Monday at Spoony’s

After being so disappointed at placing last place at the last Couch Warrior Ranbat of the year, I actually feel even more desire to train harder despite the Ranbats not starting up until March.

I couldn’t sleep at all on Saturday night with visions of flash kicks and Zangief 720s floating through my head. I eventually got out of bed and played some 5 am NBA 2K11 to ease my saltiness.

I feel that despite improving in several areas throughout the course of the year, I remain a very poor tournament player. I am mentally weak, lack confidence, and as Mike Ross would say, am prone to cracking.

Most of all, I really lack the skill of adaptation. After eating so many flash kicks from Tai, and Ultras from Internev, I only have myself to blame for taking far too long to change my game accordingly.

I was still thinking about CW on Monday, as I watched the SoCal Regionals stream. I watched Filipino Champ put on a show, and Justin Wong get his revenge on Vangief. I think my favourite part of Socal Regionals was actually the Dogface show featuring Alex Valle, Mike Watson and John Choi. Mike Watson was not afraid to put people on blast!

What happened to Vic’s famous hair though? Hm.

Anyway, Spoony sent me a text message asking whether I was interested in some casuals at his house. Despite my girlfriend looking extremely cranky, I risked her displeasure to go to Spoony’s.

Normally, I wouldn’t want to risk her wrath, but my blood was fiending hard for some Street Fighter. So I headed off to Carlton to Spoony’s.

We had a long enjoyable set that did wonders for the residual saltiness in my system. During our set, Spoony told me some things about his first top 8, and I also learned a fair few new things.

Once thing that I learned from Spoony is when you block Chun Li’s command crossup, you must always block it as a crossup even when it hits from the front. The mixup is that she might land on the other side, and you have to change sides to block her low shorts.

Another thing I learned from Spoony was even more helpful. On a character like Guile, I often don’t safe jump option select him unless I feel he is going to backdash. This is because I originally thought that while my sweep option select catches his backdash, it loses to his flash kick.

When I told Spoony that, he frowned and said; that’s not right. His flash kick starts up in four frames, which is fast enough so that you should be able to do your option select sweep and be able to block.

So we mucked around in training room, (having another person around to test option selects is IMMENSELY helpful) and we discovered that you can do the option select sweep and block the flash kick!

It turned out that I had been doing my option select sweep too early in the option select window in the air, resulting in the sweep coming out and getting flash kicked. I have this habit because I want to err on the side of caution, and do it early. This way if I screw up, most probably the option select won’t come out on hit, especially with dangerous option selects like dragon punch.

We tinkered a bit with the timing and discovered if you do the option select sweep quite late, almost with the timing during the second half of the blockstun of your jump in, the sweep won’t come out when Guile flash kicks. And it still comes out to catch backdash, and doesn’t come out on hit or block!

Fantastic! Obviously, the danger of doing it late is that you have a greater chance of screwing it up and getting unwanted option selects on hit/block. But if this works on 4 frame reversals, perhaps I now will be able to have 100% safe option selects on characters such as Gen, Ibuki, Guile and perhaps Dudley.

Obviously I have to do some more testing, but with those characters I originally thought I can safe jump their reversals and do something to catch their backdash (sweep or tatsu for Ibuki), but their reversals would hit the option selects. So it was more of a 50:50 choice than a true 100% safe option select. If they all can be safe jumped with late option selects like Guile…I’m salivating at this point.

Especially since I struggle with the Guile match, relearning to do my option selects late with these characters will definitely be worth it for that character alone!

Updated my safe jump option select list with the new late safe jump option select timing.

Other than that, I was pleased to see some other things I was specifically working on paying off against Spoony’s Chun.

In one of my last posts, I mentioned that I was practicing buffering super off a cmk just outside of cmk range to catch pokes and walk forwards. I was using the Super Turbo method I mentioned in my post, which is qcf, down + mk, down forward, forward+ hp, and it worked really well.

I must’ve caught Spoony at least a dozen times with that cmk buffer super from near half screen away. It’s definitely going in my arsenal!

If anything I might’ve been a little too eager to hit it, and should’ve have maybe saved it sometimes for the KO.

I also was hitting a lot of my Chun specific combos like forward fierce, low strong, low strong, low forward, tatsu. Monster damage on Chun!

In general I was happy with my play, and I just remember thinking that I need to transfer this level of play into my tournament matches, and not choke every time. I have to say, there’s also nothing like playing offline. Every time I do so, I go home and almost don’t want to play on PSN anymore.

Spoony was also nice enough to play a little Gief and Guile for me to work on my problem matchups. Thanks man. Along with a nice donburi dinner, learning new things and playing the set did wonders for my confidence, and reinvigorated me.

Alright! Time to train harder.

P.S. If you’ve noticed, my site has gone through a bit of a facelift. Big thanks to Just-S/Bosslogic for providing awesome header and background graphics.

If anything, I almost feel that his graphics are too cool for my “being a scrub” site. I almost miss the quirkiness of my old sonichurricane “rekka beats paper” header.

But regardless, thanks very much Dave!

P.S.S. The next two Don’t be a Scrub podcasts will be more community based interviews, with two of the principal guys of Couchwarriors. We’ll have them up as soon as I get my lazy ass to some typing.

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