So this is it, the B2 block finals weekend.
I headed to Tokyo
with Matt and Emmet on Friday night on the usual train. We stopped by
at Mikado and played till about 11 pm. There were a fair amount of
decent players there so I got some good practice. I started off doing
really well and got a 10 win streak. Then after I won, the game
suddenly just froze. I went and got an arcade staff member and they
rebooted the machine but it was taking forever, so I just went to play
on another cab. I played a few more games, getting lots of wins. I
only lost 4 times the entire night which is pretty good (against Udei
once, NOB's Slayer after I beat his Sol, and I forgot the others).
Then, at some point, Osaka B yells "Shadow-sensei!" So I go over to him.
He was playing on the cab that froze on me. He told me since the
machine froze on me earlier I could take over his game. He had 11 wins.
The match vs a Robo-Ky was just starting up. I figured why not, so I
took over his game and beat the Robo-Ky. Then I beat him again, and
again... and again, until there was eventually an 18 win streak. This
RO player was pretty bad honestly. I was starting to get suspicious.
No one else was getting on the cab, just the same RO player who had just
lost 18 in a row. I respect his determination I guess but I was
getting pretty tired of fighting him. I asked Osaka B if it was the
same RO player the whole time and he made like this funny frustrated
face saying "Yea, he wont go away!" lol! So, he probably figured he
might as well dump the game on me lol! I cant really blame him and it
was kinda funny. So after beating him the 18th time, I got a match vs
the computer to start up and I went into IK mode and got off the cab as
fast as I could (as this is often the indication that you are leaving
your game), yet a few seconds later, the guy put another credit in the
cab anyway. I just got the fuck outta there and went to go play someone
else real fast heh. Though eventually I did look over and someone else
challenged the RO player so its no big deal.
Anyway, we stayed
till 11 and then after that we headed to Shinjuku to go drinking at
Current. I am still trying to watch out for my ulcer, so I agreed to go
drinking but figured I would make somewhat of an effort to take it a
little slow. Since Matt is only visiting for 3 weeks I pretty much have
to go drinking (and I want to too, I just need to be careful).
was pretty good for a Friday night. On the way there, we ran into
Ayano, Taka, and a few other guys who were just getting back from a Nile
concert. They said it was a good show and stuff. We all headed to
Current and got a big table together and chilled. A few other regulars
were there as well. Chris showed up and so did Yuta, that girl that Sam
is friends with. I guess her and Chris are sorta making out with
eachother a lot as of recently. I stuck to beer all night and just
tried to pace myself. I never really got very drunk but I at least had a
good buzz going.
We left and went to PSY at around 3. It wasnt
very packed but there were a few people there. I started to fall asleep
towards the end since something about the atmosphere in PSY just makes
me sleepy. After that, we headed to the nice manga kissa.
next day we woke up at around 2 pm. I felt fine and didnt have any dark
black stools so I didnt drink too much. It seems I am safe to drink as
long as I dont go crazy. We all took showers and by the time we got
out of there it was almost 3 pm. This is the time that today's SBO qual
at Game Ace was scheduled to start. We originally were planning to go
watch, but we figured by the time we got out there it wouldnt really be
worth the trip, so we got some Shakey's pizza lunch buffet and went to
Since most of the good players were probably at
Game Ace, it wasnt that packed at first but there were some players. I
asked who won last weekend on Sunday (since I couldnt go) and the
winning team was Mugen (BR) / Kakeru (SL) / 池田 華菜(DI) This is most
likely the Dizzy players real name. I forgot his gamer name but it
starts with an S. He uses the black and gold color. So this is another
good team we would possibly have to face.
So anyway I ended up
playing against a DI player a bunch at Mikado this day. He also used
the black and gold color so I had suspicions it was the same DI player
on Mugen's team, but I wasnt sure. I was doing very well at first
against him getting perfects and stuff but eventually he started to
adapt and then we were pretty much going even. I got some games in vs
the guys on Mitsurgi's team too. I fought Nage in a FA mirror and won
and then he rematched me and beat me. I also beat Ina's Millia on my
first try but then rematched him like 5 times and couldnt beat him
again. After the Game Ace tournament ended, tons of people that were
there started to pour into Mikado. I asked someone who won today and
the winning team (much to my surprise) was RF (FA) / Ogawa (ED) / Shonen
(TE)! This team is very broken and I was surprised that they came all
the way from Kansai but I guess since its the block final weekend and
slots are scarce this year, it makes sense. So now there was a chance
we would have to face this beastly team. Also, while I was at Mikado,
someone came up to me and asked me if I remembered him. I said, sorry
but not and he started speaking in fluent English and said he was
Umemura. Umemura was a Baiken player from Maebashi in Gunma who I
teamed up with once 2 years ago. I hadnt seen him in so long I didnt
recognize him. He congratulated me on getting into the block finals.
