Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Under the Microscope

Earlier in the week, our tougeki results were up with our picture and stuff on the tougeki site. I noticed that Isa left a comment that said something along the lines of "now recruiting teammates - Isa". This sorta worried me that perhaps Isa didnt quite like this team. I mailed MK and asked him what he thought about this and he said he had no idea and that Isa said nothing to him. So... I just decided not to worry about it too much until I could ask Isa myself.

Friday night, I headed to Mikado. None of my other friends showed up but I had a good time playing casuals. Comp was pretty good, and I got some good practice in.

According to Ryan (letbloodrun), Game Versus in Nishinippori is open like practically all night and people play there. The only thing is, he says its mostly all 3S players and maybe a little SFIV. Last weekend I drank WAY too much and had black stools again, so I figured I should take it easy this weekend and avoid drinking. Instead of going to bed early, I wanted to play games all night. So I figured I would check out Game Versus. Not only because of the all night thing, but tomorrow's qual actually just happened to be at Game Versus too! So, since I was planning to go watch, I figured it would make sense if I was in the area anyway.

So, about 15 minutes before Mikado closed, I went to Nishinippori to try to find Game Versus. I walked around for a long time but I couldnt find it. I found some small shabby game center but that wasnt it. Since they dont let anyone in passed like 12:3o or 1 am if you arnt inside already, I figured it was already too late since it was passed 1. So, I walked for a long time trying to find a manga kissa. I ended up walking all the way from Nishiniporri station to Oji station, which is like 3 stops away. I eventually did find a manga kissa though and I didnt mind just walking around listening to my mp3 player since the weather was nice, so it was ok.

I slept for 8 hours and woke up the next day. I looked for Game Versus again and this time I found it. It turns out I passed it last night, but its really hard to notice. The sign is small and since its on the 3rd floor only, theres no windows or anything in front that would make it obvious that theres an arcade there. I went inside and there were some people playing SFIV but thats about it. I would have played a game for the hell of it but the guys werent getting up after they lost and I didnt care that much. No GG players yet and they didnt even set up for the tournment yet (this was at around 11 am). So, I figured I might as well just go back to Mikado and kill some time playing there.

I went back there and there werent that many players but enough to at least get some games in. A few of the guys who ive seen before at quals were there practicing before the tournament. I did well against them and got some good wins in.

Sometime a little before 3 (which was when the tournament was scheduled to start), I left and headed back to Game Versus.

Now, the place was pretty packed with people. TONS of big name players came to this one. A total of 19 teams entered this one. They had set up 3 GG cabs for the tournament, and they were all sorta spread out. A few people congratulated me for our team winning last week, including ASA, who I chatted with for a while.

I was watching this one match of Footsies Ky (whos name is Hayashi I guess, according to signup sheet) and I noticed that this short girl with glasses was standing there scribbling stuff down on a small notepad. She kept like quickly looking at me and looking away all strange like. She did this over and over, to the point where it was starting t get a little weird. I sorta went to stand all the way behind her so that I was out of her field of vision, and she STILL turned her head all the way to look at me real fast and go back to scribbling stuff. Then she sorta like tried to stick the notepad out so it was in my field of vision. Like she was trying to show it to me without actually wanting to make it obvious but it still was. So, it was getting awkward so I finally talked to her and asked her what she was drawing. She showed me and it was a crappy little doodle of Faust's head. Appearently she knows that I am a Faust player. Then she blurted out a whole bunch of random shit REALLY fast but from what I gathered from it basically translated to "OMGitsbeensolongIreallywantedtoseeyouagain!!!!" I was just thinking in my head... wtf. So I tried to be nice and talk to her, and I asked her if she was entering today, and she said she doesnt really play the game, she just likes the characters so she came to watch. Then I realized that shes the really weird chick that was going on about how she loves Faust to me like a whole year ago during quals when I went to Game Newton. Im pretty sure I have only seen this girl once and talked to her for a grand total of like 2 minutes. I tried to be nice and humor her, but she was just so socially awkward and even when I tried to be nice and have a conversation, she went back to her creepy manerisms of drawing and trying to show me without saying anything. Like she was overly shy to the point where it was some kinda social disorder. I might not have minded as much if I was single and she was attractive (which I am not, and she isn't) but it was pretty awkward to say the least.

So after Hayashi won his match, I went to play him. It was a close fight but I lost. I got off the cab and she starts clapping. Im like "...but I lost" and she was basically just like "that was still amazing!!" Then she went back to drawing more little pictures. This time she started drawing May. I used the fact that it was crowded to my advantage to slip away, but every time I did, she would follow me, stand next to me without saying anything, and go back to drawing and like peaking at me and trying to get my attention again indirectly. IT WAS CREEPY! And the worst part was, she wasnt trying to talk to ANYONE ELSE.... ONLY ME!!!! WTF!

Eventually I was watching TEN (IN) fight En (SL) in casuals. TEN beat En and then I tried my luck against TEN and I beat him. The I lost to HEVEN (VE) I also played against Miturugi's Zappa (who came to watch since he already won the B1 block) but I lost that one too but at least won a round.

Before the tournament started, I got a nice seat in an area where I could see 2 of the 3 cabs. They divided the brackets into A B and C blocks. The finals would be a 3 team round robin. I was able to see A and B block matches from my seat. Also, I noticed my teammate from last week, MK, was there. I waved hello to him and he either didnt notice me earlier or was acting like he didnt cuz he seemed surprised. He said hi and we made a little small talk for like a minute and then he went to go sit with friends and watch.

For most of the tournament BLEED was on the mic doing commentary for matches.

I didnt get a picture of the actual brackets but I did take a photo of all 3 signup sheets which you can find here, here, and here. (the names are in Japanese, I dont have time to translate each one but I will go into detail about most of the matches that I saw. Zoom in to larger size to more easily read it).

So heres how the tournament went...

A bracket first match

Limekey (AN), EN (SL), Kishitaka (SO)
Satou (JO), TEN (IN), Maruken (BA)

Satou beats Limekey
EN beats Satou by a pixel with 3 seconds left on the clock in the 3rd round
TEN beats En again (just like the casuals match I saw earlier)
Kishitaka beats TEN and Maruken for the win

A bracket

Kuni (BA), Hayashi (KY), Ruka (AB) (names on signup sheet are different but its them)
Udei (TE), Hase (SL), Fuchiya (MI) (it might be Tsuchiya, the writing is hard to read)

Fuchiya beats Kuni and Hayashi
Ruka beats Fuchiya, Udei, AND Hase (wow good shit Ruka)

B bracket

Inoue (OR), FAB (PO), Machaboo (TE)
Karun (JA), Gori (ED), Shyouga (SL) (im not sure about slayer players name, hard to read)

Anyway, Inoue OCVed the whole team in the order of Karun, SL, ED lol
He almost lost to Slayer but got a big comeback on him

B bracket

Same team we fought in last weeks finals (Hamasyou (JA), Ryuuma (OR), Yuuta (TE))
DI, ED, Yellow IN from the tournament I went to last time with Kunihiro and Akinori

