The Oral History of Ozhadou Nationals: The Red Room Era

POSTED BY Chee Seng Siow September 13, 2017 in EsportsFeatured, Features, Top Post,
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Ozhadou Nationals (OHN) is the longest running fighting game tournament in Australia. Founded by two fighting game players from Wollongong and Canberra, OHN together with its mother site ozhadou.net helped birth the Australian Fighting Game Community (FGC) as we know it. From its humble beginnings in 2002 at Playtime arcade to its current iteration at the Hilton and being part of the Capcom Pro Tour and Tekken World Tour, we talk to the organisers behind its proud 16 year history – all the hype, near-catastrophes, rivalries, karaoke and arcade cabinets. This is the story of OHN and the people who bled sweat and tears to bring it to life.

The Timeline


OHN9: The DK OHN

Ziggy and FAB, setting up HD Remix at OHN7

Ziggy:

Justin was slowly becoming less and less invested and I sort of had to spend more and more time prodding him with a cattle stick to do stuff. By the time EVO APAC was done and dusted we had extended the team by getting guys like Benson to do the logistics, that all worked really worked well but Justin and I were sort of burnt out by that point. OHN9 [was] where we tried a big change of having DK and other guys as the planning committee, and I was just there as a sounding board.

Youssef:

Whenever you ask any OHN TO what’s the darkest time and what are some of the challenges, I’m pretty sure everyone’s mind focuses on one person only: DK (Eric).

Spencer:

When DK was brought on board basically Ziggy and Justin were stepping back from everything and wanted to be a bit hands off. DK ran a few events where they rented out a whole cinema out west and they were pretty successful.  And I guess Ziggy and Justin saw DK as someone who seemed responsible and someone they felt was trustworthy to leave Ozhadou in his arms. At the same time DK had different expectations.

Youssef:

That was before Henry took over the Capcom side of things to run Street Fighter. I was there running Tekken but with FAB and Ziggy stepped down someone needed to take over Street Fighter and DK stepped up.

Spencer:

For OHN9 it was DK on lead and I was just helping out. I was originally just supposed to take photos. As I realised as I communicated between people – something wasn’t happening.

I guess he just expected more of the community to just step up and help out. His idea was: I organise OHN and he expected people just to bring gear.

It’s not like that. It’s not that simple. You don’t just expect everybody that shows up to just bring a setup. Even if people bring setups all the time, you can’t just expect them to. You need to ask them in advance “Are you bringing setups?” So I have something to account for. I still remember the week before OHN I was like “Hey Eric. How many setups do we have?”

He replied “I don’t know. Whatever the community brings.”

I’m like: “UHH dude…”

So I started going on IRC and Facebook messaging people: hey guys can you bring setups? I can give you discount for entries. So I scrambled as many setups as we could the week before.

That was the big lesson for me. I got a lot of feedback after that OHN – people saying there weren’t enough setups, that sort of thing. But if I haven’t done anything there would probably would have had three setups for everyone there which would be…pretty bad.

Youssef:

DK was kinda what made Ziggy came back.

Ziggy:

I struggled with that transition because I wasn’t entirely happy with the way some things were done and I didn’t agree with things, and I was kind of a sounding board into an echo chamber which kind of meant that I cared more than I realised, that sort of stuff. After that OHN10 I continued to be more hands-off as Spencer and Shane took over. But it was more collaborative, and I said: Look if I’m not annoying you, can I hang around and throw my two cents in and pick tasks that I like. And they said: yeah we don’t mind, you’re not that much of a nuisance, yeah sure. And that’s how I stuck around through their generation and this current Henry/Xharmagne/Youssef generation as well.

Youssef:

We gave Ziggy a ten year collage to commemorate him for ten years of service.

Dealing with Ziggy now he’s very jaded, old and pessimistic. Ziggy’s always calculating every single possible thing that can go wrong. He keeps you on your toes.

You know me, I’m more like “Nah it’ll be good, don’t worry cuz’. It’ll be hectic.”

Ziggy will be like “No, this could go wrong, that could go wrong.” He’s calculating every single possible scenario. It’s definitely good having his brain always functioning at a 110%.

