My only friend, the end.
We wake up at a more reasonable hour of 7 am. It’s the last day of Shadowloo Showdown and I for one am really looking forward to it.
I always love Sunday at majors, because generally most of my tournament responsibilities are over at that point. The Marvel bracket, my main responsibility, has been run through, and we have our top 8 ready to go. Finally, all the TOs can take a break, sit down for a change and watch some games. I always look at Sunday as the “reward day”. When I’m slogging through Friday and Saturday, and I’m thinking to myself “Urgh. When will this end?” the thought of Sunday finals always cheers me up.
So we get down to the venue, and most of the tournament stations have been packed away already. We don’t really have to do much in terms of setting up this morning because we did most of it last night. So we move stuff around for a brief time and we’re basically good to go.
I don’t see Chris anywhere and I wonder where he’s gone. It turns out that because Chris worked so hard and did not get to sleep at all, his body fell into a sort of coma, and he was actually physically unable to get out of bed on Sunday. He only was able to make it on Sunday in the late afternoon, and that really sucks because I know Chris loves watching finals. This should not be happening to TOs. Chris works way too hard.
The function room suddenly seems much more spacious with people slowly trickling into the venue, and without all the setups clogging up space. I start to fiend for some games, as I basically have not played any casuals all weekend except for some ST games on Saturday with Yang. Also in the end, I did not get to get a single game in with any international, which didn’t bother me at the time because of the circumstances I was in, but in hindsight I really regret that.
Rossco and I grab a setup from the backroom to setup for casuals, and we only get a few games in before people looking over our shoulder request to go on next. We look at each other and go to grab another setup from the back room, but the same thing happens again. I think this time Rossco had to go do something, and someone slid in to take his spot.
Poor Rossco. Unlike him, I got to play for a while, and got bodied by George in Marvel if my memory serves me right. This was followed by a much longer set of bodyment from Yang. I was having a lot of difficulty with his zoning teams, and I was dropping everything, even basic Doom combos that I should be able to do in my sleep. I wasn’t saying much to Yang, but inside I was feeling very frustrated at my execution, actually I think Yang might’ve sensed it. After a while I had had enough of myself sucking, so I said good games to Yang, and wandered off elsewhere.
In retrospect, the decision to pack up all casual setups to “force” people to watch the finals might not have been such a good idea.
People want to watch what they want to watch, and even if you don’t have the casual setups there, if they’re not interested in the game on screen, they’ll simply go off to eat or go back to their hotel rooms to play. What ended up happening was a big crowd massing around the small number of casual setups we had in the casual area, so eventually we had to keep bringing out more and more casual setups for everyone. We should’ve have just moved some of the tournament stations setups over rather than packing up everything in the backroom.
The other aim of packing up casual setups early was so that we could pack up and leave from the venue on time and not go way over time like the last few years. But as Berzerk was saying in the post SS CW meeting, maybe next time we could have a softer approach; leave casual setups there and gradually start removing them as the day goes on and people start moving to the spectator area to watch the more popular games. That way we still solve the pack up issue, and I really think “forcing” people to watch the finals, especially early in the day doesn’t really work. It has to be a more organic process. I think quite a lot of the enjoyment that people take out of the event are the moneymatches and sets and the first to threes that people want to do with internationals and the other interstaters they seldom see. And Sunday is an important part of that.
The other cool thing about finals day is that Bugs printed out a couple of designs that Loki did. A “Butter” one, a “Fimbler” one and my personal favourite; a “You are Dead” poster with a Kyleface on it. We’ve actually had the “You are Dead” one for a while. I think Bugs brought it to CCH once and we hung it on the wall like a dead ancestor’s portrait or something. I liked it so much I got Andrew to pin it on my back.
Later in the day Kyle, who’s in Japan right now hitting on underage schoolgirls, notices all the Kylefaces on the stream, and I heard he was buttered beyond belief. Heheh.
