TGoN gets in the ring for the triumphant return of this growing east coast tournament extravaganza!

After two or so sunny hours of driving, about two pit stops, and a playlist that devolved into cheesy 90’s euro industrial, we arrived, finally to the Hampton Roads Convention Center. That “finally” was truly felt, as while I felt the familiar excitement, it still hasn’t completely sunk in. BITE is back, and we are here.

image courtesy of Arcade Impact

For those who are unfamiliar, Beast in the East began as a rhythm game tournament. Soon after, the fighting game community later would be welcomed in as BITE would continue to grow. That was until Covid hit. It wouldn’t be until August 26th, 2022, that the event could be held in person.

image courtesy of Arcade Impact

Here we were, back again. The palpable excitement of a bunch of good people gathered to play games they love washed over me. I slumped down at the Street Fighter 3rd Strike cabinet, hit start, and within seconds “Here comes a new challenger!” flashed before my tired eyes. Comfort food for FGC nerds. It was so very good to be back.

image courtesy of Arcade Impact

Bright electronic bounces in the distance from the neon landscape of the myriad dancing and rhythm games; crowds of happy players cheer as a duo takes on a particularly impressive song. The low growl of fighting games noise undercuts the room, an audio soup of familiar sounds. There are almost too many to take in, and I want to play them all! If you’ve ever looked for a worthy opponent in Wakku Wakku 7, this is the place with the magic to make that happen.

image courtesy of Arcade Impact

Every BITE, the team pushes themselves past their power level, putting this together. A lot of hard work from a few very dedicated folks goes into making BITE possible, and it’s evident in the vibe. I’ve been to my share of tournaments, but the mixed convention/tourney feel of BITE stands out. I can honestly say that I get the pre-match jitters much less at this event than at any other I’ve attended. Here is such a comfortable, fun air about the convention center all weekend. I’m starting to lament the long months till BITE 6 just thinking about it.

image courtesy of Arcade Impact

While I didn’t get 1st in any tournaments (top 5, baby!), I had a damn near spiritual experience over the weekend. The universe lined up somewhere between fireballs and block strings, and everything felt frame-perfect. BITE is growing every year, and the more folks come out, the better the event gets. o matter where you live if you play competitive games, go to events and tournaments! It’s an amazing feeling to be surrounded by people who wanna have fun and play the games you love. And if you find yourself around Virginia towards the end of the summer, why not come see what all the fuss is about? You may find friends and rivals new and old. You could fall in love with a game you’ve never played. You could win a tournament! You will, however, have a fantastic weekend with some amazing people that’ll have you excited for the next one. You will most certainly see me there for the next round!

Images credited to and courtesy of Arcade Impact. ITE 5 logo credited to and courtesy of BITE Gaming.