Wow, I just dug up and old thread that was started after a small incident was blown way out of proportion by a few of my friends and myself unfortunately..... This event in time is known as the "You Just Don't Know" moment involving a gentleman by the name of Ryan, aka gootecks, and myself. I almost feel a little bad for telling this story over again and I do it with no intentions of rehashing any drama so please accept my apology ahead of time. I do find this story somewhat entertaining though and also think maybe some people can get something out of it, so I shall tell it once again.
So basically Street Fighter 4 was released in the arcades and I have been out of touch with competitive fighting games for around half a year. For some reason I was bored and decided to call up Combofiend and go check out SF4 over at Arcade Infinity. He told me he was going to hang out with Gootecks and we can just all carpool since Gooey literally lived in walking distance from me at the time. So the journey begins and we head to the arcade. I instantly notice that the game had lag and thought it was just how the new system worked....... then not too long after I played the home version and figured out that the huge monitors at the arcade caused those few frames of delay. Regardless, my first game I decided to get back to my roots and picked Ryu. For some reason Ryan picked him as well and we proceeded to jump into my newly found experience of this game. Low and behold I'm playing this game somewhat like 3rd Strike and just using fundamentals and ex fireballs and won. Then I hear Peter take a jab at Ryan and say "how you gonna lose after playing this game for over half a year and this is Mike's first game?" The salt was sprinkled and as some of you may know, the groundwork for a showdown has already been planted. After that game Ryan instantly went to Balrog and beat me up for the rest of the day. I think I won maybe 5 rounds in 10 games and just couldn't adapt quickly enough to the new game to get another victory. So all is well and everyone is in a good mood on the way home. I am asking questions in regards to the focus system and also asking about the lag i felt. They both felt the lag was non existent but I knew something was wrong because I was having trouble countering throws and reacting to quick moves such as dash punches. Anyways, so we drop Ryan off and right when he gets out of the car my ego and competitive spirits start to come out. I tell Peter, hey man, gimme 2 weeks and I'm gonna beat this dudes ass free. Mind you Ryan is fresh off a victory at a major where he just beat all mighty Jwong so he was definitely in top game form. We share a little chuckle and then discuss how we are going to try and meet up a little more frequently and get some games in.
So we are having practice sessions at my other house where a few of my buddies live. Little do people know, Jaha was actually a pretty good player and he was my main training partner early on in this game. He played Rufus and had all the bread and butter stuff down so I had to learn the zoning game real quick and avoid all the new stuff he was implementing. Jaha was pretty social and made use of the SRK forums quite a bit at the time so we had open invitations to people who wanted to come over and play. Hungbee, Combofiend, and a few other people were regularly there to level up and occasionally Mike Ross would come down too. Not to name any names but we also invited over the guys who were winning tourneys at the time and I don't know what it was, but I just played light outs when that happened. There was a sagat player that was pretty good and I beat him 10-0 in a mirror. Then there was also a Balrog player who came over to play my Sagat, but I had picked Ryu already and jokingly said I wouldn't changed characters until he won...... 30 games later he had to go and I was feeling myself now haha. So anyways there was a session when Ryan came over and for some reason I think everyone was just a little annoyed that day. Our regular house rules were to play a 2/3 set and winner stays on the cab. We started and it was Hung's Chun-li vs his Balrog. I think the game was pretty close but can't recall exactly and I do faintly remember Hung trying to do a counter super after blocking something and it failed. Hung said "Bullshit" and Ryan started laughing with a reply of "Of course that doesn't work. You Just Dont Know. I've been playing this long (uses his two hands to show a space in between of about 2 feet) and you have only been playing this long (once again uses hands but only shows a space of about 6 inches)." For some reason all of us kind of took a little offense to this as it was pretty cocky on his part. But for those of you who actually know Gootecks, you will know he is very competitive in the game and can be a complete douche, yet outside the game everyone finds him to be pretty cool and overall a decent guy to hang out with. Anyways, back to the story. So I am up next and I pick Chun-li also. I beat him the first game and I could tell he was a little steamed. Then second game he wins the first round and proceeds to say "Did you see a difference there?" Immediately I start thinking, is this dude really talking smack and dissing me and my boy in my own house? I am literally just learning this game and trying to do different things to see if they counter certain moves and what not, while this guy is taking pride in winning games off of us while giving it his all. So this is the part where a person's adrenaline kicks in and I just take my game to the next level. I just start beating him and making sure he is completely frustrated. After the win he angrily pulls his stick and starts to walk out the house. A buddy of mine name DevilX wasn't so nice and made a pretty rude comment during Ryan's walk of shame out the house. He said, "I can't wait till you leave so I can hear everyone talk shit about you...." Ooh man, brutal stuff there, but can't say it wasn't completely warranted.
