League of Sharpies: Cactus and Tomcat


I had just gotten back from OHN, fresh off the high of not going 0-2 for once. It was time to fight one of my good buddies in League of Sharpies: Cactus.

Dhalsim vs Ryu…hm.

I’ve played Cactus a lot before but he’s always generally had my number. The only thing in my favour is that he doesn’t play as much as before, so he’s a little rusty, and I now have access to Manny, the great Dhalsim player from Mexico who’s living here in Melbourne this year as a student. Now Manny is pretty damn good- he’s currently undefeated in League B tearing the likes of Exis (former BAM champ) and Hoppa up.

So I tried to apply my same training regimen as against Spoony, to lab it up, but this time to combine it with actual match training against Manny.

Some of my notes from the lab (didn’t really come up with much):


  • Punish sniper with super on block or FADC thru ultra/tatsu
  • Tatsu thru ultra
  • Lvl 3 focus in corner on his wakeup.
  • Normals that can hit yoga tower, stand hk, chp, far stand hp. Best to do stand hk
  • Neutral jump mp is good against limbs.
  • Whiff punish his fierce with sweep
  • Mix up jump tatsu and empty jump low forward with regular jumps
  • Option select Meaty with clk+clp, then qcf back to down clp for hado to chase teleport. Do the regular sweep os for Backdash
  • Tip of medium slide is safe, if I press buttons I will get ch by light slide. Can dp but unsafe.
  • Can dp all lk slide.
  • Throw fireball midrange if he slides under sweep him
  • Stand mk into flame jump over it for big punish
  • Use more lp fb and sweep his slide under
  • His back lk is bloody three frames! If he’s mashing it treat him like boxer and do a tight clp cmk string or immediate ex tatsus
  • Clk clp chp hado leaves u at an awesome range to punish back lk
  • After tech do cmk buffer super. It’ll whack the shit out of his bloody crouch long jab

I found it pretty hard to implement a lot of the stuff I was practising against Manny.

Specifically whiff punishing fierces and punishing Yoga snipers was high on my “to do list” but I never could pull it off. Also, Manny plays a lot differently from Cactus, and specifically his back short was giving me so many problems. And abusing focus attack from Cactus has worked occasionally in the past before but Manny is really good at beating it out with multiple options.

Now my LGP has been really buggy the last few weeks, failing to properly record the last CouchWarriors ranbat grand final and a ton of Sharpies matches I was recording for people, and even my match against Tomcat zzz. At least my match versus Cactus made it through.

So I watched it and took notes:

G1R1: Bad combo ender cost me the round (self cornered myself with hard tatsu)
Execution with air sniper tatsu still not 100% despite specifically practicing it for this matchup.
Bad fireballs at close footsie range which is good against other normal characters but maybe not Dhalsim.
G1R2: Another recurring bad habit of mine. Being frugal with meter at the END of rounds. Why did I not EX tatsu to end that stand RH combo?
G1R3: Getting defeated by my bane. Those back shorts. Got a good two ex fireballs to hit though, which is rare on a good Dhalsim. Then I throw it all away by getting back thrown by Sim. Again, I should have conditioned Sim to respect my meaties with some low shorts before going for bigger gap mixups. I started the mindgames circle one step higher than I should and really paid for it in the early rounds. A backthrow by Sim in the corner usually means you lose the round.

G2R1: Another one of my deficiencies. A lot of times I don’t tech when I miss a jump-in. First of all, opponents should be properly punishing my landing recovery instead of giving me a chance to tech. But I should tech regardless. Spent a LOT of meter to get that win.

G3R1: BACK THROW! Anyway in this case Cactus had a good reaction to correctly the time a use of a risky focus attack by me. He’s also reading my patterns better and better.
Damnit I could have ended the round if I went for stand RH crouch HP ex tatsu. I guess I was caught by surprise that he teleported behind me. And then…BACK THROW!!!
G3R2: Hmm. I’m getting more jump-ins at this point than I remember. My memories of that match consist of getting hit by that back knee a hundred times plus the 400 psychological damage of each back throw.
G3R3: Excellent D by Cactus in the corner. Stuffed everything I did.

G4R1: My midscreen gimmicks are working less and less. My crouch MPs, my read tatsus, everything. Cactus is also reacting well to my FA with his own. I give up a lot of life to push him into the corner where I get…BACK THROWN!!!

G4R2: To his credit, the last set we played before this I won a very unexpected 5-2. And a LOT of it was me abusing FA against Cactus. This set he was very prepared for it and defended against it extremely well. He’s also getting into rhythm and doing the Cactus teleport shimmy all over me! I get squished. The download is almost complete. I see that he gets hit by a low short low short low short which means he’s still stand teching a bit. All those rounds I lost prior…if only I did low short (plus tech) low short instead of bloody going for probably overhead or something…

G5R1: I take a bit of time to think and decide to play a bit more patient. Build some meter before pushing in my cards. It doesn’t really seem to get me anywhere and I fall back into desperate Ryu mode which gets me killed right quick. Watching it now I see a distinct lack of LP DP in the last two games. I am letting him press all sorts of buttons in close range. Instead I seem preoccupied with whiffing level 3 FAs.

G6R1: Hey as if on cue. Two LP DPs get him in the corner relatively quickly for once! Bloody Cactus’s blocked all of my EX Tatsus so far in the set though! Why didn’t you stand tech then Cactus!!! I throw the round away with an executional error though.
Also notice that I never really successfully use stand FA against his limbs. I notice that I dashed through it a few times in the first few games but why didn’t I just release it to crumple and get U1?
There it is again at the 73 second mark. Cactus is really confident now, with no fear in pressing multiple buttons against me in close range. My DP comes way too late again. A clear lack of ume-powers here.

G7: Great play by Cactus. I think the download is complete. He is pushing me back and reacting very fast to everything I do. I am slow as sludge.

G8: I’m not sure what changed in this round. Let me watch it again. Ah a successful Focus attack. So I’m probably batting 1 for 50!

G9R1: I should have lost that round with some mega fimbles in the corner. But Cactus let me jump over his ultra when I should have EX Dped instead. He could have smacked me back into the Ultra easily; maybe he was reading a Tatsu again?
G9R2: OTG!
G9R3: It’s really the little moments against Dhalsim. It’s like a beautiful romance. One well-timed LP DP to put him in the corner. And one throw into a DWU ambiguous crossup setup (which I can only really make ambiguous against the likes of Sim, and Manny often just slides out of my DWU framekill setups anyway) gets me the round.

G10: I see a pattern emerging with me. I’m like a slow infant, when something works I grasp onto it desperately and sort of forget that I have other tools. Sniper tatsu returns after a five game absence. -_-

I need less FA upclose which Cactus has been blowing up. Or at least FA backdash a few times, maybe he’ll whiff his so I can punish. And I need a much quicker DP trigger finger. I see that my pattern is that I block two or three normals and then DP. Cactus already reads this and punishes me. I need to DP more unpredictably and quicker.

And a panic fimble to end the set. GG Cactus.


I did okay in the first few games, utilising a lot of things I had in my head like whiff punishing stand HP, some counterpoke cmp, LP DPs, attempting to use sniper tatsu etc. I made a lot of crucial errors at the start when I should have established respect from Dhalsim to not stand tech with some meaty low shorts or walk back cmk or whatever, instead getting back thrown at very crucial moments to lose a lot of big games.

But as the set went on Cactus downloaded me and went on a monster 5 game run. I became desperate and error prone in a lot of games and gave away life, positioning and meter way too quickly. I latched on desperately onto things that worked and tried to recreate them at the cost of forgetting all my other tools and Cactus was always one step ahead of me.

