Texas Showdown History
I’m bored so I’m gonna go ahead and write my log of this event. To make this special and stupid long, I’m gonna detail some background into the Texas Showdown history. I’ve had lots of questions about so much random stuff about Showdown, the past, etc, and been asked countless times for a “brief” history about our tournament, that I decided to go ahead and make a “non-brief” history of it. This should answer most questions about Showdown you have. So sit tight, grab a drink, some snacks, and relax. Those with ADD and/or tend to fall asleep reading more than 2 pages in your textbooks should probably quit while you’re ahead and buy the cliff notes off Amazon.com (*note. This will probably be more interesting to those who know me and the Texas Street Fighter scene, then again it might not even if you do, screw it read it anyway.)
Where to start… ah yes, lets go back to after B4…
*August 2000 *
In Houston the fall semester was starting. The previous year I had met up with Harvey “lled78” Chang, and Dan “ShadowJin” Le. We were all playing MvC1 at the time, I was already falling out of interest of that game, Harvey was beasting, and Dan sucked with his low tier Venom/Jin. Yes I played Megaman back then too
We didn’t get MvC2 at the University of Houston until May of 2000, so we were waaaaaaaaay behind. We were driving all the way to Wizzard arcade, Greenspoint, and the Galleria in between classes just to wait in line and play a game. Needless to say we all sucked with our stupid teams. Harvey waiting for Chun-Li to be released, Dan doing dumb combos he found off the net, and me with Spidey/Cable/Guile.
After summer break, Harvey had come back from interning in Cali, near Sunnyvale, and Dan had apparently never stopped surfing the net the entire summer. Needless to say they had gotten way better than me. Harvey starts telling me about the big B4 tournament they just had in Cali, and the USA vs Japan thing coming up. Dan then tells us about Shoryuken.com, which is where he found out about all that stuff already.
After getting onto the site, we discover that there are quite a few street fighter buffs in town that don’t play at any arcade, and if they do, its at Wizzard arcade. That place was a real crap hole in the wall of an arcade, but comp there was real good. We met Juan(3rd place in 2nd Impact at ECC4) and Jumpsuit Jesse. We chilled with them and also met Mike “KrAzYsTeP” Ochoa, Gabe “Animal Porn” Godines over at Jesse’s place. Mike was talking a little about tournaments like the Midwest Championships and East Coast Championships and the Vegas Invitational where a lot of Texas old schoolers went and placed. They also went off talking about Bukkake, Cool Devices and glazed donuts.
Later on we arranged a time and place to meet up with other Street Fighter peeps in town. After meeting up with Javi, Big Ross, John “Genius” Bunn, Carlos “Stiggz” Jimenez, and Earl “Galford” Catnott we felt that the scene down here was picking up. In October 2000, we numbskulls had the brilliant idea of throwing our own tournament down here in Texas! After an awesome e-battle with some weird Dallas tournament(Some kinda 3 week contest thing) we decided to go ahead and throw our first tournament.
I believe it was on Saturday, November 18th of 2000. At the University of Houston Games Room, we held a Marvel vs Capcom 2 tournament. Javi ran most of the brackets, while I tried to maintain the machines and cash. This was my first time running a tournament, and I had no idea what was going on. There were only 37 people in the tournament, which prompted me to realize first hand that people online who say they’re gonna show really mean there’s a 25% chance they’ll actually show. Also a funny note is ever since that tournament, me and Javi always have disagreeing estimates on attendance. Me always expecting more, Javi expecting less, you damn pessimistic ass!
Mike Ochoa got 3rd by showing us some crazy retarded Strider/Doom trapping and super dashing all while being piss drunk and hung over. Animal Porn locking down Fernie “Sun City King” Ornelas with Spiral/Sabertooth inciting a famous quote in Texas, “WTF?! I can’t move!” Earl placing 4th and Genius placing 5th with Rogue/Charlie’Jin and Jill/Cammy/Psylocke respectively, causing one of the first e-wars over Texas letting scrub teams place. Dan held it down for Houston, getting 2nd. But Skye “Skyet” Thompsen proved too strong with the old school Ironman/Doom/Blackheart.
