On Friday after work, I headed to Tokyo. On the train on the way there, 3 other ALTs got on and sat with me (Emmet, Jessie, Phil). They were on their way to Takasaki to go to a beer garden event for the ALTs who will be leaving Japan next month. I was half tempted to just go with them but at the last minute I decided I would just go by myself to Tokyo as planned since I was still trying to avoid drinking sorta and I wanted to play Gear.
I arrived at Mikado and started off by beating a Venom twice. Then no one played me for a while so I just left to get a kebab. When I was at the kebab place ordering it for takeout at the window outside, the chef dude was talking to me. Then suddenly this random drunk Japanese girl comes up to me from inside the restaurant and starts talking to me for a while and just kept blabbering on about random shit. It felt like she was hitting on me. Then suddenly some other foreigner (he looked maybe middle eastern or something) pulls her away and brings her back inside to go sit with him (im assuming they were sitting together in there). It was pretty random. I ate my kebab quickly and then went back to Mikado.
I played more casuals for a while doing alright. Theres this one blue Robo-Ky player who is always there. He never enters tournaments but he is pretty good. I usually go pretty even with him. However, tonight, he was beating me a lot more than I was beating him. At some point he got like 8 in a row on me and i was really starting to get pissed off. I knew I was just playing bad cuz I was letting it get to me. I felt like I needed to cool down, so I went to get a beer at the Lawson outside. I slammed it real quick and went back in to play again. While it gave me a slight slight buzz, I still felt a bit pissed. I played him like 2 more games and lost and then I just didnt really feel like playing anymore. I felt like I needed to cool off so I decided I would head to Current for a little bit.
Originally I wasnt planning on drinking tonight but what can I say, Im a sucker for beer. Current was pretty decent for a Friday. A few regulars were there as well as randoms. Rob (the guy who used to be an ALT and now works for Square-Enix) was sitting at the bar and I ended up talking with him for a good portion of the night. He was getting some problems off his chest and just found out that someone who was pretty close to him was diagnosed with HIV, so he was pretty bummed out. As a result, we drank a lot. I ended up doing a few shots and he kept buying me beers and stuff so I got fairly hammered. Also, Michi was there and she said she is going to go see Metallica live in September when they come. I told her I would go too since I actually have never seen them live before. I dont really care for any of their stuff after the black album (the new one is decent but still not up to par IMO) but I figured it would be cool to go see the old tunes and stuff. Were gonna try to get seats around the same section.
Anyway, I left Current at around 4 am. I was only there for like 4 hours but I drank pretty quickly in the time I was there so I got pretty smashed. I headed for the nice manga kissa and went to sleep.
The next morning I had a hangover which I havnt really had in a while. Thankfully I had no black shits though.
For today's SBO qual, I had no team lined up. Akinori (Hevenly) said he could team with me but I couldnt find a 3rd so I just told him to forget it and figured I would go alone and see what kind of team I could find last minute.
Today's tournament was at Sega World Arkas. This is the arcade where Mugen works. Originally I was planning to get there super early to optimize my chances of finding teammates. Thankfully I actually made the RIGHT choice by going to Current and getting there at around 1 pm (the tournament was schedule to start at 3). When I arrived there at 1, there were only 2 people there for GG. Thats really really low lol. Actually... there was one other person there... Clay Gundam Man! Hes that weird guy who just shows up to tournaments to watch, doesnt talk to anyone, and just makes little Gundams out of clay the whole time. He is certainly a character, and his mannerisms sort of remind me of stalker girl (who thankfully didnt come today). Perhaps Clay Gundam Man and stalker girl should hook up... they would make a good couple, but I sorta worry how their kids would turn out lol.
One of the ACTUAL players who was there when I arrived was Komayuki (the ED who I teamed up with like 2 years ago in Maebashi with Umemura the English speaking Baiken player), and then there was some other guy I dont know. I played Komayuki a bit and did pretty well winning a few and losing a few. Over time, gradually a few more people showed up but even then they came in slowly and few and far between. I played more casuals against various people, espessially a lot against this one Millia player who I have seen around a lot before. I was mostly beating him. I played a few other people here and there as well. They had 2 cabs set up so once more people started coming it made it more difficult to get a turn in.
