KONAMI Arcade Championship

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KONAMI Arcade Championship

The KONAMI Arcade Championship (KAC) is an annual competition hosted by KONAMI for some of its games series including the following BEMANI arcade series:

The KACs usually have four rounds:

  1. Qualifying Round: All players with an e-amusement pass can submit their scores to any of the groups. Only players from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand, along with the United States and Canada (for the DanceDanceRevolution series only) may participate. jubeat also has teams of up to 4 players.
  2. Japan Semifinal Round (since The 7th KAC): The 8 top-ranked players or teams from the East and West areas compete separately.
  3. Semifinal Round: The 4 top-ranked players or teams from each group compete.
  4. Final Round: The 2 top-ranked players or teams compete to be the champion.

For the sake of convenience, only the information for BEMANI divisions is reflected in this article.

KAC2011

The first installment had 12 games in total, including seven BEMANI titles. Each participant participated in one of five regions: Hokkaido/Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kansai/Chugoku, and Shikoku/Kyushu/Okinawa, based on the participant's prefecture they reside on.

The Qualifying Rounds are split into two parts that are held on two periods: September 29th - October 23rd for the first part, and October 26th - November 6th for the second part. Each part had three songs with an assigned difficulty for each song, and with some modifier restrictions (such as no using AUTO modifiers and required clearing). The first part qualified 100 players per region who advanced to the second part. The second part qualified only the top four players per region (eight in REFLEC BEAT, twelve in jubeat) to the Final Round.

The Final Round was split into two parts as well: Regional Finals and National Finals. In the Regional Finals, players competed in a series of songs and the player with the highest score moved on to the National Finals. The five finalists advancing to the National Finals competed with the same rules, with each finalist having a song of their choice, and the finalist with the highest score after the round was named the champion for the division.

The winners of this KONAMI Arcade Championship were the following:

Participating Games
beatmania IIDX DanceDanceRevolution GuitarFreaks DrumMania jubeat pop'n music REFLEC BEAT
DOLCE. BROSONI. APRICOT MISTER.S VE*K.DSN TATSU N.E.X.T.

KAC Asia

Another tournament for players in Korea, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong and Singapore. The format for KACA is similar to the original KAC2011 but without the regional finals.

The winners of this KONAMI Arcade Championship were the following:

Participating Games
beatmania IIDX DanceDanceRevolution GuitarFreaks DrumMania jubeat REFLEC BEAT
ROCK* 513 LOKI.LEN unknown SI-OT AB.C-D^^

2012

KONAMI Arcade Championship 2012 introduced two new BEMANI series to the competition: DanceEvolution and SOUND VOLTEX, of which the latter would become a KAC staple. With the exception of the pop'n music division, KAC2012 also allowed Asian contestants to participate in the competition, though with different rules and format.

The Qualifier Period was held from October 1st to November 4th. At the start of the Qualifying Period, only a few songs were picked as Qualifying songs but as weeks passed, a number of Qualifying songs were added gradually. Similar to the last KAC, only a few players with the top scores moved on to the Final Round.

In addition to the Qualifier Round, a special division, BEMANI Master was added, which would award points based on the participation of nine BEMANI titles. Up to 700 points could be earned for one division by placing first, and minus 1 point per each placement, all the way down to the 500th place (201). The winner of this special division was DOLCE..

The Finals were held on three days from November 23rd to 25th. Similar to the last KAC, the Finals were held on two parts, Regional Finals and National Finals, with the exception of SOUND VOLTEX for the Asian region. Six finalists advanced to compete in the National Finals and the winner was determined based on the highest score.

For the SOUND VOLTEX division, in addition to the Finals, a special FLOOR contest was held from September 6th to September 19th whereas artists submitted their compositions to participate. The entry deemed best was awarded as Highest Excellence and was unveiled first on the finals on that day. A total of 12 entries were accepted, with BlackY's Max Burning!! being awarded as the Highest Excellence song.

