As people may know, TFC was the first tournament I played in. I originally never thought about playing offline in a tournament. I played Dead or Alive casually and I was just gonna stick to casual play. However, the first person that talked to me about playing offline was FeiiKu. Now even though I thought of playing in tournaments growing up (for Halo and shooters for the time being) I never allowed myself to. Plus I never thought I'd go far in a tournament, which I thought was the main point of a tournament. But after speaking with SlyBass also during one of his "ArcadeSensei" streams, I considered it for real. I was shocked to find that TFC was in NC as that wasn't far from me and I figured, this was the perfect opportunity for me to play.
Now during this wait, I grew angry with DOA online as it was very frustrating for me to play online at times. I tried to come up with new cool ways for me to keep the game fun on my end with "Character of the Day" and a couple other series. But eventually I got so frustrated I almost dropped the game fully. I took much time off to play Tekken and learn some characters there and I figured I'd play competitively there. After two months of no DOA, I played here and there in DOA but Tekken I took the most serious.
The revival of DOA for me
When I was registering for Tekken, I saw that DOA's tournament was free and I remembered saying to Sly, FeiiKu and a few others that I would at least give it a try offline and in the end I said, "If I'm going do one more thing with DOA, I'll at least try out an offline tournament in DOA and see what's so great about DOA offline" and I registered for DOA as well. During this wait for TFC, I had some good sets with DBomb, Hoodless, Rojikku, Awesmic, & a couple others, but I was still mulling "retirement" from DOA until DOA 6. Online was still frustrating and I went back into the headspace of I might not even show up for DOA. I grinded Tekken and improved in that as I competed in the Tekken World Tour online tournament and I was fueled to go far in that.
During my last day of training, I looked into DOA stuff and I had a couple messages from Veteren who's a great Hayate & Jann Lee saying that he'll look forward to seeing me. I said the same thing and I talked with T0Ma_San (Solid Rig) and he talked to me about some tech (That I didn't use in a tourney), and a couple people wished me good luck in the tournament.
Upon arrival to TFC on Friday, I didn't see anyone in DOA initially. I had some sets in Tekken and I played some great players with that. I played almost all day but I didn't see any set-up for DOA for casuals. With that, I assumed no one was there and I just kept playing Tekken. I received some advice in regards to that and I figured well I'll see everyone tomorrow.
Tomorrow comes and I see the DOA set-up for pools and my pool didn't begin until 2. So I had time to prepare and get used to everything. I tried a rig launch combo involving kk4kk. I didn't see 4kk with the transition and I was thinking "WTF!!". Now I always practice this move with training mode and I know there's some kind of adjustment with the inputs cause even for tekken, I had to adjust. But dropping something as simple as kk4kk was something I couldn't fantom. So after a while I got used to it and my first casual with DOA was against Dr. Sexual. I saw someone refer to him in the competitive DOA group that I sometimes eavesdrop into but I never knew who he was. I was introduced to DOA competitive in 5LR. All these other people played longer. But I played him and it was a fun set. I'm always a fan of the Jann Lee vs Rig match-up and even as he was adjusting to everything, I think he hasn't played since Ultimate, I can tell his fundamentals was straight. Next, I played Sypher who was a great Rig in the making. We went back and forth but it was an epic Rig mirror match and after I set myself aside so that the A pools could begin.
While that was going on I spoke with a Hitomi player who I played Tekken with yesterday. We had some good conversation as I think he had his pool going on, I was still waiting. I noticed hoodless, rikuto, hollow, and a couple others but no one recognized me, at least not yet. During the wait I spoke with MASTER for the first time in person. We got into conversation as I mention that this was my first tournament and he talked to me about being involved with the community.
After a while the spot was open again for casuals and I went back and I played Hollow. Me and Hollow go a bit back. Out of all the Competitive players, Hollow is one of the players I play the most as when I have my own lobbies Hollow would show up and I know of my upcoming doom. So after me and Hollow played I think 7 games, BigDame came and he called for everyone in the B pool. When my name was called and I said "here", I remember someone say "YOU'RE CONDITIONER??" I said yeah and everyone was happy to see me. Hollow, AJ, Veteren, and TaiChiFlow talked with me for a bit as pool B was beginning.
