February 2nd marked big news for the Houston gaming scene. That night, Insomnia VGC held their first King of Fighters 13 and Persona 4 Arena tournaments of the year. Players from across the city, and even as far as San Antonio, came down to claim the title. Two time defending P4U champ Brian "Shugotenshi" Nguyen looked to continue his reign into the new year against rivals Jason "Kid Viper" El Srouji and Mikko de los Santos. Meanwhile, Texas Showdown 2012 KOF13 champion Fernando "Raph Stryker" Jimenez looked to take the title against a stacked field including Showdown runner-up Tofu Soup, top contender Kevin "Shin Kensou" Turner, and San Antonio players 210 Nem and 210 Yachinator.
22 players entered P4U. Top seeded Shugotenshi and Kid Viper made it to the winners bracket semifinals with relative ease. Their opponents would be Kensou and Mikko respectively. Kensou appeared to be rusty after months of neglecting the game against Shugo and it cost him the match. Meanwhile, Kid Viper and Mikko continued their close battle from the previous P4U tournament, this time with Kid Viper winning. Viper would go on to face Shugo in a very closely contested winners bracket final, with Viper pulling out the close 3-2 victory.
The losers bracket saw the rest of Shugotenshi's group making waves. Noobster, Sebastian, and Azure Rage all fought their way to the top 8. Sebastian would take down Noobster before falling to Kensou in 5th place. Azure Rage defeated Bielzebro before losing to Mikko and tied for 5th as well. Mikko then rampaged through Kensou and Shugotenshi to end the reign of the only Persona champion Insomnia has ever known. Mikko and his top tier Mitsuru then went on to the Grand Finals against Kid Viper. Winning the first set caused Kid Viper to change from Naoto to Yu. The final set came down to the wire, but Mikko top tier was just too strong. Congratulations to the new Persona 4 Arena champion, Mikko de los Santos!
King of Fighters 13 drew out a full 16 player bracket. Kid Viper drew Raph Stryker as his 1st round opponent, already showing how stacked this event was. Raph would go on to win this match as well as his second round match to face the winner of Kensou vs 210 Nem. Tofu Soup faced one of the top Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 players in Houston, Rubeks in the first round. After taking down him down, Tofu then faced the other SA player 201 Yachinator. Kensou would squeak by Nem to face Raph, while Tofu mixed it up with Insomnia regular DGX. Raph and Tofu would hold off their opponents and set up a rematch of their Texas Showdown 2012 grand finals. Just like last year, Raph would take out Tofu and advance to the Grand Finals at Insomnia.
In the losers bracket, Noobster and Rubeks made a nice runs to the top 8 after losing their first round matches. But they were both stopped by Yachinator and Nem in the 7th place fights. Yachinator would fall to Kensou to end up 5th, while Nem defeated DGX to setup a rematch from the winners bracket. Kensou once again was victorious and faced Tofu Soup in the 3rd place match. The two players train regularly against one another, and it appeared that Kensou learned the match up more than Tofu as he rolled his way to the Grand Finals. Against Raph Stryker in the finals, Kensou appeared to learn from his mistakes earlier, taking the first set. Raph tried to mix it up by switching characters in the second set. But Kensou switched up as well and was able to hold off Raph at the end. Congratulations to Kevin "Shin Kensou" Turner on his victory!
The winners received cash prizes as well as a T-shirt from Insomnia. Both winners also receive a complementary tournament entry for their respective game at the upcoming Texas Showdown 2013 tournament on April 12-14. If you are intersted in entering the largest fighting game tournament in Texas, you can check out their Facebook page and their website for more information and to register for the event. You can also register for Texas Showdown at Insomnia VGC who is now an official sponsor of the event. Look for future events at Insomnia, including Halo 4, and Smash Bros.
Next month Insomnia will host a Mortal Kombat tournament where the winner will have his registration fee co-sponsored by Insomnia and Texas Showdown. If you enjoyed this article, then please subscribe to my Arcade Games column. Check out my Video Game Babes and Action Figures columns as well. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and my Blog for more news about anime, games and other events in Houston.