Initially I signed up by myself. As more people started coming in, I asked a lot of them if they needed one more teammate. I even asked Basara (Ogiwara) out of despiration lol but of course he had a team. Finally on an off chance, I asked the Eddie player Tsu. It turns out he had a 2 man team so he said I could join him. His other teammate was a Sol player named Sumagi, but he hadnt arrived yet.
Eventually more people came but in the end, there were only 8 teams (well, 9 teams... but the 9th team was just Takuya all by himself LOL). Even so, there were still a lot of top players, but many of the big names were absent today.
Right before the tournament was about to start, our 3rd teammate, Sugami, showed up. He seemed a little shocked that Tsu chose me for the other person on the team.
Mugen ran the tournament and did announcing. He couldnt enter though cuz he was working.
The first match of the tournament was Takuya vs Karun(JA)/AGF(AN)/HEVEN(VE). Takuya actually took out Karun but then he lost to AGF. He tried though. This match was the zero taisen (meaning like an extra match because it was an 8 team bracket).
The next match HEVEN's team played again and this time it was them vs Ain(KY)/Ririko(BR)/Teresa(JA)
I didnt see the beginning of the set but Ririko beat HEVEN and Karun to defeat the team. It might ahve been an OCV. In any case she was playing really solid.
For our first match, we had to fight Kusoru's team. It was Kusoru(SO)/JO/MI. The JO I dont know, and the MI was the same guy I was beating in casuals before the tournament. For those who dont know, Kusoru is the Yellow Sol who plays EXTREMELY unorthadox and does the most crazy shit. The stuff he does isnt always very efficient or safe but its certainly amusing to watch.
The first match was a SO mirror of Kusoru vs Sumagi. Sumagi seemed to play decent but Kusoru is just random and ended up winning.
I went next. I started off OK but in the end I just got hit with some of the most random shit. He caught me off guard and I ended up losing. I felt pretty ashamed cuz I usually am good at beating overly aggressive Sol players.
It was now up to Tsu to take them all out... and he did! He reverse OCVed them. It was close as hell though and he almost lost to Kusoru too but pulled out a win. Go Eddie!
Our next match was vs Umemura(BA)/Komayuki(ED)/Chipp player (will update name later).
Once again Sumagi went first and his opponent was Chipp. Sumagi lost again. I went next and played pretty decent and beat the Chipp player. Up next was Komayuki. Once again I played solid and I beat him as well. Finally it was Umemura. I hate Baiken but I fought really hard. I took him to the 3rd round and was like a couple hits from killing him. It was a long grueling round with both of us playing really carefully. I blocked shit in the corner for like 10 seconds straight and even made it out but he clipped me with something eventually and I lost. Its all good though cuz Tsu wrapped things up and defeated him.
We now were in the tournament finals. Since there was only 8 teams, we only needed to win 2 matches to get to the finals.
Our opponent was Ririko/Ain/Teresa
Before the match was about to start, Sumagi turned to Tsu and asked him something along the lines of "Is this team really ok if we win?" and Tsu was like "Yea lets do it!" I dont know if that question was because Sugami thought I was weak or if he thought HE was weak or something but whatever.
Once again... Sumagi went first... and once again... he lost. His opponent was Ain. Ain is a solid player. He doesnt often win tournaments but he just has really good fendamentals. For those of you who dont remember, Ain is the guy who I have refered to as a Japanese version of Floe (in both appearance and attitude, though Floe is actually nicer to me than Ain lol). Anyway, I have a tendancy to lose to Ain, Tsu asked if I wanted to go next and I said I would give it a shot. The first round I played really really solid. It literally came down to both of us with a pixel left. We zoned eachother for like a good almost 20 seconds with no one getting any hits in, until finally he hit me with something and I lost. It was SO close. The next round I didnt quite do as well and lost again. It was now up to Tsu to beat them all. Tsu played solid. It was a really close fight but in the end Tsu pulled off a win! Up next was the Jam player. Tsu started off strong taking round 1 convincingly. The next round he lost and then finally in round 3 he also lost...
We got SO CLOSE to qualifying this time. In retrospect I KNEW I should have let Tsu go first before me cuz I knew among those 3 that Ain would be the toughest for me to beat. I have played that Jam before at Mikado and usually could beat him, and Ririko and I go just about 50/50 even when we play, but I knew Ain would be rough. I thought saving Eddie for last would be good logically but in this case I think I was wrong.