TFC for real:
Now before all of this, in the smash prediction, it was predicted that I'd lose in losers finals of my pool but to Jager twice (Once in the semi-finals and again in losers finals). However, I heard that Jager wasn't going to show up which I found to be unfortunate. With this, I'm still not happy about being picked to go that far because that meant I have to live up to expectations. On top of that, I didn't come in expecting to win and go far, just to have fun and ride into the sunset.
My first match was originally going to be against Adv1sor but he didn't show up so my next match up was against BigDame who was making sure everything was organized. I didn't know BigDame in regards to DOA and I came in saying to myself, "Win or lose, all glory is to GOD" and again "just have fun and use this as motivation for DOA 6". When I was told that I'll be on stream, my nerves increased. Now in addition to being predicted to go far from Smash, I'm on stream on top of that so there's no escape for me to not show up.
When I sat myself on the monitors for the stream, Veteren came up to me and said he might use Mai or Leifang. Now, for anyone who doesn't know me, Mai is usually one of my worst match-ups. I refer to her seriously as "She who shall not be named" because of how much dislike I have for her. No matter who it was that used her, eventually I was going to get frustrated with her. And the other possibility was Leifang who's another bad match-up for me. Now I don't dislike Leifang as much (Minus the shoulders) but the odds weren't in my favor.
After a bit, me and BigDame set ourselves up and began. My nerves were high but I felt it's now or never. 1st game was usually what happens when I fight Mai and I lost. For a second I thought "damn, another scenario when I lose to Mai yet again." But the second game felt much better. I felt that I made the right adjustments to get the second game. Last game was now or never. I was fortunate to get two rounds and I was just one away from winning. Now, I never under-estimate anyone as there's always a scenario where someone comes back. So at the start it was looking like that was about to happen. I think what started everything for me was when I was able to get that one punish. I was able to start something there but I thought I was doomed again when Dame held the 2k from 6kk42k. But "Bootleg Dragon Kick" saved the day and I was back in it. I had one shot to end this game. So a fan was thrown at me and I blocked. I tried to run up and grab but I whiffed. He whiffes a knee and I was fortunate to get the 6pk (Or 6p6k) string for me to win the set. This was a huge victory for me because I overcame two things, one my nerves and two my worst match-up. We said GG's and much respect to BigDame. His Mai was solid. I'm fortunate to be able to advance to winner's finals in my 1st tournament.
In winner's finals I fought Hollow. Now Hollow came off a huge victory against Xcal with the Alpha mirror that I was hyped about (Though I'm no fan of Alpha). The bad thing about this was Hollow knows how I play and we played earlier. So he knew how to beat me basically and with Momiji, he did just that. I think the first game I got hit with the "No Round Brown" and second game, even though I did steal one round, it wasn't enough for me to get the victory. Eventually Hollow would get third place so I wasn't mad at all. Much congrats to him.
Now, even though I lost, I was automatically in loser's finals in my pool. So I had another shot to get to top 8 in DOA. Unfortunately, I ended up playing Xcal who's widely regarded as one of the best DOA players period. With that, I didn't know who to expect. It could have been Eliot killing me, Alpha, Rachel, Mai, heck even Jann Lee as he came off a Jann Lee mirror. When I got ready, I asked if "it's too late for me to waive the white flag" like in some cartoons. After that we fought and he picked Bass who even though people will say Rig is the favorite against Bass in most match-ups, mine isn't. I never play well against grapplers and it shows even in Tekken which I might get into later but not too much (Unless people want me to). First game was another "No Round Brown" and second game, I stole one round but again I blew it. With this, I was eliminated from TFC in DOA. But it was a good run for me.
Hanging with the crew:
After the pools, I hung out with the main crew with DOA. It was me, Hoodless, Rikuto, Savage (Also in top 8), Coldpiece, Veteren, Sypher, MASTER, I think Kwiggle & Xcal, & Hollow. While the top 8 crew sat together, well most of them and MASTER was with Sypher, I was with Coldpiece, Veteren, & Rikuto. We had some food at a restaurant across from TFC. We joked about some stuff, including when Rikuto goes berserker mode after a dragon kick is hit. The most notable one that always stuck to me was with Darkslay because at first it looked like Rikuto was taking a liking to Dark's Jann and then Dragon kick came out and that all changed. After, Rikuto went for I think the Soul Caliber tournament and I went for the Tekken tournament.
