CorleoneMatt in Berlin

Trip and the Hotel
Together with my teammate, Keviero, and several other Dutch Players: Predatorsama, SharktoothDK, and Masakado, we took the train to Berlin. There were some difficulties on the way and we had to make an unscheduled stop, but eventually, after 7 hours of traveling, we finally made it to our hotel. We decided to play some games to get ready for the tournament on Saturday. Kevin and Laurence (Masakado) were outside when they stumbled across French Tekken players: SuperAkouma and Fireblade. Together with the famous Tekken commentator, SpaghettiRip, we hung out in Zain (SharktoothDK) his room and played some casual matches. I did want to fight Spag’s Eddy, but he was too busy and too tired, I respect that, another time man. On the way, we also met with Derek (Actionpaxion) who played some matches with us as well to prepare for the tournament.

Saturday Gameday
The day has come, and Berlin Tekken Clash was about to begin. Together with the other Dutch Tekken players, we registered ourselves and even received a very cool nametag so that we can find our opponents much easier. Kevin and I decided to play another set of matches to prepare ourselves for our pool matches. We looked at each other’s playstyle and punishment proficiency to make sure we were all set for every player we come across. Finally, the pool matches were about to start

Pool A4
I was set in Pool A4, and this pool was very special. The pool was very dangerous with really awesome players like Chickenmaru, a very skilled Josie player and Fireblade, the best Jin player in France. I was really nervous for my matches, I didn’t have Chickenmaru’s side, but Fireblade’s, and I know that the matches I had to play were going to be my most difficult ones yet. My first match was against Mew-2015

Mew-2015 2-0 Win
My first match was against Mew-2015, he was a Hwoarang player. As many people already know me, I am an Eddy player, and Eddy is a really good matchup for Hwoarang because he does not have the right tools to make it Eddy difficult or get him out of his stances. The matchup is not impossible, just a bit more difficult. I easily won both matched against Mew, I quickly recognized that he was still learning the game. But at tournaments, I come to win, and so I showed no mercy by winning quickly. Thus, my next match was against nonother than Fireblade. Strap in, this match is a whole story and one of the main highlights of the trip.

Fireblade 2-1 Win
My next match against Fireblade was probably one of the most difficult matches in my entire tournament career in Tekken 7. Fireblade was a couple weeks ago in the Top 8 of a tournament I can’t remember the name of, but it consisted of Tissuemon, Kkokkoma, Gunni, SuperAkouma and many very strong players. I was well aware of who Fireblade was. Blade’s Jin is really dangerous, and Jin Kazama is one of Eddy’s worst matchups because unlike Hwoarang, Jin has the right set of tools to make it Eddy extremely difficult. B+2, 1 is the Bane of Eddy’s stances. My match started, and I had a rocky start because I had to get used to the fast-paced movement in the first set. There were moments in the first match where I used a lot of Eddy’s stances, at first to see how Fireblade would react to them. Some people react immediately, and some wait for the second mix up. The way someone reacts to Eddy’s mix up can determine how I utilize both my stances. Every time I used one of my stances, B+2, 1 would come out and float Eddy from his stances. Though I did get him really good and even managed to get one round off him in the first match, I did lose the first match. My mind went blank, and I was in deep thoughts on what I had to do to win. Eventually, I stayed with Eddy, usually when a match doesn’t work with Eddy, I switch to Lars to play more neutral and safer mix-ups. But not this time, I was actually feeling Eddy and thus I stayed with him and picked an infinite stage to utilize Eddy’s fast backlash. I decided that in the next match, I would switch it up. In the second match, I was much more aggressive than before. The thing that changed in my playstyle was that I wasn’t utilizing Eddy’s stances as much as before. I used them only if I had a true advantage. I was much more poke heavy and extended my Keep out game. I would use Eddy’s really fast backdash to get in and out of Jin’s range for my attacks to land. I was almost uncatchable as my fast poking and backdashing were making it difficult for Fireblade to catch me. This match was 3-1 in rounds for me and I won the second match, making the score 1-1. The third match was a true hype match that I wished someone recorded. Fireblade spiced it up big time and rushed me with numerous pokes and plus frame mix-ups, even going as far as getting 2 rounds ahead of me. It was also at this point there most of the Dutch players were watching my match. (Mind telling you, I was not wearing a headset at all so I could hear everything people said) Thought people were cheering for Fireblade, I could hear people’s support. My defense was getting more difficult to break and my backdashing and keep out game was getting stronger than ever. I managed to win 2 more rounds, making it 2-2 even in rounds. The one who wins the final round wins the entire set. At this point, I was mostly going for setups that I either figured out or learned from another Eddy player. It was such a close match, Fireblade and I were front and backdashing like crazy, waiting for either one of us to make that one fatal mistake. Then it happened, Fireblade went in with a decisive Hellsweep to get the launch, I managed to block low just in time and get the launch instead, finishing the entire set 2-1 over Fireblade, going through in winners. After this match, I started to believe that I was dreaming, I couldn’t believe the comeback I made, and it was definitely one of the moments I will keep thinking about. The cool thing I heard from one of Fireblade’s friends is that he said that at the first match, I used Eddy’s stances too much and could fight me much easier because I wasn’t spacing much, making it easier for him to float me, but after the second match, I stopped doing too many stances and spaced much more. It was so difficult to get a hold of me, giving me also a slight advantage. At that point, I also gained the attention of UK top player, Chickenmaru, who was really impressed with my Eddy play.