The winners of this KONAMI Arcade Championship were the following:

Participating Games
beatmania IIDX DanceDanceRevolution DanceEvolution GuitarFreaks DrumMania jubeat pop'n music REFLEC BEAT SOUND VOLTEX
MADOKA GAHOU まろさん GIL. NKN-FAL II-L-Y TATSU A.N.C.B REMILIA

2013

Due to the number of potential players, the format for the Qualifier Rounds was revised, changing from divisions into courses. Japanese players qualified from any one of the five courses, and Asian players qualified from its Asian course. A total of 16 players (3 each from the five Japanese courses and 1 from the Asian course) advanced to the Finals. The BEMANI Master division also returned, with ほしケチぺったんたん being named the winner.

The Finals were also split into two parts, with only a few top players advancing to the second part to determine the winner. For SOUND VOLTEX, GuitarFreaks and DrumMania, a single-elimination bracket was held.

For the FLOOR contest, two songs out of the 20 accepted entries were awarded Highest Excellence: かめりあ's Bangin' Burst and cosMo@暴走P's For UltraPlayers. For the first time, an APPEAL CARD FLOOR Contest was also held for designs.

The winners of this KONAMI Arcade Championship were the following:

Participating Games
beatmania IIDX DanceDanceRevolution DanceEvolution GuitarFreaks DrumMania jubeat pop'n music REFLEC BEAT SOUND VOLTEX
DOLCE. RIN-GO!! aiすくりぃむ.i ぴこ MISTER.S FEFEMZ* TATSU NICHAN.T XD2.BOT (えつや)

The 4th

The 4th KONAMI Arcade Championship saw numerous changes: the naming scheme has been changed from year to ordinal because the schedule did not end within the single year, and the competition was held on JAEPO which has been a staple since. ミライダガッキ FutureTomTom participated in the event, though only the highest-ranked player in the qualifier rounds was immediately declared the winner. pop'n music also introduced the one-off Ojama division, which challenged players with applied modifier/Ojama restrictions. The BEMANI Master special category was removed. The finals for the tournament would run concurrently with another tournament, 天下一音ゲ祭, which would run for another four years until its final installment in 2019.

The finals introduced six final round songs for seven out of 11 divisions: Chrono Diver -PENDULUMs- for beatmania IIDX, EBONY & IVORY for BeatStream, Everlasting Message for SOUND VOLTEX, MODEL DD ULTIMATES for both DrumMania and GuitarFreaks divisions, RINИE for pop'n music, and 伐折羅-vajra- for REFLEC BEAT. The FLOOR contest accepted 28 entries with ぺのれり's Everlasting Message named as the Highest Excellence song.

The winner for the SOUND VOLTEX division could not be decided on February 14th due to a technical bug that prevented the song from playing (and was subsequently replaced by For UltraPlayers). It was postponed until March 22nd, 2015 during the EXIT TUNES DANCE PARTY -beatnation summit 2015-. On the same day, KAC 2012 ULTIMATE MEDLEY -HISTORIA SOUND VOLTEX- was also unveiled and made available for players immediately after the competition ended.

The winners of this KONAMI Arcade Championship were the following:

Participating Games
beatmania IIDX BeatStream DanceDanceRevolution DanceEvolution GuitarFreaks DrumMania jubeat pop'n music REFLEC BEAT SOUND VOLTEX ミライダガッキ FutureTomTom
TOKI PAPPUS FEFEMZ* レミー にるなっつ B9TRIA.A A.K.R-Y TATSU NICHAN.T XD2.BOT ほしケチ

The 5th

  • Qualifying period:
    • December 3rd, 2015 - January 7th, 2016 (jubeat, pop'n music, REFLEC BEAT and SOUND VOLTEX divisions)
    • December 3rd, 2015 - January 20th, 2016 (beatmania IIDX, BeatStream, DanceDanceRevolution, DanceEvolution, DrumMania and GuitarFreaks divisions)
    • December 10th, 2015 - January 7th, 2016 (MÚSECA division only)
  • Final round:
    • January 30th, 2016 (jubeat, MÚSECA, pop'n music, REFLEC BEAT and SOUND VOLTEX divisions; Tokaigi 2016)
    • February 20th, 2016 (beatmania IIDX, BeatStream, DanceDanceRevolution, DanceEvolution, DrumMania and GuitarFreaks divisions; JAEPO 2016)
  • Website: http://p.eagate.573.jp/game/kac5th/

The 5th KAC follows the changes from the previous tournament and added a few more qualification methods including beatmania IIDX INFINITAS and the inclusion of the Female category in pop'n music. It is the only competition with Tokaigi 2016 to held the finals for some divisions.