Anyway, Ryuuma OCVed them

A bracket

En team
NOB (SO), ASA (PO), Natsume (DI)

NOB beat En and Limekey (wow, surprised!)
Kishitaka beats NOB in mirror match
Kishitaka also beats ASA
Natsume beats Kishitaka ftw

B bracket

FAB team
Ririko (BR), Ain (KY), a Chipp player

FAB beats CH and Ririko
Ain beats FAB after a comeback in round 2 and dominated round 3
Machaboo beats Ain

A bracket

Ka2 (JA), Ko1 (MI), Haken (PO)
Kuni's team

KA2 OCVed them in the order of Kuni, Ruka, Hayashi

A bracket final

KA2 team
ASA team

Ko1 OCVed them in order of ASA, NOB, Natsume. The 2nd round of Ko1 vs Natsume was so intense and close that I could smell the guy next to me fart cuz the hype was too much to handle

B bracket final
FAB team
Hamashyo team

Machaboo OCVed them in order of Hamashyo, Yuuta, Ryuuma

C block final (which was now on the cab near me so I could see)

Nemo (FA), Endo (CH), random Johnny (this is the same Endo who is famous for using May)
Consome (PO), HEVEN (VE), AGF (AN)

Consome beats JO
Consome beats Endo. Consome starts round 1 with a buster without even moving and grabs Chipp out of something. He almost perfected Chipp but then Chipp almost came back to a pixel and lost. Then Round 2, he perfected Consome, but he lost round 3.
Then... Nemo beat the whole team in the order of Consome, HEVEN, AGF.

Grand final

FAB team
Ka2 team

Inoue bats Haken
Ka2 beats Inoue
FAB beats KA2
Ko1 beats FAB and Machaboo

Nemo team
FAB team

Machaboo beats JO
Endo beats Machaboo and FAB
Inoue beats Endo and Nemo

Ka2 team
Nemo team

Haken OCVed them in order of JO, Endo, Nemo.

So the winner of the qualifier was KA2/Haken/Ko1. They are the first of the 6 other teams I may have to fight in the block finals in 2 weeks. A strong team indeed.

After the tournament, I was leaving on the elevetor with a few players, and that creepy girl like follows me and packs herself into the full elevator just to follow me out but doesnt say anything to me. Then, I was out in front talking to Mitsurugi and a few guys about where people will play next and he said they will probably go to Mikado. Then the creepy girl just bursts past us all suddenly and yells sorry and jets out of there lol!

I went to get some quick food at 7-11 and then I went back inside and played a few games of casuals. I beat Mike's Jam on my first try which felt good. (BTW his team was in C block so I didnt mention it but his team was Mike (JA), BLEED (JO), Satoshi (PO)... another solid team).

After that, I lost to Endo's May which doesnt surprise me. After that I left to head to Mikado.

Mostly everyone showed up here so the comp was nuts and the place was packed. I got a lot of good practice games in and was holding my own pretty well against some really good players. I played a long set with ASA to try and practice the PO matchup for if I fight Haken. I was winning most of the time which is good cuz ASA has a good PO. I also beat HEVEN on my 2nd try which is good cuz I usually lose to him.

Then at some point, I fought Karun and he beat me. This was at the end of the cabs so I could see around on the other side when I stood up. He was laughing really hard and talking with KA2. Then I couldnt really make out everything he said cuz its really loud in there but I heard him say 'yowai! hontou ni yowai!" which basically means "He's weak... really weak!" Ill admit that I usually dont beat Karun when I play him but that shit really sorta got to me. I wanted to go over there and say something but I figured it would be best to just leave it alone cuz there was really nothing good that would come out of that anyway. It seemed to me like Ka2 was asking about my skill level or something cuz he knows he may have to fight me in the finals. I havnt played Ka2 in like at least over a year if at all... I honestly cant remember if and when I fought him cuz hes hardly around. So anyway, I lost to Karun 2 more times (in between Karun beating other top players but not laughing and calling them weak even though some of them got beat down too) until finally someone beat him but I cant remember who. So anyway, a little bit after that, KA2 got on another cab and beat someone. I jumped on the cab next, and not only did I beat Ka2, but I didnt lose a single round. Not that I am talking shit about KA2, but all I am saying is that Karun shouldnt underestimate me. Having the attitude that your opponent is weak is a weakness in itself. Maybe KA2 was sandbagging, maybe he took Karun's words to heart and I caught him off guard... but the bottom line is, Karun can think what he wants and talk whatever shit he wants, but in the end, if people want to underestimate me, its going to hurt them more than it helps them. I know I'm not the best, but Karun really pissed me off at that moment.

Anyway, I went the rest of the time playing a few more and then stayed till closing.

I was gonna go to sleep or hit up Game Versus again for all night games, but I asked around and no GG players even knew about it being opened late nor had any interest in going so it would be a waste of time. Emmet and Andy were at Current and asked me to come. I wasnt gonna drink cuz im trying to avoid it but I figured I would stop by for one beer and drink it really slow.

When I got to Current, I saw SPG Chris and sat at his table. I asked where Emmet and Andy were and he said they just left to go to Roppongi cuz Emmet thought I wasnt gonna stay out all night. Blargh! So... I stayed at Current for like 2 hours, had one beer, talked with a few other regulars, and this one girl named Noriko was there and she brought her mom and her mom bought me a beer hah... I didnt really want it but I drank half of it to be polite and then gave the rest to Shuuji before I left.

(I really wanted to drink but the less I drink now, the faster my ulcer heals, and the faster I can go back to REALLY drinking)

So after I left Current at around 3, I went to the manga kissa and slept for 8 hours.

The next day I went to the qual which was at the new Club Sega Akihabara. When I went inside, no one was really there yet... except for the CREEPY GIRL!!! BLAARRGHH!!! WTF! So, before she noticed me, I got the fuck out and went to the old club sega which is right down the street. A few people were playing there. Haken was there and as soon as he saw me he said hi and was like "You really feel like playing dont you?" and I was like "Yea, I always feel like playing". He saw that I was wearing a SFIV shirt and asked about it and I told him how I just play that game mostly on weekdays at home online cuz I cant play GG since theres no arcades near where I live. I sat down and fought some May and Haken was watching me play. After I won the match he said bye left with a friend. I wanted to play him but he looked like he was on his way out when I got there. I dont think I ever talked to Haken before until now but he seemed friendly enough.

I played some bridget and won, and then he beat me like 5 in a row. I got close but couldnt beat him again. Then this one Potemkin player was there. He is actually the same Potemkin player that I beat in the tournament we won last weekend. He is really solid and uses the black color. Today he would be on Karun's team (though I didnt know this yet). I played him in a bunch of games and I ended up playing really well and winning the majority of them. It was good practice. I beat a few other random guys there too... nothing really noteworthy.

