Sunday, August 16, 2009

The marathon that was AI Ranbat 2.5

Yesterday was another ranbat tournament for Street Fighter IV at Arcade Infinity and at first, I didn't think I was going to play in it, but decided might as well do it. After missing the last two ranbats, I wandered if those months of leveling up have paid off. Turns out it didn't as if I didn't level up enough compared to the rest of the 64 players that competed in this long day. My good luck charm, aka my pringles can failed me and maybe Marvel vs. Capcom 2 could be the blame, but I didn't want to make any excuses as I still played my best despite going 2 and out again. Despite that, I learned a lot at this tourney and still had a good time hanging out with the SoCal SF4 scene, which matters in the end.

My first loss was a close one, which against a Ken player who knew his stuff. After the mistake of rolling with Honda at AI Ranbat 2.2, I decided to roll as my true main Bison, aka Dictator. I thought winning the first round of the first game would ease my nerves a little getting HYPE, but I started to lose it not executing my usual combos I would at home on my TE stick. Sure, the sticks at AI are a different beast of its own as maybe I should of played more warmup games to get accompanied with the stick again, but oh well. I lost the first game, but luckily won the next one as if I was about to lose it. Eventually, I lost my first match 2-1 against the Ken player since he was nailing his EX Hurricane Kick link combos and I decided to go reckless with head stomp bait ultras, wake-up ultra, or relying on head stomps too much. I was also maybe a little too much trying to get in for rushdown, but I feel I would get out-footsied by Ken which was the case.

Four hours later was my loser bracket match against Zack, an Akuma player. Usually my Bison is pretty good against Akuma in general as I had the right ideas, but execution was lacking as I was dropping scissor kick combos like nothing when I had the chance. In the end, I did go 2 and out, which is disappointing, but I did learned a lot from playing. It seems that my reckless Bison style of "live or die by the head stomp" cannot fly anymore being competitive against the best of SoCal compared to online, which is making me reconsider how I play as him. I feel like going a complete 180 when I play as Bison as a whole not being as reckless. Vic the Slick, Dae, and shglbmx gave me advice to not as be reliant on Head Stomp and Devil's Reverse as I should and I should rely on the poking/rushdown game instead.

Other than going 2 and out at Street Fighter IV, I still had a great time regardless because of generally hanging out with the people I know over the course of the last few months from Keno, his girlfriend Teresa, ComboJack, Fuson, Tatsu, shglbmx, KillerKai, Dae, LegendOfLore, Bebop, Rickstah, hostmaster Shoo and his girlfriend Naomi, Vic the Slick, Jay Jay, and more. Since Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is still fresh on my mind (oh my review of the PSN version will be up tomorrow), I did play that for a little especially with no lag and ragequitters especially the likes of Keno, KillerKai, and Warren. Nothing like seeing the truth that is Keno's Omega Red, which is the case yesterday and also Friday online on PSN, but hey Marvel is what it is and I'll let the review speak for itself. Arcade Infinity itself was pretty packed since it was a Saturday and a tournament was going on at the same time as it was just too hot and sweaty at times of being filled with too many people watching all the SF4 shenanigans. As expected, Glenn, AJ, and Cami from Get Your Tournament was there doing the coverage live at the time as well as recording video of the top 8 since tech man Scott wasn't there to set up direct feed and commentary. Not a lot of photos or video will surface from the event due to some people not being there, but at least there were some quick pics from Twitpic courtesy of Gootecks, Glenn, and AJ.

In the end, it came down to Keno and ComboJack for the title and these two worked very hard to get to that point together and they knew it was their time. Also, these guys have been on the top 3 of ranbat points. The grand finals match (videos below) was pretty epic and entertaining as the Keno Eye 2.0 was in effect and you can hear Teresa cheering him on really loud as well as not looking at times when Keno was in trouble. Jack kept dropping the Tiger Uppercut FADC, Forward+Roundhouse to Ultra combo which would make a difference, but Keno clutched it out in the end with timely EX headbutts and ultras. So congrats to Keno for winning it all in the end as he was on his A game despite some close calls early on against some random Vega player and pro Abel player Black Pyro. The tournament lasted almost 12 hours ending at 1 am and it seemed like the typical Banana Bay after-party was going to happen, but it was too late and I decided to go home.

So even with the long day, AI Ranbat 2.5 was a success lasting 10ish hours with 64 entrants and one machine to play on, which is still good considering what we have to deal with. There were lots of HYPE moments as well as memories as some players leveled up significantly while others didn't have their day especially Gootecks, who was upset by Vic the Slick getting sent to losers, and then getting peaced out by E Money's Zangief in dramatic fashion with the time out at the end. I have indeed learned a good deal from yesterday as we'll see if I'm willing to commit towards improving my Bison to be more legit than reckless especially with West Coast Warzone coming up quick. There are also thoughts of considering a main character change since the Bison army showed up in force, meaning there were lots of Bison players in the building that performed well. I'm thinking Guile randomly especially seeing Christian aka Fuson's Guile in action in his "temporary comeback" to tournaments as well as another Guile player who did decently too. Who knows, I might as well stick to Dictator in the meantime and try to limit head stomps and devil reverses. Once again, I still had a fun time at the end of the day with cool people, which to me what matters in the end.

Here's the grand finals match of Keno and ComboJack courtesy of GetYourTournament below (Don't mind the Guitar Freaks music, which is annoying, but let the HYPE speak for itself).

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