So I finally sit my ass down and watch some Tekken Tag 2. I heard that Tekken started half an hour late, and pretty much started the whole schedule delay issue snowballing. I think Loki allocated an hour of free time on finals day and we ended up chewing through all that and going for much later. I don’t think there’s too much that we can do if we want everything on the one stream, there’s just so many freaking games! And everything seemed to go to the last game last round, reset in grand finals etc, which made for some great matches, but it was schedule agony for the TOs!
But Tekken was fun to watch. I cheered with delight whenever Anna bent over and did her inviting pre-match jiggle. And Shadowfox was up to his usual hijinks, popping off and cheering and cussing in the audience. I really loved it in OHNX during SC and KOF and I loved it now. Especially when the Tekken people starting yelling back and popping off when Melbourne lost and furiously waving “Fimbler” signs heheh. I wish David could have kept it up for the whole day, but I think that might a bit too much to ask. He petered off after Tekken, much to my disappointment.
I didn’t know who to cheer for so I just cheered for the Williams sisters team whenever they were on-screen. But I think in the end a NSW guy called MMT won, well done to Australia for knocking out all the internationals!
Next up was 3S, and I was really looking forward to watching MOV kick some ass. I was remembering the sick air parry MOV did to Deshiken’s air tatsu last year, and I expected Joe would want his salty runback against Deshiken. To my surprise Tokido put him into losers and Momochi eliminated Deshiken, so that didn’t happen.
Eventually it came down to MOV and Tokido again in the Chun mirror match, and MOV was too strong, coming back from losers’ to take it. A really strong performance from Tokido though! Damn how does he maintain his level in so many games? And I’m not a Third Strike player, so I found the Chun footsie war quite interesting. I suppose it might quite boring to the long-time 3S players though. There were a lot of hype moments, and I quite enjoyed that finals.
Then it was time for SC. I was expecting M. Lizard to be the favourite, because Kevin had told me that his name is actually derived from his sick performances with Lizardman in the past SC games. Bksama came up to me and put five bucks down on Tokido, and I was quite happy to put my five down on M.Lizard. Bk looked a bit surprised and disappointed when he heard about the Lizardman thing though.
Remember when I said Spoony went and checked all the SC setups on Friday but didn’t have time to check the cabinets because they basically got in at the last minute? That’s why the following snafu happened.
Basically Tokido and M. Lizard were going at it in the first round, and I think M. Lizard was winning. Yesss…five bucks, I was thinking in my head. But Tokido kept looking back over his shoulder throughout the round and saying something heated in Japanese. In the end it turned out he was saying the game didn’t have the latest patch, so we stopped the game and had to swap out the consoles. Apparently Viola got buffed in the latest version? Not sure. But when they went back at it Tokido’s Viola was too strong and he beat M.Lizard to advance to grand finals (again.)
I gave my five bucks to BK who was smiling. Damn! Saved by the patch! Heh.
Fuudo also impressed the hell out of me with his crazy Natsu combos that seemed to do 60 percent pluswhenever he got a hit on Jwong’s Prryha. Justin played really solid, but I guess Fuudo has superior 3D game experience with his VF history? But he took out Jwong to move on to face M.Lizard.
Eventually M.Lizard beat Fuudo in a really back and forth set to make it back to grand finals. Fuudo would land some sick mixup and go into some sick Natsu wall combo that did shit tons of damage. M.Lizard would fight back tenaciously and hit his hype CE a couple of times to come back from the brink. His CE would make his Aeon fly up and become like a dragon or something? And then he would breathe fire and brimstone down upon the opponent. I’m not exactly sure how it works, maybe it’s a good defensive reversal of sorts. But it was quite exciting whenever he pulled it out in clutch situations to take crucial rounds.
