AI leaders to host Street Fighter III bot tournament with $15K in prizes

Virginia Glaze

Fighting game fans are sure to raise their eyebrows at this latest esports project, which pits AIs against each other for a first-of-its-kind ‘bot vs bot’ Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike tournament series.

Step aside, Daigo — it’s time for AI to take the main stage. Although the fighting game community is deeply rooted in competition between human players, a group of AI “free-thinkers” is here to change this in a move that they claim will be a massive shift in the world of competitive gaming.

Enter ‘AI Prize Fight,’ a new online-only tournament series that “merges artificial intelligence with competitive gaming.” In this tournament, both fighting game players and AI enthusiasts can train a bot in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike to battle on their behalf by submitting prompts to a language-learning model, LLM Colosseum.

AI Prize Fight is pitting the best bots against each other for more than $15,000 in prizes.

Players can sign up for the competition as team dojos and submit their prompts. Other players can then join the dojos they believe have the best prompts. These dojos will include members of the independent AI movement, as well as prominent web3 communities.

AI Prize Fight will kick off in June 2024 in ‘Friday Night Fight’ weekly matches. These battles will culminate in what’s promised to be an “epic grand finale,” with over $15,000 in prizes including a Tier 3 Node from Wire Network, 6079 experience points, and more.

AI Prize Fight is orchestrated by a number of “thought leaders” in the independent AI space; specifically, 6079, Wire Network, Morpheus, Hyberbolic, and Exabits.

“At its core, AI Prize Fight is not just an event; we’re hoping to introduce a pivotal new chapter for AI esports,” said Mike Anderson, CEO of AI Layer Labs and core contributor to the 6079 protocol. 

“We believe this is a novel concept that can change the landscape of esports by introducing AI-driven gameplay through prompt engineering. The process combines human ingenuity and machine learning to create an entirely new form of entertainment.”

AI is nothing new in the world of fighting games. In fact, an Eddy Gordo bot has been wreaking havoc in Tekken 8 as of late, spamming the capoeira fighter’s left kick and working its way up the ranked ladder thanks to “exactly 21 lines of Python.”

Tekken 8’s Super Ghost AI system has also sparked some conversation from players, as it creates a near-perfect ‘copy’ of a player that can be used for training purposes.

One player was able to save the ‘Ghost’ of their deceased brother, who died shortly after the game was released, allowing him to play with his sibling even after he was gone — a story that managed to catch the attention of series director and producer Katsuhiro Harada.

Even AI tournaments themselves aren’t a novel concept in the FGC. Players have been pitting bots against each other for quite some time now, but watching two Level 8 CPUs play against each other has become a notable pastime among Street Fighter 6 players.

We’ll just have to see if AI Prize Fight truly “changes the landscape” of esports as it hopes to do, or whether or not the FGC chooses to embrace this latest form of competition.