I held off posting this post earlier on because obviously I didn’t want to spoil the big news 😛
It’s been a rare week in which I have had plenty of chances to play offline Street Fighter. First at Spoony’s house on Monday, then on CCH on Friday.
I’m gonna sound like a bitter man here but honestly the more I play offline, the more I can’t bring myself to play online. Everything is just more fluid offline. All the things I depend on for my Ryu game; the counterhits, the 1-frame links, they all work so much more reliably offline. There’s also the added bonus of conditioning myself to execute all the technical or difficult stuff consistently.
So anyone out there in Melbourne still not going to the meetups, please go to http://www.ozhadou.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=12 to find a meetup near you.
Now right before this, Heavy Weapons wrote in the CCH thread that there was going to be a big news announcement at CCH. He put it up in huge red letters, and everyone was quizzical. I for one was really curious.
Now being the nosy ass I am, I started bugging Dave and the Shadowloo guys about what it could be. They were all being coy while at the same time dropping hints here and there how huge it would be.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I headed to the TEC house under the guise of getting some training in, but my primary goal was to find out the truth!
So I came in and sat there on the couch. Sol is looking at me, trying to make me guess at the news. I take a guess and say that they got someone to come down for S3. They say it has nothing to do with out of state. They say that the news is about something in Melbourne.
I scratch my head, thinking hard. Couchwarriors ranbats are over. Arcade Edition’s only coming out in December. There’s only CCH and Deakin stuff until then. WTF could it be???
Sol drops the bomb. Mago and Tokido are coming down to Melbourne. My mind spontaneously combusts…but wait, isn’t there no tournaments in Melbourne for the rest of the year?
Sol nods gamely and says that Shadowloo is running their first ever tournament, on December 11th. He’s thoroughly enjoying my reaction.
My mind explodes. My first thought is: Fucking MAGO? And TOKIDO MURDER FACE?? In Melbourne??!!?!?!
My second thought is: Wait, that’s in one month’s time! What about organising the thing, getting a venue, sponsors, media, PR etc?
And my third thought is: Holy Shit. I just told my girlfriend that there weren’t going to be any more tournaments for the year!
The Shadowloo guys are extremely optimistic. Ali comes in from scouting the venue, and Dave starts booking the place. They’ve got sponsors, Benq, Madman, Nick’s Sticks etc. They got Red Bull to send down the Red Bull girls with the beverage dispensers!
They’ve got an awesome venue. (Ali shows me pictures)
They’ve got support from Couchwarriors, and a ton of prominent community members chipping in financially and in whatever way they can. They got Loki and Zan on board, and Bugs to do streaming.
Ali promises me that he will blow up the event on every media outlet possible. They’re on the phone to Gama no Obura as I sit there dumbfounded.
Wow. When I saw Daigo in Sydney, I thought it would be 10 years before I saw another Japanese player. Much less players the calibre of Mago and Tokido!
My head is swimming.
I don’t even feel like playing any more. I just want to sit there and spectate the whole thing!
Soon we head off to CCH, making fun of Hamada the whole way.
We get there early, and I have to resist the urge to spill the big news. People keep looking at my face, noticing my bugged-out eyes and asking me what the news were. I simply clench my teeth and shake my head awkwardly.
There’s a huge turnout, and I see almost everybody in the Melbourne scene gathered in this one room. Looks like Heavy Weapon’s call for the community really did stir up something.
I see Akira, Toxy, Wei…even guys I seldom see at SSF4 events like Nickerz and Nick.
There are bodies everywhere, but I manage to sneak in some Ryu mirrormatches with Julian.
Soon it is time for the big announcement, and Ali stands at the front, hollering for everyone’s attention. He gets it for the most part…except I’m still fiddling in training mode, trying to teach Julian a Ryu trick.
Ali yells at me, hey Mutto- Buttons! Pay attention!
I yell back, I know what it is already!
He tells me that it doesn’t matter and shut up and listen.
And that’s how I got my nickname, silly puppy.
Ali goes on to explain Shadowloo Showdown and drops the names of the international guests on everyone. I see people eyes getting wide, but the reaction is a lot more subdued than I expected.
I think everybody was still in disbelief, going…what? Tokido and Mago coming here?
I walk around the back, mouthing “Holy shit”. And almost everybody mouthed it back to me!
Then people start clapping and cheering, getting loud over the news.
I grab Igor, who’s been having a really tough couple of weeks. And to be really frank, I was really worrying about my co-host of the Don’t be a Scrub Podcast.
What would I do without Igor? He provides creative direction, edits all the audio, provides the recording equipment, runs the Deakin meetups, and is a good staunch buddy of mine. And he’s my only source of Dee Jay matchup experience to boot!
I can’t imagine doing the podcast without him. (It is, after all, his idea.) Imagine if I have to grab Tian as my co-host. He’d be asking Tokido if he sees faces in ALL the damn shoes.
So I grab Igor and say, hey man, GET HYPE. Looks like we’re gonna have a ton of work to do for the podcast in the coming weeks!
He seems more preoccupied with his troubles to care too much about the news initially, but he quickly warms up to it. He’s talking to Ali, arranging interview rights and donating cash, working out translators and possible schedules and guidelines. The news cheered him right up!
See, I just type shit. Igor does all the real work.
Ali is going on about sponsors, and Heavy Weapons steps in to give a few words. He issues a huge rallying call to the Melbourne scene to step it up, and contribute to the cause.
Go to meetups, pay the entry fees that go towards running the tournaments. Step our game up, and really come together as one to put on a show that will put Australia on the map. Support the Shadowloo guys who have taken on so much in such a short period of time to drop this huge hype bomb on the community.