Eight songs were unveiled during the final round: Blaze (GuitarFreaks), CHERNOBOG (BeatStream), Godspeed (beatmania IIDX), Lachryma《Re:Queen’M》 (SOUND VOLTEX), Rebellio (REFLEC BEAT), Stellar Notes (DrumMania), 激走!!ヤング☆ダンプ! and 恋歌疾風!かるたクイーンいろは (pop'n music). For the first time in FLOOR contest, award categories are expanded into three categories of merit: Prize (awarded to five songs), Excellence (awarded to two songs), and Highest Excellence (awarded to かねこちはる's Lachryma《Re:Queen’M》). 25 other entries were also accepted, bringing the total number of qualified entries to 33.

The winners of this KONAMI Arcade Championship were the following:

Participating Games
beatmania IIDX BeatStream DanceDanceRevolution DanceEvolution GuitarFreaks DrumMania MÚSECA jubeat pop'n music REFLEC BEAT SOUND VOLTEX
DOLCE. MIZURIN FEFEMZ* AMiNa (´・ω・`) TRAINMAN FALL CORBY.QS TATSU (male)
8322 (female)
sir・o・n. 1008.BOT

The 6th

Like the two previous installments of KAC, the competition finals were held at JAEPO and with new changes that would come in future tournaments. This competition marked the first and only time beatmania IIDX had a Double Play event and a new format which would later become official as ARENA MODE, whereas jubeat introduced the Team format where four players formed a team to play songs in unison. The DanceDanceRevolution also accepted players from North America (Canada, Mexico, and United States) with its own qualifying division for the first time as well. BeatStream was the only active BEMANI title at the time not to participate in this event.

The final round introduced five songs for the first time: Catastrophic Dance (REFLEC BEAT), HE4VEN ~天国へようこそ~ and iLLness LiLin (SOUND VOLTEX), MeteorA (MÚSECA), and 24/7 Popperz (pop'n music). The FLOOR contest accepted 28 entries, ten of which were awarded as merits (four Prize, four Excellence, and two Highest Excellence).

The winners of this KONAMI Arcade Championship were the following:

Participating Games
beatmania IIDX DanceDanceRevolution GuitarFreaks DrumMania MÚSECA jubeat pop'n music REFLEC BEAT SOUND VOLTEX
LICHT (Single)
VIENNA (Double)
CHRS4LFE にるなっつ A様 DDX A.K.R-Y (solo)
Giant Chicken Family (team)
TATSU (male)
8322 (female)
A.N.C.B. GGD

The 7th

All games EXCEPT DanceDanceRevolution A:

  • Qualifying round 1st Stage: 30/11/2017 - 18/12/2017
  • Qualifying round 2nd Stage: 21/12/2017 - 09/01/2018
  • Semi-Final round East Japan Area: 27/01/2018
  • Semi-Final round West Japan Area: 28/01/2018
  • Final round: 10/02/2018 - 11/02/2018

DanceDanceRevolution A:

  • Qualifying round Group A: 30/11/2017 - 09/01/2018
  • Qualifying round Group B: 21/12/2017 - 09/01/2018
  • Semi-Final round East Japan Area: 27/01/2018
  • Semi-Final round West Japan Area: 28/01/2018
  • Final round: 10/02/2018

While both MÚSECA and REFLEC BEAT are not participating this event despite still being active BEMANI titles, The 7th installment introduced yet another first for the Qualifier Rounds with brand-new entry songs for them. Seven out of eight divisions received two new songs (except SOUND VOLTEX), one with a single entry song shared between all eight divisions, Be a Hero!, and a second song for its respective division: AI (jubeat), nalca (pop'n music), Navy blue sea (DrumMania and GuitarFreaks), Reach The Sky, Without you (DanceDanceRevolution), tears proof masquerade (ノスタルジア), and 神謳 -RESONANCE- (beatmania IIDX). Two other qualifying methods are also added as well, which were Semi-Final round (applicable for Japanese players who either advanced from the East or West region, for beatmania IIDX, DanceDanceRevolution, and SOUND VOLTEX divisions only) and a Champion exemption (winners from the respective division were directly qualified to the finals).