So it was down to Tokido’s Viola and M.Lizard’s Aeon in the grand finals. M. Lizard fought valiantly…but damn, Tokido. Always in there with them cheap tactics. Time and time again he would lock down M.Lizard with his CE pinning him in place, and charge up that unblockable for the win. We were all looking around shaking our heads. Trust Tokido to come up (or use) with some kind of broken tech!
Huy got on the mic after the set and said “Congrats to Tokido. By the way guys, Aeon is the worst character in the game, and Viola is the cheapest character in the game, so what you saw was really really special.”
So Tokido took the SCV crown. I wondered to myself how many more grand finals he would make that day.
Next was VF5, and I had to go help with some packing up so I missed most of the top 8. I did come back in time to watch Ryan Hart vs. Fuudo though. And just in time to catch this epic round!
Fuudo had basically no life and he backed all way back to the corner and started swigging drinks.
Spoony explained to me that the drinks counter on his character was like a power-up mechanic, and as the counter goes higher, he gets access to better moves and things. So he was basically building meter in the corner since he’s pretty much lost the round already.
So Ryan Hart is on the other corner. They’re on the raft stage, by the way, so the corner is on the edge of the raft and a pixel from ring out. Fuudo is just swigging away for a good ten seconds. Finally Ryan Hart has had enough and he charges at him. The running attack seems to connect…but Fuudo somehow counters him and throws him off to the side, in the direction that he came, right splash into the river for an epic ring out.
Everyone got so hype, cheering and laughing. It was so epic!
Gab later explained to me that it was actually a throw break that Fuudo did to ring out Ryan. So the fact that he yomi-ed such a specific action and did the specific counter to that in such a dire situation made it all the more awesome. Wow.
Fuudo went on to take the tourney quite convincingly. His mastery over both Virtua Fighter, such a notoriously difficult 3D game to master, and Street Fighter at the same time is something I really find hard to comprehend. Ryan Hart did mention it in my interview with him of how VF really prepares you and sets you up to play any fighting game at a high level. Hmm maybe I should try that 15 dollar price tag…
The next game was KOF. And once again Tokido surprised everyone by beating Poongko and the Chinese player Dakou! So he made it to his third grand final of the day, and it was a really close game, especially when you consider everyone was expecting Xiaohai to body everyone. So you have to give a lot of credit to Tokido. His Mr. Karate was so solid, and he definitely gave Xiaohai a run for his money. But Xiaohai took it in the end, which I guess most people expected. KOF is always hype when I watch it; hopefully it will keep growing in the Melbourne community.
Skullgirls started going and we were definitely was over time at this point. Marvel was scheduled to start at eight, and we still had time-over fest SFxT left to go…
My buddy Eugene showed up around this time with his wife and cousin. I had actually told some of my friends who play Marvel casually to show around this time to watch the Marvel finals and a certain American Marvel legend- Justin Wong. But when they showed up I had to tell them that Marvel was probably only going to start in two hours’ time. They looked at what was on screen- Skullgirls, and they had this expression that was like a “what the hell is this” kind of thing. I tried to explain the game a little bit, but I gave up. Why a fighting game is a good fighting game doesn’t…it’s just not relevant to casual gamers.
So instead we went for dinner at Menya instead, and I had a nice big bowl of Okinawa pork don. It was salty, and meaty and everything that I wanted in life. It was good to get a break and recharge myself for the two finals I was looking forward the most.
When I came back SFxT was just finishing, so I missed most of it like I had originally planned 😛 I know quite a few people who all planned to go eat when xTekken started so…
Ah, SFxTekken… providing tournament attendees everywhere worldwide with a golden opportunity to go grab some dinner.
It was Gamerbee vs Justin Wong in the finals! I had asked Gamerbee about the game a few days earlier and I think he told me he didn’t like the game very much. So it was surprising to see that he made it all the way to grand finals. I heard later on that people were booing the grand finals, because they didn’t want to watch anymore xTekken, and that they were booing Justin because he was running away in an already why-can’t-I-kill this guy sort of game. I even heard the stream could hear some of it!
