So a couple weeks ago at CCH I hear that HeavyWeapons wants to do a First to 5 with me in Marvel.
My immediate response is a look of disgust- why would anyone want to see that? A) Heavy doesn’t even play Marvel, and B) even though I play it, I’m horrible at the game. So at the time I thought it was just a joke.
But when Heavy showed up, it became apparent to me that it was actually gonna happen. So I figured what the hell, it might be fun.
I didn’t realize the crowd it would gather, and Heavy even had a mini-session of Marvel whispering with Toxy beforehand.
So it was time and I went to go sit down at the setup. Everyone was crowding around and watching. I tried not to be nervous and I did my best to block out the sound of the crowd.
(Also, be sure to check Kevin’s (Burnout) guest article on Shadowloo: It’s Melbourne Baby! I really enjoyed the piece, good shit Kev. I still remember the first time I saw you outside CCH, and it already feels like you’ve been in the scene for a long-ass time already. Kev’s a great example of how integrating new blood to the community can produce people who become really integral and super helpful/important parts of the community.)
I think I did a good job of blocking out the audience noise initially, but I quickly fell behind to 4-2.
When I got it to 4-3 after Heavy was on set point, I kind of keeled over in relief and I started hearing the crowd again.
Everyone was so hype and yelling and screaming. What the hell?
I didn’t really understand it- we were so fimble…dropping combos and doing stupid shit galore. I kept sliding into Sentinel low M like an idiot and I did not hit a single Taskmaster combo. At least I got one thing from the crowd- they kept yelling to just do combo into super when I kept dropping my combos- I eventually gave up trying to do the BnB and just went right into Super which helped a lot.
I felt that I played really badly and fimbled a lot but at least it seemed that everyone was entertained and had a good time. I eventually came back and won 5-4…you can in see my face in the video that I’m so disgusted with my play and at the same time you can clearly see this huge look of relief!
So it was pretty exciting and I had a good time. Even if the two of us are mega fimblers.
We even had a rematch the next week at SNL.
I felt more solid in my play- and I think the matches showed that. Of course, there was still a lot of hilarious fimbality- like my double screw up tiger knee grapple and just do Bionic Arm anyway and still hit hilarity. I remember looking away from the screen in disgust when I saw I fimbled the tiger knee grapple and I looked back and was so shocked to see that the Bionic arm actually hit! Oh god…
One interesting thing that I noted about the two sets was how my warmup affected my play in the sets.
With HW vs Muttons I, my only practice beforehand was to lose 26 straight games in a set to Kyle. Now playing against Kyle’s team (Trish, Dorm, Akuma) is not fun at all with my team.
He puts the trap on the floor, jumps up and places trap, calls Akuma assist, dashes back and throws fireballs. I just have to block, block, block, block with She-Hulk and try to get in without losing too much life, which is so hard.
He just keeps running to the corner, but what Kyle is really good at is recognizing the crucial range and timing when I would try to make my move, and he would suddenly interrupt his zoning to dive kick with Trish or Shield Skills with Taskmaster. And I invariably ate it every time.
So since this set with Kyle was primarily an extremely frustrating exercise in blocking Trish fireball, I never got to flex my offensive Marvel muscle memory, or you know- actually do a combo. So when I played HeavyWeapons, I basically fimbled everything.
But when HW vs Muttons II happened, I played a set with Fish’s friend (I think his name is Phil?). He used Wolverine, Dante, Haggar I think? Anyway he was bodying me at the start, but I adapted better and we were even trading games near the end. I was able to get into a rhythm and apply my hit confirms, resets, and offense. I felt that I learned something from the set and actually improved my game.
So when I played Heavy later, I felt a lot more confident and in command of my characters.
That’s when I noticed the different effects my warmup with different people and playstyles had on me.
I guess I can apply that in tournament. Before I play AE for example, it might not be the best idea to hunt down Toxy for some casuals. It’s important to realize that when warming up just before you play in tournament, you need to warm up your muscle memory and confidence and find a suitable opponent that will allow you to do so. Somebody who is way above your level or perhaps somebody with an overly defensive playstyle might not be the best choice.
Casuals is for leveling up and getting beat down or learning to deal with a frustrating matchup. Warmups is a totally different thing.
I haven’t been very smart about this before, and I should definitely bring this lesson with me to my future tournaments.