Spencer:

And I think after that experience I realised if Ziggy and Justin would have me, I would step up and try to be more proactive with the community. I guess in a way DK wasn’t a negative impact, he did have his good things. But I guess some people didn’t see eye to eye with the way he wanted to run things.

But after that everything worked out when York Street Battles (YSB) took off and we could get the funds to buy consoles and support some games with the DLC and stuff.


The Red Room/York Street Battle era

Spencer:

For me it was about making sure Sydney had a place to play games. That’s how YSB (Sydney monthly event) got started.

It was me and Shane (Gamogo) – he started out with the website and forums whereas I was more hands-on with the tournaments. I guess Ziggy trusted both of us – which we both seemed trustworthy and reliable. And we started with the YSBs and stuff and eventually we tackled OHN. And basically trying to get sponsors, trying to find ways to learn from the previous year’s mistakes and make the event better. One of things was getting more setups.

The YSBs basically helped fund that. We didn’t have any community machines, none at all. When YSB started taking over we started getting a bit of money in the account and we started buying setups for the community that Shane and I and whoever else volunteered would bring into YSB. So we started accumulating setups – that was probably the biggest thing that we did that changed the way we could run OHN.

Jonathan “Jarop” Gamra (Ozhadou Editor-in-chief/head streamer 2011-current):

The darkest period was in between Good Games and the start of YSB which has run for about five years now. When we got kicked out of that arcade we had literally no offline scene. This is the biggest trial that we have in Sydney and everybody else to an certain extent: we get bodied by venues all the time. Everything in Sydney is so ridiculously expensive that there’s always this level of anxiety that we have. We want to provide for the scene but we also have to hit this bottom line. You have to start thinking about the business side rather than just the fun side and how to get people through the door.

We have a little of anxiety this year as well because the Menzies last year was such a phenomenal sized venue for us that it ticked all the boxes. And then two weeks after OHN it got knocked down. The darkest part of OHN is definitely the constant venue tribulations and then trying to get arses on console setups to reach that bottom line.

Spencer:

That time there was still a transition period between arcade and consoles – people never really saw the need to have that many consoles. But the logistics of arcade machines was still tricky – you would have to bring the machines down the stairs and it was a huge hassle. With consoles there was none of that we just put setups in their cars and away we went.

I guess we helped with the transition period because back then the arcade scene was dying, no one had anywhere to play games in a social setting. I would say that’s the biggest thing I did – just to have YSB to keep the Sydney scene alive.

That one year – I don’t know who authorised this. The Tekken finals are on. I think it might’ve Injustice or Mortal Kombat that was played earlier. And it was the Tekken finals. And someone decided it would be a good idea to play the trailer for The Raid over the finals of Tekken?

The Tekken people weren’t very happy about it. I was like: “Man, why are you playing The Raid right now?” (Laughs.)

The Raid was like the movie Madman distributed through Asia-Pacific and we were asked to play the trailer which was fine. But for some reason someone authorised and asked them to go ahead and play it on the stream and the projector when the Tekken finals was playing and they weren’t very pleased about that.

Melbourne supporting Genkibot on enemy ground: OHN11

The stuff we do outside of tournaments is really important. Youssef is really good as the social aspect, getting people together and having a good time.

I was actually the one to introduce the three day event to Australia. Back in the day everyone just did a two day event – Saturday and Sunday.

I remember this from my experience as a player. People would come in at 9am in the morning and people would line up all the way out the front door to register and get their pass. I think I saw the American guys do it, why don’t we do something like that where Friday night we can sign people in so that they can come in fresh for Saturday morning.

My idea for Friday was for people to come in and sign in and play casuals, catch up and have exhibition matches. Work off some of that jet lag. After I introduced that for the OHN that I did, I notice that the other cities caught on pretty quickly and started doing their three day events as well!

The way I see Ozhadou and OHN is that it’s Ziggy and Justin’s baby. They created it all those years ago and they handed it to me to look after. I was kind of a babysitter. I didn’t want to screw everything up so I was a bit more cautious.

But obviously now that Ozhadou and OHN are back in Ziggy’s hands as well as the new team. They’re doing bigger and better things with the push of new games which I’m happy to see.

