Winter Brawl 9 Preview (February 20-22) PLUS a shout-out to APEX/Twitch, Rayman in Smash? (Nope) And FGC News! (VGCW?!)

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Edited By FLStyle

Winter Brawl 9 Preview!

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Winter Brawl often signifies the beginning of the road to EVO in earnest. We know what the EVO line-up is, the Smash community begins the year showcasing its best at APEX (which nearly didn't happen this year, more on that after the preview) and in what has become a popular trend we know what fighting games are coming round the corner in Spring in time for EVO.

I've always enjoyed watching the North East Coast players fighting in big tournaments and there'll be plenty of them in their own back yard! I'm definitely going to watch some KOFXIII and BlazBlue since they're not at EVO this year. I haven't seen much of competitive Persona 4AU so that's also on my list.

Winter Brawl breaks with East Coast tradition and makes USFIV the main event, not UMvC3. Maybe they're hoping the main event's grand final will be less free than last year's main even GF, a rematch between EVO 2013's winner Flocker and runner up Justin Wong, in which Justin crushed the man he used to have a lot of trouble against and people started to believe he would win EVO 2014 (which he did).

Streams and schedule

Full schedule here (Times in EST)

Note: Only Spooky and Bifuteki are live on Friday with USFIV teams and UMvC3 teams respectively

APEX, the tournament that almost never was

APEX happened and was the subject of my last blog and it was awesome, but if you tuned in during the final day or if you're a criminal and didn't tune in at all you probably don't know that it almost never took place.

Remember that extreme snowy weather that hit the east coast? Well when one Smasher decided to play a prank and set an alarm off at APEX's venue the fire marshals shut everything down when it was discovered that the hotel being used as the venue had significant structural damage from the weather that had not been repaired.

In steps Twitch to immediately find a new venue and the Smash community hustled to spread the word and organise transport to the new venue

Despite losing all of Friday and all the time it took to set up in the new space, not a single tournament was dropped, all were completed, how it happened I do not know, other than the APEX staff and the Smash community are some of the best people in gaming. Well done to everyone involved, they all deserved a great event and that's what they still had.

News

The Rayman Smash Wii U Leak(?)

Twitter was a buzz the other day when a supposed leak hit the net of Rayman being a DLC character in Smash Wii U after Mewtwo, the video clearly showed the selection screen with moving cursor and unique character portraits for both Mewtwo and Rayman. But that was all part of the plot!

Turns out it's an extremely convincing fake by YouTube user Omni, who's intending to cash in on his 450,000 views by starting a series in which he "Smashifies" fictional characters into the Smash Wii U selection screen. If you watch the video you can see just how much detail he puts into his Mewtwo and Rayman efforts, modifying existing character images to create new looking ones and replicating the character select section exactly as it features in the actual game. Nice job!

Of course some salty people are calling foul and resenting any notion that this make lead to a cool YouTube series and demanding some form of punishment for Omni. Nah, not happening. I for one look forward to which characters he does in his next videos.

FGC talent acquisitions and departures

I've got two hires and one departure for you this month. The two recruitments are Smash community members D1 (as seen in the APEX story above) and Crimson, who are now employed by Twitch to represent the Smash community much like Mike Ross represents the FGC. D1's deal also seems to fall in line with Mike Ross, allowing D1 to continue to commentate events like EVO and Smash and still facilitate his roles in the Smash scene.

I still can't believe I've moved on to royal colored pastures. The thing is, I got a job with a company that lets me still do community manager work. I can still cast if the opportunity arises as well. Thank you so much for everything people. One of the best days of my life.

D1 (Twitter - https://twitter.com/xD1x

The departure is number one British player and Guinness Book record holder Ryan Hart who departs Team Dignitas. It seems Dignitas is going all in on PC games esports and initially offered Ryan the opportunity to continue to represent them while they attempted to cobble some sponsors together for him, which has been respectfully declined by Hart who is now a free agent. Traditionally a Sagat player, Hart was put off by the USFIV Sagat changes and switched to Ryu, resulting in a great showing at Capcom Cup in December.

HYPEEEEEEE match

First they were thrown into a volcano, now they'll fight in one!

Tekken 7's arcade intro is online, complete with subtitles! Putting the focus of Tekken 7's story squarely on expanding and ending what we know about the bad blood in the Mishima family and the devil power is the best move the Tekken team can make.

Tekken's story got a little out there in recent games and a lot of people have fallen off but now we go back to the simple supernatural family feud that drew people in in the first place, I can't wait!

