Home Editorial Surviving Your 1st SSF4 Tournament – Part 2 of 2

This article is a continuation of my previous guide regarding high-level tournament play.

Assume the Position

Last time we talked about the importance of a Sanwa-modified arcade stick, as well as two strategies for keeping other players’ hands off your prized possession (hint: they rhyme with gurder and gabotage). Of course, none of this matters if you can’t actually perform El Fuerte’s moveset (your new main will be explained later).

While many pros have advocated “practice” and “using a good arcade stick,” the first is a given, and the second is meaningless since any respectable arcade stick has been modified to be identical to all other Sanwa-modified sticks. No, what the professionals really rely on to pull off their ultra-clutch victories is secret fight stick grips that give them a competitive edge. Let’s review some of the highest-tier grips and discuss what makes them so powerful.

If possible, make rhythmic grunting noises while rocking back and forth.

Sitting on the ground: By sitting on the ground, you’re telling your opponent that when it comes to victory, nothing is beneath you. Not even a chair. Whenever you get the chance, remind him or her him that your head is level to his crotch. Lick your lips sensuously for maximum effect.

Two or more chairs: If you can find any way to use up two chairs, do so. As mentioned last time, volumetric superiority is one of the most primal ways to establish dominance over another creature. Luckily, you have some options: you can either gain enough weight to justify using one chair for each cheek, or you can bring an arcade stick so monstrous that it warrants using a second, steel-reinforced chair to support it. Or do both, and elevate your mindgames to the unheard-of three chair tier (only previously seen at EVO 2006).

City on a hill: While most players place their controllers on their laps, on the ground, or on a chair, if you’re big enough to balance it on top of your gut, doing so could offer you a gigantic psychological advantage. Namely, there’s a large possibility your foe will become distracted or nauseated by your undulating layers of fat and lack of self respect ability, and be forced to leave play to vomit. Some people call that a cheap win. I call it strategy.

The chump stump: By far the strongest maneuver, simply demand to place your arcade stick directly on your opponent’s back during play. This position will distract, humiliate, and hopefully injure your rival. If anyone questions your right to perform this action, tell them the judges gave you permission. If the person questioning you is a judge, tell them your opponent gave you permission. If your opponent disagrees with you, murder him. Either way, you win.

Your New Main: El Fuerte

I already know what you’re going to say, so I’ll just get out and explain this decision: El Fuerte has an infinite combo. And not just any infinite combo: an extremely annoying infinite combo.

Chipotle! Fuck yeah! Wait, what were we talking about?

Sure, in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 other games, Magneto some characters had inifinite or near-infinite combos. But did those characters’ combos include a dizzying combination of dash-canceling and (what appears to be) mosh-pit ballet? Did those characters constantly grunt and shout the names of various Tex-Mex specialties, emulating the environment of Chipotle during peak hours?

“But WiNG, El Fuerte’s infinite combo is really hard to do! And what about damage scaling? Also, what’s Chipotle?

Those are all interesting, valid questions. But instead of answering them, let’s use absurd theorycrafting without settling anything in a satisfactory manner.

Sure, there’s damage scaling in Super Street Fighter 4. Basically, the more hits you add to a combo, the less damage successive hits deal. This is often referred to as “diminishing returns” in some circles and “that is bullshit; I had him… fuck this game” in others. But let me ask you one question: even if, after a dozen repetitions, each hit of your infinite deals only 1 damage, if you can complete this combo flawlessly at least 130 times in a row, you will win.

“But WiNG, that wasn’t a question.”

And there is absolutely no question that infinity times any nonzero quantity equals victory. If I offered you a penny for every day of your life ad infinitum, you’d take it, right? Of course you would. And while I can no longer make such offers due to legal restraints in the continental United States, you get the point.

If possible, count out loud while you repeatedly smack your opponent’s character in the face. For an additional psychological advantage, count in Spanish. For the ultimate in soul-crushing strategy, simply repeat “in-fin-ite-com-bo” every time you successfully land each hit. Your opponent will eventually come to appreciate the irony of the situation.*

Pre-Match Etiquette

Just because the bracket hasn’t begun yet doesn’t mean strategy isn’t involved. Here are some quick tips to getting off on the right foot:

  • If your opponent fails to locate you within 8 minutes of the bracket assignments, he is automatically disqualified.
    • Camouflage yourself appropriately.
    • Do not attempt to locate him under any circumstances.
  • Do not make eye contact with your opponent, as doing so would validate his existence and humanity.
  • If possible, refer to your foe only in the third person. For example, look directly past him and quietly mutter, “I’m going to murder this scrub.”
    • If your opponent asks who you are talking to or about, ignore him.
  • Offer your opponent your dummy stick as “a sign of good will to the chump.”
    • Make sure you say the quoted words out loud during your offer.
  • Take as long as possible to choose your character. While doing so, ask people around you “What’s the best counter-pick to this noob’s choice?”
    • Right before the timer expires, choose El Fuerte anyway.