Henry (Genxa) getting hype in the Red Room


The KG Moneymatches – OHN10

Yang:

There’s something about Marvel that brings out the competitive spirit a lot more than say Street Fighter ever will.

Marvel…brings out this level of thuggery that no one knew existed within themselves. It’s something about the game that tailors more to that primal instinct: I’m better than you. I’m so much more alpha that I’m going to actually put my money on the line for it.

Youssef:

The fabled KG moneymatch. Two big moneymatches in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3: KG (Sydney) vs Antman (Melbourne) and KG vs ToXy (Melbourne).

Kunal “KG” Grover (Sydney OG):

They were Melbourne’s best players first and foremost. Melbourne players have a tendency to overrate/glorify/deify their top players. So I really wanted to put the scene on blast because the Humanbomb vs ToXy moneymatch never came to a head and whenever it was brought up f***wits would spout irrelevant shit like “Why don’t you challenge ToXy, instead of getting Humanbomb to play.”

Now, as for the players themselves, that’s irrelevant to me. ToXy is one of the greats of the Australian FGC, and nothing can take that away from him. But I legitimately found the Melbourne scene to be very annoying, and slaying their GOD that they all d***rode was a strong motivation for me.

As for Antman, I just called their whole scene out, including Somniac, Burnout, Shadowfox etc and [Antman] was their up and comer but that’s pretty much where it ends – only Antman and Toxy accepted.

There was 7.2 grand on the ToXy match and 4.5 grand on the Antman match, so about 11 thousand dollars all up. (The biggest moneymatch in Australian history).

Youssef:

KG vs Antman happens first at OHN. KG was like “I’m definitely gonna beat Antman, but I’m worried about ToXy.” Antman beats KG even though everybody thought ToXy was the better player.

Spencer:

I remember when KG was playing Antman at the venue and I was the one that was announcing the score. After each match I would go 1-0, 2-1, whatever.

Ziggy leaned over to me and goes “You know it’s really obvious. When KG wins a match…how much more emotional you are?” (Laughs.)

And I think when Antman won a match I’d be like (deadpan): “Antman wins. 4-1”. And then “KG wins! KG wins the matchs! It’s 2-4!” (Laughs.) I tried to be unbiased, but it couldn’t be helped!

I remember I told people involved: Guys, we’re on a time limit [at the venue]. We have to leave by this time.

They would go: “Yeah, yeah we know we know.”

I’m like: “Seriously guys. Ziggy and I have calculated if you guys went to time-out with all the matches played – we need to start the matches like…now.”

And they went: “Yeah yeah yeah. We’ll do it, we’ll do it.” (And then they took forty minutes to count all the money.)

I went: “You guys haven’t done this yet? Why haven’t you done this?”

And obviously we went way over time. So I had to make the executive decision. I wasn’t going to allow people to stay and ruin OHN at that venue forever. So I had to get them to stop.

Youssef:

ToXy’s smelling blood, being the smart man that he is he’s like “No. We’re playing tonight. I don’t care what happens.”

Spencer:

ToXy was really pissed off at me. Everyone wanted to see the match – I wanted to see[it]! But you guys wasted forty-five minutes counting the money when I thought it was done beforehand. And I’m the one who copped it because I had to go: “Everybody has to leave.” I had to be the bad guy. And they were like: “OHN sucks. Ozhadou doesn’t know how to run tournaments.”

And that actually made me a bit sad. People assume that we had unlimited time.

Don’t get me wrong, if I wasn’t a TO and if I was spectating and they’re like oh we’re not playing the next match…I would be so cut as well! (Laughs.)

So I completely know where the players are coming from when they were angry with me. But I had to do what I had to do; I wasn’t ready to risk all the years ahead just so they could play that one match out.

Youssef:

We decide to play in the hotel room just down the street from the Red Room.

The security guard sees us coming in and is like: “Yo, there is way too many people. I cannot let you all go in.”

We decide only a few of us will go into the room. KG, ToXy goes there. Antman goes up. This is the year JB was streaming for us, so he was there too. I was there, Javid, Ali, Erks was there and a few other people like Heavy Weapons. We filled the room; there was a setup at the front.

