First up will be some info for the tournament this Saturday then a nice long, and rare read on top #USF4 Japanese players’ thoughts!

Duelling Final Phase

First, a message from Fox (in French)

Saturday Afternoon Final Chance Brackets 16 MAX

Then the final 8 at Meltdown!

*subject to change


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  • All tournament entrants are also in the lottery

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Ce Samedi – STREAM #2


EVO 2014 from Japanese players’ eyes #USF4

We cannot vouch for the authenticity of this article but it appears to be a translation of a roundtable discussion where you can read “Sanford is probably an expert in pulling dirty tricks” and other interesting comments about the Americans and Louffy from the Japanese players Bon-chan, Tokido, Mago, Kazunoko and Fuudo, about their experiences at EVO2014. [ Source ] Thx Henry Choi


  1. Mago: So let’s talk about the brackets. How was yours?
  2. Tokido: My pool wasn’t particularly difficult. There weren’t [that many] strong players in it. I feel that I made it out pretty swimmingly. In fact, I don’t even recall anyone that left a lasting impression on me. Really, I don’t think I lost a round throughout the pool play. Things started getting rough once there were matches between pool winners, though.
  3. Mago: I remember you had some hard matches.
  4. Tokido: Yeah, I was confident, but there were some dark horses. For example, there was this Hakan player that I heard nothing about. After I was done with my pool, I went to check out who I was getting matched with next, and this guy was mopping the floor with Hakan. I immediately thought to myself: “This Hakan is good”. So then I went back to my room and started brainstorming for countermeasures against Hakan; re-watching my past matches against EBI, for example. But once I actually got down to the match, it ended up being really close, and I barely won.
  5. Mago: I heard about that.
  6. Tokido: I don’t think there’s a footage of that match, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if I lost. It came that close. The other guy looked so ready and motivated, and maybe that’s what I should expect from someone who picks a character like Hakan, but it was a memorable moment for me.
  7. Mago: But come to think of it, there were a lot of Japanese players who had uphills getting to top 32. Like you, Kazunoko, right?
  8. -a moment of silence-
  9. Kazunoko: Ah, yes, I was listening.
  10. Mago: Were you? Are you ok? You aren’t fooling around or anything, are you?
  11. Kazunoko: No no, I was listening. We’re talking about formidable players we faced, right? (laughs)
  12. Tokido: Yeah, that match against Sakura came pretty close, right?
  13. Kazunoko: It REALLY came down to the wire.
  14. Mago: How far into the tournament was this?
  15. Kazunoko: This was the final of my pool.
  16. Mago: Oh? And he was really good?
  17. Kazunoko: So I have this prejudice that international Sakura players are so aggressive and tend to go nuts with offense… But this Sakura player seemed to have done the homework and prepared for the Yun matchup, and he never really took risks attacking. I thought to myself “There are people this good in America…?”
  18. Mago: Do you know where he was from?
  19. Kazunoko: I think America…? I hear he’s pretty well known.
  20. Momochi: If I remember correctly, his name was Alex Myers?
  21. Kazunoko: Yes yes, that’s right.
  22. Momochi: I heard he’s been making a name for himself.
  23. Bonchan: I, too, have heard that he’s pretty famous now in the states.
  24. Fuudo: I wouldn’t have been surprised if he 3-0’d you. I was with Kazunoko and saw his matches a lot [at EVO], but he just barely won most games. His opponents generally controlled all matches. Watching them got me worried.
  25. Mago: From what I heard, [Alex Myers] dropped two rounds that should’ve been an easy win for him?
  26. Fuudo: It wasn’t exactly like that. So for one thing, he made a situation where he pushed Kazunoko to the corner, full-charged Sakura’s Hadoken, and made Kazunoko guess high-low, as a wake-up mixup. But [Kazunoko] then did a desperate EX upkicks and landing that got him a win.
  27. Mago: Haha, yeah it was like “Would you even go for that in this situation?!”
  28. Fuudo: Personally, I thought it was a situation where [Alex Myers] should have played safe and seen what Kazunoko was going to go for after the fireball. Maybe a high-low mixup AFTER confirming that Kazunoko decided to block that fireball. But Kazunoko pulled the trigger when they both had pretty much no health, and he won the bet.
  29. Mago: And needless to say, if Alex Myers blocked or evaded that EX upkick, Kazunko would have lost?
  30. Fuudo: Yes, it would’ve been a walk-off win for Alex.
  31. Mago: Wow, he nailed it, then. How did you feel about that, Kazunoko?
  32. Kazunoko: Yeah, well… that guy’s mixups were just perfect.
  33. Mago: He was that good?
  34. Kazunoko: So good… So good that I probably just couldn’t have held it in any longer. I was like, “This is it, this is the end of me. I have no clue what’s coming next, so I have to bet everything on this upkick…” And it just so happened that I won the bet and got that round and game. I heard the crowd go wild. Well, it was more like disappointed sighs… They were like “This guy…”. (laughs)
