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The Florida fighting game community (FGC) saw an old friend return this past weekend in the form of TNS, or Tampa Never Sleeps, with its eighth inaugural event. The founder of the event, Tong Lee, who is also the Chief of Staff and Head Tournament Organizer of CEO Gaming, brought this much-beloved event back after a two-year hiatus, and the best players in Florida and beyond came to play. The event featured several headlining games including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with a $1,000 pot bonus, as well as other FGC staples like Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and more. In addition to that were several notable side events including Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Capcom vs. SNK 2, and Beyblade. Yes, you read that right, BEYBLADE, and it was hype.

The event was held at the Holiday Inn Westshore in Tampa, FL. TNS is a 24-hour venue, which is the best thing to ever happen to fighting game tournaments. The venue was open all day and night from opening on Saturday morning to closing on Sunday evening. This makes staying on site or close by all the more valuable, by being able to walk down to the venue and always see someone ready to play some games.

Tampa Never Sleeps

The event covered two large ballrooms. The main room dedicated half its space to various Smash titles, with a large projection screen to watch the many games available on stream. On the other side, the space was split between setups and a stream/viewing area for Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Soul Calibur 6, Mortal Kombat 11, and more. Next to that room was what was lovingly termed the “Anime Room,” which saw setups and brackets being run for Dragon Ball FighterZ, Under Night In-Birth, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, and other side events all with its own dedicated stream setup. Outside the doors of the main room were two arcade cabinets set up with Street Fighter II Turbo and Street Fighter III Third Strike, which saw plenty of play all weekend. Then across from that was a smaller room dedicated solely to Beyblade, which was only open on Saturday.

TNS’s famous “Tampa Never Spells” tournament also took place on Sunday, which saw Miami local and up-and-coming commentator Christian “TeamKhris” Bauman taking the gold for the second year in a row. In addition, notable players such as NuckleDu, Hotashi, and Mew2King all came to play Street Fighter V, Guilty Gear, and Melee respectively. The event was not lacking in fierce competition as pros and notable locals all came to fight for glory.

Tampa Never Sleeps

TNS is not a fancy event, and as a regional-level event, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of bigger events like CEO, EVO, etc. But it isn’t meant to either. TNS is a no-frills, pure FGC event, and it is a blessing to the community. The staff was wonderful and having so many experienced TOs like Tong, Alex Jebailey, the founder of CEO, and others on hand ensured that the event would be run correctly by people who know what they are doing.  This quality was rewarded as TNS 8 smashed previous years’ attendance records with 660 paid entrants. For the Florida and Georgia FGC, TNS is an event we are so happy to have back by providing the purest FGC experience possible. Thank you so much to Tong for hosting another amazing event, and I personally can’t wait for next year.

Here are the results of the main games this year.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

EVO Japan

1. eUnited Samsora

2. MVG Salem

3. GoTE Vinny G

4. MuteAce

5. APE Goblin

5.  Myran

7. ZekeTRP

7. Morpheus

Street Fighter V

EVO Japan

1. BxA Squall

2. M NuckleDu

3. SuperKamiCuby

4. My Wallet DR Mandrake

5. Orwando

5. GB Dapvip

7. Alex

7. TNS Jarbo

Tekken 7

EVO Japan

1. NG-Obscure

2. BxA Squall

3. BxA Reflex

4. Mae Mae

5. GoTE InitialB

5. Hornzisbadgg

7. JRICE Strider

7. BxA Lord Shyste

Blazblue Cross Tag Battle

EVO Japan

1. Razzo

2. TLH Totally Drew

3. Sandwich

4. Silverking

5. Manny

5. Lokreah

7. Dannyboy

7. MystPro Hee-Homeboy

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Tampa Never Sleeps

1. Red X

2. A2M NaturalHaste

3. Shinobi

4. Secreas


5. Finnesedan

7. BxA Mr Mulatto

7. MOOEY Perfeccion