Now I won't get all into detail about this as this is mainly about the DOA experience but in case people are curious, I went two and two. First game was against a solid Paul that I was fortunate enough to get by 2-0. After I played KingRey who's a great King who plays at tournaments a lot and I got waxed. Worst thing about it was it was on stream so my first Tekken tourney streamed was of me being the victim of the aftermath of KingRey jr losing (He wasn't really that mad but he played like he was on a mission XD). After I won against a Nina which I was fortunate to win as Nina's usually a bad match-up and I ultimately lost to Eliza. I watched the rest of the tekken tournament and after I had some casuals with Veteren and I called it a night.
The next day:
After we had DOA top 8 and Tekken top 8 I was looking to. I played a lot of casuals in both games as I messed around and experimented on characters in DOA, while learning Rig stuff also & improving my Hwoarang. It was fun seeing DOA players that played solid in both DOA and Tekken, like Coldpiece, Taichi, Veteren, & Hollow. (I played him in Tekken once online and Hollow's still a pain.) I spoke with Blackmoon and he told me of some offline scenes in the RDU area and with that, I feel even more motivated to improving me Hwoarang for next tourney. Blackmoon finished in top 8 and near top 32 in Tekken. I usually play Blackmoon every now and then and he's very solid in both. I'd say he's maybe one of the few players I think excel in both DOA and Tekken. His Leifang is no Joke and his Lucky Chloe is something for me to behold. With that, I watched DOA top 8 while sparring with Veteren and after Hoodless held the W. I was happy for him because I usually consider Hoodless to be the best Rig's in DOA (Though he won with Zack) and of all the players I fight, usually I consider him the toughest opponent for me. After DOA some players came back and Rikuto showed me something interesting with Leifang where after Ryu's 46t if she high hold's, even though she'll get hit with the first strike, she has enough recovery to be able to mid hold a string, which I found interesting. I might consider pocketing either her or Bayman in the next game. Me and Hood were going to spar a bit but after a while, the casual stations were shut down. I ended up watching Tekken's top 8 and that ended TFC for competition.
After TFC and what can be coming in the future:
Now after, I met up with MASTER as some people told me I was going to get interviewed with my experience for DOA. It was humbling to me to be interviewed by MASTER "post TFC". And I utilize that opportunity to talk briefly of my journey and how fun offline was. After we engaged in conversation and he said he liked the story because it's something some people can relate to. Again I wasn't here to become the next Xcal, Rikuto, Hoodless, or even Killy. I came to be the best me and have as much fun and learn as much as possible. Now some people may ask whether I'll truly retire from DOA til DOA 6 and the answer is: IDK. I know, I'll always play in regards to going in training mode and such. But after playing offline and having that kind of experience, I don't know if I want to go back to online. I'll definitely help those who are going to NEC. I'll be the training dummy as I always am. But whether I'll play seriously, IDK. I know I'm going to focus on improving in Tekken as I'm mulling over finding a possible pocket character or really becoming a Hwoarang purist and finding mains in Injustice, Street fighter, and MvC: Infinite (when I buy it). In the end though, it seems that I found a community in DOA offline that I can really feel a part of. I gave BIG E a handshake and someone, from the tekken community asked if I will go to Final Round as that's not too far from me. I said "IDK right now." as I think Veteren or someone else also asked if I can attend maybe "final round" at least. So right now that's on my head and with that the question is: Final Round XXI?
Shoutouts to the following people:
MASTER: For being a great DOA person and a Ryu master I can maybe learn from if I want to learn him in the future. I still didn't get to fight the Ryu but one day.
Hoodless: For being the Rig master and winning. I learned a good amount of stuff from you and I look forward to learning more in the future.
Veteren: For all the chats and games we played together. I had fun seeing his Ryu evolve in one day and all the other games we played together. Sidenote: He should have picked Hayate. But he'll be back and better next time.
Hollow: For all the games we played online and off. And congrats for winning third place. I watched him evolve even more every time I play him. I got eliminated by him too so I'm a witness to how much he's improved.
