The setup phase for Evolution East was tricky, but once the actual event started, it ran smoothly. We had plenty of space and a pretty good turnout of players for most games.
Dead or Alive 4 had 30 players this time (same as Tekken 5!), rather than 9, so there was actually somewhat of a real tournament. I entered, again with zero practice for months. I won some, lost some, and was eventually eliminated. I don't even really remember by who, as I wasn't serious about this tournament (and had already qualified from Evo West anyway).
At the last minute before the Guilty Gear XX Slash team tournament, Tom Cannon, the original founder of shoryuken.com asked if I'd join his team. Tom had never played even one game of the Slash version of GGXX and this was just a "for fun" thing. I rounded up Mopreme, another person who had never played Slash before, and we entered. I didn't really expect to get anywhere and I had already qualified for GGXX at Evolution West anyway. Little did I realize that the Evo East competition in GGXX wasn't anywhere near the level as the Evo West competition (sorry guys, not trying to trash talk, just telling it how it is). I beat entire teams by myself, sometimes losing only 10% life per round. Note that I went back to Chipp for this tournament, who I still claim is not at all good, but the Curse of Chipp dooms me to forever be a little better at playing Chipp than anyone else.
Anyway, we eventually played "team Yaa." Their first player plays Sol, and I'm sorry to say that he is one of the worst Guilty Gear players I've seen play the game, lol. Next they had a Testament player who I beat pretty easily. Finally, they had an Anji player who totally rocked me. He really had amazing mixups and good combos. He didn't even really need tricky mind-games because his mixups were so powerful, that eventually I'd guess wrong and die.
I thought I actually had a shot at beating everyone else there except for the Anji player and Marneto, but Marneto must have scrubbed out and lost, I don't even know to who. My team then somehow had to fight team Yaa, AGAIN. I beat their first two players easily again and was double eliminated by the Anji player. What a terrible way to be kept out of the top 4 teams for Sunday. During the Sunday matches (on stage, everyone watching just one game at a time), team Yaa inflicted the Sol player on the audience again and again. It was very hard to do commentary during this. I wanted to say "uh...so...nothing good is happing at all...not sure why this is a finals match...hmm....," but I mostly said nothing at all during those matches. The Anji player went on to get 2nd overall.
I somehow managed not to qualify in SF2 AE again. It looks like I had the hardest bracket again with Chris Li, NKI, Jeron, Julian, and other known players. While at Evo West, I fought against only Ryu and Dhalsim. At Evo East, I fought against only Champion Bison and ST Chun Li. I was ready to specifically beat Champion Bison, and I was looking forward to showing that "he's not all that."
I faced Jeron's Champion Bison and beat him 2-1, where I used Honda and ST Bison. I then faced him again and lost 2-1 with the same character matchups. If my honda made him block a good jump-in, I could usually ride that to 100% damage because Champion Bison can't get out. But when he knocked me down, he was able to do the broken cross-up psycho crusher on me over and over, and I just couldn't block it. One round, I took 100% damage to repeated psycho crushers that seemed unblockable. My total record against him was 3-3.
My other loss was to NKI, who went on to get 3rd in the overal tournament. NKI's Chun Li is legit and good. I did get a perfect on him with honda and won the first game, but I lost the next, switched to ST bison and lost. Ouch.
Some of the Champion Bison players didn't even know how to get out of another Champion Bison's lockdown. They sadly demonstrated that knowledge of the nuances of the game is not really necessary if you have the unfair psycho crusher and a scissor kick that combos into a dizzy and a redizzy. I'll finally admit that Champion Bison makes the game much worse than it would be without him.
My current opinion is that Champion Bison, CE Guile, and HF Ryu are the best 3 characters in the game.
Next year we'll surely have real Super SF2 Turbo rather than AE, as ST will be part of Capcom Classics Collection 2, produced by me.