At the end I finally was able to shake free of my despo-Ryu malaise and get in a few games…but I couldn’t come close to coming all the way back.

Lesson learned:

I still have a long way to go in the Dhalsim vs. Ryu matchup. This matchup in particular exposes my big weakness. Manny said that fighting Dhalsim is less about labbing it up or being methodical, but rather a big test of your ability to make reads on your opponent, and that is what I lack big time.

This is less a failure of my knowledge/preparation, but an indictment of my subpar prediction skills and temperament.


Coming into this match, I was feeling a rare surge of semi-confidence whilst remaining somewhat scared. Tom was an unknown, and I don’t know how good he is, but on the other hand I had just beaten a Yun at OHN and had been specifically researching that match (Notes below, BIG thanks to ZG for all his help). But…
Continue reading

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My brief OHN12 Recap

logo_ohn12I was on the fence about going to OHN this year. Things at home have been really shit, and it’s been hard to find the leave and money- I’ve been to every Australian major this year including EVO!

But in the end I was really glad I went. The attendance was smaller than in years past but that’s okay, it was much more relaxed and intimate and I feel like I got to know everyone there a bit better and just hang out with dudes.

NSW locals like Youssef, Xavier, David (Furyblitz), Sam and Soo-han really made me welcome and took the time to take me places to eat and chill. Youssef drove Xavier and I from the airport, opened up his house to us, and took us to El-Jannah garlic chicken. David brought me to that godlike Ramen place Ippudo Ramen. (For comparison’s sake, Hakata Gensuke in Melbourne is of similar quality, but at $24 for “extras” such as egg and chasiu, Ippudo blows it outta the water by having like five pieces of chasiu and toppings at that price.) Soo-han was another dude I really enjoyed hanging out with; really enjoyed his pure love for the community and Street Fighter- listening to his OG stories from back in the day was a real treat.

This is why I came to Sydney. Fuck the tournament.

This is why I came to Sydney. Fuck the tournament.

I stayed with Xavier, Igor, Alex C from Melbourne, and Jason (Mr Chowda/WorstBalroginAU) from WA). We had a good time, but man.

Alex and Xavier are the ultimate combination.

Alex loves to talk conspiracy theories and Xavier loves to troll and prove people wrong. Every night I would come back to the room really late after having a bite or hanging out and they would be talking about all sorts of shit- gender salary, diet, the world is coming to end etc at 3AM! I would just groan and turn around and cover my ears with my pillow and try to sleep. But it was great fun.

I got to try the famous OHN Karaoke Night with Youssef, the Tekken boys (Tekken was hella hype at OHN this year) and the QLDers.

Baxter, Xavier and Youssef singing Shania Twain’s Man I feel like a Woman. And Ramee scratching his balls.

Baxter, Xavier and Youssef singing Shania Twain’s Man I feel like a Woman. And Ramee scratching his balls.

Baxter always makes me laugh, Falco/Hari/Tyrone and Reece are so chill, and I got to ask Yang his advice on how to snare a white woman as an Asian man…just seeing everyone again was great.

I didn’t really harbour any expectations in doing well in the tournament, but I still did extremely well by my standards. I have no illusions about my current mediocre ability in Street Fighter, so to place 9th in both Marvel and Ultra was very surprising. I brought my camera along for the trip, as I wanted to film a ton of B-roll footage for my Kyokugen and Youssef interview, so I also barely played any casuals at all.

KOF guys asked me to take a group photo. Ironically I don't know how to take photos on my camera, just video cos I am a scrub. Jaunty ended up taking this.

KOF guys asked me to take a group photo. Ironically I don’t know how to take photos on my camera, just video cos I am a scrub. Jaunty ended up taking this.

For Ultra I think I played pretty good, especially with the likes of Xavier (Somniac) coaching me, but I was just a total fraud in Marvel.

Everyone in Melbourne knows my Magneto is utter trash. I got 3-0ed by Spikey first round, and I don’t think I even landed a hit. I think Hari and Baxter were standing behind me watching and they got so disgusted at my trash Magnus they wandered off halfway. That guy Spikey beat Tyrone after dispatching me, so he was pretty good. I eventually fought my way back to fight him again in the top 8 qualifying match, but I lost narrowly 3-2.

Ninth place! Not bad for basically a Two and a Half Men team!

I had two extremely fraudulent matches- against Nat and Tri from Queensland, two players that are undoubtedly better than me in this game.

Against Nat my Magneto was simply there to get hit and build meter for my Doom/Ammy and I got it up to 2-2. He started snapping in my Ammy, and in the last game it was down to Nova vs my Doom. He hit my Doom with a hard knockdown and I started yelling out “I’m gonna mash throw on wakeup!!!” And I did and grabbed him- he immediately facepalmed.

I was laughing so hard I dropped the Doom combo, but because he was still facepalming I just grabbed him again! For the KO. Ah, such fraudulence.

Against Tri I somehow went up 2-0 with my Magneto meatshield Doom/Ammy team, and then he started doing the usual Zero May Cry stuff and took the next two games easily. He also snapped in my Ammy and killed my two best characters, leaving me with only my trash Magneto.

Now I have never used Magneto in X-factor in my life before, and everyone knows I can’t complete a Magneto combo to save my life.

But in X-factor I don’t have to do any complex combos; to drop down air dash whiff S and land that H into Hypergrav. I just hit him and went into HHHHS GRAVITY SQUEEZE! And I did that three times and came back on all three characters with my Magneto!

I couldn’t believe it- I sat there staring at my stick for a long time. I shook his hand, and we were both shaking our heads… If only Tri knew the improbability of what just happened!

In Ultra, I played pretty good, beating In4war twice and Jaunty who was doing pretty well in casuals against me the night before. Two instances that made me realise that I was playing well on the day (for my standards); Jaunty was in the corner and jumped back to catch me moving in, and I DPed him on reaction- I almost never do that. And the other instance was when I invested a lot of life and meter to push him into the corner. He suddenly jumped over my head with a surprise crossup that I didn’t see coming until the very last second.

Now this is a typical Muttons moment when I throw it all away and eat the crossup and get put in the corner and lose my composure and the entire match.

But somehow I autocorrect DPed at the very last second and went on to take the game. When I DPed the crossup I was hella surprised at myself that I didn’t crack at that crucial moment. A lot has to be said for Xavier’s coaching, he really settled me down.

For example in my next match against Genxa (after I got completely and utterly demolished by Robsux), I won game 1, and then Genxa steamrolled me two quick rounds for game 2 in typical dominating Yun fashion. Usually I will sit there and overthink, letting my failures and mistakes haunt me for the next game. Xavier was sitting there saying “Don’t worry about it, forget about it, it’s done, move on to the next game. That’s fine.” And surprisingly enough, I did and won the next game. Thanks Xavier. Also thanks Spoony and all the guys that gave me silent support from behind. I can feel the love.

Against Genxa, before the match I was typically pessimistic. ZG was calling out before OHN that I would make it out of the pools and beat Henry but I didn’t believe it in the slightest. First off, historically I have been really bad against Yun in tournament or divekick characters for that matter. Secondly, Henry has beaten me multiple times in tournament- with ease, I might add.

Regardless, I  still labbed for the Yun matchup despite my feelings. I watched Infiltration vs Fentamu and thought about how you must be mobile with Ryu to confuse his divekick angles and to show Yun no respect- you cannot allow him to establish a rhythm or to feel comfortable. You have to jump RH him out of neutral jumps, you have to make reads and DP, you cannot allow him to do whatever he wants.

