Shadowloo Recap: http://www.shadowloo.com/?p=2528
I actually turned up on the day feeling pretty positive about the preparation I’ve done, but I pretty much went on to play like horse crap throughout the tournament.
I showed up just after noon, as I had made plans with Igor to come a little early for CW so we could get in some Dee Jay- Ryu practice. Unfortunately Igor ran into some nasty traffic, and despite leaving his house before 11 am, he only got there after 2 pm! Sorry man. We still got to play a couple of matches later on, and I learned quite a few important things that I’ll detail later.
I made my way into Abbotsford Convent, and noticed there was a food fair going on. That was pretty cool, because personally when I get lose horribly and get salty, I find solace in stuffing my face. With as much unhealthy fried food as possible!
I find Loki setting up and I help him with the tables a little bit. I was also pretty surprised to see Somniac and Toxy already inside. Normally they don’t show up until much later, around the time the SSF4 tournament starts at 4. Carlplight was also there, but I didn’t spend too much time talking to them; I was itching to start playing and warming up to playing on Xbox rather than PS3.
Somniac did tell me however of his matches with Sol online which I witnessed at the TEC house. It was interesting to see the different perceptions at work here; Sol was complaining when I was over that Somniac was turtling too much, and Somniac was telling me now that he thought Sol was just sitting there, which I found pretty amusing. Watching the matches, they were having multiple rounds go to time out. Maybe it takes two to turtle! I also found it interesting when Somniac said Sol doesn’t really rushdown that much, because that’s what Sol says about Somniac as well! I told him I found that kind of funny because both of them rush me the Fuck Down.
In any case Igor finally showed up, and we both got down to it. The big breakthrough I’ve made in the Dee Jay matchup is something that Igor showed me. Basically his EX up kicks whiffs on crouching, and I discovered that I could simply walk up and do meaty low short with an option select sweep to catch backdash, and that basically beats 100% of Dee Jay’s wake up options! So I don’t really need to test my crossup safe jump timing against his EX up kicks; I can simply walk up after any knockdown and meaty short him for free, into another sweep and untechable knockdown. I also had some success with using cmp to beat out some of his Sobats, and I also had an hilarious round where I screwed around with standing jab and beat his LK sobat, his jumps ins, and a whole bunch of other stuff.
Now I do a whole bunch of work on my own, but these kind of things I probably would never have discovered on my own. This just shows the importance of playing other people and a wide variety of characters, as well as the power of sharing information. I was telling Igor some of Ryu’s setups as well, and we’re probably going to work on the matchup even more because we’ll be doing weekly level up sessions over at Deakin University every Saturday. Anybody in Melbourne wanting to level up is welcome to come! (Until we run out of space that is.)
Igor’s thread: http://www.ozhadou.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5374&p=91534#p91534
Dave was also nice enough to introduce me to Debator, whose Ryu I had been ogling from afar for some time now. But I have to preface that I’m easily impressed when it comes to my own characters; land any kind of fhp chp combo in front of me with Ryu, and I’m probably halfway to putting you on a pedestal in my mind.
Debator was kind enough to share some philosophies with Ryu; such as always thinking/assuming that your opponent will jump, even though he has not done so in the last 90 seconds. If you don’t mentally keep yourself aware every single second of the match, and tunnel vision into footsies, that’s when you get punished. (He seemed to be speaking directly into my soul.)
I also ask every Ryu I encounter whether they can hit confirm FADC combos from low forward Hado 100%, and I’ve been getting mixed answers. It seems like this lofty goal in the clouds to me, being able to someday hit confirm 100% of a single low forward, but from what I’ve been hearing it seems more and more doable. Debator himself told me that he can do it in the first few matches, but after 20 games or so, he can’t do it consistently anymore. I found that pretty interesting.
On a side note, I got to meet quite a few PSN people at CW, and finally put a face to the name! Debator introduced me to Kazzee; the Ryu player who used to beat me down all the time before he switched to Xbox, and who I detailed in my PSN: battle logs with Crazyandy1982 quite a while back.
He was having trouble with a Guy player who I discovered was Phamtheduy! (We played a few days after CW and he beat me down too. Yet another matchup headache I have to learn.)
And lastly I met Mana_Scryed, the player who’s been giving me the bulk of my Makoto practice these days. You should have entered the tournament man! You have a solid Makoto.
People started showing up, and soon the tournament was starting. I was up pretty quick, against a Chun Li player called K336. Now even though I won my match, I felt that I played pretty badly. Correct if I’m wrong K336, but I think he told me that SSF4 wasn’t his main game, or either that he hasn’t played that much SSF4 yet.
In any case, I played really tentative the first game. For some reason I kept expecting Hazanshus, so I was doing a lot of pointless Focuses, and eating quite a few sweeps and hits because of that. Maybe I play Spoony too much! I wasn’t getting anywhere in the fireball game, and he beat me handily.
I started playing a bit more aggressively in the next few rounds, mirroring my last match with Kyle, moving in quickly on the ground and getting more knockdowns and pressure. In the end I believe I won the next two games which were both close 2-1s, to narrowly take it. I shook K336’s hand, and walked away pretty disappointed in my play.
Igor was watching and also noted that I only started to have some success in the match when I started being more aggressive. Maybe its tournament jitters, or maybe I simply am a slow starter, but I feel that if K336 was indeed an inexperienced player, I should have done much better. I feel that the match reflected badly on me. Again, I mean no offense K336, GGs, and you did go on to place higher than me!
I walked away and barely sat down to play some casuals before I was informed that my next match was against Toxy. Oh boy. Two ranbats in a row I get Melbourne’s number 1 player second round. I did feel a slight feeling of impending doom running down my spine, but I had to quickly mentally compose myself before playing Toxy. I told myself, no more screwing around with Hakan, I have to bring my best character, Ryu, and try to take the footsies hard to Toxy.