That pretty much shows outright what the community’s feelings towards the game has evolved into. I personally remember being hype about the game when the news first broke out about it, but look at what it turned into. A hype killer. Maybe I’m being harsh, because I don’t even play the game, but look at what happened at SS- it’s true.
So next was what was in my opinion the hypest game of finals day: Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3.
We cheered like hell for Tyrone when he played Zak, but he fell just short. I remember he would do a lot of early X-factors when he got his hit with Wolverine, and somehow Zak was able to turn that to his advantage late in the match. But still a good showing from Tyrone and Queensland.
I was cheering for fellow Spencer player Knives, who was a real nice guy to meet and talk to, but he got eliminated by Zak Bennett with a particularly cruel happy birthday at the end. Man, this game is so goddamn unforgiving!
The hypest moment from the crowd was when Antman beat Tokido! I don’t remember most of the match, but I remember that he did a random Wesker super that crossed up, if my memory serves me right. And then he X-factor cancelled the super and killed Phoenix off that. At the time, I remember the whole crowd going nuts and hilariously Shadowfox ran all the way from the commentator’s booth to go pop off together with Antman. As he ran up the crowd chanted “Antman! Antman! Antman!”
It was hype as hell and so funny too. I couldn’t stop laughing watching David bounce up and down with his brother before breathlessly running back to do commentary with DJ Huoshen. But afterwards, I remember thinking to myself: wait…did I just cheer for a random crossup maximum Wesker? What have I sunk to?! What have I become!?!
I think the only SS stream archive footage I’ve watched so far is the Marvel finals, and when I watched Antman’s match it was still so funny even days later because you can hear Shadowfox being unable to control his excitement and almost hyperventilating on the mic. And you can see in the little stream cam window him running through the crowd like a crazy Vietnamese arrow…so funny lol.
But that was a great moment, well done to our Melbourne boy Antman. He lost later to Justin, but he did Australia proud.
Now you guys probably know that Marlinpie was the player of the day, but when he beat Justin in a incredibly hype match (that sequence when he did like ten seismo cancels in a row got the crowd into a increasing frenzy of noise and hype) and lost to Filipino champ in the winners’ finals, I figured Champ had it won. From watching Champ in casuals, his defense is on another level, and he blocks all the cheap shit that I find impossible to react to.
But goddamn Always Godlike Marlinpie!
He reset the bracket and made so many clutch Amaterasu comebacks…I almost feel ashamed to call myself an Amaterasu player after watching the fluency he displayed with the character. The movement, the seamless weapon changes to present different threats at different times…damn!
I always struggle to set up the spacing or range to get the instant overheads in with Ammy, but Marlin was hitting them all day. And of course those incoming setups…that was the moment I knew meaty jL with Doom was not going to cut it anymore.
He would do meaty jM fH with Ammy assist with Doom, and when Champ X-factor cancelled it, the fH became an option select throw into full combo, death.
When Champ would pushblock the jM, Marlin would dash back up with the guard break air throw into full combo, death.
When Champ just blocked the M, Marlin would then use the lockdown of the Ammy assist to do a nasty high low mixup with Doom into full combo, death.
At the time I didn’t fully understand the mechanic of the anti-pushblock air dash back up air grab, but when I understood that it was actually a guard break, my mind was blown.
I suppose because I watch more West Coast Marvel stuff, guard break isn’t used as commonly over there than on the East Coast. My mind was blown because…how would you time something as specific as that? And more importantly, I want to know how Marlin actually practices it.
Because the way the CPU pushblocks in training mode is really different to the way humans pushblock, and I really want to know how he practices the timing for his guard break setups. Does he have someone do the pushblocks for him? I really wanted to ask him about that, but I never got the chance to talk to Marlin in person, sadly. (He missed his flight to SS, and only showed up I think on Saturday, so I didn’t get the chance to talk to him on Thursday and Friday.)
