We’re back with another interview, this time with Melbourne’s own Sol T. A good buddy of mine, he’s one of the brightest stars in the Melbourne scene. He put on a show at BAM, knocking out 4 of the 5 members of the Sydney team during the Sydney Melbourne exhibition. And I’m sure many of you are aware of his brilliant video work over at www.shadowloo.com.
Sol’s site: http://www.funksolbrother.com/
Once again, this is a two-part interview, with audio edited by Igor once again. Special thanks to Igor and to Sol for his time. Thanks to Just-S/Boss Logic for providing the awesome banner as well. (Conducted at CCH 23 October 2010)
The Melbourne Player Profiles were originally intended by me to be text-based interviews with Melbourne top players. My friend Igor/Spidercarnage has been meaning to do a Melbourne-centric fighting game podcast for a while. So we decided to join forces! Here’s episode one of the Don’t be a Scrub Podcast.
(Right click and “Save Link As” to download.)
We’re here today with Sol, the “Pride of Melbourne”. He’s a top, top player in Melbourne. He plays Abel and Bison, and let’s get right into it.
1) Tell me about your history in fighting games.
As most people can tell, I got my name from Guilty Gear. Sol Badguy, that’s where it came from. I started playing from then but [I] wasn’t really competitive until late 3rd Strike, early vanilla [SF4], and I just went on from there.
You’ve been playing Street Fighter for a long time right? With Just-S and [EXC355UM]…
Yeah. As the brothers.
What was your first tournament?
[It was] Couchwarriors, the first one last year. And I was a pad player back then.
Oh you were a pad player back then? How’d you do in your first tournament?
I came 13th! I beat Wei on pad against his Bison. It was good, it was good.
What’s up with you [guys]? First Somniac gets top ten his first tournament, and you get 13th…
Ah it was just luck. I didn’t even know what was going on. (Being modest.)
2) Tell me about Sol the photographer.
[I’ve] been studying photography for about two years now. Done a course, and recently got my camera upgraded; got a couple new lens. [I’ve done] weddings for relatives and stuff, and covered events as well.
I always say to Ali (EXC355UM) that TEC pretty much has it all. You have Just-S/BossLogic doing graphics, you have Pyro doing programming, you doing the photography…
Ali doing the write-ups…
You’ve got Exis looking good…so you’ve got the whole package going. But you’re just 18, so what’s next for Sol the career man?
Hopefully, just extend my photography career to the next level, really.
You’re working at Telstra now right? Tell us what you’re doing at Telstra.
Just the help center, basically. Just dealing with people’s complaints, trying to help them out. The usual.
What’s it really like inside Telstra?
It’s just the usual man! Looks like an IT room really, with phones. That’s about it.
Eventually you want to do something with your [photography] right?
Hopefully Dave/Just-S’s gonna open up his own graphics business, and I’ll work for him as a photographer. Or I’ll work with someone; I know a couple of top photographers in Australia and they’re good friends with me. Or I’ll open my own business later on.
3) Why have you started playing Bison over Abel in tournament?
Most people go down the path of learning Ryu to improve their footsies and zoning. I find Bison’s just the same, really.
You need to be good at zoning to actually play Bison. And yeah, it’s helped my overall game; it’s helped with my Abel as well, just learning Bison.
So you picked up Bison to work on your footsies. Nice. So, which are the matchups in tournament that you would take Abel over Bison and vice versa?
Abel over Bison? Umm…Guile definitely. Chun I would; just because I know the matchup better with Abel at the moment. Ryu I would, and Blanka I would.
Which are the matchups that you go straight to Bison?
Zangief. Sagat. Ibuki, generally. Honda and…Rufus yeah.
But Somniac says that Bison vs Zangief is in Zangief’s favour…
It is, it is. But it’s much worse for Abel than it is for Bison. Bison’s got ways out that Abel [completely lacks].
Why are you picking Bison just for those characters? Is it just because you can escape?
Not generally. The main reason [I do it] is not actually to counterpick people, it’s just the fact that I enjoy Bison. He’s got good footsies, but he also has a sick rushdown. He’s pretty safe in his blockstrings; plus they’re strong.