Toxy picked Dhalsim last time against me, but he chose Fei Long against me this time. He’s apparently been playing Fei Long a lot in casuals too. Now I have not much Fei Long experience, at best I have had a few matches with Sol’s Fei, but I didn’t feel completely lost about the matchup. I knew that low forward was good against Rekkas, his flame kick could be safe jumped, and to watch out for chicken wings through fireballs. I knew that Fei Long is a monster in the corner, that I always seemed to get pushed into the corner very quickly by top players; and my success in the match would probably come down to whether I could stay out of the corner.
Toxy beat me 2-0 the first game, but I felt that I was doing some damage to him, unlike my previous match against his Sim where I could barely touch him. As I predicted, he pretty much put me in the corner the entire round, and while I tried valiantly to fight out of the corner without going to the air, Toxy displayed his trademark patience and spacing to continuously pressure me back into the corner. I started panicking, and doing risky DPs and getting punished heavily for it.
I really felt myself crumbling under his pressure. I was fighting really hard; and sticking out a lot of low forwards and sweeps out of panic after his block strings and rekkas. Toxy remained calm and collected, didn’t jump, and bored into me, taking full advantage of my reckless normals. Thinking back, I should’ve fought back with more walking and movement, and less panic pokes.
I did more damage in the second game, landed some throws, and buckled down with less reckless DPs, but Toxy was relentless, beating me again 2-0. That’s the gulf between a top player and a scrub like me; he pushed me until my mind wasn’t in a right place, and he methodically and calmly went about executing his game plan. GG Toxy. I wish I could’ve given you more of a fight.
I felt pretty bummed at playing so badly, and went off to talk to the Whirlpool guys. Guys like Noobert wasn’t there, but Zero, Impakt, and Killbox were there. I also got to play some casuals with Westlo, a Ken player from WP. I was quite happy to find another Melbourne player to add to my PSN list, and as Impakt noted on WP, I got pretty excited about something else as well 😛
I was also psyched to hear that Cactus finally got on PSN (Finally! Some Dhalsim practice!), and I believe a few days after CW I wanted to send him an invite to versus, but I saw that he was playing Scott Pilgrim Vs The World: The Game. Hmm….. (I’ll shut up now.)
My next match was against Zerokill, the boxer player from Whirlpool. I wasn’t feeling too bad about the matchup because I believe me and Zero tend to go back and forth in casuals, but he absolutely demolished me in this match. I was playing so bad it was almost funny.
Firstly, I was making bad decisions; on one of my first few knockdowns I went for empty jump low short without having previously conditioned Zero to do nothing with safe jump option selects, and I got EX headbutted into Ultra for my stupidity.
Secondly, I was eating everything, falling for old gully tactics like TAP into EX headbutt which I must’ve ate like 6 times. I ate every single overhead into headbutt Ultra; I didn’t block a single clp clp overhead shenanigan. Zero dash Ultraed through my fireball round 1 of game 1, and he perfected me the next round. I was letting him jump in for free, he was jabbing me out of my frame traps, and I didn’t counterpoke a single dash punch. I got owned.
I just sat there after the match. Wow. Dave had walked by earlier and jokingly told me that I had to do better after training at their place, but I really let them down. I played horrible. I shook hands with Zero, GG man. That was a nice beatdown.
I walked away to talk with the Whirlpool guys. At first, I felt a little detached and kind of numb, that I went 1-2 and out again in embarrassing fashion. Then, the pure saltiness started slowly seeping in, and I was REALLY feeling it. Probably the saltiest I’ve ever felt inside. It had nothing to do with losing to Zerokill, who I think is a really good player, and probably better than me, but more with how badly I’d played despite making a concerted effort to train for this game. But it’s all good, being salty is real good motivation, and as Ali always tells me, we’ll get them next time.
And actually, I sat down afterwards to play some casuals with Zerokill, and I was doing much better. I was actually blocking things, and landed a couple of cmk srk against dash punches and the like. Zerokill actually turned to me and said “Why didn’t you play like that just now?” I could only shake my head and shrug helplessly. I guess that’s why I’m a scrub.
On a more positive note, Berzerk was kind enough to teach me how to play a little bit of Virtua Fighter, and even convinced me to enter the tournament. The game feels pretty fun! Flying headbutt for the win. To my surprise, I actually won my first match, lost the second in a Disco Kage-Maru mirror match and I believe Spoony eliminated me later on with a drunken fist dude. Hmm… I went 1-2 on my first try, which was my exact same result in SSF4….maybe I should switch games!
I sat down to watch top 8, and for once I actually didn’t really feel that interested in watching top 8, I wanted to play some more casuals to wash away the saltiness. Even though it felt that the crowd was smaller this time around, I think there was more hype this ranbat. A lot more Oohhs and Aahs, whenever I went off to play casuals on the side I was constantly looking back when eruptions of excitement came from the crowd. There were a ton of exciting matches like Cactus versus Miceelf in pools; have you ever seen a Sim draw more Oohhhs with those clutch Ultra 2s?
Of course the man of the day was Pen, beasting on everyone with Ken of all people, only losing to Toxy in winner’s finals and grand finals. Check him out in action courtesy of the mighty Bugsimus!
I love his words of encouragement to Ken players out there from the Shadowloo Recap Video, “I don’t care about my personal accomplishments…I’m more about representing the KEN. To all the Ken players out there, don’t give up, you can get far if you work your arse off….Cause Ken is SHIT.”
Awesome! Good shit to Shadowloo, I’m really liking the Recap videos, the annotations especially help people like me who struggle to remember gamertags and names.
CW was great fun as usual, I gotta train harder. See you all at BAM!