League of Sharpies is over and done with, and I escaped relegation to D league by the skin of my chinny-chin chin.
Overall I went 3-4. 2-3 with DQs.
Beat: Spoony 7-2, Allen 7-2 (Allen got DQed from the league so I only have two wins nooo), Alex Canale 7-4
Got bopped by: Burnout 7-1, Muzztek 7-3, Tomcat 7-2, Cactus 7-3 (Cactus also got DQed)
Let me try to do a quick recap of my last three matches, Burnout, Muzztek and Alex.
BURNOUT THE KOREAN SHAMPOO SUPERSTAR
With Burnout I was fairly confident. I usually do pretty good against him in casuals. But the final score was 7-1 in his favour! He totally mopped the floor with me, and was the strongest example of someone being in my head the entire time.
After the match I sort of reflected on my failure. I was pretty unhappy with the result, mainly because of how completely Kevin (Burnout) controlled the match, read my intentions and resisted any attempt by me to reverse the momentum. Remember how I said I normally do pretty good against Kevin in casuals?
The thing is, now that I reflect upon it, I actually haven’t beaten Kevin in tournament in a long while. He definitely is the far greater tournament player, actually possessing clutch factor and a stubborn mind that refuses to bend to people’s conditioning. He beat me at SXC 2013 for example, and at quite a few other majors that I forget.
But anyway most of all I was disappointed that I didn’t manage to implement any of my lab stuff against him at all. Here are my notes:
- Stand lp to beat forward normals
- FHP is – 9
- Stand lp is good against F mk (-1 on block) and F hp but loses to F lk (-2 on block 5f su)
- Press stand mk (moves you forward, avoids stomp and smacks his throw/jab) or Backdash (doesn’t work in corner) after light slash if he does light stomp afterwards u can punish heavily
- Be careful of light slash reset during combos prepare to mash dp.
- Do cHP against air dash ex air tatsu
- Do normals against his jump ins instead of DP such as stand Rh chp stand hp etc or do LP DP
- U can punish his air dash back on reaction with tatsu or ultra
- Jump more against his bad fireballs (much worse recovery than other shotos)
- Treat him like ken and fish a bit with focus at mid-range to catch F hp and F mk
And I had a bit of personal notes vs. Kevin’s style but I forgot to save them after the match. I practiced quite a lot against his air back dash and air dash tatsu/stomp mixups, and practice beating out his main mid screen normal with my buttons.
And guess what- I failed to employ any of it -_-
He would jump in, and despite mentally telling myself over and over not to fierce DP I would fierce DP and eat a phat punish. Despite specifically practising to fight his fHP and mentally telling myself not to press buttons after a second one he still nailed me with consecutive fierces many times. Didn’t do stand MK against his stomps, I got hit by every slash mix-up…Everything went wrong.
When all my specific match-up stuff wasn’t working I went back trying to work the fireball game, but Kevin read my weak patterns and refused to let me set a rhythm and would jump-in/fHP/focus and punish me way more than any damage I was getting from my fireballs. The 7-1 score flattered me, not him.
I think no matter how much I lab, without committing the punishes and counters against a real-life Oni player I was never properly able to embed the stuff to muscle memory. Also, Kevin mindfucked me pretty good in the set.
Weeks later we played an extensive set at another CCH and I did SO GOOD! I was so frustrated at myself afterwards because I countered the air dash well with LP DPs/normal and fireball and tatsus to punish, and spaced his normals with whiff punishes, stand LP and cMP so much better. I was telling myself why couldn’t I bloody play like this in the set?!?! Urgh. This is why I suck.
Muzztek whipping me with his Poison
This was actually the only match that I didn’t prepare for in the whole league. With apologies to James (Muzztek), I pretty much assumed that he was gonna get DQed since he had so many matches left to play and only one CCH left. I simply figured he wasn’t gonna show up 😛
Instead he rocks up, plays like five matches in a row and ends up taking first place. Damn you James!!
Poison is definitely a match that I have absolutely no idea how to play. The only Poison I could have practiced with to prepare for James…is James. So yeah.
To be honest I was expecting to get slapped 7-0. To take three games probably meant that James had something on his mind! I think I played okay solid (most of my damage came from James getting bored and jumping in on me). Once I got in the corner I was done- that Poison corner pressure is no joke. And I got hit by virtually every EX flip kick.
After the match James showed me some ranges in which I can fireball safely against non-EX flip kick, and Xavier showed me how cancelling into fierce fireball often leaves gaps that I should be able to exploit. I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of this massively annoying match. Enough said.
Alex C, he who anti-aired me with a motherfucking Dive Kick
Next up was my last match vs Alex. Lose and go down into D. While historically I have struggled against Cammy, I at least was semi-prepared for Alex, having put a couple of hours every week practicing anti-airs against her dive kicks, whiff punishing her common pokes and the character specific combos like cmp cmp stand mp DP or far stand HK stand MP DP. I practiced a little bit of the old Ryu jump MK unblockables on Cammy but I mainly focussed on keeping her out. Alex’s style is rough, down and dirty so if I keep him out I should have a strong chance to win.
In the end the score was 7-4, and we both played really sloppily. There were fimbles galore, and I dropped almost every single character specific Cammy combo (much to the disgust of Kon and Rossco who said I should just do the normal combos instead) and we were both handing each other rounds that should have been closed out.
I remember distinctly that Alex did an excellent job of confusing the hell out of me. He would stand there whiffing like five normals in a row in front of me, completely whiff punishable stuff like her stand MK and I would just stand there slack-jawed not doing anything.
Because I never knew when Alex would do a random spiral arrow in my face/instant cannon strike/dash forward cLP/focus/jump- I had absolutely no idea what he was gonna do at any time. He conditioned this hesitance and confusion in me, adversely affecting my reactions and decisiveness in terms of whiff punishing and things like that.
When Alex got in he was relentless and caused me a lot of trouble- but in the end I won sort of by weathering the storm. Just staying solid and letting him kill himself trying so hard to get in. I remember Rossco/Toxy et al. crowding around and getting hype during the match.
I really hated that. I wanted them to all STFU so that I could concentrate properly. In the end I probably laughed along too much with the crowd at all the fimble things that happened and never hit 100% concentration. Such as Alex dying when he jumped in with a mixup and I anti-aired with an instant jump back MP (fimbled MP DP). Or when I jumped in with a crossup tatsu for the win and mistimed it so badly he woke up with an instant EX Cannon strike and it ANTI-AIRED ME for the win. Ah such comedy and fimbles.
It’s a good feeling to finally finish a league season. Big thanks to H (Carnage) for running the league, and GGs to all my opponents. Even though I mostly got slapped, I think I learned a lot. Hopefully I can do better again next season!
Now you are ready for EVO2015!
How was SS6?
It was great, the most fun SS I’ve been to in a while. Was relaxing, got to hang out a lot with interstaters/internationals. Didn’t do too hot in SFIV, lost to Momochi and Heavy Weapons, DQed myself from Marvel so that I could mind front desk, ran a bit of USFIV brackets but otherwise was very light workload for me and a ton of fun.