So I tried that and I really played with a lot of disrespect against Henry. I DPed a lot, and did a lot of unsafe shit like jump over empty jump DP FADC Ultra, and cmk EX fireball dash up DP to chip for the win (he could have easily jabbed me out of my dash and killed me.) It made him respect me and play more on the ground, to play Street Fighter, and I can win that way. In Melbourne people know I’m ass and refuse to get conditioned by any disrespect I show. But it worked, at least for one match!

Next up I had to play Stoz and I felt more confident- after all I play Xavier’s Bison all the time. But in the end even though I was playing ok at the start, my play degenerated over time. Yuto plays more defensive in the matchup than Xavier. Xavier knows he is superior to me as a player and will walk forward to engage with me in footsies at times. Yuto simply got the lead and sat there with charge, intimidating me with EX scissors range. I tried to bait stuff out and build meter, but I lost every single test of patience, eventually throwing that stupid fireball and he would EX scissors without fail, taking me down for the count.

Later after the match I talked to Jason about it, and we both agreed I should have walked forward more. Even though that range is scary for Ryu as it is within light scissors range I can just simply walk forward block to gain position, perhaps throw closer range fireballs, maybe briefly fish for focus to catch the 2nd hit of LK scissors, anything would be better than my dogged “stay out of EX scissors range” strategy that fell apart over time. Also, I really sucked against headstomps in that match. I feel like it’s a harder matchup now in Ultra, but I’m determined to work on that matchup a bit more now, to see what I can do if the Bison just sits there when he has the lead.

GGs to all the people I played, and a big thank you to all the tournament organisers. Spencer, Genxa, Youssef, Kyokugen, Will, Ziggy, Yang and all the people I’ve forgotten- I had a great time.

Next posts: League of Sharpies with Cactus, Tomcat (Or how Yun got his comeuppance), and interviews with Youssef and Kyokugen!

Check out this sick stick art by AlexK. Picture by Colin Tan aka Colinov

Check out this sick stick art by AlexK. Picture by Colin Tan aka Colinov



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Tournament Organiser Porn

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League of Sharpies C rank match 1: Spoony

Carnage (Hakan Dorter) aka the Mega Troll or King of Comedy recently proposed the idea of a Topanga-style league that the Melbourne FGC could use to train together and improve as a whole. The league would take place over several months, and closely follow the Topanga rules, so it would be made up of FT7s, have a deuce to win if it’s tied up at 6-6, with a points based system to determine who moves up a rank and who drops down.


This idea has really taken off, people have been flocking to sign up for this “League of Sharpies”, and we’ve seen an increase at attendance at CCH and Moemall just because of this. H broke us all up into groups, from rank A with the likes of Toxy, Somniac, ZG etc, B with Exis, Hoppa, all the way down to E rank.

Facebook group (enter if you’re interested): https://www.facebook.com/groups/624346671016716/

League of Sharpies groups (lots of comedy in the character allocations):


I for one was really interested in the idea. I have not been diligent in my practice at all in Ultra. I have become rusty with a lot of the matchups, and have fallen out of touch with the current tech of the day because I don’t really watch streams that much anymore. This is a good wake up call for me to get back in the lab and work on my knowledge and preparation. I think a C ranking is pretty realistic for my current mediocre level of skill, and I want to do really well in the league.

The main reason of my excitement is because I want to see what I can do, given advance notice and time to solely prepare for a single matchup. When you enter a tournament, you face a bunch of different matchups, deal with stress and long brackets, and invariably nobody plays their absolute best in tournaments.

I’m inspired by the Topanga sets or something like the Daigo vs Infiltration Ft10, where the best players sit down for two weeks and concentrate on nothing but that one matchup, developing the highest level of matchup specific technology and play. I’m pretty sure everyone enjoys watching these matches because of the abnormally high level of play. Perhaps it’s an “artificial high” that cannot be sustained once the match is over and the player goes back to a more general approach to the game, but I’ve always been interested to see how far I could go, given the opportunity to really study and prepare for a match. I know I’m not a very good Street Fighter player, but I’m still keen to see how far I can push my capabilities.

So for my first match, I chose Spoony. I’m familiar with his style, and quite familiar with the Chun Li matchup because of all the 95-6 beatdowns Jeff aka Renzuo gives me with his Chun. Despite playing against Chun a whole lot, I know there is a lot of things I don’t do well in the matchup. Specifically:

–          I don’t punish Hazanshu with focus through into cmp cmp cmk tatsu etc on reaction at all despite practicing it a lot

–          I get hit way too much by wakeup Hazanshu or after Chun sweeps me, stuff like empty jump into Hazanshu. Often times I crouch tech which whiffs because of the Hazanshu but I can still block, but I would much rather be punishing these Hazanshus

–          Bad spacing in footsies, seldom whiff punish stand mp or counterpoke with cmp effectively

–          I let Chun jump off the wall to get out of the corner way too often

–          Delayed wake up completely befuddles me against Chun, because I am way too dependent on safe jump option selects to keep her backdash under control. Once she delay wake ups, often the Chun can just backdash or MOV tech (four button tech into backdash) for free

–          Super destroys me. (Punishes cmk on block, can’t mash out DP when I’m going to be chipped by Super within a certain range- just inside round start range.)

So I spent a lot of hours labbing for this match. I practiced all my Chun specific combos, worked on the spacing and came up with a bunch of notes and tech:


Chun Li notes

-If you block ex SBK in the corner, punish with fHP.

-DWU setups off sweep: Sweep, jump right after to SJ on regular WU and press stand hk when you land if you see DWU. It will counterhit crouch tech and catch backdash. (She can still focus backdash out of it and avoid 2nd hit.) If she starts to EX SBK the csHK, start doing neutral jumps for big punish.

Or sweep, whiff jab, jump straight after will sj DWU ex SBK, empty jump if no DWU and block EX SBK or empty low.

(Late option select sweep seems to be more consistent than OS DP for the DWU setups. I suspect it’s because my crouch jab frame kill is often not frame perfect even though I double tap it.)

-Punish ex sbk, at point blank can do ultra or stand mp into tatsu (preferred, slightly less damage than the following but corner carry) or stand heavy punch (hits meaty) into sweep, sweep if far.

-If chun is in corner can mash stand jab to beat stand mp ala Sagat (stand outside sweep range) or cmp also works (normal hado won’t combo from that range)

-Chun li stand mp is longer range than her sweep. Stand at 2.15 training squares to make both whiff and punish with sweep (hard with stand mp)

-Remember if chun back dashes your meaty she’s likely to sweep so block low or prepare focus to punish.

-If she has super u can do cmk into lk tatsu when she attempts to super your cmk. Lk tatsu will come out and get hit but you’re in the air and only take minor damage and waste her super.

-When chun does her empty jump into hazanshu you can crouch tech and then block or focus(hard). Easy method is to do clk+clp+chp crouch tech which will hit hazanshu, but risky once Chun catches on.

