Last Saturday night at Denjin Arcade was the West Coast block of qualifiers for Super Battle Opera 2009 (or SBO or short) and even though I wasn't there myself (Simi Valley is "too far" from where I live), watching the insanity on UFragTV was arguably the best Street Fighter IV tournament ever since the game out last year at arcades. Even though staying up till 3 am to watch the madness was crazy, the HYPE remained throughout the tournament till the end as it was the best Grand Finals I have ever seen with Alex Valle/Combofiend against Edma/Ken I. It turned out that Valle & Combofiend won it in the end with the craziest comeback ever with Combo's Viper against Ken's Rufus. Those four players played like crazy from Valle's OG instincts (since he is an OG SF player from back in the day), Edma's Akuma being too good (EX whiffed Hurricane Kick to Raging Demon = sick!!), Ken I's consistent Rufus play (even though he was also playing 3rd Strike SBO qualifiers as well), and Combo's Viper not being stopped the whole day.
Lots of other things happened at the long and draining event from team East Coast that consisted of LongIslandJoe and Arthuro Sanchez proving that East Coast is not just Justin Wong with their deep run at the tourney finishing 3rd in hostile territory (Going to the other coast and going deep is very good). Perhaps the most epic moment of the day was Mike Ross's legendary Honda comeback against Haunts and Magus1234 (video below) as the whole place went crazy (I went crazy from my computer) when he did the "eagle eye Ultra" countering Haunts's Sagat EX low tiger shot to win that game and then perfecting Magus in the last round with 2 Hundred Hand Slaps to super combo to win the match making him and his partner Keno continue on in the losers bracket eventually losing against Team MoMuchDamage (Moval and Paul "somuchdamage").
UFragTV was hosting the tournament throughout the day with Slasher and SoCal SF4 ambassador Gootecks doing commentary and all that jazz along with IRC chat going off the whole event. Other than the IRC chat going crazy with the HYPE moments happening, there were the obvious comments when girls showed up at the cameras doing their thing along with hate for Slasher for getting things wrong and Rockfeller making a rare comeback appearance to commentate for a bit. I gotta give them credit for 13 hours of coverage for the whole event as they did the best they could with crappy Internet streaming it live and HD on-demand coming soon (maybe tomorrow).
With Alex Valle / Combofiend going to SBO for the U.S. along with four other players, this is arguably the U.S.'s best chance of taking Japan down at the event even though Japanese SF4 players are just too damn good in their own right. We'll see when that happens sometime in August. Speaking of more SF4, I might show up at Arcade Infinity for another Ranbat tournament on Sunday, but I'm not sure yet whether I'm competing or not. Let's just say that last Saturday's SBO Quals was an EPIC event for Street Fighter IV and the community as well.