At some point, Akinori showed up! I hadnt spoken to him since I won the qual last weekend cuz he never replied. He said he lost his phone. He wasnt upset at all. He came today by himself to enter with a random team. I like his dedication. He thought the tournament was at the old Club Sega so I told him I would show him the new one.

At about 3, I headed to the the new Club Sega for the tournament with Akinori. It was packed now. Creepy girl followed me around again but I didnt say anything to her this time. At one point, I was watching a match and she like bumped into me all obvious... like REALLY obvious! I looked at her and she IMMEDIETLY said she was sorry really loud "SUMIMASEN!" like super fast! I was just like... thats ok, and walked away lol. I think she got the hint cuz she got a little less agressive as the day went on, probably mainly cuz she was sitting on the floor and watching once the tournament started.

Akinori was able to form a team with the Yellow Anji who he was supposed to team up with last time but he got lost and didnt go so they were stuck with a 2 man team, but I dont think either of them know that lol. Also, a Slayer player who always wears those gangsta-like hats with the stuff brim and a shiny round sticker on it was on their team too.

Also, before the tournament started, I said hi to the good PO player I was fighting earlier and told him good games. He said he had fun and said I really got stronger! He seems like a nice guy.

Today's tournament was even bigger than yesterdays! Pretty much all the beastly players were there again, and this time there were 26 teams! Wow!

I didnt take pictures of the bracket this time cuz it was just too crowded and hard to get a good shot. But, I did write down a lot of match results again.

This time Mitsurugi was on the mic doing commentary.

So... heres some matches I saw

Ruka (AB), Ojima (FA), Shu (ED)
Mugen (BR), Sagimo(?)(DI), some ED player

Mugen beat Ruka and Ojima
Shu beat Mugen
DI beat Shu

I think I saw Nemo's team lose to Takuya's team which had a RO player and a MA. I think the MA beat Nemo.

Akinori's team
HEVEN team

AGF beats Yellow AN
Akinori beats AGF
HEVEN beats Akinori but Akinori put up a really good fight (but got perfected in round 3 >_<)
then HEVEN beat thug Slayer

I talked to him a bit afterwords but I didnt really see Akinori after that, I think he left soon after.

Maruken's team won their first match with a Maruken OCV but I dont know who they fought

I chatted with Mugen a bit. I hadnt seen him in a long time so I said hi and made small talk and asked about his team. Hes a cool guy and really friendly so that was cool. I wished him luck.

Abegen showed up by himself and got a random team. They got OCVed by Karun.

Johnny-o's team was this one ABA player that I know, and Batako (ZA)
They won their first match.

Ririko's team was with this one Baiken who I dont know but I beat him 2-0 at old club sega earlier this morning, and also a green TE.
FAB team

Ririko beat Machaboo and it was hype and everyone got loud
Then she went on to beat Inoue and it got hyper and louder!
Then she PERFECTED FAB round 1.... but FAB came back and won the next 2...
She came so close to OCVing them which us funny cuz recently FAB was coaching her at Mikado. I guess the student cant beat the sensei, but she can beat his teammates lol.
Next, FAB finished off the BA and TE for the win.
Awsome effort by Ririko though. I was rooting for her.

Mugen team
Niga team (some TE, and a purple Jam who looks familiar and MIGHT be Yume)

JA beats ED
Mugen beats JA
Niga beats Mugen
DI beats Niga and TE

HEVEN OCVed Takuya's team next

TEN OCVed Deno's team

Then I took a break from watching cuz I wanted to play. There was only one cab for casuals.

I got on and fought 012 (SO) and lost. Then.. I tried again and I beat him! Next, I fought Taku's SL and... won! Then Osaka B got on the cab and I beat him in a Faust mirror! Finally, Nemo got on and I took his Testament to the last round but lost in a close fight. It felt good to get those wins in and was playing well.

Right after I beat those guys, they were up in the tournament and their team was actually 012/Taku/Osaka B! Too bad it was casuals and not tournament cuz I would have OCVed them LOL! But yea... i know its not the same.


012 team
FAB team

Machaboo beat Osaka B
Taku beat Machaboo
FAB beat Taku and 012

next, Johnny-o's team beat Kuni's team (Johnny-o has been playing GOOD lately)

Maruken team
Mugen team

Maruken beat Mugen
DI beat Maruken and Satou
TEN beat DI and ED

Also, HEVEN team beat good Yellow I-no team

Inoue team
Johnny-o team

Inoue OCV in order of Johnny-o, ABA, Batako

HEVEN team
Maruken team

HEVEN OCV in order of Satou, TEN, Maruken

FAB team
Karun team (Karun, Nice Potemkin guy, SL)

Nice PO beat FAB in a mirror match (wow! ASA did it too 2 weeks ago, Maybe FAB is bad at PO mirror matches)
Machaboo beat Nice PO, Karun, and then SL for the win

FAB team
HEVEN team

Inoue beat Consome
AGF beat Inoue and FAB
Machaboo beat AGF and HEVEN

FAB / Inoue / Machaboo is the winner of the 3rd B2 block prelim and will be another rough team I may have to face in the finals.

At some point during the tournament, Isa showed up out of no where and came up to me all cheerful and said hi. I was surprised to see him so suddenly so I forgot to ask him about our team and what his message meant, but I just talked about the results of yesterday's tournament. He sped off after a little small talk. I didnt think much of it.

Later on during the tournament, I looked over and saw him talking to Karun and they seemed very friendly with eachother. Knowing now that Isa is friends with Karun, and that Karun said he thinks im basically a shit player, it made me wonder what Isa really thought about my abilities.

After the tournament was over, I went up to Isa and basically just asked him right out what his comment on the winning team page meant (it basically translated to "now recruiting teammates - Isa"). I asked him if he meant it as a joke or if he thought I was a weak teammate. He said he sorta meant it as a joke since we formed our team on the fly, but he also said that he wasnt really execting our team to win either at the time. He said a whole bunch of stuff too (unless I say otherwise, almost all conversation on my blog take place in only Japanese) that I didnt quite catch, but basically afterwords I said to him "so basically to clarify, if we win the block final you are happy to keep this team but if we lose you want to find other teammates?" and he said that was pretty much the gist of it. Im sure he sees me as inferior to most top players and people he has teamed with in the past... and I cant blame him considering his team last year was Nemo and Machaboo... but I dont think he thinks im total shit like Karun does or else he wouldnt have asked me in the first place. So, knowing that... I felt like I really needed to show him im not total shit.

After the tournament, a bunch of top players stuck around to play casuals. I really wanted to get a lot of wins in to show Isa im not dead weight but the fact that I wanted to win so bad made me nervous and now I was playing worse than I was before. I fought FAB and lost, and then I fought the nice PO player who I was beating consistantly all morning 3 times in a row and lost. I think Karun was laughing again too. I felt pretty shitty at this point. Isa, was playing on the cab next to me accross on the other side and fighting Nemo a lot and actually lost a bunch but then he started gaining momentum and was beating some people and losing one or 2 here and there. I saw him beat Mitsurugi and some other good people but he wasnt unbeatable either. I went to another cab and fought some Millia player and won. Then I fought Satou's JO and lost but won in a rematch. After that, Satou and the Millia got up and left and no one else seemed interested in playing me, so I went back over to the other cabs. I wanted to play Isa to show him im not weak but I never got a chance cuz other people kept getting on the cab. At some point the nice PO player came up to me. I told him sorry for playing badly just then, and he said not to worry and that im still strong. I fought Kishitaka 3 times and lost 2 and then won the last 1. I usually do better vs Kishitaka so I was kinda bummed about that. Isa saw me win the last one. He didnt say anything though.

