December 30, 2022
2022-12-29 Street Fighter League Pro-JP 2022 Playoffs
Table of Contents
I wasn't planning about blogging about the playoffs; I was just going to watch them. To watch them, you need a ticket on Zaiko.io, about 5000 JPY for both the playoffs and Grand Finals (on 2023-01-21) or 3000 JPY separately (each).
I started watching and at some point started a thread on FGC.Network which I also mirrored on twitter. So for posterity purposes I'll make a blog entry - and while I'm at it I'll go through the archives to catch up on stuff that I missed live.
This is low effort - I'm not going to put a huge amount of time into this.
1 Nagoya OJA Body Stars Mildom vs. Saishunkan Sol Systems
I’ll post a few comments here as I watch the JP SFL Playoffs. First match is Nagoya OJA Body Stars Mildom vs. Saishunkan Sol Systems.
Before the games start, there are interviews with the team owners. For Saishunkan Sol Systems the owner representative is Daisuke Yoshimoto, who thanks the players for getting this far. He talks about how all of Kyushyu (the region the company is located) and in fact all of Japan must be supporting them. Everyone is supporting them and he hopes they can play in their own Saishunkan Sol style, please Ganbaru and all that. (I swear all throughout the season I just keep thinking of Ganbaru and Rashid Wallace "both teams played hard".
The Nagoya OJA BODY STAR Mildom representative is Oniki (I should know who this is - I strongly suspect it is the SFV player Oniki, who is from Nagoya and was on the Nagoya OJA Body Star team in previous years. I guess he's in a management role for the team now as the interface between the players and the corporate owner? That would make sense. Let's go with that. He thanks them for making it into the Playoffs, and having their offline event in October at the e-Stadium where he works. He hopes that they can win and advance on to the grand finals, and cheers them on.
The playoffs are offline, so both teams are in the same room. They are greenscreened into a virtual stadium. Between each game the players can go back to their team bench to get advice, and have been doing that. It really lends a team feeling to the game - especially when the production team shows that happening. Pretty nice.
First up is Fuudo Poison vs. Nemo Urien. Nemo says he expected Fuudo based on his CFN, and is prepared. Fuudo says he will ganbarimasu. GANBARIMASU. Fuudo wins 2-0.
Akira Cammy vs. Higuchi Guile. Higuchi says after a brief period of being confused, and confirms they want his pre-match expectations / feelings, he says he lost a lot to Akira in SFL last year, and so he wants to win here. Akira says he'll be super excited if he can win, and since Daigo is right next to him, he wants to win and make a contribution. Daigo looks confused, like "why did you bring me into this?" and Akira explains, Daigo plays Guile, so he's got a lot of good practice. It was a kind of funny interaction. Unfortunately, he loses 0-2 to Higuchi.
Daigo Guile vs. Shuto Urien. (I always write Daigo, they always say Umehara. I wonder if I should change?) Shuto says that this final match worth 20 points is very important to move to the Grand Finals, and he wants to make sure he wins for the sake of his three teammates who entrusted him with this Anchor position. Daigo says he's nervous. (That's it. Aru seems a bit … disappointed and says that Shuto Urien has been playing very well lately.) Daigo says that this is a really important match, and he's got to go all out (more literally play so hard that he might not be able to play any more afterwards.) Shuto wins 3-0.
First round was 10 points Nagoya vs. 30 points Saishunkan Sol.
In the second round Nagoya as away puts up Akira Cammy, Daigo Guile, and Fuudo Poison.
Higuchi Guile vs. Akira Cammy. Akira says he's super nervous, but he's reflected on his previous loss and will win. Higuchi says he's very happy for the win, and if he can win here they are at a strong advantage, so he'll think about how he won last time and do his best. Akira Cammy wins the run-back 2-0.
That brings it to 20 points for Saishunkan Sol vs. 30 points for Nagoya. Nemo sends up YHC-Mochi Dhalsim against Daigo's Guile. Daigo says that YHC-Mochi used to be his teammate, so he has complicated feelings about that, but he'd like to win with Fuudo and move on to the playoffs (everyone laughs at that.) Aru prompts YHC-Mochi with that line about them being teammates, and YHC-Mochi replies last year they were playing in the Grand Finals together last year, but this year they are opponents. He'd like to send this to a third round, and he's practiced a lot with Higuchi, so if he can execute on his plan he should do well. YHC-Mochi wins 2-0.