  35. Mago: Haha. But from what Fuudo was saying, in that situation the only thing [Alex] would’ve gone for is the high-low mixup.
  36. Kazunoko: Yeah… well, I just couldn’t predict which one was coming.
  37. Mago: I see. Yeah, those come with experience. It’s important to keep playing with that in mind. Let’s get back to Tokido. You got matched with Snake Eyez, correct?
  38. Tokido: Yes, I played Snakes Eyez after the Hakan match. I’ve had the opportunity to play (roughly 30 friendly matches) with Snake Eyez in Australia in the past, so I had a good idea about how he plays and how he would approach the [Akuma] matchup. But this time… long story short, I couldn’t bring the win.
  39. Mago: It was a really good match. The footage is up on youtube, so watch it and you can find out for yourself. But Tokido and Snake Eyez both showed great mobility and movement, and I thought it was overall a great match watching it.
  40. Tokido: At the beginning of the match, I decided to change my approach and did some different things that I thought would work better against Snake Eyez, but he adapted so quickly. So I employed my old tactics back after second game, and it worked out pretty well and I came close to winning, but sadly I blew it at the very end.
  41. Mago: But you know, losing to Zangief would always be like that, is what I think.
  42. Tokido: Yeah, maybe you’re right. Zangief is at advantage when he could rope his opponent into close-range slugfest. Since Akuma can avoid that with ground and air fireballs, [how I played against Snake Eyez] seems to be how that matchup typically goes.
  43. Mago: Momochi, what did you think?
  44. Momochi: Yeah, well… I played against Snake Eyez at 25th anniversary and lost using Akuma, so… I can only say “I know how that feels”. (laughs) The community seems to think it’s a braindead matchup for Akuma, but personally, it’s not easy by any means. Zangief is a hard character to go up against.
  45. Mago: So you were sent to Loser’s bracket after losing to Snake Eyez. Then what happened?
  46. Tokido: Hmmm….
  47. Mago: Ah, let’s change the format. Instead of reviewing each person’s full EVO experience at a time, let’s get through our matches up the point where we got done with pools. So we just talked about 8am pools, so next is 10am?
  48. Kazunoko: Well, we already talked a lot about my match.
  49. Mago: Yeah, with Alex Myers. Were there any other notable players?
  50. Kazunoko: Not really… I struggled my very first match against this Oni, but that was because I was still stretching and getting my engine started. I did YOLO upkicks very early on, got blocked, and ate a full raw Ultra. My health melted and lost that round in the blink of an eye. I even thought I might get eliminated with my first match. My movement was just so stiff, but Fuudo got my back and advised me to relax and take it easy. That helped me bring it back.
  51. Mago: Oh, Fuudo was with you a lot?
  52. Fuudo: Yes, this EVO, especially in pools, I wanted Kazunoko to be around me and give me advice. I feared that there will be a kind of losses where I feel so helpless and don’t know what to do. I wanted Kazunoko to help me as much as I was eager to help him. So we cheered for each other.
  53. Mago: Wow, excellent teamwork.
  54. Kazunoko: But yeah, that was about it.
  55. Mago: Who was at 12pm?
  56. Momochi: Wait, I was in 10am bracket as well. Everything went swimmingly until Winner’s Final where I fought Smug…
  57. Mago: WHAT?!
  58. Momochi: I fought the guy who is in same team as Smug the Dudley player.
  59. Mago: Ah, so not Smug? You scared me. I thought he was in Bonchan’s pool.
  60. Bonchan: Yeah, I didn’t think his pool was THAT difficult.
  61. Momochi: So Smug’s teammate is a Hakan/Guile player. And there’s this Yang player that I heard about from my friend in America. I showed him my pool bracket and asked him if there’s anyone good, and he told me to take note on this Yang player. I tried to look him up on youtube to do some research on him, but there were just no results. (laughs) I found some videos after swapping one letter, but I was skeptical if it’s the same guy. So I asked my friend again to double check if it’s the same guy he has in his mind, but he said that guy is definitely a Yang player. I took his word for it and decided to prepare for Yang, Guile, and Hakan matchups. But… there just wasn’t any Yang in my pool. So in the end I just got matched with that Hakan/Guile player. You know, Hakan is kinda scary… Since I mainly use Ken, I was hoping he would go for Guile. But at the back of my mind, I already made a decision to pick Juri if he showed any sign that he would pick Hakan. So right when I went to the station, I had Ken on my side of the character select screen already, making my intention to pick him from start evident. Then thankfully he picked Guile, so it worked out for me. That match went without a hitch, and I made it out of my pool.
  62. Mago: That’s an interesting thing about EVO. The rules about character select are not clear cut. No players are really required to declare and register their main characters.
  63. Bonchan: For players who use multiple characters, character select in and of itself is a reading/mind game.
  64. Mago: But you can ask the pool manager to be a judge if there are any issues.
  65. Momochi: For me, there wasn’t an issue. [Character select] went pretty smoothly. Picking known main character was like an unspoken rule.