Just I won that last match, everyone was ready to head out. I had to catch the train too to get going home or else I would be stuck. As I was getting up, I noticed Tatsumi was sitting on the other side of the other cab by herself. It seemed like she wanted to play more but didnt leave with everyone else. I wonder if they like ditched her or something or whatever but she looked sorta lonely or something. I wanted to talk to her and say whatsup cuz I sorta know her and maybe get some games in but I really had no time so I left with the other guys and we got on the elevator. Isa gave me an "otsukare" on the way down and I said the same to him. Then they were all standing out in front so I just said bye to them and left cuz I had no time. I JUST caught the last train home by 1 minute.

So in conclusion, by the end of the night on Sunday, I was feeling really shitty. Karun's comment was getting to me and making me question my skill and making me wonder how many Japanese players actually think im total shit and how many think im good, etc. I know some of do think im a solid player and I guess theres some that think I suck bad.

In retrospect, I came to the conclusion that it doesnt fucking matter what Karun or any of those other guys think. Maybe im not the greatest player out there, but I know that I am not total shit and I know I am capable of beating just about anyone because I HAVE beaten just about everyone at least once or a few times in casuals before. All I have to do is apply what I know and do it in a tournament. Will I do it in the block finals? Will I prove to Isa im not shit? I have no idea, and thinking that way is just going to make me play shitty like I did after the tournament, as opposed to good, like I did in the morning when I was just playing and having a good time. Im just gonna play and enjoy the game, and whatever everyone else wants to think, thats up to them. If we lose and Isa finds another team, no reason to be "salty". I had my chance and failed to deliver. If we win, then that would be awsome.

In any case, Ill be back next weekend in Tokyo for more reporting on the next quals.

Monday, May 17, 2010

We're half way there!

On Friday night after work, I went to Tokyo as usual. I ran into Phil, an ALT who lives in my town but I never really see ever. We rode the train together and Emmet also got on, as well as another ALT. We all rode to Takasaki together where the other 2 guys got off. Emmet and I went the rest of the way to Tokyo.

We headed to Mikado as usual. I got some good games in and a few small win streaks. I was still unsure at this point what would be going on with my team tomorrow for the tournament. Akinori said he could go, but our other potential member was the Ky player Usuda. He said that he was not yet sure if he could make it and wouldn’t know until like an hour before the tournament. I couldn’t find anyone else so we just decided to wait and see and hope he could make it. There were actually 2 quals scheduled for tomorrow in the Kanto area. One was actually in Gunma in Isesaki and was part of the B-1 block which has been going on this whole time (and of which the finals for was in Omiya on Sunday). The other one was the first of the B-2 block which was in Chiba at Amusement Ace in Tsudanuma. Even though I live in Gunma, the Gunma one was farther and harder to get to. The game center is really far from the station, so we opted to go for the B-2 qual at Amusement Ace. Osaka B was there and I asked him which one he was going to but he said he had no team so he wasn’t going to either.

After the arcade closed, we decided we would go drinking at Club Pure since we heard it was reopened. Tomorrows tournament would start at 2 pm and had a 32 team limit so I didn’t really need to worry about getting up too early. Also, I went to the doctor earlier this week and I asked him if cutting down on drinking is going to help my ulcer heal faster. He said it probably wouldn’t really make much of a difference so I decided I might as well go get hammered lol.

Anyway, on the way to Shibuya we decided to call Club Pure and make sure it was actually opened. It turns out that Club Pure is no longer in existence but another club runs a Club Pure night which basically gets you the 3500 yen all you can drink deal. Unfortunately tonight was not Pure night so we ended up just going to Shinjuku instead and drank at Current.

It wasn’t all that packed at Current but it was fun anyway. At some point I passed out and Emmet drew some shit on my arm with a black marker. After waking up, I washed it off in the bathroom. I don’t really remember much other detail about the night. It was pretty typical. We stayed till closing and slept at the awesome Moopa manga kissa that always has mat rooms available across from Sportsland.

The next morning, I woke up at around 11:30 and headed to Tsudanuma. On the way there, I got a message from Usuda who said he wouldn’t be able to come to the tournament, so now Akinori and I had to find one extra player at the arcade.

When I got there, Akinori wasn’t there yet. It turns out he over slept, but he said he was on his way and would make it in time.

I was just sorta sitting down for a minute at an empty cab and suddenly Isa (ED) and MK (JO) come up to me and ask me if Im by myself today. I told them that I had a 2 man team. They asked me if I wanted to join their team. I looked at the signup sheet and there was another 2 man team, and one single man team. I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to team with such great players so I told them to give me a few minutes to figure things out. I mailed Akinori and told him the situation and asked him what I should do. He told me to just go ahead and join those 2 guys. I signed him up with the other 2 man team so at least that way we both were able to play on full teams. Of course there was also the option of taking the single Jam player who was by himself but I had no idea who he was and would much rather play with MK and Isa. Akinori was cool with it.

I told Isa that I would join his team so he was happy to have me join. I was pretty happy they invited me on the team. Since they had other options to ask the other players but they asked me first, it must show that they recognize me as a decent player which felt good. It sorta felt like winning the lottery lol.

There were some other really good players there like TEN (IN), and Kishitaka (SO). Also, Ruka (AB) was there and he was teaming with Osaka B before, but now he was teaming with Ojima (FA) instead. Osaka B had mentioned that he had no team the day before, but his old team mates were there. I guess he got dropped for Ojima. Ojima is a good Faust and all but I always felt Osaka B was better so I was kinda surprised about that one. There were a lot of Fausts at this tournament. Including me, I think there were like 5 lol. There were a total of 16 teams. I actually took pictures of the full bracket but it didn’t focus well and most of the names are unreadable in the pictures so I don’t really remember all the players names but I saw some other familiar faces.

Anyway, the tournament was about to start and Akinori still hadn’t arrived. Then he called me and said he was at the station but couldn’t find the arcade. Its really close to the station so I told him I would go meet him there and show him the way. They were just putting up the brackets and were gonna call the first match so I had to hurry. Akinori said he exited out the East exit, but there IS no East exit at Tsudanuma station. After trying to figure out where he went he finally said he was at the wrong station. I asked him where but he said he didn’t know. My theory is, that he mixed up today and tomorrow’s tournaments and went to Omiya instead but was too embarrassed to admit it. It’s the only explanation I could figure out. So anyway, he said he probably would not be making it now at ALL! I felt really bad because I told the other 2 guys on his team that he would be here and now they were stuck with a 2 man team and they could have teamed with that left over Jam player who was now on a one man team.