The finals introduced three songs for four divisions: Carezza (ノスタルジア), I (SOUND VOLTEX) and K∀MUY (pop'n music, both divisions). The competition format introduced in the previous tournament for beatmania IIDX is now official with the inclusion of ARENA MODE. Including I as the Highest Excellence song for the FLOOR contest, a record 41 entries were accepted, with nine songs named as Prize and four songs as Excellence. Following the finals, jubeat also unveiled exhibition songs played for the respective division winners, which became a staple starting onwards: Diastrophism and パピポペピプペパ.

The winners of this KONAMI Arcade Championship were the following:

Participating Games
beatmania IIDX DanceDanceRevolution GuitarFreaks DrumMania jubeat pop'n music SOUND VOLTEX ノスタルジア
U*TAKA FEFEMZ* ぎるたん まーたんとゆっきー A7STA4A. (solo)
☆ゴリあーにゃ★ (team)
TATSU (male)
10kai (female)
K.FLAT REMILIA

The 8th

  • Website: https://p.eagate.573.jp/game/kac/kac8th/top/
  • Entry: 15/11/2018 - 14/12/2018
  • Qualifying round (GITADORA, ノスタルジア and SOUND VOLTEX): 21/11/2018 - 17/12/2018
  • Qualifying round (Other games): 29/11/2018 - 17/12/2018
  • Semi-Final round East Japan Area: 12/01/2019
  • Semi-Final round West Japan Area: 14/01/2019
  • Final round: 26/01/2019 - 27/01/2019

The majority of rules and competition formats in The 7th KAC (including the Semi-final and the Champion exemption) were kept intact, with the inclusion of the Recital category for the ノスタルジア division, and DANCERUSH participating in the tournament for the first time. The 8th KAC marked the last time 天下一音ゲ祭 was held during the finals concurrently. The jubeat category for both divisions were now included in the Semi-Final Rounds as well.

The Qualifying Round has Catch Our Fire! as the joint qualifier song (with DANCERUSH STARDOM being remixed), while three divisions received new songs as well: First Time (DanceDanceRevolution), KILL EACH OTHER (beatmania IIDX), Love 2 Shuffle and Shiva (DANCERUSH). The finals unveiled six songs, all during the second day of the final round, with three for ノスタルジア (魔王, パガニーニによる大練習曲第6番「主題と変奏」 and virkatoの主題によるperson09風超絶技巧変奏曲), two for SOUND VOLTEX (ΣmbryØ and *Feels Seasickness...*), and one for both divisions of pop'n music (西馬込交通曲). Including the two songs in the FLOOR contest, 26 songs were accepted in total including eight awarded songs (four Prize, two Excellence and two Highest Excellence).

The winners of this KONAMI Arcade Championship were the following:

Participating Games
beatmania IIDX DanceDanceRevolution DANCERUSH GuitarFreaks DrumMania jubeat pop'n music SOUND VOLTEX ノスタルジア
U*TAKA FEFEMZ NISHI (・m・m・m・) NKN-FAL S&YSN-Y (solo)
☆ゴリあーにゃ★ (team)
TATSU (male)
8322 (female)
LV.MINI REMILIA (Basic)
yukitani (Recital)