But back to the match. Marlin really ignited the crowd, and of course with his swag Doom TAC combos, the crowd would cheer louder and louder with each hit of swag in his combo. He came all the way back to stamp them golden letters “PERFECT” on Champ in the last game, and put the world on notice by beating the two West Coast titans.
Damn…watching those Marlinpie matches in person is something I will never ever forget.
The whole Marvel finals were so enjoyable, I love the sense of humour the crowd had for that game. Whereas with AE everyone would be dead silent with the tension and only cheer with a resolution of that tension, with Marvel it was constant hype and laughs. For example, when Doom does his level 3 and puts down the chair, he gives this merciless laugh at the end. And someone in the crowd did the laugh at that same exact moment during the super and had everyone up in laughter. That was awesome.
Another awesome thing was during a Storm hailstorm super, when a whole bunch of people started singing a song…it went something like…when the weather takes you, or where the wind takes you…or something like that, I can’t remember the lyrics. But everyone was singing it, I don’t know who started it, was it the Queenslanders? But that was really funny and really stuck in my memory.
But now it is time to talk about how I fucked up. To begin the story of how I fail in life, we must go back to a few months before Shadowloo Showdown.
I noticed that on the site it says that it is best of three until grand finals for Marvel, which would then be best of five. So that weekend at SNL I went up to Ali and asked him; “Hey, are we doing winners’ and losers’ finals best out of five?” He replied, “Of course bruh. Isn’t that the standard?”
I said, “Well it says on the site only GF is best of five.” Ali says, “Nah, we’re definitely doing best of five for losers’ and winners’ finals.” I said, “Oh okay, cool.”
And then I completely forgot about it. Mistake number one. Should’ve changed the stuff on the site.
Also, my personal opinion is that Marvel is such a random ass game, and runs really fast anyway, that it should be best out of five all games. And in the meantime, majors started adopting that format, and now even EVO is doing best out of five from quarters onwards.
But anyway, flash forward to Shadowloo Showdown Thursday. One of the first few things Filipino Champ says to me is that Marvel should be best out of five for all matches. I tell him that I fully agree, but that the final decision lies with Ali. I tell him to go ask Ali about it, and that we might be limited by the schedule. I reassure him that in any case winners and losers is best out of five. He says that’s fine, and he’ll go talk to Ali.
I go off and later that night at the Box Hill tourney I ask Ali about it, and he gives me a positive answer about best out five, and that we’ll see how it goes. Champ echoes to me pretty much the same thing about his conversation with Ali. I say okay, and give Loki, the tournament director, a short phone call to ask him of his opinion on the matter.
In the meantime, a lot of American players, Knives included, comes up and tells me how much they would prefer best out of five.
Loki, in no uncertain terms, outlines what a dumbass I am, and that in no way can our current schedule support best out of five in pools or semis. In retrospect, he was totally right. I tell Loki that he makes absolute sense as usual, and I hang up, and I don’t go on to tell Ali the result of our conversation.
Mistake number two.
The weekend continues, until Sunday morning, when I tell Loki that he was right about not running best out of five in pools or semis. I ask him about winners and losers finals, and he tells me that it’s not going to happen because A) we don’t have time, and B) it sets a bad precedent. If we alter what we put up on the site on a whim, what’s to stop other players from other games requesting best out of five for their winners’ and losers’ finals? If we say no, they could say, well you did it for Marvel didn’t you? And then we would be royally fucked schedule wise or derided for our poor organisation and caving in to player pressure.
I agree with Loki’s decision, and I walk off to do some other stuff. I did not tell Ali or Filipino Champ what Loki had told me. Biggest mistake of all, number three.
So the day moves on, and we get to Marvel winners’ finals. Before his match Champ turns to the desk and requests best out of five. And when Loki tells him otherwise, Champ starts looking around and starts hollering for Ali, who’s off in the other room manning the rego desk (a job the boss should really not have to do.) To cut a long story short, Ali after listening to Champ, gives in to his request and it was basically best of five from then on. Loki was not happy at all, for all the reasons I listed above.
