<CigarBoB> For EVO2005 I ran my stuff on the side, didn’t have anything to do with EVO officially. I ran ST during Marvel.
<VF4> So at EVO2005 is the 3v3 side tourney for ST, and the PS1 version for the main event.
<CigarBoB> Yea, but everyone there considered the main EVO event to be subpar to my 3v3.
<CigarBoB> You can see a ton of top players in that pic: DGV, Seth Killian, Apoc, Bob Painter, Bacardi, me and Sabre, Sirlin, Justin Wong, Chikyuu, Gian, NKI, I think I even see DreamTR.
<VF4> NKI’s team won the 3v3 that year?
<CigarBoB> Yep, Chikyuu gave his winnings to Gian and NKI because he didn’t think he deserved them.
<VF4> yeah [media=youtube]TTdUB6z63HI"[/media] as well.
<CigarBoB> Gian was amazing, never played a Dhalsim like him, he inspired me to play Sim after that, I spent a year just playing with Zazza. Gian’s knowledge of the game is amazing, but you have to have that level to play high level sim, IMO DHalsim is #1 in ST but he is the hardest to win with. IMO there were no U.S. Sim players nearly as good as Gian. Cole is good but he wasn’t up to his level, if he ever was I don’t know
<CigarBoB> But as far as ST at EVO that year it was a widely head belief that my arcade ST tourney was the real one and the EVO console one was just for fun. After that evo I went home and played nonstop with Zazza. [media=youtube]URPdlPnFWSI"[/media]. Break for food, then back to games. Joe and I were playing nonstop, either on LIVE or in person, getting sharper and sharper, then EVO2006 came around and my life fell apart with work and I couldn’t go. I recovered and was getting ready for Evo07 and that is when the mortgage industry fell out and I lost everything.
<VF4> you remember the hype around CCC2?
<CigarBoB> Fuck yea, never played it, had my cab, never needed to, by then if it wasn’t CPS2 I didn’t want to touch it.
<VF4> so you didn’t go to EVO2007?
<CigarBoB> EVO07 I lost everything when the mortgage industry crashed., then I had a serious bout of depression that i couldn’t get over for a long time, I’m sure you have read about me not delivering some sticks that I was to build, it was at this time that that happened, to Mike Watson, I totally flaked on it, during that time i kind of avoided anything to do with SF. i was really embarrassed about what I did but, Giga [alias of Zazza] brought me back. I contacted the people i wronged and made amends. [media=youtube]ckBNags3ovE"[/media], one day I installed GGPO, I played every day, hours and hours, getting better and better, not just returning to form, I was finding new levels that I had never seen before, I was getting closer and closer to Zazza, my Gief was on point, Zazza would have to pull out all his tricks to beat me.
CigarBoB’s GGPO setup
<VF4> what new things made you better? new tricks or techniques? higher reversal percentage? greater matchup knowledge?
<CigarBoB> Watching Jodim, exposure to higher level play, [media=youtube]ul1ur-fbRC0"[/media], there were a ton of good US players as well, I remember playing 40+ games with Ganelon Claw vs Gief. GGPO then was 100 people all the time, top players all the time. Lots of players had big egos on GGPO though, when Grahm Wolfe would jump in on GGPO and I could see him in my mind stroking his own ego.
One night it got so bad that I challenged him to a FT10. I played my ken, and at this point in 2008 I was at the best I had ever played. I beat him 10-4 ken versus Rog, right before that Giga beat him 10-2 Dictator vs Rog. He stopped coming to GGPO for a long time after that because he couldn’t handle losing. Lots of top players can’t take losing on GGPO so they play under alt names to hide their identities. Now GGPO is a shadow of its former self, you have people like Willdestroya thinking they are top players because no one good plays on GGPO often enough to challenge him and knock him down. There just aren’t enough top players, online and offline, to constantly raise the bar. Guys like [media=youtube]Q4QAmRdC6mc"]Ganelon, Damdai, and Rambo deserved to be on the [, because they are top players, the rest of the U.S. I’m not sure about right now.
<VF4> There aren’t enough players in the U.S. to get to the level that the Japanese are?