-Clk+clp+chk Meaty OS sweep works on chun but has to be frame perfect meaty perfect range hard to set up without throw or corner

-Cross up ground tatsu with throw light dp. (slight delay) hk tatsu still hits dwu, just that it’s the second hit and a bit easier to block. (timing specific)

-Clp Clp Clp cmk slight walk back leaves you at perfect distance to whiff punish stand Mp.  Cmp cmp cmk too (easier, don’t need walk back)

-Dwu throw cross up setup. Throw, whiff stand hk, jump over lk. (block cross up to avoid being EX SBKed)

-Chun can reversal super my SJ, so empty jump to bait it out and punish accordingly


So you see, I came up with a lot of shit. I developed some interesting DWU tech, and some short-term gimmicky stuff to stop the stuff Spoony has success with against me like cmk preemptive cancel into lk tatsu against super punish, clp+clk+chp crouch tech against empty jump Hazanshu (really risky, but I practiced doing cmp crouch tech into focus against empty jump Hazanshu and the timing is really hard)

Some stuff even surprised me like stand MP being slightly further range than her sweep! All this while I thought because whiff punishing the stand MP is so hard I have to stand at the exact range outside stand MP distance to punish it, but I was always worried about eating the sweep. Little did I know all this time that the stand MP is a tiny bit longer, so if I stand outside stand MP distance I am safe from both MP and sweep, and can whiff punish accordingly. I actually discovered that you can whiff punish stand MP from a big distance because Chun’s hurtbox moves forward during the move, it’s just that you require razor sharp reactions (stand MP is a total 18 frame move! That’s like a medium button with the recovery of a jab. So if you consider my sweep being five frames I need to react within 13 frames to whiff punish her.)

So I specifically practiced whiff punishing stand MP for a couple of hours, it was really hard at first but I started being consistent with it. In the set, I barely landed it at all so I was really disappointed with that. In fact, a big part of my gameplan was to force Chun into the corner, stand at that magic 2.1 training room square distance and punish her if she presses anything. Spoony really didn’t let me do that at all with a lot of intelligent walk forward sweeps which hit me a lot. I was too stubborn, and wanted to conduct my strategy successfully instead of realising I cannot match Chun’s forward walk with my sluggish backwards walk speed and should have blocked or focus against the sweep more.

Thanks to Kris Staltare for loaning me his LGP on the day

I also practiced focusing through Hazanshu a LOT and I didn’t succeed a single time in the match. So overall while I won, I didn’t get to apply a lot of the shit I developed (I never really landed too much mid screen hard knockdowns so didn’t get to try DWU that much), and I didn’t really succeed in all the specific things I spent significant time practicing. That’s the major weakness of my preparation- if Daigo is preparing to fight Infiltration he trains with Tokido and Bonchan, and all of my prep for Spoony was training room. Let’s see if my next match against Cactus (who usually beats me) I can combine both training room and real matches with Manuel’s Dhalsim if I can reach a higher level of play.

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Life goal #1 achieved:

choi3It’s funny.

Because I am a hateful, spiteful human being, months before EVO I would say to everybody in Melbourne that would listen:

“Man. I hope Daigo gets his hipster Evil Ryu blown up by a Ryu player at EVO. And I hope John fucking Choi’s the man who does it.”

I would say with furious and righteous anger.

I almost never get my way. My dreams are never realised. I’ve learned to not expect much when I hope for something.

But hey…

Even the sun shines on a dog’s ass some days.



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The Educated Video Game enthusiast’s Fighting Game Primer by Patrick Miller

I really enjoyed Patrick’s original Fighting Game Primer that he wrote on Insertcredit.com a few years ago, and it’s a very pleasant surprise to see him developing that piece (which was built around teaching SF concepts using Ryu as an example) into a full-fledged eBook.


Image from SRK.


I was suspicious- him going silent in terms of content output right before EVO made me wonder if he was working on something big. And this Primer is definitely a humongous labour of love and will prove very useful- I’m going to send this to all my neophyte SF playing friends.

Reading through it for the first time, what hit me hard was this:

“Here is the thing: Fighting games are not actually that hard to learn
how to play, and play somewhat competently. But they’re very hard to

And I wholeheartedly agree.

This year I’ve been doing a fair bit of teaching. There’s been a influx of new players at CCH and I’ve been trying to teach them as best as I can. I’ve even been sinking a good few hours into teaching intermediate players like Kris Staltare, teaching the basics of footsies and practice regimen. At Couchwarrior events at conventions and things I’ve also raised my hand to do “Learn how to play SF” sessions and one time Felix and I even went out to an New Game Plus event to teach kids how to play Street Fighter.

Teaching Street Fighter is really hard. It is frustrating, and can be annoying. People don’t want to listen, they find the basic mechanical motions really hard even before I start explaining any basic gameplay stuff, and most of the time they just want to see a flashy combo than to learn any concepts of fundamentals. It’s quite disheartening to sink half an hour of patient instruction on a kid and they simply revert back to mashing the buttons like crazy once you exit training mode.

Don’t get me wrong though. I love teaching Street Fighter. While I’ve even attempted to teach SF over the years to my friends and failed miserably with a retention rate of 0%, it is still really rewarding when you teach a crowd of kids, and perhaps 90% of them lose interest after ten minutes and leave to go play Fifa 14 over in the corner- but just one kid sticks around. You can see the gears in his head churning. He’s pressing the buttons slowly and deliberately, trying to wrap his hands and head around a quarter circle motion. A lightbulb goes off in his head when he successfully crouching fierces my jump-in.

Those little moments; that gleam of intent in his eyes, that shake of the head and squeal of joy- of learning- that’s what keeps me going.



Posted in Ultra SFIV | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The scrub is going to Evo


I am going to Evolution 2014.

It’s been a longtime dream of mine to go to EVO, my only regret is that I didn’t go earlier in the previous years, perhaps during the fun early days of UMVC3 and without the inferior update that is USFIV. I’ll get to cheer on all our Oz boys in person, swap old-man NBA stories with Igor, cheer on Xavier, and hang out with the Sydney and QLD boys like Yousseff, Sailo and Nader. Maybe I’ll get to have a few words with some of my writer/content heroes like Viscant, Maj, and Patrick Miller. (Maybe I could even get John Choi to throw a couple of fireballs at me.) I’ll get to eat American fast food galore and get hype at top 32, so it should still be extremely fun, and I’ll get to put that massive tick against it on my bucket list.

What have I been up to post-BAM in the meantime?

BAM6, while it was really good and it was great to see all the new shit we (the CouchWarriors staff) put together come through like the New Challengers tournament, was really draining on me.

Being heavily involved in the organisational process of BAM took up so much of my spare time, and not to mention – I put a big workload upon myself to finish up all five Buttonsmash Community: The Australian FGC episodes before BAM plus running CCH…meant that I simply didn’t get to play much fighting games for the last few months.

I have no one to blame but myself because a lot of that workload was self-imposed, but I wouldn’t have done it differently anyway.

But yeah, I played really shit at BAM. I took some time to reflect upon my suckiness after the tourney and vowed to start training like mad after the tournament.

So I took a lot of time off after BAM. Not only finally taking some time to play some fighting games (I have been putting a lot of hours into my Magneto but it’s a slow burn) but also to unwind, and relax my mind. I’ve been playing more guitar, reading more books, finishing Dark Souls 2 (one of the sacrifices for BAM is that I forced myself to not touch DS2 until the tourney was over) and enjoying life in general.

Now EVO is 8 days away.

I still have to work on A1major’s Community episode that I filmed at BAM, and perhaps do some Dusty Cartridge related stuff like my planned scathing review of USFIV. Couchwarrior assorted events like ranbats and things have also been taking up some of my time.

It’s time to knuckle down and start working again. My “break” was nice while it lasted.

My aforementioned Magneto is slowly coming along. Learning stuff like plink dash Mag blast movements, the trijump L, the fly turnaround glitch with the mag blast motion, all feels really rewarding to me. But man, Magneto is HARD. I dunno whether it’s my old man and stupid fingers, but it feels like I am taking way longer than I expected to get good at this character.

