Thursday, October 4, 2012

The X-Factor

I was just recently watching The X-Factor on FOX. For those of you who don't know what the X-Factor is, it's a singing competition that is held in the US and various different countries to find the newest singing talent in the world. As I was watching, a handful of top 64 participants began to sing. However, those handful of singers actually forgot the words they had worked so hard to remember and perform to in front of the 4 judges. And as I was watching, it reminded me of a tournament environment.

Some of you who may be reading this now will feel a sense of empathy in what I'm about to say. As I was traveling to various different tournaments in the past, I was placed in many different scenarios, environments, and atmospheres both virtually in fighting games as well as in the real world. For example, playing while dehydrated and exhausted (ie no sleep) or without any food. Another example would be playing a match-up I've only SEEN through YouTube and have no experience against it at all. Many of you know that some tournaments are quite long and there are reasons why they set aside times (even days) for major events to be held for the fighting game community.

There were many instances where I was playing in either the winners, losers, or grand finals and had FORGOTTEN certain things about a match-up or player. For example, when I played against another Ryu player and FORGOT to not force footsies and just play the match-up first then follow through with your game plan.

My forgetfulness is quite similar to those of the participants on the X-Factor. Of course, my instances are on a smaller scale. But your pride, money, and time are still on the line. Those singers worked extremely hard to remember one song and its lyrics to present in front of the judges, and then they weren't able to remember the words. Some of them even began to freak out or explain that they were extremely stressed out. Some of them even looked like they hadn't slept. In all, there seemed to be a lot of tension during the performances in the instances where the participants had forgotten the words to the song. So how can we link this to traveling to and participating in tournaments?

I've seen forgetfulness many times (even in myself). People forget they can anti-air at certain spacings. Others forget certain moves are punishable and don't react fast enough. Sometimes people actually forget their combos and drop them because they over-think and over-analyze their situation. And many more things.

So what I do at times like this is remember, and don't forget. Sounds simple right? Wrong. You're tired, sleep deprived, practiced the night before, thought about match-ups against other players and characters, and your hungry. All this in a span of 4-8 hours (depending on where you are and what event) just to play one game against another person 2/3 sets. And on top of that, all you have to remember is a certain move, setup, combo, or spacing (list goes on and on). But in order to stay ahead of the competition, after your loss you must take a moment and remember what you've done to successfully win the next match.

For example, when I played against Justin Wong's Rufus at Canada Cup. The whole time I was trying to play as if it was Ricky Ortiz's Rufus. I took a moment and thought, "I have to remember Ricky and Justin play differently." Once I made the adjustment and did better overall.

It's kind of like when Kanye West forgets his lyrics. He goes on stage, performs in different countries and cities, and forgets his OWN lyrics. But because he's done it many times before in the past, it doesn't effect him as much. Therefore, traveling and having experience from many tournaments will help you remember match-ups and critical moments more easily.

Overall, people can forget things. It happens. They are only human. So when you do forget some certain things while traveling to tournaments don't beat yourself up too much (because I know I have before). Have fun with it and do your best next time. But please, there is one thing that you should not forget at all (ever)... Deodorant. :)

Forgot how to do a combo during a tournament match? Leave a comment below and tell me about it.


P.S. This was a spontaneous post. I apologize for not posting as much as possible. Once again, I am doing more online classes and the last thing I want to do is blog! @_@

But please, follow @FGCAlphaCounter on twitter and like us on We will continue streaming more as well on our new twitch channel ( Hope you guys enjoyed the post!


  1. Really nice post! It's cool to see that somebody at your skill level sometimes has these issues too. Well, I have them ALL the time haha. I hope I can improve on that with experience...

    Hugs from Spain!

  2. @nercromina - Absolutely. Everyone who is working to get better has gone through these phases and experienced these moments (and sometimes still do) in high pressure situations. Putting yourself in that situation is key! Also, your hug from Spain has been accepted! Just includes shipping and handling. :)