Update: Ozhadou Results thread.
To prepare for the ranbat today, I woke up early to grind in training mode for about 4 hours. I probably should have gone to the arcade to play some matches, but I wasn’t too keen on blowing even more cash at Bluehouse than I have already this week.
I worked on my Sagat safe jumps, did some ambiguous crossup with tatsu option select training (after I missed a few opportunities against Somniac’s Bison at Bluehouse), brushed up on all my combos and watched a ton of South Park as I did it.
Training room is really good for discovering the little tics and small flaws in your execution. I discovered than I tend to release MP+MK too early when I do certain FADC combos such as cmp chp SRK FADC Ultra. So today I worked on making sure that I hold the MP+MK buttons for a split second longer so I don’t screw up the dash.
Then I had some foul-tasting leftover lasagna, and headed over to the city to meet Andrew and Andre.
They met me at Flinders Street Station, and I notice THK following along and generally harassing them.
Unfortunately for THK, when we got on the train to Boxhill, the train was extremely packed. So we had to walk all the way back to the last carriage and squeeze in. I looked around at Andrew and Andre and said, “Hey. Where’s Tian?”
We all looked around for him confusedly. We finally saw him standing outside the train making WTF gestures with both his arms as the train door shut and the train slowly moved off. Why he didn’t simply follow us onto the train I will never know.
As Andrew would say; It’s Only THK.
We get there around six, and everyone is there already. The TEC brothers, Cactus, Zero, Toxy, Heavy, Melvin, Pyro…
I put my coin down behind two other coins and waited. After it seemed like people weren’t keeping track of the coin order and there were so many people waiting already, I simply gave up waiting for a game and went to play Bishi Bashi.
So it’s mostly my fault that I didn’t get to play a single game of warmup casuals, but it probably didn’t matter because I’ve been severely lacking in the confidence department recently. Every time I sit down to play in front of the arcade screen I feel that I am going to lose.
That’s obviously not a good thing for a wannabe tournament player to be feeling. But that’s obviously what I am at this point; just a wannabe.
But it was nice to walk around and talk to people. I think that’s pretty much my favourite part of Boxhill tournaments because casuals are hard to come by and I have no hope at winning matches in the tournament anyway.
I talk to Berzerk and we have a long talk about a new podcast thing we might do. It sounds great, and I’m looking forward to how it will pan out. Berzerk seems really confident and motivated to do it as well, which is a stark contrast to my usual pessimism. So we’ll see how that turns out.
I saw a lot of new faces there today; I think AE is drawing people out. I got to meet the Cody player who was bodying me at Bluehouse two days before; his name is Simon. At the risk of sounding like a fifth-grader, I will say that meeting new people through Street Fighter is a totally awesome thing. Especially if they turn out to be really good dudes like a Bugsimus, or a dude that makes me bend over laughing like Rossco- Zerokill.
Speaking of Bugs, he was my first match!
I told him that he would probably do much better against me if he took Bison, but he stuck to his guns with Juri, which I respect.
I remember he had some good pinwheel pressure, and that he teleported a lot against my crossups. I kept whiffing throws under him every time he teleported above my head and at that time I really didn’t know what the hell I was doing.
He played really grounded and not too dive-kick happy against me like some other Juri players do. But I think it might have been to his disadvantage. Because really dive-kick happy Juris always do really well against me!
In the end he got in a really nice clutch EX dive kick but he unluckily whiffed the Ultra. So I got a pretty lucky punish and KO when I should have lost. GG Bugs.
When we were both eliminated later we ended up playing all sorts of random games like Ghost Squad and that vertical scrolling plane shooter just in front of the SF machines.
I ended up blowing like 8 bucks just to get to the last stage of that game, with Wei and Zero subbing in for Bugs. Here I am constantly bemoaning the constant drain on my wallet that AE is, but I end up spending a big chunk of cash on random games!
I think I just wanted to drown out my saltiness by accomplishing something- anything really, in any kind of game.
I then lost my next game to Somniac. As I sat down to play my match I gave Naruga a deflated look. I’m not sure if he was looking. But I knew I was going to get bodied.
And thusly, he delivered, easily squishing me 3-0. GG Somniac.
He was really helpful later, giving me a lot of advice.
I really appreciate him trying to help me, but I felt that a lot of what he was telling me I’ve already heard before from all the Bisons that beat me. I think I already know mostly what I am doing wrong in the matchup, and what I need to improve on. But it’s just trying to apply it that’s a bitch.
For example, Somniac told me that after I block a short scissors kick to try and walk back and make the next one whiff. And then punish it with sweep or whatever I have.
