Community Effort Orlando

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Community Effort Orlando (CEO)
Community Effort Orlando logo.png
Tournament information
Sportvarious fighting games
Location Orlando, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Month playedJune
Established2010
Number of
tournaments
1 annually
Administrator(s)Alex Jebailey
Current champion
SFV:AE: Japan Bonchan
SSBU: Mexico MkLeo
MK11: United States SonicFox
Tekken 7: South Korea Knee
  SSBM: United States Hungrybox
Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator: United States LostSoul
DBFZ: Japan GO1
SCVI: United States Bluegod
UNIST: United States RedBlade
BlazBlue: Central Fiction: Japan Fenritti
BBTag: United States TempestRomeo
DoA6: United States XCaliburBlades
Final champion
Injustice 2: Semiij
MvCI: Knives
MKX SonicFox
Killer Instinct: Thompxson
Pokkén: Suicune Master
SSB4: MkLeo
UMVC3: KaneBlueRiver
USF4: Wolfkrone

Community Effort Orlando (often shortened to CEO) is an annual fighting game event held in Daytona Beach, Florida. Prior to 2018, CEO was held in Orlando, Florida. Introduced in 2010 and organized by Alex Jebailey, the event is known for its strong ties to the fighting game community. Fighting game players compete in a wrestling ring during the event's tournaments, and CEO has been a mainstay of the Capcom Pro Tour since its establishment in 2014. An annual side-event titled CEOtaku was initiated in 2015.

Background

"I have no reason to ever leave Orlando. I went to school here, I grew up here, and I’ve always worked in Orlando. Now, because of CEO and all the other events I get to do, I get to travel, but I always come back to Orlando. It’s a great place."

–Alex Jebailey [1]

Described in 2016 as one of the biggest fighting game community events in the United States by Red Bull, CEO has been running annually since 2010 and has grown exponentially every year. Organized by Alex Jebailey, the event is known primarily for emphasizing community spirit. Jebailey's goal for CEO is to ensure the entertainment of all its attendees. The event has an "infamous" wrestling ring in which tournament players compete and those who reach the finals make " WWE style entrances". [1]

Jebailey himself has been interested in video game competition since 1993, when he won a local Street Fighter II Turbo tournament on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. He has competed in various tournaments during the 1990s and 2000s, including Mortal Kombat and Killer Instinct competitions, as well as professional trading card game contests. Here, he got the inspiration and experience to become a tournament organizer. [2] Jebailey joined Iron Galaxy in 2014. [3]

History

2010–2013

In 2010, there was a fighting game event that was "supposed to" happen in Orlando, but things did not come together until Alex Jebailey was assigned as Tournament Organizer three weeks prior to when the event was planned. He named the event 'Community Effort Orlando', managed the tournament brackets on his own, and ran the stream with one colleague. Florida was not known for having an active fighting game community, though the 2010 open tournament totaled 300 players. [1]

CEO was held on June 10–12 in 2011. [4] Orlando Business Journal reported in 2012 that CEO was growing steadily, having reached 1,600 attendees and 30,000 online viewers. Jebailey stated that his presence on social media such as Twitter and Facebook has allowed the event to grow in size. [5] At this point, CEO was part of the " Road to Evo" series of major ranking events. [4]

CEO 2013 had over 1,800 attendees. The day after winning a CEO tournament, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 player Noel Brown was arrested for domestic abuse after attacking a fellow tournament player. [6]

2014

CEO was held on June 27–29 in 2014 and was one of the ten Premier Events of the first annual Capcom Pro Tour, meaning that high-ranking players of the Ultra Street Fighter IV tournament at CEO could qualify for the 2014 Capcom Cup. [7] [8] CEO 2014 was also sponsored by One Frame Link, and Jebailey sold CEO-themed T-shirts based on the various games played during the event in order to crowdfund the prize pool of each tournament. [3]

2015

CEO, taking place on June 26–28, was one of the sixteen Capcom Pro Tour events of the 2015 season, and the winner of its Ultra Street Fighter IV tournament automatically qualified for the 2015 Capcom Cup. Capcom revealed the first playable demo of Street Fighter V at CEO 2015. [9] [10] Held at the Wyndham Orlando Resort, CEO 2015 brought in over 3,000 attendees. [11]