The security guard goes to us and says “Look, I’ll let you guys go in, but if I hear a peep out of you guys or anybody makes any complaints –  I’m gonna kick you all out.” We’re like “Alright, sure. No worries.”

So we go to the hotel room and set it up. And we’re like: “Alright guys. No-one says a peep, we’re just gonna watch the first to 10.” JB was sitting on the middle on the floor in front of everyone and he was scorekeeper. So every time a match finishes JB would put his hands up in the air to signify the score.

So anytime anything hype happens no-one actually screamed. We were all just like “Ugh. Ermph.” under our breath because we were that worried – we wanted to see this through to the end. The security guard was really serious about kicking us out.

First match of the FT10 ToXy wins with a perfect. That’s Marvel. To win with a perfect in a game like Marvel that doesn’t come easy. Sydney was shaking. We were shaking.

KG just lost the moneymatch [to Antman] that we thought he was gonna win free, and the first match against the person he’s worried about he just lost to a perfect. Tonight is not gonna end on a good note for Sydney.

Melbourne were feeling themselves. They’re like: we got this man, this is so easy.

KG wins the second one. ToXy wins the next one. They trade games until ToXy wins his fifth game. KG wins his 5th win. It’s 5-5 at the moment. Going toe to toe.

As soon as KG wins the 5th one, download complete. KG wins the next five matches, easy.

He wins – as soon as he wins – Erks is sitting in the corner and we all haven’t said a word the entire time. So 15 matches were played and no one said an entire word or syllable. As soon as KG wins that match, Erks pops up and goes “YEAH. YEAH.” And we all collectively turned around at Erks and gave him the biggest “SHHH” you’ve ever seen. We scared him. It was as if all of us rehearsed together on how to shush him.

As soon he popped off, the entire room went “SHHH. SHHH.” And he piped down. That was amazing, they shook hands and everybody went out to Arisun (Korean restaurant in Chinatown) to feast on fried chicken.

I had this side bag on me and I was the official moneykeeper. My bag was full of money. If I got robbed that night…

Because before the match everyone was like: “Yo there’s too much money. Who’s gonna look after the money?”

And then for some weird reason everyone collectively agreed: Hey, let’s let the Arab guy hold onto all our money. (Laughs.)

After the moneymatch finished we were exhausted and we went to Arisun. We savour the moment, chilling out on the street, congratulating KG. Basking in the moment.

We all walked to Arisun, and sitting by the big glass window in the corner is Ziggy, Spencer, Yang and Melvin.

Spencer:

We were sitting at one table and after about forty minutes Youssef just shows up at the front of Arisun at the glass windows. At this time we hadn’t heard anything yet.

Youssef:

So I walk up to the glass. Spencer looks up at me, all excited. He mimes to me; who won?

Spencer:

Youssef just has a big smile on his face. And he’s just holding up money.

And we just pop off in the restaurant: Oh yo KG won? YOOOO!!

Youssef:

Me being the idiot that I am, I open up my bag which again is filled with about eleven thousand dollars worth of money and yell at the top of my lungs “FUCK MELBOURNEEE.”

Inside, they start laughing. Little do I know, sitting literally the very first row right in front of the glass and I didn’t see them because I looked past them at Spencer, is ToXy and all of Melbourne sitting right in front of me. So I screamed that right on top of their heads! (Laughs.)

Spencer:

We’re popping off hard, the other restaurant patrons are starting at us.

Youssef is at the window making the “make it rain” sign with his hands non-stop. I was like: YOOO! Then I looked over at the Melbourne guys who were just sitting there and realised: Damn this is really bad! (Laughs.)

Youssef:

They took it all in fun, though. I went in and we laughed it off and we consumed large amounts of chicken.


Dealing with Burnout

Spencer:

Burning out is a really big thing. There was one OHN that we had to get out at 7PM. I remember having to scramble to get everything out. We kicked people out at 630 and I spent the last thirty minutes just taking everything whatever was inside that room and just chucked them into any bag and just threw it out the door. It was really bad. We ended up having setups just on the outside on the sidewalk because people had to bring their cars around. I just did everything…that was a really tough year for me actually just getting everything out. And there were weeks afterwards where people couldn’t find their gear and games and I had to open up all the Xboxes to find someone’s else game.

