Saturday, July 20, 2024

Unbroken CEO 2018 Recap

Original Date: 07/06/18

Author’s Note: Mainly what I’ve said in the previous entry. I’ll get right into this one because everything I’ve needed to say I’ve said it already through there. I will say that it was fun talking to the new people, as in, people who aren’t just there for Tekken. It is my main game and all, but it really captured the “family” aspect.

Like a hurricane, CEO came and went. Many moments of hype were shared within one packed weekend from explosive grand finals, to the rise of new kings and queens. CEO 2018 was, regardless, an action filled adventure not just for the wrestling fans, not just for the fighting game community, but also for us. The team went into the weekend with our main core as well as two welcome additions to our team, MarshallLawKOF and Tsuntenshi. Every single one of our players played their hardest from various games entered, ranging from Tekken to Blazblue Cross Tag and Dragon Ball FighterZ. As this was a huge weekend for Unbroken, I wanted to see how each of our players felt after such a weekend, to catch up with our earlier conversations.

One of our new additions to the team, Marshall Law KOF, gave me the impression of being a passionate fighting gamer to his core. One who wishes to learn as much as he can about the various games he plays and level up through any means necessary. CEO, while not the first major tournament he had attended, unfortunately did not go as well as planned due to unforeseen circumstances. However, from what Jazz told me, not being able to do your best is enough to dampen anyone’s spirit, but the will to get better moving forward is much better off than wallowing in the past. He plans to enter the next Revival monthly, EVO, and The Fall Classic, so there will be more opportunities for Mr. Jazz to prove to everyone that he’s a force to be reckoned with. I believe in him, and I can’t wait to see what he has to show for us.

The other newly added player to our team, Tsuntenshi, was one of the players who I was most interested in and they did not disappoint, with a top 25 placement in Blazblue Cross Tag and a top 65 placement in Dragon Ball. To Cary however, this is business as usual. His story starts back in 2009, with the release of Blazblue Calamity Trigger, when fighting games became less of a game to play with buddies from the neighborhood and more of taking it a bit more serious. With Persona 4 Arena releasing in 2012, Tsuntenshi’s plight into more competitive scenes really began to flourish. DBFZ revitalized his interest in fighting games as a game tied to a well-known product in Dragon Ball was handled by a company that he was familiar with, Arc System Works. His interest in BBTag, like my own steady interest in the game, stemmed from him playing the game in the beta and being impressed at how fun the game was when he played it.

Perhaps the biggest moment for Tsuntenshi this weekend was facing off against GO1. His mentality in handling GO1, as well as the rest of the tournament, was similar to what TunK told me before. No matter who it is that one must face off against, the most important thing is to play with a leveled head. Tsuntenshi felt it was important to just play normally how one would play if it wasn’t CEO. The best way to not let tournament nerves get to you is to not allow them to reach you to begin with. That said, he didn’t change his playstyle much when playing against GO1 since this wasn’t even the first time he played against GO1.

While it isn’t much of a secret within the FGC, GO1 is known to be a legendary anime player, being one of the best Melty Blood players around. As such, if there’s an anime fighter around, chances are GO1 had dabbled in it at some point. That said, Tsuntenshi fought against GO1 before in a previous game known as Dengeki Bunko FIGHTING CLIMAX, a game that is literally an anime fighter. Since he knew what he was getting himself into, Tsuntenshi did he best to knock it out of the park.

Although GO1 eventually defeated him, Tsuntenshi wasn’t bothered by it too much as the opportunity to fight against such strong formidable foes is a feat in itself. It wasn’t just GO1 either, but several other strong players who Tsuntenshi was able to keep up with. Never the less, for his first outing in representing Unbroken, Tsuntenshi had played exceptionally well and we can only see how great he does in future tournaments.

