Who are we and what are we doing?
We're Gootecks and Mike Ross, two lifelong Street Fighter players who have been successful in the competitive tournament scene for a number of years. In 2010 we launched Cross Counter, a weekly YouTube show (produced in conjunction with Machinima.com) in which we analyze user-submitted and professional Super Street Fighter IV matches and offer feedback and tips, as well as discuss news in the fighting game community and answer viewer questions. After a few months, an offshoot of Cross Counter emerged, called The Excellent Adventures of Gootecks and Mike Ross.
What's Excellent Adventures?
One afternoon after a Cross Counter shoot, we decided to unwind by playing a few casual SSFIV matches on XBox Live against random opponents. To make things interesting, we recorded the matches, along with our own lighthearted commentary, and uploaded them as The Excellent Adventures of Gootecks and Mike Ross. After the initial response was positive, we now publish two episodes a week, and have expanded the format to include live player camera footage and special guests who are also well-known SSFIV players, including Justin Wong, Marn and Taiwanese champion GamerBee.
The Excellent Adventures has quickly received positive feedback and an ever-growing number of viewers thanks to its fun, relaxed atmosphere and the fact that it shows the casual comradery of pro gamers that's rarely seen in public. But being independent players based out of Southern California, the series is currently limited to ourselves, the players who are local to our area, and nearby events, and it is financially difficult to grow the series on our own.
What's the plan?
After the positive reception for Excellent Adventures in the last few months, our goal for 2011 is to expand the series by taking it on the road and abroad!
We'd like for ourselves and our cameraman/editor to be able to travel to other states and countries, meet up with other players, explore the competitive communities of the places we visit, and publish gameplay and travelogues of our adventures. This will also include exclusive, behind-the-scenes coverage of events and tournaments that take place in the locations we travel to.
Our destination will be one (but hopefully, more than one!) of the following locales:
The series will continue to show the real, casual side of pro players that is often overlooked in straightforward tournament broadcasts, plus reach out to new destinations and provide viewers exposure to other communities and competitions that they may otherwise not have access to. Ultimately, the desired effect of all of this is for the fighting game community to connect and grow even larger.
What do we need and where will it go?
We have set the amount of $7000 as our goal. Approximately half of that will be dedicated to equipment costs - in order to improve our quality and move forward with our concept, we need to purchase additional shooting gear such as extra cameras, lights, stands, microphones, hardware, etc. that we can carry with us wherever we travel.
The other half of the funds will be dedicated to travel expenses for our 3 man team. Primarily, the cost of airfare and lodging. Depending on the amount we receive for this initial fund drive, we hope to be able to afford a week-long trip to either one or two of the above-listed destinations within the next 3 months.
In the event that we fall short of our goal, all funds we receive will still be directed towards new equipment, so you will see a marked increase in the quality of the series regardless. So no matter what amount you donate, it will be greatly appreciated and put to good use, making a difference that you'll be able to notice with each new episode!
And if we are fortunate enough to exceed our target amount, it will mean even more equipment and trips that we'll use for the series!
All donors will receive a special gift (see VIP Perks) depending on the level at which they contribute, and will be placed into a random drawing to win an autographed SFIV Tournament Edition FightStick!
NOTE: Shirts and DVDs can be autographed upon request! All gifts and prizes will be shipped upon completion of fund drive, 1st and 2nd week of January 2011. Above-$100 gifts involving Gootecks and Mike's participation will be scheduled and granted throughout January and February 2011.
Are there other ways to contribute?
DAY 2 UPDATE (11/28)
THANK YOU!! You guys are AMAZING! We're shocked at how many contributions we've received in just 2 days. New mics and lights are definite now and will help extremely.
Though the fund drive runs through December we DO have new videos coming as soon as this week, so stay tuned! And please, spread the word if you support our work!
WEEK 2 UPDATE (12/12)
Holy cow, we've already hit the goal in just TWO WEEKS! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!
Fundraiser will still run until the end of the month, and prizes are still available for anyone who is interested in donating but didn't get a chance to yet!
Gootecks (aka Ryan Gutierrez) began in the fighting game community as a Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike tournament player. When Street Fighter IV was announced, Gootecks launched the Street Fighter podcast (a precursor to Cross Counter), and organized SoCal SFIV events such as Bar Fights and LA Riots, while remaining a high-level player who placed well in tournaments throughout 2009. Since then he has devoted his time to Cross Counter, Excellent Adventures and other community-related endeavors with the purpose of helping fighting games reach a mainstream audience.
Mike Ross first established himself in the scene through his success in Marvel vs. Capcom 2. However, upon the release of Street Fighter IV, Mike's popularity exploded to a new level when he placed 2nd at the inaugural GameStop Street Fighter IV tournament. Known for his E. Honda expertise and regarded as one of the best in the United States, he has consistently placed among the top 8 in a variety of SSFIV tourneys, and achieved one of his biggest accomplishments when he finished 4th at Evolution 2010.
Steve Hwang is the director and editor behind Cross Counter and Excellent Adventures. He is a film graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and is the director of FOCUS, the feature documentary about Mike Ross and his journey to Evo 2010. He is a casual gamer and primarily a filmmaker whose goal is to bring an objective, professional quality to the work produced by Gootecks and Mike Ross.