The first tournament. Are you/do you know one of the people too b**** to enter?


#1

I just got done talking with another SFIV player on Xbox Live who made me rethink about something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I basically asked him since he lived in the area near me if was planning on heading over to the monthly tournament this month. He basically said he was “too scurred” to enter.

I’ve seen people go from random joe shmoe scrub at a tournament to consistently well placing tourney player often enough in my time as a 3rd Strike player and now as a SFIV player. At my local tourney scene specifically the numbers for all of our games (including SFIV) are never that hot unless it’s a team tournament. Which is obvious cuz that means random guy who plays games other than SFIV will actually enter SFIV cuz he knows he can piggyback on someone else who knows what they’re doing. A lot of new players don’t realize that they’ll never be on the road to becoming good if they don’t come out to the first tournament. We definitely have several new faces and it’s good to see the old faces still consistently coming, but it just makes me wonder how many other potentially solid players are out there that are just not coming. People that could really do something for the scene but are just too scared to. There’s still too many old faces and not enough new ones basically. Which some other veteran players would argue whether or not that’s a bad thing but I personally see it as just keeping the scene as niche as possible. People shouldn’t be afraid to just see how their personal skill stacks up and see it improve over time.

I mean…where is the pressure for your first tournament? You’re going to die so you might as well have a good time dying. I remember my first tournament I wanted to enter but I was just excited to finally be able to play truly competitive offline 3rd Strike with other people who knew how to play 3rd Strike. Outside of not doing well no one’s going to remember you didn’t do well but you. The consistent players are the only ones that are going to be remembered and the only way to level up is to get down and dirty with the big boys. I think there’s this stigma that non tourney players and other aspiring high level SFIV players get into. They wanna get good but they are afraid of looking “bad” at even something as simple as a local tourney. They act like someone is inviting them to play in the NFL for a day and are afraid they’ll get stomped on and the fans will boo them. The same guy who could have eventually been one of the best just sitting at home on Xbox Live cuz he’s too scared to see what’s going to happen the first time.

You can only learn to swim if you put your body in the water so what is it with people not wanting to jump into the shallow pool of a local tourney event? I can understand them not being ready quite yet for a major. Majors aren’t as big of a deal because once someone gets into the local scene majors are inevitable and majors always bring in big numbers regardless. I’m just saying…if you never play with Jibbo or JuiceBox how are you supposed to ever be good enough to beat them? Tourneys aren’t just about how well you placed it’s about a community of people getting stronger as a whole and every little bit you learn should be what allows you to beat that guy who always randoms you out on Xbox Live or that random Rog player who lives near you that you can’t deal with or whatever.

So my main question is…are you yourself a “scurred fighting game player” or know someone who is?


#2

someone rep this guy. you gotta get your cherry popped someday


#3

I wouldn’t say I’m ‘scurred’ but I have lost my ‘drive’ when I moved from SoCal.

On the other hand; I know a lot of people that have sf and have a good basic knowledge but for some reason, are too ‘scurred’. People may label them as scrubs, but I do see potential. I think it’s something that you have to figure out and once you do, you’ll really see the meat of the game and the scene.

People are afraid of losing. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.


#4

Why are tournaments always seen as the ultimate form of FG competition?

I’m all for furthering the social aspect of gaming…I’m all for leveling up, getting better, and pushing games to their potential for the sake of the greater FG community.

But, I’m personally not convinced that tournaments are the end all be all that people seem to think they are.

For one thing, they are inefficient. The average tourney-goer spends a vast majority of their time waiting around. Compare that to the actual play time (which could be all of about 2 minutes), and yay. You just spent your whole day standing around, only to play for 2 minutes. Maybe 4 minutes if it’s double elimination.

The time would have been better spent in a giant free-play, with people just…playing.

Another thing, there are too many dang variables to be meaningful to the average tourney goer. You play against someone for two 2/3 matches and that’s it. That’s not enough time spent with an opponent to really get down to meaningful business. Nervousness, lack of warm-up time, unfamiliar match ups, gimmicky stuff you’ve never seen before (but, could easily adapt to after a little exposure)…all this stuff is completely meaningless in the grand scheme of things, yet these factors lead to tourney victories all the time.

So, one player loses to another because of nerves…who cares? What does that teach us about the game, or the players’ skill in the long run? Nothing. It just an external variable, artificially created by the tournament atmosphere.

I guess what I’m saying is that “being scared” isn’t the only reason people might not gravitate toward tourneys. Some people might find more meaningful experiences elsewhere, in other formats. At EVO the most fun (for me) was in the casual areas, free-playing random people like 5 or 6 times in a row in SF4 (at pools that were finished, where the TV’s were free), or World Heroes Perfect in the SNK section, etc.

