I’ve decided to answer some community questions here on my blog rather than individually on social media so here goes:
1) How was your visit to the US this time and do you feel you had improved since your last trip for final round XVII?
My trip was really fun, I enjoyed seeing everyone again and it was great to be able to take part in more than one tournament in one trip out this time too. I feel that I definitely had more knowledge than before on how to deal with certain matchups and this helped me a lot. I also feel that the world is still getting used to the Ultra transition and this is changing everything on a daily basis.
2) At Final Round XVII, you became the first player to qualify for this year’s Capcom Cup, what are your thoughts on this upcoming event?
Well it’s going to run a different course to the AE 2012 events leading up to it that’s for sure. I mean Ultra Street Fighter is probably the biggest change we’ve seen in any of the iterations up until now. 5 new characters, system alterations and multiple character modifications, it’s a totally different game for sure and we’ll see more of this unfolding as the knowledge deepens worldwide. I feel that combos are slightly too easy now with the red focus addition. It’s like anyone can land an ultra-combo in a combo now. Loool Then again it usually takes three bars and in some cases four.
3) So after ten years of absence, how was New York this time?
Hmm, people are busy, rushing here and there, typical thing in any big city I guess. I think I’d like to live there for like a year or something, would be great. I really enjoyed all the stuff I got to do there. The taco stand and pool bar evening I had with Yipes and the guys was sick, thanks for hooking that up. Being there again was great and I was happy to win my first ever Battle Circuit too :o) All the people I met at Battle Circuit were cool as well, really cool.
4) After this trip what are your honest thoughts, which continent is better NORTH AMERICA or EUROPE?
Honestly speaking, when you look at everything, they are both the same. I mean people go overboard when they say that USA is waaaay better than Europe etc, etc. EMP.Dieminion who is arguably top 3 in USA came to Europe for three whole months and was only able to win one singles tournament in that time despite numerous tournament efforts, so that shows we are no pushovers here. With that said no one in Europe can beat everyone in USA although I haven’t heard of anyone that could beat Alioune in a long set. Has any American every beaten Alioune in a long set on Super SSF4, Regular AE or AE 2012 ever? No one in USA can beat everyone in Europe either and that includes all of EG and EMP. The Alioune factor could tip the scales slightly towards Europe but who knows? I think we are all strong and it doesn’t matter who is stronger, trying to topple Japan should really remain the goal since they win mostly everything they care about.
5) So, any thoughts on Ultra Street Fighter IV?
Well I can’t say too much yet, Japan have been playing lots and we just got it and we’re all learning together, fun times really. : ) Let’s enjoy this time of questions and intrigue!
6) After your successful run in USA, what do you think about another USA vs Europe?
The idea is great, but I think it’s a bad time to do any kind of continental exhibitions because the game (Ultra) is brand new and we are all learning the game again, it’s hardly a time where we should all come together to express who is better. Unless the question is “Who are the better beginners”? haha, I think if anything EVO needn’t have been on Ultra until 2015 and let regular AE 2012 rock for this year so the level would have been super high from everyone all over the world. Also the arcade advantage that Japan have would have been fused out if we waited a year, now it won’t even be exciting if a Japanese player wins, or if top 8 consists of 5 Japanese players. Japan usually win EVO anyway so it’s not like they really need an advantage.
7) So how was UFGT 10?
Well I have to say they are super organised at this event, it was so great to experience that. I had real downtime; I could actually go and nap between pools to recharge my batteries after late nights. I was able to spend time with some people, go eat, money match, and play some Ultra as well. It’s a shame it was the last one but I guess that made it all the more special. I held a live panel while I was there too and was able to share some of my experiences coming up in the fighting game world. This was the second time to do something like this and I’m getting used to and really enjoy. Shoutouts to Keits and crew!
I learned a lot playing against Justin's Elena, it's a very different feeling when you know that TU-FADC is punishable, of course this opens up other options on wakeup as now your opponent will be happier to block on wakeup allowing you to do whatever you want. It's a new dynamic, let's see how it develops. I like that the new characters are actually viable as well, I look forward to seeing them more in tournaments.
I was of course very happy to grab my second major in the US this year. Additionally to winning I wanted to entertain the audience as well so I'm quite also pleased as I felt I was able to achieve that in every match win or lose. :)
8) Ok, so everyone has their demon, who is yours?
9) Why Dieminion? What do you find difficult about playing him?
Dieminion is a resource monster, he knows how to use every element to his advantage, whether it be an EX meter, an ultra, an extra ten seconds on the clock, he’ll know how to make it count. Beating Dieminion in many cases comes down to using these elements better than him. He is also very good at knowing when to covertly switch from attack to defence and vice versa which is crucial for a charge character – especially Guile, as giving the opponent’s the heads up would be basically wearing a sign saying “Hey, I won’t be using any special moves for the next ten seconds”. This is a nice cue for any opponent to start imposing themselves. With that said our last encounter in what many now say is match of the year shows that I’m more than catching on. ;)
10) How about Next Level Battle Circuit?
Oh how great it is to have a weekly! I hope those guys know how good they have it. It’s nicely run and the stream is top notch courtesy of none other than Team Spooky of course. I enjoyed being able to mingle with everyone there and they have a different set of high level characters there which is nice to experience.
11) Who was the most impressive player that you saw or played in USA?
Smug. When I first saw heard about him I thought he would be a pompous twat really. I mean his name is Smug and he’s super young, he’s got to be arrogant and cocky for sure right? But no, he was nothing like that at all. This guy is definitely going places, despite being very young, he is very humble, respectful and knowledgeable. The first thing he did when I entered Next Level, was sit me down and start going into deep discussion about the game, I liked that inquisitive nature very much. It was a pleasure to meet and play him, what a talent! He’s positively my favourite US player for the moment. The Boondocks bead chain was OP as well! :D
12) Will you be at EVO 2014?
It's an amazing event and of course I'd love to be there but unfortunately as I don’t have a sponsor I don’t think I’ll be going this year. It’s quite expensive this year, I remember checking flights when EVO 2014 was announced and prices were already sky high. Haha, as much as I would love to be there I have to just accept that I can’t afford it this time around. :D