In-Game Etiquette

Once the match actually begins, there are many unspoken rules about what is and isn’t allowed. However, never forget David Sirlin’s famous advice: “Fuck the rules.” You wouldn’t argue with David Sirlin, would you?

  • Whenever you successfully hit your opponent, say “Downloaded, bitch!” I have no clue what this means, but neither does anyone else. It may or may not be a reference to Blade Runner.
  • Whatever language settings are chosen for the tournament, demand that the judge change them to an alternate. Claim that you have memorized your El Fuerte infinite combo timing based on the [insert language here] voice rhythm, and that it’s unfair to force you to use [insert other language here]. If the judge abides your decision, change your mind as soon as you begin the first match.
  • Justin Wong used these tips to defeat Gamerbee in the EVO 2006 grand finals.

  • Whenever you successfully land an Ultra Combo on an opponent, act out the outlandish animation in real life.
    • In El Fuerte’s case, do your best to jump and land on your opponent’s shoulders during the maneuver.
    • This is easier to accomplish if you are already playing in the chump stump position.
  • If you happen to be Justin Wong, scream “I’m Justin Wong, idiot!” after every winning round.
    • This technique may also be effective even if you are not Justin Wong.

Post-Game Showboating

Once you’ve actually won the round, etiquette is no longer required, since you have clearly established your physical and mental superiority over your opponent. At this point, everything is fair game.

First, immediately unplug your arcade stick from the Xbox 360 and walk away. This demonstrates (accurately) that you are more concerned with your next bracket than with assigning any kind of dignity to the garbage you have just massacred.


If your opponent tries to give you a handshake: Oblige him. However, while you keep up the appearances of a begrudging, obligatory social gesture, use your sharpest fingernail to pierce his skin in an attempt to tear a vital ligament, crippling him for life.

If your opponent tries to talk to you: It is now socially acceptable to murder him, as evidenced by International Sportsmanship Law, Clause 2.43b: “Whatever your t-shirt says, it is a legally binding contract with whoever reads it.”

Next, inform the judges that you are the victor of the match. If possible, try to do so without saying your opponent’s name, unless you are required to do so as part of the body-identification process.

Finally, change into your next t-shirt and ask the nearest female to read it to you. 

You Can’t Always Win, But You Can Always Be A Jerk.

In the event that you somehow fail to find an opening and connect El Fuerte’s infinite combo flawlessly in every match, it probably means you didn’t practice your p-links enough. But hey– the past is the past, right? Why don’t we focus on something more productive, like ruining the tournament for the “winners”?

Here are some final tips for making sure that even in the unlikely event you lose, so does everybody else.

  • Use an Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote to disrupt any match by turning off the Xbox 360 being used. For additional mischief, press the Guide Button, as this will most likely cause Player 1 to be instantly disqualified.
  • Fake a heart attack during the latter tournament proceedings. Or, if possible, induce actual cardiac arrest (this is why you were instructed to pack so much Mountain Dew).
  • Hand your business card to everyone in the Top 8. And by “business card” I mean “razor blades disguised as business cards.”
  • Take this post-tournament time to meet famous players from your region. Greet each one saying, “Ricky Ortiz, I’m your biggest fan!”
    • If you are corrected, simply reply, “You’re so funny, Ricky.” Lick your lips, slowly.
  • Write down the name of the tournament organizer and the name(s) of any player(s) who receives a cash prize. Also, keep a log of the total amount collected for the tournament and the funds distributed to the winning player(s). On April 16th of the following year, mail a detailed report to the IRS explaining that you are a concerned citizen who hopes the named individuals have voluntarily reported these cash earnings on their annual tax report.
    • Congratulations, you are now the most demented dickhead patriotic hero on the planet. And at least you paid your taxes.
  • If all else fails, tuck your dummy stick under your shirt, run onto the stage during the finals match, and detonate yourself in a blaze of glory. You may die, but (as they say in Street Fighter) the soul still burns.

*I actually don’t know what the word irony means.

13 replies to this post
  1. I actually main Fuerte and from now on, every time I land an RSF I’m gonna count out loud “Uno! Dos! Tres!…”

    Great write up.

  2. This article has inspired me to enter a tournament and follow each and every piece of advice this article has given me!

  3. Muy bien.
    This is old article.
    I will buy t-Shirt. Eventually.
    And eat chipotle. Nomnomnomnom.
    Es muy sabroso!
    Also it’s ironic you’re using irony without knowing what it means.

  4. Haha this article is awesome xD I dunno if female players can practice this, but I was really amused by this x3. Awesome job WiNG!

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