But in the end it turned out great. The best out of five provided some really magical matches, and no one else requested that format for AE. So it all turned out for the best.
But for a long time there, I was standing there feeling like the biggest dumbass on planet earth. I could have avoided this whole fiasco by simply communicating what Loki to said to both Ali and the Americans earlier. Thank god it turned out okay. You could say maybe I’m overreacting, but I didn’t even realize the big picture potential for things to get fucked up until Loki explained it better on Sunday morning.
But yeah, Marvel was over, and it was time for the final game of the day. To tell you the truth, at this point at every grand finals I was praying inwardly “Don’t reset the freakin’ set, don’t reset the freakin’ set…” And it would get reset every single time. Third Strike, Marvel, KOF…actually come to think of Tokido was singlehandedly responsible for a lot of GF resets. Every game went down to the wire. And the clock was ticking.
Thankfully the CQ staff turned out to be really accommodating and understanding. I don’t really understand it. We’re noisy, messy, cheap at the bar, and always go way over time. If I were the CQ staff, I would really hate us as a client!
But it was time for AE. I got hype when I saw the match coming. Yeah! Naruo! Finally time for some Ryu action and to learn the Gen matchup…wait what is this? He’s picking Evil Ryu???
I think most of the crowd was really hype to see Evil Ryu, I was probably the only dude that was sad about it. I wanted to see Naruo’s Ryu. And I don’t really understand how Evil Ryu would fare better than Ryu against Gen. With that low life you’re just gonna die in one hit to Gen’s Super into Ultra round 3 finisher.
I guess as the match went on I understood a little more his reasons behind his character choice. Basically Amiyu would always jump out to a lead, but damn, that Evil Ryu damage. If Naruo landed just one low forward, he could come back almost all the way in just one combo. But Amiyu proved to be too strong, with his multitude of anti-shoto ambiguous setups. I’ve always thought Gen was a strong character, and it’s good to see him place at SS.
The other match I really enjoyed was Dakou versus Tokido, mainly because Dakou played so damn good! He played with so much heart, making gutsy reads and uppercuts. He would beat Tokido on the ground, and then EX DP through any air fireballs. At first, I was really enjoying that “get that shit out of here Tokido” strategy. But in some of the later rounds he ended up really needing that two bars. So I suppose spending that meter was really a double edged sword. That was one of my favourite matches of the day, I suppose mostly because I’m a Ryu student, but also that the match was so close and so good. Check it out here:
Next was Bruce aka Gamerbee against BanBaBan. Bruce is a fan favourite and a good buddy to a lot of the Melbourne top players so he had a lot of support from the crowd. But BanBaBan pulled off the upset to move on.
Matter of fact, BanBaBan upset a lot of people during the finals to make it all the way to grand finals! I remember there was a lot of disgruntlement about the “sloppiness” of his play; that it was just because it was Cammy that it still worked. I do remember noticing a little bit of sloppiness from his play, but I suppose it is more stark when up against a character like Bison who doesn’t have that same explosiveness, and has to make many more correct (admittedly more low risk as well) reads and decisions over the course of a match than say, a character like Cammy.
And I think a lot of people just wanted Neurosis to win because he’s a cool guy, and well. There are a lot of Bison players in Melbourne and Australia I know Dave and Xavier were pulling for him to win.
Neurosis, always cool, playing with one leg crossed over the other, looking sharp in his business attire. His Bison play that day was as textbook and crisp as his dress style. He took out Tokido and Amiyu to make it to losers finals against BanBaBan!
Next up was Eita versus Neurosis. Goddamn, Eita!
I remember having this conversation with Toxy after SS. Basically we were both talking about how amazed we were about how fast Eita could kill Bison!