Blackmoon: For being cool and introducing me to some of the offline scenes in Raleigh. I never knew he was actually close to me. And again this dude is sick in both DOA and Tekken. So either way, I'm getting a good workout with him.
Rikuto: For the fun conversations and the Leifang tech that I'm definitely using now. He finished in top 8 and I always gotta watch for him. One day, I shall fight the Bayman (I think I only fight Hitomi against him but I could also have forgot) and I'll make sure not to Dragon Kick.
Coldpieceaj: For the conversations and being cool af. We talk on twitch sometimes and Coldpiece definitely has me laughing sometimes. He's very good with some characters so I'll definitely be on the look-out.
Xcal: For being cool and eliminating me from tournaments period. He's also legit in MvC: Infinite, damn near winning the whole thing. He also has a pocket Jann Lee so maybe one of these days I might get that Jann mirror so I can learn stuff.
TaiChiFlow: For being cool and I had a good game in tekken against him. He's solid with Kokoro and he also has a very good Ling Xiaoyu. I'd definitely watch for him in the future.
Sypher: For the casual matches we had and for being really solid with Rig. He's another player I saw improve tremendously and I feel that he's definitely going to be a problem in the future as he learns Rig more.
BigDame: For the sick match I had with him. His Mai is solid and I really thought I wasn't going to get over the hump in that one. Shoutout to him for that sick match-up.
Kwiggle: I briefly spoke with him but he's cool. I think him and MASTER are the only competitive players I haven't played so one of these days I must get some games with him.
Savage: For also being cool. I usually fight him a bit online and his Bass is sick. Also I have to give him credit for allowing me to lose to XCal's Bass as well.
Tom Lee: I hope I said it right but he's cool. Had some good jokes and I can tell he's active in the community.
Dr. Sexual: He was the first person I played in DOA casuals and he's good with Jann Lee despite not playing since Ultimate. XD It's good to see that unlike me where I haven't played in 2 months and I became horrible for some time, here's a player who hasn't played since Ultimate and still was working.
There was a Hitomi where I'm sad to have forgot the gamertag he went by but shoutout to him as well: For the conversation in regards to DOA and the good matches in Tekken. He was solid with Katarina or Lucky Chloe (I fought a few of those characters when I had those casuals on friday) so I'll have to keep an eye out.
All the people in FSD including Awesmic and Force of Nature for the support. I really wasn't gonna play but I was convinced and I'll say it was worth it.
My DOA buds OJ, Shotaness, Destructive, Eks and a few others for the support.
Rojikku: For the support and preparation matches earlier. I wish he went to TFC but I know the academt had him busy. I wish him the best of luck.
DBomb: For the support and preparation matches earlier. I also wish he went to TFC but maybe one of these days I'll go up north and he can show me offline 1 frames.
The Tekken community: I have to give a bit of a shoutout. I spoke to some notable players like Pokchop, Joey Fury, Spero Gin, and a few others and they gave me some great advice. Also Rod for the preparation and support.
Big E: He was cool and Idk if he's the one who creates these events but if it's him then much shoutout to him for having me.
My parents: For supporting the idea. And for tolerating my rage sessions and reminding me of the true important things in regards to everything.
GOD: For everything. For the opportunity. For the sacrifice that was done. And for helping me find the confidence to do this event. Even as I lose, I know my identity in Christ and I'm thankful for that.
If you have made it this far, I would like to first thank you for reading this Biography of my TFC experience. Second I'd like to apologize for having you suffer this long reading XD. And lastly answer this quick poll that I have: Should I consider Final Round, Summer Jam, Wait for next year's TFC, or wait til DOA 6 for me to really start grinding again?
Advice is well recommended for me and my advice to anyone considering going or is going for the 1st time is...
2) Don't worry about 0-2
3) Talk with the top players (They're definitely willing to help)
4) Get as much casuals as you can before and after
5) Have fun
6) Be yourself (Don't try to be hoodless 2.0 or something)
7) Embrace the nerves (Everyone will get nervous. There's no escape. But don't let it consume you)
8) Look to the blessings and everything GOD has allowed for you
DOA: Tied for 9th 2-2
Tekken: Tied for 97th 2-2