4) You’re one of the few players who are capable of playing multiple characters at a high level. How do you do it? And why do you do it?
Personally, I like mixing it up. It keeps the game fresh in my opinion, for me at least. Also, it helps knowing what the character’s capable of doing, because I’m doing it and it’s in my hands and I can see what it beats, [out] of the other characters.
And the way I do it is basically [do the] trials, to learn the basic combos. And then I work on them and elaborate on them in training mode.
So playing multiple characters help you learn the matchups.
Yes. You learn what of theirs beats the others [characters’ moves] when you’re versing that character, by playing the other character.
And what do you have to say about the Japanese style, that they just play one main and that’s it.
No no, that’s the thing. The Japanese do play other characters, but they don’t use them [in tournament]. They only play [the other characters] online, but in tournament they only stick to one character. They got the execution to play anyone they want. But they would rather focus on their main [in tournament]. And that’s what I’ve been doing recently, [playing] Abel and Bison only [in tournament]. I used to always play five characters at events, but I didn’t really place that well. And since I’ve played Abel and Bison solely, it’s helped. I’ve improved.
What are your top 5 favourite characters to use?
Cammy, Abel, Bison, Adon and…Ryu.
Not Zorro Vega?
Nah. Vega’s just fun but not really as fun as the others.
Yeah basically, [he taught me] safe jumping, option selecting and plinking. Basically [all that] came from Naruga, and Toxy.
And that was when you shifted from pad to stick.
Yeah that was when I was basically trying to learn stick.
So after Toxy taught you the “holy trinity” of option selects, plinking and safe jumps, you started placing.
Yeah. [Well I] improved. [They] improved my game overall.
(EXC355UM walks by to give a shoutout to himself at this point.)
6) Ali (EXC355UM) talked a little bit about this before, but can you tell me a little about your history in TEC?
I joined when I [was playing] Halo. [Playing] Halo, joined with Ali, played a few tournaments, and joined the Gamerhold forums. [TEC] is basically a big gaming clan, with multiple games, really.
What are TEC’s plans in Halo Reach?
I don’t play Halo Reach! You gotta ask Ali. I haven’t had time man! Work and Street Fighter, that’s it. That’s the main two; I don’t have time for [more than] two games anymore! It’s not me [playing Halo], it’s Pyro and his brother, Ali and a few others.
7) What is footsies?
Footsies is… what poke or what normal you can use to out-poke the other person’s normal. And what sort of distance that you can use a poke to keep the opponent out.
So it’s a range game.
8 ) How much time do you spend in training room?
Before I started working, it was probably an hour. An hour [or so] everyday.
So what’s the key to getting great execution?
Consistency. Consistently doing the links. Consistently going over and over and over and over again, until you absolutely have the muscle memory of that link down. Keep doing it, until I change it up again.
Basically what I’ve found is really once you’ve perfected a combo, you’ve got it. Even if you go away for two weeks. [If you] train it up again for five minutes and you have it again. It’s just in your muscle memory.
So for you it’s all about muscle memory.
Yeah, I use muscle memory a lot.
9) You’re known for your flashy rushdown style. Some people say at times that can be your downfall in tournaments. I feel sometimes you have to play the way you really want to play in order to get the best Street Fighter out of your game. Thoughts?
Yes…and no. Going flashy is good…but at high level play it’s really not the smartest idea because you’re just burning meter and scaling the move. But in some situations, like say after an Abel towards medium kick heavy punch change of direction cancel, you do something afterwards and they’re almost dead, then yeah you might as well go for it. If you know it’s gonna kill them.
But if it’s like half health, and they’re nowhere near dead, there’s no point. It’s going to scale too much.
(Heavyweapons cuts in with some nice furious salt about console tournaments, with Just-S coming in behind him smiling and saying “Is this on tape? I apologise to Heavyweapons.”)
Nice. That salt’s gonna be immortalised [forever on tape].
Tell me your whole mentality once you do the towards medium kick with Abel. How do you develop your whole game around that once you see what your opponent does [in reaction to it].
