Get the vids here:
Unfortunately, I didn’t download that big ass file and instead have several separate smaller files so I can’t describe events by timestamp. Oh well.
Kichinii (A-Geese/Rock/Rolento2) vs Togawa (N-Iori/Ken/Sagat2)
Togawa’s Iori gets in once, quickly does 75% damage with basic Iori mix ups. Geese gets cornered, and Iori eventually does the basic strategy of throwing a jab fireball and running after it. Kichinii jumps straight up and stupidly throws an air fireball. Togawa rolls through the Geese air fireball for the win, but hesitated for some reason before attacking. Geese recovers in time to block the ground combo. Togawa pays for that mistake by losing 50% more of Iori’s life before killing off Geese. Kichinii tries to do a trip-guard anti-air CC, but Togawa doesn’t fall for it. Kichinii recognizes this and does a kick throw and proceeds to chip after. Togawa wisely alpha counters to regain momentum. Geese dies soon after.
Togawa attempts to power up Iori and land a level 3 on Kichinii’s Rock. Togawa lands a counter hit jab, doesn’t convert. Rock gets pushed to the corner, tries to RC rage run out, instead gets an accidental dunk. Luckily for Kichinii, at that exact moment Togawa was going for an empty low jump mix up (which would have countered the RC rage run attempt) and gets caught by the dunk. Togawa’s power up time runs out. Kichinii then lands a quick teleport -> grab as Iori is getting up to put Iori into the corner. Iori holds his ground in the corner for a while, then Kichinii does an INCREDIBLY RANDOM (and risky) RC rage run which Togawa tries to low strong by reflex. Rock teleports through and grabs Iori to kill.
Ken builds a quick lead on Rock with solid footsies, landing several f+roundhouses. Rock gets pushed to the corner. Ken powers up, and Rock does an INCREDIBLY RANDOM and EXTREMELY RISKY RC strong elbow, which luckily hits Ken and gets Rock out of the corner. Rock then tries to catch Ken with dash -> CC, but Togawa doesn’t bite. In an interesting decision, Togawa opts to AC Rock out of his CC immediately and fight while powered up but with no meter. I don’t know how tricky Rock’s CC options are so I can’t comment. Togawa goes for the crazy hard to block Ken cross up after the AC, which Kichinii successfully blocks. Kichinii tries yet another random RC rage run, and again accidentally gets a dunk. Togawa hits him out of it. Almost immediately afterwards, Kichinii does yet ANOTHER RC rage run, which successfully goes through Ken’s roundhouse and gives Rock the free grab. Ken is cornered after the grab. After a short exchange of hits, Kichinii catches Ken with Rock’s quick dash into a punch throw. Togawa apparently forgets you can’t tech roll in that situation and gets caught for free by Rock’s fierce elbow. He tech rolls immediately again, and Kichinii does super jump activate CC. However, he activates way too high. Togawa apparently tries to get his free DP there but messes up somehow and eats Rock’s j.RH. Kichinii then resets with the teleport -> grab (which was likely his intention all along, Togawa just happened to get hit by the j.RH) and combos Ken for the kill.
Togawa’s Sagat comes in. Rock hits Sagat with a very high jump in roundhouse. This is a very common set up for a teleport -> grab, so Togawa waits for it so he can counter it. However, the mix up to that is to just immediately grab right away without the teleport, which Togawa gets hit by. It actually looked like Kichinii just planned to block after the j.RH, then reflexively went for the throw when nothing was going on. Togawa gets thrown into the corner and Rock hangs out at around half screen distance, whiffing several mid counters. Rock has by far the fastest recovering counter in the game, so whiffing them at that range is fairly low risk as long as Sagat has no meter. Togawa eventually eats a counter. Kichinii then tries to do a mix up after a cross up dash, which Togawa is advanced/fast enough to uppercut. Kichinii whiffs a few more counters, then Togawa finally punishes him for it to get rid of Rock.
Rolento comes in and quickly gets knocked down in the corner. Sagat powers up and goes for a low jump throw, which is a bad decision considering a cornered Rolento will wake up with RC pogo jump 90% of the time. This indeed does happen, and Kichinii gets a full jump in combo for free on Sagat. Togawa successfully blocks the Rolento Super Cross Up after the combo, and eventually does an empty low jump to bait Kichinii into trying a trip guard CC. Kichinii then goes for his pogo jump cross up. Togawa has apparently seen this before, so he does the advanced thing and blocks the other way. However, Kichinii does the MORE advanced thing by doing a d+forward after the pogo jump, which you have to block normally. Togawa gets caught and loses the match.
Impressions: Togawa knows a lot about the game and is a very skillful player all around. If I were to single out a reason why he lost, it’s because he thinks too advanced for his own good. He’s very good at baiting/avoiding random activates though, but got caught twice by Kichinii’s resets. Kichinii apparently specializes in CC resets (think blocked Genei Jin mix ups) and just general unsafe randomness.
Next: Kichinii vs Nitto (most likely after Evo)