He said he would be entering tomorrow with Komayuki the Eddie player.
He said he lives in Tokyo now. We wished eachother luck for tomorrow.
Its kinda odd though cuz I still have his email in my phone and I have
contacted him before about teaming up but he never replies. Maybe I
should have asked him if he changed his mail but I forgot to. Oh well.
time we only stayed and played until about 9 pm. I kinda wanted to
play longer but Matt made plans to hang out with Sawa at an izakaya so I
figured I might as well go too. We all met up at Shinjuku station.
Sam came as well and brought a friend of his named Emily who used to
work with him at Anime Expo and is currently studying in Japan. Sawa
also brought a friend of hers but I forgot her name. So the 6 of us
headed to an izakaya. We drank and ate there for a few hours and just
talked and stuff. I had maybe like 4 beers within the almost 3 hours we
were there, and for me, thats taking it really slow cuz Matt and Sam
drank double that. Eventually Emily left a bit earlier and then Emmet
showed up. He was at another izakaya drinking with some girl. Aside
from someone throwing up all over the izakaya bathroom, it was good
After that, we headed to GODZ cuz Chris said Current was a
gaijin fest and he was drinking at GODZ. Chris wasnt even there when
we got there but maybe about 10 people were in the bar. The played some
good music and we stayed for maybe an hour. It was alright. Then, we
went to Current. It wasnt as bad as Chris said and some regulars were
there. Also, Ai came to hang out and I havnt seen her in like a whole
year. Ai is really cool so I always like drinking with her. Terry was
there too and he bought me a tequila shot. I already did a shot with
Sam when we went in and I am trying to lay off the shots but I figured
one more wont hurt since I didnt really even feel that drunk.
all went to PSY at around 4 or something. This time Chi was working and
Matt was very happy to see her. Sam was pretty wasted when we got
there. So was Emmet. Infact, Emmet passed out shortly after we got
there. I took advantage of this by barrowing a black marker from
Natsume and drawing penises all over Emmets face and the back of his
neck. He didnt wake up at all lol! These are the laws of Shinjuku
drinking. After Emmet woke up, Matt told him he had penises all over
his face but Emmet was a pretty good sport about it.
At about 5,
we went to Karaoke. I wasnt gonna go but I figured why not. They
wanted to stay for 2 hours but I wanted to get enough sleep and practice
time for tomorrow so I only stayed for an hour. I wasnt really drunk
at all anymore at this point. Me, Terry, Matt, Sawa, Emmet, and Sam all
went to Karaoke. I requested some songs but NONE of them got played
for some reason. I think there was a problem with the machines there or
something. So I basically sang one song someone else requested along
with them and thats about it. I would have been better off going to
sleep early but oh well.
The next day I woke up at the manga
kissa. The wait for the showers was too long so I just headed right
for Akihabara. I got a kebab and then went to the arcade. When I got
to Club Sega (the old one), the preliminary for today was just starting
soon. It was PACKED in there. I think something like 36 teams entered!
Just about everyone came for this one. They were running the
tournament on 4 setups and they also had 2 setups for casuals. The line
to play was really long, so I went to HEY! to try and get some practice
For whatever reason, HEY! had their GG cabs hooked up
to the big high def cabs they have for BB and there was a huge amount of
lag. I won like 4 games and then decided to just leave cuz the lag was
fucking with me. After that, I went to the new Club Sega down the
street and they had 3 setups going there that were regular and lag
free. A few other top players were there like Ka2, Ko1, Haken, and
Satou. I played Satou in one game and lost. I also played Ka2 and
Haken twice and lost but both times I did better than the first attempt.
I beat a few various people as well. Matt eventually showed up as
well and was watching me play at new Club Sega. MIU showed up too and I
was talking with him for quite a while. I also got a message from
Andy. He was busy all weekend but decided last minute to come watch me
play in the tournament. He arrived a little after. He was looking to
buy a PS3 arcade stick so I showed him a few good stores to look for it
at in Akihabara. I had to get back to old Club Sega though cuz the
finals would be starting shortly.
When I got back, I witnessed
the very final match of the preliminary which was AGF Anji vs Nemo's
Testament. AGF won and Nemo looked pretty bummed out. So the winners
of the final B2 block preliminary were AGF (AN) / Consome (PO) / BOB
It was so crowded in there that I couldnt even see if MK
and Isa were there so I mailed MK. He told me they were both in there
somewhere lol. Soon the tournament started.