TheUltimateMomo 2-0
Now, this match was much more personal for me. TheUltimateMomo is a German Shaheen player that attended Force 3. I played him twice to make it out of my pool, but I lost 2-0 twice at Force 3. I was extremely salty because it felt like I couldn’t do anything about it. So when I found out that Momo was on my side in the pool of BTC, I labbed Shaheen like a madman to make sure that never happens again and Momo wouldn’t take away my chances of making it out of my pool. And if I were to win, I would Pop-off, that was guaranteed to happen. When my first match started with Momo, I decided to take it easy, because when I rush him too much, Shaheen’s hopkick might come out of nowhere. This match, I was truly on fire, I was so aware of Shaheen’s dangerous mix-ups that Momo didn’t really have answers for my own mix-ups. I also noticed myself that when I get all the momentum, I am very difficult to beat. If I don’t have momentum, then it is difficult for me to do damage. I managed to win the first match rather easily, even getting a perfect in the final round. Momo then brought out Miguel. Now, I am not that familiar with Miguel because I almost never come across him, so I decided to play it even safer. However, when we started, it looked like Momo was going for way too predictable mix-ups and moves. It was really easy to counter him. Thought I did get hit by some power crushed and grabs, I still managed to no round brown Momo, making my way to Winners Final against Chickenmaru. Also, I popped-off a lot. I usually don’t do that at all, I mostly go to my next match, but as I said, I was extremely salty from Force 3 and wanted to get him back no matter what.

Chickenmaru 0-2 Loss
Finally, in the Winners Finals, I was up against Chickenmaru. I was aware that he was a Josie player, but I didn’t get the time to lab Josie and see her true strengths and weaknesses. Now, before, I said something about building momentum to be difficult to beat or winning my matches. Chickenmaru obviously knew that since he was watching some of my matches before Winners Final. He told me that he noticed that the momentum shift was something he didn’t want me to have and finished me off quickly. I am not one of the best players by a long shot, but I do see myself as a dangerous player that can sometimes surprise other players. Chickenmaru also noticed that my knowledge on Josie was truly lacking, and though I punished a lot of moves and even launch punished them, it wasn’t enough to turn the tides. Eventually, it was 0-2 for Chickenmaru as he made it out on the winners’ side. I wasn’t bummed about losing, because I felt like I did everything I could. The thing was that I didn’t have any Josie knowledge. After the match, Chickenmaru congratulated me for coming this far, he was still really impressed by my playstyle. I really love it when I meet humble Tekken players, it gives me more motivation to be better than them in the future. We shook hands and promised to have a runback if we see each other again. On this trip, Chickenmaru is one of the players I mostly got to know as a good friend in the Tekken Community.

