Sunday, November 8, 2009

Think of the Savings!

Saturday, November 7th, saw over 40 gamers come from across the jelloed plains of Utah for the deal of the year: $10 for 3 tournaments: SF4 teams, SF4 singles, and Tekken 6 singles. That translated into around 7 hours of fighting game action, or just under $1.42 an hour. That's good value for the money. And who doesn't like free ice cream cake? Who needs Evo when you have UTSF.

The Street Fighter 4 action kicked off the Saturday fight night with a first in the UTSF community: a five-on-five team tournament. Gathering 40 Street-fighter-playing Utahns strained the pool of human resources, but last-minute showings made it all possible. Using all eight 360 stations, at 2 per team battle, the field quickly narrowed until only two teams remained: Brian (GU), Thomas (GE), Lil Mario (BA), Carlos (HO), and Josh (RO) versus Eddie (BA), Renzo (ELF), Andrew (SA), Gustavo (AB), and Sergio (BI). Even with some amazing, last-second comebacks to come out of the losers bracket, there was nothing left to counter Renzo's Fuerte and the other merry men. Team Broken n Two took the 5-on-5, hoarding the team ranbat points and 1st place yet again.

Gustavo just couldn't stop after the first victory, playing through the entire one-on-one SF4 tournament and bringing home the gold with Abel for the first time. And what a commanding first victory it was, downing Renzo's Rainman Fuerte two sets to none. Money and ranbat points weren't the only things on the line for winning first: a free trip to NorCal regionals in December was promised to the winner by tournament-organizer Andy. Regarding the win, Gustavo wrote via PM that:

"It feels pretty good to finally win a Ranbat, and i can't really say it was for the free trip to NorCal, because i'm really not sure if i can actually go. The win just came to me, i was playing my game and not putting any attention to anything outside of that screen. My practice finally pays off...Renzo is a really solid player, I really didn't want to face him in the finals cause he could easily beat me 4 times in a row. I actually know that matchup really well, but never applied it in previous ranbats. I was just really calm and knew that if i just played the matchup how its supposed to be played I would come out on top."

And that he did. Congratulations go to Gustavo for being the ranbat points champion for UTSF Season 2, holding on to a narrow one-point lead over Thanh from the 2.3 tournament. He joins Andrew on the list of overall points champions in UTSF.

However, second place is no reason to hang your head. Renzo had this to say about the finals match:

"First off againts [sic] gustavo take nothing away from him he played a great match, but I basically just got mind fucked during the match. I guess as a whole I approach the whole abel match up wrong I shouldn't be trying to get in and should just play keep away...."

These two have played plenty of times over the past year and future head-to-head encounters should provide us with more great matches to watch.

Phil gave the audience a jolt with three -- count 'em -- three crouching shorts into overhead dash punches with Rog against Andy's Chun in an exciting match. Even Andy was impressed: "It looked sick as hell." Rog's dash overheads are notoriously unsafe on block, but that still didn't stop Phil from dispensing three doses of pain to the doctor. From Phil:

"i like to surprise ppl and its all about risk vs reward to me. sometimes it pays off sometimes it doesnt. thats how i like to play. playing safe is too boring for me... even if it means i lose which happens a lot. and besides... what better way to get the crowd hype as hell?"


Lastly, 2.4 was the magic ranbat for long-time contributor and UTSF video-uploader Matty who placed a respectable and hard-fought 3rd place with his Karagat. His strategy focused on more kara shots and zoning, for which Sagat is well-known.

"I really wish I could have used the kara tiger shot more effectively, but I am so used to the timing online. Was missing a ton of them. They look hella fucking cool though! I think just having better overall zoning, and making sure I hit my TU's on the last possible frame (for trade into ultra lol) helped me do better this time more than anything."

Thanks to everyone for making the 1v1 successful and competitive.

Namco's newest shiny and coveted toy, Tekken 6, was out for only a few weeks before UTSF had a tournament hosted by wisened Tekken-head, Kelly. Attracting 22 participants using 14 different characters both new and old, it was considered a big success for a debut event.

What better way to win a tournament than to host it yourself? Kelly and "Steelers Fan" TL punched, kicked, and threw their way to the first UTSF Tekken finals, with Kelly's Alisa defeating TL's King with a counter hit for the win. Kelly had this to say about his "W":

"Playing in the Winners Finals and Grand Finals against TL (he and I go way back with MK and Tekken), I was breaking throws and blocking stuff that I didn't think I had in me anymore. It really felt like the old times at the arcade."

Does Tekken 6 have a future with UTSF?

Not this season. Andy has said that 2.4 effectively bookended season 2. Shorter than last season but with better variety in champions and more ways to win points per event, Andy ended up pulling the plug on the festivities as " became too much of a headache...I think this will be it for a while as far as Ranbats."

With a devoted Utah fanbase that hovers at around 40 active players, quality fighting games like SF4 and Tekken 6, and a Super Street Fighter 4 to be unleased in early 2010, we can only hope that the competition is just stalled for a time and not on it's way to the scrapheap.

Use this time wisely, players. Build local fanbases with flyers, events, and casuals. Explore the games, experiment with different characters, see what else you can learn and just enjoy playing the game. Ranbat Season 3 will come sooner than you think, and the only thing standing between you and the winners podium is how badly you want it.


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