Take this BnB I am learning for example.

I have practicing this for the last two months, and last night it took me almost two hours to complete 10 reps left and right hand side of the BnB. Two hours for ten reps! I haven’t even begun to learn the Hypergrav loops or superjump hit confirms. Man I suck.

People keep coming up to me and expressing surprise that I am practicing Marvel so much and not practicing Ultra that much. They tell me Marvel is a dead game, no one’s actively practicing the game in Melbourne and that Amaterasu sucks.

My honest answer is that I know that Marvel seems to be on the decline, but I want to “finish the job” I started last year. I want to become competent with the new team I have chosen to replace my beloved Spencer Doom Ammy. I want to become a good Marvel player.

And honestly- Ultra turns me off 😛

I was heavily negative about the game before it came out, and people were bashing me and well I would love to be wrong…but look at the game!

Hitbox glitches galore. Buffing “there were times where it was too difficult to get in on the opponent” Yun and Rufus while nerfing characters like Dee Jay and Sagat. Implementing a character select screen button check menu but half-assing it with no way to select unassigned buttons. No delayed wake up in training mode.

And I hate red-focus and delayed wake up as added mechanics in the game. If you wanted a more footsie based game, why are you adding an anti-footsie tool in Red Focus? Delayed wake up is Capcom’s half-assed band-aid solution to unblockables but guess what? There’s still unblockables in the game!!! Spoony and I were talking about removing the unblockable but we both concurred that it might be too much of a inbuilt system property to change without significant cost, especially with the original development team that built SFIV now disbanded. And it looks to be true.

I can’t believe he said that.

In a game with massive reversal windows, MOV four-button tech, crazy far and invincible backdashes, meaties suck. So why would you nerf the hard knockdown on character’s oki? To remove vortex, you say. Well guess what, delayed wakeup matters shit all to divekick characters. Rufus can go lalalalala I don’t care about your delayed wakeup while merrily divekicking away…

Okay I will stop ranting like the bitter old man I am.

But there’s a reason I haven’t touched much Ultra SFIV. My character is mostly the same anyway. Meanwhile everyone else has switched to bloody hipster Ryu!

Ah well. I remain convinced that USFIV is an inferior update, but I hope that time will prove me wrong. I really do. In the meantime I will still play it because it’s Melbourne’s main game, the world’s international game, and also I still wanna become a good Ryu player someday.

Training mode non-stop, FT10s with Melbourne’s top players and weekday sessions with Jeff, let’s go.

Let me sharpen up a bit before Vegas. Here’s hoping I don’t go 0-2.

P.S. Shadowloo Showdown is coming up.

Everyone that loves fighting games, please watch Dave’s (Bosslogic) excellent SSV trailer with the voice of Ryu himself, Kyle Herbert.

SSV Facebook page

You can vote for international players to come down as well by purchasing the shirts to fund their flight:



Hope to see you guys there! Don’t miss the biggest fighting game major in Australia, you might meet your fgc heroes or just have fun playing games and hanging out with your like-minded Aussie fighting game brethren.

Posted in Melbourne, Ultra SFIV, UMVC3 | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

BAM6 is today! + Community episode 08 and 09

bagsTime really flies when you are working like a cow.

Felt just like yesterday that I was at Queensland, scoffing ribs and $2 Bundaberg ginger beers. And today, we have BAM6. I sit here in my office, with my suitcase, camera bag, tripod and duffel bag, waiting for the day to knock off so I can go help my fellow CouchWarrior members to help set up for a long night of exhibition matches and hype.

The last few weeks have been hard. I haven’t had any time to practice at all with all the BAM logistics stuff+ planning and the Community film editing. I wouldn’t have it any other way though, and anyway I plan to start practicing after BAM really intensely.

And it’s entirely of my own choice anyway. Lesson learned: don’t try to finish 5 episodes of Community in less than one month and a half. If I do shoot a few episodes at BAM, I’ll only do one or two, and really take my time to polish them, maybe a month per episode. I’m quite happy with how most of the Buttonsmash specials turned out especially given my limited time frame, but I’m well aware they could use improvement. Take Colin’s for example- the most rushed one. I left out the Dusty Cartridge presents bits and I had camera focus issues and volume issues. And with Baxter and Falco the discrepancy between the microphones (I borrowed one from the venue) created a lot of issues. (I’ve since bought another mic.) I can definitely do a better job with more preparation and more time.

At BAM6 I’m more focused on shooting a ton of B roll footage for Chad or New Game Plus to use for trailers, and for my own purposes. Also, calling them Buttonsmash specials pretty much mandated I finish them before BAM, essentially creating a deadline for myself.

But it’s cool. It’s still fun being creative and things like trying to fit “It’s Raining Men” onto an FGC video gave me a lot of joy.



On the CouchWarriors side of things I’m pretty happy with how things turned out this year. I was pretty pessimistic about BAM returning after the last BAM, but the addition of NGP has added a much-needed boost of passion and expertise to the table. I will never forget the first meeting NGP attended. I left feeling impressed by Jason’s enthusiasm and passion for the task and the FGC, and how much stuff they knew about fighting games. I will also never forget the first time I ever heard the words “BAM7”- it was from an NGP staffer’s mouth.

We were struggling for ideas to make BAM6 really pop, to have a big selling point like we did last year with the return of Humanbomb- but I’m really happy with our New Challengers theme- a newbie tournament is something we’ve wanted to do for ages, and I hope it will be a big success at BAM6. I hope we continue to make this a focus and bring new blood into our scene after the stagnation of the last few years. I’m also happy that we managed to put together the paid flight to Singapore SEAM 2014, the custom art stick prize for the New Challengers tourney and so much more in time for the event.


To be honest, I’ve felt that our organisation has been a little shakier than in the past. Previously we would always be on the ball for staffing, scheduling etc. This year it feels like we are slightly behind, but I think that’s because of the transition period- Loki is trying to step down and let us handle a lot of what he previously would handle. Loki is god, and he did basically a shit ton of stuff like clockwork, so inevitably there would be a bit of bumbling here and there as we tried to follow his example. But we will improve, and he’s right- if we never learned to do it ourselves we would never wean ourselves off the teat of Loki. And the man deserves a break, or to simply trust that we can handle business if he’s ever otherwise occupied.

But yeah, looking forward to tonight and this weekend. Hopefully it all comes together well- the brackets, the scheduling, the stream, the social stuff and pre/post event activities and that everyone who attends locally and from interstate has a great time. That’s all I want from BAM6.

(P.S. I disqualified myself from UMVC3 again :P)

Enough words- time to get some bloody work done. To all the CouchWarriors staff and everyone who’s helped with BAM so far- good shit guys, see you in a bit.



Posted in Community: The Australian FGC, Melbourne | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The world is full of small coincidences: Community Ep07 GCF Dejan Stantic

Before I left for Queensland to attend Buttonsmash 2014, I asked Chad D’Cruze from Dusty Cartridge if there was any DC staff in Queensland I should look out for or perhaps contact. He initially said no… but then corrected himself and said that there was one particularly fervent DC supporter out there in Queensland by the name of Dejan, and that he was a big supporter of the DC podcast in particular. “Oh,” I replied- saying that I would try to keep an eye out for him. And then I promptly forgot about the whole thing.