Losers Finals TheUltimateMomo 2-1 win
The Losers Final would determine who would continue in the tournament and who would be eliminated. Momo managed to beat Fireblade, which was a huge surprise to me. My match with Momo started once again, but this time, he was much more focused and much more aggressive than before. I was quick to lose 2 round, and though I did get one round in the first match, I lost, making it 0-1 Momo. Once again, I picked an infinite stage and decided to give it my all. My keep out game is what mostly got Momo, combined with a lot of backdashing and impatience, the second match was all mine, making the set 1-1. The last match would be played right after. In the very last match, Momo managed to get a 2 round lead on my, almost winning 3 rounds on me. However, with the support of the Dutch Tekken Community behind me, I managed to win 3 rounds in a row, with a super hype moment that ActionPaxion recorded. I still watch that moment back because when I won that match, I once again popped-off, letting him know that I wouldn’t lose that easily anymore like on Force 3. Therefore, I made it out of my pool in Loser. This was one of the several times I managed to make it out of my pool, and at a Challenger event with 291 people, that is one of my best achievements yet.

Saturday night, Chillings Night
The tournament was over for that day, and after getting some food, we decided to go back to our hotel to play some casual matches. Me, however, I was so extremely exhausted at the matches I played. Beating Fireblade and TheUltimateMomo twice really took a toll on me. While we were getting out food, we ran into Tissuemon who was smoking a cigarette. We invited him, Superakouma, Fireblade, All Times zzzz and several other players to our hotel room to play some matches. We did only have one set up, but that didn’t matter. At that point, I also had some casual matches with Fireblade, they were mostly for fun but after that, even Tissuemon started against SuperAkouma. After my matches with Fireblade, I was too tired to play again so I decided to spectate while the others played. I would have loved to play Tissuemon, he is a really nice guy and fun to hang with. After Kevin and Zain played Tissuemon, they said that his movement is so out of this world. I immediately regretted not fighting him, even if I lost horribly, the experience to fight someone at Tissuemon’s level is all that matters to me.

Sunday Top 32
The top 32 was about to start, and with the training of the Dutch Community on my side, I was well prepared for my next match. My first match was against a player named KartonKopf. He was a King player and though I was aware of how you had to play against King, I did get a little nervous.

KartonKopf 2-1 win
My match against Kartonkopf was very different from my other matches. I usually start more defensive and slowly start to get more aggressive. This time, I was most aggressive to make sure the match was all mine. While I was fighting him, I noticed that he was literally waiting for me to make a mistake. Sometimes, he would go for a mix-up, but he was mostly waiting for me to get in my stances to float me for a mini combo. For me, it didn’t matter, he could float me all he wanted, but I was clearly the stronger player because my fundamentals and mix-ups were just much better than his. The first match was all mind, the second match went the same as the first match, but he did change a little. He started using more Giant Swing which takes like 40 damage to your health. In this set, my throw breaks were really on point except for the one throw that does the most damage. I did manage to tech roll almost all of the Giant Swings to reduce the damage it did. I lost this match because of my impatient and because my throw breaks failed at the one damaging grab. I decided to pick an infinite stage once again and to make sure I finished him off quickly. Is was once against playing an aggressive game, but this time, I watched out for his sudden grabs. I took 2 more rounds rather quickly and won the set 2-1, advancing to the top 24 against nonother than Pekos

