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FOCUS
July 28, 2011 2:41 PM   Subscribe

Evolution 2011, the largest fighting game tournament in the world, starts tomorrow. On its eve, a documentary chronicling one player's run last year, FOCUS, was released.

The player, Mike 'Mike Ross' Ross, is one of the two men behind a series of street fighter videos, in several seasons, The Excellent Adventures of Gootecks and Mike Ross(1,2,3), as well as a combination news/match analysis show(example here).
You can watch Evo starting tomorrow here, and see the schedule here.
posted by apathy0o0 (33 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
I can't wait to get home and watch this.

Also, you can't talk about Evo without talking about the epicness of Daigo vs. Justin in Evo 2004. If there is a more awesome fighting game moment than that, I'd like to see it.
posted by griphus at 2:43 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


I like this FPP because I feel like I've wandered into a parallel universe of MetaFilter.
posted by davejay at 3:53 PM on July 28, 2011


If there is a more awesome fighting game moment than that, I'd like to see it.

Comedy option: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD_imYhNoQ4
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 4:05 PM on July 28, 2011


I really enjoyed the documentary; thanks! I'll try to watch Mike tomorrow. I can see that being fun, since I have someone to root for.
posted by gilrain at 4:22 PM on July 28, 2011


>get lamp

*SHORYUKEN*!

You have dropped the lamp.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:42 PM on July 28, 2011


I don't even play Street Fighter but I watch everything Cross-Counter TV does.

<obligatory>
Gooooooooootechsssss, get in there!
</obligatory>
posted by Ad hominem at 5:01 PM on July 28, 2011


BTW, they also play Mortal Combat 9 and Marvel vs Capcom 3. I find the Mortal Combat vidoes hilarious because they pretty obviously have no idea what they are doing but still manage to win more often than not.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:08 PM on July 28, 2011


I never really got into fighting games, they just seemed like mostly button mashing to me. Although I did play Soul Caliber II on the dream cast with friends when I was in college. The 3d stage made it seem more complex, I guess. Watching the so-called 'epic' fights isn't really that interesting. They don't look that much different then any other games. In SCII pro games are completely different from lower-level games.
posted by delmoi at 5:08 PM on July 28, 2011


In SCII pro games are completely different from lower-level games.

Didn't play much SC2, but it's close enough to SC1, which I played to death. That game got one of Gamespot's few 10.0 ratings (back when that meant something), and it was the reason to get a Dreamcast. I would definitely love to see SCx tournament footage.
posted by Edgewise at 5:16 PM on July 28, 2011


I think y'all are talking about different SCs there...
posted by kmz at 5:20 PM on July 28, 2011


Yeah I was talking about Starcraft 2, but, I did mention Soul Caliber earlier in the same paragraph, so it was kind of ambiguous :P.
posted by delmoi at 5:22 PM on July 28, 2011


I don't know how kmz figured that out, but what you said makes a lot more sense, now.
posted by Edgewise at 5:39 PM on July 28, 2011


Love Mike's reference to checkers vs. chess. The mental game makes it so much more than button mashing. The tournaments make it human, and realizing the skill, I'd root for Mike this year.
posted by Benway at 5:48 PM on July 28, 2011


delmoi : if when you said "They don't look that much different then any other games" you were referring to, for example, the Daigo link in the first comment i humbly submit that you're not aware of what the differences between pickup-local-arcade play and top level tournaments look like.
posted by radiosilents at 6:45 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Thanks apathy0o0 for this. They cut away when Mike is ruminating over whether or not he'd still play Street Fighter if he sucked at it. I'm not very good at it (usually plateauing between 2000-4000 ranking on Xbox live) but I think I'll be playing it on and off for the rest of my life. Last time I was training more seriously was over a year ago. At that time I did realize that I would have to start playing with a joystick in order to get out of my rut. I started researching sticks and have kind of left it off there. I love the Street Fighters and this was a generally good documentary about them and tournament play. I'll have to watch some of Mike Ross' videos.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 6:48 PM on July 28, 2011


To someone unfamiliar with Starcraft, I bet superb marine micro would look pretty similar to 1a2a3a. The guys with guns moved forward and shot the aliens.
posted by Wyatt at 7:30 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Watching Vangief jab Justin Wong out of all his offensive gambits last year was absolutely amazing.
posted by neuromodulator at 7:32 PM on July 28, 2011


At the end of the film Mike talks about hoping to go to Japan to take on some more of the Japanese top players. Well he's made his wish a reality by qualifying for Super Battle Opera 2011 - a tournament of similar stature (if slightly different setup) in Japan as EVO has in the States. So good luck to him and his team-mate, Filipino Champ, come September.

He also went to Australia earlier in the year and had a brilliant fight against Mago (Mago being one of the best of the best that Japan has to offer).

Not to mention the fact that a lot of great players from far-east Asia are making it to Evo this year:

Korea - Infiltration, Poongko
Japan - Daigo, Tokido, Mago, Momochi, Kindevu, ChocoBlanka
Taiwan - GamerBee

and probably more that I'm forgetting. Factor in how well some of the top American players are playing right now and it should be an outstanding tournament.
posted by MUD at 7:45 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Poongko is ferocious. Really entertaining.
posted by neuromodulator at 8:38 PM on July 28, 2011


I've watched that Daigo/Justin clip probably 100 times.

