I’ve been meaning to write this recap for a while, but I procrastinate a lot. But I figured I’d better do it now before I head off to Sydney tomorrow for EVO Apac qualifiers.
Report by Ali here:
This event was the first official Super Street Fighter IV tournament in Melbourne, and I was very excited to finally attend a Couchwarriors ranbat. To be honest, my excitement was less to do about the actual tournament, and more to do with the fact that I could play casuals all day long, level up my game, meet somemore street fighter heads, and probably go out in first round again.
So I headed down to Abbotsford convent, (which turns out to be surprisingly close to my house), and I actually bump into Tian Khoo outside the gate. I met Tian Khoo for the first time in the Fight Nights Event, and he’s been very good to me, sending me Couchwarriors facebook stuff, and smsing me before events. He even took me out for some KFC after the ranbat, where he was able to give me a long rundown of the Melbourne fighting game scene, from 3rd strike to CVS2, to the arcades closing down in the Chinatown. He was a wealth of information, so thanks man. Also, thanks to Cactus, who graciously gave us a ride to the city through some monstrous traffic.
So Tian Khoo brings me inside, and we immediately bump into some dudes dressed as zombies dancing around. I have no idea what was going on, probably some dance event, but I can’t imagine what was going through the dancers’ heads as they see multiple TVs and consoles being set up in the hall, while waves of noisy people proceed to smack away at sticks and buttons. And I assume the gamers would’ve looked back at the dancers with a few quizzical eyebrows as well.
Anyway I went ahead and reacquainted myself with some CW people, and immediately strap myself down for some casuals!
It was the first time that I played Hakan against actual people, and to be honest I didn’t really have an idea on how to play him. (This event was literally days after SSF4 was released). But it was fun in general, everyone was playing new characters, Cactus playing his Makoto, Fahad playing his Juri. It definitely seemed like Juri was the most popular character of the day, I played Juri after Juri. And ate dive kick after dive kick.
I still played a lot of Ryu, especially against Tian’s Akuma, and my gameplan was still pretty much the same as vanilla, except that I put a chunk of time in training mode trying to get used to using mp srk fadc ultra as anti air. I think that really helped me that day in all my matches.
I spent a lot of time talking to Sparta Carnage, and we were supposed to play some more on psn but we never did! Sparta where are you!
I think his friend’s name was Julian, and I played his Balrog a lot. Now for some reason his Balrog was giving me some trouble because he did a LOT of armour breaking dash upper lows. He literally did nothing but them.
A lot of times against a Rog, I will focus a lot in the early part of the round, to test their armour breaker proclivity, and if I snag them once or twice, condition them not to spam dash straight or sweep. But this dude was coming out of the gate with those armour breakers! It was actually really funny, even though it threw my game off. I leaned over and told him he must really hate focus attacks, and he gave me the most emphatic affirming head nod “OH YES”!!
It was awesome, getting to play so many different people, all different characters, and different styles! I honestly could’ve played for hours and hours and forgotten about the tournament.
It was also really interesting watching the different games like virtua fighter, smash brothers, 3rd strike. In fact, I got to play a lot more casuals than guys like Tian Khoo who were entered in so many tournaments. He kept having to leave, and I got curious and asked him what else he was entered in. “Oh I just played my 3rd strike match,” he replied. “Cool, how’d you do in your match?” I asked politely. “I got third,” was the nonchalant reply. Zzz.
I got to play some matches with Somniac, and it’s good that I did, because he showed me the power of that Ultra II. This would definitely come in handy later.
So I believe I was in pool C, and I had to play Bugsimus, who is a really cool guy. He was playing Juri, too. I actually don’t remember much about the match, except that I was kind of loose, expecting to lose, and I somehow won. I was pretty unsure about how to punish Juri’s pinwheel kicks, so I lost a lot of damage that way being tentative, but I believe the final score was 3-2. To be fair to Bugs, I believe he was still getting used to Juri, because he missed an ex dive kick to ultra, and was ex pinwheeling a lot on reversals.
But that was that. It passed by in a flash, and I finally won my first tournament match. I felt kind of subdued-happy, said GG to Bugs and talked a little to him, before Just-S came up to me and said I’d be playing him next.
Just-S is always really good to me, and takes a lot of time out to educate me the scrub, and I was really quite hyped to finally get to play him. It was quite funny though watching Somniac trying to give me matchup tips to unsettle Just-S. I think he knows I would probably lose to Just-S but he just wanted to screw with him!
He did give me some good advice though; that Just-S plays completely different from him, and that turned out to be very true.
When the match started, I expected this storm of flying heels and kicks that is Bison rushdown pressure, but Just-S immediately went back to full-screen. He played really like an old-school ST Bison, with a lot of headstomp shenanigans and standing hard kicks. (He told me this later too).
It actually threw me for a little of a loop, because when I play Som, I’m more concerned about dealing with his frenetic rushdown, gotta not whiff cmks and get scissors kicked, gotta not fall for clk lk scissors traps, have to use cmp with intelligence. Safe jumps with option selects are my primary weapons.
What I found about the matches with Som is that I get owned on the ground by his scissors kicks and shks, and jumping too much is asking for a jmp into ultra. The only real time I feel Ryu has a big advantage is when Bison is on the ground. Then pretty much I can be safe with my offense with option select lp dps or hk tatsus for teleports.
Somniac rushes all day, so I get plenty of knockdown chances. Problem is, he generally gets way more damage out of his offense than I do mine, so he generally wins.
But Just-S actually really zoned me the hell out. He was very unwilling to get into exchanges with me that could result in his knockdown. He didn’t let me jump in at all with shk, he had very intelligent spacing, wasn’t afraid to walk back, and played very hit and run. I believe I only got one or two knockdowns the whole match! He pretty much outzoned my Ryu.
Looking back, the way I should have played in accordance to his playing style, should have been to zone more and fireball a lot more. I was too used to Som’s Bison being in my face that I forgot fullscreen should be advantage Ryu! Doh.
I remember the last round came down to him with a stocked Ultra 2, and me with no life and two ex bars. Remember the matches I played with Som today, and the footprints of his Ultra 2 all over my face, I tried to bait out the Ultra with a fireball fadc.
He actually took the bait and Ultraed, but I must’ve panicked and I jumped back! Totally missing my opportunity to punish his whiffed Ultra. Looking back, if I had jumped straight up instead, I might have had a chance. But oh well, he who flinches, loses.
I had no meter left, and no life. And he went on win. I shook his hand, said GG, and I was actually really happy to finally get to play a friend. No salty feelings at all. And he told me about the crossup headstomp trick in the corner after the match too. That was good, as well as realising I need to play the Bison match a lot more. Playing one good guy doesn’t open your eyes to the many ways a character can be played.
I went on to get peaced out by Kenny’s Fuerte. I believe I died to his Ultra 2, which I had never seen before, but GG Kenny. He gave me a lot of anti-fuerte tips, as well as telling me why Ultra 1 is not as good against Ryu. (Air ex tatsu). I actually was happy that I showed some adapting during the match, forward dashing out of splashes into cmk tatsu punishes. It was close! So I was happy.
The rest of the tourney was great, there were a lot of clutch hype moments from the players, especially in Just-S’s match against his brother’s Abel. In fact, Abel’s new Ultra alone was probably responsible for a lot of hype moments. I got to play some more casuals, and in no time at all it was ten plus, Toxy had won long ago, and it was time to go!
The RanBat really went past in a flash, and I really can’t wait for the next one on June 5th. For now, it’s off to Sydney for me, for some EVO APAC hype, and hopefully a date with Mr. Umehara.