Was für ein Turnier! Nach stundenlangen Pools und nie enden wollenden Brackets liegen die Nerven blank. Mit jeder Runde wird das Bracket härter und jeder der es überhaupt aus den Pools heraus geschafft hat, kann stolz auf sich sein.
Wenn wir mal ein paar Jahre zurückblicken, war das doch noch deutlich anders. In jeden Pool war 1 guter Spieler der klar weiterkommt, 1-2 Leute die das Spiel regelmäßig spielen und der Rest Neulinge. Inzwischen hat man pro Pool 1 Killer und 5 gute Spieler, die sich gegenseitig kannibalisieren. Man kann nicht mehr damit rechnen, für Lau ins Bracket zu gelangen oder seine schlechten Matchups nicht üben zu müssen. Aber sollte man dann einfach Counterpicks lernen oder „bessere“ Charaktere picken?
Man muss auch damit rechnen, früh im Bracket gegen Leute zu spielen die man kennt oder mit denen man befreundet ist. Gnade darf man dann auch nicht mehr walten lassen.
Doch wie hat sich das Niveau denn im internationalen Vergleich entwickelt? Hinken wir noch hinterher? Die Schweden sind z.B. ca. 2000km geflogen und die Holländer tun sich 5 Stunden Fahrt an. Macht man das nur wegen Gameplay und Preisen?
Einer, den man immer weit oben sieht ist z.B. Emersion aus Holland. Er besiegte Thomson (Rufus), Cranky (Gen) und wurde von Halibel (Akuma) ins Losers geschickt. Dort kämpfte er sich durch ChaozTheory (Dictator), Linkzero (Ryu/Ibuki/Cammy), TR YouGenius (Claw) und DRz_Yagami (Dhalsim). Wirklich vorteilhafte Matches für Claw waren da bis jetzt nicht bei! Schließlich traf er im Losers Finals erneut auf Halibel und musste sich mit dem dritten Platz zufrieden geben. Insgesamt eine mehr als beachtliche Leistung!
Emersion, you managed to get third place with Claw. Did you meet or exceed your expectations for the tournament?
I totally exceeded my expectations. I came to this tournament with the feeling that I was not „in shape“ at all. I have not been playing the game that much lately and I have been underperforming in every tournament I went to since CEO in June.
Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to do so well. I did miss some crucial combo’s and some damage conversions that I would never miss if I was playing very actively, but I managed to do well regardless.
The metagame is dominated by so called “Vortex” characters. How does Claw fit in?
Claw fits in as being one of the characters being dominated by them!
Seriously though, Claw does have a lot of trouble with these characters, because he does not have any good option on wake up, which is where the „vortexes“ come into play.
He has no reversal to speak of and his fastest normals are 4 frames, where a lot of characters have 3 frame normals, so Claw is horrible at close range.
Claw shines at the neutral game though, so against the vortex characters, claw’s mission is simple: Don’t ever get knocked down. This is way easier said than done, obviously.
Do you feel like you have to be 2 steps ahead at all times?
Well, almost every character has a reversal special move with invincible frames, however good or bad they are. This is an option the opponent has to respect, especially if the defender can combo out of that invincible reversal.
Even if the reversal is not used, the opponent might want to bait it sometimes relieving pressure from the defender for free.
Claw has no such special move, so pressuring claw can be done without much risk taking from the attacker. Every buttonpress or backdash on Claw’s end has a bad risk/reward ratio for Claw.
So to answer the question: I feel it is not so much being two steps ahead, as it is just avoiding the situation where this becomes an issue. Vega has tools to avoid getting into close range battles. You just have to be able to apply them long enough in every match to K.O. the opponent.
You did some ballsy crossup setups. How did you know that for example the meaty crossup Ultra 1 would hit?
Well, to be honest I didn’t know it would hit!
The cross up ultra has a 1 or 2 frame window of opportunity and I had to manually time it, which is very difficult by itself. And even if I do it correctly, Yagami could have blocked the cross up or backdashed, for example.
For me that move against Yagami at the time was a risk-reward decision.
Yagami used yoga sniper on me, which was probably a calculated risk on his part with his huge lifelead. I punished it with EX-FBA and when I looked at our health bars I saw that I didn’t have enough health to eat another attack. His health was still huge and I did not feel like I could come back with „normal“ gameplay with this health status.
This is when I decided to use the cross up Ultra after the EX-FBA using slide to get close enough to execute it, keeping my charge. I was really happy to see it hit obviously, that was a hype moment indeed.
How did you condition your opponent?
My basic gameplan is just to keep in the range where I can hit you, but you can’t hit me.
Then I try to punish the mistakes you make trying to force your way in.
When I am the one who is giving close range pressure it is basically kara throw or frametrap games, which is most of Claw’s pressure game.
It is simple stuff, like throwing 3 times in a row one time and later using cosmic heel in similar positions.
When you play someone though your tactics constantly have to change to adapt to your opponent, so this question is hard to answer very specifically.
What do you do with your bad matchups, do you try to win with mindgames or learn matchup within the gameplay mechanics?
The simple answer is both.
I can’t win bad match ups without outplaying my opponent, just like I can’t lose good match ups without being outplayed. Mindgames are a part of any match and more important in bad matchups.
