Tournament newbie questions


First, short background: I’m a PS3 online warrior (maybe not the best opening gambit, sure I lost a few readers there). Been interested in going to tournaments for a while but they are all on XBox 360, so finally brought myself a second stick, the Qanba (also known as the EightArc in the U.S.) so I could use it when I went to tournaments.

My first tournament, single elimination, went in too hard (my Dudley vs. their Honda), and when the match finished I realised I was running high with adrenaline by how dry my mouth was… Thought, fine, standard for first tournament, there’s always next time!

Went to my second tournament yesterday, double elimination, felt fine, decided to drink water just in case, felt much more comfortable. Came up against a Ryu, and I’m an online warrior, so I know that match(!), and… I just dropped links all over the place, and otherwise just didn’t perform to the level I really expect of myself.

So, I can’t be the only person who’s experienced this sort of thing. Firstly, is this just normal, and just nerves that I have to overcome before I can play what I feel is my standard game?

Secondly, I’ve heard before that there were differences in lag of a frame or two between the PS3/XBox version. This isn’t actually a factor when switching between consoles, is it? I play on a zero lag display at home, and I’m only using two frame links (Dudley fMK, cLP, cLP, sHK xx / fHK, cLP, sHK xx / cLK, cLP, sHK xx / etc.) so it’s hardly the hardest and/or tightest set of combos to perform, and I can do these fine online with reasonable consistency, but I just wasn’t hitting this at all yesterday, particularly, bizarrely, I thought, the fMK into cLP link.

Thing is, I don’t know anyone with an XBox, me and my friends are all on PS3, so I have no way to really test this out without shelling out the money for the console and copy of the game, for something that might actually be a non-issue. I would love to sit my PS3 and an XBox side by side and just practice a combo on one, and then do exactly the same thing on the second and see if there is a difference. But that’s not an option.

The thing is, I think the uncertainty about hitting my links on the 360 is feeding back into my tournament nerves, and it just means that I’m mixing myself up before the tournament has even started.

Are response times between 360 and PS3 actually a difference, and if I want to compete I have to shell out for an entirely new console and copy of the game to practice on? Or, is this just standard nerve stuff that I need to hit a few tournaments to gain enough experience with so that I actually feel comfortable?


…most people experience this when they first start playing in front of crowds. It goes away eventually unless there is just something wrong with you.


since i have been playing ego shooters competetively for like 10 years before playing fighting games i got used to playing in front of crowds, i even like it and get even more hype! sickest scenes of me playing are always when 10+ guys are sitting behind me cheering like morons ;D

but when i went to my first offline meeting a few weeks ago (no tournament) i was nervous like hell o_O i got so much experience in other games, but i wanted to perform well vs those ppl of whom i knew that they were some of germans finest… first games i played like sh*t and dropped everything but after getting used to the setting etc. i performed very well…
imo its only a matter of experience and accustomization - just keep on playing tournaments and the things you describe will go away!

good luck for your next one and N1 for playing duds ;D


I was nervous as hell in my first tournament, but it shouldn’t take you too long to get over that. It might help getting to tournaments early to get some casuals in, that way you shouldn’t be as nervous and you’ll be more used to the environment.


stuff not answered, answered -

lag difference between ps3 and 360 is noticeable. it will affect you if you don’t do a few warm up rounds on x console - however, after a few rounds on the other console, you’ll be fine. so just run some casuals before the tournament starts if you can or play slowly so you have time to adjust.

sometimes gatherings have less than great monitors that can affect execution as well. the solution to this is to bring your set up or look into helping contribute for a good monitor/tv.

nerves are going to drop your combos a lot at first even if you don’t really feel that nervous. it’ll be easier to manage with time, as stated.


Ah, excellent, /doffs cap

I have now actually managed to source a 360 to borrow, and I’ve bought a cheap copy of AE from eBay, the next step for me is to plug both into my rig, get used to the combos on my PS3, and then switch channels to the XBox and then do the same, get used to switching back and forth between the two…

I think that the overriding issue then is both issues combined, as in, I drop combos at first because of the lag differences, and then mix myself up with nerves while trying to adjust, and never hit that place I am comfortable. If I make myself comfortable with the lag differences and remove that from the equation, then I just have the standard nerves to deal with and can manage that one variable much more easily, rather than trying to balance two.

Play slowly is probably the best piece of advice here… Both because I seemed to get hyper aggressive with the adrenaline running, and I always seemed to be pressing the buttons for linked pokes too quickly, and even plinked, I wasn’t getting my next poke come out… I did play a few matches afterwards, against the person who knocked me out of losers (he was very open to talking about the matches after, and very cool), but things seemed to get progressively worse with my execution, not better. The repeated messages of “this gets better with time” fills me with hope, however, whereas before it felt a bit hopeless :slight_smile:

Yeah, I do wonder whether that is also part of my problem however. Dudley is also the character I feel most comfortable with, and most suits my playstyle, but I’m not really sure he fits the SFIV engine as a character design, especially since he has no rose (despite Ibuki getting a similar free oki set up with her meaty kunai, /rolls eyes).

Despite me playing Dudley since SSFIV came out, I don’t know whether, if I am going to spend this time and energy travelling to tournaments, that he’s the correct horse to back… Part of the problem is most other characters I am also interested in are also “low tier” (I find their character designs most interesting, and I seem to have the most synergy with them - maybe I’m not built for the SFIV engine ;)).

I do believe SFIV is reasonably well balanced though, and Dudley is currently by far my strongest character, so it would take a long time to gain the match up experience with other characters… And I’m obviously a very late comer to the tournament scene for SFIV, already trying to play catch up with everyone else as it is… (And such issues have prevented me from playing SFIII at any real level at all, I feel like people will always be a step ahead, despite always loving that game since owning it on the Dreamcast).

Think I just need to work out being able to actually perform at tournaments first with Dudley in SFIV, and once i have that I can look to branch out, different character or even different game. But one step at a time…

TL:DR; Cheers for the feedback guys :slight_smile:


Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude. You have no fucking idea!!

The closest thing to a “tournament” I had ever played in was back in high school when some friends and I spent one Friday night playing a four-man, 5-stock, 8-stage game of Bomberman on the Saturn for a $25-$15 prize pool that we all threw down on (I won, by the way). Besides that, nothing. No fighting games, no racing games, no sports games, no FPS, no RTS… not even some piddly little Blockbuster tournament.

My first tournament for any game ever was EVO 2012.

Honestly, the last thing I expected was a case of nerves. I went to EVO this year because I’m going to be moving out of the country (hell, the entire continental landmass) next year–probably permanently–and going to EVO was a dream of mine since 2005. I thought that I was going with the sole purpose of playing some fighting games, meeting some people I admire from the FGC, getting swept up in the hype, and just giving pools my absolute best shot, knowing that I was probably the calmest, most relaxed dude in my pool–strike that–in all of Vegas. And… wow.


Yeah, I could not possibly have been more wrong. When I (rather predictably) made my 0-2 exit, I shook my opponents’ hands, thanked them for the games, stood up from my seat, and walked away in total bewilderment at what had just happened. All I could think as I walked over to meet my friends was: “who overclocked all the PS3s?” Street Fighter had never felt that fast before. I was eating jump-ins, mistiming focuses, neutral jumping onto fireballs; my ultra was too early, my ultra was too late, my ultra didn’t come out; I dropped my links, missed my cancels, poked when I shouldn’t have, froze up when I should’ve… my FADC ended up just coming out as an FAC, for fucking out loud. How does that even happen?! It was like my everything from my shoulders on down somehow turned to jelly and cement all at once, all while I frantically tried to keep up with fucking Agent Smith on the stick next to me making me his bitch in bullet-time.

I have never felt so utterly helpless in my entire life. The funniest part is, a couple of weeks later, I finally decided that I might have the stomach to go back and watch the videos one of my friends recorded of my matches. Truth be told, I didn’t really do that badly. Hell, I even took a round off of the guy who nearly won out of pools in the loser’s bracket. That said, I was, in no way shape or form, prepared for my first tournament. I don’t see how anyone can be.

What a blast, though! I’m even trying to delay my move next year until late July so I can go back. I’m already training hard for it. The goal is to win out of pools (might as well aim high, right?), but 1-2 would be a nice consolation prize…


Post the videos homie!


Ugh… I made peace with my own suckitude enough to watch them, that doesn’t mean I want to go showing off to everyone else where on the doll the bad men touched me!!

Nah, I’m just kidding. I think I moved them off of my phone and onto my home computer. I’m not going home tonight, but I’ll dig them up when I get back tomorrow afternoon. Fair warning: prolonged exposure to my panicked flailing may cause brain damage. View at your own risk!