Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bodied, but not in public

I will not be doing a play by play of my matches at UFGT like I did last year as I played terribly and there is not much to talk about. Casuals were okay but as soon as there was something on the line I was absolutely free. Blue light special Blanka, all day. The odd thing is that I had more fun this year. Getting crushed is never a good time but I had no one to blame but myself and my lack of preparation. Because I was sucking I played less, making more time to sit in the crowd and watch.

On Friday night Salty Bet made its first and only appearance as a "playable" entity. For the uninitiated, Salty Bet is a mugen/betting site that pits random characters from all sorts of sources against one another. Since no one ever actually plays the game it is almost always  broken and certainly never fair. Keits pulled in who knows how many favors to get a "playable" build for the final UFGT. It was a silent bidding auction and I am kicking myself for not throwing cash at it until I got to play. The single elimination bracket started as 11:00 and by 2:00 it was still not done. I had to excuse myself on account of being old and feeble but those three hours were unexplainable.

It was more hype than almost anything I had ever see. The crowd was insane. Please keep in mind that the results of the games were almost entirely random. Whoever got the more broken character won, but when that broken character was a charizard or a robot that took up most of the screen or Guts or, best of all, Dark Donald, it didn't matter. Completely unknown players became temporary heroes for being lucky.

It was a beautiful thing.

Someone needs to commission a study on why there is a group of about ten to fifteen people who will make top fifteen in just about any game they play. Is Chris G really that good at anything he touches? Does Justin Wong really have the hands of God? How does Valle have any cartilage left in his fingers? Some of it is definitely innate ability. I saw Justin make it out of his mystery game tournament without breaking a sweat. This is a tournament filled with games that are either terrible or that no one has ever heard of (and are terrible) and he was able to figure each one out in under a round.

There has to be more to it than that. I keep meaning to ask some of these guys how many hours a week they put into these games. Is it really a full time job for the sponsored players and does being sponsored pay a living wage? I have my doubts about it paying enough to live on, but if that is a case how do these guys juggle practicing, tournaments and work? Do they just not sleep?

Side note: seeing Valle and PR Balrog cradling their drinks and hovering over the shoulders of other players may have been worth the trip. Them not sleeping is a distinct possibility.

UFGT was a good time and I hope its replacement is worthy (and not in Minnesota). My closest brushes with the big guys were getting bodied 5-0 by Alucard in Ultra Street Fighter 4 (he was quite gracious and helped me understand the Hugo matchup) and losing to OMG Its Andre 2-1 in KI (he was less gracious but he at least shook my hand). If these is a next time I will do better.

...no I won't, but I will still go.


Tune in tomorrow to hear about Wolfenstein: The New Order, an excellent shooter with far to many sex scenes.

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