When I face a bad matchup, I need to be that much more aware of my ranges, my punishes and ways to avoid the reasons WHY it is a bad match up for me.
I have focused and trained on these things a lot for the divekick characters and Gen for example, so I feel like I can play those bad match ups a lot better than some matchups Vega does better in.
This tournament made me realize once again I need more work in the bad Shoto match ups (Ryu and Akuma), this probably has to do with the fact that I play online a lot and have gotten lazy by beating a legion of bad Ryu’s and Akuma’s.
I was not prepared for the better ones. I commonly lose to Doomdomain and MBR in the Netherlands this way, too. I hope I can find ways to better myself in these matchups soon. Maybe I should visit MBR and Doom more to train this very specifically.
My track record against Akuma especially is really depressing for me lately.
Halibel putting me in losers and eliminating me from this tournament did not help that!
How do you feel about german community? You guys keep coming back every year!
The german community is very awesome to me.
You guys have some very strong players like the TR twins, Halibel, Demulant and more.
Some players with great potential I didn’t even know of before.
The main reason I like the German community is that all these players are backed up by a great amount of players that are also there for fun and hanging out.
That is what I miss in our own community, people don’t want to spend money and enter a tournament in the Netherlands for fun anymore, it seems. This makes it so that the average level of players in the Netherlands is a bit higher than it is in Germany, in my opinion, but Germany has a lot healthier environment to play in overall. It’s more laid back, fun and accessible for newcomers. I talked to someone who drove with some others for 8 hours to be at this tournament! In the Netherlands people already complain if they need to travel above an hour! Seeing the German community this weekend, makes me feel a little sad about my own country’s community to be perfectly honest.
On the organization side of things still are a bit lacking in my opinion, I played SF top5 at 1am in the night. I have the strong belief that the official tournament playing side of things should be over by 2300 at maximum. I am getting older and my reactions are getting slow enough without sleepiness getting in the mix.
Being one of the people who travel a lot, what are the main differences between the communities? France, Germany, Dutch, …?
Well I can only speak for the street fighter 4 communities, since that’s the only communities I really come into contact with enough to judge.
The difference between all communities is just level, mindset,organisation and atmosphere.
In my opinion no community in Europe beats France when it comes to level of play of the overall community. Next to the awesome WDM players you have Alioune, Starnab, Valmaster, Gagapa and many more awesome players with a whole lot of players just underneath that level of play. It really dwarfs all the other community in terms of overall skill. Whenever I come to France, while the level of play is very high, everything else is really unaccommodating for international players in my opinion.
A lot of people can’t or won’t speak English (even members of the organization). Organisation of the tournament can be all over the place. And France can have some tournament rules that I just find amazingly stupid (best of 1 match pools for instance and single elim), so beware of the rules of French tournaments before you go!
I already talked about Germany, very fun community overall, decent skill level, needs some work in organization here and there, but always a great time!
Netherlands has some great players and I feel that we have a great organization in most tournaments, but our weak point is that not enough people are willing to spend money and travel time to show up unless it is the next Red Fight District.
UK has some very skilled players with Ryan Hart obviously leading that pack, but I feel they might have the same problem as we do as to the motivation and travelling of the players beneath that “elite few”.
Scotland then reminds me of Germany a lot, such a great backbone of fun infused there.
Of the times I went to USA, they just seemed to have progressed way faster than Europe.
Big tournaments linked to organizations, calling out skilled players to play for increasingly big prize pots. I’m confident that we can grow faster if we get more of these kind of tournaments.
The USA players and supporters calling out Europe therefore seems a bit silly to me.
They have a way better climate to grow, with international crowds coming month after month and they expect us to grow just as fast and spend thousands of dollars/euro’s to get to their tournaments and come prove it, while they never come to us unless its paid for.
Dreamhack Sweden is the one thing we have in Europe that provides that “company money”, so I find it too bad that it is a hard tournament to reach financially for the more casual audience.
The lack of casual crowd automatically makes that tournament feel more “business” than a FFM rumble or Red Fight District to me for example and therefore less memorable to me.
I hope they keep it coming though, this year they are bringing a lot of killers to Europe, if that tournament keeps expanding the tournament might become sort of a European EVO, I guess.
It used to be WGC in Cannes that provided that, but i found WGC to be badly organized most of the time. Dreamhack is organized way better in my opionion and I would have no issue if it became the new “this is the tournament where the killers are” for Europe.
For it to attract bigger fighting game crowds though, perhaps it needs to become a 2 day event with a fighting game or 2 more. It is hard to justify the investment to go there for 1 day if you feel you don’t have a chance of winning prize money. When that happens maybe the casual crowd will might want to shell out the price for getting there after all.
I for one am sad I can’t attend Dreamhack Winter this year.
In the end, I love going anywhere for fighting games. I am nowhere near the best player of this game, but it is always fun to meet other people who share your passion for these fighting games.
Vielen Dank an Rick für seine Zeit!
Es folgen in den nächsten Tagen noch weitere Artikel über den FFM Rumble.
Der nächste Spieler fängt mit „Y“ an… ihr dürft also gespannt sein!
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