So sometime around the beginning of December I signed up for an online tournament hosted by newegg.com There were 500+ entrants organized into 4 different brackets in this single elimination tournament. My first match was against someone that didn't ring a bell with me, no high level competitor or anything however, I did see that if I won my first match, my second would be against the winner of EG Marn and his opponent. Of course, I knew it would be Marn.
I was surprised that he played C. Viper and not Dudley for the tournament match. Definitely caught me by surprise. So granted that this is only online play, but it is still a tournament in which I am fighting a world renown player, it still made me kind of frazzled. I played the first match scared. Making mistakes that I've known not to do for the past year and just not keeping my calm enough to play patiently.
After the first match, there was just enough time for me to tell myself that I have very possibly only one more match and then my mark on this tournament is over and I didn't enter this to turle up under pressure and not take the risks necessary to win. I came to play and I was going to control the tempo of the next match. Well, the first round was neck and neck, and I can definitely point to a decision near the end of round 1 that definitely sealed the deal. I was close! If only I could have kept my calm. Round 2 was mine. It may have been the only round I won out of our first to 2 set, but I won it decisively. Round 3 was neck and neck again, and just like round 1, the excitement, the pressure, the white knuckle type play eventually got to me and I, again at the end of the round, made a bad move and threw out an unsafe, random headbutt. Now Marn needed only 1 round to win the match, the set, and advance in the tournament. Well, in the 4th and final round he took it, decisively.
I am thrilled with how I played. No, it wasn't the best I've ever played and I certainly am embarrassed at how much health and how many ronuds I cost myself by doing things I know much better than to do. It's all a matter of experience though. I didn't have any tournament experience going into this one, Marn has had his fair share of international tournament experience. Marn has phenomenal execution and is a damn smart player. I know with more experience, I can keep my cool and not make the stupid mistakes that cost me round 1 and 3 of the second match and had I been able to do this I would have won the second match 3 rounds to 0 and who knows what would have happened in the third and final match,
All in all, it was a great experience and I owe a big thanks to Marn. A lot of people hate on him or say he has a terrible attitude (someone even called him Street Fighter's public enemy #1) but he's caught his fair share of hate from internet forums and he has every right to be upset about it. But my first impression was that he is a cool ass guy who is an unbelievably good player. He even played an exhibition match after the tourney matches with me as his Dudley (WOW!!). I'm looking forward to playing him again.