So I finally sat down to write up this tournament log. TX Showdown 5 was probably my best tournament experience ever, so Im glad Ill be able to share it with everyone. First off, Im HORRIBLE with names, and considering its been a few weeks, I wont remember names I definitely should, so sorry about that.
I get on my flight sometime around 3 from Cincinnati and I fly into Bush Intercontinental. For some reason my ears wouldnt pop for awhile after I got off the plane, but shit happens. So I call Lay (SugarLand), and he says to just sit tight by baggage claim while they pick up the Japanese. Then I get a call to go outside, but I wonder how theyll know where I am. I stand by the corner for a few minutes with my trusty T5 stick in hand, and Vinh rolls up and asks, Are you popoblo? I spot Ashley Hernandez and somebody else (sorry!) in the car, and Lay is rolling around with the Japanese players, Kindevu, Otaku, and Bas. I say Konichiwa or however I think you say hello in Japanese, and from that point on they all thought I could speak it, so theyd randomly come up to me and say something, and Id give an awkward shrug. So we drive around, get lost for awhile, and finally go to the tournament hall at the Sheraton. I saw Arturo, Sanford, Triforce, Jeron, and all those guys there. We were all pretty hungry, so we go to LuLings BBQ by Stargate, which was amazing. Ive never had beef brisket before, and it was good stuff. Buktooth and some more guys were there, and we got some pictures of the Japanese in their cowboy hats before we went to Stargate. Im not a big fan of arcades just because Im not used to anything non-console, but Stargate was cool. Since it officially closed down, the cabinets were in a warehouse, so we come in and I play 2 games of MvC2 because nobody was playing it. I quickly get OWNED because Im horrible at that game, so I get in the long line for CvS2. Sanford was beasting with C-Ken, and he eventually got beat by someone. I played Bas when it was my turn, and it was a pretty close match, but I was missing all kinds of stuff because of the controls, but its all good. For some reason, people are IMMEDIATELY intimidated by the Japanese players. Pretty common stuff was getting oohs and ahhs, but whatever. However, one pretty tight thing Bas did was with A-Honda- As the opponent was waking up, hed do a meaty crouching short buffered into a 360 which obviously whiffs since theyre still in block stun, then he RCs the next one and grabs you. Cheap. We finally decide to leave an hour later because the Japanese were tired, so we headed back to Lays. That is one nice thing about console, you play a ton of games in a short period of time. I played 3 total games in 1 hour, and the rest was just standing around and waiting. Once we get back to Lays, we start playing some CvS2, which was all I wanted to do. First match was Me vs Otaku, and he played his business team, K-Kyo/Rock/Hibiki, and I played A-Blanka/Sakura/Bison. We split games, and Lay recorded one of me winning. I learned that Kindevu has a CRAZY good A-Rolento, and he wasnt even doing fancy customs, just solid knowledge of his normals and stuff. Nearly everything I stuck out got counter-hit into something. Then Lay left the room and I got to play the Japanese for like an hour. For some reason I play much better against top players, and my timing and execution was on point. I was getting all my reversal RC electricities on wakeup against Kindevu to beat his meaties and I wasnt missing any customs. One match vs Otaku, my A-Eagle took out Otakus first two characters, but that didnt get recorded. Kindevu was cheering at my Eagle link into custom, and they were both really impressed with my Eagle. The final score was 10-5 in favor of Team Japan, not bad for a Kentucky player with no competition. Then they went into training mode, and I saw some unbelievable stuff. Kindevu picks N-Kyo against C-Yuri, and get at point blank range- then he ROLL CANCELS the flame pillar super. The special thing is that it crosses up at point blank range! He would let the roll animate a little longer than usual for it to crossup. Then he put Yuri on auto-block, and the flame pillar super will still crossup, and itll hold her there and chip for a bunch of damage. Bas said that people actually do that stuff in tournaments. He would do the same thing with Kyos RC running grab, it would basically just run right through the character. The sickest part is that he was doing it consistently, like 95%. I could get it like 1 out of 20 times, lol. Then he does some crazy Maki CC stuff, a lot of it I saw on iKeiths Maki Vid. He would also super jump against the back wall, and somehow repeatedly cling onto the wall by doing the wall drop move really fast. I couldnt do it. Then Otaku gets the controller, and picks K-Rock against K-Sagat. He would pull an Ino and Just Defend the first 3 hits of the Tiger Raid, then reversal Raging Storm with Rock. Not too advanced. Then he did a crazy Rock reset in the corner- Rage run behind sagat, 360 grab, break it, then do a crouching strong to launch sagat high (maybe he ran up to get closer), then he ran forward into the corner, then small jumped BACK OVER sagat to kick him in the head. It was something along those lines. After they got tired of CvS2, they started playing CFE and GGXX, and Lay and I watched some CvS2 tournament footage that Bas brought. Good night.
