The Gospel of #tosf, according to Kymah
Prologue: Street Fighter
SO I started playing Street Fighter 1 when I was a kid. Well, to put it correctly, I actually watched people play SF1 because I never had any quarters. The machine was located at Spadina and Dundas, inside a Chinese jerky shop, which happened to have arcade games as well. At the time, I thought it was the coolest game ever.
Then came street fighter II. The first machine I saw was in Chinatown centre, outside a video game store. I used to save up the change I got from buying chinese food every Sunday ($5 from my dad, -$4.25 for Beef Ho-Fun = $0.75 for 3 games of SFII), just to play WW. I only played against CPU, used honda, and all i did was headbut, grab and hundred hand slap. And I would never make it past Vega. Never. But every sunday, I would try and try again.
Corner stores and pizza shops were basically the only places I played street fighter; WW, CE, Rainbow, HF and SSF2. And every summer, I would beg my parents to take me to Ontario Place. Why? Because of the Nintendo Power Pod. It was basically a room in what is now Atlantis Nightclub, that was filled with demos of SNES, NES and GB games. And of course, they had WW on SNES. I would go there every day during the summer and beat down everyone with Guile. And to ensure that no one would pick Guile first, I made sure that I got there before they powered up everything, and entered the Mirror code: Down, R, Up, L, Y, B, X, A. That was from memory btw, I didn’t google it.
This of course was before I had even heard of an arcade, let alone seen one. Then one day, I had a P.A. Day, but my dad had to go to work. So he took me to Funland. And I thought I found paradise. They had SSF2 Tournament Edition. 4 machines linked together. I played there ever chance I got. I would skip school to play. If I found a quarter in the couch, I would sneak out and play. When ST came out, I did the same thing. Old school rules still applied: Throwbacks, mercy rounds and no hitting on dizzy. I remember going to New York, and played some dude in MSH, and he kept throwing me and didn’t give me mercy. I thought “Americans are cheap.”
Alpha 2 (Sakura), COTA (Cyclops), MSH (Blackheart), XvsSF (Sabretooth, Juggernaut), MvC (Chun-Li, Strider). I played these games to death. And then SF3 came out. And I didn’t like it. Didn’t get the parry system, didn’t like all the wierd characters.
So I stopped playing. Sure, I played MvC2 when it came out (Sim, Cammy, Amingo…(high damage), but after awhile, I stopped playing it as much when the novelty died down. I finished HS, met my current gf, and we went off to Waterloo together. During my 2nd year there, I bought a Dreamcast, so I could play MvC2, even though my gf told me not to :devil:
Then one day, Capcom vs SNK came out…
Chapter 1: #tosf and shoryuken.com
Now, I only played CvS by myself. No one, as far as I knew, played street fighter in Waterloo. Feeling kind of homesick, I yahoo’d “Street Fighter”, and “Toronto”. A shoryuken.com forum link came up. And it was the results of a recent CvS1 tourny. 1. Cameron Dhanraj. 2. Greg Baba 3. Devon. I got excited. Apparently, people still play seriously in Toronto. I thought to myself, “Who are these jokers? I bet I could beat them” So I registered an account on Jan 2001, and posted “Where do you guys play?”, and waited for a reply. The next day, I checked the forums, and got a reply from one of the players in the tournament.
A player by the name of Jay Wang.
He told me that most of the good CvS players either play at STC or VA/VF. So one weekend, I decided to come back to Toronto and check out VA/VF. My first impressions were not good.
For those of you who have ever been to VA/VF, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s located in a mall, near Brimley and Eglinton. And by mall, I mean strip mall. And by strip mall, I mean ghetto strip mall. So I started at one end, and walked my way towards the other end, trying to find the arcade. All I saw was rundown fabric store, dollar store, Arabic grocery store, textile store, closed store, closed store, closed store, chinese take out Store, arcade, fabric store…wait, found it.
So I go inside, and there’s no one there. Granted, it was 5 pm. But at 5 pm, downtown funland is full of people who will stab you for a quarter. Anyway, I lied. There was one person there playing CvS, and for some reason, he had it on ratio mode, and was using Nak/Yamazaki. He must be pretty good, I thought, so I put my quarter in, picked EX Bison/ EX Bison and challenged him.
I destroyed him. He played me 2 more games, and I beat him 2 more times. And then he stopped playing me. But he didn’t leave. He just watched me beat the game. Twice. I thought he was waiting for a good time to punch me in the face. I later found out that this was Bryan (Tommyboi). Anyway, I was hungry, so I decided to go to KFC, and hopefully, when I was done, there would be more people.