  66. Mago: I see. Who was at 12pm?
  67. Fuudo: My pool wasn’t too difficult. I got an intel at first that Lapchi is there. I was determined to win against him, but I don’t think he was in my pool. He was [at EVO], though, right?
  68. Mago: Yeah, I heard he was in the same pool as this guy called Nerotan, who is other fellow Japanese player. I heard he went up against Lapchi in their pool’s final, and they had a good game. It was a Blanka mirror match, and Lapchi lost. But anyway.
  69. Fuudo: Nothing really happened. I think I made it out not losing a round.
  70. Mago: And next is 2pm? I was in that. My pool was just uneventful. Nothing happened.
  71. Bonchan: You mean you didn’t make anything happen? You were just that good?
  72. Mago: Yeah, it was just a really easy pool. It might come off rude to those who were in that pool, but they were just not in the same league as me. I don’t think I lost a round. I breezed through it and made it out, and that means getting top… 256? Ok, now Bonchan.
  73. Bonchan: I saw this good Makoto and good Guile playing in my pool. Either way, it’s not a matchup I like, so I already felt discouraged there. Makoto player was really good, but Guile player took the game. I got matched with him in Semifinal, but for some reason he picked Ryu instead. I went “You’re kidding me. Are you trying to psych me out?”. He even went so far as to picking Ultra 1. I thought he was throwing this match. I just swept him easily. I thought “Picking Metsu Hadoken? This is a last call to go back!”.
  74. Mago: Oh yeah, that’s right. Since you play Sagat, you have a harder time against Guile than Ryu.
  75. Bonchan: Yeah, and what I don’t get is that he seemed to play Guile as his main. He was playing comfortably with Guile from what I’ve seen. I still don’t understand why he picked Ryu and stuck with him. I was expecting him to pick Guile after the first loss.
  76. Mago: You know, something like this seems to have happened to you a lot this tournament.
  77. Bonchan: Yeah, there were a lot of cases where my opponents picked characters that I find easy to deal with. But other than that, I made it out pretty easily.
  78. Mago: Ok, so after pools… let’s talk about the rest in order of who lost first.
  79. Tokido: So I told you about my matches up to my loss against Snake Eyez. Then who did I get matched next…?
  80. Mago: We can look it up.
  81. Tokido: Yeah, after Snake Eyez I had some rough matches. The one I still particularly remember is the one against Kiyomatsu.
  82. Mago: I remember that.
  83. Tokido: That match… was happening behind the curtain. So before my match, Kiyomatsu (who’s from Osaka) was up against Kojiro (the Chun player), and winner of that was matched with me. I was watching that match and thought it was neck and neck, but Kiyomatsu seemed just one step ahead and won. And then comes my turn to face him, and… he was really strong. A lot of it was due to the fact that I never really got a chance to play him previously. He’s been a known Guy player since Alpha 3, and at the time he used to go by Teacher.
  84. Mago: Oh yeah, I remember that. Not sure if he really was a teacher in real life, though.
  85. Tokido: He was really good. I think of all the players I fought, he seemed more prepared for Akuma matchup than anyone else. His Guy was just so in-synch with his thoughts. It came down to the final round, and I just barely won. No one was really watching it, but that was a good, close match.
  86. Mago: I’m surprised to hear Kiyomatsu’s name because he hasn’t really been playing at arcades. He seems to be practicing at home. So maybe that led you to underestimate him?
  87. Tokido: Yeah. I heard nothing about him [in Ultra]. After Kiyomatsu, I then played Louffy.
  88. Mago: You played him that early?
  89. Tokido: Louffy match… I was confident…
  90. Mago: I don’t really recall you losing to Louffy in the past.
  91. Tokido: True, but that was pre-Ultra versions of the game. Not only did Akuma still have dominating oki game, but it was also easier to play footsie. Another thing that’s different in Ultra is Rose’s new anti-fireball option, EX soul spiral. So zoning her with fireballs has become harder. I was trying to come up with new plans on the fly and started experimenting like shooting fireballs at a closer range, but I then soon realized it doesn’t work.
  92. Mago: Yeah, he looked very well composed.
  93. Tokido: He’s always been good at fireball game and adapting, but this time he seemed more motivated than ever before. Halfway through the game, I knew my approach just doesn’t work against such a player like Louffy, so I decided to stop fireballs altogether and focused on ground game. But that didn’t work either…
  94. Mago: I don’t blame you. It was tough. Well, you know, there are a lot of skillful players in Europe. I’m sure Louffy has as much experience fighting with players who use a lot of fireballs as with those who focus on ground, close-range game. So he was better than you expected?
  95. Tokido: Yeah… And one thing I thought watching him play is that he’s really good at knowing when to forward dash.
  96. Mago: Is that so?
  97. Tokido: If you don’t know how to deal with that, Louffy matches are an uphill battle. You see, Rose’s recovery from her forward dash is 20 frames, slightly longer than average, but she travels so far. So she could sneak in forward dash throw from a range you don’t usually expect it. I need to work on a counter for that.
