"Looking Back at EVO2015" By Rion @lionhiro Translated
Original Post Here: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sn4vfq
First EVO, first trip to America, was great times!!
If you like fighting games, please do go at least once.
-Get to socialize with people around the world.
-Spectating the matches are really fun > if a comeback happens the crowd goes like "Oh-!!" and gets really hyped. When USA chants happen it's like I'm watching sports and is
really fun. If you have friends that are competing in multiple titles you learn what to spectate which adds the charm.
-Touring and eating in Vegas was good too > if you get bored playing fighting games, just go sight seeing and go eat. It's a waste not to explore the city that's ranked high
in vacation hotspots. Not only they have steaks and hamburgers, they have Italian, Mexican, etc. We traveled with 6 people but never had issues with not liking the food, and
they were all delicious. We did bring some Japanese food but we only had miso soup once and never ate the cup noodles lol.
When I came to Tokyo 1 year ago I didn't think I'll ever go to EVO.
The level of Mikado was too high and I thought I would never be in the top league, nor think I'll ever go to a world championship to compete. And who knew I would travel with
the Pink Faust I use to challenge numerous times at the Leisure Land Nationals lol.
I can't write about everything that happened through out this year so I'll stop here.
Taka was really enthusiastic of going, which helped motivate me to go more and more. Due to a busy work season I wasn't too sure if I could get time off mid-July, but I
applied for vacation time 3 months ahead and got the 'OK' to go.
The 6 trip member included Taka, Nage, Nakamura, Consomme, Hasegawa, and myself. Some have not traveled oversea for 10 years, and we tried to be prepared as much as we can
for the trip. ESTA, Passport, Currency Exchange, Travel Items, etc.
Taka arranged meetups with other Japanese players from other games, and he also arranged on who's bringing monitors and ps3s.
Meetups were done on Saturdays and weekdays night with people that can show up, and it was well worth the time to prepare.
Also, at least 1 person should rent portable wifi. Because sometimes troubles can happen that can't be foreseen. I'll touch on this trouble later.
<On the Day of Departure>
We met up near Ueno 4 hours before our flight and did baggage check. This was done so in case someone forgot something they can go back and retrieve it. Not much happened
<Transfer to Vegas>
Everyone was worried about declaration and did our research beforehand but wasn't too bad. One of the guy at custom was able to speak Japanese and was hilarious lol. There
were 2 troubles that occurred during transfer so I'll describe them here.
1. Couldn't return to the flight gate.
At Portland Airport we met other Japanese players from other games and they said they wanted to do currency exchange, so I followed them > no currency exchange at the gate so
we ask the airport security and told us to go outside the gate zone first > do currency exchange > when we tried to return to the gate we were asked to do baggage check again
> you need boarding pass and passport to do the baggage check > we give them our boarding pass but the machine returns with an error and we can't get in (when we transferred,
we didn't receive a proper boarding pass and was only told to "go to X gate by Y time" and was handwritten on the original boarding pass) > if you looks carefully at the fine
print it writes "this ticket can't be used as boarding pass" > security takes us to check-in counter and prints our boarding pass > successfully did baggage check and was
able to go back to the gate!
This took us 2 hours...
If our transfer was 2-3 hours we would've been screwed. It is recommended to have 4-5 hours between transfers.
At foreign airports there are cases where smoking area and currency exchange are not available at the gates. I've heard of stories where a guy went for a smoke and couldn't
come back, I think this is a very similar story to that.
2. Due to Airline or Travel Agency's mistake, couldn't board the plane.
This happened to the players from other games. They apparently used an online travel agency to book the flight, but the pamphlet they were given before the trip with details
on flight were wrong, and differed from the information on the boarding pass.
They were suppose to go from Narita > Portland > Vegas, but on their ticket it said they were suppose to go to Salt Lake City before Vegas.
Question arises such as "How the hell did they get to Portland?", but we just assumed Airport staffs were pretty slack.
Normally you can contact the agency to have the boarding pass renewed, but we're in America. There's about 16 hours in timezone difference, and by the time they realized
people at the agency would be asleep. They stayed in Portland for 8 hours, and realized if they wait 1.5 hours it would be 10AM in Japan, but usually this would be gameover.
Also, even if you got to Vegas, if you can't make it in time for EVO there's no point. Our flight time was nearing so we don't know how they handled the situation afterwards,
and as rare as this situation is, it's a frightening one.
If you receive your ticket at the airport, double check with your pamphlet.