Back on the Tekken side of things, we focus on the man who reached top 25 himself. Ando had greatly improved since Combo Breaker and his performance over the weekend showed for itself. The first thing he told me was that he felt this year’s CEO was the best tournament he had ever entered. This was a sentiment that both Fabo and TunK agreed to as well. The perks of playing casuals or playing in a tournament, then being able to go to the beach to unwind was a plus across the board. In Ando’s case, the grind to 25 wasn’t easy. Along the way he had to face off against Jody, who in his opinion, was one of the better Lee players he fought. One approach he took different from Final Round and Combo Breaker was that he just played with an empty mind and took on each match as they came.

His toughest matchups by far was against Binchang, who ended up taking top 8 in the tournament, and Rickstah. While he states his loss towards Rickstah was based off of careless mistakes on his end, Binchang gave him the most trouble as he used a character, Kazumi, and played her the most honest way that he could. Honest Tekken in this instance was too honest and his gameplay was too solid. Regardless, Ando feels as if he’s just getting warmed up and a top 25 finish is just the beginning. His sights are set on a top 3 finish for the future or bust.

Fabo, our other Paul specialist, couldn’t make it out of pools, but it wasn’t enough to deter him from his overall performance. Like everyone else who I’ve mentioned and will mention, match-up knowledge is the goal for learning how to win against the more off-center characters such as Geese and Noctis. Coming to terms with the fact that these unorthodox characters are characters he will be facing off against, learning about their strengths and weaknesses for the future will be vital to surviving longer in the pools. The best part of the weekend was being able to play a set against Spero Gin, one of the most notable Eddy players within Tekken. The fights went back and forth, but it wasn’t enough ultimately. However, that match showed Fabo that he can run close matches with anyone, even those who are highly notable players to beat. In the future, this will mean it will be easier for him to gain enough confidence to play his best. Sometimes, being able to keep up with those who are better experienced than you is all the encouragement you need to strive.

Lastly there was TunK, who expressed several times before I asked him about his CEO experience, that the tournament gave him clarity. He felt as if he leveled up from attending the event and playing everyone there, even if he was close to making it out of pools. His pool was notably stacked, with players such a Rip, Shirdel, Shadow, El Negro, and Cassian. Aside from his first match which was on stream, he was able to convincingly take victory from Cassian in a 2-0 finish, though the first roadblock would be Shadow.

Shadow is known for his Claudio, but also for his wide range of characters, one of which he used against Tunk’s Eddy as a means for a counter. Unfortunately, that counter didn’t work well, as Tunk’s matchup knowledge of Kazuya allowed him to secure the first victory. When Shadow switched to Claudio however, it was a tougher fight for Tunk but he held his own. The same went for Shirdel, who was interested in how Tunk handled his Alisa. The same Shirdel who eliminated Ando from Combo Breaker.

Even though he lost to Shadow and Shirdel, it was the casuals that allowed him to cherish the character he played. There were several people he fought in casuals who liked the fact that they got to play a decent Eddy and left with valuable Eddy matchup knowledge. Of course, there was also the Tekken Grand Finals to be mentioned, where JeonDDing managed to edge a win from Qudans and win his first ever tournament on the Tekken World Tour. Tunk and I both felt that victory because as Eddy players we knew the struggle he endured throughout that entire set to win gold. Tunk specifically, the night that he returned on stream, mentioned that Jeon showed him he doesn’t need to rely on another character to win. If he can win with Eddy, the character Tunk’s been riding with forever, then Tunk too can also win. There was a lot of motivation to be had, to see someone use a character with a stigma of “not winning”, actually winning.

CEO was a lot to cover, especially with the ever-growing roster of our family, but the summer is just beginning and there are more tournaments throughout the season to look out for. In my case, I have the Red Bull Conquest tournament the weekend of July 7th to look forward to, as well as the Defend the North tournament two weeks from now. I’ve been quiet since Combo Breaker, but July will be a big month for me as well and I too will have stories to share on my experiences, much like the experiences I’ve shared of the rest of the family. Stay tuned for more! Stay unbroken.

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