So then March of 2009 rolls around and there is an event Gootecks created known as "Bar Fights." Even though he wasn't exactly my best friend at the time I felt I should show up just to support. I was actually worried there wouldn't be that many people there so I brought about 4 friends just so to have more people there to fill the room if needed. So I arrive at the event and some girl who was apparantely an "assistant" of Ryan's hit me up while I was just hanging around outside. She said something to me that really struck a nerve and that was just the spark I needed to make my comeback and get back into this game. This girl asked me "Are you here to play in the Beat-a-pro Challenge?" AM I HERE TO DO WHAT BITCH? I can honestly say I was fuming and wanted to sock her in the mouth, but I also promised myself I would be on my best behavior so I swallowed my pride for a second and said, no I am not, thank you. Holy cow man, my resume is longer than all these kids put together and I got some girl who is supposedly running things here and she has no clue who she is talking to or anything about Street Fighter. I am not the type to care if you know who I am, but I did feel she disrespected the game by not knowing the history of it so immediately she was on my shit list. Regardless, this event was pretty cool and turned out to be a success. Good to see the community was growing and gaining more attention outside of the hardcore crowd.
So now April is here and there is a tournament being held at some trendy shop in Alhambra, CA. There is a small art exhibit with some really cool Street Fighter stuff and just basically a bunch of artists and some top players hanging out. This tournament had an entry fee of $40 from what i can recall, and I'm sure it was to weed out the people who weren't too serious at the time. I remember being told about this by Seth Killian and Mr Wizard so I decided it was time to send a wake up call to these now so-called top players. It was single elimination and I had to fight my way through a Dhalsim player named Warren, then Mike Ross' Honda, and also EdMa's Akuma. I was now sitting in grand finals waiting for the victor of Combofiend vs HappyTang. This was a really sick match of Combo's Balrog vs Kai's El Fuerte. It came down to the last round and Combo attempted an ex-rush punch with Kai countering and throwing it for the win. I was a little discouraged that Peter didn't win since it would be cool to face a good friend in the finals, and also I had never played an El Fuerte before so I was a little worried. I eventually ended up losing to Kai in the last round of this match but we split 1st and 2nd place prize money and wound up taking home something like $350 bucks each. I really wanted to win this one but I just wasn't prepared enough at the time so it didn't happen. I also felt that at least I made my mark and people knew I was coming back to make some noise.
Now for the real juicy stuff. So it is now June and there is a tournament being held in Arizona called "Devestation." I was a big supporter of the Arizona scene early on and attended a few of their tourneys to show support before the big Street Fighter 4 Boom. My goal at this tourney was to actually chase down Gootecks and beat him at a major just to in a sense expose him. So here comes the dirt that has never been exposed publicly. I obviously requested to the tournament organizer to specifically play Ryan at some point. This was actually something not so easily accomplished and would require some luck as well as skill. Part 1 required both of us to make it out of our pools and then we had to be placed strategically in the bracket in order for this to happen. Well, part 1 went well so now it was time for phase 2 to take place. We both started out on the winner's side of the bracket and if we both won our first matches then it would be showtime! Brackets are made and I'm just sitting back thinking strategy and just trying to enjoy the moment that was about to unfold. Before this would happen though, there was a big argument going on at the organizers desk and of course, Gooteck was complaining about the bracket. His argument was that it wasn't spread apart fairly and that too many top players were playing each other too soon etc. I now stepped in and make a fuss and the point that he was playing a random first round, then me second round, and I wasn't a top 8 player so essentially his first top 8 match up wouldn't come till 3rd round in winners. What could possibly be the problem........ Well, I think we all know he didn't want this match to take place but after a bit of shuffling the bracket was now in place and our portion of it was left unchanged. So the match went down and it's up on youtube if any of you care to view it. This was my first "streamed" match and I was feeling the heat cause this is something I made happen. Fortunately I won and avenged the people I felt Ryan offended. I popped off and yelled out "You've been playing how long? I've been playing forever!" Childish, I know, but hey, he started it so boo hoo hoo.
Now that I look at this situation I do feel I took things too far, hell, I even created an official EVO T-shirt with a YJDK logo and sold over 1000 of them. Some people didn't know what it was representing, but it was cool to see so many of these being worn during the tourney. But yeah, this is or was hopefully the last time I let me ego get the best of me. Ryan's competitive career never seemed to be the same after and I do feel bad about it. But he also did progress as a promoter and social media guy when it came to bringing SF to the mainstream crowds. We all know for a fact that without Ryan all this new age streaming and special event stuff would definitely not be where it's at and for this we all owe him huge thanks. And I also owe him a huge apology. Ryan, I'm sorry man, I let my ego and competitive spirit go out of control and hopefully you forgive me for this.
To this day we still talk and it seems as though all of this has blown over, but I am not sure how he feels deep down and since he also has a highly competitive attitude, hopefully he understands how and why all this went down the way it did. On a couple side notes there was a HD remix tourney at this same venue where myself and John Choi played 1st round in a game where we were both considered the top 2 attendees yet the bracket wasn't altered and we wound up playing each other in the grand finals. There was also a 3rd Strike 3 vs 3 tourney where I was supposed to team up with Justin and we planned it for months, yet TFGM decided he would flex his EMP powers and not allow Justin to compete on the same team as me. I also played Gootecks in this tourney and beat him, then there was a big silence as people weren't sure if I was gonna pop off again, but I kindly shook his hand and felt as though the war was over.
Hope I didn't waste too much of your time from this story and hope you enjoyed the read. And for those wondering, I am currently still working on finalizing our Kickstarter video as I have received help from various professionals and trying to make it best as can be. Thanks for reading everyone and talk to you again soon!