I was really burnt out.

Justin:

I don’t I think burnt out until OHN9 or 10. That was more because of my own personal life. You suddenly go: wait I’ve been doing this for ten years?

It was becoming impractical for me to dedicate 3-4 months to do the nationals while not really being a player anymore. When I stopped becoming a player, competitive or not, when I knew I didn’t have the time to play anymore that made it harder to justify being an organiser.

I’m going to be real here. It was about money. And what I mean is – if I’m spending four months doing this, what am I getting out of this financially? Literally nothing. It’s actually costing me money. What am I doing this for? This is the wrong way around. It’s not how it’s supposed to work, you’re supposed to earn money for what you do right?

Another perspective: when you do something for ten years…I do enjoy it, I do love it…but you don’t get any money for it but it’s hard to justify to my family, friends.

How do you convince them…How do you tell them it’s worth doing. [My partner’s] like “You look so stressed doing this. You work so hard doing this…you sure it’s worth it?”

And then you step back and go…maybe she’s kinda right. (Laughs.)

So I looked at it and went: okay I stuck with it for ten years. That’s a lot. I feel like I’ve given a lot, I know I’m appreciated, people come and say thank you all the time.

Muttons: And you’ve got the perfect job for you now – making Fantasy Strike.

Yes. I’m where I want to be. I’m finally making the fighting games.

Ziggy:

It’s been 16 years but I guess first and foremost it’s definitely the people. If the people that I was doing events with weren’t awesome, I would very much not care. The fact that the teams that I’ve worked with have always been awesome on some level has kept me coming back. I think the stage where I was ready to walk away was when I was having creative differences with the people who were doing more work. And that made me want to sort of walk away. But once I started to be working with people again who were on the same page that got me reinvigorated to stick around.

There’s also the fact that…it’s kind of my baby, and it’s very hard to walk away. And then there’s also the fact that [though] I may be jaded about Capcom and I may not be much of a player of fighting games anymore…I still am a bit of a spectator and I still read the news about fighting games everyday for some stupid reason. I’m still invested, and even if the games might not be gripping me, that doesn’t mean that may not change in the future. And I’ll still rewatch…if you go back to Street Fighter IV which is not a game I like, I could watch the Daigo Valle Ryu mirror match over and over again.

To me that is glorious Street Fighter.

Spencer:

For me the reason why I stepped away was because I didn’t feel like I could give it everything that it deserves from me. I think I was at that point in my life where I don’t think I could have done much more. I still had plans for OHN, Ozhadou but they were things I couldn’t do by myself. They were always in the back of my mind so that one day if we ever got to that stage I could just pull them out. I always dreamt big.

I realised that I couldn’t bring more to the table, that I might have been holding it back. I didn’t want to keep everything to me, that would be selfish. That’s not how I roll, that’s not how I operate.

I wanted to give [it to] the people that were still invested in fighting games and the community. To take it from someone who was stepping away so they could grow and learn.

Yang:

I never really got burned out per se, if I didn’t go to OHN it was because I literally couldn’t.

This is more of a personal thing – growing up I had a lot of people help me throughout my life. As a result I like to pay it forward in my own way. Most OHNs – maybe Ziggy can attest to this – afterwards we would complain about not doing it ever again. But something in us says: let’s just do it next year. We never have been about making money. All the profits that Ozhadou gets goes back into the community. The money that is leftover from tournament entry might go to keeping the server up. If anyone knows anything about running tournaments, there’s hardly any money in there. People do it for the love.

Jack:

It’s one word: Love. Love for the game.

I love Third Strike so much I didn’t play any other game. And because of that game I kept on going. And I think because of my unconditional love for the game I won a lot of friends. Third Strike is not a very popular game amongst Street Fighters. You either love it or hate it.

Back then we had a lot of different game leaders. But I was the only one to keep a game going whereas the other games died out because of the love and dedication I have for the game, and people kept supporting me. I really thank those guys.

Phrances Xharmagne C “pxc” (Ozhadou Webmaster and Events Coordinator 2011-current):

I like seeing it come together. From my initial memories of watching people get hype over rivalries, I like seeing that happen and in the venue when everything comes together to make that happen it feels good.