To me, that’s the ultimate form of gaming, because it’s more pure.


#5

Y’know Ive never understood why people are scare of going to their first tournament until I started reading the comments on you tube. People seem to have this idea in their head that every single match is going to be absurdly high level play. People like that are most definitely deterring new people from going out there and putting themselves up against the best in an attempt to get better. Ive seen local players like my boy D-Bus get better and better each time they come out and it really puts a big smile on my face. This is what its all about. You aren’t going to win your first tournament in all likeliness and thats okay. Losing shouldn’t deter you from trying. End of story.


#6

The reason people view tourney play as the “ultimate form of FG competition” is because you are forced to play your very best. This isn’t some “get together session where you know nothing is at stake and that you know your turn will be up four players later so you’re going to just fuck around with whatever character or not try as hard with your main or try new shit that you saw or read on the forums” type of shit.

When and if you join a tournament, you know there’s money or something more at stake so you are forced to play your best. No dilly-dallying, no showing off, no picking random characters. All top-notch play that you are able to do. Ironing out those nerves are also part of the high-level FG competition. In sessions at so and so’s house, you’re not pressured to do good, not unless you got top players over as well and you want to impress them. But even then, it’s still not the same as tournament-like pressure.

TL;DR version, tourney play is regarded as one of the ultimate forms of FG competition because it forces the person to play at their best, none of the bullshit that is usually seen at a session at people’s houses. Also, dealing with your nerves is only acquired through experience and that is only possible by joining tournaments, regardless of whether you did good or bad in one. Everyone gets nervous in their first few tourneys, it’s not only limited to that one person.

And to answer DJ’s question, I’m all up for entering tourneys. The only reason I may or may not go is cause I don’t have the money, or I have already made plans on that day/weekend beforehand.


#7

Tournaments are simply more conducing to serious play than your everyday friendly. Depending on the tournament itself, it is very possible for you to just go without registering for the pools and play friendlies all day; the amount of experience you would gain from that would already be tremendous. You’ll also get to chance to interact with actual top level players, ask questions, watch them play and develop a network of sorts. And at the end of the day, how do you intend on getting your name out there if not by actually placing at a tourney? Everybody wants to reap what they’ve sown some day or another, unless they truly don’t care.


#8

When I started out playing 3rd Strike, I was definitely a “scurred fighting game player”. Then I remembered that I live near SVGL, so it was either I get my ass handed to me graciously by Emphy, or stay pussified and keep on wondering “what if…”. Same kind of thing happened when SFIV came out, but it was SO MUCH easier to play others because I’ve already realized that you CAN’T get better without practicing with/playing against the RIGHT people.

Looking to enter my first SFIV tournament this weekend, so definitely looking forward to that. Though I’ve taken baby steps at improving my game throughout the years, just like you said, DevilJin, can’t become a good swimmer without going into the water first.


#9

I don’t go to tournaments because they’re too far away along with most of what The Lone Dragon said.

@Fobi0: That’s the thing about nerves is they’re definitely a variable into how One plays. Can’t just say “Play your best” if your 5th nervous time was like your 1st. I imagine a lot of nervous 1st timers only went that 1 time because they had a bad experience in one way or another.

Now I don’t want to presuppose that regular tournament-goers are any type of person, but it’s a competitive environment which affects everybody. Some people hype off of it while others cower. This is not to say that the “cowardly” player doesn’t have real skill, but it’s just not the right environment for them to shine. They could feel a lot of non-existent intimidation leading them to scrub out and nobody giving a damn about how good they really are because that wasn’t what they witnessed and therefore didn’t ask any questions. Who really knows?

I do hope that most tournament goers, whether 1st timer or 50th timer, are adults about it. But being an adult, and performing well, are entirely different. And not everybody cares to deal with that pressure.


#10

Not exactly scared, just don’t want to throw away money that easily. :d


#11

Round Robin would definitely be more enticing.


#12

I’d say it simply favors a different type of player. Fewer players can handle less warm up time, or can adapt to unfamiliar matchups/tactics in a short time frame, but that is still part of the game.

Anyway, people afraid of going to tournaments frustrates me to no end.


#13

Just get out there and do it, that’s all I can say. I chose a fairly large event to pop my cherry (West Coast Warzone) but I still had a blast and learned a lot. Sometimes it’s even better that way since you can be a nameless face in the crowd when you get peaced out :lol:


#14

But, that’s my point…is that really your “best”? Is playing 2 quick best of 3 fights really proving who’s the best? We always say it is out of habit…but…

I would think that a person’s TRUE best would be after playing for like a hour or half-hour against the same person/couple of people, getting adapted to their character and play style, and getting to the point where gimmicks and tricks no longer work. At THAT point, the true mind games and technique win matches rather than mere unfamiliarity and anxiety.