It's so fantastic when the audience goes ape when Daigo blocks successfully and then completely lose their shit when he counter attacks.
posted by PenDevil at 2:40 AM on July 29, 2011


I watched that Daigo/Justin clip, and I have to say that I had *NO IDEA* wtf is going on, but I was somewhat annoyed at the dudes screaming in my headphones. I find watching most fighting game clips to be like that, though, because I don't really know the games well enough it's hard for me to tell what is awesome (ie hard to do) and what is not (ie button mash like crazy, like I do).
posted by antifuse at 7:37 AM on July 29, 2011


He also went to Australia earlier in the year and had a brilliant fight against Mago (Mago being one of the best of the best that Japan has to offer).

Wow. You're not kidding. I was gripping the arm of my chair and yelling!
posted by RokkitNite at 7:46 AM on July 29, 2011


antifuse: I watched that Daigo/Justin clip, and I have to say that I had *NO IDEA* wtf is going on

The simple answer is that Daigo successfully parried every hit of a 17 hit combo. The reason that this is significant is two-fold: a) it's really hard to pull off and b) failing to parry, as opposed to simply blocking, would mean that the "chip" damage (the minimal damage done through a block) would kill him, because his health was so low at the time. That he managed to not die to the combo was amazing, but that he actually held it together enough to follow through and win is what makes Daigo one of Japan's best players. That guy is cool as ice.
posted by ashirys at 8:05 AM on July 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


The broadcast is starting now, via the links in the OP. I'm getting pretty excited about this. I doubt Mike Ross can go all the way, but he'll probably do well... regardless, I'd love to see someone take Daigo down this year. He's a legend, obviously, but surely someone can break his spell.

Mike and Gootecks have been talking about the Singapore players as possible dark horses, this year. Hm!
posted by gilrain at 8:12 AM on July 29, 2011


Antifuse, here's the situation. There are two types of defensive actions. Blocking is relatively easy, and low reward. It negates normal attacks completely, and takes a token amount of damage from special attacks. Parrying is relatively hard, requiring precise timing, but it doesn't take the small amount of damage from certain attacks that blocking does.

At the climax of that match, Justin Wong has a sizeable lead over Daigo. He initiates a super attack that strings together 17 hits in rapid succession automatically; because Daigo's health is so low he's forced to parry. The normally insignificant token damage that the hits do through blocks would be enough to kill him when it's multiplied by 17.

So Daigo pulls off this very narrow timing window for each of the successive 17 hits. He not only has to know the timing of each of those 17 very well, but parrying introduces a slight delay after each successful execution, so he has to account for the modified timing of the 17-string when each hit is parried. To do this under those circumstances, under that pressure, is extraordinary. To come back and win, well, that's why the crowd reacts that way.
posted by neuromodulator at 8:16 AM on July 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


The simple answer is that Daigo successfully parried every hit of a 17 hit combo.

To add, parrying, unlike blocking, is a reflex move. A block just involves holding the back button as the attacks are coming and, if necessary, changing from a standing block to a crouching block. A parry involves hitting the forward button at the very moment an attack is coming, so the reflexes and knowledge of the timing required to do this seventeen consecutive times are rather impressive.
posted by griphus at 8:19 AM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Uh, or what neuromodulator said.
posted by griphus at 8:19 AM on July 29, 2011


The SSF4 matches are airing on the evo-1 stream. Sounds like the first match is starting up very soon.
posted by ashirys at 8:32 AM on July 29, 2011


He not only has to know the timing of each of those 17 very well, but parrying introduces a slight delay after each successful execution, so he has to account for the modified timing of the 17-string when each hit is parried.

For further difficulty, he chose to jump and air-parry the last of those 17 hits, which allowed him to land a more damaging combo in return and thus definitely kill Justin's character. As has been said, it's this combination of calm under pressure and tight execution that is amazing.

On a different tack, Mike Ross has qualified on winners side out of his pool today.
posted by MUD at 10:54 AM on July 29, 2011


MUD:

On a different tack, Mike Ross has qualified on winners side out of his pool today.

So, am I not understanding what the live stream is covering? How come it didn't show Mike Ross?
posted by gilrain at 11:21 AM on July 29, 2011


The tournament is big enough that it's approximately 90 16 player pools. The tournament is double elimination, so each pool places a zero loss and a one loss player into the next round. Today they are showing pools, but not every pool is on the stream, just because there are so many pools. At some point the coverage switches to the players who have left the pools and goes to the remaining ~180 players. By the end of the day there should be either 64 or 32 remaining players, who then play on sunday.
posted by apathy0o0 at 11:33 AM on July 29, 2011


Yup, I'm sure they would have liked to get Mike Ross on the stream early (People's Champion and all) but there are just so many great players playing so many matches at this stage that they can't fit everyone in.
posted by MUD at 11:37 AM on July 29, 2011


Just went back to watch the Daigo/Justin clip again with new insight, and realized that the one I had watched before was the Wombo Combo clip, not Daigo/Justin. Daigo/Justin made a bit more sense. :)
posted by antifuse at 1:54 PM on July 29, 2011


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