Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Episode 1: A Certain *Real* First Post
Well guys, remember how I was talking about writing about my tournament experiences? Well, this first *official* post will be talking about Lucky's, a statewide tournament that happens in Greensboro, NC around once every 1 or 2 months...depending on if any major tournament is conflicting or not obviously. I think I will first start out with the most recent tournament, Lucky's, which just happened this past Saturday and will most definitely go into Final Round XIII in my next post.
Well, needless to say at the time I was feeling 200% more confident this time around compared to the last Lucky's, which happened back in February. I was going into this tournament simply wanting to have a good time like I do every tournament and hopefully place higher than what I did last tournament (which was 5th place). I sort of have this "performance anxiety" issue...before EVERY tournament I will be overly anxious about everything that has to do with whatever tournament I enter and get worried whether or not I will perform to my personal standards...despite going to tournaments and usually placing well in the past. Just trivial stuff will go through my head like: "What if I choke?" or "What if I just suddenly draw a blank and forget everything I practice?" or "What if I get dicked in the brackets and play a fan favorite or someone I know deep down I can't beat 1st round?" or my personal favorite "What if I don't meet my personal expectations at this tournament?" Anyways, I'm just rambling on about something I will most likely make a post about later on down the road and I'm very sure every tournament player at one time or another would constantly go through the same problems I'm going through now.So with that said, let's get back to the tournament.
Well I went into the venue just wanting to play whoever was already on the sticks. I believe there was only two setups when I walked in, so I went back and got my PS2 and fired up another Melty setup. Although it did sort of take people awhile to notice that I wanted to play someone....it probably would've helped if I wasn't just mindlessly playing training mode using Archetype-Earth, haha. Well, needless to say that after a good 15 minutes of playing I ended up playing a couple of people. They were just starting, but that didn't stop me from going all out against them with my F-Ciel and new and hopefully full time alt character, H-Aoko. I was able to tell that they were new because they really didn't know how to block against me or deal with my F-Ciel pressure. To say the least, I was able to beat them pretty convincingly, but I'm sure if they just keep playing the game and researching they'll be strong players in due time. After that I was able to play against our resident F-Riesbyfe player, PurifyWeirdSoul...or PWS for short. He has a pretty good F-Ries who gave me a bit of problems in our casual session on top of the fact that I was forgetting to run some new stuff I was testing with 3C/3[C] in training mode. With my F-Ciel and his F-Ries it was going back and forth for the most part. I also decided to test drive my H-Aoko to see how he would deal with the H-Aoko pressure. For the most part, whenever I didn't mess up my strings with her I was able to shake him up quite a bit and keep him from flinching in the corner...which H-Aoko wants to for the most part. A bit before the tournament started I was also to play against our resident C-Mech player, P-Soul. Although he's just recently picked up the game (around 3-4 months ago IIRC), IMO he's been showing an scary amount of improvement and has something new every time I play him. Anyways, it was dead even for the most part with us going back and forth 1-1 at my best and 2-1 at my worst. I was really thinking if I had to play this guy during the tournament he would scrape me pretty bad. Well after our session the tournament was starting up.
First round I ended up getting a bye so I was just simply able to just relax and get ready for my match by simply relaxing. Well a few matches later I was up for my first match against a F-Chaos player, TestamentLOL. He's one of the players I actually play the most due to us having sessions at NCSU so much. Chaos in general isn't really a threat to me personally because I have so much experience with him that carried over from MBAC that I sort just fight that match-up by raw instinct rather than textbook. I already knew what I could and couldn't do against him based on the situation we were in, my knowledge of the overall game, and our characters. He actually put up a good fight with me going 2-1 and taking it to the last round in the last game. After that I was able to catch a well deserved breather before going into my next match against P-Soul, the C-Mech player I was so afraid of playing in tournament...well not exactly scared, but rather anxious. I knew this wasn't going to be a free round and I knew I could very well lose...which is exactly what happened. My 1st game against him was at best an embarrassment. I couldn't do anything against him and he was simply just 3 steps ahead of me. 1st round of the first game was almost a perfect and the 2nd round I was barely able to make a dent in his game plan. I decided to switch it up and go with H-Aoko...granted that wasn't much better. I was able to finally get in on him and get some type of offense against him, but in the end I just wasn't able to get used to using H-Aoko in a match type situation and ended up losing 2-0 and with him advancing his way into winners finals.
