Early Friday...June 5...those that follow the goings-on at the Utah Thread at shoryuken.com read of players predicting the outcome of Ranbat 1.5, calling their shot as did players of old.
--II Peru (Renzo) you want some hype ill start with some controversie i guarantee top 3 tomorrow eff this 9th place bull im tired of choking ive been practicing im ready for tomorrow (Friday, p.83)
--Strider Hyriu (Gustavo) if you're making some predictions then i'll make one also, i'm guaranteeing a top 1 spot.... yeah thats right, i haven't practiced that much, but im going in confident, and this time i'm not gonna choke (Friday, p.83)
--Konqrr (Kelly) Whatever fools...Sakura is taking this Ranbat. (Friday, p. 83)
--infested 801 (Eddie) Im gonna make a prediction of top 10 this ranbat... Imma use GUILE this ranbat ^_^
As with many predictions, some get over the outfield wall and some do not. After all, 30 other players foresaw outcomes of their own, even if they weren't spelled out in ones and zeros on a forum thread. These four had to make their way through the rest to make good on their promises, had to rediscover The Secret Garden (aka Protocol 42), and bring their games to prove themselves against likeminded and fierce competition...that's what happened on Saturday night in Utah Ranbat 1.5.
No, Kelly did not really become the BronzeSak, instead calling up the Bronze Boxer, placing fourth out of 34, taking out Brian (Guile) before failing to escape from Renzo's RainMan Fuerte. Eddy brought a good game with Guile and Vega but ended up in 17th, clawing Dana's Rose to death with Vega before falling to Renzo's Rainman Fuerte (ELF) and Jacob's ShoryuLariat (Gief). No, the prescient ones turned out to be none other than Renzo and Gustavo, with Renzo making good on the top 3 finish -- the RainMan hit it deep into right field and got the triple-- while Gustavo's Abel popped it up deep into centerfield and bounced it off the back wall for three bases but missing the prophesied Grand Slam. Gustavo "SwitchHitter" finished 3rd, going with Barlog instead of his customary Abel, falling to the RainMan Fuerte, 2-1, 1-2, 0-2. Renzo had his "momento en el sol" in 1.5, facing off against tournament-winner and current Ranbat leader Andrew and his Dread Pirate Phelps (Sagat), who remained unmoved from the winners bracket for the second week in a row, crushing The RainMan in straight sets, 3-1, 3-1.
Almost from the first match where Jacob's Red Cyclone squeaked out a win against Nico's Ken, the tournament atmosphere had changed. Before long, many long-time players who expected to remain in the winners bracket found themselves knocked off their presumed perch, looking back with fond memories at those still playing from the safety and security afforded those in the winners bracket. The players had worked, checking their fear at the door by playing and practicing, and the results were self-evident. This Ranbat revealed that ANYONE can win, ANYONE does win, and ANYONE with enough confidence in themselves and skills with their character can step up to the plate, look the pitcher straight in the eye, and say, "Bring it on."