  98. Mago: In addition, I believe her dash recovery got reduced by 1 and is now 19. It greatly supplemented Louffy’s game. And maybe for other Rose players too… (laughs) Apparently a lot of people are playing Rose now.
  99. Bonchan: It’s like last year’s Xian all over again.
  100. Mago: A lot people used Gen then? There’s probably no one left now, though, right? (laughs) But Rose isn’t as difficult as Gen, so people might stick with her. Ok, so you were defeated by Louffy, and as far as USF4 is concerned, you were done? You played well. I guess it’s now my turn? Long story short, though, there isn’t much for me left to talk about.
  101. Momochi: But you got pretty far in the Winner’s brackets?
  102. Mago: Yeah, true. The thing is, I checked my brackets the moment they got announced, and I thought I’ll cruise through it easy. I just didn’t notice anyone that would give me trouble. Well, in reality, there was Misse that I noticed later, and I expected him to give me a hard time. He has good records in arcade and everything, but of all Japanese players I would rather get matched with him than Kojiro. I don’t like the Chun matchup. Kojiro was in my brackets but in Loser’s side, so I wasn’t worried about him.
  103. Bonchan: I heard Misse got sent to Loser’s side in pools, so it was already determined that you’re not going to get matched with him.
  104. Mago: That’s right. Here’s what happened though. So my pool and Misse’s pool started at the same time, and I was trying to study him and avoid him at the same time. (laughs) It was hard because, you know, I should say hi and start a conversation and everything if we were to see each other. That’s just a social protocol, right? It’s not like we’re complete strangers. But still, it was hard for me to cheer for him because I didn’t want to get matched with him. I wanted to win like everyone else, you know? It’s hard to honestly say “Hey, best of luck, man. I hope to see you in a match. Let’s do our best!”. But anyway, somewhere early in the bracket, maybe 1st or 2nd match, he played this Hugo guy… Hugo something, I think it was a number. Tokido played him in the past, counter-picking Bison with Honda. So against Misse’s Makoto, he picked Yun, and Misse lost that match. I knew he was devastated in shock, but I couldn’t help but pretend I didn’t see it. So I breezed through my first pool, and for the match I originally expected Misse, I played this guy instead, and he wasn’t all that impressive. I heard there were some upsets in his pool.
  105. Momochi: So what happened to Hugo guy after beating Misse?
  106. Mago: Not sure, I think he lost. I didn’t face him. Anyway, while getting through these pool winners, I crossed path with Sanford.
  107. Bonchan: Oh yeah, I remember that. He changed his character, it looked like.
  108. Mago: Yeah, I’ve always thought he was Sagat player. At CEO, I think 2 years ago? I played him and he was still using Sagat then. So I thought Sagat matchup shouldn’t be too bad for my part. But then he picked Oni, and it caught me off guard.
  109. Tokido: He’s been using Oni for a while.
  110. Mago: Yeah, I have heard that also. Sanford kind-of went under my radar, so  I had to study him last minute. But as for Oni matchup itself, I got coached by Wao when I was in Osaka for Topanga League and stuff, so I was comfortable and not worried too much. I won the match pretty easily. Well, Sanford did win one.
  111. Bonchan: Really? Wow
  112. Mago: Because he’s such a dirty player!
  113. Bonchan: Whoa, what happened?
  114. Mago: Yeah, well, do you guys have experience in playing side-by-side with the other player? Sanford is probably an expert in pulling dirty tricks in that area, it’s crazy. So you see, when you share a screen, you usually first make sure you and the other player are on the same footing by providing some personal space between two seats, euphemistically saying “This is my area”. But Sanford ignored all that, and the first thing he did when he came up to the stage, he pulled his chair and leaned all the way toward the monitor. He even started playing like that.
  115. Bonchan: So he was sort of covering the screen, if you were to see it from behind?
  116. Mago: Well, it didn’t go THAT far, but he was basically clinging on the monitor table. I thought, what the hell, is he nearsighted?
  117. Bonchan: Some people have weird playing habits. There are even people who bring their own tables [on which they rest their sticks].
  118. Mago: Yeah, but Sanford wasn’t like that.
  119. Bonchan: Come to think of it, PR Rog plays really close to the monitor also. The thing is, Balrog players need to keep some buttons held for doing turn punches and stuff, and all their effectiveness is lost if they reveal their fingers and buttons too much. So that’s why they tend to sit slightly ahead of the other player to hide their fingers.
  120. Mago: So they’re covering their fingers with their bodies?
  121. Bonchan: Yeah, like that.
  122. Kazunoko: Then you’ve got to sit close to the monitor with him, you know?