Being the enabler for [magic moments].

Jarop:

Burnout is definitely the factor. And it’s not a question of if; it’s a question of when.

As somebody who’s been doing it for a while now at the ripe old age of 24: whenever I see somebody interested coming up, you need to tame their eagerness a little bit. Even if they’re eager to do more stuff, try and guess about where you think their means are. I know with Henry specifically he’s had to pull out of pretty much every tournament just to run stuff at YSB. And that sucks, so I think the challenge with new people is you sort of have to do a bit of people reading to see how passionate they are but also try and make sure they don’t lose that passion by getting too caught up in the weeds.

The responsibility for the more seasoned TOs is to sort of guide the people into a spot where they can do both. These people aren’t coming in to TO, they’re coming in for their love of the game. And you need to be able to make sure you can nurture that while contributing which is a really selfless and often thankless job.

Kyokugen:

I don’t know I think it’s just the people, and the love for the game as well. It’s like when we went to EVO, all the people there are gathering for the same thing so you have the same sort of appreciation and mindset towards that. It’s that feeling of commonality.

And also if I don’t do it, I don’t know who else will. (Laughs.) It’s this weird spiteful thing that keeps me going.

The way I approach the FGC organising: as long as I keep learning something I’m willing to stay on. So yeah I’m playing the game, but just think outside the game, think about the community, think about setups, then once you get that knowledge then I’ve kinda gone “ah what’s next”…maybe I can get into streaming. There’s things that need to be done. That’s why I got into stick modding. The knowledge I guess.

We’re masochists, you have to take the good with the bad. You have to take Soo-han with the trackpants.


OHN Traditions

Youssef:

When you talk OHN and you say traditions…everybody thinks of the same thing. The afterparty.

Every year after OHN as soon as that last medal is handed out on the Sunday night, we are automatically no more business. We are all about fun. Because games are great, but more than games, we’re here for the company. We’ve had our fill, we’ve played our games, we’ve done our thing, now it’s time for us to enjoy each other and we go to Karaoke – that’s definitely an OHN tradition year in and year out.

And I like the fact that every OHN every year after we announce OHN I get an influx of messages of people not even asking me about stuff about what games are gonna be there or what state vs. state exhibitions are going to happen…

I get messages asking me: “Hey man. Is OHNK gonna be on this year?”

Yang:

It would have been OHN3 and it was a split between one day at UTS and one day at Playtime. And the second day at UTS we had Singstar on a console. And then at the following OHN someone just decided: let’s go to karaoke. And in Sydney around that time we had a few players having to leave the country and we all decided to celebrate by having karaoke as well. And we thought – we had such a good time with the farewell, why not do that for the international players as well.

I just took it upon myself every single year for the next few years to try to organise something for that. Yeah you went 2 and out, that’s fine. But you can at least hang out with some other players that went 2 and out as well, have a drink, play some dice, sing some songs and feel a bit better about yourself.

Justin:

Have you ever seen the Singstar trailer that we made? It was a trailer for either OHN4 or 5, and it was embarrassing, terrible Singstar things of me, Aurik, Benson, Yang…a whole bunch of us just doing stuff. We filmed it during one of the OHNs but we used it as an ad for the next OHN.

We used to always eat at one of these places in Chinatown. (Arisun was a later tradition after OHN7-8.) This place was around Sussex street, a big Chinese restaurant and we’d all go in and take up a floor. It was always after finals day, we’d all go out and have a meal.

That to me were fond memories. Having a meal together, laughing and talking about the games and what happened and everything else. And everyone was there. It wasn’t just Sydney people, it was Sydney and Melbourne, bonding and chatting away and having fun.

Joey:

The meal after the last day. I don’t remember what the place was called…but I remember the food…I remember eating fried rice!

Muttons:

It’s funny the diversity you have in the fighting game community. You got Lebanese dudes, white dudes, Chinese dudes, Vietnamese dudes all eating Chinese food and fried rice together.

Joey:

It’s great man. That diversity is so nice. The nicest thing I think about that final meal is…there’s always a core group right? And there would always be some new faces too. And they’re like: “Fuck this is cool.” Someone who wanted to come along and share, all growing together. Those were really good days man.

