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!

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