Final Round Couchwarriors 2010 Recap

I’ve put off writing this recap for a while for two reasons. The first reason is that while I was very disappointed and salty with my results, time passing by and a lot more training has washed away most of my saltiness.

So maybe I must be SALTY to write!!!

And the second reason is that I actually missed almost all of the top 8 because Igor and I were conducting Zan’s interview in the back. So I don’t have too much to say about the last CW except my own losses.

Melbourne CW  Final Round results 6/11/2010

I have a few casuals on the day, but actually don’t get to play too much. With the turnout that CW has been getting for SSF4, once the tournament starts it’s actually pretty hard to get some casuals in.

I did get a chance to sit down and play other games though.

I’ve never played Third Strike before. I’ve always wanted to learn the game, and perhaps I will once Third Strike: Online Edition comes out on PS3.

But I got Tian to sit me down and teach some Third Strike. I sit down and pick Ryu and SA1. He sits down and picks…Gill.

…..

The boss character. He proceeds to near double perfect me with some lame corner juggle combo, chortling like a madman all the time. Gee, thanks for the Third Strike lesson THK.

I also missed the Awards ceremony, where Bugsimus and EXC355UM won community awards. Personally, I voted for those two as well and they definitely deserve their awards but I felt that there should be more than two slots for the community awards. What about Zan and Loki? What about Chris and Igor running CCH and Deakin? There’s just way too many awesome guys helping the community out to just pick two out.

I voted for Cactus for most improved player, but Sol won it. Which Sol also deserved, but I personally feel that Sol has always been a beast and a top 8 guy in Melbourne since I’ve known him. I guess I entered the scene too late to see his earlier struggles and just know him as a beast!

How the hell did Hoppa win Most Shenanigans? He plays Guile!!!! There must be some joke being played somewhere…

Speaking of Hoppa, I got to play some casuals with him. It was very educational to play such a good Guile. He kept forcing me into the corner with his zoning and backfists despite me trying my very best to force him the other way. Then he would apply very good corner pressure with Guile, which I really appreciate. I think too many Guiles underuse the corner offense of their character. Unless I get lucky with an air tatsu, with Guile’s excellent sonic boom recovery and normals, there’s almost nothing I can do. Jumping’s out of the question.

I also appreciated the fact that he very seldom flash kicked except when he had two bars. He had a lot of confidence in his defense and teching, and just patiently rode my offense out. No need to take any risks.

Not to mention he recognised when I would safe jump and not flash kick, as well as mixing it up with the occasional backdash. I think he beat me like 9-1, and I was pretty helpless in most of the matches. He also very seldom threw EX sonic boom, and really was smart about his meter usage. He’d rather have the bars to FADC flash kick than to do 50 damage with an EX boom blowing through my hadoken.

I drew Tai in my first round opponent, and instead of picking his usual godlike El Fuerte, he picked Guile!

I felt okay in this match, because I had the chance to play a few games with Hoppa.

But I got Blew Up.

Tai played Guile the way he plays El Fuerte: no fear.

Every time I put him in a guessing situation; such as a blocked level 1 Focus Attack, or a forward fierce, he would flash kick!

And I would eat it every time.

He got so fearless with his flash kicks that even when I was walking forward to my low forward range, and just started to hit the mk button, he would promptly flash kick me out of it! At that point I think was mindfucked, and just shaking my head.

This match was a reflection of my poor tournament abilities; I cannot adapt. It took me eating like 9 straight flash kicks before I started realising I should bait something. And I did and got big damage punishing the flash kick, but it was too little, too late.

To his credit, Tai identified the weakness in my game, and went for blood. He saw that I wasn’t baiting stuff, and went for the jugular.

I guess it’s also because of the nature of Guile’s character, and it’s quite hard for Ryu to get in because of Guile’s zoning. So because you very rarely have the chance to get into Guile, you might feel compelled to go for the throw or simply try to get any kind of knockdown every single time you’re in his face. So I guess Tai realised that was my mindset; that I was far too concerned in getting the knockdown to think about baiting flash kicks, and just flash kicked my throw or walk up anything.

In tournament, best out of 3, you really don’t have too long to adjust. And for someone like me who’s not that good, taking a few minutes to adjust could mean you’re already down one and a half games, and your opponent’s on match point. Good luck getting out of that hole.

I shook Tai’s hand ruefully; and asked him about the match. He said, “Oh. During the match, I realised that Mutton wasn’t blocking the flash kicks. So I just kept doing it!” And he gave me a big smile and laugh after.  Argh I can’t get mad at Tai! GG man.

I had to play a Gief next, called Internev. Now I have no experience against a good Zangief, which Andy definitely showed me by eliminating me at BAM with his Gief. I have done a lot of theory fighter research on the match however, and have a lot of experience against scrubby Giefs.

I had no idea how good Internev was; he seemed pretty friendly and quick to downplay his ability before the match however.

I always feel that the damage ratio in this match is not really in my favour unless I have meter. It’s similar to Honda; I might hit him with a fireball for a puny 60 damage, I throw a bad one and he jumps in for a hands combo or SPD for over 250 damage.  Ouch.

