Update: Ali’s Shadowloo report! http://www.shadowloo.com/?p=1638
I had brunch early that day with my close friend Eugene, also a budding Street Fighter player, and a couple of other friends like Pinn, Eric, and their respective missuses. And supposedly with a certain chronical no-show guy called Tan Joon Win.
Imagine my surprise when Eugene and I revealed our plans to go to Abbotsford for the casuals in the Couchwarriors Ranbat, and Pinn and his three lady friends suddenly wanted to come along! None of them play Street Fighter. Pinn however is a closet Daigo fan, and maybe since I was rambling a lot during brunch about meeting/playing Daigo at Evo Apac, the street fighter in his blood was rekindled. What is a closet Daigo fan? For instance during a road trip I would go; Pinn look at this crazy Gen vs. Sagat (Yeb vs. Floe) video! Mrhmm would be the reply. But when I open a year old video of the Daigo vs. Justin Wong Evo finals, a certain someone would suspiciously be snapped out of his car ride slumber.
So we got there around 1230, and Eugene dives straight into it, getting some good games against a Cody player. Plaasia was even kind enough to offer some Sakura advice to my good buddy!
Meanwhile, the girls somehow find themselves at the Smash stations, where they seem to be having fun randomly committing suicide off the levels. Pinn was able to get in a nice session with Eric, and I looked over and saw some pretty decent play considering both of them had not touched SF for maybe half a year!
I finally got some decent Chun practice against Daniel’s Chun. I remember that both of us weren’t playing much footsies, and spamming focus a lot! Hopefully I learned something from the match, but mostly the rounds would boil down to whether I could successfully bait and crumple a hazanshu, which would probably lead to a 40% life loss from the Chun.
I looked over to see that Pinn’s girlfriend Yee Sing was now playing some heated matches with her lady friends next to me. I asked her whatever happened to Smash brothers, and she told me two serious Smash players had sat down next to them, and had proceeded to mercilessly slaughter them off the station. So now they were playing Blanka “mash that electricity” mirrormatches.
Suddenly, she looked over to me and asked which character had the best “superpowers”. So I made her choose Ken, and showed her how to mash forward diagonals and heavy punch, and off she went! Flaming shoryukening her way to victory. Daniel and I got some big time laughs from that! From the way the girls were smacking the buttons, I was really scared for the structural integrity of the sticks!
how you gonna stop my godly dp stature?
I soon switched over to Hakan against Daniel’s Ken, and we were having some nice matches. In fact I played a shit ton of Hakan that day, so much so that when TEC Dave walked past, he immediately yelled at me to stop playing Hakan! But I can’t help it! Oiling up is way too fun.
I looked over at the girls again, and saw that Eric had taken over a stick. I saw that he was just mashing crouching light kick over and over with a completely bored expression against Yee Sing’s Ken and winning. Lameass. Eventually Yee Sing asked me what to do when Eric would “superpower” with Ken back against her flaming srk. Other than telling her to “superpower” more, I was at a complete loss at what to answer.
Eventually Pinn and his posse had to leave, and it was just me and Eugene. I managed to snag Cactus down for some Dhalsim matchup practice!
On a side note, I was talking to Cactus at Evo Apac, and he told me that he really wanted to make top 8 at the next CW. I wished him good luck back then, and he managed to pull it off today! When someone told me he sent Naruga to loser’s bracket, my eyes got so big like saucers. Good job Cactus! Mr OCV! Lol.
I really, really struggle against any Sim, much less one the calibre of Cactus’s Sim. I noticed right away Cactus doesn’t do much Yoga Snipers, (the jumping fierce punch), and doesn’t teleport that much. I’m not sure if he didn’t yoga snipe that much out of respect of something Ryu has (and that I probably can’t execute), but I died pretty much every round to good old Dhalsim Fist to Face.
I tried to focus his limbs, but I was way too blatant every single time, Cactus did not fall for a single one, and would chuckle every time after he would smack me for being so stupid. I tried counterhitting with cmp, but I didn’t have too much success. The risk/reward or damage taken/done was not in my favour. Additionally Cactus was telling me about jumping light kick beating his anti-airs, and we tested that a little bit. That didn’t work so well, perhaps a buff in SSFIV in Sim’s anti-airs? I was able to test a little bit that magic jump–in range that I learned from Gootecks’s Street Fighter IV Secrets II with Arturo, that if I jump at a certain range and don’t press anything, his back roundhouse will whiff, and I can punish accordingly. However I need to get better at finding that range, jumping at that range without having preplanned to not press anything. Because if Sim sticks out a limb, I need to punish with a jump attack, and if he just blocked without pressing back roundhouse, I just land harmlessly in front of him like a mouse.
