Week 9 saw a tremendous return to hype as numbers bounced back somewhat and an excellent variety of skill levels was on show. SFO|AVG was back and brought his friend Ayemashe with him – a new face who was assumed to be as troublesome as SFO|AVG to face off in game.
Somewhat luckily for us it turned out that Ayemashe was only a week into his USF4 ‘career’ but had been under the tuition of SFO|AVG so was far better than you’d expect someone with only a weeks experience under their belt.
Into the first match of the first round saw Xerte face off against the returning newcomer Leos. Leos brought back his Cammy and proved a tricky opponent for Xerte to face off against, bringing it to the very last possible round for before whiffing a Cannon Spike which left Xerte’s Rolento pick up the 2-1 victory.
SFO|AVG and Ayemashe had been practicing in casuals before the tournament started, and as luck would have it faced off straight away in the first round. Ayemashe tried hard, but ultimately didn’t stand much of a chance against one of our best players. SFO|AVG came away with a 2-0 victory.
Lastly in the first round was Kinneas versus SonGoPaul. SonGoPaul kept it closer than the final result would show, but Kinneas came away winning 2-0.
After Xerte’s first round win he would once again face me, after my first round bye, for the weekly brother versus brother faceoff. Unlike last week’s terrible execution on my behalf, this week I was on far better form. Xerte’s Rolento had few answers to the mix up heavy rush down my Decapre and even fewer answers to the, somewhat lucky (if I’m honest), air throw reads that I pulled out of the bag. I sent Xerte into the losers bracket after a 2-1 win.
Next up was SFO|AVG vs Kinneas, Cammy vs Chun-Li. Kinneas didn’t make it easy for SFO|AVG, taking a few rounds and again making it somewhat closer than the final 2-0 score in SFO|AVG’s favour would suggest. Kinneas was sent to losers while SFO|AVG would advance to Winners Finals to face me.
Before we made a start on the Finals we went down to run the Losers bracket. Which because for the first time this season I wasn’t in yet – so I actually got to watch more of the fights than normal.
First up we had Ayemashe vs SonGoPaul in a Ryu versus Ryu faceoff. This was a very back and forth match up, and came down to the wire, but Ayemashe narrowly pulled off the 2-1 victory advancing while SonGoPaul was knocked out of the tournament.
Ayemashe would then face off against Xerte, who normally struggles against the shenanigans of newer players, but either Ayemashe was calmer or just less random because he had no reply to Xerte’s onslaught with Rolento. I think it mostly came down to Ayemashe not knowing the match up against Rolento and not being quite as random with the DPs as some newer players are, but Xerte walked away with a 2-0 victory.
To finish off the second round of the Losers Bracket we had Kinneas up against Leos. Kinneas plays a lot calmer than Xerte and doesn’t usually struggle against the randomness of the newer players. Leos’ Cammy didn’t really manage much against Kinneas’ defense other than a surprise Super that landed… Kinneas advanced after a 2-0 victory.
Losers Semi Finals would be Kinneas versus Xerte. Another pretty regular match up, and usually quite a close on, if not usually in Kinneas’ favour. But Xerte’s Rolento did what it does best – randomly does… stuff! Xerte was caught off guard with the floaty jumps of Kinneas’ Chun-Li, but not enough that it would result in much damage on him. I was fairly surprised to see Xerte win 2-0 to advance to Losers Finals.
Finally it was time for Winners Finals, my first time there this season, DW|Kuniku vs SFO|AVG. I went straight to Decapre and selected my outfit, colour, taunt and win quote – all the important things… And just left my Ultra unselected, waiting to see what Character SFO|AVG would roll with, knowing he had a few under his sleeve, and that he tends to only use his Cammy main if he’s really in trouble. SFO|AVG locked into Yun, so fearing the rush down, and not having any fireballs to punish I picked Psycho Stream as my Ultra and we went to it.
