After an amazing first year for Equinox Gaming, the team started 2019 determined. The success of Cuddle_Core, Dimeback and Joey Fury in the 2018 Tekken World Tour thrust the team into the world spotlight. Equinox’s first year proved we are here to win and that championship mindset continued into 2019. Even though 2020 looks more promising for the Equinox fighters, its time to reflect on the many highlights of 2019.
At the beginning of the year, Equinox announced that Shangles and Filipinoman had leveled up to EQNX Competitors in Tekken 7 and Street Fighter V respectively. Their strength and dedication to improving warranted higher support from the team.
Not long after Equinox announced that Brian “Brian_F” Foster joined as the team’s first Street Fighter professional. Known for his informative Balrog content, Brian_F put on a show at Final Round 2019 placing fifth. However, there wasn’t much time to celebrate as Brian immediately began to compete in the first season of Street Fighter League.
Drafted by Team Spirit, Brian_F joined Justin Wong and Psycho. Unfortunately, the team placed fifth, ending their season. Brian_F’s highlight of the season was taking down all three members of Team Psycho on his own in week eight.
Equinox kicked off May by announcing a new partnership with AnyKey. AnyKey advocates for diversity and inclusion in esports. Since Equinox holds similar goals within the FGC, the partnership is a great match.
May also saw the beginning of another Equinox project, the Afternoon Tea podcast. Equinox players Brain_F and Filipinoman joined Sajam and Vicious to create a monthly podcast to discuss fighting game news, issues and events. The podcast is available on YouTube and all podcast streaming services.
Finally, after months of news and updates, games took over at Equinox starting with Combo Breaker. Dimeback and Cuddle_Core had strong performances leading to a top 16 team kill match. Cuddle_Core took out Dimeback to move on but later fell to CHANEL in an Alisa mirror match to finish ninth. Filipinoman placed 33rd in Street Fighter V after a tough run through the bracket. The Combo Breaker motto of “No Coast, No Kings” held true this year as both Brian_F and Shangles were eliminated in pools.
CEO 2019 saw another episode of the Equinox team kill play out. After a grueling loser’s bracket run, Joey Fury finally fell to Cuddle_Core in a close three-game set. This qualified Cuddle_Core for top 16 but she was eliminated by CHANEL once again. Brian_F and Filipinoman both fought through stacked brackets in Street Fighter V that led to early exits for both players.
The Equinox pros kept busy throughout the summer, but everyone came together for the biggest tournament of the year, Evo. Outside of the tournament, Equinox teamed up with Addice and Zowie to run a “Play the Pros” booth where anyone could challenge one of the Equinox players for a chance to win some sweet merchandise.
In the tournaments, Filipinoman and Brian_F placed 65th at EVO out of almost 2,000 entrants. It seemed that an Equinox team kill at a major was required once again as Cuddle_Core and Dimeback were forced to play each other in their first game out of pools. Once again, Cuddle_Core emerged victoriously but fell to Arslan Ash in the next match. Dimeback placed 65th at EVO out of 1,899 players. Cuddle_Core tore through the loser’s bracket with strong wins over Doujin and ULSAN before finally being eliminated in 13th place. Joey Fury started his Evo run strong with six straight wins. However, the momentum stopped when he lost to ULSAN and Super Akouma to finish 25th.
Shortly after Evo, Equinox promoted Phantom Miria to EQNX Competitor alongside Shangles and Filipinoman. She is an amazing Street Fighter player that also trained with XO Academy to prep for Evo.
Equinox is more than just a fighting games team; it also creates new and exciting apparel for fans. One of the team’s biggest projects of the year was the Support Your Locals line released in. The series was designed by Timo and was released at the end of August this year.
October saw the creation of a brand-new event, EQNX Breakout. The top four unsponsored players at the Fighting Tuesday Fall Dojo in Japan were given a chance to win an Equinox sponsorship to the 2019 TWT Last Chance Qualifier. Jyotaro, AO, Nishi and Masa qualified but Jyotaro’s Noctis won the day. Shortly after Jyotaro impressed the team with strong results and improvement at Tokyo Tekken Masters and the MASTERCUP AA Dojo. This led to Jyotaro “Jyotaro” Tsunoda joining the Equinox roster through 2020.
As the year began to end, only two major tournaments remained: Capcom Cup and the Tekken World Tour Finals. Unfortunately, every Equinox player would have to fight through their game’s last chance qualifier if they wanted a spot in the finals. In Thailand, Cuddle_Core, Dimeback and Jyotaro all began with promising starts. However, each player fell with Dimeback being the first out. Cuddle_Core was eliminated after losing to Yuu twice and Jyotaro was the last to go in 17th place.
At Capcom Cup, Phantom Miria, Filipinoman and Brian_F all had hopes of making it into the final bracket. Miria and Filipinoman both ended their runs 2-2 and Brian_F finished in 17th place after a close loss to Kawano.
Of course, there were more than just tournaments and t-shirts in 2019. Equinox also welcomed Scarwork, Chickity_Chyna, Annarumi, Lacari and Vicious to the stream team this year. Annarumi designed the awesome EQNX “YATTA” shirt. Romanova displayed her skills as a commentator in DRAGON BALL FighterZ, Mortal Kombat 11 and Samurai Showdown. Boeken also joined Equinox as the team’s official Japanese translator.
2019 saw the beginning of many great things at Equinox, but there is still room to grow. Look forward to some exciting updates as the new year begins.
Never. Stop. Fighting.
FireWolf's Thoughts on 2019
I joined Equinox a year ago, with my first contribution to the team being the 2018 Year in Review article. Over the past year, I've been able to learn more about fighting games and go to more tournaments than any previous year.
Two of my favorite parts of 2019 were actually having Brian_F and Jyotaro join the team. I love Brian's content and watching him play in tournaments. I am also a Noctis main in Tekken so I have been learning a lot by watching Jyotaro and am super excited to have him on the team as well.
Over the course of the year, I got to meet almost every player and streamer on Equinox. I was amazed by their dedication to fighting games and the many talents they all have outside of being top players. Equinox has truly assembled not just a team but a family that supports each other both in and out of the game.
Of course, actual tournaments are where Equinox is most visible. You may have even seen me at some of the larger events running around taking pictures or helping players. While 2019 may not have ended with the best results for our team, each player placed strongly throughout the year. Cuddle_Core's improvement and consistency really stuck out to me while watching her matches at events.
For 2020, we're working on some special projects to help bring Equinox's content game up to the next level. I can't wait for you all to see what's in store for the new year. If there's anything you want to see, let me know on Twitter.
Written by Tanner “FireWolf” Hinders