Nemo sends up Shuto Urien against Fuudo Poison. Fuudo says that in last years SFL he played a lot with Shuto offline, and so he's happy he met him here. He's looking at it as a FT5 between them. Shuto says if he loses here it will be 40 to 40 and they will have to play another round. He wants to prevent that from happening and will close things out now. Shuto wins 3-0.
Saishunkan Sol wins. Shuto was definitely the MVP in the series, he was Anchor in both rounds, and won both times for 40 points.
They've got their entry into the Grand Final (which will have a few teams in it - 3 I think, Good 8 Squad, Saishunkan Sol, and whoever comes out of the loser's bracket today.)
In the interview, Higuchi says he's happy he was able to spar with YHC-Mochi and he got the win vs. Daigo. YHC-Mochi is happy he could play his role. Shuto says this is really the first time in SFV that he's had a big role to play by winning as the Anchor. In previous league matches other people were the Anchor sometimes too. Aru asks about what he thought about his play, and he thought things went well, he practiced a lot. He wants to take this momentum into the Grand Finals. Hameko asks about his match vs. Daigo and how he prepared - he played with Higuchi a lot, Daigo really beat him bad in their opening match, and played with Higuchi until he had more confidence in the match-up.
They also interview Nagoya, and Akira says that they still have another chance and they should have the advantage. They'll do their best. (I'm almost surprised that they didn't ask everyone for a comment.)
2 Shinobims Gaming vs. v6 Plus FAV RohtoZ!
Next up is Shinobism vs. FAV, followed by the winner of that vs. Nagoya to see who makes it into the Grand Finals.
The bracket to see who makes it into the Grand Finals on the loser's side. Next up is FAV Gaming vs. Shinobism Gaming, followed by the winner of that vs. Nagoya OJA Body Stars Mildom. pic.twitter.com/ERJ8IqK7MK— FuguTabetai (@DocFugu) December 29, 2022
Momochi says that they will advance to the playoffs. Shinobism has the best teamwork of any of the teams here.
Meguro-san, the GM for FAV Gaming from Kadokawa Gaming, says that their team being here is due to the staff, players, and fans. He says the league is super tough mentally and physically, and it's just like FAV to get this far. First they have to advance to the Grand Finals, so thank you for your support.
(I didn't translate the initial stuff for the first round since I was just watching for fun. Figured I might as well do this, since I'm at a keyboard. Now the next day I went back and added translations for the first session.)
Fujimura is looking for revenge on Torimeshi. Torimeshi said at first he thought Dhalsim could fight Luke, and after practicing he is now convinced that Dhalsim can fight Luke.
Tokido giving some secret anti-Luke advice? pic.twitter.com/7cc5IGmyds— FuguTabetai (@DocFugu) December 29, 2022
Secret advice must have worked; Torimeshi won in a close final game final round set. He really made a big adaptation after losing the first game badly. The Tokido secret advice must have worked (he got two doses of it actually.)
Next up is sako Menat vs. Yamaguchi Luke. Yamaguchi says it's been a while since he's faced sako in tournament, but he has prepared for Menat and will do his best. sako says he has two of the world's best Lukes on his team to practice with, so he will win.
Tokido Luke vs. Momochi Cody. Momochi says if you want to beat FAV, you need to beat Tokido. He's prepared for that; when they met in the league it was 1 up one down. Tokido says getting ready for the playoffs Cody is the character he was most concerned about and prepared for.
Tokido really fought that well - he got Momochi down to about half life, and by the time Momochi walked him into the corner, V-trigger was done, and Momochi had just about made up ground, but now Luke had V- and EX- Meter. I thought Momochi was really impressive throughout the regular season play, but prep-time Tokido looks crazy strong. I thought he was going to win 3-0, but Momochi brought it back 2-1, but then Tokido came on like a truck, winning 3-1 with a Perfect on the final round. That got FAV 40 points in the home position to 0 for Shinobism, but now the tables turn and Shinobism gets a round as the home team (but they can't lose anything - first to 50 points wins, and the matches are 10,10,20 as usual.)