  123. Mago: So yeah, [hiding buttons] happens when you play with international players. But Sanford had the opposite idea. He intentionally SHOWS his hands in the open. That’s the reason he sits so up close to the monitor. So what he did was… well, before that, he always sits on 1P side. He sat there and angled his chair toward me, making a position where I can see [his hands]. When I sat on my side, inevitably his hands are in my line of sight. Then during the match, I knocked him down, right? So I went to go for some oki mixup, but I see him insanely wiggling and mashing his stick. (making the CLICK CLICK CLICK noise)
  124. Bonchan: He was like, I’M MASHING NOW. (laugh)
  125. Mago: Yeah, and I was startled. It scared the hell out of me, so I aborted my oki [and tried to block], but then he just grabbed me. I was like, what is wrong with this guy. You guys would hardly have noticed it from just looking at a tape. He got me with that like 5 times in a row, and I thought “This guy doesn’t play fair”.
  126. Tokido: Ah, so that’s where you’re coming from. [I’m surprised to see] there are people employing such dirty conducts. But I guess players overseas are used to that kind of stuff. Just the other occasion I played Wolfkrone, he was doing this (swinging arms) and almost hit my face with his elbow.
  127. Mago: But yeah, these behaviors are interesting. (laughs) More often than not, international players intimidate you with sound, so we need to learn how to deal with it.
  128. Tokido: Yeah, even though a lot of people might not be aware of it, you inevitably use the sound your opponent is making, to some extent, as a cue to your advantage when you play side-by-side. Given that, silent buttons and pads are beneficial.
  129. Mago: The reason I use silent buttons is I hate bringing the “reading” and “strategies” outside of the game. Like, pretending doing something you’re not going to do or faking out your moves… Players [like Sanford] seem to know how to incorporate them into their games, but I’m not really good at doing them. So as long as my button sounds are not giving the other players some clues for my actions, it’s good enough for me. I can play in a “normal” manner this way. But yeah, studying these practices exploiting the sound is underway. Anyway, back to Sanford. In the 3rd game 2nd round, when he did the insane wiggling again, this time really going for a DP, I blocked it and he hanged himself. After defeating Sanford, I think I faced a T. Hawk player. I beat him uneventfully. Really nothing happened there. And that got me to top 32.
  130. Tokido: Oh, so you were winning until there?
  131. Mago: Yeah, until then I was still in Winner’s side. Can I cut it here for now? What happened after this is really short.
  132. Bonchan: Some of us already got eliminated before you, so why don’t you finish it and tell us all. (laugh)
  133. Mago: Ah, okay. So I made it to top 32, Winner’s side 16. I got matched with Gackt. To be honest, when I first heard that, I thought it was a gimme. Looking at our past records, I’ve won most matches decisively.  So complacency got the better of me, and I expected him to play the same way he always has. But in reality, he played totally differently. He was playing aggressive rushdown while I was trying to play conservatively because I didn’t want to take any risks. But all his risk-taking paid off, and before I knew it I found myself getting cornered all the time and lost. After losing the first round, I knew I had to do something, but again, I was complacent. I’ve beaten this guy before, so I could hardly change my strategies.
  134. Tokido: Yeah, but to be fair, this is a new version of the game. You wouldn’t say you’ve figured out the Fei mirror in this game already, would you?
  135. Mago: You’re right. I was just confident that I’ve figured [Gackt] out, but maybe I need to look into what has changed [about Fei mirror] in Ultra. In 2nd round, I stubbornly tried to bring it back with the same tactics, and ironically, I lost that match… uneventfully. I got sent to Loser’s side. To be honest, I was so devastated that I lost to Gackt. In defeat, I sighed and thought “This is where the real competition starts… how many more matches do I need to win to get to top 8…?” Then a moderator directed me to my next match off-stage, and I found Louffy already sitting and looking so motivated as if to say “Come on, next!”. I was like, are you serious? I just lost to Gackt, and now I already have to face Louffy? Is this for real? Louffy was in totally different side of the tournament from me (pools, brackets), so he popped up on my radar out of nowhere. Not to mention, I wasn’t really prepared for the Rose matchup. The footage for that match is definitely up online, so please watch it. It didn’t go too bad, but the thing about Louffy is, he knows exactly when you’re in fear of him. So he further took advantage of that mental state I had, and made the situation much worse for me to the point where I had no chance of coming back. That’s kind of how it went, and it led to my loss. Long story short, he played really well. That concluded my EVO 2014, the result was tied at 17th. Thank you for all your support.
  136. Kazunoko: No, no. Thank you for great matches.
  137. Mago; Man, that took longer than I thought. I knew it was going to be, though. And who’s up next? Kazunoko?
  138. Kazunoko: Ok, my story is long also.
  139. Bonchan: That’s cool. Tell us as much as you’d like. I’m sure you have a lot to share.
