Canada’s biggest FGC tournament returned for an epic and unforgettable weekend.
This year's Get On My Level (GOML 2023) event returned to unite players from all walks of life. Between July 21 and 23, competitors participated in games such as Super Smash Bros. Melee, Guilty Gear: Strive, Street Fighter 6, and more. Folks also cheered on their favorite players when they duked it out against others on the live stage.
Hungrybox and Xarique Tech at GOML 2023
Among the favorite players was Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma, who accidently broke his controller during a match. Hungrybox said that the Z-button on his controller shattered when he tried to fix it from getting stuck. Luckily, Erik from Xarique Tech reached out to him and replaced the button.
What makes Xarique Tech's controllers unique is the consistency and style with notching, Erik told esports.gg. "I've been having a lot of fun making these new Phob 2.0.5 boards 'cause these new boards just came out a few months ago and I've already assembled 50 of them," he said.
Erik took inspiration from various sources when he got back into Super Smash Bros. Melee in 2017. He watched countless YouTube tutorials and videos to learn about customizing controllers.
"I had my old spice orange controller from when I was a kid and I bought a Tri-Wing online, waited for it to come in, unscrewed it, cleaned it, and I was just hooked ever since. I've been modding for almost four years now," he said.
GOML 2023 and the Canadian esports scene
In addition to vendors and artists, the event attracted key individuals in the Canadian esports scene for fighting games. Randy "MissingNin" Le, for example, represents a fighting game community (FGC) in Mississauga. He traveled to downtown Toronto all the way from there to compete in Street Fighter 6 as a Kimberly main.
"It was kind of a dying scene, but we're starting to regrow again because of Street Fighter 6," MissingNin told esports.gg "And I'm mainly here today just for the competition. A lot of good players come down from around the GTA, and if you're trying to be serious with Street Fighter, this is a good time to learn and get matchup experience."
Jonathan "Sholumbo" Abalos attended GOML 2023 to do just that. He told esports.gg that it was his first time competing at an FGC event.
"It's my first event," Sholumbo said. "So I really want to see how people just organize everything, how they do camaraderie, all the different groups coming together, how they act when someone wins or loses. I've always heard about the FTC being really welcoming, and as I can see here, it is really nice to see that in person."
Sholumbo was joined by his friend Nicholas "Hyperstar" Ly, who also found the event to be very welcoming. As a Zato-1 main and Cammy main, he competed in both Guilty Gear Strive and Street Fighter 6.
Get On My Level supports women in gaming
Elsewhere at the event was Jessica Medeiros. As the founder of Femme Gaming, she had a booth at GOML 2023 to help normalize the presence of women in gaming and counteract the toxicity often found online and in gaming communities.
"We've been getting a lot of inquiries about Femme Gaming and what we're doing here, so I think it's nice to add a little bit of pink and purple to the event and make the woman feel included," Medeiros told esports.gg. "We also have some men coming up to us wanting to learn so they can have their girlfriends play as well."
Medeiros added how she appreciates that GOML 2023 values inclusivity. Working with organizers who treat everyone equally and create a safe space for every participant means a lot to her.
That's all for now. Stay tuned on esports.gg for more news and updates!