Fast forward a bit, USA got beat by Japan in every game but MvC2. The big debate now was who’s the best in MvC2. Ricky Ortiz or Duc Do. Arturo Sanchez was the reigning MWC champ, and Floe was an up and comer from Chicago. All 4 were announced to show up for our first Texas Showdown. Hsien Chang also came which prompted us to hold a 3rd Strike tournament as well. With some small coverage in local papers and in Tips n Tricks Magazine, we had about 90 people total attend Showdown 1. Hsien pulled a double by winning 3rd Strike easily with Yun tricks he learned in Japan, and CvS1 was a crazy Evil Ryu. Texas ended up taking top 4 in CvS1, with huge upsets of Ricky and Arturo tying for 5th. Duc and Ricky also pulled off their infamous “tie” in the MvC2 finals. We taped the event highlights of the major tournaments on VHS.
Tragically inbetween Showdown 1 and Showdown 2, right after B5, Earl Catnott died in a car wreck. We lost a great competitor and a good friend. RIP.
The “Bang the Machine” documentary about the road to the US vs Japan event was starting to make some noise, and ended up being added to the Austin Film Festival. To mark that occassion. Showdown 2 was held in Austin, the only time it was not held in Houston. Around that time Chris “Cmutt” Wong had just opened Stargate arcade. His machines were used for Showdown, and has been a staple member of the Showdown staff ever since. The Cannon bros, John Choi, Mr. Wizard, Tragic, Seth Killian, Omni and Ghetto D all came down for the event. It ended up feeling more like an Evo event than a Showdown event, my role was extremely limited, basically just helping with MvC2 seeding. The event was larger than Showdown 1, a then record 72 for CvS2 was our largest turnout ever for a single game until this year. Choi took CvS2, Brian “Ryuwinz” Tyson got 2nd, Tragic 3rd, and David “AsianHitler” Hem 4th. David won MvC2, Choi won ST and Alpha 3, Hsien won 3rd Strike.
Held at Cmutt’s famous Stargate arcade, we packed that place to capacity. We had about 175 people attend that event. It was the first time Justin Wong and Desmond “Xecutioner” Pinkney had been to town. Their finals produced one of our most known moments, Justin’s amazing Cable comeback on X’s whole team.
Mark “Mopreme” Rogoyski took 3rd Strike and Brian Tyson took CvS2. It was mad hot in there, and packed as hell. But we had more people there from more places in the US than ever before, New York, Cali, Colorado, Arizona, etc showed up making this one of our most diverse tournaments ever.
Held once again at Stargate arcade, we busted the walls at this one. We had about 215 people at this event. Justin won just about everything and took home a cool grand or so. Potter, Combofiend, and Jason Cole along with Eddie Lee and Nibor made this event a memorable EC vs WC battle in Texas. Texas fell off a bit for this tournament, perhaps resting on our laurels from the previous majors.
Kensou over Ruin in the GGXX finals was the match of the tournament. This was also the first time we had a DVD produced of our event, the first time we officially recorded for an event since Showdown 1.
Planning for Showdown 5 began. Evo2k4 had just ended and I was starting to brainstorm for Showdown 5. Kevin “Shin Kensou” Turner and Freddy “Psikyo” Cano were in charge of art design for posters and tags. SFMC won the T-shirt design contest. Game lineups were being set(all depending on when Tekken 5 came out) In the next coming months we received interest from other parties for joining up.
For those in the Anime Convention scene, this past month there was one in Houston called Kamikazecon. We were originally planning on joining with them, but dates didn’t pan out well for us. That would have been insane had it worked out. Street Fighter tournament, then go see Kumi Koda in concert!
We also received interest from a group called Major League Gaming. I had never heard of them before being contacted, and Javi was extremely skeptical. In hindsight, I’ve always been extremely optimistic, and saw the potential right away. But we had already planned to have our event at UofH. With Stargate closing down(eventually moving to its new warehouse location ) we had to choose a new venue. It was a necessary move anyway because Showdown was getting too big for Stargate as it was.
