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Frosty Faustings is the start of the anime fighting game competitive season. For most of us, it’s the first tournament of the new year, and the four-month break from CEOTaku to FF is where players recharge, hit the lab, and not play fighting games for a while because we get sucked into some stupid gacha MMO visual novel weeb shit. Frostys is where the storylines start.
The biggest story to come from was undoubtedly Kizzie Kay powering through the GG bracket like a wrecking ball. He looked confident as hell out there, catching all kinds of unexpected hits in neutral, converting into decisive advantages, and daring his opponents to swing back. (After watching his Winners Finals match against Teresa, I never want to hear a Sin player complain about 6P ever again.)
But Kizzie’s wins didn’t come easily; both PepperySplash in second place and Teresa in third place left a real strong impression. I’d bet PepperySplash’s decision to retire Johnny in favor of Venom to pay off in consistent top 8 placement this year, at which point we’ll all complain about Venom and give Johnny players a break. And Teresa came very close to reminding us all that the skill gap between Japan and NA Guilty Gear is not something that can be closed quickly, and honestly, if he continues getting more traveling experience and main stage time he’s only going to get better at handling the stress. 「テレサさん、大丈夫？試合中いつも死にそうな顔してるから僕は心配しますよ。」
Other takeaways from Guilty Gear at FF:
- MarlinPie’s switch to I-No is looking real strong and I’m excited to see him back in the game. Based on his matches against Bears and Teresa I’m guessing he’s still rounding out his matchup experience but I don’t think he’ll need much time to catch up. (I will miss his Zato-1, but I understand.)
- The Midwest FGC were lovely hosts this weekend, but they didn’t get anyone into their GG top 8. T_T East Coast, Canada, and West Coast all represented hard, hope America’s Home of Guilty Gear will come back and remind us who kept the spark alive while the Capcom FGC was crying about the “dark ages”.
- Beware running into MechaMacgyver’s Answer in pools, because you probably don’t know the matchup. Free tip: Don’t blitz against a 3S player.
- Shoutouts to Kizzie and Bears + Daymendou for bringing both GG singles and teams back to the West Coast! It’s the best coast (that’s why rent is so high here).
- Best set IMO goes to Kizzie Kay vs. Teresa in Winners Finals. Amazing adaptation and lots of clutch play under pressure.
Most Anime Moments of Frosty Faustings 2019:
Best Winpose: Vevion fulfilling his lifelong dream of dabbing on the main stage after Havoc Noah dashes through the post-match handshake. Remember, everyone: If you don’t shake hands, you deserve whatever dragging you get.
Boom, headshot: Second best winpose goes to LostSoul for the clutch 360 noscope.
Saddest Anime Betrayal: Guilty Gear’s protagonist BxA Sway getting one match away from top 8, only to be gatekept by his New York teammate BxA Blaze. It’s okay, Sway. You know the 主人公 has to lose before they win.
Early Riser: Teresa’s early popoff didn’t quite get him Woshige’d, but it certainly killed his IRL Tension Pulse.
My FF 2019 tournament run
For those of you who have only seen these tournaments from the Twitch Chat seats, I figured I’d write up my FF experience so you can see what you’re missing out on.
I first came to Frosty Faustings in 2015 and was delighted by how warm and close the event’s vibe was. Since then, the tournament has probably gotten at least three times bigger, and they’re expanding to an even larger venue in 2020, but none of that growth appears to risk losing its charm. Evo has Vegas; CEO has Daytona; Frosty Faustings has nothing but delivery pizza and a shit-ton of snowed-in nerds playing video games, and it’s all the more wonderful for that.
My Frostys trip started out with some light GG casuals, then a quick walk through the BYOC to get some Sailor Moon S action. Immediately after sitting down, a friendly fellow sat down with me, played a few games, showed me some mechanics around timing the wakeup dash to make it invincible, walked me through some block-cancel fireball interactions, added me on Discord, added me to the Sailor Moon S Discord, sent me links to printable movelists and frame data charts (of which he had several laminated copies inside his stick), and hooked me up with the training mode scripts and netplay setup guides, so I guess I’m a Sailor Moon S player now. It feels kind of like joining a really harmless cult?
After that ten-minute Sailor Moon S download it was time to get to GG 2v2s, where I met up with the other half of team Hella NorCal, Honnou. I figured we had a good shot in Waseda 2v2s because pretty much everyone who plays Guilty Gear either hates playing against Chipp (me) or Jack-O (him), and our annoying matchups combined with our dashing good looks were guaranteed to generate some tilt wins in best-of-1.
He saved our butts with clutch wins over team FOG_O de Chao (DaveO/Morgan), I carried us through to victory over team My President is Black and my Lambo is Blue (Coolestred/Spectryn), and then we got sent to losers by team Isabelle fan club (Hotashi/Zenzen). Once in losers, we fought team Word Salad (MiniMatt/Sarvets) where I got to challenge fellow Chipp wildboi Sarvets to a Real Ninja Duel. (If you want to scare a Guilty Gear player, ask them to imagine playing Sarvets in a best-of-one tournament.) Hella NorCal won that one, only to lose a solid match against team Big Dudes in Clown Shoes (Ryuudo/BrentQuest). Solid run and a lot of fun!
Next up for me was Mystery Tournament. I had been preparing for Mystery Tournament on stream but hadn’t managed to play in one since my last FF, so I was stoked to get some hands-on time. I beat in Soap in Last Blade 2 (Setsuna), TheCrankMachine in SF2 (Guile), lost to Westinulk in that stupid Soul Calibur Wii game (Siegfried), beat Boogal in Disc Jam and beat Sigma in Gundam Battle Assault 3 (Freedom Gundam), then barely missed making top 16 by losing to Westinulk in the runback of Plasma Sword (Hayato). Overall, I’m pretty happy with my performance, and playing in it was super useful for testing some of my preparation strategies — I called FOOTSIES as a strong potential pick and it ended up being used for the first set of Grand Finals.
I had my GG singles pool bright and early on Saturday. I knew it was going to be tough — I had TheArm, TheBeautifulDude, and DaveO in my pool, and whenever I’ve played any of them it’s been pretty one-sided. But I started out playing reasonably smart and taking the first game off DaveO, and then I choked hard, running into a LOT of Sol stuff and generally making it easy for him to land hits and do damage. Still, I managed to run through dragon install vince, BusinessToaster, and Jzmisgod in Losers before losing the runback to DaveO. Kudos to DaveO for some good games, and thanks for the help (and the burrito) after.
Overall score: 17th in Mystery Tournament, 13th in GG 2v2, and 65th in GG singles. Not bad by my standards.
I spent the rest of the trip playing and watching Gear and eating Gekioh’s popcorn. If GG is our religion and a tournament venue our place of worship, The Popcorn Baron is the one bringing the ceremonial snacks. I’m still working on my bag of Garlic Habanero, which is a tasty snack that doubles as a diet aid for those weak to spice, but over the course of the trip I got to try some of the Cinnamon Roll (tastes better than actual cinnamon rolls IMO). To be honest, swapping popcorn with fellow Gear players was probably the most adorable tournament experience I’ve ever had.
Also, I copped a Chipp Cat charm from Irene Lee’s Kitty Gear XPurred Rev Mew line because I’m a sucker for that shit.
Unfortunately, I’m stuck stream monstering Anime Ascension and Evo Japan in February, but if you liked this writeup, let me know and I’ll keep them coming.
Thanks for reading!