Interview: Mike Watson Runs It Back with Classic Fighting Game Tournament Moment #37 Reloaded

By on September 11, 2014 at 12:01 pm
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Whenever I watch the Evo Moment #37 video, I squint to see if I can find myself in the video when Seth Killian pans the camera over to catch the crowd shot. It’s pointless, I know; I was a few rows too far, and the footage is way too blurry anyway.

Super Arcade’s Mike Watson remembers the hype well — and with his upcoming classic fighting game tournament Moment #37 Reloaded, he’s trying to bring it back. He’s got the old venue (the Cal Poly Pomona student center) from November 21-23, and he’ll be hosting Capcom vs. SNK 2, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (alongside an Ultra Street Fighter IV side tournament for the kids). I recently caught up with Watts to see what he has in store.

Patrick Miller: First off, what are the registration deadlines?

Mike Watson: Super early bird registration = $25 and free t-shirt – lasts until September 20 at 11:59 PM.
Early bird registration = $25 – lasts until October 20 at 11:59 PM
Normal registration = $35 – lasts until November 14 at 11:59 PM
Late registration = $50 – November 15-18
Emergency registration = $100 November 21 9 AM-11 AM on site (entry not guaranteed!)

PM: People have been talking about doing a throwback fighting game event for a while. What made you decide to do it now?

MW: This just happened to be the ten-year anniversary of the infamous “Daigo Parry” and it only seemed logical to celebrate this event before we all become dinosaurs!

PM: Lining up the right hardware for older fighting games can be tough. Which versions are you picking for each game?

MW: Okay, so you wanna get to the nitty-gritty right away. I am honestly working my butt off to get everything on arcade setups, and being as I’m the owner of Super Arcade it would only seem logical, right? If by some miracle all the stars align. then this would be the best-case scenario. But as we all know, things don’t always work out, so our fallback plan would be to use the same console setups that were used for those games during Evo. As far as Super Turbo goes, as of right now this is probably the easiest game to run arcade setups or at least arcade boards for. Capcom vs. SNK 2 and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 are not so easy, and the backup plan would be PlayStation 2 for CvS2 and Dreamcast for Marvel. Now onto the main event, 3rd Strike: I currently own two boards and have a few cabs I can run this on, but once again, if this fails, we will run this on PS2 as it has been done for past Evo tournaments.

(Editor’s note: Wait, wait, hold on a second. 3s is the main event and not CvS2? Unacceptable.)

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PM: Whenever I watch Old People Games events like Geriatric Warfare or 2 Old 2 Furious, I always see random older players show up and bust heads like they never stopped playing. Got any random locals you hope will come out of the woodwork?

MW: As of right now, we will definitely be seeing Daigo [Umehara] and Justin [Wong], since they are the headliners of this event. I have also spoken to Ryo “BAS” Yoshida from Japan and he seems like a shoe-in. We also have Sanford Kelly lined up, and hopefully more east coast Marvel beasts will show up. For the locals, I am hoping past Evo winner Duc Do will be around to run an exhibition, and I know John Choi and Alex Valle will be showing up. I also hope Ricky Ortiz and Campbell “Buktooth” Tran will make appearances, as they were both CvS2 masters. The list can go on and on, and if you were a player during this era you would know them all, but I’ll spare the new guys and just make a short list of others I hope to see.

  • MvC2: Sin, Devilx, Clockw0rk, Combofiend, y2j, Taiji, Bill Wellman, Pigadoken, Soomighty, Finesse, Fanatiq, etc.
  • CvS2: Gee-O, Gene Wong, and a bunch of other guys I can’t recall.
  • 3s: Pyrolee, Amir, Vic Vance, Yi Wang, JR Rodriguez, etc.
  • ST: Everyone in SoCal since they are all so good now! Hopefully the NorCal crew shows up (the Wolfe Bros, Jason Cole, Jason Nelson, and Thomas Osaki).

PM: I expect we’ll probably see some fresh-faced ’09ers showing up to brush up on their knowledge of the classics. Got any advice for them?

MW: A quick heads up to the new guys trying to get into these games. There is no easy inputs, so make sure you practice up and you are precise, especially with your uppercut motions. You cannot mash them out like in Street Fighter IV so be warned!

Welcome to the world of one-frame reversals.
Welcome to the world of one-frame reversals.

PM: Who do you like to win each title?

MW: CvS2: Bas, John Choi, Justin Wong and the dude who still practices roll-canceling in a dark closet by himself every night.
3s: Pyrolee, Justin Wong, and with a dark horse chance, myself. 🙂
ST: Afrolegends, Damdai, John Choi.
MvC2: Justin Wong only! just hope to see some good matches prior to this though. (laughs)

PM: Where were you during Evo Moment #37?

MW: So the sad thing about this whole tournament was that it was always stated no Americans can get top eight in 3s. Well, I made it that year by eliminating Mester, who was once the top 3s player in the world, and Hsien Chang beat Ricky Ortiz to qualify as well. Then, of course, our accomplishments were overshadowed by Daigo’s ridiculous feat and well, the rest is history. I was sitting about six feet from Justin when this all went down, and of course I jumped to my feet and clapped just like the rest of the room!

Hope that answers everything and hopefully everyone will have a great time at this event! And for those not familiar with these older games, we are throwing a side tourney for Ultra Street Fighter IV just so there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

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Be sure to follow Super Arcade on Twitter for periodic updates about this event.