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Street Fighter V Champion Edition


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Quite why they needed to put the winner's name in the headline is beyond me.


Anyway! Sweet baby jesus. Some Top 8 things:


Ladies and gentlemen, we just witnessed the death of the teabag. Punk seems to have learned that you can't do it at the highest level, and got properly taunted by Tokido for his troubles anyway. And there was no funnier sight this weekend than Nuckledu bagging a full Kazunoko dizzy – seemingly forgetting that he had just whiffed a super – before going on to lose the set. Hold that.


Tokido vs Fchamp was a delight. Felt bad for Champ, which isn't something I ever thought I'd type. 


Punk, the little oik, consistently anti-airing Kazunoko's EX divekicks. Looked like he was playing on 3DS and had mapped the EX uppercut to a touchscreen input. Absolutely ridiculous.


The only bad thing about that grand-finals demon was that it wasn't in the final game.


Grand Finals was just outstanding, a complete dissection, a triumph of experience over raw talent. Punk will be back but he looked absolutely broken by it, and it was a shame Seth Killian wasn't on commentary to deploy the old 'mentally guardbroken'. I have always loved Tokido, and am glad he's finally got the trophy after being the nearly man for so long. Great stuff.


Even though, to quote a deity, there's nothing worse than watching a fuckin' fat man weep, I do so love seeing James Chen cry. If only Seth were up there with him.


Fighting games.

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"A secret training partner?"


.."It's no secret!"




Loved all the emotions after it was over. Seeing the most sympathetic SF-god we all like and wan't to do well finally come through was pure joy. And with SF5's most interesting character to boot. Never thought I would see this in SF5. 


Fighting games are indeed great. 


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If you are done watching Street Fighter V, I can highly, highly recommend King of Fighters Top 8. If you do not have time for that, just the Grand Finals will do.


Top 8.


Grand Finals

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Watched the final with a bunch of Japanese players I've been hanging out with recently. I don't care for Street Fighter V but god damn that shit was good to watch. I've been on a big break from fighting games due to study commitments but evo, as always, helps give me the motivation back (which is good as my studies end in 2 weeks).

Very tempted to try and go to Evo Japan but that's a big financial if as I return to the uk next month.


Anyway time to watch the KOF top 8 because I've heard it delivered like the KOF top 8 tends to at evo.

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Abigail has to be one of the most atriocious designs in recent memory. Play style looks fun but Christ it's like someone has been studying too much Rob Liefeld. 


Ive lost faith in Capcom's SF design team. 

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Something the victor said:



If anyone was wondering what Tokido said in Japanese;


"Of course, I'd like to thank all my fans who supported me... But I'd especially like to thank the people who kindly fought with me, so we could beat each other, and grow stronger together. Thank you very much!"

 What a good guy! He knows you can only go so far on your own, and it felt really heartwarming to hear him acknowledge that, the gracious bastard. So happy he's finally managed to take home the big prize though, and in such a deserving fashion. I don't think anyone doubts he played the best Street Fighter out of anyone in that top 8.


Also "fighting games are something great" almost set me off too. 




Nate, I was also sad it wasn't S-Kill on commentary. IIRC last year he and Mike Ross were commentating for the ESPN broadcast. Guess it was the same this year?

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Evo was so much better than last year for me. AnimEvo was incredible from start to finish, Blazblue top 8, KOF top 8 and Mahvel top 8 either delivered hype and/or the results I wanted. Puyo Puyo top 8 was the best thing on the whole show and SFV top 8 was fantastic as well.


I'm actually excited to play Abigail. They really didn't bottle it on making him the biggest character in the series and he looks like an absolute freak show. Definitely giving him a shot and enjoying the brief honeymoon period before I remember I don't like playing SFV. Almost all of the announcements on Sunday were amazing in fairness. Blazblue vs Uniel vs P4A vs RWBY was out of nowhere and I was going nuts for the trailer even though I don't currently play any of the three games they're mashing together. The Geese Howard reveal for Tekken was absolutely stunning too. I love a good surprise reveal trailer. And, as before, props to Capcom as the Jedah reveal in the middle of an exhibition was by far the best thing they've done with MVCI so far. Just let the gameplay speak for itself and stop SAYING THINGS. Thank you.


SFV grand finals:



Could not be more happy for Tokido. Almost got a bit misty-eyed myself when I saw how he'd adapted to Punk and it became clear that the young ''alpha'' was going to receive a schooling.. He played inside Punk's ranges and completely blew up the ground game that Punk likes to play and Punk was not ready for it at all. Punk's youth and dominance in almost all other competitions really hurt him, as it seems like it's not only losing that puts him on tilt but even when it becomes clear that the match is going to be a bit of a struggle. I felt for him a bit at the end but he's only 18 and has so many more wins ahead of him. He will be fine.  Tokido's on that list of players for me with Justin, Daigo, Xian, John Choi and Alex Valle where I always want to see them win because the world just seems right to me when they do. He's so smart, so experienced, so talented, I feel like if he can't adapt in a long set and topple an upstart 18 year old - even one as amazingly talented as Punk - then I'd fear for the state of the game even more than I do already.