Not to be overshadowed by the story, I've also got a gameplay video as Pikachu-Harada shows off the move-list of new characters Lucky Chloe and Shaheen. Obviously Harada's speaking Japanese so you won't get the context, but you can see which moves causes which animations, such as Bound! etc.

How to Get Your Friends Into Fighting Games in Five Easy Steps

This article on Shoryuken by Suriel Vazquez seems like a good way to get friends into fighting games at parties. Click it for advice on the 5 steps of Make Them Spectators First, Play Pickup Matches, Make an Event Out of It, Add a Pinch of Salty Bets and Foster the Fighters.

With most people, saying, “Come over and play some fighting games,” will only get you so far. “Come over, let’s do stuff, and I dunno, get drunk, maybe?” on the other hand could work wonders. If that “stuff” happens to be a few rounds of Divekick or Nidhogg after you’ve all gotten tired of Cards Against Humanity, all the better.

Killer Instinct Aganos reveal

Aganos is a big golem, as big in Killer Instinct as Hugo is in Street Fighter, except as you'll see in the video, the game zooms out differently for Aganos so that he doesn't cover the life bars. Check out the Twitch archive to see!

Thanks for reading!

This was a big one! Hope you check out Winter Brawl 9 this weekend and if you're not busy tomorrow night (Tuesday! The 17th!) maybe you should watch the season finale of Video Game Championship Wrestling, VGCW: End Game 9? It's live 11PM local time (GMT) which is 6PM for you east coasters and 3PM for you west coasters. Visit the VGCW website for more details on the card and watch at http://www.twitch.tv/bazza87!

No Caption Provided

FOXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX!

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ThunderSlash

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#1  Edited By ThunderSlash
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StarvingGamer

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Man for some reason the Twitch archive of Aganos streams super slowly for me, like buffers for a minute to play 5 seconds. I really don't like KI but I'm curious about him on a mechanical level.

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hassun

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#3  Edited By hassun
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Belegorm

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Hey I'll be at winter brawl with some friends, any GB duders want to get some casuals in?

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Fredchuckdave

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#5  Edited By Fredchuckdave

Anyone else get Xrd this weekend? Enjoying it a lot even though I'm completely awful; should make the viewing experience more enjoyable as well.

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ShaunK

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Really liked your Apex blog. It's great to see some attention payed to competitive Melee around these parts. I still say that if anyone likes fighting games but writes it off to spend a good amount of time trying to learn the actual tech skill involved. To be good at that game is way harder than most of the other popular fighters out right now.

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FLStyle

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Really liked your Apex blog. It's great to see some attention payed to competitive Melee around these parts. I still say that if anyone likes fighting games but writes it off to spend a good amount of time trying to learn the actual tech skill involved. To be good at that game is way harder than most of the other popular fighters out right now.

/salute Agreed, there's some solid detail in Melee if you're willing to learn.

@belegorm said:

Hey I'll be at winter brawl with some friends, any GB duders want to get some casuals in?

Hope you have a good time! Tell us all about it when you get back.

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L1GHTN1N

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@fredchuckdave: If you're liking it be sure to check out the weekly tournament that @mikefightnight has been putting on for the past few weeks, every Sunday at 4PM PST/7PM EST. I keep wanting to get back into it but the Aganos revel and Omen have pulled me back into KI, along with UNIEL coming out on Tuesday I don't think I can juggle 4 fighting games (possibly 5 with DOA5: Last Round out, maybe I'll play it more than a week?).

And damn, I'm ready for another KoF tournament, been too long since I watched one! Also curious to see TTT1 since I've never touched it, I played a lot of 3, 4 and TTT2 but very little of the others so interested as a curiosity if nothing else.

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FLStyle

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#9  Edited By FLStyle
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Fredchuckdave

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EMP Hiro went nuts and took out Snake Eyez/801 Strider/I-Peru (probably the best team in the tournament) by himself. Been very impressive on the NLBC streams lately. Bison too strong.

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L1GHTN1N

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@fredchuckdave: Dammit, Utah you letting me down.

Also there are still people with EMP?

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Fredchuckdave

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@l1ghtn1n: Apparently, Sanford wasn't the last one I guess.

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hassun

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Chris Tatarian and Smug giving us some solid gold matches, holy shit. Both in the FT5 and in the team competition.