Bon-chan vs. Fujimura. I either missed comments from the players (I was starting dinner prep) or there weren't any. Fujimura gets the win, keeping Shinobism alive a bit longer.
sako vs. Momochi. sako says he doesn't hate the Cody Matchup. Momochi says he's positive that sako hates the Cody matchup, particularly Zonk Knuckle. Momochi won 2-1, keeping Shinobism alive, and I'm pretty sure making sako hate Zonk Knuckle.
Tokido Luke vs. Yamaguchi Luke. Tokido says that Yamaguchi has been losing a lot lately, and he's prepared for all the things you need to do in the Luke matchup. Yamaguchi says he'll definitely win, and has no further comments.
Lots of pressure on that kid. He's pretty tall too.
I didn't expect Yamaguchi to go up 2-0 on Tokido, but here we are. If he wins this, it will be 40-40 (both teams sweeping in the Away spot!) and we will go another round. If he loses, FAV advances to battle Nagoya OJA Body Star Mildom. Tokido barely won, so it's 2-1 Yamaguchi now. Wow, Yamaguchi won it, 3-1, so Shinobism lives still.
Torimeshi vs. Fujimura. (Had to go buy some eggs, so I missed anything anyone might have said.) Torimeshi won 2-0, ending Shinobism's run.
Yamato starts the interview with Torimeshi, who says this is his first large offline tournament, and his knees were shaking since the first match. He definitely had to take on the Luke matches though, and did his best. Yamato asks if his teammates said anything to him for his nerves, he talked about some strategies they told him (don't be too offensive, some other stuff.)
Bon-chan says he's only just lost in his matches, so having his teammates win is great. These rules that make it so that you can't win on the first run makes it really tough, there is high quality play.
Tokido says the match was tough. He says home / away isn't all that much of an advantage, but that last match having home was important.
sako says everyone played well, and their opponents were also very strong, he wanted them to go easier. It was the same pattern from last year. He's really glad they won. (My browser flaked out here, so I only heard the end where sako says they will ganbarimasu their ganbarimost.)
They also talk to Momochi, who says last year they had the same team with different players and also lost in the playoffs. It's really tough. The young players on the team - Yamaguchi and Johnny - both have a bright future ahead of them. While the team lost, they will be back next year. Thank you to all the fans for their support.
3 Nagoya OJA Body Star Mildom vs. v6 Plus FAV RohtoZ!
Last up tonight is Nagoya OJA Body Star Mildom vs. FAV to decide who will make it into the final playoff spot.
First up is sako Menat for FAV, facing Fuudo Mika.
sako says that he expected that and he's prepared. Fuudo says I did too. He's completely prepared. Fuudo wins 2-0.
Torimeshi Dhalsim vs. Akira Cammy. He was sure he would face Akira as the away team, so he's prepared. He will win. Akira says he baited him out. He lost as home last time, so he wants to win. Torimeshi uses the Sansara really well. He won 2-0.
Last match is Daigo vs. Tokido. Tokido says he is confident. Daigo says in this version of SFV beating Luke is important. He's something something and will do his best. Daigo wins 3-1.
Nagoya is leading 30-10 going into the second round where they will be the away team.
For the next round, it is Daigo Guile, Akira Cammy, Fuudo Poison. sako sends up Torimeshi Dhalsim first.
Torimeshi Dhalsim vs. Daigo Guile. Diago says He'll Do His Best (after a very, very long pause.) Torimeshi says since it is 30-10, he needs to win. He doesn't know how well he will play against Daigo but he will do his best. Torimeshi played really well and won 2-0 (all super close though.)
The Middle match is Akira Cammy vs. Bon-chan Luke. Akira says he can't think of anything. He'll do his best. Bon-chan says it is now his time to go to work. Akira wins 2-0.
Fuudo Poison vs. Tokido Luke. Fuudo says he lost earlier, but he thinks it's really bad to lose as the Anchor. So he'll win here and advance the team to the Grand Finals. Tokido says that he beat Daigo just before, and will build off of that with a win here. It came down to the final game final round, if Fuudo wins Nagoya advances, if Tokido wins FAV gets another round (well, one more game since it would be 40-40 then). Crazy ending, but Fuudo wins, and Nagoya OJA Body Star Mildom advances. FAV is out.