At the CEO 2015 Ultra Street Fighter IV tournament, well-known players such as Infiltration, Tokido, Yusuke Momochi, and Daigo Umehara were all eliminated before reaching the finals. The tournament was won by Kazunoko, who beat 801 Strider in the winner's bracket semi-final and defeated Fuudo in the Grand Final. [12] As a response to the consistent success of Super Smash Bros.-player Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios throughout the 2015 season, Jebailey gave out a prize to whoever could knock him out of the CEO 2015 tournament. As a response, Smashboards owner Chris "AlphaZealot" Brown added more money to the "bounty". [13] [14] Regardless, ZeRo won the tournament, defeating Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada in the Grand Final. [15]

2016

"I did what it took, and it costed a couple thousand dollars for the extra security, but if it helps people feel safer and have a better time it’s more than worth it to me."

–Alex Jebailey [1]

CEO 2016 took place two weeks after the Orlando nightclub shooting. Jebailey quickly responded to people's worries regarding personal safety on social media that he would redouble the event's security. In an interview with Red Bull, Jebailey stated that "We understand bad things happen in the world, but if I can spend a weekend with my community and get away from it... I can’t imagine anything better." [1]

CEO 2016, again a Capcom Pro Tour Premier Event, featured ten major fighting game tournaments, including Ultra Street Fighter IV side-to-side with Street Fighter V. Jebailey stated in an interview that there was a large amount of interest in the older game within the Florida fighting game community. [16] Orlando Business Journal reported that the event had over 4,000 attendees from 46 states and more than 25 countries. Besides major tournaments of new games such as Pokkén Tournament, King of Fighters XIV, and Guilty Gear Xrd, the event included a "free-to-play" video game arcade and a guest appearance of professional wrestlers Xavier Woods and Kenny Omega. [17] [18]

2017

Jebailey announced in July 2016 that CEO 2017 would move away from its traditional late-June date in order for the event to be held in a new venue. The event may even move to a different city. [19] Later, CEO 2017 was announced to be held again in the Wyndham Resort in Orlando from June 16 to 18. The event featured tournaments for Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Super Smash Bros Melee, Super Smash Bros for Wii U, Injustice 2, Pokken Tournament, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Killer Instinct, The King of Fighters XIV, Guilty Gear Xrd, and BlazBlue: Central Fiction. [20] [21] Microsoft Studios announced at CEO 2017 that the 2013 version of Killer Instinct would be released on the Steam platform. [22]

Wrestling events

In 2018, it was announced that New Japan Pro-Wrestling would host an event at the tournament, which was held Saturday night following the end of the day's matches. The event was named CEOxNJPW: When Worlds Collide. Jebailey made his wrestling debut at the event and defeated Michael Nakazawa.

In 2019, new promotion All Elite Wrestling partnered with CEO to produce Fyter Fest. Jebailey once again wrestled Nakazawa, this time under hardcore stipulations, but failed to win the match.

CEOtaku

Jebailey set up a side event called CEOtaku in October 2015. A portmanteau of CEO and otaku, the event focused specifically on Japanese 2D fighting games often referred to as "anime fighters". Such games have historically not gotten as much attention among the fighting game community. Jebailey got the idea of starting CEOtaku when he noticed that Florida features many anime conventions throughout any given year, and was inspired when he saw a side-event at Evo 2015 dubbed "ANIMEvo". [23] CEOtaku has since become an annual event as well.

Dreamland

In April 2017, Jebailey hosted CEO Dreamland, a Super Smash Bros.-focused event featuring tournaments for each game in the series. The event attracted nearly 1,100 attendees, but failed to return its production cost. Jebailey blamed the lack of attendees in comparison to his annual CEO events on poor scheduling, as Dreamland took place on Easter weekend and coincided with the annual Star Wars Celebration at Walt Disney World. Following its near $20,000 USD loss, Dreamland was originally thought to be unlikely to return, [24] however on April 18, 2019, Jebailey confirmed that CEO Dreamland would return.

The event is currently slated for a 2020 tournament held at the Wyndham Hotel in Orlando.