I went back to the arcade and apologized to the other 2 guys. I felt bad but there was nothing I could do. Fortunately for those guys though, their match was called first and they won.

The tournament was run on 2 cabs so things ran pretty smoothly.

Our first match was called next. Our opponents were Chi(BR), Masa(TE), Niko (something I cant make out on the sheet) (MA).

I went first. My opponent was Bridget. I won 2 rounds straight and the 2nd round was heavily one sided in my favor. Next up was Testament. I put up a good fight and ALMOST won the 2nd round after winning the first round, but I miss timed something and lost and then I lost the last round. MK went next with his Johnny. He put up a good fight but he lost to Testament as well. Finally Isa went and he defeated Testament and then went on to finish the May player for the win.

After we won, Isa gave me a rock (fist rock) and said thank you very much in broken English. Hes a cool guy lol.

Up next we had to fight Takuya’s team. He’s a Faust player who always used to play at Vegas and still often plays at Mikado. His team mates were Axl and I think Dizzy. I don’t remember their names and its too hard to make out in the picture I took.

I went first again, this time I had to fight Axl. I played really patient and once again was able to win both rounds in a row for the win. While I was playing, Isa and MK were giving me props saying how I was playing really strong and stuff. Up next they put Takuya against me for a Faust mirror match. I don’t really like Faust mirror matches but whatever. I won the first round, lost the 2nd round, and then the last round was down to one last final hit but Takuya snuck it in and won by a pixel. I really thought I had that one so I apologized to my team mates but they said to not worry about it. MK went up next but unfortunately he lost to Takuya as well. It was once again up to Isa who took out Takuya and then their last player and once again brought us another victory.

For our 3rd match, this time MK wanted to go first. Our opponents were Potemkin, Slayer, and Eddie. This Potemkin player was at the tournament last week at Game Moai and he was really good. I don’t know their names but they were pretty solid. MK went up against the Potemkin but unfortunately he lost. I went next. I played really patient and safe and was able to defeat the PO player! Up next was Eddie. I started off by pretty much dominating the first round but then Eddie managed to escape my pressure after eating a bunch of mixups and he gained some momentum back and I got cheesed out by standard Eddie BS. I won the 2nd round and the 3rd round was sorta close but I lost. I apologized to Isa and MK again but easy said not to worry cuz hes got my back and were teammates so its all good! Isa proceeded go go on to win the Eddie mirror. For the last match against Slayer, about 10 seconds into the first round, Isa stopped the match cuz his kick button broke. So they opened up the machine and fixed it. It was completely dead cuz I saw him press it multiple times and nothing came out. After the button got fixed they just started from the beginning. Isa won the first round. He lost the 2nd round cuz Slayer just hits like a truck. 3rd round he pulled through for the win!

We were now in the finals! Our opponents were Hamashyou (JA), Yuuta (TE), Ryuuma (OR). This time, I went first again and my opponent was JA. I lost the first round and then in the 2nd round, it was pretty close but I did an air teleport try to catch him off guard. It whiffed but I FRCed it but he ran up and threw me real fast and I died to a combo. I felt really bad for not contributing anything to the finals but they told me not to worry about it. Up next was MK. He did alright but unfortunately he lost to the JA as well. It was now up to Isa to reverse OCV their whole team. He sat down at the cab, took a deep breath, put his hands together like he was praying and gave a little head bow. You could tell that he really wanted to win this and wasn’t ready to give up. Isa played really solid and took out the JA. One down… 2 to go. Up next was Testament. Isa lost the first round but he shook it off and came back hard winning the next 2! It was now the very final match vs Order-Sol. Isa takes the first round, Order-Sol puts up a good fight in the next round, but Isa’s Eddie was just too much for him and with that… Isa sealed the deal and achieved his reverse OCV!

I will now be playing in the B2 block finals at Club Sega Akihabara on June 6th!!!

I thanked Isa and MK a ton for inviting me on their team and they said they were glad to have me and thanked me for my contributions. Even though I didn’t help out in the finals and if it wasn’t for Isa we wouldn’t have won, I at least feel good that I was able to contribute and beat someone on each team otherwise so I wasn’t deadweight and was a valuable part of the team. Surprisingly, MK didn’t win a single match the entire tournament, but he still played well and is a solid player.

Finally in my 3rd year of SBO quals, my team has finally managed to win a preliminary and advance to the block finals. Unfortunately it still wont be easy. Due to there only being 16 spots in the final SBO even this year, it means that each block has much more quals. For the B2 block, there will be a total of 7 teams playing in the finals. We are the first team to win in B2 so the remaining 6 teams remain to be seen but im sure there will be some really stiff competition in the block finals. This is one of the strongest teams I have ever been on so I don’t want to pass this opportunity up. Im gonna fight my ass off for that spot.

After the tournament, we had to fill out some information and they took our picture and gave us our qualified certification papers. Then they had free play on for a bit so I stayed and played some free play matches. I got the very last game in vs MK and won right before they told us to get off to put the cabs back on pay to play. Before leaving, I thanked Isa and MK again and then I headed out.

Not long after leaving I received a few emails from other players who had my email congratulating me. I guess news traveled fast cuz none of those guys were even there lol. Also, I had to tell Kunihiro and Akinori that I would no longer be able to team with them tomorrow for the B1 block finals. Kunihiro congratulated me and Akinori never replied. I hope I didn’t piss him off, but its not like its my fault our other teammate canceled and he got lost and didn’t make it to the tournament at all, so I cant really feel too bad about it.

So after that, I headed back to Mikado and played some casuals. Udei was there and congratulated me on our victory. I got some good games in. I played until about 9 and then I met up with Sam, and Sam’s friend. As we were leaving the arcade, suddenly Sam’s friend asks me “You like cock?” Im like… wtf no. Why do you ask? He said to look at the back of my arm. Apparently when Emmet wrote on me the previous evening, I failed to noticed that he also wrote “I like cock” on the back of my arm. I cant believe I spent the whole day walking around with that on there. Good thing most Japanese people probably don’t know what that means. Its also a good thing it was on the back of my arm and wont be visible in my team victory photo that will eventually be on tougeki.com lol! That would have been a disaster! I quickly went into the Mikado bathroom and washed it off. After that, we met up with Liz and went to go have dinner at an izakaya and knock back a few beers.

After about 2 or 3 hours at the izakaya, we headed to Current and tonight was a metal event! I wasn’t even originally going to go out drinking tonight because I would have had to wake up at like 8 am to go to the tournament tomorrow but now I didn’t need to get there on time to sign up so I could do some celebration drinking!

Sam invited a whole bunch of friends from his university, one of which was a really hot girl. It was a pretty typical metal event but that means it was pretty awesome. Emmet rolled in at some point after going to another international party and he was already sloshed. Most of the metal event regulars were there, as well as SPG Chris and 28YOV. 28YOV was giving me shit about how I drew on and put coasters in his mouth and a bunch of stuff on his head when he passed out at Current a while back and took pictures of it which were recently uploaded on facebook by someone else. I told him how I got owned by the pass out marker last night so to just man up and forget about it. The laws of Shinjuku drinking are harsh but fair.