I had another dilemma in that I wanted to build for Super to punish yoga snipers, but it seemed that the only semi-successful way I had getting in was random EX fireballs. Also Cactus didn’t yoga snipe much, and I am generally bad at punishing them anyway, so I am still thinking whether Super is even worth having in the Sim match.
I also remember scoring an ex fireball a few times on Cactus, grounding him in the corner, and I was able to dash up to right underneath the timer. I was going Yay because normally that would be a nice position to do a pseudo-corner fireball trap on any other character, but every time Cactus would just smack hard punch and light punch a few times, and I was pushed back to full screen and losing the life lead to boot. I could only look at Cactus and laugh. Dhalsim is not any other character, and I really need to up my corner pressure game with Ryu.
I only managed to get in some games with Eugene, and while he still needs to work on his execution, he managed to beat me a few times! Good shit Gene. He also was able to do Ex tatsu to Ultra II with Sakura very consistently now, and that must be a very good feeling! I know from back when I was just starting I could almost cry when I landed an Ultra juggle in a real match.
I also managed to meet Impakt in person for the first time. He’s the Blanka that I referenced in my Psn battle log a few posts back. He was a really cool guy, and we managed to get in a few matches. Unfortunately I think I lost almost every one 3-2! It was the same old Blanka match, cmp vs Blanka ball a lot, eating hop shenanigans, and me wishing I could have super every round. At least I never died to that damn Ultra II though.
I also met Sorto83, the uncle of Jerard, the Ryu that I play on PSN. Nice to meet all you in person, to put a face to the gamertag! Ironically Sorto would turn out to be my first tournament match of the day.
I have played Sorto a lot, and I kind of know his game, though I have to say he has improved a lot since I last played him. I believe he took first round from me, and displayed very good defence on my crossups. He only started getting hit in the last round, which is when I took the match. I just played my normal game, and later he told me that I play very similar to Jerard, which is kind of ironic to me, because Jerard played me a lot when he was still forming his Ryu, so he took all that stuff from me and beats me with it! So when I lose to him, it’s a nice big slice of humble pie. But anyway GG Sorto, and better luck in your next tourney.
I believe my next match was Sat and his pad Ibuki. I was pretty nervous about the matchup, and had a nice pre-match conversation with him. I gave him props for playing Ibuki on pad, and he told me he doesn’t do much Super Jump Cancel stuff with her, which got me thinking.
It really turned out to be true, and he played a really patient, zoning Ibuki. His defence was much better than mine, and he kept doing jump back Kunais, and carefully spaced footsies. He was totally unlike the online Ibuki’s that I’ve played, for example, I did not get hit by a single neckbreaker from him, and in fact I think he didn’t even do one! Whereas in online play, people spam that move all day.
I think that my mistake was that I was too tentative in my matchup. I was kind of wavering between a mindset of zoning him and out and rushing him down, and in the end I failed at both. I should have recognised that this wasn’t a random Ibuki spamming anti-fireball moves, and should have concentrated on a full zoning game. Instead I sparsely threw fireballs, and tried to mount a weak offence that he easily shrugged off. In the end, he took me out quite easily 3-1, and as the match got on, he got more aggressive with the air kunai jump over vortex shenanigans, which I had no idea how to defend again, and I lost handily. GG Sat.
My next match was against Aidan, and when he picked Fuerte, I felt a sickening feeling in my stomach. I tried to bring up all the anti-Fuerte matchup information I’ve read as the level loaded, and I think I forgot one big one: Focus attack absorb to dash against the splash and slide. Doh.
I remember he put me in the blender round 1, and I came back to win round 2. I got very lucky at times, scoring a jumping mp into Ultra, and an lp dp into Super as well. It was very back and forth, and I got a lucky scrubby ex dp mashout chip win in one of the rounds, and eventually I won a very close match, 3-2 rounds. I remember one of the mistakes that I made was that I would forward dash out of the splash and punish with cmk hado, when I should do something way more painful like cmk tatsu! He also got me when some Ultra 2 shenanigans, like slide into Ultra 2 to catch me mashing tech. I was really surprised that I won in the end, and I shook his hand. GG Aidan.