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Fredchuckdave

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#14  Edited By Fredchuckdave

Multitwitch

Wee... Of course I still have 25 hours of M.O.M. mode to do in Xrd. I think KoF has the best announcer at present.

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Y2Ken

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#15  Edited By Y2Ken

Thanks for the update, always a great read. That Suriel Vazquez article was pretty cool, definitely does replicate a lot of how more and more people started joining in with our fighting game sessions when I was at university.

I thought the Rayman thing was super cool. Good on that dude for going for it, I thought his "making of" explanation video was really neat.

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FLStyle

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GGeeeeeeeeee

Ludovic (Chun-Li) 1- 2 (Zangief) Snake Eyez

Top quality match happening very early in pools, good stuff.

@y2ken said:

Thanks for the update, always a great read. That Suriel Vazquez article was pretty cool, definitely does replicate a lot of how more and more people started joining in with our fighting game sessions when I was at university.

I thought the Rayman thing was super cool. Good on that dude for going for it, I thought his "making of" explanation video was really neat.

Agreed, I enjoyed the process being detailed!

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L1GHTN1N

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Damn watching KI, Kan-ra seems really good. I used him for a bit when he came out and ended up going back to Jago, but watching him here is making me want to jump in and give him another chance. Think there's 2-3 in Top 16 right now?

Also after the atrocity that was Kanji in P4A, it's great to see him doing work in P4U, and watching the matches is making even happier it got into Evo as it's the anime game I enjoy watching the most.

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@l1ghtn1n said:

Damn watching KI, Kan-ra seems really good. I used him for a bit when he came out and ended up going back to Jago, but watching him here is making me want to jump in and give him another chance. Think there's 2-3 in Top 16 right now?

Also after the atrocity that was Kanji in P4A, it's great to see him doing work in P4U, and watching the matches is making even happier it got into Evo as it's the anime game I enjoy watching the most.

oooo Persona, I've got that on now.

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Fredchuckdave

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#19  Edited By Fredchuckdave

A bit late but there's an exhibition going on between East Coast and West Coast on Spooky's stream, 7v7 2 out of 3 sets (of 7), definitely worth watching.

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ThunderSlash

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#20  Edited By ThunderSlash

Dieminion stonewalled the rest of the WC team in that first set!

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FLStyle

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Finals Day is live! Spooky has some UMvC3 going, I assume it's working its way down from top 70ish to top 8 for later

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Tekken Tag 1! I love it! Brings back many memories.

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#23  Edited By ThunderSlash

Maybe I'm misremembering, but didn't Tekken and DOA used to default to FT2 rounds? When did FT3 become the standard for 3D titles?

Also, anyone watching the Sonic Boom Madrid streams? Spanish commentary is pretty hype.

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L1GHTN1N

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Street Fighter 4 Top 32 starting now on Spooky, MK9 Top 8 on KombatNetwork, UNIEL Top 8 on NYCFurby, but none of that matters because King of Fighters XIII is starting on KPB. Also I got to see a Nemesis in Top 32 Marvel so today's already off to a great start.

@thunderslash It's been the standard for almost all the 3D fighters this gen, no idea if it was always like that or switched sometime later. Always thought it was because of how fast 3D fighter matches go but that's just a guess.

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Fredchuckdave

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#26  Edited By Fredchuckdave

@l1ghtn1n: Unfortunately there's only a few decent players in the KoF tourney, but they do have okay commentators. I'm maybe like the 5,000th best KoF player in the US and I could probably have made top 8 in that tourney.

Now that Tatarrian is Chris T we must decide if he is the true savior rather than Chris G.

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L1GHTN1N

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@fredchuckdave: Yeah I forgot it was US KoF. There's been a couple of OK matches but overall it's been a good reminder of "Yeah, this is why it isn't going to be at Evo".

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hassun

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#28  Edited By hassun
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L1GHTN1N

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#29  Edited By L1GHTN1N

Damn, Zeus took out Smug off stream. Was really looking forward to seeing that match, hopefully someone has a recording.

Also it took until semis, but there's finally some damn KoF on stream instead of KoSF.

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Fredchuckdave

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#30  Edited By Fredchuckdave

@l1ghtn1n: I think Zeus has like a 75% win rate against Smug or something ridiculous. Matches in KoF are getting better now.

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L1GHTN1N

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@fredchuckdave: Ah I didn't realize it was that bad. Mostly I was just excited to see some more Vega matches since those are in short supply these days.