Anyway, I would like to type details about the rest of the night but I have no recollection of most of the night after a certain point. I remember drinking out in front of Current with people. At some point we went to PSY but I remember nothing of it, and we also went to Tokyo Loose which I don’t remember really either.

I woke up at like 3 pm at the nice manga kissa. I checked my check in time and it was 8 am lol! I was drinking for like 11 hours straight. I took a big dump and it was tar black again which is bad because it means more internal bleeding. I guess its ok for me to drink but I probably shouldn’t be drinking that hard for 11 hours with my ulcer. Next time I need to be more careful. I guess I just went overboard with the celebrating. I felt fine otherwise though.

So anyway, I mailed Emmet and he was at the cheap manga kissa with Chibi Testament who I guess we met up with at PSY but I don’t remember it at all. They were already drinking again LOL! Chibi Testament didn’t want her whole beer so she shared it with me. I still felt a little drunk from last night and the taste of beer jump started me urge to drink again so I just ended up rolling with it and my plans quickly changed completely. I was going to go to the Omiya B1 block finals today to watch but it was already pretty late in the afternoon and I ended up just sitting outside sorta neer Current (across the street from Sukiya) and Emmet, Chibi Testmanet, and I just knocked back beers all afternoon. We were sitting and talking and this foreigner from New Zealand overheard our conversation and started laughing so we started talking with him too and then he started drinking with us as well. He even bought us all a round of beer. He was a pretty nice guy.

Before we knew it, it was already 7 pm, which means Current is open! So since we were already pretty drunk, we figured we might as well go to Current! I was surprised that there were actually other customers there besides us at 7 on a Sunday. Mogi and Masami were there working. We enjoyed drinking there for a few hours and then I had to leave at like 9 to get the last train home.

I fell asleep on the train and sobered up quite a bit over my 3 hour train ride home and that’s about it.

So there you have it. That had to be one of the most epic weekends ive had in Japan so far. From now, its time to practice HARD so that I am ready for the block finals on June 6th. Isa and MK were nice enough to ask me to be on their team so Im not gonna let them down!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More Saitama Quals and More New Teammates

When I went to Mikado Friday night, I had only one teammate setup for both Saturday (ASA Potemkin) and Sunday (Kunihiro). Both of them could only go one day, so I needed to find someone to fill the gap.

After playing for a bit, Nanase showed up and started talking to me. I asked him earlier in the week if he could team with me but he said he had plans. I told him I was still looking for one more person. He thought about it a bit and then said he would team with me for Saturday after all! So, now I just needed one more person for Sunday.

I played this one PO player a bunch of times. He was really good and was beating me quite a bit. After a few more games I played him again and won 3 in a row on him. After that, he suddenly came over to me and asked me in English where I was from. Then I started talking with him in Japanese for a bit about various things. I asked him if he ever enters tougeki tournaments and he said he doesnt because he doesnt really have any friends that play GG and wants to find teammates. Perfect! So I asked him if he wanted to join my team for Sunday and he said he would love to. His name is Akinori, and he goes by the player name "Heavenly" because heavenly pot buster is his favorite move in the game lol. He says he pretty much always has weekends off of work so he said he is pretty much willing to team with me every time, which is very good. In addition, hes also into a lot of awsome metal bands that I like as well, especially Dream Theater and Sonata Arctica. He also wants to study English more so I told him I would try to talk with him in English so that he could practice. His English is pretty decent anyway. Also, he says hes into white girls.

We played for a few more games and stayed till closing. After that, he said he had no plans and I told him I was going to go drinking at Current so he said he wanted to come along. I took him there and he really liked the place. Rob, the ex JET guy who works for Square was also there and we talked for a bit. Also, Mai was there and was telling me how her, Yoshie, and Ayami would be working at some girls bar at design festa next weekend and invited me to come see them. I told her maybe, but chances are I wont be going since theres more quals next weekend heh. I tried to take it a bit easy on the drinking today though because my ulcer is still in not so good condition right now. Also, I wanted to get a good amount of sleep for tomorrow's tournament so I left Current at around 3 am. I went to the manga kissa, and Akinori went too cuz he was killing time waiting for the first train and I guess he didnt wanna drink there alone or whatever so he just went there to read manga. I went to sleep.

I woke up the next day and Akinori left me a note saying thanks for showing him the bar and inviting him on my team for Sunday.

I headed to Kawagoe in Saitama where today's tournament would be held. This one was bigger than the last one and had 16 teams enter. They had 3 cabinets there too so I got a good amount of casuals in before the tournament. I talked with ASA for a bit. He just got a new job but said he would try to enter quals when he has the time.

Udei was there and i asked him who won the other qualfiers on Mon, Tue, and Wed of last week since I didnt go. He said that his team won on Monday (Udei, Hase, a Robo-Ky I dont know) and he was just there to watch, so I congratulated him. Tuesdays tournament was won by Kuni's team (Kuni, footies Ky, pink May), and Wednesdays tournament was won by Ko1, Haken, Ka2.

I was surprised that FAB/Inoue/Machaboo didnt win any of those. They were at this one ready to play again though. There were lots of good teams and players at this tournament. You can see the full signup sheets for all teams here and here. (you can enlarge it to read the names better if you click on the larger size option. Also, if you cant read Japanese I can translate names if you ask but im too lazy to just do all of them)

For our first match, we had to play against Ain's team. The team was Ain(KY)/Karisuma(FA)/Kojirou(TE). Ain is the guy who looks like a Japanese version of the Street Fighter player, Floe.

First was Nanase vs Ain. Ain beat Nanse, killing him with an IK in the 3rd round after 3 knockdowns in moroha mode.

Next ASA beat Ain in a close fight. Then ASA lost Karisuma's Faust. I went next and beat both Kurisama and Koirou's TE for the win!

For our next match, we had to play the same team I lost to last week again, Machaboo/FAB/Inoue. Once again, they put Machaboo first. I went first this time and lost to Machaboo but I did much better against him than I did last week and it was pretty close and went down to the 3rd round. Then Nanase lost to him too. Then, ASA just BEASTED and he beat Machaboo's TE, then he beat FAB in a PO mirror match! Finally he had to play Inoue's HOS. He took it to the very last round and was ONE HIT AWAY from beating Inoue but he got hit first and lost...

It was so close and ASA really played well. Too bad.

As for the rest of the tournament, FAB's team played against Domi's team and beat them. It went like this...

FAB beats Domi (AN)
FAB beats JT (MI)
FAB loses to Basara (aka Ogiwara) (SL)
Machaboo loses to Basara
Inoue beats Basara for the win

Also, Maruken OCVed Osaka B's team (Osaka B (FA), Ruka (AB), SHO (MA))

The finals were Maruken's team (Maruken (BA)/TEN (IN)/ Satou (JO))

It went down like this...