This feeling of surprise would be backed up when I got to play casuals with him after the tournament, and I think he beat me 9-1 with his fuerte! All the games were really close, like 3-2 almost every game, but I just couldn’t seem to get the win. He was really focus happy, really really fishing to land the infinite. His execution with Fuerte is damn good, he doesn’t miss the infinite, and I got hit by focus to infinite so many times before I started upping my anti-focus game with some forward fierces. He would also get out of so many tight situations with ex backrun into grab out of my blockstrings and such. I was trying to mixup my anti-fuerte vortex counters every time, and he was adapting as well. I would do forward dashes and back dashes out of splashes to punish, and he would do run stops and slides to punish. He would do wall dives to counter my fireball game, and I would counter with walk forward dp and focus, the latter of which he would beat with wall dive grab.
Later on he complimented me that I tried to adapt to his game, whereas most players would stick to a single get-out plan against fuerte, and I appreciated the compliment, even though I got beaten so much! He did a really good job of adapting to my adapting, which is why I lost. I wish I remembered focus absorb to dash as a counter, because plain dashes lose to the slide, when focus catches the slide as well. Maybe it would’ve helped a little. Anyway, good games Aidan! (He also beat me with Sim and T.Hawk vs Hakan later.)
My next tournament match was against Onix’s Juri. I gotta give credit to Onix here; he had the courage to stick with his new main Juri in tournament, instead of switching to his more familiar Zangief. I played my normal game here and won. Onix played pretty well too; he missed a big Ultra at the end. GG Onix, and I’m sure you’ll level up your Juri and do much better in the future. I wish I had the same courage as you to play my Hakan in tournament.
Onix handled the bracket after his match, and he told me that I had to play the winner of Plaasia versus Hyphen. Once I found out Hyphen played Ibuki, I played close attention to the match. No offense Plaasia, but Hyphen tore him up! I had a bad feeling about this.
I sat down to play Hyphen, and shook his hand. Then he proceeded to absolutely rip me to shreds. He was doing things I’d never seen an Ibuki do before. He was always in my face doing a long target combo, going up into the air coming down into another target combo and somehow it all comboed! His combos all ended up in knockdowns and I was frantically trying to defend against the kunai crossup game. In fact, I think I barely got any offense in, and I was just defending the whole match! I died 3-0 with full super every round without a chance to use it. That was sad, but I have to say Hyphen has the best Ibuki I’ve ever seen/played against. GG Hyphen, and I was out of the tournament.
I didn’t feel too bummed, even though I lost twice to Ibuki, I lost to two players who were clearly better, and hey I had won an unprecedented (at least for me) three matches in a tournament! At least there was some improvement at last.
I played some more casuals till top 8 started, and this was the first time that I got to hear Pyro’s commentary. No offense again Plaasia, but at the last CW I think he was the only one commentating, and I wasn’t paying too much attention to the commentary. I was definitely listening to Pyro though, and enjoying it too. He made me laugh with stuff like HW’s “Evo Apac Ryu”. Not to mention Pyro is a handsome little feller, he looks good up there on the mic.
I think having good commentary really helps me enjoy the matches personally, especially when the commentator knows all the players on a first name basis. The matches were all very good; once again I was mightily impressed by Naruga’s Blanka. I spent most of the top 8 sitting next to Spider Carnage, it was good to see him again, and his Dee Jay has gotten so much better. He was beating me a lot in casuals, and it was great being able to talk street fighter shop with him.
The Naruga Chun vs Heavyweapons’s Ryu was one of my favourite matches, very close with Naruga narrowly taking the win, and I was also quite hype for Sol’s matches. In the end however, Toxy won it all. He just played so solid, such confident, meticulous zoning. I think only Naruga beat him a game. Good shit Toxy, a good showing to make up for the loss at EVO Apac.
During the top 8 however, a bunch of guys in suits and one very tipsy, tall blonde lady somehow made it into our little alcove. All of us were looking around, wondering if they somehow got lost or something. They added a little bit of comical hype to the event, the blonde lady even took the mic off Pyro to add some drunken comments on the matches, before they took off. Prompting Pyro to yell out “Can I get a Corona” on their departure. Turns out they were from the wedding next door, and we must’ve seemed like space aliens to them.
I had to leave soon thereafter, after my casuals with Aidan, while moneymatches was going on. Kind of a shame because there were so many people I didn’t get to play, like Tian, Dave, Sol, or even Ali. Oh well, CW was still a blast, and definitely my favourite recurring tourney.
Update: Spidercarnage recommended this Ibuki tutorial video to learn how to combat the Ibuki vortex. Thanks a bunch Spider!