<CigarBoB> That is just a truth that some people don’t want to own up to, GGPO is a great tool but you are still limited to the level of players, most people on there are stagnate and don’t improve, I’m always pushing my game to get better, but i can only get better than my competition, so there is a limit. You never discover the little things that really matter, for example with Gief, after a knock down you do a meaty st.lk so it hits last frame, makes it a safe meaty because it has 0 recovery, then you SPD to down back during the kick, it’s the little things like that with Gief that take your game to the next level
<CigarBoB> I didn’t go to EVO2008 but i took my cab to 09, by then I had actually built and sold 4 other cabs like mine, but by then I could tell everyone was into HDR.
<VF4> before HDR came out what’d you expect of the project?
<CigarBoB> I had really high hopes but i knew that Sirlin would be the weak link, the second i saw Fei’s changes I knew it wouldn’t be as good, even on paper they don’t make sense, when Sirlin posted his change list I make a huge post of why they were wrong. There was one time when him
and I were in a room, I was still really sharp on my game from GGPO and playing Fei, I played Brian’s Guile and ripped him a new asshole. I didn’t use one thing that Sirlin put in the game, didn’t even use CW at all.
<VF4> O.Fei style
<CigarBoB> Yeah, exactly, Sirlin on the mic said “See that is why I made Fei like that”, then I spoke up “Sirlin you have no idea what you are talking about. I played that match the exact same way I did in ST. Infact, I had to limit my self to no CW’s because they suck now”. He left the room and wouldn’t talk to me any more after that.
<VF4> you played the HDR beta online and discovered the [media=youtube]KwSoMMDXlXk"[/media]?
<CigarBoB> Yeah and posted a video to show the speed difference, they changed it right after that, even used the video to demo it. After HDR came out I played it for two months, then quit, never went back, HDR just never felt right to me.
<VF4> did you go on GGPO after HDR came out?
<CigarBoB> Yeah i went back to GGPO, but it was crickets around there, 30-40 at peak times, really bad.
<VF4> I remember HDR being really popular on XBL/PSN when it first came out
<CigarBoB> really popular, it was crazy, you could go on and play nonstop, i remember i had a record of like 200-9 the first few days, it was actually really boring, then all the iThugs, trashing on me for throwing them
<VF4> you went to EVO2009 despite HDR being featured? and by that point you didn’t like HDR all that much?
<CigarBoB> I didn’t like HDR at all, I still entered it, lost to Caesar on stage, made it to the finals of my bracket vs Viscant, then vs Viscant my make shift table broke and I missed a combo to kill him with Gief. At this point most of the top ST players didn’t like HDR, people like SJV were into it and we would have heated discussions about it. Even at this point Damdai was more into HDR than ST, because he didn’t have to deal with O.Sagat and Claw. Now he is on the other side, and I agree with him about Gief being over powered on HDR. I still find it funny that people like SJV think that they are experts on ST, he was never anything more than average at ST, but now he is an “expert” and prefers HDR
<CigarBoB> Ok so EVO2009, I was running another 3v3 and we had 24 teams for arcade ST, but Ponder came over and shut it down because they needed the floor for the main tourney. The setup was awesome, I had a camera to record the faces, and direct feed audio from the crowd. But Ponder told me to shut it down and refund everyone’s money. If I go to EVO this year Im doing a singles ST tourney, big money only like [URL=“http://shoryuken.com/f7/seasons-beatings-redemption-u-s-vs-intl-ssfiv-5-5-oct-15-17-columbus-oh-245802/”]Season’s Beatings Redemption](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaSMnhGk5Qs"[/media).
<VF4> now after EVO2009 what did you think about the future of ST?
<CigarBoB> IMO the ST community is slowing fading away, one day it will be gone , in japan maybe it will live on, but here… Its GGPO or nothing. I have a hard time seeing any type of real revival of ST as long as HDR is alive, if we can get rid of HDR and converted 10% of the players to ST then it would be good. HDR killed real ST, nothing more to be said about it.
<VF4> would you settle for HDR Classic Mode?
<CigarBoB> Settle? Yea i guess, but I’m at this point in my life that playing anything less than CPS2 is like giving up on a dream.
<VF4> where you surprised that EVO2010 was HDR Remix Mode again?
<CigarBoB> Not at all, why would they switch from HDR to ST? It would just kill them for all the noobs that play it, and there aren’t enough old men to play classic in high numbers.
<VF4> I think if you invited YuuVega, Otochun, Kurahashi, and a few others to EVO, it would be enormous for ST and get a lot of people to come out.
<CigarBoB> Yeah, but why would they come here to play HDR Classic Mode when they can just stay at home and play real ST in the arcade in X-Mania?