Just returned from a trip to Tokyo to participate in Cooperation Cup. Here's some thoughts I've had floating around since I got back.
America had a team almost get to top 8 in Coop, and won a Japan vs America East vs West. In addition, I watched several Americans put together solid streaks in casuals vs various Tokyo competition often. My takeaway from this is that the top handful of American players can hold their own against the majority of Japanese players. The big boys of course continue to be a problem, and that's the next mountain to climb. I look forward to everyone improving over the next year and performing even better next time around. Can we possibly see an American Dream Team for 2018?
My experience arcade hopping suggested that these days, 3s is far more active than any other part of the series in Tokyo arcades. I saw ST cabs seldom, never really saw CVS2/A2/A3 cabs, and the SF4 cabs generally sat empty. Meanwhile I could usually go to a lot of different arcades (just random arcades, not the 3s hotspots) and find 7-15 players playing on 1-2 cabs on any given night. I'm sure this is not the whole picture, and there are likely ST-specific spots and nights where they gather - just saying that based on my experience, I could easily find 3s games anywhere I went and not as much with other games.
NESICA 3s is like playing underwater and it takes about 15 seconds to realize why no one in Tokyo touches it or considers it a viable CPS3 replacement.
I found the hate from random guys from the FGC super weird and annoying. I read various twitters, articles, etc where people talked about "this is the time of the year where everyone gathers to pretend they like 3s" or "they just keep playing their dead game" or to remind people that American OGs didn't like the game that much. When you watch a bunch of players gather to play their favorite game and take it to new heights each year, and decide that the best use of your time is to shit on it, you've really missed the boat IMO. Either enjoy it or don't watch right? No one cares that you or some old guy from 1999 don't like 3s lol.
Great love to all the English commentators. I really hope to see the English stream continue into the future. The core of the commentary team this year was great and I look forward to even better things next year.
Thanks to everyone who keeps playing this game, shows up to tourneys in America and Europe, flies to Tokyo, streams the game, and creates content for the game. The game continues to thrive because of passionate people who go the extra mile for it. See everyone at Coop Cup 2018.