ToL Thank Yous & Wrapup

Thank you to everyone involved in making ToL a success!

STR staff /ToL Committe / EVO:

Mr Wizard & Tom and Tony Cannon – Thank you so much for allowing us to hold this event at EVO. To see so many fans both ST and newcomers enjoying this event in person and on the streams is what it’s all about.

Armando / IEBattlegrounds – How can we thank you enough You worked your ass off the entire weekend with very little time for breaks. Despite all the internet problems at Cesar’s Palace, you stilll pulled off the stream for everyone and saved the whole show.

Darrryl “MuffinMan” Austin – Without you, maybe this idea doesn’t even start. And thanks for always being available to discuss ideas/problems with ToL, until you abandoned me to Singapore of course!

Chris “Ghaleon” Hatala – The man who coorinated things with the other TOs, who pushed for the idea of a large pot for this tournament and took charge of things with the bracket both Friday and Saturday.

Papasi – You’ve given all of us inspiration from the passion that you show for ST. Papasi was unfortunately unable to make it but donated his hotel room fee to the ToL cause to help pay for expenses. Your generosity did so much for ToL. And I have some special gifts heading your way soon.

Harmon “Nomrah” Tam – The silent partner but always chimes in at the right time with the perfect words or advice. And took charge with Chris to keep those qualifiers moving along as fast as we could. And one of the coolest dudes you’ll ever meet.

Brian “Fatboy” – Big Yoga comes out of nowhere and becomes the utility man of ToL. Commentary, transportation moving cabs all over the place, along with muscle moving things by himself that it would normally take two people to do. I owe you a nice “two burrito” dinner, giggles.

Terry “Zaspacer” Cox – TCB. Taking care of business. Whether it’s email planning or getting things done at EVO, from misc. tasks, getting the payouts ready and maybe most importantly getting every single qualifier to sign the ToL poster.

Ken and Tai “DGV” – Always getting problems solved with you guys at 3AM lol. Big time thanks for the DGV-cab making a huge splash at EVO. You guys started ST Revival last year with Casino Cup and look at what it has turned into!

Fudd – Brought in late to the project but you’ve always helped out at STR events and you did all the dirty work needed at ToL. Don’t know what we would have done without you. Thank you for listening to me vent during the darkest hour. That was one hell of a chat we had.

James Chen – I don’t know how this guy does it. From all his WNF duties, UltraChenTV duties, EVO duties, traveling all over the country to do commentary everywhere and still finds time to email and chat with me whenever I need an answer. Thank you, old friend.

Jesse “Jumpsuit” Cardenas – You’ve been a great help with ideas through email and chat. Great to see you again after all these years and I can’t wait to hear your ideas for the future.

Jason “Dirty” Cole – Always offering the other side of the argument, lol. But things like this make us look at the other side of things and only helps everything in the end. And what ST tournament would be complete without this guy

Special Thanks:

Bernie – Huge thanks for donating the ST cab for the weekend! And it was great hanging out and chatting with you.

Chris Li – Big man getting things done for ST. You were there always for us at EVO even with your hectic schedule and even had time to play in some qualifiers. And I finally got to throw down with you and get some ST casuals in as well.

Damien “Damdai” – Getting the ball rolling by getting a hold of Kusumondo for us cannot be overlooked. And your star power helped make ToL hype, with the money matches and being captain of the team battle. It was great to get to know you a little better. Your love for ST really shows.

Jason “AfroLegends” – Another thank you for your star power to make ToL hype. Agreeing to be the captain of the team battle and doing the money match with Damdai that so many people were waiting for.

Nohoho – Thank you for coming up with the awesome ToL program. I havent’ had a chance to read through it all yet but the parts I have are incredible.

NKI – Always good to see you. Thank you for your help translating with the Japanese players.

Immortal – Great to finally meet you and thank you for your help in moving cabs from place to place.

Eugene “El Trouble” and Tania “MillerTime” – As someone already said, the #1 couple of ST. Always bringing the strong and entertaining commentary for us all.

Mizuki – So passionate about his announcing and it shows. Thank you for your announcing duties both at ToL and Southtown Arcade.

Julien “Zass” Beasley – Also gracing us with his technical knowledge of the game through his commentary. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to talk to you much at all.

Jason Nelson – For helping pull things together with NW Majors. Sorry to see that you couldn’t make it out to EVO.