Machaboo beats Satou
Ten beats Machaboo
Inoue beats TEN
Maruken beats Inoue
Maruken beats FAB

So, Maruken's team won. Too bad for Machaboo's team once again. Maybe I will get a 3rd crack at beating them heh.

After the tournament, I thanked my team and they said they both would be willing to team up again sometime in the future at an unspecified time.

I went back to Mikado and played casuals till about 8:30. From there, I agreed to meet up with Emmet at an Izakaya near Current. I wasnt planning on really drinking tonight and couldnt stay out late but I hadnt eaten dinner yet so I figured I would go for some food. He was meeting some girls there that he met a long time ago at an international party. I drank with the girls and him and ended up having a few beers. We left there at around 11 and now that I had a few beers in me, I felt like having more. The girls wanted to go to Roppongi but Emmet was low on cash so he didnt go with them, so I went with him to Current.

SPG Chris was there and we drank with him at the bar mostly. I had a couple more drinks but I only stayed till about 1:30 cuz I had to get up early tomorrow. Tomorrow's tournament was a bit far and had an early registration time of 10 am with a 16 team limit.

Instead of going to my usual cheap manga kissa (which is kinda ghetto) I found a good Moopa manga kissa that I never noticed before right across from Sportsland. They had mat rooms avaliable and it was only like 1700 yen for 8 hours which is a good price, so I slept there and stayed for like 7 hours. I think sleeping on my stomach laying down is better for my ulcer so I am going to try to do this as much as possable. Laying on my back causes lots of stomach acid to go up into my esophagus while im sleeping (espessially after drinking all night) so hopefully this strategy will help me out. Only problem is its hard to get those nice mat rooms.

Anyway, I woke up the next day and headed to Hanuki station, which I have never heard of and was on some weird private train line from Omiya called New Shuttle. I got to the station and took a bus cuz the game center was a bit far. After getting off the bus, the map I printed was wrong so I had to ask some random guy on the street where the place was. He said the map was wrong but since it had an address on the sheet he knew where it was so he pointed me in the right direction and I found it after that.

The arcade, Game Moai, was pretty nice. They had 2 cabs going. A few players were there already like Osaka B's team. I got a win streak of like 10 wins at first which was nice. This arcade used tokens instead of regular money which is something extremely rare in Japan. It was 2 credits for 1 token which costs 100 yen but you get more tokens the more money you put into the token machine at once (like 1000 yen gets you 14 tokens). I got there at around 11 am but there was only like 4 teams signed up at that time. I figured it wouldnt fill up that fast.

Akinori and Kunihiro both had trouble finding the place too but both of them eventually made it.

There ended up being a total of 10 teams signed up. You can see the whole signup sheet here.
Surprisingly enough, FAB's team did not come today! I guess they had to work or something.

Before the tournament started, I asked one of the staff members if I could buy a start button off of them because the one on my stick at home broke. They were nice enough to just give me it for free so I got a brand new free start button! If you ever need some parts and you are in Japan, just ask an arcade and they might hook you up!

Also, the guy who was running the tournament today was a Slayer player that knows Rod (Honnou)! He met me before and recognized me, though I forgot his name.

Anyway, the tournament started and we got a bye first round.

Our first match was vs the team of 2HS (JO) / 5k (MI) / 2BC天地 (SO)

Kunihiro loses to SO
Akinori beats SO
Akinori loses to MI
I beat MI and JO for the win!

Up next, we had to fight a team of ZA/IN/DI

I was playing the IN and DI in casuals a lot before the tournament and beating them almost every time. The ZA was giving me trouble though. I didnt know who he was cuz their names on the signup sheet were weird fake names. They are the 3rd team listed on the signup sheet (ちょなんざん。com).

First, Akinori lost to DI
then I went and I beat DI
Then, I lost to the ZA player
Finally, Kunihiro also lost to the ZA.

(this was already the semi finals)

I checked afterwords and it turns out the ZA was Chonari, the Zappa who got 2nd place at SBO last year and lost to N-男 in the grand finals after almost reverse OCVing his team. I guess that explains why he gave me trouble heh... I feel I could have played better against him though. I wasnt really happy with my performance on that one. I let the dog rough me up too much and wasnt being patient enough.

Anyway, both Osaka B's team and Ain's team lost already so the finals was Chonari's team vs team あああ (the 5th team listed on the signup sheet) consisting of IN/DI/ED. This is the same team that beat Ain's team and Osaka B's team. IMO, the IN on this team was much better than the IN on Chonari's team. Heres how it went down...

IN (chonari team) beats DI and then ED(あああ)
IN (chonari team) loses to IN (あああ)
DI (chonari team) beats IN (あああ).

So Chonari's team won and Chonari didnt even need to play in the finals! I was shocked considering how well I was doing vs the IN and DI in casuals but I guess thats just how it goes.

After that, they set up the cabs on free play. We stayed for a few hours and played casuals. Kunihiro left first. Around 8, I was getting really really tired and I have no idea why. My ulcer was really bothering me. That might have had something to do with it. I started playing really bad and just wanted to go home, so I told Akinori I was leaving and headed out.

I walked all the way back to the station this time cuz there were no buses coming soon, but it turns out it didnt take all that long... maybe 20 or 30 mins. Somehow, right before I got the station, Akinori caught up with me. I guess he walks pretty fast or something. So we rode the train back to Omiya together and then split up (he lives in Tokorozawa in Saitama). I made it home and went to sleep.

So as of now, there are 6 teams qualified for the B-1 block finals. Next week there are 2 more tournaments for the B-1 block, including the grand finals in Omiya on Sunday. That means, that this block finals will have 8 teams! That is almost as many as some of the prelims... and all of the teams are looking pretty beastly so far! Im gonna enter next Sunday again with Kunihiro and Akinori again. As for Saturday, Kunihiro has work. Akinori can enter but I have to find one more person. I wouldnt mind teaming with ASA again considering how beastly he was playing but him and Akinori play the same character so Ill have to see how things work out. In any case, I should be able to come up with a team in the very least. Im glad to have a Potemkin on my team all the time though because having a good zoning character and a grappler on the same team helps to cover a lot of bad matchups.

Anyway... full brackets for both tournaments can be seen on my flickr page. Go ahead and take a look if you give a shit.

Until next time...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Golden Week 2010: SBO quals begin

I dont really have a lot of time to type this so Im gonna keep this brief.

From the last blog post when I was drinking all those shots, I think it really messed with my ulcer cuz I had black feces again, which is a sign of internal bleeding. I felt tired all week too so I figured it would be best to avoid drinking this coming weekend. I had an enkai in the middle of the week and it was hurting after like only drinking for 3 hours.

