Alex Jebailey has trolled the fighting game community with the announcement of their own “NFT” – but it’s not what you’d expect.

Community Effort Orlando, one of the most iconic fighting game tournaments of the year, recently released the trailer for the 2022 edition of their event. Business as usual for the FGC - typically events like this are announced months in advance so folks can buy hotel rooms and pre-register. However, this time CEO's owner Alex Jebailey had a bit of fun with the fighting game community. He announced that CEO would be doing a NFT, which was met with outcry - or at least until people watched the trailer.

In a bit of a gutsy move, the trailer opens with the usual fanfare announcing the new tournament. But immediately after it says it will feature a "NFT" - except NFT, in this case, stands for Nice Fun Tournament. They must've known this would cause something of an uproar because it was even subtitled with a nice "jebaited."

We see what you did there, Alex.
We see what you did there, Alex.

This about sums up the reaction from most in the FGC:

Jebailey broke down his reasoning for the joke in a stream debuting the trailer:

"I have my reasons for everything I do. With the way everyone feels [about NFTs]? I talk to a lot of companies, have a lot of incredible sponsors that let us do everything we're planning on doing with production, pay staff, etc. A lot of people from a lot of industries are looking into what everyone hates. Everything I have from the last 24 hours, I can show to sponsors to show why it doesn't belong in the FGC.

What games will be at CEO 2022?

CEO 2022 will take place in Daytona, Florida, returning to the coastal city after outgrowing its Orlando roots. The tournament will run from June 24-26, barring any cancelations due to COVID-19. Jebailey ran a successful event at the end of 2021 in Orlando, and did not have much in the way of complications from COVID, so here's hoping.

The event will take place at the scenic Ocean Center and Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront resort.

CEO 2022 will feature competition in a wide variety of titles including:

  • Street Fighter V: Championship Edition
  • Tekken 7
  • Guilty Gear Strive
  • Smash Ultimate
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • Dragonball FighterZ
  • Melty Blood: Type Lumina
  • King of Fighters XV
  • Super Smash Bros Melee
  • Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
  • Blaz Blue: Cross Tag Battle
  • Blaz Blue: Central Fiction
  • Def Jam Fight for NY
  • Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo
  • Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
  • Capcom vs SNK 2

Why do gamers hate NFTs so much?

The answer to that is a rather complex one. For one, many gamers see the amount of energy required to create most NFTs and think it's a bit of a waste. We're a (mostly) socially conscious bunch, so anything that requires that much energy and doesn't have much real practical application is going to get some backlash.

For another, it's a highly speculative market dominated by digital art, at present. The widely accepted meme about this is that most of these pieces can be obtained simply by taking a screenshot or right-clicking them and saving them.

Lastly, it's new technology that's in its infancy. Many are still trying to figure out how to implement these pieces of data in interesting and usable ways. Projects like MechaFightClub, for example, set out to use the technology in a way that makes sense and is innovative. Meanwhile, projects like Ubisoft's use of NFTs, which could be done with more traditional methods, get pushback because people don't see it as a necessary evil.

So, in other words, it was a great joke and read the room pretty much perfectly for the current climate in gaming. With so many esports organizations coming out with their own NFTs, something some consider marketing suicide, a tongue-in-cheek way to bring it up was well played indeed.

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