After the tournament, I asked Tsu if he had a team for tomorrow. He said he didnt yet. He said he might be down to team with me again but that he needed to check some things first.
We stayed for a while and lots of people were there still playing casuals. They took the winning photo for the winning team and then they also took our teams picture for getting 2nd place. You can see it here on the tougeki site. (I just happened to be wearing the exact same shirt I was wearing last time when we won and qualified so I have the same one on in both pictures lol. Maybe its lucky...)
I congratulated the members of Ririko's team and told them good games. When I congratulated Ain, he said I was strong today. I think that was the first time Ain has ever talked to me without completely blowing me off lol.
Eventually after like an hour or 2 of casuals, Tsu told me that he was going to team with another team. It turns out that the team he decided on was the Millia and Johnny that he defeated in the tournament... (the guys that were on Kusoru's team). Sugami didnt win any matches but I played pretty well so I dont get why he would want to team with those guys over me considering he beat them... but maybe they are friends... I really dont know. Maybe he was watching me play casuals and didnt think I was doing well enough or something (I was doing decent but not like amazing). In any case, I actually already had a team lined up for tomorrow with Kunihiro and Akinori. I considering teaming with Tsu again cuz we did so well today, but in the end it probably might have been a dick move to ditch those 2 guys so whatever.
Shortly after that, I left and headed back to Mikado. On the way back, I mailed Sam. He said he would come chill at Mikado and get some food with me but was too broke to go drinking tonight. I also asked Liz if she wanted to get Ramen with us cuz I was really hungry so she said she would. When I got to Mikado, Akinori was there playing. I told him once my friends are ready we were gonna get ramen and I invited him along and he was down. Once Sam arrived, we met Liz at the station and the 4 of us got some awsome ramen. We talked a bit about various things while eating. Once we were done, Liz wanted to get drinks but Sam was broke and Akinori and I wanted to play casuals, so Liz went home and the rest of us went back to Mikado. Akinori paid for EVERYONES dinner which was super nice of him. I tried to pay him back but he wouldnt accept it so I told him I would get him next time.
Casuals at Mikado were fun. I did fairly well in general and didnt get pissed off this time. I told myself that if I lost to someone more then 3 times in a row that I should just go play someone else so that I didnt end up getting all pissed again. Sometimes taking a break from fighting the same person over and over can be a nice refresher. I think it results in me playing a bit less 1 demensional and also lets me cool down. Sometimes doing well against another player is a good way to get yourself back together so that when you go back to fighting the guy you were having trouble with, you can go back in with a fresh mind and it was working well this time.
Towards the end, I played Akinori a bunch of times and we were going fairly even. He was playing solid. He had to leave around 11:30. Then like right before Mikado was gonna close, Nanase showed up. I beat him twice. Then out of nowhere, Osaka B showed up. He played me with his Order Sol and beat me! I was surprised, his HOS has gotten way better. I rematched him and won. Then we ended up playing a bunch of Faust mirror matches. At this point it was already passed closing time and we were the only people there (Nanase was watching) other than the staff. I kept trying to leave cuz I felt like maybe it was time to GTFO but Osaka B was like "one more one more!". I beat him the last game we played and I think in the end we either went compeletely even or he was up by one game. In any case it was fun matches. I promised Andy I would meet him at Current cuz tonight was a metal event and he came to Tokyo just to go drinking but Osaka B wanted to play so I ended up leaving later than I planned to.
Anyway, I got to Current at around 12:30 and Andy was there. It was pretty much a typical metal event with a lot of the regular metal event people there. I talked to Andy most of the time and just enjoyed the music. At some point I even got down on the inflatable guitar action. Sushi kept trying to do this thing where he throws a plastic water bottle over his shoulder and then catch it behind his back with his other hand. He was failing pretty bad but eventually got it. Emma was really good at it though, and Mogi was the fucking master of that shit. I didnt see him fail ONCE! Then Sushi told me to try and me and him took turns failing a bunch of times until I finally got it and then I went back to sit down lol.
I stayed till when the metal event ended at like 4:30 and then Andy and I left. He decided to just go home so I headed to the manga kissa to sleep.
The next morning I felt fine cuz I didnt drink as much compared to Friday night. Today's tournament was in Nishi-Kanagawa at Gamer's Vision. This is the arcade where Kami-chan works (he might even be the owner, im not sure) and they are known for doing live streams. I didnt even know it at the time, but today's tournament would be streamed live in its entirety on ustream.