UltraDavid – For his passion and love for ST. For helping promote ST Revival and ToL when he can on streams. I can’t believe we’ve never met after all these years. It was great to finally do so. And he plays a mean Honda too!

International Guests:

Kusumondo – Meeting my idol for so many years was a dream come true for me. I was so heartbroken during the final match. But you stole the show and were the star of the entire tournament. Thank you so much for coming to ToL. And it was wonderful to meet your little boy. A future champion in the making, I’m sure!

MAO – It was great having you as a guest in our room. We learned so much stuff from you and about you and I think despite being the cold Claw player, you won everyone over with your incredible play and surprised everyone with your charisma on stage.

Wolmar and company – FIrst Wolmar, you put on a superb showing in ToL. I don’t think many people expected much from you but you came so close to reaching the finals. And you all were really nice guys on top of it. What you guys are doing with the ST documentary is incredible. I absolutely cannot wait to see this. Despite hating being on camera, I really enjoyed the interview and chatting with you all afterwards.

Sako and Aki – It was great to finally talk to both of you since I didn’t at ReveLAtions. It was funny meeting you in the line to check in at Caesar’s of all places.

Laugh – I’m sad I did not get a chance to talk to you but Zaspacer told me all the stuff you two discussed. Very excited with what may come out of that.

Tournament Organizers:

Final Round – Larry Dixon.

Super Arcade – Mike “Watts” Watson. Keeping the ST scene alive in So Cal.

Texas Showdown Championships – Chris Chou.

Power Up – Nathan Shields.

X-Mania Europe – Maho.

UFGT – Adam “Keits” Hart. It was great to finally meet you. The divekick game looks fun and I’m mad that I never found the time to try it out.

Box Arena – Frank Fresh / Kuizzy / Christine “HuneBeeee” Gentry – Always great to see you guys.

NorthWest Majors – Chris Anderson.

East Coast Throwdown – John Gallagher. It was great to meet you. I enjoyed the chat in the bar. Wish we could have chatted longer but you brought up some very interesting points about doing it again next year.

CEO – Alex Jebailey. I meant to introduce myself to you but never got the chance to grab you when you were free.

Southtown Arcade – Arturo Angulo. Nice meeting you. I enjoyed our chat after we randomly found each other.

Midwest Championships – Jason “DreamTR” Wilson. Good to see you again, old friend. How many years has it been Sorry about the first round matchup. =P

More Special Thanks:

Of course, for everyone else who showed up and supported ST! For everyone new I met this weekend (Riz0ne, MikeIdge, Marsgatti, Axel, Tecmo, Immortal, Girlystyle, Spidercarnage, WandFeuer, GolenboiD, Chris Gamble, paulkachou and so on.) and for all the familiar faces as well (Mr. John Choi, CaliPower, RekkaKen, Javi, RenoRob, Papercut, Digital Infamy, Cesar, Fromo, Mr. Igloo, Rufus, Stacey, Shirts, Zenblaster, Ganelon, Zoolander, Moocus, SnakeEyez, Ryan and so on). I’m forgetting a bunch of you I’m sure, but you all know who you are and this post is long enough already!

The Future of ToL:

I’ve lost count now of how many people have asked me if we will do another ToL in the past couple of days. A lot of factors will determine that, the first being, will EVO let us do it again. But personally, the time I’ve had to dedicate for this whole thing has taken a toll on me but seeing how successful this turned out to be, there is no way I will discount it, especially with a lot of the STR crew offering to step up and take on more duties.

ST has the most momentum here in the US for as long as I can remember and I don’t want to see that wasted.

Seeing ST back up on the main stage of EVO was a sight to behold. Seeing the crowd, probably most of who, weren’t very familiar with ST, wait for 45 minutes through technical difficulties was amazing. But seeing them really get into it brought a smile to my face. Screaming, nervous, on the edge of their seats as Mao and Kusumondo did battle like I haven’t seen before. Seeing all the positive feedback on various forums. Seeing MAO and Kusumondo really getting into it and playing up to the crowd was incredible. Seeing the expressions on their face as they lived and died with every round. Talking with a bunch of ST players afterwards who said that was the greatest ST finals they’ve ever witnessed.

I’ve been to a lot of EVOs and they have all been incredible but this one holds a special place in my heart.