL has a chance to thrive. I highly recommend anyone who likes video games get off the couch and come out to the next UGTL event.
In addition to the SFIV tournament, there was a variety of games for those not interested in competing. I was completely destroyed when I played Street Fighter, but I did manage to win a few matches of GoldenEye. I really look forward to winning a few more at UGTL5.
If you would like to contribute games, consoles, TVs, expertise, or time to the UGTL, you can contact Bryan at: ugtl.bmarq[at]gmail.comm or visit www.theugtl.com.
I know the video is long, so here is a legend/key and a link to PK's photo stream on flickr:
Bryan Marquez aka Bmarq (event founder)
Calvin (master chef)
Jessica Gaona (artist)
J Salvador (artist)
Naomi Baker (artist)
Simon Estrada (artist)
Waiting for PKâ€™s first match
Leo and Melissa (rad nerd)
Steve Mitchell (tournament referee)
PK(Ryan Gaytanaya) wins his first match
Alex Valle,Â Combo Jack,Â Mike RossÂ (tournament finalists)
Bryan Marquez aka Bmarq after thoughts