The best bit of the whole set for me was when he got punk cornered, jumped as if to do the air fireballs that every Akuma in every match ever has always always done, and then absolutely murdered Punk for command dashing in anticipation of said fireballs. Actually shouted ''YOU FUCKING GENIUS'' out loud when he did that. What an absolute beast, 18:06 here. I wish the commentators had given him props for just how good that was:



He's right, fighting games are so great. I referred to Evo as FGC Christmas this year as we ended up having three all-nighter house sessions with mans we don't see so often these days. Gutted that Alistarr was only one train delay from making it for Mahvel on Sunday as that would have really completed the weekend. Get all the nerding family together for the special occasion and celebrate your shared hobby. I think if I actually went out to Vegas for I would end up blubbing at some point.


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20 hours ago, Nate Dogg III said:

consistently anti-airing Kazunoko's EX divekicks


Cammy's EX divekick loses to a bunch of well-spaced normals. I can't think of another EX move that can lose to a jab. Having the anticipation and reactions to punish them's great, but they're not as scary as you might think.


My thoughts on the final (warning: it's a big old whinge, so if you enjoy the game, don't bother):



Chokes in this game are binary, so Tokido knew that he had a licence to pressure when Punk folded. When I say binary, that's because execution's been removed as a barrier to top-level performance. For contrast, watch GamerBee versus Infil a couple of years ago, because the thing about chokes in IV is that you're often aware of them before your opponent is. Those moments when you suddenly doubt your ability to pull off something tricky under insane pressure, and you're hoping that the other guy won't be onto you and test that opening with a probe. Or maybe you've pulled off a counter through sheer desperation and he nows believes that you're solid on that.


So chokes in IV are layered, and as much as I didn't like the game, I enjoyed watching those matches. But because of V's easier execution, you know exactly where your opponent's at mentally; exactly when to push and pull. And the latter's what it boils down to, and that's mainly as a result of its input lag (tied to its pace, naturally).


For an example, the comms were criticising Tokido's lack of anti-airs. I wasn't. Tokido's getting on a bit now, so let's put his reactions down as 12+ frames. It takes another 8 or so to input a DP, and a further 3 for the DP to execute. That's 23 frames of a 35-frame (or thereabouts) jump. Add another 7 frames of lag and you're down to 5 frames. So if you don't anticipate a jump, you're unlikely to ID its animation within a few frames. (Anticipation also allows you to buffer the first forward, which is how I got into the bad habit of crouch-buffering with Cammy.)


On several occasions, Tokido probably could've punished jump-ins, and he knew as much, but he decided to stay grounded to take that option away from Punk. Because one big jump-in combo from Karin would've encouraged Punk to both try and feint them again, and Tok obviously decided that it was a better policy to deny them via routine neutral resets.


This is a big part of the reason why Daigo's no longer at the top, and probably never will be: he has no Ume. He was a master of making you think that you had an extra frame or two to punish him in IV, because the game was fast enough in motion with a five-frame delay. When he walks up in V, you just block; not because of him — in spite of him. No-one presses buttons when it's not their turn in the pocket. Because of the priority system and CCs, the meta's fishing at max range with mediums for confirms. Tokido's confirms were excellent — best in the tournament, and that's why he won.


The game revolves around preempting, because the input delay makes reactive play impossible at the highest level. Daigo's much less of a threat with Guile because he's set out his defensive stall with him. The majority of exchanges are rock-paper-scissors, and that's not because there's a lack of mutual respect between players, but because there is. The engine's against everyone to the comprehensive detriment of viable options. The entire meta's beating buttons with buttons, counter-hitting to confirms, to the extent of teabagging in the hope of gaining that crucial timing advantage. When tactics are set, you have to resort to any attempts to disrupt timing. Movement comes into play insofar as characters with variable jumps can make sparing use of them, but even then you come unstuck if you rely on them to get anything started.


Slapsies Fighter. I get the impression that they like it this way because it creates a stronger impression of mindgames than IV did, but that's superficial. If they reduced input delay to 3 frames and boosted its speed by 15-20%, we'd have something that's a lot deeper.


Abigail's all wrong for a game where everyone's laggy and slow, and it'll be horrible to watch him trying to advance on certain characters.


Delighted for the winner, though!

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