While SFO|AVG had been complimenting my play all night, and pointing out my improvements with Decapre since the last time he saw me, I really didn’t expect this to last long, the only time I’d ever beaten him before had been when I convinced him I would body him with Gouken if he picked Hugo and continued to do so…
The first round started and off the bat Yun was in my face with all sorts of crazy safe jump setups. I’d only landed one jumping short while he had me at only 1/3 health when suddenly the console crashed on us. Things didn’t look great…
We moved to another console rather than wait for that one to boot up again, and quickly restarted the match. I’ve always struggled against his safe jumps and constant pressure, so thought my best bet would be to try and match his rush down and hope my mix ups could come through. And Surprisingly it worked! Before long I’d taken 2 games against his Yun, all the while much banter was flying between us. Not wanting to risk it all on his failing Yun, SFO|AVG made the switch to his Cammy and continued to absolutely body me… 3 times in a row…
As I prepared to face off against my brother, again, in the Losers Final I was just pretty chuffed that I actually managed to force SFO|AVG to switch to Cammy. Xerte and I repeated the Rolento versus Decapre battle, which went much the same as it had earlier, my adrenaline was through the roof after the previous match up, and I was half expecting for everything to go tits up. But aside from falling for an Ultra set up from Xerte I managed pretty well, winning 3-1 and advancing to Grand Finals for the rematch there.
I tried goading SFO|AVG into playing Yun again, more than anything to avoid facing Cammy straight away. But he went with his Evil Ryu. This one was a good match up, I wasn’t completely free like I had been against his Cammy, but it wasn’t as ‘easy’ for me (for want of a better term) as his Yun had been.
I really wasn’t sure which ultra to use, having not faced his E.Ryu before I didn’t know how much fireballs he’d use. Knowing he loves to rush down I doubted it would be many, but I’d managed a few ground pound mixups against his Yun that I could’ve used DCM on, but Psycho Stream had been pretty effective before.
This time the adrenaline did get to me somewhat, I made mistakes against someone I could ill aford to make mistakes against, and was only saved by SFO|AVG dropping his big E.Ryu combos (apparently due to the input lag on the screen 😉 hehe)
In the end the result was inevitable, it was just a case of could I force the swap to Cammy or not. Unfortunately my mistakes cost me, and I didn’t force the change, the exciting climax was 3-1 to SFO|AVG.
USF4 Top 4:
- SFO|AVG (Cammy, E.Ryu, Yun)
- DW|Kuniku (Decapre)
- Xerte (Rolento)
Unfortunately SFO|AVG and Ayemashe had to head off before we could start the Skull Girls tournament, but we decided to make it interesting, bored of it always being a Valentine face off, some of us decided to promise not to use Valentine this week – though Kinneas couldn’t be persuaded.
I went with Painwheel, a character I love but always found too complicated to use and didn’t want to put that much time into learning. Xerte went with Parasoul, a character I don’t think he’d ever used before. And SonGoPaul went back to his Cerebella.
SonGoPaul faced off against me first of all, he easily took the first game while I figured out how to play Painwheel, I found a few things I could potentially abuse and took the second game. But he soon figured out what I was doing and learnt to counter it, it came down to the wire the last round was very close, we both went for the command throw to finish it… and SonGoPaul’s beat mine out to advance.
It looked as like Kinneas had been practicing his Valentine as he faced off against Xerte, his bread and butter combos had grown since last week. Xerte’s new Parasoul didn’t stand much chance but he was figuring out the controls while getting his behind handed to him as he lost 2-0.
Kinneas and SonGoPaul faced off, and it was plain to see that Kinneas’ game plan was thrown off when he couldn’t start his bread and butter combos with his throw, constantly being beaten out by Cerebella’s command throws. I think he was quite surprised to lose 3-0.
In the Losers Bracket I faced off against my brother, again my shenanigans won me a game and the odd round, but once he figured out he could use his special to avoid it and punish me it was a downward spiral from there… I lose 2-1.
Next in the Losers Bracket Xerte had a rerun against Kinneas, who swiftly dispatched him. Xerte had no answer for the 25-30 hit Valentine bread and butter combo that we all hate to love.
Grand Finals would see another rematch, Kinneas and SonGoPaul. But it seems Kinneas had learnt from his previous loss, and promptly reset the bracket and won the tournament without losing another game.
Skull Girls Top 4:
- Kinneas (Valentine)
- SonGoPaul (Cerebella)
- Xerte (Parasoul)
- DW|Kuniku (Painwheel)