Sunday, June 21, 2009
Review of USF Ranbat 1.6 by Etelmik
Ranbat 1.6’s theme was uncertainty. First it seemed that Andy wouldn’t be there, then it seemed like it would be postponed. Neither of those things happened.
On the other hand, Dana, Kelly, Rudy, Phil, and Eddy couldn’t make it to the Ranbat. Dana’s wife was sick, Kelly had his anniversary, Phil was in Vegas, and Eddy couldn’t get off work in time (he did, however, show up later and interrupt the tournament pro-wrestling style to challenge Wade to a money match, which ended in the loss of Wade’s dignity and Andy’s money. “Can’t believe I bet on you, dude,” Andy told him afterward).
One question on everyone’s lips was “what will happen with no Kelly or Dana here? Is this a real Ranbat?”
Oh, it was real alright.
As many people as were missing were replaced. Thomas5000, Ryan, Alex, Chris Kao, and others were absolutely brand new faces, showing that Utah Street Fighters isn’t done gathering new talent. Joe and Elvis, usually absent, were also able to attend. Chris Kao said he was in California and while he was talking to Gootecks he was lamenting the lack of a Utah scene. “There is a Utah scene,” Gootecks told him. Ryan and Alex found the USF blog through Google alone and randomly showed up.
Uncertainty showed up even in casuals and early on in the tournament.
One example is Nico. “Dude,” Andy called out over the microphone, “Katie wasn’t here for you to be nervous around, so now you were able to step it up and play like a man.” Nico’s game improved incredibly and it showed as he put the heat on Brian early on in the match. He threw few fireballs and plenty of stepkicks and scored plenty of throws, the way a good Ken should. He even got two ultras in, one by dashing into it and one by doing a crossup EX spinning kick, then doing an ultra immediately upon landing. He beat Brian in the first match! Brian is more experienced though, and he calmed down and played a more patient game in game two, losing one round but winning that game. During game three Brian got more aggressive and showed why he is ranked number two in the state, defeating Nico easily. Still, what an entertaining match!
The top 8 had plenty of uncertain matches with unpredictable outcomes; I beat Brian, Renzo beat Andrew, and Renzo beat Brian. The top four were me, Renzo, Andrew, and Andy. Renzo and Andrew had uncertainty of their own to deal with–me, actually. Renzo was convinced I could beat him. “You’re the only one I’m afraid of,” he told me. After going 2-2 with Andrew in casuals, he thought I had a shot at the title, though he wasn’t convinced I would take it.
But this was not to be, and I was disappointed to get fourth. Andy’s Chun is what I fear the most, and I was hoping I’d avoid him. He knocked me out of winner’s, and Renzo knocked out Brian. After upsetting Brian, I still had a shot! Unfortunately, Andrew beat Andy which made me had to play him again. I lost to Utah’s scene master twice. Andrew lost to Renzo, which made him play (and beat) Andy again so that Andy would know what it was like to be me.
This led to a first: Andrew came to the finals from losers’ bracket for a change. “With Fuerte’s splash, all you gotta do is block, or focus, or backdash,” he told me earlier.
I contradicted him: “He knows now, though, man. He knows how to do cross-up splashes and he knows that it leaves him open.” Andrew soon learned what I meant, but after losing one match and after some time into the first game of the second match, he got used to Renzo’s Fuerte. He lost more rounds and had to put on his try-hard hat, but he didn’t lose a single game. Andrew proved that he is the champ by losing a match to Renzo, then coming back and winning four games and two matches in a row to Renzo’s twitchy, lightning fast Fuerte. Like Andy, Andrew was the only one Renzo lost to.
At the end, Andy ended the night on the same not that it opened. “After EVO, other people can run this…I don’t know what I’m going to do afterward,” he says to everyone. No one seems to notice this. Worried about the future and wondering how the group would still get everything done when there’s no clear cut leader should Andy leave, I ask Joe “It sounds like he’s planning on not doing another season like this one. You get that vibe?” Joe shrugs. “I don’t know. Doesn’t seem like he’s going away entirely. Plus, BlazBlue is coming out.” Matty had said earlier, “After EVO, BlazBlue is going to be out. We gotta have a couple of displays for that.” Some people could be happier, and want change.
And some of these changes are good for everyone: P42 painted all their benches and the place looks a little nicer, Andy brought his new projector so that two games were being projected at all times, and tons of casuals were going for most of the time so people were able to get to know each other better.
People come and people go, and no one is guaranteed to win (not even Andrew—he lost once!) or lose. New games come out—BlazBlue and KoF12 are on everyone’s lips—there’s even a fourth game coming later this year, Tekken 6. No matter what happens, it looks like Utah Street Fighters need not worry about any changes in the weather, whether it be people, venue, equipment, or games. If someone is gone, USF will live on. If some people switch games or give up on games, USF will live on. If we lose access to all of Andy’s high-roller money and the awesome equipment and organization that brings, USF will live on. Right? Right? Right.
What I’m saying is that USF is here to stay, an oasis in the desert, and not some weak-sauce oasis like Vegas or Phoenix. Look out, EVO: the Utah Street Fighters are bringing it.
Posted by Utah Street Fighters at 4:36 PM