When I arrived in Nishi-Yokohama, I was walking towards the arcade and out of the corner of my eye I noticed another foreigner. Then he came up to me and I realized that it was none other than the French Anji player, Dream Maker! He had gone back to France but he said that now he is back in Japan and lives in Osaka. He said that he was on a business trip to Tokyo for the week and had a little down time so he said he came just to watch todays tournament and figured I would be there. We went into the arcade together.
When I arrived, Kunihiro was already there. They hadnt done signups yet. It was like around 1:45 or something and the tournament was scheduled to begin at 3. Today's tournament ended up being a bit larger than the other one with 12 teams. I did pretty decent in pre tournament casuals. There were some good players there today for the tournament, and some people like Ain and Taku who already qualified for the B-4 block finals were there to watch and hang out. Taku was playing a lot of Super Turbo against the computer between GG casual matches for whatever reason LOL. Akinori eventually showed up a little before the tournament started. I named our team The X-Files.
We had a pretty rough bracket ahead of us. Not only were we one of the teams that had to play a zero taisen match, our first match was against KA2/Ko1/Haken... and if we beat them... we would need to play AGF/HEVEN/Consome... yay...
Once I told Kunihiro and Akinori who our opponents were, they seemed pretty discouraged. I figured, whatever, im just gonna play. We ended up having to fight in the very first match of the whole tournament...
ElvenShadow(FA)/Hevenly(PO)/92(AN) (Kunihiro goes by 92 but in the video his name is listed as 9d... Kami-chan just read it wrong off the signup sheet)
For once, I decided to just go first. Every time I team with these 2 guys I usually anchor but this time I just felt like I wanted to give it a try first. Now... I am not really going to bother to go into great detail about the matches because you can see them all (and the entire tournament for that matter) here at the ustream for Gamers Vision. You can also watch just this match on youtube. Part 1. Part 2.
The first match was KA2 vs me. I played pretty solid, won the first round, lost the 2nd round, and won the 3rd round! Kunihiro and Akinori seemed pretty pleasently surprised, and the crowd seemed quite surprised as well.
2nd match was me vs KO1. This time I did even better and won both rounds! People were VERY surprised now and were getting pretty loud. I was surprised too. Kami-chan said I was strong.
3rd match was me vs Haken. I started off really solid and won the first round with a pretty solid life lead. Then the 2nd round, I started off solid as well. Rushing down Haken is a pretty bad idea usually because he is just pro at throwing out an answer to almost anything you do, so I tried to play it safe as possible by just playing mostly a zoning game and kept my distance. At one point I had him in the corner with a mini PO on him and he was down to about 25% health. I probably should have pressed him a little harder here. I dont feel like i utilized the mini PO as well as I could have. He landed a flick on me which knocked me away and then I tried to zone him more but he started absorbing my scalpel pull hits with hammerfall cancel and slideheading me and he got in and I eventually lost the round. The 3rd round was also really close. He eventually got a life lead on me and I started to make a bit of a comeback and hung on for a while. I tried to play really safe and patient but when there was about 10 seconds left on the clock, I knew that if I didnt start getting that damage in right there and then, I would lose by time over. I tried to get in on him but in the end he hit my last sliver of life away and I lost.
It was a good effort and I felt proud of myself in a way, but in another way I feel like I really failed because I was SO close and could have had it if I just played a little better. There was a point where I could have baited his burst when I was on pogo stance if I maybe used pogo backdash but I wasnt thinking of that at the time. This is all just thoughts after watching the match.
In any case, it wasnt quite over yet because our team still had 2 players left. Up next was Akinori (Hevenly). He started off the PO mirror match with a solid first round and won! Then for the next 2 rounds, Haken caught on to him and just simply out played him and won. Last was Kunihiro (92). He also started off very very solid. He was a pixel away from winning round 1 but lost. Then he won round 2! For round 3, he was down in life but REALLY put up a solid fight with good footsies and zoning but in the end, he went for an air combo and his air overhead (aka the "birthday cake" as tagged by KBnova) whiffed and he lost... If he had just got that one hit in the first round we would have advanced.
