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“Other esports events aren’t like this” - The 4am fight club at the Global Esports Games

The camaraderie among Street Fighter 6 players transcends the competitive arena, evolving into an impromptu "fight club"

The #GEG23 4am SF6 fight club. Photo: Jordan Stephenson

After grueling matches at the Riyadh 2023 Global Esports Games, these esports enthusiasts find solace and joy in extended gaming sessions, reinforcing the #worldconnected spirit fostered by the Global Esports Federation.


Amidst the towering presence of the GEF_house, where athletes reside during the event, a tight-knit group of SF6 competitors has formed. Bonding over the intensity of the tournament, they've initiated side competitions at a nearby gaming café. This venue becomes their sanctuary, offering an atmosphere where players from diverse backgrounds relish the shared passion for Street Fighter.


The inclusivity of SF6 becomes evident, as described by Jordan ‘FlawlessDeku’ Stephenson from the United Kingdom. "One thing that’s cool about SF6 is that everyone is so welcoming and open," he expresses. Local players host the group, creating a welcoming environment that extends late into the night, thanks to the owner's friendship with a Saudi player.


In the midst of these impromptu gatherings, side tournaments unfold, adding an extra layer of excitement. The competitive spirit is amplified by unique prizes, such as Amazon card vouchers for the victors. The group's exploration of different Street Fighter versions, like SF4, adds variety to their gaming experiences, culminating in shared memories captured in group photos.

FlawlessDeku reflects on his time in Riyadh, emphasizing the distinctive nature of the GEG. "It’s been a lot of fun and quite a spectacle; other esports events aren’t like this," he remarks. The event's scale, coupled with the vibrant atmosphere featuring DJs, camels, and an energetic crowd, sets it apart. FlawlessDeku appreciates the opportunity to compete against top players worldwide, fostering a sense of global unity and cultural exchange.


Despite narrowly missing the podium in the main competition, FlawlessDeku praises the GEF for organizing such a grand event. He commends SF6's accessibility and marketability, contributing to its prominence on the main stage of major events.


As the SF6 community celebrates their passion in the café, the absence of an official GEF referee adds a humorous twist. With good-natured banter over who deserves the metaphorical gold medal, FlawlessDeku jokingly claims victory, embodying the spirit of camaraderie that flourishes beyond the formalities of esports competitions.


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