Not to mention it’s hard to actually hit a good player with just plain fireballs. Also, I’m not exactly rock solid in my anti-air and zoning game, so I can’t consistently keep out Honda or Gief the entire match even if I have the all the tools to do so. Great Ryus really seem to frustrate the Hondas and the Giefs, and they seldom get the chance to get in.

So I give Giefs way too many chances to get in on me. And I might be hitting my low forward fireball, and doing well in footsies, but when he gets in once, it’s over.

That’s pretty much what happened. I played aggressively on the ground, and really tried to fight him in footsies and force him into the corner. I didn’t want to just throw fireballs and give him free lariat meter. For the most part I was successful, until we were in the clutch part of the match and I would basically choke.

For instance, in the last round of the first game I believe I had him in the corner with a good life lead… I was applying good corner pressure. I got multiple low forward fireballs and EX fireballs. I wasn’t letting him out. I believe I got like two or three knockdowns in a row, and each time I was dancing in and out, trying to bait EX green hand.

And each time he just blocked, and I would just pressure him.

On the third time I danced, and walked forward. I hit meaty low forward….and he woke up Ultra. Game.

What a stupid, stupid decision for me. I worked so hard to get that position, to whittle him down to almost no life. Maybe the first few knockdowns I could be semi-justified in putting on some pressure. But in that last situation…he was basically dead already. He had nothing to lose, no way of coming back unless he hit a desperation Ultra. Which I handed to him on a silver platter.

Internev himself said it best; “You gave me too much respect. You thought I WOULDN’T wake up Ultra.”

The risk reward…I need to get better at evaluating this during matches. You have to be constantly doing this in your match, and the great players can make great decisions accordingly by calculating the risk reward ratio in a snap second.

The elimination game was much of the same. (I can’t remember if I lost 2-0 or 2-1)

I would work really hard in my ground game, and get the lead. Then in the clutch, he gets a knockdown, and jumps over me with the short jump knees that beat DPs. I must’ve panicked, and not realised the situation. Because he landed with the Ultra and my lead turned into a KO and match win for him.

GG Internev.

I looked at the Ultra animation eating away the rest of life and felt this hollow feeling of knowing that I choked horribly in the clutch kind of swirling inside my belly.

What did I do wrong? I think I played well for the majority of the match…but I choked when it counted. I panicked.

I talked to Tai after, and he saw it too. Gief would knock me down, and I would misjudge the risk reward situation, panic and do the wrong thing.

I should’ve tried to jump out of the short knees, or attempted to get a trade and air reset. Like Tai said, taking the knee damage is better than eating the whole Ultra and losing 50%. Sometimes I play like I don’t want to take any damage, but I’ve gonna recognise the scenario and realise sometimes you just have to take damage. I’m up on life, he needs a comeback. He’s going to be looking for an Ultra. And even if he read the jump and did lariat, eating a lariat is still better than eating the Ultra and dying right away!

That’s why I still have a long way to go as a tournament player.

So I went 0-2 in the last Couchwarriors Ranbat of the year. I’m still a big scrub.

Boy was I salty. Not at my opponents, but extremely so at myself.

Igor, Andrew, Spoony and I ordered some pizza from Encore pizza around Collingwood, and at that moment I just wanted to eat the saltiest food on the planet. And I definitely got it with Encore’s pepperoni pizza!

I think we all went 0-2 except for Spoony who got his first top 8! So it was just the Salty Crew and Spoony having dinner heh.

Congratulations Spoony, you’re put in the work and you deserve it.

I was really happy to see him in the top 8, and I feel that he has really gotten better as a tournament player. Being calm, clutch, composed and not dropping things.

It really seems like ages when I first was playing Spoony at Icecastle and I would encourage him as he occasionally dropped EX legs into Ultra 2. Now he hits low fierce, legs, low short, legs to super consistently!

It’s good to see your buddy improve.

So Igor and I grabbed Zan and we did our interview at the back. There were annoying people stomping around on the floor above us, and little kids constantly flushing the toilets, but I think it turned out to be a pretty entertaining one. Hopefully the result will turn out okay and people will like it.

We ended just in time to see Toxy take it all. Congratulations to Toxy for being the 2010 CW champion. He definitely deserves it, consistently winning the Ranbats and really putting in the time into his game.

Sometimes I feel when Toxy wins it’s almost inevitable so people don’t get that excited about it. I guess that’s a natural human response, but what the guy has accomplished this year in SF in Melbourne has been nothing but phenomenal.

So three cheers for Toxy, Melbourne’s best!

That was it for 2010. People started packing up the setups, while Heavy and Somniac got one last moneymatch in. People in wedding suits clinked glasses outside as Couchwarriors departed Abbotsford Convent for the last time for the year.

Huge thanks to the people who run Couchwarriors; Zan, Loki, Phil, Bata, Onyx, Bugs with the videos and so many other people. It was a hell of a year of Street Fighter and I’m only sad that I have to wait till March for the next Couchwarriors!

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