It has been a very long time since my last post here. Perhaps too long. So I thought I’d finally create a new post, and this time about my experiences at NEC17.
But before I go further, you may be asking “What is NEC? Isn’t it a company that makes TVs?” Yes, but that’s a different NEC. This one is the Northeastern Conference! A tournament series for a lot of different fighting games, including Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat XL, Super Smash Bros. for Wii-U, and Pokkén Tournament. It’s located in King of Prussia, Pensylvania, and this year it was at Valley Forge Casino.
It took me a long time before I decided to actually go this year.In fact, it was almost the day before that I officially decided. What with work, being a contractor, decisions on having to take Friday and Monday off, discussions with parents, and missing Christmas celebration with my extended family, I almost didn’t go at all. But even so, it seemed God had other plans.
As it turned out, a friend of mine (@oMo_Storybook on twitter) had offered hotel, driving there, and some food for free. All I had to do was pay for gas. It just so happened that I wasn’t going to be the only person that missed Christmas celebration. Dad and my brother would also miss it. And the final thing that cinched my decision was it was OK with my manager if I took Friday and Monday off. We worked out the hours I’d have to work to get 40, so things were looking good. God seemed to want me to go, and so I took the opportunity.
The trek there and back was long, having to sit in a car, too hot on the way down. But once we arrived (far too early) I started to get very excited. This would be my first time seeing so many amazing people, and being able to meet Japanese players (since none came to Pokémon Nationals). After a bit of time we finally went up to meet some amazing people for the first time. Allister, Slippingbug, Whiteywhite, Doubles, Bosshog, and many more. We learned of submission chicken, and played a few matches while waiting for the scene to open.
When it finally did, there was some miscommunication on the reason for the lines. We were told various things, and very little of them were true. First we were told that the line was for 2v2 and spectators. All fine and dandy, but we knew nothing about on-site registration. It wasn’t until I got to the front that I finally got my answers, and they turned out to be incorrect, too. I was told onsite registration was later that day (but not that it was for Guilty Gear, which I had no interest in). I said okay, though, came back then, and was finally correctly told it wasn’t until tomorrow morning between 8-10. I get that Pokkén was a first for NEC, but couldn’t I have been told the correct info from the beginning?
Still, I had a lot of fun Friday, playing matches and finally meeting most of the Japanese players. Kinuko, Sasahune, Hiet, and Apollo (didn’t really meet the others until later). I already felt like friends to Kinu, and he could actually understand me, so we started out talking a bit. Pretty soon we got to talking about him actually going to wear a pika costume exactly like mine the next day, and that made me so happy. It was the fist wonderful thing to happen after the silly misinformation session. We were already pika pals.
The next day I got there early to be able to register for Pokkén and Smash 4, though I honestly felt more in a Pokkén mood. Probably for the best, since Pokkén was first. I loved it in any case, even though we still had to wait until 11 before it opened to play. So we did, and had a great time, Kinu was amazing as Pika pals with me <3! I had a great time, was able to help Kinu out with friendship as any true pika pal would, and bought a lot of stuff.
Sunday was kind of bittersweet. It was near the end of NEC, and I already had post-depression blues, even if they didn’t show. I didn’t want it to end. I started out wit a few friendlies, waiting for top 8, was able to play a few amazing people like Burnside, ad i started out watching a lot of Pokken top 8. Let me tell you, Allister, Burnside, Potetin, Mins… everyone there was amazing! Near the end of NEC, I went up to play a few last matches with amazing people, and finally got to play Kinuko. I couldn’t have asked for better. But in the end, people had to go, the Japanese players came by to say bye.
All in all, I had an amazing time, meeting so many wonderful people. I will definitely go again, it’s more than worth it if I get to meet Kinu, Potetin, Hiet, Sasahune, Allister, Kino, Broccoli, Whiteywhite, and Bosshog again. Thanks to Big E, shoutouts to Appleboom and Zerk for giving their time to be a part of this. Thanks to oMo_Storybook for letting us stay with him and getting us there and just being an amazing guy in general. Thanks to the guys that helped as we got Chinese food. You guys deserved more than we gave.
I will be back, and I will be stronger. Mark my words, I will be the best pika in the world one day. Pikachu power!