To set up the
brackets they had each team draw a number. There were 7 teams and it
was organized into an 8 team bracket so one team got a bye. Isa drew a 4
and our first opponent was to be Maruken's team. Isa was really
excited that we would be fighting this team. I guess he was confident
we would beat them. The team that ended up getting the bye was Mugen's
team and the winner of my first match would be fighting them next.
our team was the very first match to play in the tournament, and I was
the very first player to play. TONS of people were watching and Shoot
was on the mic announcing. Shoot is like one of the hypest announcers
Anyway, here goes the results.
ElvenShadow (FA), MK (JO), Isa (ED)
Satou (JO), TEN (IN), Maruken (BA)
went first vs Satou. I pretty much was nervous and played really
conservative and kinda scared and ended up losing. I felt pretty bad
but just got up and didnt really say or do anything. MK went next in
the JO mirror match. Much to my surprise, not only did MK beat Satou
but he beat him DOWN! He won both rounds completely one sided.
next MK went against TEN. Once again, he played extremely solid and
took out TEN. Unfortunately, MK lost to Maruken but it was a good
effort. In the final match of Isa vs Maruken, Isa won the first round
well. He was off to a bad start in round 2 but got it together and
pulled out a win! We advanced passed the first round! After seeing how
hard MK and Mugen were fighting, I knew I needed to stop being so
nervous, step it up, and just play my game like I always do. I was
determined to do better next time.
Up next was...
Ogawa (ED), Shounen (TE), RF (FA)
Ka2 (JA), Ko1 (MI), Haken (PO)
handled Ogawa like he was just another Eddie! I saw Haken beating tons
of Eddies earlier today. He must really know that matchup. I was just
surprised to see Ogawa go down so easily! Next, Haken fought Shounen
and lost. Then, Ka2 fought Shounen and got a clutch win after hitting
Shounen with a corner mixup, ending up really high above him, and
somehow blocking Shounen's gold burst. The final match was Ka2 vs RF.
RF put up a decent fight but Ka2 just kept hitting him with nasty
counter hits into death combos.
...and just like that, Ogawa's team
was eliminated first round! I was cheering for Ka2's team cuz I didnt
really wanna fight Ogawa's team lol. Most people were cheering for Ka'2
team actually. As Ogawa, RF, and Shounen walked out, they didnt look
very happy at all.
Up next was...
Inoue (OR), FAB (FA), Machaboo (TE)
AGF (AN), BOB (ED), Consome (PO)
If I remember correctly, Inoue lost to Consome, and then I think Machaboo OCVed the whole team.
Up next was our 2nd match
ElvenShadow, MK, Isa
Mugen (BR), Kakeru (SL), 池田 華菜(DI)
were discussing who should go first. Isa said he figured they would
either put Dizzy for Slayer first. If it was Dizzy, I would be best to
go cuz MK says he hates Dizzy. If it was Slayer, MK said he can take
Slayer and Slayer is a bad matchup for Faust. In the ended, we opted to
have me go first again.
First match was me vs Slayer. I started off
playing it safe with a backdash into crouching punch. I proceeded to
zone him pretty well. I got hit a few times but I was able to keep him
out most of the round and I pulled off a win. The 2nd round I started
off super jumping to just get away and landed with an air dust. I was
able to hit him with a standing punch which was able to combo into sweep
into air combo and from there I got him away and played my zoning game
and was able to beat him again! After I won, the crowd got pretty hype
and Isa and MK were very happy and gave me lots props.
Up next was me
vs Dizzy. I tried to play it like I was when I was practicing against
Dizzy before. Started really patient just waiting and keeping good
spacing trying to wait till he threw out a summon to stuff it with a far
slash, but he managed to keep me out with a bubble and was able to
start filling the screen with garbage. He started rushing me down
pretty relentlessly and I pretty much got owned the first round. I
turned to Isa and said not to worry and that I would get this. The next
round started off with him catching me off guard with some pokes and he
was able to keep rushing me down for a while. I blocked A LOT of
mixups and was in the corner at some point with almost no life left.
However, I was able to escape, and from this point he was pretty much
just trying to chip me and cheese me out with all kinds of garbage and
projectiles on the screen. I continued to just dodge and evade them for
quite some time. At some point he threw out the fire super, and I did
the air teleport and landed next to him. From there I was able to start
rushing him down. I just continuously rushed him down with mixup after
mixup and made one of the most epic comebacks ever! People were
getting loud and HYPE! Pretty much at this point now the entire room
was like cheering for me. I was pretty in the zone so I didnt really
even hear the crowd but Matt told me that everyone was cheering and he
people yelling shit like "sensei ganbatte!" and shit. As for round 3, I
dont remember many details about it specifically but it was a much
cleaner. Every time I got a hit in people were making all kinds of
noise and stuff. In the end, I got a forward punch counter hit in and
did an air combo off of it that finished him off. The whole room
erupted once I won. Isa and MK were going nuts and like patting me on
the back and all kindsa shit like that. I gave a thumbs up to Matt and
Andy who were sitting across the other side of the crowd.