The 9th

  • Website: https://p.eagate.573.jp/game/kac/kac9th/top/
  • Entry: 26/11/2019 - 06/01/2020
  • Qualifying round: 27/11/2019 - 07/01/2020
    • BEMANI esports Championship 2019 Qualifying round: 07/11/2019 - 20/11/2019
  • Semi-Final round East Japan Area: 19/01/2020
  • Semi-Final round West Japan Area: 26/01/2020
    • BEMANI esports Championship 2019 Final round: 21/12/2019
  • Final round (DrumMania, pop'n music, and DANCERUSH): 01/02/2020 (esports GINZA studio)
  • Final round (GuitarFreaks, ノスタルジア, and jubeat): 02/02/2020 (esports GINZA studio)
  • Final round (beatmania IIDX, DanceDanceRevolution and SOUND VOLTEX): 08/02/2020 (JAEPO 2020)

Similar to The 8th KAC, the competition had three Rounds: Qualifying, Semi-Final, and Final. The Qualifier Round along with the Team competition for the jubeat division were retained. Similar to previous KAC rounds, players or teams with the highest scores after each Qualifier Round advanced to the Semi-Finals (for Japanese players) or Finals (for Overseas players and all players of the DANCERUSH division). The two champions of the beatmania IIDX and SOUND VOLTEX divisions, U*TAKA and MINI respectively, were directly qualified to the Finals.

Each division had a common entry song, ランカーキラーガール, while ノスタルジア and DANCERUSH STARDOM divisions each had its own remixes of it. Three other divisions were also given an additional song: SCREW // owo // SCREW (beatmania IIDX), The History of the Future (DanceDanceRevolution), and new heaven (DANCERUSH STARDOM).

In Southeast Asia, the BEMANI esports Championship special tournament was held before the qualifiers, for DanceDanceRevolution, DANCERUSH STARDOM, DrumMania, jubeat and SOUND VOLTEX. The winners of each division advanced to the finals.

Like previous tournaments, only the few players who qualified competed in a series of rounds to determine the winner. The unveiled songs during the finals were Popperz Chronicle (pop'n music, both divisions), ピアノ体操第一 and 交響詩「悪魔の誕生」 (ノスタルジア), and 666 (SOUND VOLTEX). For the FLOOR contest, 32 songs qualified, 15 of which were awarded (ten Prize, four Excellence, and one Highest Excellence).

The winners of this KONAMI Arcade Championship were the following:

Participating Games
beatmania IIDX DanceDanceRevolution DANCERUSH GuitarFreaks DrumMania jubeat pop'n music SOUND VOLTEX ノスタルジア
KKM* CHRS4LFE RIRI-. (solo)
AKINA-02 & IEKEIBOT (pair)
雲風亭まっちゃん皆伝 鬼嫁合衆国環境大臣 CORBY.QS (solo)
☆ゴリあーにゃ★ (team)
TATSU (male)
8322 (female)
MINI hr (Basic)
yukitani (Recital)

The 10th

  • Website: https://p.eagate.573.jp/game/kac/kac10th/pre/index.html
  • Qualifying Round: December 23rd, 2020 10:00 (JST) - April 20th, 2021 (originally February 2nd, 2021)
  • Final Round (Guitar Freaks, DrumMania, jubeat, DanceDanceRevolution, and SOUND VOLTEX): February 11th, 2022
  • Final Round (ノスタルジア, DANCERUSH, pop'n music, and beatmania IIDX): February 12th, 2022

The 10th KONAMI Arcade Championship sees many changes to its format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike other years, only players living in Japan are eligible to enter, no semi-finals are being held, and the finals are being held without an audience at the esports GINZA studio located inside KONAMI's main offices, as JAEPO 2021, its traditional venue, has been cancelled. The Champion exemption was also removed as well.

For the first time, games other than pop'n music will feature female-only divisions: beatmania IIDX, DanceDanceRevolution, and SOUND VOLTEX. However, jubeat no longer has Team competitions. As is usual, two songs were introduced as qualifier songs: 世界の果てに約束の凱歌を (with each rendition for all eight participating BEMANI games) and Vamos A Bailar (for DANCERUSH STARDOM).

While the Final Round was originally stated to be held on March 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th, 2021, it was later announced to be postponed. Final round dates were announced on June 3rd, 2021 [1], however, on July 12th, 2021 they were postponed again. The new dates were announced on November 26th, 2021, with competition to be held on February 11th, 2022.

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