This event was something no thread or internet streaming video could truly capture. Even I could not capture the entire run of every tournament, but when I was at Seasons Beatings IV; I took in as much information as possible. There were games, that up until now, I had not seen high-level play and when I did catch the classic Sanford Kelly versus Justin Wong matches; these matches went beyond my expectations. This was a wake up call. A huge wake up call to the fighting community as a whole. Street Fighter IV has indeed arrived and is a game with comparable depth to it's predecessors. There was/is resistance when talking to veteran players about Street Fighter IV [even I was and still am a naysayer], but after this tourney and this year's EVO; Street Fighter has earned its spot as one of the premiere, high-level tournament fighting games.
While I was there I took some photos, not my best day, but I tried to capture the essence.
Below Is video of the Street Fighter IV: Grand Final. Justin Wong vs. Umehara Daigo. The Final Set [Daigo won the first]
After the jump [Results/Opinions/Photos/Marvel vs Capcom 2: Justin vs Sanford Grand Final]
There were a couple surprises [for me] at Seasons Beatings. Namely seeing the huge turnout for BlazBlue, a game I have in my collection, but have yet to play. True, these games [like the Guilty Gear series] are seen as the 'pretty and superficial girlfriends' of most fighting game tournaments, but I was generally impressed with the high level of play and the turn out [I believe 85 people entered the BlazBlue tourney].
What was oddly impressive was the community aspect of Seasons Beatings this year. Who would have thought four years ago, when Ghaleon and Fugee started this event, that we would be streaming matches online for the unfortunate people who could not make it? True there were problems with the consistency of the stream, but it was free! The hosts [Chris Hu, Seth Killiam, Skisonic, Seb, Keits and occasionally Yipes and Dnyce] were great, some complained about the unprofessional vibe, which I get, but given that Seasons Beatings has kind of always been a little edgy; I am willing to let it pass.
Finally, missing the grudge match between Daigo vs. Justin Saturday [because I thought it was going to be Sunday] was frustrating [Daigo won, beating Justin 10-2, Daigo's Ryu should now be world famous at this point]. However, seeing Daigo versus Justin in 'actual tournament play' was amazing. Justin sending Daigo to the loser's bracket after Justin switched to Fei Long [a character which is only available on consoles, which is something Daigo may not be familiar with seeing as he plays the arcade version of Street Fighter IV]. Seeing Justin versus Sanford Kelly and Daigo versus Joe Ciaramelli were really something everyone should see, even if you are not into Street Fighter IV.
It was really cool to see Street Fighter IV as the main event at Seasons Beatings. It was not too big of a stretch from Marvel vs. Capcom 2, but cool in the sense that Marvel vs. Capcom 2 does not always have to be the main attraction at fighting game tournaments.
Before we get to the results, I would like to bring up an idea, that I am sure has already passed through many gamers' minds this weekend. U.S.A. versus Japan? It seems that the U.S. gamers have caught up and shown potential in being on the same level as Japanese players; it would be pretty cool if the next major fighting game tournament pushed this to the forefront.
The Results [I may need help from the community]
*Thanks to Ghaleon for the results*
Street Fighter IV (250 players)
1. Daigo Umehara (Ryu)
2. Justin Wong (Rufus, Fei Long)
3. Joe "ILOVEU" Ciaramelli (Sagat)
4. Ari "Floe" Weintraub (Sagat)
5. Eduardo "vVv Scrub" Perez (Balrog) — Played tiebreaker against Dr. Chaos for 5th
6. Dr. Chaos (Ken)
7. Andre "TwistedJago" Foney (M. Bison)
7. Issei Suzuki (Akuma)
9. Sanford "Santhrax" Kelly (Cammy, Akuma, Ryu)
9. Eric "Ramza" Kim (Sagat)
9. Chris "Fascinating" Hu (Ryu)
9. Lud (Chun-Li)
13. Checkmate (Ryu)
13. Brandon "DemonHyo" Deshields (Blanka)
13. Wolfkrone (C. Viper, Rose) — He's an analog stick using PS3 pad player
13. Vegita-X (Zangief)
Street Fighter: HD Remix (57 players)
1. Daigo Umehara (Ryu)
2. DGV (Ryu)
3. Damdai (Dhalsim, Ken, Zangief)
4. Brent "Immortal" Werling (Vega, Chun-Li)
Marvel vs Capcom 2(48? players)
1. Sanford "Santhrax" Kelly (Storm, Sentinel, Cable, Captain Commando)
2. Justin Wong (Storm, Sentinel, Cyclops)
3. Alex "Chunksta" de Souza (Magneto, Storm, Sentinel, Captain Commando, Psylocke)
4. Loren "Fanatiq" Riley (Magneto, Storm, Psylocke)
5. Chris "Magneto-X" Creecy (Magneto, Iron Man, Sentinel)
5. Neo (Sentinel, Storm, Captain Commando)
7. Josh 360 (Magneto, Ironman, Sentinel)
7. Chris "Matrix" Ellis (Cyclops, Sentinel, Cable, Storm)
Street Fighter III: Third Strike (32 players)
1. Issei (Yun)
2. Justin Wong (Chun-Li, Ken)
3. Jose "Frodo" Llera (Ryu)
4. Daigo Umehara (Ken)
Guilty Gear: Accent Core Plus (30 players)
BlazBlue (85 players)
1: H C
4: Juicy Chicken
13: Frankie Gomez
17: vVv Scrub
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (?? players)
2nd: iloveu joe
Street Fighter IV teams (unofficial)
1st: Team Justin/ilovujoe/Noel)
2nd: Team Sanford/Vegita X/floE
3rd: Team Daigo/Larry/Moses
Melty Blood (unofficial)
1st JuicyChicken (Yusuke from MI, uses F-miyako)
Daigo Vs. Justin first to 10
Daigo wins 10-2
$13,000 Toan vs. Fanatiq *
Toan won 10-7
There will be a Seasons Beatings Anthology DVD available soon, I will have to contact Fugee and Ghaleon to get the details on that, but the DVD will cover the past four events greatest matches.
*Really upset I missed one of the largest money matches ever. Seriously, how did it get as high as $13,000?!