Later on in this post: some qualifier movies and a rough translation of a Muteki Guile interview from Tougeki Spirits Magazine.
ARG (ST Claw) & The SuperStar (ST Boxer)
Pony (ST Zangief) & Mattsun (ST Ken)
Nuki (ST Chun-Li) & Kurahashi (CE Guile)
Muteki (CE Guile) & Chamu (ST Chun-Li)
Popo Soncho (ST DeeJay) & Popo Sousui (ST Dictator)
Noguchi (ST Claw/CE Sagat) & Hakase (ST Dhalsim)
Shiro (ST Ryu) & Taira (ST Dictator/CE Dictator)
Yuubou (ST Fei-Long/O.Hawk) & Oonishi (WW Guile)
Toutanki (ST T.Hawk) & K (O.Hawk)
Tamashima (ST Boxer) & ShikiGuile (CE Guile)
YuuVega (ST Dictator/ST DeeJay) & Tsuji (ST Boxer)
Gian (ST Dhalsim) & Tokido (ST Claw)
Shacho (ST Cammy) & Aomori (ST Claw)
Jenety (WW Chun-Li) & Tsunoppi (CE Guile)
Daigo (CE Sagat/CE Ryu) & yaya (CE Guile)
Otochun (ST Chun-Li) & Komoda (ST Blanka)
Ayanami Lilith (CE Sagat/CE Guile) & Cruz (CE Dictator)
Nakanishi (WW Guile) & Yoshio (CE Guile) (Note: qualified on 14th try!)
Six (CE Dictator) & ABC (CE Ryu)
Kusumondo (ST E.Honda) & Danjiri Dhalsim (ST Dhalsim)
Kimomaru (ST Dictator) & Suzuyan (ST Guile)
Macky7 (ST Boxer) & Gunze (ST Zangief)
Seki (CE Ryu/ST DeeJay) & Kachu (ST Claw)
Prince (ST Chun-Li) & Futachan (ST Ryu)
Chugoku / Shikkoku Area
Nekohashi (CE Dictator) & sako (ST Ryu)
Aniken (ST Ken/ST Boxer) & ShootingD (ST Ryu)
Chukui (ST Cammy/CE Claw) & Macho Banana (CE Guile)
Kyushu / Okinawa Area
KKY (ST Dhalsim) & Kikai (CE Guile)
Alex Wolfe (ST Dhalsim) & Graham Wolfe (CE Dictator/ST Boxer)
Nestor (CE Dictator) & Mark (CE Ryu)
I nicked these from the Spirits Magazine DVD. Don't tell anyone.
(xvid .avi x2, 41MB)
Play City Carrot Sugamo Finals 041407
ShikiGuile (CE Guile) & Tamashima (ST Boxer) vs. Hakase (ST Dhalsim) & Noguchi (CE Sagat)
Ikebukuro Playland Las Vegas Finals 050607
Tsuji (ST Boxer) & YuuVega (ST Dictator) vs. Chamu (ST Chun-Li) & Muteki (CE Guile)
Arcadia: Could you tell us why you play fighting games?
Muteki and Chamu
Muteki: Trying to out maneuver people is what makes it fun, right? Well, it's not just fighting games that have that kind of gamesmanship. The other thing is that most games don't have what we call character differences, so the players mostly fight head-to-head on equal footing. Fighting games, by contrast, have those character differences to make things more interesting.
That's a pretty unusual way of looking at it.
Well, it's easy for me to say since I'm using top-tier CE Guile, (laughs) but overcoming character differences is what excites me. The most interesting thing for me is defeating my opponent when my character is at a disadvantage. With character differences, the gamesmanship takes various shapes so that's the fun part.
Are there certain characteristics that distinguish you from other players?
That's a tough question. If I had to name a strong suit, I think I have an edge when it comes to the power of observation. Based on my opponents' tiniest movements during the fight, I'll predict their next action. People say, "you read people well," but that comes from the power of observation.
What do you focus on as you strive to improve your game?
I've practiced a lot, of course. I try not to miss anything even when playing against the computer. I've run drills on certain things, like improving my reversal consistency. Plus, I think about what the cause of each loss is.
Is there anything that you've become aware while competing recently?
I've been paying attention to getting the proper distance between characters -- the "spacing" that's needed to put pressure on my opponent. It's subtle enough that even a few pixels can make a difference as to whether your character is at an advantage or disadvantage. When I find myself at an unfavorable range, I find that a bit of ingenuity can turn things around, so I've been thinking about those situations. Instead of thinking, "I'm in trouble," I'll make a tiny adjustment and the situation changes dramatically. It's hard to appreciate without a high level of proficiency, though.
These days, is there any player whom you would call a rival?
If you mean someone I've been playing a lot lately, that would be the ST Dictator player Taira*. He's a fierce opponent so it's fun fighting him. It's tough to find rivals, since there really isn't anyone who makes me think, "I can't beat this guy." In terms of characters, I'd rather not hit any Dhalsim players.
[* - The same day I typed up this translation, Muteki beat Taira in the finals of an Ikebukuro Vegas tourney.]
When things aren't going well, how do you turn the tide?
If it's the day of the tournament and things are going poorly, figuring out how to get back on track is the key issue. When you've practiced hard and you find yourself in trouble, that hurts your spirit, right? First of all I'll defiantly tell myself, "you've practiced this, so it's all good." Of course, you have to have that practice under your belt beforehand. In addition, lately I've been focusing on getting myself pumped up. If I start thinking, "what'll I do if I lose?" there's no doubt I'll be beaten. When I start slipping towards that point, I'll picture how happy I'll be when I win, and thus pull myself together. The biggest enticement with this game is taking down the top players, so I look forward to doing just that. (laughs)
Do you have a word of advice for players who want to become more skillful?
Think about the roots of your losses. Naturally there will be many, so you must be observant. As you build up experience in observation, you will become able to read what your opponent is going to do. It's that experience that will make a big difference in the long run.
Final Word from Gary Busey