I can't exactly say I was happy about my performance, but I did what any good player can do and that was to move on about my loss and just make it out of the losers bracket. For my next match I had to play against PWS, the F-Ries player I was talking about earlier. I ended up barely winning 2-1, but I wasn't exactly happy about that. I knew I could've won 2-0 if it wasn't for careless mistakes and execution errors I made in earlier games, but hey...everyone makes mistakes...even top players. Well, right after that match I had to play TestamentLOL again in losers semis. This set went about the same as last set, with the exception of game 3. It was more one-sided to say the least. Granted it was still a close set overall, the 3rd game was really just a preview of him being overwhelmed by F-Ciel's pressure. Right after that match, (I know I had to run through a marathon of matches :| ) I had to play P-Soul again in losers finals, who ended up losing to Frank the Tank in Winners Finals. It was a 3/5 set as opposed to it being 2/3 since this was a finals match.
I was getting a bit anxious again since this was really looking like a repeat of the last time we played. It was a pretty convincing set for him and I was barely able to scrape out wins against him. If you was able to see this match live you would've thought he would've won for sure. Well the set was 2-1 at this point and we were both at less than half life. I got tagged with a normal and ended up eating a combo that would've killed me, but instead he decided to activate in my face and blow me across screen rather than outright kill me. Well that point was a very huge momentum shift where I somehow was able to land a counter hit on him and kill him, winning me the round. After that point I was just able to severely punish him for whatever bad mistake he did and make it hurt like hell. I ended up winning the set 3-2 and advancing my way to grand finals. To be honest...neither of us was satisfied with the results. P-Soul obviously because he lost a match that he had in his hands and as for me...I just wasn't feeling my performance then. He was able to soundly beat me based on overall better fundamentals and forcing me to make mistakes. I was only able to beat him in that set because I was able to capitalize on one very careless mistake he made. Overall, I thought he was the better player in that set, but alas the game didn't recognize that. It only saw me as the winner and him as the loser.
[Insert obligatory anime picture that sort of fits the theme]
[/Insert obligatory anime picture that sort of fits the theme]
Well I won't lie...I genuinely like this picture. I think it sort of captures the atmosphere of why I enjoy going to tournaments so much...and besides...she's hot and she looks like she's having a blast!
Now onto my final match...Grand Finals. I ended up playing against Frank the Tank who hasn't lost a single round this entire tournament. I needed to beat him in two sets of a 3/5 in order to win the tournament. Now I was actually feeling a bit more confident about this match for the simple fact that I was able to beat him at Final Round and I was able to get a handle on his playstyle real quick by playing him so much. Well that feeling sort of went away after the first match. I got scraped pretty badly, although after the first match I just relaxed and kept my cool. I ended up keeping my own against him and beating him the first set 3-1. All I did was stay patient against him, punish whatever mistake he made and made it hurt...I also shielded him a ton, which caused him to take a different approach against me. Second set was a closer set with us constantly going back and forth with the set ending in 3-2 me winning it all.
Despite the fact that I felt a couple of my matches was won strictly on BS, which I'm not exactly proud of by the way, a win is a win and there's really no bad blood between any of the players because of it. Yeah, we had our fair share of shit talk and salt was put into the wounds, but overall I still think it was a great tournament.
Well I hope you enjoyed reading through all that wall of text! I'll be sure to make another entry sometime this week about my experience at Final Round XIII.
P.S. I will embed videos into this post whenever they are uploaded.