Fast Forward to January 2005
Deals with UofH went straight to hell. Kamikazecon was still not an option, so we went to negotiating with MLG. We worked out a great location, and immediately went into hyperdrive to get the rest of the stuff ready for the tournament. Around this time I started being recruited by MLG to help them run tournaments.
MLG Houston and Texas Showdown 5 got underway on Thursday March 10th of 2005. Basically we moved all the crap in. MLG brought in 70+ TV’s for the event, a crapload of Xbox’s for Halo 2, Gamecubes for Smash Bros, and even some PS2’s for us. MLG is a group with lots going for it. After moving all the crap in, special thanks to Ochoa, Turtler, John Sanchez, Harvey, and Gonzo. We took a buncha the out of state peeps NY crew(Arturo, Triforce, JeRon, Wyldflower), Popoblo, Kindevu, BAS, and Otaku to a BBQ place. Yes, it wasn’t the greatest of places, but it was workable. Nice seeing some old faces pop out of the woodworks, Shaff, Big’uns, Brian Tyson, et all.
Afterwards, we all went to Stargate’s new location and peeps played til late. I had to go home early and get ready for hell the next day.
Yup, woke up late. And apparently everybody else did too. Apologies to everybody who actually came on time, and especially to Adam and the rest of the MLG staff for my staff being tardy. So everything gets pushed back, which is no big deal. The major tournaments are Tekken 5 and the old SF events. The SNK events were a disappointment for the 3rd year in a row. I know the day and time were not the best, but I made that announcement well over a month in advance. People who want the tournament should be able to make plans, especially if you live 2 hrs away. People from Cali DROVE here for SNK.(Major props to K-force) Tekken 5 ran way too late, sorry about the lag problems I heard about. Somebody needs to hit me up with some knowledge about that for the rest of the MLG Tekken 5 tournaments. Special thanks to Gabe and Big Nasty for helping us out big time with the posters and tags.
KOF2k2 took like 5 hours! There were 9 people in the tournament! How in the hell did that happen?! 3rd Strike SW Quals were fun to watch. Harvey and Khang Le almost held it down for Houston, but Fubarduck and who? Mike Jones! won it. Apologies once again to the old foggies playing ST, it ran hella later than I wanted it too. That burrito eating contest was nuts. Big Nasty tearing his burrito into shreads, and got narrowly beat out by Big Beef! Jesse taking AE, and too much crazy team tournaments! It didn’t end til like 6am.
Saturday (10am… yes, 10am)
I wake up and rush downstairs to help setup for the pool play. People are waiting, I’m the only one there… awesome… Javi wasn’t able to help much until Sunday because of his upcoming wedding. Everybody else on my staff was up til 6am watching the stupid CvS2 Team tourney. I think its just me and Gonzo sittin at the registration table until my girl shows up to help. People start trickling in, then realize, we’re delayed as usual. Thats one pet peeve I have. I like to be on time or as close to it as possible. Next year, we’re striving for more organization and hopefully a tighter schedule.
Ok, so now pools are all pushed back by like 3 hrs. Now I gotta find my judges that said they would help me run the pools. Major props to Vinny, Tuan, Martin, Daniel, Joe, Dr Deelite, Dirty Sanchez, Turtler, Alex, Khang, Fubar, Kensou, Genius and everybody else who helped with judging the pools. While the pools went fine, one gripe I did have was not enough machines. Not enough people volunteered or changed their minds about volunteering their machines for Showdown. Thus, 3rd Strike only had about 5-8 machines, and Guilty Gear had 8-9. Had I gotten the full 16 that I wanted, it would have gone faster.
I don’t regret 2/3 pools, even CvS2 wasn’t that slow. I just needed more machines. The final 16 reduction to 8 happened later than expected also, I could have scheduled that better as well. Even with the extra day, everything felt rushed. Hopefully we can correct that next year as well. I remember somewhere in there I played my MvC2 pool, I don’t really recall what I did, I know I didn’t do good, guess I’ll just have to wait for Preppy’s footage, lol! Saturday ended around 6am for me again.