  140. Kazunoko: This Mr. 2nd-place is pretty obnoxious, isn’t he? (laughs) Anyway, after my first pool, I faced this Sagat player who employed the same dirty “noise” strategy that Mago mentioned. He went for uppercut like crazy. On oki, he wiggled and mashed his stick regardless of whether he really does uppercut. He also had a coach who seemed to be giving him advice on when to uppercut. I suspected this because his uppercut attempts were inconsistent. It gave me some trouble, but I seemed to have out-footsied him overall and pulled a win.
  141. Mago: His name was… 200 yen.
  142. Kazunoko: After this match, I couldn’t really have a coach on my side, so it forced me to play safe and careful. I knew that, if I were to go nuts with offense and that doesn’t work, I would feel so helpless without a coach. So I wanted to stay composed and think carefully before taking my plans to action. After defeating this Sagat player. I faced Ohnuki.
  143. Mago: In the brackets I see Shinya Ohnuki.
  144. Kazunoko: I haven’t heard his full name in a while. (laughs)
  145. Mago: You stayed in Winner’s side until then?
  146. Kazunoko: Yeah, there were close calls here and there, but I thought overall I was in a groove. It showed the clear disparity between character tiers. Nothing really happened… other than the psychological guilt driven by sighs of disappointment from the crowds (who were cheering for Nuki) every time I landed a red focus combo.
  147. Mago: Did you feel like, is this banned? (laughs)
  148. Kazunoko: Yeah, they were like “Show some mercy”. After I beat Nuki, I played another Japanese player, Pugera, an Ibuki user. I’ve played him once at Taito station before, but he wrecked me that time, so I was worried to face him again. I felt that the reason I lost then was because I committed to offense too much, so this time I decided to play defensively. It worked out, and I won the first match. I got the first round off the second match also, so things seemed to be going my way. But he’s so tenacious, and his defense was hard to crack. I rushed to close it out and got hit by his crouching jab which led to a combo. Then I couldn’t block the incoming mixups and lost. I thought I played my best, but he was one step ahead of me in defense. My backdash also got read.
  149. Mago: Offense doesn’t really mean much if you’re not actually landing your attacks, even for Yun.
  150. Kazunoko: Yeah, you’re right. Pugera was also keeping the distance such that he won’t get hit by my red focus cancel. When I had 3 bars, I got greedy and squeezed in shoulder [after MP] every opportunity I had. He took advantage of that and focus-absorbed the shoulder, forward dashed, and rushed me down. He clearly outclassed me, and I have no complaints about my loss.
  151. Mago: Wow
  152. Kazunoko: I was in shock right after that match, though. [Given the power of Yun] I was pretty confident, but couldn’t get back on the flow. Then I went to the Loser’s side and faced Sentosu.
  153. Mago: Sentosu? Are you serious?
  154. Kazunoko: I thought “I can’t lose this one”. I teach him Blazblue. Anyway, he uses Poison, and I find that matchup hard to deal with. I usually pick Ultra 2 for this matchup. You know that slow projectile? Heavy fireball? I tend to step on it with a dive kick a lot. If I can’t get around fireballs with dive kick, I figure Ultra 2 is a good choice. But then the matchup becomes a long waiting game. I would just focus-absorb fireballs and don’t initiate offense. He looked confused to me, probably because he’s never played against Yun with Ultra 2. I managed to take advantage of his mental state like that and pulled a win.
  155. Mago: I hear Sentosu made it pretty far this tournament. He was really happy about that. Alleged by a friend of his… well, Gensuke…
  156. Bonchan: (laughs) It’s like you don’t even know him.
  157. Mago: Oh wait, I lied. It was Oshino Pepe. Anyway, according to him, Sentosu was so happy to make top 32 and broke down in tears on his way back to his room, which was caught on stream. I realized I’ve taken [making top 32 at Evo] for granted and was reminded how happy he must have been. Anyway, what happened after defeating Sentosu?
  158. Kazunoko: Next up was Ryan Hart. I wasn’t happy when I heard I was getting matched with him. But oddly enough, he picked Ryu.
  159. Mago: Ryu?!
  160. Kazunoko: I was like, are you sure about this? But from what I gather, he prepared a lot for Ryu-Yun matchup. I was under an impression that he already knew when to go for heavy uppercut right at the very beginning of the match. But at the back of my mind I knew that counter picking in this situation means he’s not confident to beat me with what he knows best. So I knew he would try to catch me by surprise with uppercuts. I blocked all of them from early in the match and gained complete control throughout. But after that match, he immediately went back to Sagat in the blink of an eye. Picking the ultra combo instantly and everything. Ping, ping, ping! It was insane how fast all that was. Anyway, I struggled against his Sagat.
  161. Mago: Did he get a win off you?
  162. Kazunoko: No, but his reactions were on point. He uppercutted my dive kicks right through. But I could afford going aggressive on him because I already had a win. And well, I won. After the match Ryan and I had a conversation, and he told me he should’ve picked Sagat from the start. He thought Sagat got nerfed so much that Ryu was a better option. Then he started rambling on about how great Bonchan is, even though I didn’t even ask him…
