Hey people, I’ve just recovered from Nor Cal Regionals and the strange mix of rage and salt I have from not seeing an Alex trailer. Thankfully, the internet has quenched my thirst for pictures and even video of my favorite Hulk Hulgan esque video game character. The matches were crazy and we learned a lot about how fluid the tier list for SFV is. I’m not going to get into that now, but let’s just say that it’s not the game it’s the player. I know right? A character being only as good as the person who is playing them? We are not eight years in yet, but I think it is a good precedent so far for the future of SFV as a competitive tournament game. I mean we can just start with the man whose reactions warranted a video on ESPN. MARN! http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=15082099 (It’s slightly funny and kinda scary…)
Marn is well….Marn, no one else has as reckless of a play style as he does. That’s kind of the only way someone could make it out of the “Hell Bracket”. So, for all the people who were late to register for the tournament the NCR staff did something a little different. There is no reason to redraw the brackets the night before the tournament to make sure everyone is in a pool and everything is balanced. No! Not redrawing everything for all the people who couldn’t pre register. They took all of those players and put them into a new pool that was tacked on to the brackets. Great idea that no doubt saved the officials and staff at the tournament from a terrible headache. The reason as to why this was called “the hell” bracket had nothing to do with the amount of late entrees, but the people who entered. Marn a former professional fighting game player, KBrad someone who is currently sponsored, Filipino Champ who is one of the top Dhalsim players within the United States, Poongko who has been destroying people with his incredible Street Fighter play for years, and Mago one of the three players sponsored by Madcatz. The other Two players are Diago Umehara arguable the most well known Street Fighter Player and Tokido who took second place at Final round. It was a knock down drag out slug fest that could have been the finals of any tournament, it was beautiful.
This is the winners finals of that insane pool of players. Marn VS. Mago. You could guess who won, but please watch the video and then continue reading. *Spoilers* Despite the weird touching (Only in Fighting Game tournaments people!) it was a really amazing match. I’ve always thought you had to be a fully certified nut to actually play Mika properly and Mar proved it. At 1:33 you can see how little he cares about Mago on his wake up. Jab jab int a combo, then a dropkick. That’s basically the story of this match. If you think Marn will respect your play or do something a conventional player would do then you might as well put the controller down. This kind of bit him later on when he faced off against Infiltration.
Right off the bat at around 0:54 Marn went in and kept going. However, all it took was for Infiltration to counter Marn once and the round slipped through his fingers. Like Ultra David said, “Marn does not learn” and it became apparent that Infiltration just had a bit of a leg up on his opponent during the match. EX Sonic Scythe was the bane of every important jump in that Marn went for. Rainbow Mika is a character that is all about momentum, pressure, and mix ups. If you can’t get the momentum to swing in your favor by jump in you can’t get pressure on the opponent. If you can’t get the pressure then you can not mix up your opponent and use the characters wonderful assortment of command grabs that can insidiously be thrown in after any of the jabs that Marn threw out. He went for some shenanigans, but Infiltration was just one inch ahead of Marn. This was one of the matches that shaped the tournament. Maybe if Marn had won Infiltration would have lost in losers, but since he didn’t we should hail our two time champion Infiltration! Another tournament shaping match was none other than Justin Wong VS one of the greatest Japanese players Haitani!
No secret that Haitani gets my respect. He is an older player who isn’t sponsored and is still one of the scariest players in the world. He is know for being one of the greatest Third Strike players ever, but his Makoto play in Street Fighter Four wasn’t bad either. Thanks to him Makoto was popular and by proxy he is responsible for about fifteen percent of my anger as I tried to climb the ranked ladder. I salute you sir! He took a character that took rigid execution and relentless aggression into Capcom cup and defeated Bonchan, who has placed second at the biggest fighting game tournament in the world and is sponsored by Red Bull. Justin who is sponsored by Evil Geniuses has a storied carrier as well. As much as Justin would probably like to forget he is one half of moment thirty-seven.( If you haven’t seen it here you go. No one thought it was possible…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS7hkwbKmBM) He was also one of the best Rufus players in Street Fighter Four and a player in the Capcom Cup. What’s interesting about this match is the adaptation that the two players make. Marn just took a battering ram to the castle walls hoping he could batter them down while Infiltration just sniped from the ramparts. This match was an exercise in adaptation and precise movement. Well, at least until the end. Everyone cracks at some point OK? If you want to check out some other matches look down below!