I was filming some B-roll footage on Buttonsmash Sunday during the top 8 when Berzerk aka Daniel Chlebowczyk came over to me and pointed this guy with a Fatal Fury cap that said “GCF” on it. He told me that the guy’s name was Dejan and that he was the main organiser of the Gold Coast scene, and that I should go over and interview him.

Now at the time I was stressing over the meagre remaining SD card storage I had left- knowing I had to save some space to interview Falco, Baxter and Colonov, while still recording any exciting/hype crowd reactions or player popoffs during the top 8. So I told Daniel that I’d probably have to pass on interviewing Dejan. Daniel gave me an arch look and said “Well, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity. After all, how much footage do you really have to shoot of people playing?”

Initially, I was rather miffed at his comment, because I actually do require a good amount of B-roll footage and general player footage from the event for the composition of the Community videos, and so I resolutely told Daniel that I wouldn’t do it.

And I went on shooting the top 8, but started thinking to myself. If this dude is organising the Gold Coast scene (and I was aware that a Honda player from the Gold Coast had beat perhaps the top AE player in Queensland- Norman), then he probably has a good story to tell. And isn’t the whole purpose of the Community videos to shine more light on these hard-working, unheralded TOs? I mulled it over, and decided I was probably being too mule-headed.

I went over and grabbed Dejan, and shot the interview during the top 8. In the end I was glad I did because he had a wonderful story to tell about the Gold Coast scene, and after the shot, he started asking me if these videos were for Dusty Cartridge. I said yes, and then he started going on about how big a fan he was of DC, and then it finally clicked in my thick skull that this Dejan was the Dejan that Chad was talking about! I told Dejan what Chad had told me, and how glad I was to run into him. If Berzerk hadn’t pointed him out, this fortuitous encounter probably wouldn’t have happened!

So I’m happy how it turned out, and glad that I didn’t make a big mistake. Later on, I walked past Berzerk and told him that I shot Dejan, and that he was right, and I was wrong.

Thank you for sitting down with me Dejan, and I hope you guys like this episode.



P.S. (Because I finally remembered that I should probably plug BAM6 being so close to the date)

Please come to BAM6 if you’re able- we at Couchwarriors are working pretty hard to make this a good one, and I would love to meet and shake your hand.


Yes you the hot asian female Star Wars fan , I mean FGC newcomer.

Posted in Community: The Australian FGC, Interviews, Melbourne | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Community: The Australian FGC Episode 5 and 6 feat. Aaron “Tulf” Costello and Weng “CoolzInferno” Choe + How I Got Bodied By Weng (again)



Buttonsmash was a blast man. I got to meet up with all the FGC dudes, all the HAMsters from QLD like Hari, Jake, Baxter, Tom, Tyrone, Marc, Colin, Glassy, and the various guys from all over the country like A1, Weng, Reese, Alucard, Arnold, Aaron, Adric and got to spend time with my Melb dudes like Rossco, Duy, ZG, Andrew, Bun, Xavier, Albert, Steve, Daniel etc. I found out especially that Duy (Phero) is a hell of a funny dude. The comedy duo of him and Rossco made my trip that much more enjoyable.

I got to lug around my camera stuff all day- I didn’t really get to play much casuals, but it’s cool,  I filmed enough for five episodes so it was well worth the effort.

Xavier bloody took a picture of me half passed out in my chair holding my camera tripod between my legs…

I got to shoot many old dudes bowling lawn balls and shit, their white uniforms really standing out in the heathen activity that was an FGC tournament amidst the spattering sound of Sanwa.

I got to eat all-you-can-eat ribs for $35.

I got to visit the awesome House of Ham. With a big living room with multiple setups, and you can just literally walk out and turn left into a servo, a Korean place and a Japanese grill place…the perfect gamer house man.

I got to meet Aaron aka Tulf and the dude is one of the nicest guys I’ve met in the FGC. Even though Shadowloo aren’t very active in the FGC anymore, it’s quite cool to see the inspirational effect they’ve had on even TOs within Australia. I dunno if they’ve been watching the series, but I think it might make them feel pretty good about their work and legacy. I wish they’d watch Aaron’s episode eventually and hear the words he had to say about them.

And actually Aaron- you can be an inspiration to us this time. The Melbourne scene’s kind of fallen into a deep funk now, and if you could reinvigorate the QLD scene like you did, we can take that to heart and try to do the same here in Melbourne. Thank you for your hospitality in Brisbane man, and to all of Queensland for their hard work/hospitality.

Ah Weng. The Super Beng. You crack me up all the time. And I only wish I had a second mic so I could’ve captured all the laughter you got from everyone watching the interview (and my constant giggling). This dude crushed my mind and soul and knocked me into losers’ my very first match of AE at Buttonsmash.

Funny thing was- the day before everyone was hyping the two of us up for a FT5 exhibition at Buttonsmash. And I, being the typical stream wuss I am, wasn’t having any of it. (Weng and I have a history. When we were roommates at the first Buttonsmash, he beat me with some Juri shenanigan and proceeded to pop off vigorously on me. I wasn’t upset at all, just kind of surprised that my own roommate would pop off on me! ET TU, BRUTE?)

And we played casuals the day before and I did pretty good against his Adon. Probably thanks to my Adon practice in Melbourne against Ricecooker and Felix. So I started talking to him; yo why don’t you whip out your Juri? Because that’s what you gave me the most trouble with last time in Adelaide.

And he went, No it was my Adon that was doing well. (Basically Weng remembered it wrong.)

I just shrugged, and later on that night, hilariously, I got Rossco and Duy to give me some sets vs. Juri, because it turned out with all the last-minute bracket changes my first match of the day would be vs. Weng after all!

I truly suck against Juri, so it was good training. (But it was all in vain. Weng laughed his ass off when I told him what had happened.)

Basically Weng beat me with Adon, there was no Juri in play at all.

I played super horrible, I walked forward to challenge him at mid-range when he didn’t have anti-fireball Ultra, I got hit by no joke- eight jaguar kicks in a row. We had a hype moment because we had a double KO, but in reality I just fimbled my crossup tatsu and should have probably taken that first game anyway…

Weng owns my soul in Weng “crazyHAMYOLO” mode. My weakness is getting mind-fucked, and he fucked my mind up pretty good.

Eventually, in the very last round, I got him into the corner, did jump in MP, he got hit by the second hit and I went into clp clp chp. I wanted to be emphatic because I was mentally tortured and wanted the end the combo with max damage, with an emphatic Fierce DP.

It whiffed.

He woke up, and DP FADCed into Ultra for the win.

I hated myself so, so, so much.

I could’ve done LK tatsu into DP, EX tatsu/fireball maybe, anything!! Anything would’ve better than a dumbass Fierce DP.

That painful moment when I saw the DP fly up in the sky will be seared into my memory forever.

In the end I did get my runback with Weng, and I finally realised he didn’t have anti-fireball Ultra, so I just walked back into safe fireball range and fireballed like a motherfucker. And won the match much easier.

Such a dumbass.

But it was good to finally capture Weng on camera, and as expected he said a lot of wacky Weng-esque things. My only camera problem all weekend was a lack of pop-offs capturing. I would set up my camera, and film seven minutes of a match, and nothing would happen and I would get bored and turn it off. I turn back around and the dude’s done a fantastic comeback and popping off vigorously in his opponent’s face. Doh. This happened with Baxter’s Spencer comeback on Tom.

My success rate of pop-off capture at BS was like 2%. Need to work on that creeper skills!

Buttonsmash recap and results here: http://forum.ozhadou.net/index.php?topic=8160.0

Gonna be a busy few weeks for me to finish up the Buttonsmash episodes with the BAM planning, but I hope to see you guys at BAM!