  163. Bonchan: Well, well, well. I won’t blame him. (laughs)
  164. Mago: I hear there’s a whole network of Sagat players worldwide, but #1 is supposedly Leslie. (laughs)
  165. Kazunoko: After defeating Ryan, I faced Justin.
  166. Mago: That’s right. What did he pick?
  167. Kazunoko: Well, Rufus, as expected. I thought Elena might have been a possibility. Not sure if he knew I was ready for the Elena matchup, but he went straight to Rufus. Historically I’ve been neck and neck with Justin, but from what I recall the last time I beat him the match went kind-of stalemate. He didn’t really initiate offense, so I would wait until he’s out of patience and find a spot where I can hit with dive kick. I was hoping this match would go that way as well. But this time he pulled some advanced waiting game. It felt like he really wasn’t going to make ANY move until there’s only like 20 seconds left on the clock. But you know, in this version EX lunge punch is +1 on block. So in general I’m the one who loses the waiting game and starts the offense 20 seconds down the clock, but I get to start that offense with +1 advantage. So I chip his health away little by little, and once I get a considerable life lead he has no choice but to start making some wild guesses and risks. Then it’s my turn to control the waiting game. Wait until he makes a mistake and capitalize on it. The whole set went like that. He pulled one win, but overall it went pretty easy.
  168. Mago: Well, the man who sent Justin to Loser’s is sitting next to you.
  169. Bonchan: (nods)
  170. Mago: Unfortunately his side of story will be told last. (laughs) Anyway, after Justin, it was…
  171. Kazunoko: Oh, before that, after Justin match, I went over to the staff and asked who I’m facing next. The guy pointed to the match that was going on out at the back and said “Whoever wins that one”. I looked over, and it was Filipino Champ and Momochi. Then Umezono came over and watched the match with me…
  172. Mago: Wait, on that note, don’t listen to Umezono. He only brings bad news. When I was playing in pools, he popped up and stopped by out of nowhere. He looked dying for some reason, so I asked him if he was okay. Then he goes “Daigo lost to Champ”, out of breath. I was like “What?! How did the game go?”. Then he said “There were so many people in front of me, I couldn’t see. Apparently Champ swept him”.
  173. Bonchan: He [exaggerates] like a media news reporter.
  174. Mago: Yeah, and I found out later that it wasn’t even one-sided.
  175. Kazunoko: He sure loves gossips. (laughs)
  176. Mago: For real. He didn’t even watch the match, and he was in shock. He always has crazy things to share.
  177. Kazunoko: I told Umezono I’m getting matched with whoever wins between Champ and Momochi, and man, that serious look on his face. It was like “That’s some hard road ahead of you”.
  178. Mago: When he makes a face like that, it’s saying a lot.
  179. Kazunoko: He asked me, “Which one are you rooting for? For the Japanese player, no question, right?”
  180. Mago: Such an ugly question.
  181. Kazunoko: Yeah, to which I replied “I’m really sorry, but I can only look at Champ right now”
  182. Mago: On one hand you have Dhalsim, and on the other you have Momochi.
  183. Kazunoko: I had this urge to play against Dhalsim at the time, almost as if I was in love with him. I was like, “I really want to see you”. Dogura then joined us and was concerned about who I’m getting matched with next. He and Umezono started joking about how I’m screwed if Momochi beats Champ. (laughs)
  184. Mago: Umezono is an interesting guy. (laughs)
  185. Kazunoko: But Yossan was different. He was actually sorry for me and agreed that he would root for Champ in my shoes.
  186. Mago: I bet he was saying something different when Momochi was around. (laughs)
  187. Kazunoko: Well, he still cared for me until the match was over. Anyway, so I got matched with Momochi. Should I talk about this [or wait until Momochi’s turn to speak]?
  188. Mago: Sure, let’s see how it was from your perspective.
  189. Kazunoko: So since my loss to him in Singapore, I made a different approach and prepared for the matchup. I won the first game convincingly. Everything went as I expected, and I thought maybe I could make it this time. But that’s as far as I can remember. (laughs)
  190. Mago: It was like, before you knew it, your name was gone from the brackets. (laughs)
  191. Kazunoko: Exactly like that. I just remember shaking hands with Momochi, not even sure who won. Anyway, jokes aside, after the first game, I just got swept.
  192. Bonchan: You were getting hit whenever you tried to close the gap. I saw the replay. You were frail. The moment you walked into [Momochi’s] range, he caught you every time and never missed connecting heavy Shoryuken. He didn’t give you a chance to escape. You need to learn to retreat. Momochi was also consistent with catching your Tetsuzanko with focus attack.
  193. Kazunoko: After I lost to him that round, I already needed a coach so badly.
  194. Mago: And so, you came close but lost to Momochi…?
  195. Kazunoko: Looking back, I wouldn’t call it close.
  196. Mago: Yeah, sorry. I didn’t see the match, so I don’t really know what to say. And that was your Evo? What place were you?
  197. Kazunoko: 13th…? Same as last year, I think.
  198. Mago: You did very well.

