While most people are likely chilling out on their Labor Day weekends, let's just say my weekend is a little different or actually way different. Last weekend was West Coast Warzone, aka the biggest SoCal tournament in existence as big names from the region as well some of out of towners from NorCal, Shytown, and East Coast. Street Fighter IV was the main game as nearly 300 players entered that alone and about a third of them registered at the last minute. Other games were Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike (aka I love watching this game!), Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (on Dreamcast!!!), BlazBlue, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (Teams 2v2), and King of Fighters XII. As West Coast Warzone is my first console major tournament, it was definitely a fun event to experience competing in Street Fighter IV, hanging out with familiar and new faces, and getting my drink on (sort of). I gotta give hosts of the tournament John Rog and Kai for doing their thing even though its their first time hosting a major like this as I'm sure they learned a lot of what to do and not do next time.
I used a Hori Stick EX3 since this tournament was on Xbox 360 as I at least played early in the second pool compared to most people waiting the whole day to play in the later pools. As I rolled with M. Bison, aka Dictator, I won my first match against some random Balrog player. Most of the pools seem stacked with big hitters despite many roadblocks, specifically players rocking console characters. My pool was stacked with solid players from Combofiend, who I had to face next after winning my first match and Yeb, the San Diego Gen master and crowd favorite. I had to face Combofiend with the internets watching on live stream, which was cool to play on the main stage, but certainly the nerves kicked in a bit. My mindset is just go there and play the game, which I did (Yet Gootecks plugs my Twitter before the match starts lol). Peter is a nice guy and a veteran of Street Fighter games having big tourney experience for years. He played Sagat against me and while he won 2-0, I gave him my best and didn't go anything stupid playing a smart match as some rounds were close. After that, I was sent to losers and won my next match against some Ryu player. Usually Bison has the tools to beat shoto characters like Ryu and Sagat, but still those shotos win the matchup. I was eliminated in my next match against Fade Out, another Ryu player who knew what he was doing compared to the other Ryu player I faced. With that, I was knocked out of the tournament and at least I didn't get 2 and out, which makes me happy. All that is left to do there is just chill, hang out with friends within the awesome community and drink.
How does it feel to get the "Double R. Kelly" as Yeb's Gen shows Magus1234's Viper what's up.
West Coast Warzone was filled with so many people. It was great hanging out with friends I have met in the last few months thanks to playing SF4 as they are nice people that like to go crazy at times. I already made my shoutouts on Twitter and the SRK results thread, so check those places as there are so many folks to shout out even though I knew I forgot some people (Sorry!). Also, I filled my stomach with fast food, beer, some energy drinks, and a cranberry vodka, in which I feel so unhealthy, but hey there was an open bar the whole time and sometimes you just need something to get hype, which was the case for me. Even with the tournament going on, the whole weekend just felt chill hanging out with friends like going to Carl's Jr. with Mike Ross and Eliver aka "KillerKai." It was such a friendly environment that it is hard not to get mad at people especially being at SoCal, where it feels like family and maybe we're just too nice.
Street Fighter IV was the main event of the weekend as Empire Arcadia's Marn from the East Coast won that tournament. I gotta hand it to him for going to hostile territory across America to take it from SoCal Street Fighter legend Alex "Calipower" Valle. Alex could of had it in the bag as he whiffed a jab dragon punch to lose and eventually Marn came back after losing five straight games. Sure, there might be suspicions of Marn sandbagging it playing it cute against Alex, but still played to win regardless (he just wanted drama to happen I guess). While West Coast may feel pissed off that a known player from East Coast invaded it and won because of pride, still California represented at this tournament. Edma finished 3rd with his Akuma, Yeb the Gen master from San Diego finished 4th as SD was there in force getting hype (GYT Interview with him above as you'll probably see me walking somewhere), which was cool. Johann aka UTJ finished 5th with Dhalsim, which was cool too. NorCal represented as well with Filipino Champ's Dhalsim finishing on the top 8 and Magus1234 did well with his Viper even though he got double perfected by Yeb.
While no after party happened as advertised since things didn't run on schedule which was expected, the pool party still went off and that was chill and fun. Despite not a lot of pool action and some lack of ladies, it was still good times hanging out and drinking with friends. Other highlights from the weekend ranged from me buying drinks for some, some buying me drinks, paid half of Duralath's SF4 entry, and a Kobe Bryant sighting at the nearby IHop to Irvine Hilton as Dae, Bustabust (who feels that his life is complete meeting Kobe and also making Yi "5 Star" jealous), Duralath, and ComboJack saw the man himself getting some food taking a picture with him. (Damn I missed this!!!). While old and new faces were everywhere at the event, it is also cool seeing some of the OG guys in the Street Fighter scene from Alex, John Choi, James Chen, MrWizard, and Mike Watson. Some ladies such as Sherry, Teresa, and Naomi from the ladies-only tournament earlier this summer were there hanging out as they are my friends supporting other friends in the tournament and appearing on the live stream at some point. Get Your Tournament, was also hard at work the whole weekend providing coverage for everything, so I gotta give Glenn, AJ, Kara, Kelly, and Cami their props for taking video and pictures of the madness (stay tuned for those soon).
I feel like I can mention more about the awesome weekend that is West Coast Warzone, but its getting a little long and coverage from the event is not over yet. Besides Street Fighter IV, I enjoyed watching certain games like 3rd Strike and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 because we still believe in the old school. Especially I was getting hype for 3rd Strike because its one of those games you love to watch, but suck at playing it. Yi "5 Star" won that tourney with his Ken defeating Ken I's Makoto in grand finals, who provided a great show as character variety represented from Ken, Oro, Chun, Alex, Akuma, Remy, Yun, and Yang (Good thing it wasn't filled with high tiers compared to Marvel). Chunksta won Marvel vs. Capcom 2 in convincing fashion as the highlight of that game there is Mike Ross returning to his beginnings and finished 3rd. I still think he loves that game deep down even though he hates it now. Seeing these old games get major rep is awesome as 3S is still amazing as you can't get away with stupid crap compared to Street Fighter IV and Marvel is whatever. BlazBlue and King of Fighters XII were there too, but I didn't care that much for it. Other than that, an amazing weekend and another highlight of the "Best Summer I Ever Had" (that post will be soon). Again, thanks to hosts John Rog and Kai for doing their thing at this tournament as well as other staff for holding it down especially Gootecks for making sure the stream worked at least. There so many shoutouts to friends I would mention, but you know who you are. Thanks for good times everyone and I'll see you guys around sooner or later.
Keep checking this post for more on West Coast Warzone from photos, videos, and more.
Kelly from Get Your Tournament's pictures of the weekend... (some shown here). Click here for the others.
Kara from Get Your Tournament's pictures of the weekend.
More interviews are below:
More interviews are below: