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‘Fight A New Rival’ Tournament @ Don’s Arcade April 18th

Eltrouble is hosting the ‘Fight A New Rival’ Super Turbo tournament to be held on April 18th at Don’s Arcade.

When: April 18th @ 4PM PST
Where: Don’s Arcade (PM Don on Facebook for the address)

Format: 3/5 Games – Double Elimination
Hardware: Japanese H2H cabs
Entry Fee: $15
Stream: http://www.twitch.tv/arkadeum

Special Damdai kumite will follow the tournament.

Revolution: Genesis

Nor Cal Regionals 2015 Super Turbo Tournament

Super Turbo will be featured as a “Community Choice Game” tournament at Nor Cal Regionals with a $5 entry fee.  There will be one UD-CPS2 station along with a second Supergun station that will have a UD-CPS2 converter.

Registration for NCR is $35 until February 28th and will be $45 from March 1st to March 27th.  On-site emergency registration will be $60.

To regsiter, head over to the Nor Cal Regionals website.  Contact ultracombo for any questions or head over to the Nor Cal Street Fighter 2 Facebook Group.

a-cho ALL CAPCOM Histrical vsgame Olympic 2015

The annual a-cho ALL Capcom tournament featuring a number of fighting games took place on January 10th.  Here are the results from the SSF2X tournament:

Date: January 10th, 2015
Entrants: 19
Bracket

1st – MAO (Claw)
2nd – Gotou (Ryu)
3rd – SIN (Honda)
4th – Fujimon (Dee Jay)
5th – Shogatsu (O. Honda)
5th – The Superstar (Boxer)
5th – Murasaki (Dictator)
5th – Batayan (Guile)

Other participants: Yondaime (N.Sagat), Takahashi (Dictator), Edo (Chun-Li), Matsuken (Ken), KKY (Dhalsim), Shigaken (Ken), Gunze (Zangief), Bonza x Miruzu (Ryu), Samue (O. Ryu), Miyachi (Guile), Shinji (Fei Long)

 

Lucky Jim’s ST Report from Japan

I visited Japan last year for the first time, and made sure to get some Street Fighter time in while I was staying in Tokyo. I wanted to share my experiences with you all in order to encourage you to go visit Japan if you have never been, or encourage those who have already been to return! It truly is a surreal experience. I don’t do much travelling so it was quite a culture shock, but tons of fun.

Japan’s arcade scene is thriving quite well, but in a different way than I had imagined until I stepped into my first SEGA arcade in Japan to see what was current. Most arcades you’ll find will have the first floor or two dedicated to UFO catchers, which are in their own way absurdly addictive. They look SO easy, even I wasted some cash trying to get something. I can see why all gamecentres make you walk past these machines to get to the other floors. Arcades are also filled with interesting rhythm games, and a number of card-battle games, some of them network-based, i.e. Lord of Vermillion, and some other crazy games such as Gunslinger Stratos. These looked pretty fun, but a lot of the games are network-based, requiring some type of ID card, and seemingly quite complicated in general, so I steered clear as my level of Japanese is very low. Overall, it was quite a different experience from the arcades that used to exist in Toronto. I’m used to fighters, shooters, lightgun games and racing games being the dominant setups.

For the types of games I was REALLY looking for, I found that Akihabara was really the place to be. There are were at least three SEGA arcades in the area, specializing in different games, along with the famous HEY arcade and a few others I’m not too familiar with. I spent quite a lot of time in one of the SEGA arcades which featured a number of classic lightgun and racing games along with a name plaque and a bit of history about each game – it was akin to an arcade museum where you could play everything.

HEY has the infamous 10円 ST arcades, and not once did I see them empty. This is such a great place to grind out matches on the cheap, and there was a decent mix of player skill level. Some newer players amidst the experienced and everyone having a good time. I found myself coming here regularly after doing my sightseeing for the day, and getting some games in with the salarymen in their business suits. I had been told that some of the serious ST players don’t go to Akiba since the arcade systems are not maintained as well as in some other arcades, but I experienced no issues with them myself.

One of the first things I found strange about the Akiba-culture of ST players was that barely anyone knew or talked to each other. I found this quite a surprise, coming from a city where we have approximately five ST players and they all know each other. The Japanese all got a good laugh when I mentioned the size of our scene, as HEY will have 5-10 ST players at any one time grinding out matches, most of whom didn’t seem to know eachother.

My first experience playing ST in Japan went surprisingly well. Apparently Zangief is quite a popular character there, and the match in great favour to the only character I really play (O.Honda). However, there were some players that truly shocked me with their skill – if I messed up my spacing ONCE, or screwed up an anti-air, I would be SPD’ed into another setup and decimated. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the amazing comebacks the Japanese were able to pull off.

As a first for me on a Japanese board, playing against a Dictator the game froze with the O.Honda throw glitch. Previously I had been unsure if that could happen on a Japanese board, but there you go. Using my broken Japanese, I asked the HEY worker to assist. He ended up resetting the arcade and giving us each a credit to play again. And on that note, as a testament to the honesty of Japanese people, if there was ever an extra credit left in the machine (either from someone putting in an extra coin or not using one) no would claim it. Everyone would always put their 10円 in even if that extra credit was hanging around. It was truly astonishing, and something I doubt I would ever have seen happen in Canada when arcades were still in existence.

I ended up meeting Onucho there, which is an absurdly good Dictator player. I had thought I had some semblance of how to play against Dictator until I started playing against him, who made me look like it was my first day of playing Street Fighter. However, I had later learned that he has been playing SF for over 20 years and Shougatsu taught HIM how to play, so I don’t really feel too bad losing to someone like that. I learned what I could, though every time he would have a new setup and something tricky.

Conveniently enough, I lived right beside Gamespot Versus in Nishi-Nippori, so I had no trouble finding the place and managed to make it for one of the ST versus nights. I wasn’t too familiar with their schedule, and some of their arcade setups will change based on what’s going on that day – I had walked in before when half the arcades were on 3rd Strike. I can see how this place could be easily missed if you’re not from the area, as it’s down a sidestreet in the middle of nowhere. As a side note, there is a really awesome kushikatsu place near the train station entrance/KFC. If you ever visit there for Gamespot, I recommend a detour! GSV itself was quite different from the arcades I had already seen during my stay in Japan. It was a very.. cozy place, wires everywhere, streaming setup… definitely more of a gamer’s hangout than the corporate-run places in the big shopping districts.

Onucho kindly helped me navigate GSV ST night as I would’ve been completely lost otherwise (thanks again, Onucho!). Prior to the actual tournament, the arcades were set up to play ST. They were on freeplay mode, but it was 50円 for two games using an honour system. I got a few games in to warm up for the tournament, but the place was absolutely packed. There were as many players showing up to play ST as we get in Toronto for all fighters combined during the monthly tournaments…

As for the tournament itself, here’s how GSV night worked when I was there:

During initial sign-up, write down your name and your character’s name on a chart. They will then separate everyone into two teams. Find your team captain, add 50円 to the collection bowl and choose what order in the list you want to play. I was informed that the heavy-hitter players tend to play near the end, so I added my name near the top. When your turn comes up to actually play, you need to take a coin from the collection bowl that is then setup near the arcade in order to pay for your game. I suppose this is their way of ensuring everyone paid.

This is how my GSV experience went (Go to 3:55)

I had been hoping the T.Hawk player would win so I wouldn’t be matched up against Guile, but there it was. Thankfully, this player must not be too familiar with playing against Honda since I’ll typically be completely shut out by Guile – it’s honestly one of the matchups that makes me want to play another character. So it went surprisingly well! I had told Nakano before the tournament that I’ve been playing for a little over a year, so that’s one of the things they mention on the commentary. Other than the obvious “Canada Shougatsu” which was quite flattering, I don’t understand the rest of what was said.

Looking back on my match against the Ryu player, I realize so many things I could’ve done differently. Playing in Japan in general has really opened my eyes to different gameplay styles – before this I have been used to playing against the same few people ALL the time, so I had to slowly learn the art of conditioning one’s opponent. As you can see from this match I did not have that down at all at this point. I was expecting the opponent to throw more fireballs, not to sit there and block, in which case I could’ve at least started off with a lot more throwing. I find that the Japanese Ryu players will NOT throw a fireball unless they’re fairly certain you won’t do anything risky to try to get in.

Following my loss, Onucho went on a bit of a tear with his Dictator which was a lot of fun to watch. Later on in the tournament, Nakano did quite well with his Cammy, which he later attributed to the fact that no one knows how to play against Cammy. I suppose other than Nakamura, she’s not a very popular character in Japan. The rest of the tournament was really exciting to get in to.. lots of close matches and lots of shouting! You can’t really hear it on the GSV videos but it’s a very lively atmosphere at these events and awesome to be a part of. After going to something like GSV, you’ll understand why ST has never ‘died’ in Japan.

Last on the list of must-visit arcades was the infamous Mikado. Now THIS place I had trouble finding! The Japanese side-streets always confuse the hell out of me. I found out later there is a train station exit right by the place… I can’t remember the name of the exit but Mikado is right there. I relegated to walking around until I heard the sound of buttons being mashed. The place itself was really cool, and again a very unique experience from the other more ‘corporate’ offerings. There were a ton of classic machines that I did not see anywhere else in Tokyo. The first floor was dedicated mainly to shmups and puzzle games, with the second floor being dedicated to fighters. It seemed to be a pretty popular place for Guilty Gear Xrd in addition to having the weekly 500円 all-you-can-play Super Turbo. Before sitting down for some SF, I was messing around in Samurai Shodown II. It unfortunately wasn’t a Neo Geo cab (which I didn’t see any of in Tokyo) but it was still great playing that game on an arcade again!

I had the chance to meet Mattsun who works at Mikado, and he seems like a really nice guy… very humble. I told him he was quite famous outside of Japan! I played a couple rounds against him in which I was absolutely decimated, but even in that I learned quite a lot. I have never played against a player that was so twitchy and made me make the silliest mistakes, so it really made me focus on my game and understand what I actually thought I was ‘reacting’ to. His familiarity with the game was on another level and he didn’t give me an inch, it was great. I recall one match where I was down to chip damage, he threw a fireball which I was planning to reversal through (can’t recall if it was meaty) and ended doing a Super on the other side of the screen, which although would obviously not hit, was enough to make me screw up my reversal inputs and eat the fireball. But I wasn’t the only one who would be decimated by Mattsun at least. When I’d see him sit down on the arcade, he wouldn’t have to get up for a couple hours! I also managed to glitch the arcade again (sorry Mattsun). A good number of players showed up to Mikado as well, but unfortunately I was unable to stay too long that day.

I ended up returning the next week and Mikado was even livelier than the previous week. I met a number of interesting players. There was one Japanese player who plays mainly old characters (O.Ryu, O.Chun) and we got a good number of matches in. I almost met the current Tetris Grandmaster, a French guy living in Japan… he had decided to pick up ST recently as a new game to play (Blanka player). Funnily enough, I met a Taiwanese O.Honda player, so we had a good little chat about how awesome O.Honda is and how completely different a character he is than N.Honda. We took turns getting beaten up by a good Guile player that night. From him I learned the usefulness of cr.strong in that matchup, which I had previously written off as being essentially useless (I think I’ve also updated the SRK wiki since ;) ). Aside from getting beaten up by Guile, I could not gain an inch of ground against an N.Sagat player who was on a tear for quite some time. I got up after a while and it turned out to be Mattsun, so I wasn’t too surprised!

Apparently Mattsun is interested in doing another X-Mania USA this year. I know he’s already speaking to a number of the ST crew in the US, so I hope something can happen again as I plan to make the trip down this time. He also claims to be the best drinker in America, so I think a money match is in order!

Overall, I had an amazing experience in Japan and encourage everyone to go if you have any interest in the country and/or in seeing how lively the ST scene still is in Japan. SF was definitely not the ONLY thing I did in Japan, there’s a lot of other great things to do in Tokyo atleast. But if you love the game you owe it to yourself to visit, and make some time for Street Fighter in the process! If you don’t know anything about Japan, a couple quick things:

– don’t expect people to speak English, even in Tokyo..learn a little bit of Japanese to get yourself around. The Tokyo train systems all have English so don’t worry about that.
– “kore o kudasai” (this, please) was by far the most useful phrase I learned. Add “hitotsu” (one) or “futatsu” (two) before “kudasai.” There, you’ve just learned all the Japanese you need to know to buy street food! Which, btw, is glorious in Japan.
– depending on how long you’re staying, a shared house can be a cheap alternative to a hotel
– public wifi is not really a thing. Most require you to sign up on a Japanese page, and you can’t rely on Starbucks since a) they are not as prevalent in Japan and b) their wifi is probably full. If you don’t have wifi, Tokyo Metro stations do offer a public wifi service and they have an English page. An alternative is to rent a wifi receiver and carry that around with you
– go to 7-11 for cheap onigiri breakfast! (100円)

2014 STR Recognition Awards

2014 was another amazing year as the entire community around the world celebrated the 20th anniversary of Super Turbo with big events in Japan (Gian Recital, Superstar Cup, X-Mania), Europe (IIX 20th Anniversary, Stunfest, X-Mania Europe) and the USA (So Cal Regionals, 2 Old 2 Furious, 37 Reloaded, TOURNAMENT OF LEGENDS II, X-Mania USA).   Super Turbo once again had ToL II qualifiers at nearly every major in the United States as well as Toryuken in Canada, IIX 20th Anniversary in the UK and Stunfest in France.  Now that the year has passed, and a new year of Super Turbo madness is set to begin, we’d like to look back and give recognition to the players and matches that fueled the amazing events of 2014.

MATCH OF THE YEAR
In the MATCH OF THE YEAR category, we want to call out a battle that really reminded us of our motivation to watch and play Super Turbo. Comebacks, upsets, hype, emotions, this fight had it all, and anyone who had the pleasure of watching it can understand why this game has stayed alive for so long.

There were many incredible matches througout the year and at EVO 2014 in ToL II and X-MANIA USA but nothing had the hype and the old school magic and nostalgia of the Top 8 X-MANIA USA match on the EVO stage that featured some of the biggest names in FGC history: For Team OGSF: The three OGs of the Street Fighter world: Mike Watson, Alex Valle and John Choi against three of the five Gods of Japanese fighting games: Nuki, Tokido and Daigo Umehara.  Despite the fact that most of these legends don’t regularly play Super Turbo these days, you never forget how to ride a bike and they still put on a great show that thrilled the crowd with a victory for the American team!

Honorable Mention:
krost vs Mattsun (EVO 2014 ToL II)
Marsgattai vs Hanashi (EVO 2014 ToL II)
DNGR S PAPERCUT vs Damdai (So Cal Regionals ToL II Qualifier)
kuroppi vs AfroLegends (37 Reloaded)
Technical Monkey vs Marsgattai (2 Old 2 Furious ToL II Qualifier)

Although Japan is no stranger to high-level and exciting matches on a weekly basis, this one was truly a battle of the titans.  Over the years, Japan has produced many a strong player who has made a name for himself known all over the world, but this match showcased the undisputed top 5 players in Japan right now.  
Otochun has made a strong name for himself as an absolute monster in tournaments since the early days of Super Turbo by having very solid fundamentals, great reads on his mixup game, and a high consistency of execution.  His mental fortitude has been tested many times through many tournaments over the years with both high-level competitors and a very unforgiving tournament format, but his level of performance has certainly set the bar for competitive players all over the world.  MAO is relatively new compared to some of the veterans of the game, having only played the game since the mid-2000s, but he has had strong results in recent years.  As a student of the legendary Claw player known as ARG, he has been characterized by having very strong reactions, a fast-paced style of play, and possibly the strongest wall dive game of any Claw player.  
Put these two on opposing sides of an arcade cabinet, and you’re bound to have an exciting match that showcases high-level ST at its finest.  We look forward to seeing many more exciting matches between these two players in the future, as well as keeping an eye on other players who are going to step up their game in the coming year.  

Honorable Mention:
X-MANIA XV Finals – MAO / Futachan / Ito vs Nuki / Shiki / Muteki
Star Cup 2014 Semifinal – Shogatsu vs MAO

This match alone is proof that Europe definitely has world-class players of their own, along with the fact that supreme mastery of one’s character can produce greater results than any conventional tier list would have you believe. Watching MAX31’s incredible journey as he battled his way to Grand Finals was absolutely amazing, as he not only had to contend with Europe’s finest, but also two travelling Japanese players intent on winning a tournament that bore a name of such prestige.
With a grand finals set that showcased both extreme focus, a strong neutral game, and a complex mixup game, this was definitely a match that had all of Europe cheering for MAX31. TMF has made a very strong showing during X-Mania Europe with his Zangief by deploying a strong combination of fast reactions and grab setups that caught a lot of players off guard. While TMF was relatively unknown in the international community, his performance and experience at both Evo 2014 and X-Mania Europe has certainly put him on the map, and many players were eagerly waiting to see if he could MAX31 in his tracks and pull off a clean victory.
But in the closing moments of the match, it seemed clear that MAX31 was to be victor. As he rose up and celebrated his well-earned victory, a new champion was born, and the field of competitors to watch out for just became a little bit bigger. The dream is alive and well. Cammy finally won a major! 

Honorable Mention:
X-Mania Europe 4 3on3 Finals – Relinquished/Kaosflare/ORF vs Mattsun/TMF/Omnislash
Stunfest 2014 Finals – Balcork vs Justin Wong

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The PLAYER OF THE YEAR award is given to the player who has consistently placed in the upper-tier of major tournament results and is recognized as the top player of their region.  As a true embodiment of competitive Super Turbo, the player makes every match exciting and shows us the level of discipline necessary to be truly great in any game.

AfroLegends narrowly missed the last Player of the Year award in 2012 to Damdai, but this year his hard work and training paid off.  Afro started off the year by winning the big So Cal Regionals ToL II qualifier by beating a tough field of competitors before meeting up with Damdai in the Grand Finals.  At EVO 2014, he battled through an intense bracket to place 5th and become the highest placing US competitor. In X-MANIA USA, he teamed up with Damdai and Ganelon to form Team Special Forces and they placed 3rd defeating Team Europe and Team OGSF to decide 3rd place.
Honorable Mention: Damdai, Marsgattai, Alex Valle

What more can said about MAO?  Claw is recognized as arguably the strongest character in the game but MAO has mastered the character to levels no one else ever has done.  And he is a top notch showman to boot as he entertained the crowd and all the viewers watching on stream at EVO 2014 with his pro wrestling heel-like tactics.  MAO did face very strong competition in Otochun and some would say that Otochun got the best of MAO this year in the Superstar Cup finals, but with MAO’s major accomplishments at EVO, winning TOURNAMENT OF LEGENDS II and anchoring his team in the X-MANIA USA finals to victory with a reverse OCV over Noguchi, Kurahashi and Hanashi, MAO is well deserving of this award after narrowly losing out the Player of the Year award to Kusumondo in 2012.
Honorable Mention: Otochun, Mattsun

This was a very difficult category to come up with a winner with ORF and Balcork both performing well in UK and French tournaments respectively, both qualifying for ToL II and teaming up and advancing to the X-MANIA USA Top 8 finals but in the end, the nod narrowly went to MAX 31 for his great accomplishments at X-MANIA Europe and winning the X-Mania Europe Solo tournament.  Congratulations Max!
Honorable Mention: ORF, Balcork

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER

Our final category is important to the survival of any game. Through determination, practice, and a genuine enjoyment of the game, this player has climbed from the novice ranks to a level that most players spend years to achieve. We encourage anyone, of any discipline, who is still working their way up the competitive ladder to use this player as an example of what can be achieved with enough motivation.

Another very difficult category to choose just one winner as there were a number of players who really leveled up their game this year including Miller Time (defeating Daigo in X-MANIA USA pools), Moocus and Fromo (both qualifying for ToL II) and players like Mr. Igloo who made a dedicated effort to attend as many offline sessions as he could (Super Arcade weeklies, SCR, EVO, WCW, 37 Reloaded) and really upped his game but the player who may have made the biggest jump was eltrouble.
After stagnating with Ryu/Ken and Guile, it took only a year and a half or so making the switch to Dhalsim in early 2013, eltrouble’s hard work and dedication finally paid off.  He slowly started placing high in weekly WNF tournaments and soon started winning a majority of them.  He came close to qualifying at the Super Arcade ToL II qualifiers before finally achieving his year long goal of qualifying for ToL II at Saltmines in June.  He still dedicates a lot of his time to organizing tournaments, events and also the weekly Super Turbo Saturday show with Sergjiev so he can be found all over the place in the SoCal and ST community.
Honorable Mention: MillerTime, Moocus, Fromo, Mr. Igloo

Abdel started playing Super Turbo in 2013, using orange-colored Boxer, he started off on GGPO and entered some online tournaments and soon after started playing in some local offline tournaments.  This year he attended his first major tournament, X-MANIA Europe and impressed by taking 3rd place in the Solo 3vs3 tournament behind Mattsun and TMF and he also finished 7th in the Solo tournament and 4th in the 3on3 team tournament.  His brother, Bazouka also started playing ST with him in 2013 and also showed good improvement so look out for these two in the coming years.
Honorable Mention: Bansheebot (FRA), Bazouka (FRA), GolcarJack (UK)

There were a number of people who provided valuable input to help decide these awards so a special thank you goes out to all of them for assisting.  After 20 years, it’s almost impossible to believe that this may have been the strongest year ever for Super Turbo.  It was incredible to see the communities across the globe growing closer to each other and working together to put on amazing events like ToL II, X-Mania USA and X-Mania Europe to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ST!  We can only imagine 2015 will be just as amazing!

Shogatsu Happy New Year Tournament Tonight

The big annual Shogatsu Happy New Year tournament takes place tonight (New Year’s Eve) at Mikado starting at 5AM PST / 8AM EST / 10PM Japan Time!  The tournament will be streamed on Mikado’s Twitch TV Channel: http://www.twitch.tv/mikado_ssf2x

The tournament format is a 2on2 and Shogatsu will be a one man team using both Honda and O. Honda.

Also, Mattsun announced that there will be a 5on5 tournament taking place Golden Week (May) presumably replaing the Gian Recital tournament but no name has been announced.  Also, he confirmed X-Mania 16 will be taking place at the end of August.

Gamespot Versus – 12.30.14

The latest GameSpot Versus East vs West battle from December 30th courtesy of supersf2turbo.  With the Shogatsu Happy New Year tournament happening tomorrow this week features a big lineup of players:

(1P) Takahashi, Nakagawa, Tetsu, Foamy, Seion, Kyouju, Same!K, Kenshiro, Amon, Hanayama, Su, Isaji, Tadokoro, Ta.tsumaki, VIPER, MOR, Miharu, YURI, Fujinuma, Nemo, Muneo, Suzuki, Grygla, Akabla, tomo, Tomoza, Chojin, Kusa, Souzou, Tencho, Noguchi, Yuzuru, Nakamu, Abeabe, Kawasim, Keishin, YuuVega, Usui Honda (Shogatsu)

VS

(2P) Tateishi, Kurobone, Kiyomo, Chi, Chikupan-san, ZEGA, Moro, Risty, Nukunuku, Gura, Fukuyama, Tensai Chinpanji, Kurahashi, Kasei Tsutsumi Tarou, Koedo, pixivnomugen, Munari, EcoDJ, Tera-san, Suzuka, Tonegawa, Nikaiten, Gucchi, Aotsun, PECO, Kawamata, Kikai, Abebin, Koemon, Numa, Hiroyan, Nakamura, Hanashi, Yakitori, M.B★, Sashishi, Sensei, Kotaka Shoten

 

EVO 2014 ToL II and X-Mania USA Highlights

Here’s a cool highlight video of TOURNAMENT OF LEGENDS II and X-MANIA USA from this year’s EVO 2014 created by Yojji.  Enjoy!

Gamespot Versus – 12.9.14

The latest GameSpot Versus East vs West battle from December 9th courtesy of supersf2turbo.  This week features:

(1P) Fukuyama, Jimmy, Suzuka, EcoDJ, Gucchi, Grygla, Suzuki, Tera-san, Nikaiten, Seo, Kikai, Choshu, Nakamura, Kawamata, Koemon, YuuVega

VS

(2P) TOUCO, Bunchin, Risty, Moro, Tanpa Tamezo, Palestina, ZEGA, Nakano, Aotsun, Hide, YURI, Kusa, Hustler, Kawasim, Numa, Sasori

 

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