That’s all we have, so far.



iPhone & Android game application

?THE RHYTHM OF FIGHTERS – SNK Original Sound Collection?

App price changes from $0.99 to free!

Limited tracks offered to paid app users!

SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION (Corporate HQ: Suita-city, Osaka, Japan, Company, President & CEO: Koichi Toyama) is proud to announce the release of new additional track packs and a new price to the iPhone & Android application “THE RHYTHM OF FIGHTERS”.

“THE RHYTHM OF FIGHTERS”, the ultimate blend of rhythm & fighting game genres gathered in one game, will be now available to download for free. Following this price change, the users who bought the paid version of “THE RHYTHM OF FIGHTERS” will be offered 5 limited NEOGEO tracks for free. Moreover, “KOF Selection Vol.2”, “REAL BOUT”, “RECOMMEND”, and “ROF PACK” 4 new DLC track packs will be available to download from August 28th, 2014 on Android and later on on iPhone. Stay tuned for more news regarding “THE RHYTHM OF FIGHTERS” to come in the following weeks.

About the new app price:

?Price changes:  $0.99 (tax included)?free-to-play (presence of in-app purchase items)

?Change date:  August 28th, 2014 (Android), TBD (iPhone)

?Others:  The following 5 NEOGEO original tracks will be offered to the owners of the paid version of “THE RHYTHM OF FIGHTERS”*  Track List? 1.ESAKA -NEOGEO ver.-/ 2.Fairy -NEOGEO ver.-/3.Exceed The Limit -NEOGEO ver.-/

  4. Diet-NEOGEO ver.-/5.Banquet of Nature -NEOGEO ver.-

*These limited tracks will be added to devices with a save data of the paid version of “ROF” above 1.30 ver. Please note that these limited tracks won’t be installed to the game in the case you uninstall the paid version of “ROF” to install its free-to-play version.

Additional Track Pack details:


Pack name KOF Selection Vol.2 Pack REAL BOUT Pack RECOMMEND Pack ROF Pack
Track list INNER SHADE Blue Mary’s BLUES Mikoshi Ondo (Remix ver.) Psycho Soldier “K.O.F Version”
KDD-0075 It’s Seoul

The Last Blade

? Decision at Dawn ?



? Kyobashi ?

Each Promise Get The Sky -With Your Dream- Yussa Yussa You Stormy Saxophone
Secret Track* ??? ??? ??? ???

*Secret tracks are unlocked in the Arcade Mode of their respective additional track pack.

?Release Date? August 28th, 2014 (Android), TBD (iPhone)

?Price :  $2.99 (tax included)

TITLE DETAILS:     “THE RHYTHM OF FIGHTERS – SNK Original Sound Collection”

? Release Date : June 25th, 2014 (iOS & Android)

? Genre : Rhythm & Action

? Compatible OS : iOS 7.0 and later / Android 4.0.3 and later

                     * Please check the app store page regarding the recommended devices.

? Price : $0.99

? Marketplace : Apple App Store / Google Play


*All company and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

“ROF” Official Website: 


For further information, please contact us at: 


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Now perhaps you can understand why ROF became #1 Game in 8 different countries!!!

Now available: “THE KING OF FIGHTERS ’99” Pack
“KOF Selection Vol.1” Pack”.

App Store Download URL:

Google Play Download URL:

“ROF” Official Website:

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