I felt a strange mix of accomplishment and failure after that. I just chilled and watched the rest of the tournament. Kunihiro and Akinori left right after we lost. Ochiai (Nice PO guy) gave me props for trying.
Since you can see the whole thing if you are really interested I wont go into much detail but ill just lay out some highlights.
Tsu reverse OCVed his first match after both his teammates lost.
Umemura team lost their first match.
KA2 OCVed AGF's team
Tsu team lost their 2nd match, this time the MI on their team beat a TE player but then an ED beat MI and JO and then Tsu beat ED but lost to IN.
The tournament finals were
JT(MI)/erushieranto D anoiransu(MA)/Ton (TE)
(JT told me before the tournament that he was going to enter by himself and I guess he joined these 2 guys last minute)
KA2 beat May
Ton beat KA2 and then Haken... and finally KO1!
I was very surprised cuz I thought KA2 team would win for sure... but Ton played really solid and sealed the deal. I dont think I have ever really heard of him before but he certainly did good.
I find it kinda hilarious that JT went from almost entering alone to joining the winning team and not even having to play in the finals lol.
After the tournament ended, I asked Tsu if he would be down to team with me again next weekend. I was pretty certain he would say yes, espessially after I had a pretty good showing and the fact that his teammates didnt do that hot today. Much to my surprise, he refused my offer and said he would team with someone else next weekend. I dont know if he already actually promised someone or if he just didnt wanna team with me but I was kinda bummed about that. It sorta made my mixed feelings of accomplishment and failure lean more towards the failure side.
I stayed and played casuals until about 8:30. Some of them were some good matches, some werent. I won a game vs Ain which I cant even remember the last time I beat him so that was cool I guess. I kept almost beating Kami-chan and fucking stuff up last minute (like getting a drill kick when I wanted to FD to bait a super) which costed me some wins but oh well. The winning team was there till the end and was knocking back a few beers while playing to celebrate I guess. Before I left, I said bye to everyone quickly and Kami-chan thanked me for coming out, and the other guys waved and said bye. I said bye to Ain too and he just sorta like waved which looked more like he was shooing me away lol... that guy cracks me up.
As I was heading home on the train, I reached in my backpack for my PSP to get down on some Suikoden II... and my PSP was NOT in my bag! I already wasnt in the greatest mood and this didnt help. As soon as I got to Ueno station to transfer, I called the manga kissa to see if they found a PSP and luckily they did! It turns out that I left it there on FRIDAY night. Since I didnt play it the whole time aside from Friday on the train GOING to Tokyo, it just now realized it was gone. After describing it and telling them what games were in the case and stuff they said they would hold it for me and that I could pick it up next weekend. I was pretty relieved about that cuz losing my PSP would have sucked pretty bad.
So, I played some DS isntead. When I got to Shibukawa which is about 30 minutes from my stop, the train stopped and they said it was no longer in service due to rain or something (which was odd cuz the rain stopped...) and everyone had to get on a bus that just followed the tracks and stopped at each station. I eventually got home but it was like almost an hour later than I normally would have (like 1 am). I went right to bed after taking a shower.
The next morning I went to get my glasses (which I usually only wear for work) out of my backpack and I noticed that THEY were gone TOO! I called the manga kissa again and they had my glasses as well LOL! Man... I really need to be more careful. I blame it all on that hangover.
I was worried that despite a fairly solid showing, that people would still think I suck and wouldnt wanna team with me. I got an unexpected mail from the Axl player Akira (明） on Monday night. He asked if I would team with him for next weekend. He is a solid player so I agreed. I didnt know till now, but he lives in Sendai which is really far. So its pretty dedicated of him to travel to Tokyo. We will have a May player that he knows for Sunday (I dont know who but ill trust Akira's judgement, plus May is a really good character...) and were still looking for one more person for Saturday. He said he saw the livestream and suggested we get Kunihiro cuz he said he looked really good (and Kunihiro is a really good player, he just chokes often in tournaments but he did beat Niga last week and ALMOST beat Haken this time). Unfortunately Kunihiro already told me he couldnt enter on Saturday so we are still thinking about who our 3rd will be. Hopefully we can get someone really good.
So I guess even though I failed, I did gain a little respect in one way or another. In any case, im not ready to give up yet. Im just gonna keep playing and hopefully eventually I will come out ahead. Sometimes I just wish I was a little more consistent.