We were both commiserating about how long it takes us to kill Bison. How once he has the lead you have to chase him and chase him…and once you make a bad read he gets away with his Psycho Crusher or teleport. That’s when you die a little inside and groan inside your head, knowing that you have to go chase him down all over again and that it’s probably gonna be a long-ass match and a long-ass grind. But then Eita comes along in Shadowloo Showdown and basically kills Bison within 15 seconds every round! I said to Mike that Eita’s my new idol. I want to kill Bison that fast too.
He played with no fear, uppercutting at will, and sweeping the shit out of everything. He would whiff punish with sweep, punish devil’s reverse with sweep, combo into sweep, and immediately go into the vortex. He played actually really recklessly, but it definitely paid off. I can see the strategy behind it: in the long run giving Bison time and space to grind you down, not to mention build up his meter, gives him an advantage against you. So while playing so aggressively against Bison like Eita did opens yourself up to take a lot of damage, you really do yourself a favour by not allowing Bison to set up his range game and just take him out before he can get any momentum. It was amazing. Eita!
Then it was losers’ finals between BanBaBan and Neurosis. That match was full of tension and heartbreak…the room would go completely quiet for a good ten, fifteen seconds before erupting at the end of each climactic round. There was one particular round, I think Heavy said it best: “It was eighty seconds of nothing, and then eight seconds of everything.” Basically Neurosis had completely zoned BanBaBan out for the whole match, and keeping his distance. He was well happy in his lead.
And then he walked forward and did a perfectly innocuous standing medium kick…and BanBaBan whiffed punished with his Ultra! The room went nuts and then there was this crazy exchange of knockdown and life leads exchanging within the space of five seconds…what a match. And let me say, that Ultra provoked a lot of lengthy discussion between the Melbourne players. Some people said it was a godlike reaction, others didn’t respect it at all.
But eventually, with a lot of people rooting for Neurosis and a crazy back and forth match, BanBaBan took it and made into grand finals to face Eita, who had put him into losers’ in the first place.
Man. With names with Poongko, Momochi, Tokido, Fuudo, Xiaohai, Justin Wong, Filipino Champ, Ryan Hart, Gamerbee…who would’ve known that the grand final would be between Eita and BanBaban? No disrespect to those two guys who played amazing that day, but it’s safe to say that Shadowloo Showdown 2012 was a tournament of upsets.
Eventually Eita took the tournament with his trademark rushdown playstyle, and BanBaban and him exchanged a mutual hug of appreciation. Everybody in the audience stood up, and we gave the finalists a standing round of ovation. Everyone was really appreciating the level of play on display, and really just letting the moment sink in.
I looked around me. Everyone had smiles on their faces. Some people had looks of half disbelief at the matches they’ve just seen. Dudes like Loki and Chris looked dog tired but happy. The applause went on for a good few minutes.
This is the end, I thought to myself. Finally, Shadowloo Showdown is over. So much tiredness, and messiness, and things that could go wrong… going wrong. So much money and time and bodies sunk into this event. People not sleeping for the whole weekend, and even giving up their beds like Dave, for example. So much sacrifice.
But as I looked around, into the faces of the people around me, observing their half-open mouths and their softening eyes, I knew it was worth it.
Edit: As a post-recap treat, (I commend you sir if you got through all four of my long-winded SS recaps), check out Tracey Lien’s article on Shadowloo Showdown: Fighting to the Top.
I had seen her do many interviews at SS, so I was wondering what happened to her feature on SS as the weeks and months went by. But now that the article is out I can really see that she put a ton of work into it. It must not be easy putting all that together when you don’t really know the scene. It made me kind of realise that that is the level of hard work and dedication needed to put out first class game journalism material, and that I should step my shit up.
Give it a read, it’s good stuff. I wish she had profiled a local player or two, but I guess as our local FGC scene gets more and more exposed to the general public, more articles will follow.