Pekos 0-2
Before I would fight against Pekos, I would watch all types of Geese Howards videos on how to beat him. Pekos is known as one of the best Japanese Tekken players so I know my chances to win were much smaller than against other players. But that wouldn’t stop me from doing my absolute best. My first match went actually pretty well, there were 2 moments where I truly made it difficult for Pekos to get damage and both of those times, I almost, just almost got the rounds. But unfortunately, Geese Howard and Akuma are both know for death combos, and I think the rest can speak for itself. The first match went to Pekos. I decided to try and play more on my own advantage. Pekos didn’t want Eddy in his face and threw many Reppukens my way. Eddy doesn’t have a great sidestep, so I have to press twice to make him move more than any other character besides the big characters. I tap only once, and I still get clipped by the projectile. Pekos was going ham with the Reppukens and it was difficult for me to get even close to him, but when I got close, it was all but mix-ups. In the first round, I finally gained the upper hand, believe it or not, and convincingly managed to get the first round after confusing Pekos with several mix-ups Eddy is widely known for. I kind of felt like my favorite Tekken player, Jeondding at that moment. The other moments were the same, but once again, I got caught in Geese his death combo and it was quickly tied. Pekos was starting to play even more relentless, throwing so many Reppukens once again, and when I even got close face to face, he did so much damage, making me retreat. It was basically a game of cat and mouse. I was pursuing Pekos all the time, but when I got close, it all backfired. I quickly lost my match against Pekos and was eliminated from the tournament, making it out at 17th place.

Personal Verdict

My overall experience at Berlin Tekken Clash is summed up in this sentence: This was my tournament moment to shine. There were so many moments where I made amazing comebacks against amazing players and even managed to get further in a Challenger event. I never would have thought that I would get this far. My loss against Pekos didn’t bother me at all. I was actually happy because I made it this far. I really appreciate the support of the Dutch Tekken Community. Only against Pekos did I use a headset, in all my other matches, I could hear everyone loud and clear. If I hear people cheering for me, it gives me the right motivation to keep going and play much better than before. It gives me such a kick that I play my utmost best. Even after I was eliminated, I played some casual matches against other really great players. I specifically wanted a rematch against Ryan Hart. We fought in Germany before at Fight Club, but at that tournament, I was very sick and didn’t even feel like playing Tekken at all, but because I already paid for everything, I had no choice but to go. I lost to Ryan 2-0 but I felt like I could have done much better. I never want to give my opponents the feeling that they can beat me easily, no matter who it is. But Ryan was too busy with other people who also wanted a match with him, he is a well-known figure in the FGC and thus gets the most attention. It is actually nice to know that my name is getting more well known around other people, even the pros. Dritonrama was also on my list of people I wanted to challenge, but again, he was also too busy with other people. At BTC, I met more people and acquainted myself along the road and so some old friend back after some months like Vaan, who I fought at Vs Fighting and he destroyed me with Anna. The funny thing about me is that I am a guy that forgets things rather easily, but I somehow never forget people who beat me horribly. I don’t have a personal problem with anyone at all, Vaan is a great guy and an awesome Tekken player, I just want to prove to myself that I can beat said player. The same goes for the best Eddy player in Germany, Mosquito, who is kind of like my Eddy Master who gives me some advice on how to play proper Eddy. He is a guy that has the word ‘Comeback’ written next to his name. He always knows how to snatch the win away at the very last second when you think you won the match. Other than playing casual matches, I really enjoyed the tournament and watching some professional Tekken matches. superAkouma vs Jeondding is the rivalry the Tekken Community needs. Then we have KaneandTrench probably starting a Noctis vs Akuma revolution after he beat Caiper with Noctis. This just shows that every character is good for tournaments, depending on how you utilize them. I decided to take a break from traveling for the moment to get the right funding and to stay in the Netherlands for now, but if I travel again, I hope to see everyone who I met back again. I love how the Tekken Community is so close and that everyone is so civil and able to help one another. That is what being a Community is all about. For me, this trip was all about my performance, perfecting my overall playstyle to be more threatening in tournaments and building connections with other people.