My 1st tournament is coming up! Suggestions?

Quick story, If ya don’t wanna read it, no biggy =P

And here is how it looks. I started playing Street Fighter when I was oh… maybe 6 years old. My brother would bang me up for a few hours, being 12 years older. I would just sit there, playing. After a few days I mastered the hadouken! But I still had to mash to get the shoryuken off.

When I was about 12 maybe 13 I started competing in Super Smash Bros. Tournaments, being in buffalo NY, those were the only tournaments close enough for me to compete in. Never have I won a tournament in SSB.

After my Smash Brothers frenzy, I picked up Street Fighter Anniversary edition… Which had Street Fighter 3 : Third Strike on it… And I just fell in love. I felt the parry system to be awesomely perfect for someone like me. And I went on to play years of Alex and Ryu.

When I was about 15-16 I saw my first video of Daigo. The Justin Wong comeback of his. I was amazed! Now before this, I thought I was some kickass player “Man, I’m the shit” Nah, I was just playing average people. After a while I had no room to improve, since I had little to no competition and low variance in play styles (Having growing up with all my opponents)

At 17 I picked up SFIV with my brother, I remember it clearly! (NO not cause I’m only a year older, cause it was the shit!) We get home from waking up early and snagging his copy (Got home around 10 am) Invited all our oldschool players over and just started going at it!

The SF2 staff was destroying me. Blanka Vega Zangief E.Honda and Bison especially. I wasn’t used to them, and for some reason, I kept trying to parry everything! (I was using ryu) None of us had tried the hard trials, gone into training mode or anything like that. We all started fresh (With some peaks at the command list)

Anyway, after feeling like I just am not satisfied with SFIV’s ryu, I move to Gouken and Fei Long. Gouken being the character I fell in love with. The counter was like SF3 parrys, but with a bang! I ran through his hard trials, and played gouken online.

I didn’t play online a lot, and I didn’t have my own name, so I would raise the BP about 2k and when I came back on they would be back down 1500.

Now, I have SFIV for the PC (The PS3 was my bros, and I moved) And, I unlocked gouken asap. (Didn’t know I could just mod it, hehe)

I recently made a new GFWL account, and now I’m exclusively playing gouken, while I have a pal of mine playing guile on the same account.

I’m at 4000 GP right now, mowing through opponents with more than 10k GP.

I’d easily be up there, but I play offline versus much more.

ANYWAY, heres where my question…

Being new to the SFIV tournament scene, is there any tips you may give me? I’m currently having the most trouble with Blanka, although I don’t lose to blanka often, I feel like I’m… Not in control with him so to speak.

Also, there is a shortage of Gief and Bison players, do you have any tips for me with them too?

Thanks =)

My advice that I can give is that unless you’re a natural, don’t go to the tournament looking to win or rank high, just go and meet fellow fighting gamers, play your matches and go as far as you can, and get the experience of a tournament and what really playing to win is for the veterans there and learn it for yourself. Overall, just treat it as a gaming gathering.

And unless you’re really conditioned, chances are you are going to drop inputs, lose reaction time, or choke on combos because it’s not your natural play setting, not getting to use your own stick, nervousness on winning and losing in front of everyone, or w/e. I still feel this way at the tournaments I go to. Just play patiently and don’t think too much. All the games you play on your PC or anywhere should already give you the ideas on what to do at a tournament and what tools you would normally rely on from the players you went against using the playstyle you developed. If you go to more tournaments later, you can start adjusting more easily to the opponents’ playstyles and get a bit more fancy.

Another thing you might end up encountering is offline lag. When a player plays too much online, they naturally adjust to any amount of lag to make sure they can execute whatever move they need. So when you’re at the tournament, be careful if you ever do an ultra too early or late off of a backthrow, j.strong, etc. or timing in jumpins/demonflips or anti airing or countering appropriately. It can feel a bit awkward when getting off online matches.

As for Blanka, play footsies. Bait the blanka balls and slides and punish hard. Counter the crossups and watch out for anything else that might come out fast like Ultra or EX Blanka Ball and punish those too.
Turtle against Gief. Use air tatsus, crouching fierce, and hadouken a lot. Punish hard on anything he whiffs such as green hand or lariat. Don’t let him get in close because it becomes a lot like rock, paper, scissors where he can tick throw, cross up, links into ex green hand etc. And don’t chain anything like c.jab->c.strong, because he can circle mash during your string and ex piledrive/mother russia you.

edit: And this might not help but read David Sirlin’s Playing to Win book. Three years ago when I was seriously starting fighting games (Guilty Gear XX and CvS2) and just scrubbing out against players, it took me a while to learn how to get better. Sirlin’s book helped me think a lot on how to play games and how to really improve and not just grind matches.

Wow, I reread that wall I made and I got too wordy and thinking too much on my own experiences. This forum has a lot of tips on certain matchups such as with Blanka. would help too with phunkism and Dirty Bodega’s vids.

Have fun at your tournament, Sephx7.

At my first tournament, I was absolutely awful. I remember playing 3rd Strike and having a really bad Ken player beat me. He jumped at me, and I went for c.fierce. Apparently both of my hands slipped or something because I ended up pressing fierce and roundhouse together without the crouching motion, and taunted to counter his jump in.

I did a ton of other things stupidly, but that’s just what sticks out the most because it was so damn silly and I just couldn’t see how I got a taunt out of c.fierce.

So yeah, play a bunch of casuals beforehand and don’t let your nerves get to you.

And do yourself a huge favor and over everything else, have fun. You’re there to do something you like. If something goes wrong and you can’t play well, don’t let that ruin the entire experience for you. Try to get over the small things and enjoy yourself.