So anyway, I went to Tokyo Friday night by myself, and I met Sam there. We got some Kebabs right away and then went back to Mikado. FAB was like coaching Ririko while she was playing for some reason. I played her in 4 games and we went 2 and 2. FAB was coaching her the whole time according to Sam. I have no idea why. I figured it was maybe cuz they were gonna team up but I found out later that this wasnt the case. Other than that, I ended some JO player 14 win streak and got 8 wins. Then I ended an Eddie 10 win streak. Nothing much else to note about casuals that I played that night.

Mikado now has like 5 3S machines. They also now have 10 GG AC machines which is pretty awsome. Also, they only have 2 Arcana 3 cabs but there were like 20 guys crowded around them that night.

After casuals, Emmet mailed me saying he was gonna come to Tokyo like last minute and wanted to go to Club Pure, which apparently has reopened again in Shibuya. I was sorta down to check it out but I was feeling REALLY tired and fatigued for like no reason so I figured it was related to the ulcer and possible internal bleeding thing so I went to Shibuya but told Emmet that I was just gonna go to sleep after all. He ended up just going to Current instead as a result. I went to the manga kissa in Shibuya and got a lot of sleep.

The next day I played casuals at Mikado all day again. Lots of top players were there. I beat Limekey twice which was nice but I lost to him a lot too. I got a lot of good training in today. I got Kebabs and Ramen at some point with Emmet and Sam. I ended up staying till closing and then I just went back to Shinjuku to go sleep. I looked at lots of manga kissas to try to get a nice mat room cuz I wanted to rest well since I was really tired again, but all the nice ones were full so I just stayed at the usual one. Even if I was feeling well today, I wouldnt go drinking because the next morning was the very first GG SBO qual in Saitama. The place wasnt very far (Urawa), but the registration started at 10 am and they capped it at 16 teams, meaning I needed to get there really early.

Anyway the next day, I woke up and took the train to Urawa. After walking a little I found the arcade (Hap-1 UNO). There were already several players there (almost all of them were top players I know) waiting to register. After I registered my team (which was me, Kunihiro (AN), and Nanase (AB)), I pretty much just stayed there and played casuals all day. The tournament wasnt scheduled to start till 4 pm so I had a lot of time to kill. They only had one cab unfortunately, but at least there werent that many people playing on it since most teams left. I mostly played against these 3 guys who were all on the same team (CH, RO, TE). I dont know their names, but I was beating them all pretty consistantly and only lost to the CH and RO once out of several games and went undefeated vs the TE. Udei was also there and was using his Testament. He was getting the most wins, but I still was beating him a good amount of the time.

At 2 pm, they moved the cab to a stage area with seats in front and big screen connected for watching during the tournament, so during that time there were no casuals. Also, around this time, my teammates showed up.

Surprisingly enough, only 9 teams entered, so I went there all early for nothing, but I guess the practice matches were good so whatever.

Some teams were
Hase/Udei/some Robo-ky
Mitsurugi/that really good default color Millia ive talked about before/Pink Faust whos good
Kuni/crazy good Footsies Ky/some pink May

....and a few others

Our first match was vs the RO/CH/TE team that I was beating up all morning. Nanase wanted to go first so we let him go and he OCVed them with his AB. The next match was the semi finals already and we had to fight Machaboo(TE)/FAB(PO)/Inoue(OR). This team is a little broken. Machaboo plays TE as his main now, and his TE is fucking sick. Kunihiro went first this time, fallowed by Nanase, and then e... and we all got OCVed by Machaboo's TE. The finals were Machaboo team vs Taku(SL)/AGF(AN)/HEVEN(VE).
It went down like this. HEVEN beat Machaboo, Inoue beat HEVEN, then Taku beat Inoue and FAB. Taku's team won and won the preliminary.

After that, they had free play going for a bit and whoever could just jump on and get a quick match in. I played Udei and won. Then later I fought AGF and lost by a pixel. Most people started to clear out so I left too and headed back to Mikado.

At Mikado, a lot of the players from the qual came to play as well as others. My teammates showed up too. I beat FAB on my 2nd try and ended his 17 win streak which felt pretty good. After Kunihiro left, he messaged me at like 11:30 saying he just found out he had to work tomorrow. My team for tomorrow was supposed to be Kunihiro and Honya (BA), but now that Kunihiro couldnt do it, I had no team. I asked around at Mikado but everyone there was busy or already had a team. All my phone contacts were also tapped out and espessially on such short notice there was nothing I could do. So, as a result I couldnt enter the qual the next day.

After Mikado closed I went back to Shinjuku. I had time to kill now so I figured I might as well go to Current for just a little. I stayed for just like 3 drinks. I felt a little tired but still OK. I only stayed till about 3. I wasnt very packed, but I was surprised that Kunko was there. She was talking with Taka and some other dude. She was in town for some concert. I told her I was sorry I forgot to contact her when I went to Kansai but she said she didnt tell me she was in Tokyo so looks like were even lol. I also talked to the staff and some older woman and older dude who were sitting at the bar near me. Shuji was there too but he passed out on the bar pretty fast. That dude is always tired.

After leaving Current, I pretty much just went to sleep a little early and got the 9 hour package at the manga kissa.

For Monday and Tuesday, there were more SBO quals, but I couldnt get a team because they were both really far and lots of people were busy and actually had work even during golden week. So I ended up just meeting Sam at Mikado and playing casuals all day. It was mostly scrubs there. I got a 20 win streak and was defeated by a May player eventually. Also, they had some weird event there where on the big projector, they were showing old ST matches and like freeze framing it and analyzing things like frame by frame and someone was explaining strategies and matchups and about 30 guys were chillin there watching this sorta matchup tutorial. Ive never seen an arcade do anything like this before. I didnt pay that much attention to it though cuz I was busy playing casuals and I dont play ST hardcore enough to really wanna sit and watch that over playing GG lol.

Since I had no chance of entering the quals, and didnt want to just go so far out there with no team at all, I decided I would just go home. Sam doesnt have a PS3 and wanted to play Super SFIV, so he went back to Gunma with me and stayed at my place and we pretty much played SSFIV from Monday night to Wednesday evening, pretty much stopping just to go to the store a couple times and eat and sleep. Andy came over on Tuesday and stayed all day too so we got a lot of casuals in. I am still in the process of learning T.Hawk. I still play Blanka too. I havnt really decided who will end up being my main yet but Ill stick with both of em and just see how it pans out.

Also, the start button on my stick broke but luckily I was able to fix it by replacing it with the select button from my other stick which I never really use anyway lol.

So yea, thats pretty much it. Not the best Golden Week ever but I had fun. This was probably the least amount of drinking I ever did in a weekend in Tokyo ever, and I was tired most of the time, but I played so many games that the callus on my left pointer finger from using arcade sticks so much has gotten like 2X harder than it was before. Also, by the end of the holiday weekend I was feeling much better and less tired, even after staying up till 5 am playing SF 2 nights in a row. Unfortunately I couldnt see Ryoko when I got back to Gunma cuz she was stuck working ALL of Golden Week doing double shifts every day cuz shes the manager and everyone else took days off.

Next weekend there will be 2 more quals. I am still in the process of forming teams but I should be able to manage getting something set up.