Posted in Community: The Australian FGC, Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Daichi Dissects!




Man this one was tough to get done before Buttonsmash. But I slogged away at it all night and day and now it’s done, so I can breathe easy and look forward to the weekend, and enjoy the tournament.

I definitely could’ve used more AE practice this week, but it’s alright. Also, listening to the video again, the first background track I used sounds to me a bit like porn music. Oh well 😛

This episode is a bit of a special one, departing from the usual format to be more of an analysis show, Daichi breaking down and talking about the mental composition, the games/playstyles of certain Marvel players in Australia. This one was actually his idea, I guess stemming from his love of theory fighter and technical discussion, which I’ve always enjoyed with him.

Daichi would’ve made an interesting Don’t be a Scrub interview, I think picking his brain about the intricacies of Marvel would’ve yielded many interesting insights. But for now, I hope people enjoy and find the episode of Daichi Dissects interesting.

Now! Who to shoot in Queensland…hmm….


Posted in Community: The Australian FGC, Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Buttonsmash this weekend! And two new episodes of Community

Buttonsmash is a few days away. http://www.button-smash.com/

Man time has really flown by. The plan was to get into training room monster mode and be ready with Zero Doom Ammy in time for the major. Instead, I grew so frustrated with Zero that two weeks ago I decided to drop him for Magneto. Now I definitely do not have time to get ready for BS- MagDoom will take me maybe six months to get down?

I tried guys, I really did. I guess I just can’t get over the fact that I…




I know he’s the best character in the game, and his power would’ve gotten me more wins. But I couldn’t stand his fiddliness, holding down that button crap, shoot your buster and run awaaayy! ‘Till your buster recharges and do it all over again. I hate his movement, all command dashes, not flexible and not giving the sense of “increased skill=increased movement speed” that Magneto flight and plink dashing gives you. It was almost like…forcing me to player lock Kobe in NBA 2k14. Almost.

I feel like getting good at Zero would’ve made me a good Zero player but not necessarily increasing my Marvel ability in general. Whereas playing Magneto from the start instead of messing around with Street Fighter characters like She-Hulk and Taskmaster would’ve taught me Marvel fundamentals and skills. All this wasted time!

But yeah. The difficulty and frustration I felt when learning him plus my barely suppressed hatred of the character finally came to boil.

So I also dropped out of Marvel at Buttonsmash, choosing to focus on AE the last few weeks instead, getting long practice sets with Mike the TV and Somniac (lost 50-2!). So far I don’t regret my decision, because learning Magneto is fun!

First of all, I actually like the character, and playing him feels hard, but he feels fast and rewarding. Learning little details like plinking HM~L for his tridash overhead L from Daichi and practising them over and over and his combos + plinkdashing feels fun and refreshing for me. I know Mag Doom Ammy is low on damage, and a hard team to master, but it feels like I will benefit greatly from that team and maybe become an actual Marvel player for once.

Is my Ryu ready? As you can tell from my beating from Xavier (Somniac) it’s probably not that strong anyway. Oh well. I’ll try my best, and in any case I look forward to seeing everybody again in Queensland and having a ton of fun. Watching Hari attach “HAM” to everything and everyone lol, watching Jfizz and Yousseff crack me up, hanging around with my good buddies from Melbourne and enjoying all the balut jokes. This is gonna be a great weekend!

P.S. I’ll also be shooting a few episodes of Community: The Australian FGC with some interstaters over there. As you might expect, most of my spare time has been used on shooting/editing these videos, which sort of explains my slow Marvel progress.

Recently released two episodes featuring Dan “DisasterFX” Richards:



and Michael “Cactus” Ashmore aka the Golden Child!



Hope you guys like it!

Posted in Community: The Australian FGC, UMVC3 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Community: The Australian FGC E01 + Assorted 2014 thoughts

Sorry for not posting much this year, I’ve been quite busy. I was out of the country for about a month, and when I got back I was putting the gear together to do my latest project- Community: The Australian FGC.


I created this series because of the people around me, in this community that I love.  Generally in Fighting Game Community (FGC) media you see the top players get most of the camera time, but in my eyes, a community is not simply made up of top players.

A community consists of so many different kinds of people. Intellectuals, staunch regulars, streamers, tournament organisers, anime lovers, commentators, retro game enthusiasts and those dudes that go 0-2 and keep coming back(me). Everybody is an equally important part of our community, without these guys there wouldn’t be a community for the top players to be the faces of.

I originally had the idea to do some 5-10 player profiles as pre-BAM media, but I thought it would be a great way to shine some spotlight on these less heralded guys, and to also let the greater public know about all the different personalities and figures we have in our local FGC.

BAM6 (May 10-11th) page: https://www.facebook.com/events/683528228336404/?fref=ts

So I grabbed Mike and shot the first episode at CCH with my new gear (AV gear is bloody expensive!) Somehow despite this being the first time I’ve laid hands on a camera- I think the shoot turned out decently okay. I still have a lot to work on for the next few episodes; composition, focus issues, colour correction, video flow and more.

I wanted Mike as my first guest because though Mike isn’t a top player per se, but he contributes a lot to the community being a commentator and he has very interesting things to say being a game academic and having experienced other competitive gaming scenes like Starcraft. I suppose I was still stuck in DBAS mode and the interview went a bit long, but I think that’s fine with Mike being great on camera and having plenty of insights to share.


This actually turned out to be way more work than expected. Luckily I had guys like Yongde from Singapore, Anya who helped me with the graphics, Chad from DC, Igor helped me with editing, even Zan offered some colour correction advice. So while I think it could be much better, and I still have a long way to go, I owe a lot to all my friends who’ve helped me. Thank all of you so much.

Buttonsmash and Zero

So this series is going to keep me busy for a while, and I still have to make time to get good with Zero before Buttonsmash on the 15th and 16th of March! (My guess is that my Zero will not be anywhere near ready by then).


To be honest with you, I’m finding Zero to be a very boring and frustrating character. He’s so fiddly, and you have to hold the buttons and I can’t plink dash anymore so it feels like movement is restricted and more reliant on command dashes…

I think I would have so much more fun learning Magneto with his plink dash and flight movement and the freedom to hit whatever buttons you like, be it stand jab or straight up grab.

But I’ve made my decision, and I think the Zero version of my team, Zero Doom Ammy should be stronger than Magneto Doom Ammy because of the sheer damage factor, and well, Zero being Zero.

I have to say I appreciate Zero players a lot more now. When I watch Flocker and see the things that he does or his intelligent mix-ups, I can understand and admire that now. But I still find watching Zero something of a chore, and I find myself itching to click on Spencer or Doom matches instead. Ah well. My heart is someplace else, but maybe one day I’ll warm up to and fully embrace the Zup Zup.

CouchWarriors and CCH

I actually resigned from the CouchWarriors board last year, worn out by friction and politics in the scene. I had some time off to recover, and realised what a dumbass I was being. Continue reading

Posted in CCH, Community: The Australian FGC, Interviews, Melbourne | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My goals in tournament

Xavier (Somniac) says I lack the ability to adapt my strategy on the fly versus different opponents and seem to always try the same goals against every opponent.

This is true.

My goals in-match would go something like this.

Goal number 1: Be John Fucking Choi.

Goal number 2: Be John Fucking Choi.

