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Monday, March 5, 2012

Road to EVO 2012

By: Eduardo Preciado
Sunday is usually set aside for football. With the football season over and very little to replace it, I find myself roaming through my RSS feed searching for deals or anything that could catch my interest. I ended up seeing a video that caught my eye and set the tone for my Sunday in a very interesting way.
On, I saw a story titled, “Kusoru’s Anti-Phoenix Strategies From Final Round XV,” which had a video that I thought would be interesting. Though I know few people play with Phoenix online, it’s always good to be well rounded. It was the Final Round with Complexity CrossCounter Filipino Champ (Magneto/Doctor Doom/Phoenix) against Final RoundBats AgeoJoe (Viewtiful Joe/Frank West/Rocket Raccoon).
To sum up, here are a few things that make this video special.
AgeoJoe – considered the best Japanese Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 player with an extremely awkward team. Viewtiful Joe: a good tier character. Frank West – only after being “leveled up” to level 4 is he considered an S tier character, if not he is sub-par. And the wild card, Rocket Raccoon: not many players use him on their team, especially at the most important position {the anchor}. Col. cc Filipino Champ on the other hand played with a great battery/lead position using Magneto. Doctor Doom is among the best and most dangerous thanks to his foot dive loops. And though Phoenix was nerfed from her ‘Vanilla’ version, she still is a threat with level 3 X-Factor and 5 Bars. (This gives her the ability to transform into Dark Phoenix)
Right off the bat it looks as if this match favors Champ after he quickly took out Viewtiful Joe, however AgeoJoe impressively manhandles the Master of Magnetism with level 1 Frank West. This is no simple feat. Doom would have almost had a game changing combo had it not been for the fact that Champ missed his combo because of Raccoons’ minuscule size. Champ lost to DD for his dropped combo and then Frank West was brought in to take on Phoenix. The turning point of the match occurred after Champ did a down High into a trap left by Raccoon. Frank West finished Phoenix with a Blue Light Special and right when Dark Phoenix rose, AgeoJoe X-Factors with Frank West, then barrel rolled under Phoenix to avoid the explosion since the roll has invincibility into Funny Face Crusher. “Simply amazing” is all that can be said. It was so shocking. Fast Forward to the end of the second match, Raccoon vs. Phoenix, both still having X-Factor. Raccoon called it first and when he activated Dark Phoenix he droped the Mad Hopper hyper. Champ trieed to avoid it but eventually teleported with Phoenix behind Raccoon and is hit crouching Low. He hit the trap which launched Phoenix. AgeoJoe then went into the Rock ‘n’ Roll hyper to win the match.
I immediately signed into and looked for the Road to EVO stream. I grabed the HDMI cabl from behind my monitor and plugged it into my TV. I grabbed some Chinese Food, Dr. Pepper, and my cell phone. For the next couple of hours I listened to the likes of Ultra David, Justin Wong, James Chen, and Skisonic. I watched as guys like OMG itz Andre, FC Jago, UVG Noel Brown, Knives got eliminated in the Top 16. Just as surprising were some of the guys that ended in the Losers Bracket in this Round Robin style tournament such as Neo, Filipino Champ, PR Balrog and FC NYChrisG. The very impressive matches were definitely in the winners and losers finals.
In the Winners Finals it was BT|IFC Yipes (Spencer/Dante/Hawkeye) vs FRB AgeoJoe (Viewtiful Joe/Frank West/Rocket Raccoon). AgeoJoe won the match set 3-1, but it was how much he confused Yipes and did his homework that most impressed me. AgeoJoe knew who his opponent’s best character was and made sure to finish him [Spencer]. AgeoJoe showed a lot of skill in being able to defeat some really top tier characters while showing that he didn’t need to play with top tier himself. He showed great team chemistry especially with Viewtiful Joe’s dive kick mixed with Rocket Raccoons’ Pendulum assist. His notion of “if it works why stop it?” worked the entire tournament.  It was what made me root for him even more since he was sort of the underdog.  Most would have bet that Col. CC Combofiend would have won the tournament.
In the Losers Final PR Balrog (Spencer/Wolverine/Wesker) vs BT|IFC Yipes (Spencer/Vergil/Hawkeye). Balrog took the first match convincingly and was able to show that he is the best Spencer for a reason. Yipes impressed by running the table with his Vergil and level 3 X-Factor to comeback and win the second match. The third match went to PR Balrog in a match that came down to his Wesker vs Yipes Hawkeye. Yipes made it interesting by winning the fourth match by hitting Bionic Arm then X-Factor and Bionic Arm such is known to be a Balrog specialty. PR Balrog moved onto Grand Finals by getting a “Happy Birthday” (catching two characters at one time) and then mixing up Vergil with Logan.
Grand Finals were the most interesting of all the matches since it seemed that everyone was giving PR Balrog as much advice as possible on how he could defeat AgeoJoe. In this match PR Balrog went with the team of Wolverine/Spencer/Felicia. It looked like a runaway with AgeoJoe taking the first two matches with the same strategy that got him to the Grand Finals. It was obvious in the third match that some of AgeoJor’s tactics were catching up to him as PR Balrog was able to take the third match, especially since he ended up taking out Rocket Raccoon on a “Happy Birthday.” The fourth match was taken thanks to Felicia getting her X-Factor Level 3 Infinite in on both Viewtiful Joe and Frank West. The fifth match had the most implication since if PR Balrog won he’d reset the brackets, but if he lost he’d lose the entire tournament. Balrog did well until one very puzzling move in which Balrog missed an overhead. AgeoJoe countered with Mach Speed (which has some invincibility start-up) than Balrog went into Bionic Arm (invincible start-up), but then switched to Wolverines Fatal Claw which got Wolverine killed. AgeoJoe ended up winning the match after he was mobbed by his own companions.
I know a lot of people probably didn’t tune in since there were some great basketball games on, but I’m glad to say that I tuned into the entire tournament. It was a blast to watch. I rooted for the Japanese player that had the very awkward team, and felt rewarded to see him come out victorious. FC Jago once said in one of his videos that “if you want to get good you have to start by learning to play Wesker.” It was great to see that passing up on the overpowered characters and learning the in’s and out’s of other unknown characters would sometimes get you unexpected results. After watching the tournament, I was so excited I ran to my PS3 and started practicing some of my team unity and combos to improve. I may not be a Pro, but it sure feels good to win in some of the smaller tournaments we have among friends.

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