<Arrival at the Hotel>
By the time we got to the hotel it was really late, and we went out for food with EVO travel veterans that were already there. Then we slept.
<Vegas Day 2>
We hooked up our monitor and ps3. We played with other Japanese players and visited foreign player's sessions.
This is when I played Zidane. I lost 1-3. I believe this loss lead to the victory later (as a side note I received a RT note later that day of which Japanese players Zidane
has played and the scores).
Then went out for shopping. Met up with Oozu and took pictures, this is when we were approached by 2 mysterious black guys. The "Famous Musicians" that was talked about
during EVO. They asked for our signature, and once we did they told us "This is yours, so pay up". Consomme and I were caught, and I ended up paying $1. My other friend was
apparently asked for $100. This was very disturbing. That day we encountered them 20 minutes after leaving the hotel, but apparently they were also witnessed inside the hotel
a few days later. Probably a heads up is needed for next year.
Then we went to the Anime Suite. It ended up being a Japanese players gauntlet against the others. After the matches people told me they watched my mikado videos, and told me
good luck, which was really nice.
Was debating entering P4U2, but heard Taka was entering and had nothing else to do so I did so. Then for some reason was taken to stream station. It was nice to get the feel
of being on stream here than later. Pool's winner final I was bodied by Hagiwara, and had to face a female Yousuke player I barely beat earlier. I knew if I fought her again
I'd lose, and as expected I did. My gimmicks were exposed and I didn't have any other techs, so kind of natural I guess.
This is where I learned to not drag the loss and being sent to losers. I think it was a good idea I entered.
Then USF4 and ST bracket happens at the same time, and I decided to enter ST. Lost 1st round. I played against Nuki in casuals.
I asked "Are you Nuki?", which he replied "Huh? Yes. But I haven't played since last year's EVO, so it's been a year since I played". Then I think to myself "Maybe I can take
this". Nope. Too Strong lol.
Then I find out VSav and my Xrd pool happens at the same time the next day. I heard going back and forth is difficult so I gave up on VSav. Decided to go serious on Xrd.
But my head kind of hurts... Not only me but the other 5 were also saying they're not feeling too great. Probably due to the contrast in outdoor high temperature and indoor
Our party had a Cleric so thanks to him we were all able to recover. He's also the one that organized this trip. He showed his manliness by going all in at the casino
numerous times, and to me Hasegawa was definitely the MVP of the trip.
Xrd. I was told I have a famous USF4 player in my pool but he never showed up. Probably exhausted from yesterday's matches.
Nage apparently only slept for 1-2 hours due to nerves. He was one of the contenders to take 1st place, so he must of felt pressure like no other.
During pools my stick stopped working. Had to forfeit 1 round and continue, luckily I was up 1-0 so it wasn't too bad.
There were other Japanese in every other pool so sharing information was not hard.
Then fought against FAB on stream. I was told to play differently from how I usually play, so I did many pinpoint Dust and most of them hit. 2nd match 1st round I did a reset
dust after Split Shell and it hit, which was a huge factor for my win. I won 2-0.
This day I was doing well, and I could feel my body warming up. Could say I was in the flow at the time. Mixed feeling to have fun, and to win. Feeling satisfied of the
current achievements, but wanting to advance more.
Then had to play against Nakamura, a fellow trip buddy, and practice buddy. Kinda sad we had to fight each other but that's part of the competition.
He almost made a comeback, but there were missed burst and I won 2-1.
Taka lost to Nakamura afterwards, and Consomme despite winning against Axls and other bad matchups, lost to Kedako. Now only Nage, Nakamura, Hasegawa and I remain from our
Next match is on stream, winner moves on to top 8, against Nage. Yet another travel companion. I took first match but then he brought it back and I lost 1-2. So close. I
really wanted to win because that match would have guaranteed top 8. After I lost Nage cheered me on by saying "I'll be waiting at the main stage". I almost cried. Nage has
many possibility to beat me, and I learned earlier to not drag my loss and I was able to hold tight and stay strong.
Next match was against Kid Viper to see who goes to top 8 losers side. I wanted to be on main stage, whatever the cost. I played conservatively, and he didn't mash or
reversal much so I was able to play my aggressive style. At this time I was thinking "If I die going in, that's that and it's fine. I want to believe in my style and I won't
lose mentally". I could tell he wasn't comfortable playing with high stakes and was nervous. I made one critical error and 1st set was dangerous, but before he could play at
full potential I was able to force in.