Xharmagne:

Also we have an organiser’s tradition where it’s usually a dinner afterwards, a debriefing where we have a proper dinner and thank the organisers. I like that tradition but I like how last year it wasn’t just the main organisers we also invited some of the volunteers and streamers so it became more of a thank you dinner.

Yang:

OHN5 as well- we had the entire event on console. That was the one that ToXy, Rodmole, Carnage first came to Sydney for OHN. I recall Tom – he didn’t get to eat a lot during the day because of tournament – and he was drinking quite a lot. He disappeared into the bathroom and we found him hugging the toilet seat. It was an adventure taking him back to the hotel because everyone besides myself was drunk. All I could see at the end of it was a line of people sitting on the curb outside of Ksquare and they all looked defeated.

Over the years more and more interstaters came to OHN and more engagement, and I can’t speak for Ziggy – but you can see the retention of players. Mostly because they had such a good time that they came coming back.

A lot of the time when you’re brand new in a community you keep to yourself and you may not come back because you didn’t feel you bonded with anyone. So often when there’s a brand new person I’ve never met before I try to make them feel welcome so they always come back. And some of those players have moved on, that’s just the nature of gaming in general and life. But I do hope that these tournaments they attended – it was a memorable one.

Carnage and Rodmole look on, OHN7.

Youssef:

The first time when I saw George do the Jay Chou, that will stay with me forever. To put it in perspective George is a reserved, quiet guy, every syllable that comes out of his mouth is super calculated. He’s always calm, stone cold face. Enter OHN Karaoke and party animal George comes out to play. Give him a mic in his hand and he’s busting down this hectic Chinese rap and going ham not missing a single syllable. I’m like, is that the same George that I’ve always known?

I’m gotta give love to one and only Black Thunder himself, my boy Abi. He will seduce with his karaoke skills. He is one smooth operator. Put him, the mic and a Michael Jackson tune and it’s magic.

Yang the karaoke king. His voice is godlike. Carlos has a strong voice. New talent on the scene- all the way from Perth the boy James aka Sinjo and his girlfriend Nita are the best karaoke duo ever, both on point with their voice and karaoke, and they’ve both absolutely lovable human beings.

Xharmagne:

I really like how the OHN traditional afterparty has nothing to do with fighting games. You can finally wind down, I’ve had a whole weekend of fighting games let’s do something different.

Jarop:

I think there’s this joint sense of “I’m here with the family, we’ve only got a few hours left together, let’s make the most of it.”

It was cool last year that some of the Japanese players like Itazan whose English isn’t fantastic but he came out and he was belting out Queen.

Xharmagne:

We had Itazan, Lingo and Henry playing dice in the room. Imagine Itazan playing the dice game and it’s all mind games so he enjoyed it.

Jarop:

It’s not like there’s the Tekken room, the NRS room. It’s just rooms of people that you would never expect to mix just having a good time. Bill from Tekken just coming around and taking random selfies with person and making new friends. I went in the Tekken room just to see what’s up. They saw me pop my head in there and they were just like come, come, come. And I ended up chilling with the Tekken guys for an hour. It’s not just the Street Fighter and Tekken community, it’s the fighting game community and that really embodies them.

That is my favourite OHN tradition because it really just emphasizes the community aspect. It was so sobering to see so many of the internationals get involved, even Lingo who doesn’t speak any English.

Bill doing what Bill does, OHN14K

In the next and final part of the Oral History of Ozhadou Nationals OHN moves to the Menzies and we get some final words from our TOs! You can check out Part One here | Part Two here.


OHN15 will be the biggest OHN yet: a Capcom Pro Tour and Tekken World Tour event held at the Hilton Sydney on 15-17 September with a main games lineup consisting of Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Injustice 2, Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros for WiiU. There is a wide range of medal games with the likes of Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Third Strike, The King of Fighters XIV, Virtua Fighter 5 and much more.

Register now: http://ohn.ozhadou.net/

For all things Ozhadou go to: http://www.ozhadou.net/

Follow Ozhadou at: https://www.facebook.com/Ozhadou/

Hope to see you there!

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