Goal number 3: Be John Fu… ohshithejumped

Posted in Ultra SFIV | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Don’t be a Scrub Podcast Episode 27: SS2k13 special- Clockw0rk

XXDSHi guys,  Spider Muttons Productions © 2010 is back with our Shadowloo Showdown 2013 special. Our guest this episode is one of the most biggest names in Marvel and my personal Doom idol- Broken Tier’s Daniel Maniago aka Clockwork!

Clockw0rk is famous in the community for playing his Doom Strider team in MVC2 for more than ten years, the man is basically synonymous with the character Strider at this point! He’s been a big fan favourite in SoCal for a long time now with his exciting, improvisational style and for just being a cool dude in general.

They say that you should never meet your heroes, but Clock didn’t disappoint me at all- turning out to be a super chill, upfront dude. You could see how much he loves thinking about Marvel, theory fighter and optimisation in the earnest way he talks about the game, and well- I’m definitely glad I finally got to meet the guy.

It was a good year for Shadowloo Showdown, we got to see Abegen’s She-Hulk tear it up in the Marvel top 8, and see one of Australia’s favourite players take the SFIV crown- the Murdaface Tokido.

The Murdaface gets rewarded...with a sharp instrument?

The Murdaface gets rewarded…with a sharp instrument?

We grab Clock to talk about: his experience in Australia and at Shadowloo Showdown, a ton of Marvel and Strider theory fighter, working in the game industry, his MVC2 history, famous moneymatches, and a whole lot more.

You can find Clock at https://twitter.com/mvcClockw0rk or his Broken Tier profile.

Big thanks to Tom aka NefeliousG for some in-depth MVC2 questions, Chad from Dusty Cartridge and Sol for their photos, Bosslogic for another sweet banner, and the Shadowloo crew for letting us use the studio at Shadowlogic for this interview and of course, for another great Shadowloo Showdown! (Be sure to check out Ali’s excellent SS2k13 recap or the SS2k13 stream archives.)

As always, you guys can click on the link below to listen to the podcast, or read the full text transcript if you choose. Hope you guys enjoy the interview! (And the Broken Tier Danger Room stream that should be live now.)

Don’t be a Scrub Podcast Episode 27: SS2k13 special- Clockw0rk

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Don’t be a Scrub Podcast Episode 27: Clockw0rk

Question index (click to jump to section):

1- How did you get the name Clockw0rk?
2- Do you think you have ten more years of Strider Doom in you?
3- So last night I was having this conversation with you and you were talking about how you had an epiphany with Strider right? You wanted to optimise Strider’s ground game. Did you have a similar sort of thing in MVC2?
4- It really sounds like you’re trying to replicate the lockdown that you had in Marvel 2…the other thing that you told me that you got out of this tournament is watching RF’s Vergil right? And how he would use hidden missiles and how he has a different style of Vergil to American Vergil.
5- UMVC3 patch?
6- Many Street Fighter players say that Marvel 3 is a random-ass game. What do you say to them?
7- Who would you say are the three toughest guys you’ve faced in your long career? You’ve always said that Combofiend was your demon, but now that he’s Capcomfiend do you think you’ll ever get the chance to slay that demon?
8- Tom aka NefeliousG from Queensland asks: There was a general consensus that Strider Doom was theoretically above the top 4 in Marvel 2 but just held back by human execution needed to pull off the perfect lockdown. Do you agree with this or?
9- In EVO 2010 you had one of your best performances at a major for Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Do you feel that you could have taken the tournament or were Justin and Sanford still untouchable?
10- Marvel 2 was Queensland’s game and Tom again asks: They all learned how to pushblock Hyper Sentinel Force from MVC2: Advanced Tactics Volume 1. So they’re asking…when is the sequel due?
11- How did it feel to lose to Honzo Gonzo at Aftershock?
12- For a washed-up veteran you seem to be doing pretty well. Can you tell us your side of the Dark Prince saga?
13- You mentioned the moneymatch against Neo. Quite a number of people consider that to be one of the farewell moneymatches of Marvel 2. Would you consider running it back- in MVC2 or MVC3?
14- Will the Greater Force ever return to Marvel?
15- What is the most bizarre you’ve heard about Australia before you came here and is it true?
16- What about the Australian FGC?
17- How do you stay up-to-date with the evolving ecosystem that’s Marvel 3. Do you watch international streams? Do you watch Japanese streams?
18- So which players really stood out to you in Australia?
19- Any thoughts on Shadowloo Showdown in general? That Marvel top 8, that She-Hulk man!
20- So, speaking of hot cosplayers, so you are the lockdown king right? So what is the Clockw0rk ouroboros strategy…when it comes to women?
21- Another weird question from Tom: What is harder to get in on, Duc’s Spiral Sent, or Chris G’s Morri Doom?
22- So we’ve talked about this before- something that you enjoy really much in this game is people who can articulate, you know, Marvel and the theory behind it. And one of your heroes in that aspect even though you don’t want him to know about it is Viscant, right?
23- S: So speaking of Viscant, how has being on Team Broken Tier helped you as a player?
24- Do you ever see yourself ceasing to play fighting games?
25- You’ve just talked about your Superbot stuff. But after your experience in the game industry, what else have you learned from the industry and do you see yourself returned to it?
26- Sanchez describes doing “the Clockw0rk” as raising the crowd’s hopes and dreams up to the highest level…and dashing everybody’s dreams cruelly with one bone-headed mistake. Fair statement?
27- Any shoutouts?

Muttons: Hi guys it’s Igor and Muttons, we’re back for our Shadowloo Showdown 2013 interview, and with us we have the legendary Doom/Strider player Daniel Maniago aka CLOCKW0RK!

How are you doing today sir?

Clockw0rk: Doing all right, how about you?

M: Aw, tired as shit man heh.

C: Good shit heh. Yeah, me too.

M: Back at work, you know- back at the grind.

How’s the last few days been in Melbourne?

C: It’s been a lot of fun man. Actually specifically the last day of tournament we went out, we went out eating and drinking and it was pretty funny- your drinks are kind of really super expensive here.

So luckily everyone was just buying me drinks the whole night. I finally felt like how a beautiful woman feels like at a bar, you know?

M & Spidercarnage: (Laughs.)

C: I got to experience that! Yeah, yeah.

M: Did Cactus buy you his uh…what was his favourite drink again?

C: I think he likes scotch and coke or something like that. I think that’s the first thing he got was some scotch and coke. But yeah, people were buying me whatever the whole night. I was pretty…shit-faced by the end of it.

M: Heh nice, nice.

S: That’s what we like to hear.

Cactus showing that Australian hospitality!

Cactus showing that Australian hospitality!

C: (Laughs.) Yeah it was kind of a wild night. But I had a lot of fun the last few days.

M: Nice. Let’s get into it…

1- S: How did you get the name Clockw0rk?

C: Aw man. You know what…everyone always asks this question! And to be honest I don’t really have a good answer, there’s not really no epic story or anything really. I remember the very, very, very first time I played any kind of online game with my crap 56k connection was I went to heat.net and I signed up with Clockw0rk with like a 1 in it because I think regular clockwork was taken and…I  was on my crap 56k connection so I didn’t really play or keep on with it and I just ended up using that as my AOL screen name.

But in another dimension I am still known by my old screen name before Clockw0rk on AOL which was…

You see I have a really bad fingernail biting habit so my name was Fingernayle…

M & S: (Laughs.)

C: So luckily my name changed! Or else…yeah.

S: Or we could be calling you nail.

C: Yeah heh. Could’ve been Nail. Could’ve been Finger… FN.

S: (Laughs.)

C: But yeah, luckily I changed my name for something a little bit, a little bit less corny. Continue reading

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