So last Friday I was at Hooters for my first time ever in my life not just to get my grub and drink on, but also play in another Bar Fights event hosted by Gootecks. This time, he decided to hold an actual 64-man tournament rather than have main event matches with the big players of Street Fighter IV. Still though, the best players from SoCal (both LA and San Diego) showed up for the Street Fighter shenanigans from Alex Valle, Mike Ross, Ken I, Keno, Shady K, and Yeb the Gen master from San Diego. Before actually mentioning how much the tourney went, I might as well break down the night in order.
I got to Hooters early at Anaheim (its by the 57 Freeway exiting Katella) to actually eat dinner before things actually got started. As my first time eating at Hooters going through the experience everyone knows about, it wasn't that bad. The Hooters girls were surely there in full force and I don't know if they were ready for such madness as Street Fighter Bar Fights. Good thing there was a 2 entrees for 1 deal for that night only and spent five bucks only on 10 Garlic Parmesan wings and tots. At least I took my time with the food (which I didn't mind eating because I was hungry) eventually tearing through those wangs since Gootecks, Cami from GTFO.tv and Get Your Tournament, and the rest of the crew were setting up. Good thing there was that deal, so I can also get my "drink" on too later in the night. After pre-registration was held, the 64 players were divided into four pools of sixteen. I was in the last pool so I had to wait a while before I play, which is probably a good thing because I was able to have some beer with my friends from the Street Fighter scene providing good times. Of course, it is always good to hang out with all my friends that were there from Luka, Duralath, Colin, Mike Ross, KillerKai, StarSlay3r (had a good chat with her about Tekken 6 and how that game makes us less salty compared to Street Fighter IV), Sanchez, and others. Even there was an appearance by East Coast's, but moving to LA in a week or two, Justin Wong as well as Empire Arcadia's leader, TriForce, as they were in town for Spike TV's Video Game Awards. When the last pool started with me playing, I already consumed a Corona and a Guinness, so pretty much it was game on.
My first match was against OnlineTony, a known Seth player here in SoCal. Yeah Seth has a low health meter, but once he gets things going, he cannot be stopped, so as long as you can catch him since he has so many options, you can win. Before the match, Sanchez, fellow Bison player, gave me some words of some encouragement (basically to f*** him up). I was able to win the first game by that gameplan and plus Tony's execution wasn't on lock till the second game where he got things going with the link combos and the head stomps. Eventually I got "downloaded" and lost to Tony 2-1, but it was a good match being my first time against a legit Seth player that knows what he is doing. With that, I was right away in the losers bracket even though the pool I was in stacked with Yeb and Shizza, the best pad player in SoCal using Chun-Li (or as the scene calls him the Pad Warrior Princess). My next match was an easy victory against some Abel player as I made short work of him as he only knew some basic Abel stuff compared to the better Abel players I have seen from BustaBust and Combofiend (that's his main now). Then I lost a nailbiter against a Ken player as it went down to the last round of the match as I screwed up in the end. Oh Ken, why do I have to lose to you? At least, the Ken player knows his stuff with link combos and SRK FADC to Ultra. With that, I got peaced out of the tournament, but at least the drinks sort of helped as I played my best with limited practice of slowly going back to this game.
The main highlight for me of the tournament was the rise of some 15-year old C. Viper player named Jason going deep in the tourney making top 8 upsetting Keno, the Arcade Infinity Ranbats Season 2 Champion, hearing the hype in the room. He then peaced out Shizza in top 8 in arguably the match of the night going down to the last round clutching it out when it matters. Eventually he lost to Shady K (the best Akuma player from San Diego and a fighting game veteran) even though he took him to the limit as well. The crowd was surely behind him since we all love the underdogs achieving the upsets as I was in pure shock when beat Shizza. Now we all know he is a player in the scene doing big things with Viper as if he is the future. I saw him getting interviewed by Get Your Tournament's Glenn after the match and Gootecks giving him match of the night honors as well as a Mad Catz Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Tournament Stick (oh I want that for Christmas). Other than Jason's success at Bar Fights, the rest of top 8 was Alex Valle, Ken I, Shady K, Yeb, ComboJack, and Hugo101. In the end, it was Alex again winning it against Ken with his Ryu even though Ken I did take grand finals to a second set.
The whole night in a nutshell consisted of great times throughout. It just feels good hanging with the good people of the Street Fighter scene as always especially not seeing them for about a month because of school and other things. I gotta hand it to Gootecks for another successful event getting it done and I look forward for the next Bar Fights event. The top 4 of this tournament (Valle, Ken I, Shady K, and Yeb) will be also in LA Riots II next month, also hosted by Gootecks, along with Combofiend, Keno, Kai, and Shizza, which should be another interesting event with only the top players. Once again, it was nice being around great company that were there and I'll be around next time (I guess I can now play both SF4 and Tekken 6 at a competitive level).
Photos by Get Your Tournament's Kelly "Xensin" Bracha