Last weekend, I went to the 10TH annual Battle Arena Melbourne (BAM10), hosted by CouchWarriors.

CouchWarriors is a non-profit association that organises fighting events with a focus on community, founded as an informal group in 2006. This years event was the largest they’ve had so far, with a record number of spectators held at MCEC (always great to have esports events in Melboune, not that I’m biased or anything).

BAM10 featured an array of activities that had something for everyone. Free games to play (like Splatoon 2), plenty of CRT TV’s for people to play their old favourites (not to brag, but I beat my friends at Super Smash Bros on the Nintendo 64 twice) and really intense matches to watch (Tekken 7 and Street Fighter V were some of my favourites).

There was an indie game developer showcase, and to top it all off: a massive $40,000 worth in prizes!

The creative community were also strongly represented. There was a large section lined with art stalls and a cosplay competition, open for all to enter. The art stalls were full of vibrant and fantastic prints, and the cosplayers were crazy talented.

Once I tried to sew a hem and my sewing machine starting smoking and almost set on fire – needless to say I did not enter the cosplay competition.

I had a chat with one of the cosplay judges, Helena. She’s a cosplayer, creator of Artemis Costuming and all around good human. She was taking names and dishing out scores in her fierce Cammy costume!

Helena explained her criteria when marking costume competitions, “I look for skill, but It’s important that the costume is well done. There’s no point in having an elaborate costume if it looks unfinished… I’d rather see a simple costume executed well.”

What’s her advice for beginner cosplayers?

“Start with something simple. Don’t overwhelm yourself with big projects, even basic costumes look great when done well!”

There you go, sometimes being basic is actually better than being extra.

Make sure to follow her on Instagram

Twitch launched its awesome new initiative at BAM10 – where the highest ranking Aussies in Tekken, Street Fighter and Super Smash Bros 4 get all-expenses paid trips to compete at EVO Championship series.

It’s an awesome opportunity for Aussies to get a chance to prove themselves on an international level, and also see the bright lights of Las Vegas. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas right?

Congrats to the Aussies that qualified!

  • Naveed “ChandNY” Iqbal  – Tekken 7
  • Xavier “Somniac” Nardella – Street Fighter V
  • Nick “Extra” McKenzie – Super Smash Bros 4 WiiU

I was lucky enough to have a quick chat with the winner of Super Smash Bros Melee and International Smash superstar, Adam “Armada” Lindgren.

I asked him about the decision during the final to switch from his signature Peach, to Fox.

“I saw Chu [Dat] pick Jiggly Puff, so I counter changed because of that. I picked Fox as he is the strongest character, and one of my mains. I know Chu is not very strong with Jiggly Puff.”

Speaking of character switches, I also spoke to Choi “Saint” Jinwoo about his change from Jack to Eddy. He told me he really wanted to try a new character, however he quickly realised it was a mistake, as it cost him the match! He laughed though, so I don’t think he was too upset about it.

And of course, I asked the burning question on everyone’s minds: what was his favourite restaurant in Melbourne?

“Universal, I really like it, the food is very good!”

There you have it folks, Universal on Lygon St, is internationally acclaimed!

Couch Warriors ran the event so smoothly! For such a large event with massive prizes and international gaming superstars, you wouldn’t think they would be able to have nailed the community feel – but they did.

It felt more like a humble LAN than Australia’s largest fighting game festival. If you weren’t a fighting fan already, BAM will definitely convert you. I want to be Chun-Li from Street Fighter now (she’s cute and dangerous, what a great combo).

The best part of the event? There wasn’t actually any IRL fighting. The CouchWarriors staff were super helpful, the players were really chill and friendly.

10/10 BAM10 was A SMASH HIT, I highly recommend everyone go next year!

Aim for the stars,

Luna

Keep up to date with the latest fighting events here: www.couchwarriors.org

Check out Luna’s Tribefire store: www.tribefire.co/store/arcaneluna