When I got back to the arcade, the place was pretty packed. A lot of Marvel players, some 3rd strike players, and some kid sitting on the CvS machine wearing a wool hat indoors. He was using Balrog and gathered up a nice win streak. So I put my quarter up, next to the other 5 quarters on the top of the machine and waited to play him. I picked EX-Bison, and EX-Yuri, and right away the kid turns to me and says, “Hey, are you kymah?” I said yes, who are you?
“I’m Jay Wang”.
So we play a few games, and I beat him with EX-Bison scams. I ended up staying there and playing the whole night. Huge streaks on CvS, discovering that people don’t play Marvel on high damage machines, getting owned by Jay Wang’s Blackheart, and not knowing what I was doing in 3rd strike.
All in all, I had a great time, having not played this level of people in god knows how many years. I went back to Waterloo, but would come back ever so often to play at VA/VF, and STC, meeting new people each time.
The first time I went to STC, I saw a little kid just destroying people with Ken. All he would do was Jab uppercut, Super. But he would hit psychic uppercuts all the time, only missing once or twice. I though he was a guru or something. I played him, a lost a couple of times.
Me: "You’re pretty good, you must me psychic or something"
Player: “No, I’m Wing.”
So we played a few more games, and he beat me a lot. And then I was going to leave to go to VA/VF, until I heard someone say “Hey Girls”. Enter the Gem1nite entourage, which consisted of Barry, the fob in the hat with glasses, and some wonder kid. Barry, Hat and Glasses Fob, and Wonder Kid started splitting games and ended up beating Wing with Honda/Guile.
And then I went to VA/VF and met old man Greg, who kept throwing me with Blanka and then supering me. And then he would just destroy me with Chun.
I went back to Waterloo feeling defeated, but spent hours, just practicing combos and tricks with EX-Bison, hoping that they would run another tourney that I could join.
That day would eventually come.
Chapter 2: Kymah’s first tournament, or how I met Team Montreal
One day, while checking the Toronto forums, I found a post left by DrunkinB: Upcoming Street Fighter Tournament. CvS Team Tournament, Marvel vs Capcom 2, and 3rd Strike.
YES!, my day has finally come! I started practicing even more, and started watching match videos they posted on SRK. John Choi vs JChensor was a match that I watched over and over, and learned how to exploit EX-Yuri.
And then, [media=youtube]Ki1la6cHDok"[/media] got posted. And that video just fed my hype.
There was only one problem; I needed a partner. So I made a post requesting a teammate. Bryan (Tommyboi) was the first to reply, so we teamed up.
The subsequent posts on the tourney forum basically consisted of people trying to team up with each other. One post, however, caught my eye:
“Hello, we are a group of players from Montreal, and we are interested in coming to your tournament.”
Montreal?, I thought, do they even play street fighter?
I wasn’t sure if they were going to be much of a challenge, but I still wanted to know what I would be up against. So I asked who they used in CvS:
“Well I use Sakura, and my teammate uses Evil Ryu”
LOL, Sakura and Evil Ryu??? Surely they must be scrubs.
Me: Are you guys good?
Temujin: Well I’m pretty good, and Prez is one of our best players
Alright, I thought. Sakura and Evil Ryu. Nothing to fear. So I thought nothing of it.
The night before the tournament, I took the bus down from Waterloo, to get a few games in before the tournament, and to practice with Tommyboi. I got a huge win streak, and went home confident, even though I hadn’t played any Montreal players yet; they were arriving the next day.
My confidence was further boosted when I logged onto SRK, and found a post in the Strategy forum:
I went to bed feeling very good about winning the tournament.
The next day I got to VA, and Montreal had already arrived. And Prez was just killing people with Normal Ryu. Sandbagging, of course. Anyway, I took a look at the teams that were formed:
Greg “Chunnnerv” Baba + Cameron Dhanraj, aka Team 2nd and 1st at the last tournament.
Gem1nite + Fob with hat and glasses, aka Barry and Jahingir “YellowS4” Ngoy
^Flightwing^ + Wonderkid, aka Wing Siu and !Jonstar
Prez and Temujin
And, JayWang + random Montreal Guy.
Apparently, some Montreal guy didn’t have a partner, so JayWang offered to be his partner. Which caused the rest of us to call him a traitor for the rest of the day.
