First match, I played Matsuura (C-Ryu, Sagat, Rolento). His Ryu did well, but there's no way he was going to beat my Blanka with his Rolento. I've been playing Kisshi- so much lately, I know it too well. I tried to take video of it, but the camera was in an odd position and I couldn't get the whole screen.
2nd match, I played Kisshi-. Normally, my order is Yama, Bison, Blanka2. His normal order is Hibiki, Kyo, Rolento2 (hence my experience vs. Rolento). On this day, he switched up his ratios to make Hibiki ratio 2, obviously to make a better matchup for Blanka. I had already selected my ratios, but when I saw that he put Hibiki at R2, I decided to go Blanka2, Yama, Bison. If he put R2 Hibiki last (which was a likely bet), R1 Bison could still do well against her. Yama kills her. Blanka is the worst matchup for her, but it's doable. As for Kyo, I'm about even with all my characters against him. The main thing that I wanted was my Blanka against his Rolento, which is why I put him first, even though he was R2.
The gamble paid off. I tore apart his Rolento like nothing. His Kyo did a good job but still lost. Against his Hibiki, I did a drop through CC but for some reason the second hit of the combo didn't connect, so I ended up losing that round - although I DID take it past the all-important 50 second mark. Yamazaki ate an overhead-super combo, but once her meter was gone, there was absolutely nothing to fear. I've played the Hibiki-Yama matchup to death against Bas (AND against Kisshi-). It basically comes down to us both RCing slashes, but if she misses something at a certain range, I can still hit her with a s.roundhouse. Against C-Hibiki, she can't jump in from far away because it's basically a free s.strong anti-air. Mix in some rolls to BnBs and that should be it.
And it was.
In the semis, I had to play Musasabi, who I haven't played in months. Hindsight being 20/20, I know what I should have done. He had R2 Guile, so I should have gone R2 Bison last to matchup better. But I didn't. I went my regular order. I was doing pretty well until it came to Sagat vs. Bison. I went in for a throw, he did a straight up jump and landed a huge combo on me. I couldn't recover from it and lost, although I made a valiant effort.
That put me in the match for 3rd against Abe - a C-Ken, Blanka, Sagat player who I had no worries about. He's obviously not used to Yama, and I'm very used to his characters. Against Ken, I just want to keep him out (that's basically the gameplan for every character). Against Blanka, I look for him to jump in with j.roundhouse so I can do an anti-tripguard CC. Against Sagat, I look for a jump in as well - but I want to go for a jumping roundhouse CC. Anyway, the Ken round took longer than I wanted, I was able to take him out as well as Blanka, but I had little life for Sagat. I still won in the end, but I really want that match with Musasabi back....
Anyway, the results were
1. Shizuoka Saikyo (I got to play him a couple of days later. It would have been a fun final, but his Blanka is better than mine).