We get up and take showers, and then Lay, Otaku, Kindevu, and I go sight seeing around to the mall and stuff like that while Bas chilled at the house. The Japanese particularly liked the goofy shit in Spencers. Once we got back, Lays mom made us this AMAZING lunch. There was lots and lots of rice, lobster, some tortilla type stuff, and other Chinese dishes. Then there was this fluffy cake which was really good. One of Lays friends had to drive over to help us drive to the Sheraton because my suitcase was so damn big. We finally get there, and I start playing some CvS2. Lots of matches go by, and I do some of my money matches. The general theme of my money matches were me losing the first game, then winning the second game considerably, then fucking something up and losing the third and my money. I actually beat Jeron, then lost in that pattern to Arturo, Justin Wong, Ashley, some Mexican K-groover, Buktooth (he just raped me 2 games), and so forth. It was awesome to lose money. The team tourney eventually started, and it was Me, then Lay, then Ashley as the anchor. We did all right, but our entire team got swept by AsianHitler, then we lost to some other team. I was thinking about staying around to watch the finals, but it was so late and I didnt want to be tired for pool play. Good night.
I wake up to find Alex Walbert (Biggzy) just sprawled out on the hard floor without a pillow or blanket or anything. It looked super uncomfortable, but he didnt seem to mind. Buktooth crashed in our room too. I go down to the tourney hall, and get warmed up for pool play. I only really cared about CvS2, but I entered MvC2, 3S, and A3 anyway. I found out that black Omar from TX was in my pool (thats what everybody called him, not trying to sound racist), and I lost to him earlier in casual play. I also saw Campbell P. on the list, and I hoped it wasnt Buktooth. I ask Christian (skisonic), and he said the P must stand for Peoples Champ. Sure enough, it was Buktooth. I won my first few matches with A-Blanka/Sakura/Bison, and then I faced Omar. I was watching his previous match, and Ronald H played A-Iori and beat him really bad. So I tried that same character, and I barely even hit him. So much for that idea. He won the first game, then I battled back to win the next 2 and take the set. Very good matches. I found out Ronald H. beat Buktooth also, which was kind of surprising to me simply because Buk was on fire. He raped me, then I rebounded and beat everybody else in my pool. Ronald H. was like my last fight, and I took him out 2-0. So we had to have a 3 man round robin playoff between Buk, Ronald, and me. Buk beat him, then I beat him 2-1 I think, so we both advanced. Then I was back and forth between 3S and MvC2. I played my scrubby Chun Li, and I had Flash, Otaku, AsianHitler, and some other really good players in my pool. I mightve won about 2 or 3 games. In Marvel, I had X and other good players, so I got owned again. I won exactly one set. When I played X, he beat me the first game when I was playing Santhrax, so I switched to Team Clockw0rk because I tried to learn it awhile back, and Matrix says, Texas is all about gimmicks or something like that. I found it kinda funny because Im not even from TX and Strider/Doom isnt a gimmick. I actually did a lot better, but still lost. I hadnt played A3 in years, literally, so I had to ask somebody which VC to use with V-Sakura, lol. I beat someone first round, then played Ricky second round. I actually won the first match, and I think we were both taken aback by it, so I promptly lost the next 2 rounds, and then the next game to go to the losers. I faced Nibor in the losers, and he beat me really bad. He was talking to Floe while he was racking up 80+ hits of crouch canceling with V-Cody, which I thought was pretty funny. So the top 16 for CvS2 is about to begin, and I learn that I have Kindevu first round. I definitely wanted a Japanese player, preferably Otaku just because A counters K, but Kindevu was fine with me because I like my team order much better than his. Sure enough, it was my A-Blanka/Sakura/Bison against his A-Sakura/Bison/Blanka. He nodded to me and kind of acknowledged that itd be a good match because we had played before at Lays. In the Blanka vs Sakura match, I remember trying to RC ball him out of the sky when he would jump back for a divekick, but I was a little late, which resulted in me getting kicked in the grill a few times. The match was going pretty evenly I think, I remember hitting a Sakura CC, then it was my Bison vs his Blanka. My Bison was juiced, so I jump in with a roundhouse, which hits, and I do the gg combo of crouching jab, crouching jab, standing short, forward scissors, ACTIVATE, then paint for the win. That combo wouldve killed him because his Blanka was less than half life. Im used to tournament pressure now because Ive been to so many, but that was the first time playing in front of a crowd. As soon as people realized my combo was hitting, people ERUPTED and I flinched, which made me miss my activation in the corner. I remember hearing Arturo saying something like Yo, do you know what just happened here?! Popoblo had Kindevu beat. Kindevu beat me the first game, and I was too busy thinking about the first game, so I lose the second one also. No idea why I didnt pick Eagle second game, but I didnt. I then had to face Arturo in the losers, and for some reason I didnt request blind select. I picked my team, he picked C-Yamazaki/Sagat/Blanka. He beat me 2 games straight. I just walked away thinking about how I had arguably the best player in the world beat. I remember Jason Cole complimenting me and telling me that Ill get used to playing in front of a crowd eventually. After the top 16 was over, Otaku wanted to play me in CvS2, so we busted out our non-serious teams, and had some great games. CRAZY K-Nakoruru and Akuma, amongst others. The rest of the day was just a bunch of casual play and watching other matches. I then I remember going into the hotel bar and an engineer named Mike Stapleton welcomed me to Texas and gave me some of his food while I was waiting for mine. It was completely random, but he was a nice guy. Later in the night, I was standing around watching CFE, and Bmorechun asks me if I want to go back to his room and play some CvS2. We played a few games, and it hit me- You can make fighting games in general as simple or as complicated as you want. I was RCing all kinds of shit, hitting advanced customs, all kinds of setups and everything else, and Bmore was just walking back and forth with Cammy, pressing RH and cannon spiking jump ins. Simple, yet extremely effective. Not ripping on his style at all, its just another approach to the game. I played best of 5 set against one of his friends, and the bet was that he wouldnt get to my last character 3 out of the 5 games. Bmore and I won a soft drink out of the deal, lol. I was getting tired and the CvS2 finals were first, so I went to bed.
