New Year, New Game, Same Passion

Hello everyone! You know, before I wanted to write about Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, how Capcom butchered a franchise and how Marvel fans are either sick of the nonsense or really love the game, but that would be terribly exhausting & a negative vibe. To tell you the truth, I’m not here to bring any negativity to the table in 2018, the year of our Lord (Arc System Works). That being said, let’s talk about some personal experiences of mine. Who knows, maybe you might learn something from them. Let’s get started.

The last fighting game I played with the utmost seriousness was Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. I sunk oh so many hours into researching, playing and competing in that game. It was truly a passion of mine. In the early years (2013-2015), you could catch me at Bum’s apartment at almost every session & tournament, trying to get better. It was a delight analyzing the game engine and theory crafting, but most importantly, it was awesome to meet and cultivate relationships with people who have become great friends of mine (such as Prodigy, RandomFiend, VDK and others). In fact, the reason why I’m a member of Kick-Punch-Block is because I clicked with them from the early days and they’ve always supported the scene in Westchester in one capacity or another. For that, I am eternally grateful.

As it stands, my competitive flame has been fanned once again. Dragon Ball FighterZ has got me going to tournaments every week and in training mode most days out of the week. I feel like I’m back in the UMvC3 era. I’ve made some new friends, I'm active in my local scene here in Westchester and I am just terribly excited about the game & where it’s heading. With regards to being active in a local scene, I’ve started playing in tournaments at Undiscovered Realm in White Plains. Their Tuesday Night Throwdown tournament series features DBFZ, which is currently in league play. I’ve set a goal for myself that I want to be the best in my local scene, then travel out a little further. I have a long ways to go... and just like in the early Ultimate Marvel era, I’m taking L’s.

That’s right, just like in the early days of Marvel, I’m struggling competitively. I play nervous, I get stiff, I get the jitters and the heart racing is back in full effect! I’m even back to my average performance of about 2-2 (*sigh*). I’d like to think I’m better than my results would indicate, but casual and online play doesn’t mean much when I have a readily defined goal as well as metrics for success for local scene supremacy. Luckily, I have been improving & making some strides in tournament play. That being said, as someone who just wants to do his best, I can offer some strategies that can help one play better in tournament:

1) Spend the necessary amount of time in training mode - Always make sure you have your combos down. The rule is if you can’t do your combo ten times in a row with no drops, you don’t have the combo down. If you hit a combo 80% of the time, that percentage drops when tournament nerves are active and something is on the line.

2) Wear headphones to drown out outside noise - I get distracted easily. The sound of buttons, other matches and the crowd all take away from my focus on the game resulting in my playing worse than I normally would. I personally like to listen to music because it makes me feel good. The theme of Goku Black has been my go to as of late, but find what makes you feel at ease. At the same time, ready to do damage.

3) Have fun and play for the love of the game - I can’t stress this enough. Unless you’re a SonicFox of RandomFiend type, you’re likely going to struggle in tournament. But if you remember the main reason why you compete (locally, at least), it lifts pressure off of your shoulders. I played my best tournament matches in UMvC3 when I didn’t care about my results, but when I played to have fun, spend time with friends and for the love of the game. Let your love show in your play and, though you may not win, you will be able to confidently say that you played well & are continuing to improve.

The moment you stop trying to push yourself is the moment you've given up.

I am glad I was able to pen these thoughts down. I hope I was able to help some of you play better in tournament. My brother, RandomFiend, has been wrecking shop for the past few weeks in my local scene. It’s been a RandomFiend x VDK grand finals every week for the past 3 weeks. The rest of the local Westchester boys (PRC, GodHunta, PedroParker, etc) and myself are looking to put a stop to that real soon. Join us! We get hype, have fun and play for the love of the game. Catch us at 66 Fulton St, White Plains, NY. Hopefully, I’ll see you there.

Keep fighting the good fight, ladies & gentlemen... catch y’all next time.

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