My buddy Javier and his brother Luis took me to Los Angeles this weekend. We enjoyed Pink's hotdogs and checked out Hollywood. It was much fun! We also got to go to Round 1 where they had Japanese Vewlix cabinets with Arcade Edition. The whole night I stuck with Ryu testing everything out. He is much more work. My main focus was his low forward. I never knew it was so strong until now. With Ryu's nerfed low forward I now understand how dynamic low forward into fireball was in SF4 and SSF4. I must have confidence in doing just that move. My spacing and fundamentals must be on point as well in order to properly use low forward into fireball effectively in Arcade Edition.
I really enjoyed the matches I played against Combo Jack(Fei Long) and KillerKai aka Eliver(Ryu). They had come by after playing a Marvel tournament. Eliver told me they had placed second. When I first played Jack he killed me 7 straight games. It was frustrating and I was getting really drained from playing him. He was playing very well and outplayed me most of the sets. I was getting exhausted since it was late at night and the day was taking its toll on me. I had almost switched into auto-pilot. I got up and took a break and talked to Eliver. We discussed how Ryu's tools were weaker and how each of us auto-pilot low forward at times since it was such a great tool. I explained to him that now that it's weaker we must be smarter and play much better than before with this tool. He agreed with me.
As we walked back to the cabinets I hopped on. Before I was playing Jack I had focused on zoning him out with just fireballs. I had jumped a lot too and got impatient at times thinking he would not punish me. Now, I thought to myself, I have to use Ryu's bread and butter: low forward into fireball. I was not confident enough to use it in the other sets I had lost, but as soon as I started to do so I began to shut down some of his options. I was able to stay out of the corner much longer than before, build meter for most of the round, and even push him to the corner while applying pressure with footsies and fundamentals. It felt like I put a stand against him by simply doing low forward into fireball. It felt great to know that bread and butter still had it's effects mentally and fundamentally.
In the end I was able to keep up with Jack and it was a great experience. He told me that I adapt very fast. I took the comment lightly since I have been working on adaptation for most of the time I've been playing competitively. It may sound a bit ridiculous but I want to be able to adapt the next round. Of course this may take much longer than I anticipate it to. Thanks again for the games to all at Round 1. See you guys soon! :)