CvS2 was first, and the finals were pretty tight. Before they started, I got to do my Genei-Jin exhibition in 3S to test out all the A/V stuff. My crazy x-copied Mester stuff from Evo2k2 was too hot for the crowd I think, lol. Kindevu kicked me off and kara-palmed for shits and giggles. It was funny how the players got female escorts on the way up the aisle. I felt bad for Otaku, because when the game paused, he was losing and didnt really know what was going on. For some odd reason, Triforce was SCREAMING to keep the current game, and they did. Right when the game was unpaused, Otaku runs up and does an overhead into super with Hibiki to even things up. Bas was doing all the 1 frame links with Sakura after her hurricane kicks against Arturo. Combofiend was extremely solid, as was Buktooth. The finals were kind of whatever, Im not surprised Kindevu won. I forget the order of things, but 3S was decent. I love how the crowd went nuts when Hsien picked Akuma, but then lost. Justin is just too solid in that game. MvC2 was really surprising, I didnt think Jumpee would beat X, so that was cool to watch. Props to Joe Reyna also. Justin owns that game, people have no chance against him. He beats Sanford 4-0, then says something like, Yea thats right, Im still the best. SBO 3S quals made me sick because Pyrolee was being such a bitch. Maybe Pyrolee saw it done in Japan or something, but he likes to wait the entire 15 seconds to pick his super art, so Fubarduck says I think you want to pick Genei-Jin, lol. Then after he beats Justin and Flash, as theyre walking away, he says, Its too easy, this isnt even a challenge. Good sportsmanship, I dont even think he shook anybodys hand. You successfully lose at life. HANDS DOWN, my biggest complaint about TX showdown is lack of some sort of casual play area on Sunday. They were packing up all the TVs, so I was forced to watch GGXX#r, which Ive never played and have no idea whats going on. Otaku wanted to play some more CvS2, but I didnt know what to tell him. There were so many good players there, it just sucked that we didnt have some area to have casual play. Thats what was so nice about Evo- During the 3D finals, Id play in the BYOC room against everybody. After Kindevu and Justin were done taking everybodys money, we went to some restaurant with all the guys. I heard how Alex Navarro said the best thing he ordered there was a Coke, and he was about right. My French toast was okay, until some random mosquito landed in the middle of it. That put an end to my appetite. After everybody was done, Matrix successfully piggy-backed Floe, no idea why that happened. We all went to Coles room and played some games, and Otaku was in another room BEASTING on people. He would just casually take a drag on his cigarette between rounds, and it was hilarious how hed throw his shoulders into DPs and stuff like that. The line was too long, so I didnt get to play him again. All the rooms reeked of pot, alcohol, and whatever else. I had a relatively early flight, so I didnt drink anything. I just remember lots of boot munching between Keith and Buk, Skisonic spitting some broken ass Japanese to Otaku, who politely nodded and wondered what he was saying, and a bunch of other funny shit. I stayed with Fubarduck that night because Lay drove home, which was very nice of Ryan to take me in.
My flight actually left 40 minutes earlier than I thought, but luckily I woke up with enough time to not miss it. They offered a $300 flight voucher for me to take a later flight, so I took that, chilled in the airport for about 6 hours until the later flight, and basically paid for my plane ticket to Evo, which was huge.
HUGE THANKS to Lay, who housed me, drove me around, fed me, and showed a great deal of hospitality during the weekend. I could try and do shout outs, but Id forget more people than Id remember.
PLEASE feel free to offer opinions on this log and how it could be better, and whoever met me at TX showdown, shout out so Ill remember everybodys name.