Prime Time Tekken, feat. Ed

Alex Beaven
4 min readJun 16, 2021


As online tournaments have become the momentary standard for the fighting game community, numerous weekly event series were formed for regions to keep their players connected. For the Northeast American Tekken scene, Trace Complete kept the competitive fire burning in the hearts of those still looking to prove themselves in the digital arena.

Source: @TraceComplete.

Organized and operated by Ed Ropple, Trace Complete began running online brackets in March 2020 to give the Boston Tekken scene a way to continue regional competition during the pandemic.

“I mostly just started out of boredom. I had done video for the Boston locals for about a year and a half before I set it aside but once COVID started, I figured I might as well do this. Online video is a little different, but we pretty much got to the point where it was all that show. I’d like to say that the fourth video is recognizably the same show as the last one.”

Though the first few brackets were just Boston locals, Iron Fist Fridays quickly grew into a larger regional event with players from the New York scene and surrounding areas joining the competition. Ed mentioned local players AED, Sloth, Sandwich and Montel Chilliams as a few standout names from the Boston scene who have continued to grind in Iron Fist Fridays brackets even as new competition arrived every Friday.

From a technical standpoint, Ed always ensured high quality broadcasts using a multi-computer setup running a combination of vMix and Open Broadcaster Software.

“If you see a truck at a sporting event, unless it’s something like NBA, you’ll likely see them using vMix or something like it, like Wirecast or a Tricaster. vMix is super cheap as a professional software so it’s very achievable for someone doing this professionally. Pretty much everything I have done has been stock vMix stuff that I’ve customized to do what I wanted, or has been implemented with vMix features the way anyone can. For running two lobbies, Iused OBS on a separate computer and ran it over the network because OBS is really good at just capturing that footage.”

Iron Fist Fridays stream layout. Source: Trace Complete on YouTube.

Ed’s professional background with software allowed for a higher production value than many online fighting game events, though he insists that the process is actually quite simple once the blueprint is set.

Over the past year, Trace Complete hosted 49 Iron Fist Fridays brackets and assisted with events like Resist the Iron Fist and Transitional Combat 2.

“The last five to ten of them were probably my favorites, because they were all very chill experiences with folks I like and respect. For our one-year anniversary show, I got Arya to show up and he obviously didn’t have to do that; I was incredibly indebted to him. I didn’t know who any of these people really were before COVID, and so meeting people was a big plus.”

Ed noted how many community members have had the chance to dabble more in commentary through Iron Fist Fridays, notably JustASpirit and Chenzho. Ed and VectorSpecter were given the opportunity to do commentary for Frosty Faustings as well, after sharpening their hosting skills through Iron Fist Fridays.

While Ed recognizes the ability for people to grow their personal platforms as known names in the FGC, he hopes that the community aspect of running tournaments is not lost in the future.

Source: @ChicagoTekken.

“Ultimately, I think the point of doing this stuff is the community; it’s basically community service. Some people may be afraid that they may lose viewers due to competition and that’s the most disappointing aspect of all of this. Early on, every week I’d run slides showing events in the community, and only Chicago Tekken reciprocated. Between us, PuppySwarm and I were at least able to do some cool stuff like Resist The Iron Fist.”

Despite the occasional lack of cooperation noted by Ed, he has continued to go out of his way in trying to set an example of how a content creator can serve the FGC.

Trace Complete also recently announced an event benefiting The Trevor Project, named Fight For Pride. The tournament will be held on June 26, 2021 and is yet another charity event presented by Trace Complete with the intent of bringing the Tekken community together while contributing to a greater cause.

Source: @TraceComplete.

After the COVID era of online Tekken, Ed plans on slowing down his community participation as offline events begin to return.

“I’ll be helping with Street Fighter things for Casa and we do have a thing in July, New England Online Reloaded, but those are the only fighting game things at the moment. Honestly I’m kinda burned out, and a year of intensively doing this stuff is definitely gonna do it.”

Though Iron Fist Fridays may be coming to an end, the impact it had on the online Tekken community and the Boston scene is quite apparent. Trace Complete’s attention to technical detail and the level of care Ed put into his streams was quite noticeable, and he certainly raised the bar for fighting game broadcasts.

Be sure to follow Ed on Twitter at @edropple, and follow Trace Complete at @TraceComplete and