Shuuto at this time was shouting at the foreign players in Japanese "SAVANNA DUDE IS REALLY STRONG!" and "WOW THIS GIRL IS REALLY GOOD!" and it was hilarious lol.
Then travel companion Hasegawa loses to Zidane Leo after a close match. We were sad that not all of us could be on the main stage.
Afterwards we took pictures of the top 8 competitors. It was my first time on the big stage so I was astonished to hear they're taking pictures.
During dinner I was gathering information about Zidane's characteristics from other Japanese players. In the afternoon his match with NOB was up on niconico, and by midnight
the match against Hasegawa was up too so I watched it. What I remembered most was he did reset Zweit, and all of NOB's wild throw worked (wasn't doing any fuzzy jumps). It
looked as though he didn't bother defending against throws, so I thought by doing more throws I can bait him into mashing against the throw.
That night Ain mailed me his Anti-Leo tech, so I combined it with my own anti-Leo notes and started practicing in training mode.
Throwing against reset Zweit; Just Guarding blockstrings; escaping loose blockstrings with forward super jump; fuzzy jumping stance oki; HS Wurde YRC oki guarding; mashing
crP between blockstrings; Dipper after just guarding stance HS; not throwing raw stun edge; no jumping even if a move whiffs; 2HS antiair after reacting to air dashes; only
going for guaranteed burst after Dritt ender.
Etc. He's clearly far stronger than I am, so even if I miss one gimmick he has I'm dead so I practiced against everything I know of. If I lose after doing this much it just
means he's better than me and I was cool with that, so I stopped and went to bed.
But, I couldn't sleep. If I tried to sleep my brain automatically went to image training. I doubted if I can keep up my pace for the next day. I was glad my hotel roommate
Hasegawa was there to talk with me. We just talked about work and gambling at the casino but it helped set my mind off the game.
I only slept for 3 hours that night. I remembered what Nage said in the morning about not being able to sleep, and I didn't think I would experience it first hand.
Finals day. Before going up on the stage I was cheered on by Persona players, fellow Mikado players, Katsukatsu and other Japanese player which helped me energize. Instead of
feeling nervous being on the big stage, I remembered Nage's usual quote of "Just gotta have fun man!" and loosened the nerves. I cheered Nage and Nakamura on, and the
infamous event happened.
I was only able to do part of what I practiced for against Zidane, but he seemed nervous and I was relaxed, and overall momentum was on my side and I was able to win 2-0. Did
a lot of unnecessary things, and I bursted against Erst which could have ended badly, but my tournament experience was able to win the match. Big thanks to Mikado and Jonio.
Also by getting bodied in casuals maybe his sense of awareness and cautiousness was not on par with mine.
Next up is Woshige. He just lost after the crazy mishap, so I thought if I just go in hard he won't be able to handle it, but I got destroyed 1st match. His ground game was
just unreal, and his footsie was too good lol.
2nd match I was able to adapt a little and move differently but it wasn't enough. There was too much difference in our level.
At the same time I strongly vowed to have a better match with him next time.
Even if Ogawa was my opponent I don't think I have advanced any further, so I think I was able to give it my all. Did far better than what I expected.
I wanted Nage to win, as we helped cheer each other up, but Ogawa was too strong. I hope he gets his runback at ArcRevo.
After the tournament I ate lunch, and fell asleep due to lack of rest. Watched UMvC3 and USF4 and got hyped up, and took picture with Markman with my arcade stick. Around
this time I lost my EVO top 8 medal I had in my bag. Thank you to NOB and Junichi for searching with me, and apologies to everyone at MadCatz for the trouble I caused.
After I came home Ho-chan contacted EVO for me and they're going to ship me another one. Thank you very much!
Ate breakfast at The Village Buffet and went to the airport. Our transfer flight was delayed by 2 hours but was able to touchdown in Japan safely. Thank you Sogou for helping
Compared to many others that made it to the big stage I severely lack level, but I was able to get 5th place because of everyone's support.
Everyone that I played with; everyone that cheered me on on twitter; everyone at Ishibashi Candy; Yuyu and Oro for the stick art (I was able to calm down by looking at the
art); Koichi; Ain (who got great results at GodsGarden, which motivated me to work harder); Ho-chan for translation and various help; fellow travel companions Taka, Hasegawa,
Consomme, Nakamura, Nage; Jonio and staff for always hosting tournaments to give me oppourtunities to improve:
Thank you to you all!
If Xrd is chosen again for next year's EVO I'd definitely like to go again! But I must become stronger for that...
Sorry for the long entry, but thank you for reading!