And I know this; I have to actively try to make him whiff his scissors, not just block it. Toxy has given me this exact advice six-eight months ago, and I watched him do it in Ryu versus Bison matches.
Six to eight months later, I’m still not doing it. That reflects badly on me the player though, and not the people trying to help me.
On a more positive note, I was happy to see some of my good friends showing real strong signs of improvement; Andrew took a game off Phatkau, and Zerokill took a game off Naruga. I really rate Patrick and Naruga as players, so for Zero and Andrew to be taking games off players of that calibre is something that really impresses me and I hope that I can do that someday too.
My next match was against Kyle.
I wasn’t feeling confident at this point, but I was trying to focus and concentrate on the match as much as I could.
I sat down, staring straight ahead at the screen. I took a long breath and exhale; trying calm myself down.
The match starts. I lose round 1, because I eat a lot of crouching strongs and generally get outfootsied. I get hit by a few wall dives, and random EX horizontal flying attacks. I remember blocking a lot and being under a lot of pressure from his Vega.
Somewhere later in that match, I won two rounds…but I cannot for the life of me remember how I actually did it. I can’t actually remember hitting him that much at all…so where did his life go?!? I can only remember just the ending of the rounds and all the stuff I was doing wrong.
I think the second round I was just walking forward, stopped and then walked forward again. He reacted to that with an Ultra, so I just blocked it and punished for the KO.
I think by the third round I was concentrating on not playing footsies as per the advice of Pyro and Spoony and trying to zone him out instead. I think I was doing a good job of it for the most part because I had a small life lead late in the round, and I was concentrating extremely hard.
He suddenly hit me with a quick two hits and started backflipping/backdashing away like crazy.
I was confused; why was he doing that? Why didn’t he continue to pressure me for the win?
It soon became clear to me; time expired and he won with a time out victory.
I had been totally oblivious to the clock, having been concentrating so much on zoning and spacing. It was a smart play by him to hit me to get the slight lead, and then run away for the win. I felt like a total noob for not realising the clock situation.
Again, I do not remember how I managed to hit him in round 4, but I remember the ending. I had the lead, and he came at me with a desperation wall dive crossup and time was running down. I very deliberately eyeballed his wall dive to make sure he wasn’t going to fly away instead of hitting me and autocorrect DPed him for the KO.
So it came down to the last round.
On hindsight, when I think back to the match, I was way too impatient with my offense. Every time I got in with a blocked jump-in I was so eager for the oki setup that I went for throws way too many times. I should have been more patient and fished for counterhit setups more.
I got teched and low shorted out of my repeated throw attempts a lot. I should have recognised this and changed my attack patterns. This was probably a sign of my lack of composure.
But back to the last round.
I got a knockdown late in the round, and went for a safe jump crossup going from left to right.
He woke up with Ultra, going to the left.
I fully expected my character to crossup and land safely behind him, so I stupidly blocked forward down, in this case to the right.
I was already weighing in my head whether I should throw an Ultra after his Ultra…
But I landed in front of him and ate the whole thing. I was really surprised as I watched it hit me and ripped the rest of my life bar away for the match victory. I sat there for a while letting my mistake sink in, before I went to shake Kyle’s hand.
Urgh…what a stupid mistake. In this case, as I can see which direction his Ultra is going because of the Ultra flash, regardless of where my character was going to land, I should have just blocked it down back, in this case to the left.
If I landed behind, I’m safe because Vega flew off in the other direction and I get to punish, most probably for the win.
If I land in front, I get to block because it’s a safe jump and I get to punish, most probably for the win.
Instead I did the dumbest thing possible and assumed it would crossup and blocked the other way. And lost the match because of it.
While it’s a bitter loss to take, I guess I learned a couple very valuable lessons today.
1- Always be aware of the clock.
2- Just block down back when crossing up against a wake up Ultra and you can see the direction of the Ultra.
3- Be composed, and play for the long term. Don’t think short term and keep thinking “I want the knockdown…nownowNOW” and then becoming very predictable.
GG Kyle. When I lose to you, I find it very hard to take. But I think when I play you, you expose a lot of my shortcomings, and I should try to approach that as a way to learn and improve.
Hopefully I don’t make the same dumb mistakes again.
I had to leave early, because if I waited to watch the rest of the top 8, I probably would not be able to make the last train/tram. (And I wanted to go home and sulk.)
That’s gonna be a problem in the future, because I generally like to watch the top 8.
And if one day pigs can fly, Kobe goes to heaven, and I somehow miraculously make top 8, how am I gonna get back home?
I’ll guess I’ll think of something.
So that’s my recap of the first Boxhill ranbat of 2011. GGs to everybody, thanks to the organisers and good to see the ranbats on again!