Well I mean; I paraphrase. You know how Heavy Weapons would really say it!
The reality starts setting in and people start to realise how close the event is. Everyone starts talking about cancelling plans!
I start talking to people, and while some people have some concerns, the prevailing feeling is definitely that of positive hype.
With that, we start off the CCH tournament with all entry fees going to Shadowloo Showdown of course.
I end up playing Ricecooker first round. I know he plays Bison and I should know this matchup well because I play Sol, Just-S and Somniac so much. However, I normally get bodied by those guys all the time, so that doesn’t mean that I actually play the match well!
Ricecooker is Heavy’s good buddy from their hip-hop days, so Heavy sits down to cheer his buddy on.
I actually win the first game, pretty nervously though. I get a few safe jump option selects off, and he starts mixing up his reversals right away, doing more EX Devils Reverse on wakeup which I fail to guess right with an lp dp option select as I am mostly trying to hit his teleport and Psycho Crusher with Tatsu OS.
I’m hitting a few neutral jump combos, but I’m not winning decisively. To be honest, I’m winning by the skin of my teeth. And I can feel him adapting to my gameplan.
He beats me the next game, and I feel my control over the flow of the match quickly slipping. I think we both had no life in the final round, and he did a long range Psycho Crusher which I tried to DP to chip or kill him. He did a smart backdash and I whiffed gloriously and he finished me off. Heavy complements him on his bait, and I’m sitting there thinking furiously.
More and more of my offence is not working on Ricecooker. I keep trying to do walk up counterhit cmp on my jump-ins, but he is simply hitting me out of it with low shorts. Again, my lack of quick adaptation or fluidity in gameplan is hurting me.
He outplays me pretty decisively in the last game and beats me down. I feel that I once again choked it up and kind of crumbled under pressure. I became more tentative and hesitant in the decisive moments whereas he got stronger and stronger I shake Ricecooker’s hand. GG man.
I got to talk and play with Ricecooker afterwards, and he’s a really nice guy. It’s actually cool to get to play a Bison around my level of play and kind of more accurately gauge my grasp of the matchup instead of getting stomped by perennial top 8 placers like Sol and Just-S all day. I think I actually did much better in casuals against him than in tournament, but what else is new. I pretty much never transfer my level of play in casual into tournament.
But my next match up was Spoony!
I actually felt a strange feeling right before this match. Both Spoony and I were in loser’s bracket. So basically one of us was going 0 and 2 this tournament. I just looked at him, and told him that it really sucked that we had to knock each other out of the tournament. He gave me a glum shrug. Heavy sits right behind us and rubs his hands together. Buttercup match! He exclaims gleefully.
We start the match off with some aggressive ground exchanges…me counterpoking with cmp and him smacking my face with shk and smps.
He whiffs a Hazanshu over my head and I punish with cmp cmp cmk tatsu. I hear Heavy say, “Sharp!” behind me. And as the first game goes on, I actually have a clear moment when I think to myself; hey, I’m actually playing well in tournament! I can’t believe this!
Obviously part of it is because I play Spoony so much and am very familiar with his playstyle; but I was honestly feeling a little surprised as I take game 1.
I feel uncharacteristically confident, and try my best to take game 2.
Now Spoony says that I never get hit by this, perhaps subconsciously being aware of the corner, but I don’t know. I think I just have been lucky all this while!
But what it came down to was me having a healthy life lead in the final round and him in the corner. I jumped over, putting myself in the corner and pressured him into a knockdown.
I dashed up, intending to put on some meaty pressure to finally put him away, and he reversals with a clutch, clutch EX SBK to blast me back into the corner, juggling into the Ultra for the win and game 2.
He looks at me and goes; you never get hit by that! Why now in tournament?
I don’t know Spoony! That is why…I am a scrub.
But I try to shake it off, and I take a very close last game to win the match. I shake Spoony’s hand. GG man, what a match. I feel really bad that I had to eliminate a good buddy, and I try to talk to him a little bit. I know how crappy the feeling of going 0 and 2 out at a tournament is, especially after making so much progress and making top 8 in CW the way Spoony did.
Hm, maybe I lack a killer instinct.
But in any case, Spoony beat me at the next Deakin tournament in another close match, so he got his revenge in the end!
At Deakin, I think in the second game final round with us both on our last legs; he got a knockdown and threw a meaty fireball at me. I woke up, spotted the fireball and did a reversal Super to blow through the fireball. Splashes of feeling clutch and smart stuff were reverberating through my brain as I saw the Super flash. But they quickly shattered into mush as the Super hit Spoony but failed to destroy his fireball. I didn’t have enough life to take the fireball, and I died. Doh.
I was mindfucked and quickly choked the next game after that!
But back to CCH.
I originally thought I had to play Ali, but then somehow it turned out I was playing Dave/Just-S. All I could think was “oh fuck” as I was sitting down.
Dave was grinning like a madman the entire match. He knew he had me. Have you ever seen a dude scissor kicking and headstomping another dude to two near double perfects while going Heheheh the whole time??
Well that was Dave.
I could only feebly say “I hate you” as he happily beat me down the first game.
Somehow, in the last round I was down to almost no life, but I started this crazy comeback that brought his lead down to almost nothing and I dizzied him!
Again, visions of clutchness and comeback glory were shining in my eyes as I jumped towards him intending to do jhp chp dp FADC ultra that would’ve definitely killed him.
Again, those visions turned to mush as I fimbled that combo into a jhp, chp fireball FADC. I was not expecting the fireball to come out, so I fimbled the followup. And then Dave killed me.
I think we played until something like 3 am that CCH. Crazy stuff. And it’s only going to get crazier…