That was some stiff competition. Several top players grouped together. However, once the tourney started, everything started falling into place.
Wing was so nervous playing in his first tourney, that he couldn’t play at all, and him and !Jonstar pretty much went 2 and out.
Greg and Cameron lost to Jaywang and mtl guy, because Jaywang did Nak’s healing super in the last seconds of the final match against Greg for the win. This was the first and only time I’ve seen Greg smash the buttons after a match.
Me and Tommyboi sent Barry and Jay into losers.
So now it was me and Bryan vs Prez and Tony in winner’s finals. We lose the first match in a very close game. The second match, Bryan takes out Tony’s sak, and it’s my EX-Bison vs Prez’s Evil Ryu. Prez would constantly hit me with crouching jab, crouching jab, crouching roundhouse xx lk hurricane, fierce uppercut. Then he would cross you up and do it again. So I did the only thing I could: Delayed Get up. That messed up his game enough for me to throw him everytime he went for the combo. Both of us got down to a pixel of life. I headstomp him. Prez Fierce DP’s after blocking it. I fly away, and then fly back and hit him with the headstomp followup to tie the match at 1 game a piece.
3rd game? Tony’s sak OCV’d us. :sad:
Now we had to face Barry and Jay in Loser’s Finals. Barry switches to S-Groove and uses Guile and destroys us by doing his rush super. If you blocked it, he would do super again, and you would get hit, because you pushed something. And then he would combo it into flash kick super. And then we died.
Oh well, now we get to watch Barry and Jay vs Prez and Temujin. Let me tell you this: the room was super hyper. Nobody thought Barry and Jay could win from Loser’s Brackets. But everytime Barry scammed Temujin and Prez with roll, roll, splash, roll, roll, throw, roll, roll, super, the crowd exploded. As they came closer to winning, everyone started the “na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, hey-hey-eh, goodbye” chant. Eventually, YellowS4 beat Prez for the win, and the bragging rights.
That tournament was very exciting for me, as it was my first one, and it had so many great matches. And it was great having players come from out of town to play in the tourney as well. I started wondering if maybe I should do the same.
Chapter 3: Kymah goes west, or Journey to MWC
I’m playing at VA/VF one day, and in walks White Reflection, Dennis Kim and Andy. Apparently, they just came back from a MvC2 tournament out of town. I didn’t even hear about it, but it turns out they took top 3.
- White Reflection
- Dennis Kim
- Andy (using Megaman)
I thought that was pretty awesome, so I asked them where they went.
Jack: "Yes, London."
Me: "So you got 1st place in London?"
Jack: "Yes, London."
Me: “So you’re like…God.”
And that’s how Jack is God started.
But this got me thinking…How well would I do in a tournament outside of Toronto? And it just so happens that DrunkinB was there. Apparently, there was some US Tournament going on in Chicago, and he was planning on going. So he asked me if I wanted to go, and I said sure, why the hell not?
The people going were:
Kin “kymah” Mah
Shawn “drunkinB” Brown
Wing “^flightwing^” Siu
and…Spencer, from fairview.
We all decide to meet at fairview, because that was easiest. Shawn was driving, and the idea was that halfway there, Spencer and him would switch, since Spencer is the only other person with a driver’s license.
So we get close to the border, and the conversation goes like this:
Shawn: "You want to switch driving after the border?"
Spencer: "I didn’t bring my driver’s license"
So Shawn ended up driving us the whole time. After what seems like forever, we finally reach Illinois. Time to fill up on gas.
We come to what I can only describe as the ghettoist, most run-down, sorry excuse for a gas station on earth. There were potholes everywhere, and a burnt out car to the side.
Shawn gets out to pump gas, and this random black guy, who doesn’t even work there comes up to him and starts pumping the gas for him. Immediately, Spencer locks all the doors. I repeat, Spencer locks all the doors. The biggest dude in the car locks all the doors. Not me, not wing, not bryan, Spencer.
Anyway, after the random black guy finishes pumping the gas, he sticks his hand out, and shawn gives him a $10. Shawn goes to pay for gas, and we leave.
Spencer: "What did that guy want from you?"
Shawn: "He just started pumping the gas"
Spencer: "Why did you pay him?"
Shawn: “Because I didn’t want to get shot.”
So we start making our way to the hotel to get some shut eye.
The next day, we start making out way to the arcade.