DDR Storm

Since 2016, CEO has also been the home of the Florida-based Dance Dance Revolution tournament, DDR STORM. Once a small side event to the larger fighting game tournaments, STORM has grown alongside the competitive DDR scene with each passing year, and is now regarded as one of the most prestigious DDR tournaments in the world. 2018's tournament was notable for having (at the time) the most entries for an in-person DDR tournament in history. [25] STORM tournaments have also been held for related rhythm games Pump It Up and In the Groove.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Alphonse, Greg (2016-06-23). "Community Effort Orlando is What it Sounds Like". Red Bull.
  2. ^ Martin, Michael (2015-09-03). "Casuals: Alex Jebailey, Florida's CEO of the FGC". Red Bull GmbH.
  3. ^ a b Ingenito, Vince (2014-03-28). "CEO 2014 is All About Community". IGN.
  4. ^ a b Chen, James (2011-05-18). "How One Man Won $10,000 Playing Mortal Kombat". IGN.
  5. ^ Aboraya, Abraham (2012-11-02). "Jebailey's CEO Gaming conference growing". Orlando Business Journal.
  6. ^ Shreier, Jason (2013-07-01). "Top Fighting Gamer Arrested For Allegedly Hitting His Ex-Girlfriend". Kotaku.
  7. ^ Grubb, Jeff (2014-03-10). "Ready? Fight! Capcom partners with Twitch for year-round Street Fighter league". VentureBeat.
  8. ^ Sarkar, Samit (2014-03-10). "Twitch and Capcom teaming up for Street Fighter league Capcom Pro Tour". Polygon.
  9. ^ Wouk, Chris (2015-05-25). "Capcom will be letting the public play Street Fighter V next month at CEO 2015 in Orlando". Digital Trends.
  10. ^ Dransfield, Ian (2015-05-25). "Street Fighter V playable at June event". PC Gamer.
  11. ^ Richardson, Matthew (2015-06-22). "Huge gaming tournament to bring thousands to Orlando this weekend". Orlando Business Journal.
  12. ^ Martin, Michael (2015-06-29). "America at CEO 2015: Close but no Cigar". Red Bull.
  13. ^ Hernandez, Patricia (2015-05-20). "Smash Bros. Player Is So Damn Good, There's Now A Bounty On His Head". Kotaku.
  14. ^ Duwell, Ron (2015-05-21). "Smash Bros. player good enough to earn a bounty on his head". Techno Buffalo.
  15. ^ Higgins, Chris (2015-07-01). "What CEO 2015 tells us about the Smash Bros meta". Red Bull.
  16. ^ Rubens, Alex (2016-01-04). "CEO 2016 Lineup Announced: Jebailey Explains". Red Bull.
  17. ^ Richardson, Matthew (2016-06-01). "3 new things coming to Orlando's biggest video game tournament". Orlando Business Journal.
  18. ^ Giri, Raj (2016-06-26). "Xavier Woods Talks Loss To Kenny Omega At CEO 2016, Video Games Bringing Talent Together Backstage". Wrestlinginc.com.
  19. ^ Jurek, Steve (2016-07-09). "CEO may change dates and/or cities in 2017 as it searches for a new venue". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
  20. ^ Steiner, Dustin (2017-04-23). "CEO 2017 Schedule Revealed, Melee to be Played on Saturday". PVP Live. Archived from the original on 2017-07-06. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  21. ^ Ring, Oliver (2017-01-31). "Community Effort Orlando reveal games to be played at 2017 event". Esports Insider.
  22. ^ Sheehan, Gavin (2017-06-18). "Time For A Combo Breaker: 'Killer Instinct' Will Be Released On Steam". Bleeding Cool.
  23. ^ Womack, Barrett (2015-08-21). "CEOtaku: The Anime FGC's Big Break". Red Bull.
  24. ^ Wolf, Jacob (2017-04-26). "Future uncertain for CEO Dreamland tournaments". ESPN.
  25. ^ . 2018-06-29 Storm 2018 @ CEO Final Results http://ddrcommunity.com/ddr-storm-2018-ceo-final-results/title=DDR Storm 2018 @ CEO Final Results Check |url= value ( help). Missing or empty |title= ( help)