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Fredchuckdave

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@l1ghtn1n: It's kind of funny I could conceivably beat Mynus in KoF but he'd completely obliterate me in Xrd.

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@fredchuckdave: You'd have beat me on KOF at least, I went 0-2 both times on stream, mostly entered to rep the game, while I was there to play SF and try out UNIEL

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L1GHTN1N

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#34  Edited By L1GHTN1N

@fredchuckdave: I'm looking forward to the Fredchuckdave v Mynus money match then!

Also Fuerte v Fuerte is incredibly silly to watch.

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Fredchuckdave

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#35  Edited By Fredchuckdave

@belegorm: How was playing UNIEL? It seems cool enough but not amazingly better than the stuff that's around right now or anything, but it could be completely different playing it who knows. Thanks for at least playing KoF, more than can be said for most.

@l1ghtn1n: Heh, I dunno might eventually go to tourneys for fun but it's probably like 5 years out yet.

If anyone missed it KBrad's discussion of the Street Fighter moneys was pretty fantastic yesterday, starting at around 7:11 on the Team Spooky VOD.

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StarvingGamer

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#36  Edited By StarvingGamer

Alright, someone explain this to me. I don't play KI, but the few times I've watched it I feel like every Thunder match devolves into him spamming DP over and over again without getting punished. What am I not understanding?

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L1GHTN1N

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#37  Edited By L1GHTN1N

@starvinggamer: Against Kan-ra it's really good since it let's him get through his swarms free, but I have no idea why people don't punish it. If he does the stomp afterwards he's -15, if he doesn't it's -30. Hell I think if they do the stomp afterwards you can just shadow counter it on block and break it if you were hit by the DP, but maybe I'm missing something.

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StarvingGamer

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@l1ghtn1n: Yeah I can't remember what it was but I tuned in to some tournament a few weeks ago on a lark and it was a Thunder vs Riptor match and the further into the set they got the more often Thunder was throwing DP to the point where at least 50% of his attacks in the final round were DP. He was doing shit like throwing 3 in a row and not getting punished and the commentators were getting hype shouting DP every time and I just though it looked dumb and scrubby as shit.

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L1GHTN1N

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@starvinggamer: Might have been one of the 8Bit Beatdown streams which are entirely online tournaments. They stream a lot of the early matches before they switched to a pool format, and especially early on you get people who aren't great playing (I entered one last week and certainly wouldn't call myself good) so that could have been why there weren't a lot of punishes. Still I've seen some higher-level matches where they don't either so...?

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StarvingGamer

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@l1ghtn1n: I'm pretty sure it was grand finals. Ah well, maybe one day KI will come to PC and I'll finally understand. Really want to try Aganos.

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#41  Edited By FLStyle

Congrats to BT | MarlinPie for taking GG Xrd, I thought he'd fallen off fighting games but he's back in Marvel and GG in a big way.

Damn MarlinPie, that's how it is huh? MarlinPie for EVO!

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L1GHTN1N

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#42  Edited By L1GHTN1N

@starvinggamer: I have no idea then. I just went into training mode with Jago and no matter the spacing or strength of the DP/Stomp I could reliably punish it with whatever I wanted. Also with Microsoft starting to push cross-platform play on PC and Iron Galaxy having ported stuff to the PC in the past I have to imagine it'll come eventually, probably after Season 2 is done.

Also Marvel Top 8 starting now!

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Dan_CiTi

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#43  Edited By Dan_CiTi

I really do adore MarlinPie's team.

EDIT: ugh fuck Morrigan

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hassun

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#44  Edited By hassun

Damn it Yipes.

Edit:

Oh me oh my MarlinPie.

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FLStyle

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hahaha poor Yipes. Sometimes I wonder how he's a former MvC2 EVO world champion

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hassun

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#46  Edited By hassun

Come on Punisher or MarlinPie. Show me those non-MorriDoom teams.

Especially Punisher with that Hawkeye/MODOK/Rocket Raccoon and playing on a Hitbox controller.

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Fredchuckdave

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@flstyle: Well he's better than Sanford at least, right?

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@fredchuckdave: Yes! That is true!

Run it back MarlinPie, win UMvC3 and become the WinterBrawl 9 MVP!

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hassun

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#49  Edited By hassun

@fredchuckdave: @flstyle: Say what you want about Yipes no longer winning majors. He has a pretty good record against MarlinPie in UMvC3.

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BisonHero

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Yep, Morrigan UMvC 3 matches still the worst possible of spectator matches.

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