here... now I had to fight Mugen. I am not that knowledgable about the
Bridget matchup and Mugen has always been really hard for me to beat. I
pretty much never get a chance to play him in casuals. During this
match the crowd was still getting hype every time I got a hit in. We
played a lot of zoning games against eachother, and it was drawn out
pretty long. I was mostly getting hit when he rushed me down. I kept
making the mistake of getting hit by the sparks from kick start my
heart. In the end, it was sorta close but Mugen defeated me.
soon as I stood up from the chair, despite losing against Mugen, like
EVERYONE in the arcade gave me a huge round of applaud. I wish I would
have gotten the OCV but it still felt good knowing I contributed
Up next, MK went. He played a pretty careful and
patient game and was just dancing around the yoyo the entire time. MK
took round 1! Unfortunately Mugen got the best of him and defeated MK
in rounds 2 and 3.
Finally it was time for Isa. Isa mainly was
trying to get little Eddie in on Mugen while hiding under the ground.
Mugen did a good job of constantly killing little Eddie, forcing Isa to
pretty much either run away and wait for little Eddie to come back. Isa
wasnt really able to get in on Mugen otherwise because flying above
Mugens head is just a death wish with all the good anti air pokes he has
to hit him out of flight. Isa tried to zone him with the drills too
but Mugen was just super careful about not getting hit, and Isa just
never really got little Eddie to work for him enough. The times when
Isa DID get little Eddie to start hitting Mugen, most of the time, Mugen
was able to block most of the stuff. In the end... Isa lost to
...and with that, we were officially out of the
tournament. Of course I was disappointed, but I feel like I did my best
and thats all there is to it. I have no regrets. Given how beastly
every team that in the 7 team finals was, I dont think it could have
possibly have been any harder of a block finals. Given that fact, I
think we did pretty well. Previous years, block finals only had like 2
or 3 teams, making it much easier, but now that this year GG is only 16
spots in the grand finals in September, its just way harder to get in.
we lost, I walked over to where Matt and Andy were to watch the rest.
As I walked past a bunch of people, tons of them were giving me props
and telling me I played really well.
The next match was...
Inoue lost to Haken
Machaboo beat Haken, Ka2, and Ko1. This is the same thing that
happened with their match vs AGF team. Inoue loses first and then
Machaboo gets an OCV. Machaboo was no joke today!
Inoue OCVed them in the order of Dizzy, Slayer, Bridget.
with that... Inoue / Machaboo / FAB are the winners of the B2 block and
will be playing in the SBO finals. The funny thing is, FAB didnt play a
single match this entire tournament! Lucky him!
Once it was
over, everyone sorta just walked around talking to various people. TONS
of people came up to me and gave me props saying I played very well and
they were impressed. Isa said he was very surprised with how well I
played. However, he said he will most likely be forming a new team the
next time he enters, but he said he doesnt even know when that will be.
MK on the other hand, said he might be interested in teaming with me
again. He seemed genuine enough about it, but he said next weekend he
cant enter, so in 2 weeks I may team with MK. I talked to the Dizzy on
Mugen's team and he said it was a really good fight. He said that it
WAS infact him that I was playing against yesterday at Mikado. Mugen
also said it was a good fight. I told him that if he ever needed one
more for his team that I would be happy to join. I dont know if that
will ever happen though heh. In any case, I think I gained a lot more
respect today from the community as a whole. Even if we didnt win the
SBO spot, I won a little respect which is at least something.
recorded the finals so I will link that once its uploaded. Also, he
tried to ninja record my matches but you cant really see whats going on
cuz someones head is in the way, but Ill probably just upload it anyway
cuz you can see me playing and the crowd and stuff so it will give
people an idea of how things looked and the general atmosphere of the
After the tournament, MIU showed up saying that he
missed it cuz he was studying English outside, but he heard what
happened and congratulated me for doing well. After that, MIU, Andy,
Matt, and I went to get some food at restaurant. MIU said how he has
been trying to study English more lately and stuff. He also said how
hes still considering if he will go to EVO or not.
else really worth going into detail about. The meal was good. After
that, it was pretty much time for us to get headed back to Gunma or we
would miss the last train. We said bye to MIU and then headed back.
unfortunately I didnt qualify for SBO...yet. But, theres still plenty
of chances left. One of the best parts about qual season is the fun of
actually playing in all the quals, so at least I have like 2 more
months of tournaments to look forward to. Maybe I will be able to
assemble another amazing team. If not, I have still have a lot of solid
players I can team with, so dont count me out just yet.