When we get there, who greets us? None other than David Spence. We chat for a bit and then head on inside. I find out for the first time that, it’s Nickel City, and it’s the Mid-West Championships. So all the games take nickels. Awesome! All I have to do is pay the entrance fee, and I can play all these games for a nickel! Which is misleading of course. It really should be called Nickels City, plural. Because the newer games were like 7 nickels. And the slots always got jammed. Remember those old machines in your local arcade where sometimes the coin slot would jam? Well take that sometimes and times it by 7. That’s 7 chances to get your nickel jammed. I’m pretty sure I paid $1 for some of those games. However, there was also a free section, where some of the games were on free play. I spent most of my time there, when I was waiting for matches.
We all start signing up for our games. I signed up for 3s and CvS. Then we started playing some casuals, but the machines are just crowded. The lineups were huge. Wing, however, gets on a machine and starts racking up like 15+ wins. And everyone was thinking this kid is like Jimmy Woods from the Wizard. Eventually, we met up with team Montreal, and we just hang out for a bit, shooting the shit. I finally see a free CvS machine available, so I jump on it. I pick EX-Bison, EX-Yuri, and start the game. And then someone challenges me. I look over to see who it is.
Oh shit, it’s Alex Valle!
So he puts his quarter in, and picks Evil Ryu. I’m gonna die, I’m thinking. But I play him like I played Prez, and I win somehow :amazed:. Then he puts another quarter in, picks Evil Ryu again, and I win again. :wtf: And then one of his friends walks by, watches us play and says “Let me play a game”. So Ricky Ortiz picks Evil Ryu. And I win again :encore: Valle challenges me with Evil Ryu again, and in the middle of our match, I hear “Alex Valle to Marvel 2, Alex Valle to Marvel 2.” But of course it’s Alex Valle, and they’re aren’t going to disqualify me. So he keeps playing, and eventually hits me with Raging Demon, and leaves to play his match.
But I’m not dead yet. So I kill his Evil Ryu.
And that’s the history of my signature. Yes, it’s that old.
Anyway, the CvS tourney is about to start.
For some reason, they decided to run the tournament a little differently. Firstly, they separated everyone into 14 different pools. Only the player who got first place in their pool advanced. Secondly, they offered a re-entry tournament. That meant that, if you didn’t win your pool, you had a chance to join another tournament, and the top 2 people of that tournament would make up the 15th, and 16th player for the final 16. :wtf:
I ended up losing my first match to a random guile player, so I had to dig my way out of losers.
Now I don’t remember all the players I beat, but I do remember two in particular:
Viscant. And Ed Ma. That’s right, they both fell victim to EX-Bison scams.
I made it all the way to Grand Finals in my pool. And had to play Ricky-O. And I died. His Nak just had a field day with me.
Oh well, at least I had a chance in the re-entry tournament. However, due to time constraints, they change it to a single elimination tourney. I lose to another random Guile player, and I’m out.
And who were the two people that re-qualified?: Viscant. And Ed Ma. :sleep:
That was pretty much the end for me. In 3S, I got killed, because I used Urien SAI, and all I did was wait for shoto sweeps, and then counter with TYRANT SLAUGHTER!. And then I lost to Jason Cole’s Chun-Li.
Other matches I remember:
Wing’ Ryu is winning against Jason Cole’s Balrog in CvS. He hits Jumping HK, Crouching MK xx Fireball, Cole doesn’t die, SUPERS Wing for the win before Ryu can recover from the fireball animation.
Bryan plays 4 Ratio 1’s against Jason Nelson’s Guile and gets Shut Down, including 2 perfects. He later comments about how he wanted to punch the screen halfway through the match.
I see Tony (Temujin), walking around, absolutely livid. I ask him what happened:
Kin - "Hey Tony, how’s it going?"
Tony - "I’m fucking mad, I just got eliminated by some guy from Detroit"
Kin - "Oh yeah? He must of been good?"
Tony - “No, he’s a fucking scrub, all he did was use S-Groove Iori, and do his Level 3 Fireball super over and over again.” Walks away.
Kin - "Where are you going?"
Tony - "To plan his murder"
Kin - “…”
Poor George Massau.
Afterward, we all go back to the hotel to play some casuals. Except that the tv’s in the rooms had no a/v input. So we decided to buy an RF adapter at the local store. It’s $8.95 US. I give the cashier $10 US. He gives me $10.05 in change. I leave. That’s what happens when all your money looks the same :lovin:
So that was my first US National tournament. Humbling, yes. But we all took back tricks and tactics to use against everyone at our next local tournament. Hopefully, they will prove to be useful.