And, this “tournament-like pressure” you speak of…I mean it’s cool, to see someone pull off something clutch in a high-stakes situation. But, it really doesn’t have anything to do with the game itself (like I said it’s an artificial weight created by the tournament atmosphere). You say that tournaments bring out the best gameplay from people, but in reality nerves can often bring out the worst (as we all have felt or seen in tourneys before).

As if different types of BS don’t occur in tournament settings? Flukes, upsets, gimmicks, and other random stuff that can occur because you only have to win four rounds to “prove you’re better than your opponent.” Four rounds is nothing.

I wish there was a format that combined the benefits of both formats, tourneys and casual play. The seriousness of tourneys combined with the extended exposure and familiarity of causal free-play would do much more for the advancement of the game.
I guess arcades sort of do this…the play to win attitude is there (because you have to pay to play), but the “tournament” is extended over a longer period of time allowing for familiarity (through cards and long term BP collection).

This too. Anything that guarantees more play, more opportunities to prove yourself…that would be more enticing to me as well.


#15

I used to be so nervous my hand would shake uncontrollably and I wouldn’t be able to hit my buttons correctly. True story.

Now Tournament play is the only time I can actually play at optimum level!


#16

If you want to adapt and learn your opponent, then hold a tournament with nothing but friends and people you’ve played with for the last eight or so months. That way you can apply your true mind games and techniques. In fact, why even start/join a tourney in the first place if you want to get acquainted with your opponent? Just invite your friends over and pretend it’s a tourney. And in case you didn’t know, gimmicks and tricks fall under the mind games aisle.

I can go to a session and play and lose to my friends or randoms that show up to the session, but when tournament time comes, I can beat them. Not because I know how they play, not even because I’ve been holding out, but because I know if I didn’t try my best or give it my all, I would be eliminated.

True, nerves can bring out the worst and will sometimes contribute to you fucking up and what not, but it’s not something that should deter anyone from joining or competing in tournaments. Saying, “Oh, I’m not going to join the tourney cause I can’t get over my nerves.” is a ridiculous reason to not join. Like I said, the more your go, the better you’re able to tune out outside factors which in turn will lessen your chances of cracking under pressure. Sure you’ll never completely be pressure-free, but you are able to at least control it enough to where you won’t lose cause of nerves.

I didn’t mean BS as in luck and gimmicks and that shit. I meant BS as in not trying your best or fucking around cause you know it’s just a friendly session at your buddy John’s place.


#17

i’d like to go to tournys but i never hear about em where I live. I’ve been to the ones gamestop throws but haven’t heard anything else~! I was at the last one but didn’t make it in time for sign ups. I just watched from semi-finales and up. I played against some people and didn’t lose. I think i can hold out for a round or two. I won’t be good enough to win it I think. Just not scared at all. It’s fun.


#18

I see as more of a time investment which I can never commit to. Playing internet warrior is one thing, whereas attending IRL events is a completely different matter.

On the internet, if my friends suddenly want to go out for dinner, or go hit up a bar/club, I can walk away from SF4 any time I want. Whereas once I get very involved IRL, suddenly I’d feel obligated to do whatever I can to support the local scene. I’d feel like I really should be attending events, gathering, tournaments, and whatnot. And before I know it, a large chunk of my time becomes devoted to a game, and I really can’t justify doing that(after finally quitting EVE Online).

it’s like signing up for a jogging club. It’s never as simple as showing up, do the jog, and then leave. People always expect you to socialize in the locker room, and go out for a beer afterwards. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, I just think that for me personally, I should instead be doing stuff like catching up on work.

I don’t know…do any of you feel the same way?


#19

I can proudly say that I’m not scurred.

I can probably attribute this to the fact that I played other games (not video games!) competitively, so I got my tournament jitters out of the way.


#20

I dunno, I agree you can play the same person twice and lose, whereas if you played them 10 times you could win almost every time after that, because I’ve been there, but I also think that if you aren’t good enough to beat them the first times around, you must become stronger… in the end that’s what I love most about this game. Always growing stronger, learning, and perfecting your game. Until you can unquestionably beat anyone right when you begin playing them you should not be satisfied with your skill level. The fact that whatever you’re able to dish out in those initial 2 matches, without all of the extra time to feel the other guy out, is your “skill” this just forces you to be… well, crucial as fuck.

Then again this is sorta reminisicent of the Japanese players, considering they have single elim tournies and that winning isn’t so much more important than skill over there. If you’re not unstoppable, then you’re still on the path of improvement and winning should not be enough to satiate your fighting spirit.