Sleep is for the weak! Around 10:30 am I’m on my way to the room… I’m already pissed that I’m late. I see Justin and Arturo, but nobody from the staff is here. So much for going to bed now and setup in the morning. In hindsight, we should have said fuck it, setup now and get it out of the way. Instead we setup around 11am. We were supposed to start around 10am. Nice.
We finish setting up around 2pm and immediately start CvS2. Everybody goes nuts, we got escorts for the finalists, thanks to all the girls who helped. At this point I was losing my voice, and my feet were killing me. Running around to find people and screaming their names all weekend finally caught up to me.
Most of the time I’m trying to relax, hand out prizes. Javi pretty much handled most of the finals, Lay did his thing with recording, and Cmutt handled the cabinets. Props to all the TX reps in the finals! Jummpeee and his random Rogue and Team supers, Joe’s super runaway and miracle Commando, Martin’s Xcopied Eddie, Tuan’s psycho Millia, Jake’s Sol, Alex’s pad made Slayer, Fubar, Yoon, and Hsien going Old school.
Couple big moments from Sunday:
Buktooth vs Otaku scandal:
My thoughts, after the match, me, Buktooth, Michelle(Translator) and Kindevu all went out there to talk to Otaku. He was visibly upset. I tried to tell him that the match shouldn’t have counted and that a rematch was in order, but he wasn’t having any of it. Japanese pride is amazing. I still feel really bad about that situation.
Justin was going nuts, hadn’t seen that side of him before, must have been building up for a while. I think he let his emotions get the better of him though, he played a little loose against Pyro. Pyro proved to be the better player that day. Ryan Harvey put up a good fight. Trash talking is part of the game, so I really have no opinion either way.
Justin vs Sanford:
Sanford is a very good player. But Justin is god.
That night we all went to a horrible place called Kettle. It was god awful food. The Japanese seemed to like it. I’m gonna upload some random pics I got from after the tournament later. Watching Matrix lifting Floe made me laugh so hard I thought I was gonna die.
That night we all take the Japanese players out to eat at Joe’s Crab Shack. We bought them some going away gifts to help make the trip to Texas memorable. We got Otaku a pimp ass Playboy Zippo, Mike Ochoa was showing him zippo tricks and that foo started Xcopying them and improvising them as he was being shown, Japanese are nuts! We got BAS a bottle of Vodka shaped like a rifle. Kindevu got 2 gifts, a piggy bank… of 2 pigs screwing, and a stuffed chihuahua that sings. The song is beyond hilarious. Read Michelle’s log(posted under Lay’s name Sugar Land) to see more about it.
After we all got plastered, it was time for coin flips for money! Otaku was the big winner, Ochoa lost too much, and Michelle trying to translate that dog’s song was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. We all take pics, sign shirts, etc, say sayonara and see ya next year.
Yeah, next year came real fast. I get a call from Lay that the Japanese are still in town. Their flight was delayed til the next day. Yay, more partying!
After grabbing booze, and some PS2’s and Lay’s Video camera, its time for drunken street fighter madness with the Japanese guests!
I don’t remember much, I know that none of them play ST, BAS raped me with R1 S Sagat, I hate you BAS! Then BAS and Kindevu destroyed my Waffle. That waffle was like gone in 10 seconds. BAS was munching on it, then Kindevu wakes up outta nowhere and inhales the rest, then goes back to sleep. I think I passed out somewhere around 4am. Their flight was at 8 I think. Around 7 we all wake up and leave, BAS and Lay elbow dropping a sleeping Kindevu. Otaku up all nite learning Tekken 5 from Crow and Ochoa. We say final final goodbyes and wish them a safe trip home.
I got very little sleep that whole weekend, so much that I got sick. Alcohol only numbs the sickness, it doesn’t take it away. Anyhow, I had fun, even though it was tiring as hell. I really hope everybody who went had fun, and for those who didn’t, I hope you’ll be interested in coming next year.