Chapter 4: T2, Judgment Day
After the events of the CvS Team Tournament, Montreal wanted revenge. And so, Shawn decided to host another tournament. This time, however, it would be a singles tournament, so no one could blame or rely on their teammate; it would be every man for themselves. We all started training every weekend for this event.
On July 14, 2001, the day of reckoning was finally here. In addition to Montreal, however, several players from Detroit came to, notably VDO or RDG. And Massau. Tony’s gonna want his revenge.
So Montreal had several players, Detroit brought some of their best talent, there were players from the filly as well. And then, London, Ontario sent 2 players. Arctic Ninja. And Geese.
Geese is like “that piece of shit that you keep flushing and flushing, but you can never get down the toilet” - Shawn Michaels. Everybody hated him. He’s been banned from SRK, had several death threats against him, and has been ridiculed on irc more times than I can count. But he decided to come to T2 anyway.
I don’t remember how he placed. I’m going to assume two and out in every game. But I do remember that whenever he played, people started booing him, and cheering for the other player. In fact, when he was playing me in casuals, someone threw a water bottle at his head. I think it was full.
Now I learned two important things coming back from MWC: Learn Nak, because she’s cheap. And sandbag, so no one can expects your shit until they face you in the tournament.
So that’s what I did. I learned all the cheap stuff with Nak. And when I played casuals, I sandbagged with Guile. I still racked up a huge win streak with though.
I joined every tournament. Even MvC2. I picked Bison, and went two and out. Everyone told me to stick to CvS.
CvS finally started. And from the get go, it was clear that something was clearly wrong with brackets. Instead of seeding people, everyone was placed in the brackets by region. Which meant that top players from one city ended up facing top players from another city. In the first round.
I ended up playing a young player by the name of Freddy. Freddyloco. I picked EX-Bison and EX-Yuri. It was close, but I ended up losing, much to the delight of the Montreal Crew. So after the first round, I was sent to losers.
I was pissed. So I tore through most of the losers bracket by steamrolling people with Nak. I didn’t care who they were, I played them like I was playing against Rickey Ortiz.
Now because of the way the brackets were set up, I ended playing a LOT of good players in losers: Temujin. Jonstar!. Greg. JayWang. and Wing. I somehow scammed them all with EX-Bison.
*Now, I’m going to mention the Montreal screw job. This may, or may not be accurate, as most of what I’m going to talk about is hearsay. But this is basically what I understood.
JFL and Prez are in winners finals, and I was waiting to play the loser for 3rd. JFL mentions to Prez that he didn’t know how to fight EX-Bison, but Prez did. So the deal was for Prez to lose to JFL, eliminate me, and then split the pot. Prez ended up destroying me, but when he went back to JFL and said “So we’ll split the pot?” JFL ended up saying “No, let’s play for it”. They did, and Prez won.
I’m sorry if this is a total fabrication; please correct me if it is.*
So that’s how T2 ended for me. I had a great time though, had a lot of great matches, and ate a lot of Fu Man Chu. That’s not slang for pussy. It’s the name of the Chinese take-out place next door, which I can only assume made most of it’s revenue from arcade goers.
And in typical Tournament log form, here are some highlights:
Massau hitting everyone with the S-Iori gimmick. He would constantly charge his meter to almost full. Then, we his life got to flashing, he would charge it fully, and then throw the super out. If it hit you, he would charge his meter to almost full again, super combo you, and then run away, finish the charge and start all over again. If you blocked it, he would charge the meter full. And because you are in block stun, you couldn’t get to him before he had full meter again. I don’t know who beat him, but I’m glad they did.
Temujin promising to end my life, because I scammed him with EX-Bison. He also threatened to kill Jonstar! for scamming him with Honda, which he only learned that day. I think he’s going to do it at TX
3rd strike finals were so sick. Final match, final round. Oro vs 12. [media=youtube]rSmjZ0jyX18"[/media]. Remember, this was 8 years ago. I promised to never play 3s again, after seeing all those sick matches. I would later break that promise.
So that’s my log for T2. For me, that was the pinnacle of competition between all the original members of TOSF. Everything just seemed a little different afterwards. Some people still play. Some dropped off. Some got married. Some got jobs. Others went to jail.
But that’s the great thing about Street Fighter. No matter what’s happening with your life, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen your old Street Fighter buddies, you can always just pick up your controller, call them up and say, “Let’s play a few games.”
Epilogue: Dawn of the new players.
To be continued.