In the interview Akira says he's overjoyed. He thought he had the best seat for the best match of the night. Aru asks him about his win over Bon-chan, he knows it isn't an advantageous matchup, but his teammates said he should go for it, and he took their advice and won. It all went well, and he knows everyone else is the same but they have all been practicing the most for the Luke matchup. Daigo says he's happy to advance to the Grand Finals, especially going there with Nari-kun (who laughs at that, saying what the hell?) Daigo laughs at his own joke. Aru says that it was unusual for Daigo to say that he was so nervous, and wanted to contribute to the team. He says that last year he feels like if he had won one or two more matches it would be a completely different outcome, and here Akira directs him to look at the camera, pointing it out, instead of staring off into space. More laughs. He thought then that he wanted to make more of a contribution next year, and so he really worked hard this year, so he's super happy to move on to the Grand Final. Aru said that Nari-kun was super loud cheering his teammates on (not quite Caba level, but he was prominent in the audio) he is sad he wasn't able to play, but understands that, and everyone did their best, they are all amazing players. Fuudo says last time he lost in the last match and they went out, and he didn't want that to happen again. He's happy he was able to prevent that, and bring Nari-kun to the Grand Finals. Aru asks what he thinks about facing Saishunkan Sol in the Grand Finals again, and he says it was really tough practicing for Luke and Cody, and he doesn't have to worry about that anymore so is super happy about that. He got beat pretty bad by Shuto, but conversely that is good motivation. There's about a month until the finals.
Aru asks sako for a few words, he wanted to win again with this team like last year, but they played good games, and will do their best next year. Aru also asks Tokido for a few words, who says that he tried to work even harder than last year, but everyone around them got stronger as well, and it's heartbreaking but he'll try to do better next time.
It's interesting that Aru also asked Tokido for some comments; that hasn't happened before.
The Grand Finals are on January 21st, where Saishunkan Sol systems as Home faces Nagoya as Away, and the winner of that is the away team against Good 8 Squad for the championship.
They do highlights from all three matches, then get some comments from the two teams that advance.
Saishunkan Sol Kumamoto. Nemo says that they were able to advance early, and the remaining two matches were also both super exciting, and he's forgotten about their match. He's looking forward to facing Nagoya OJA in the Grand Finals again. Aru says they will be the Home team next time, and Nemo says, yeah, but really I'm just happy we won't face Luke. Lots of laughs from all through the studio. Shuto says Luke and Cody were the only two characters that made him cry while he was practicing, so he's happy they are out. They still have to practice for the other characters though, and he's looking forward to those matches. Higuchi says last year they lost in the playoffs, and this year they are advancing to the Grand Finals. Today there were not any spectators in the studio, but in the Grand Finals there will be spectators and he's really looking forward to that live support. YHC-Mochi says it is great to play in front of people that are enjoying things too, and their support really helps. He wants to win with the support of the fans.
Nagoya OJA Body Star Mildom. Akira says they started with a loss to Saishunkan Sol and he wasn't playing how he wanted to, Fuudo told him he wasn't executing like he practiced for, and he was able to take that and reflect on it for better play in the second match. Yamato asks if they changed anything from last year, and he said they improved communication within the team. They were able to advance because of their good teamwork. Daigo says he's really happy. He felt really bad after their loss, but there was a lot of time before their next match, so he and Akira actually took a nap. He even was snoring. That reset how he was feeling, and thought he played better in that second match. Fuudo says he's happy to move on, and their team really does have good chemistry. Half of what they talked about in those huddles was pointless, just random stuff (lots of laughs). But it's a good chemistry where you don't have to talk for it to work, and people tell you the important things. There wasn't much information that was not important, ignoring the unrelated banter. He was very nervous on that last game, but because of the team support it was fun. Aru says that he thinks their team had the loudest cheering section of all the teams. Yamato says that Nari-kun is the mood-setter for the team. He agrees. All he was able to do was support his teammates. He hasn't won yet, and all he could do was look at the powerful figures of his teammates and try harder himself. He'll work to be able to contribute in the Grand Finals. He's really happy when Daigo said that he carried him into the Grand Finals (some other funny cross chatter I didn't catch with Akira.)
Finally Akira says they heard all the support from the fans, and thanks them for that. They have good chemistry and he might never be on a team like this again. Fuudo says that's not the case (lots of laughs).
The broadcast ends with more highlight plays.
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