Okay. There are two options. If I get the forward medium kick, and it hits? It’s a hit confirm and always [go into a big combo]. I see a lot of Abels go for tornado throw after that. Never do that. You got the hit confirm, go for the big combo. Go for the heavy punch change of direction whatever afterwards. Sure it’s a one frame link, but why not go for it? It’s your main, use it.
Also when they block, you’ve got two options. You can either frame trap them with the heavy punch if they’re jump and you know they’re gonna jump out, expecting a tornado throw. Or, they’re gonna backdash and you can option select that into another forward dash with them into a tornado throw.
But generally if the people don’t know the Abel matchup, and I can tell that [they don’t know the matchup]? Forward medium kick into tornado throw.
So thoughts on Souless vs Breathless?
Matchups. Just matchups.
At this point of time do you think that Breathless is that good or?
No no no. Nowhere near as good as it was at the start.
I only use it against Zangief, Chun Li…
The main reason I use Breathless is to psyche people out.
Say [the opponent’s] using Hakan and he has Ultra 2. Do you jump?
Depends on the distance…
That’s what I’m saying, in general do you jump?
Well actually I jump a lot so…
Let’s say in general though, safety wise, do you jump?
No I don’t.
Exactly. You shouldn’t. Abel’s got Ultra 2; he’s got it there, you shouldn’t jump. And that’s what I use it for. If you stop Chun from her jumping game, and Zangief from the jumping game; what else do they have? They need it to set up their game. Chun Li can poke you yes, but you can even Ultra them though. Because if Chun Li and Abel are on the ground, staying on the ground. I reckon [the matchup] is 5-5. If Chun has advantage [in] the air and [on] the ground? It’s probably 5.5 – 4.5 in her favour.
10) Where do you look on a screen when you’re playing.
The other character.
Does that change depending on the matchup? Cactus used to tell me that when he plays against Bison, he would look at the space above Bison. Because of Bison’s aerial game against Dhalsim. Which part of the [opponent’s] character do you look at?
Just the overall character. I like focussing on the character, but I like having my own character in my peripheral vision. I like it being there, and scouting the opponent’s character as well.
Because I’ve noticed this from playing Fei Long a bit lately as well. If someone does a random poke, like a Bison, Bison loves to fire [off] standing heavy kicks, [and] standing medium kicks. By the time they do that, you can rekka them. Basically from full screen, for free. If you see your opponent throwing normals; you gotta be quick, you can react to them. Like with Sagats, if you see him do reckless heavy kicks, with Abel you can actually crouching medium into change of direction and it beats it. There’s little things like that you gotta focus on. Punishing their normals, basically.
11) How do you prepare for a tournament? How did you prepare for BAM?
Played the night before. That’s it, really.
So no special preparation?
Just really all it was…just having…I normally don’t have too much confidence in my gameplay but I had-a day or two before BAM- I had Exis supporting me, I had Nickerz supporting me, I had good high level casuals. And that week or two before BAM was the time I realised that I should stick to two characters for now. Just two main characters. And that’s when I went hard on [practicing] Abel and Bison.
Did you do any special scouting on any interstate players? Like you knew Bomb was coming…
I played Kientan a few times, and Mole’s (Naruga) training against Chun Li really helped. Again with Genxa as well, (a Cammy player), Mole’s training helped. With Benson, I generally know Honda from Xbox Live. I know what they can do, and I know what I can do to stop it as well.
Yeah, that’s what I was worrying about. No disrespect to Berserk (and Phatkau), but we don’t really have a top 8 caliber Honda [in Melbourne].
Yeah, that what I’m saying. But from Xbox Live, I just generally know the matchup. Plus, reading up on SRK [about] what can punish what, and that helps a lot.
Umm…who else was there. Sicario…Abel vs Guile, I know the matchup pretty well already, [or] I should know the matchup anyway, since it’s in my favour. And Bomb…Bomb was Bomb. I was expecting…I was treating it as if I was playing Daigo. The guy’s execution is that good, and his overall footsies game is as [good as] well.
Going into the first game [with Humanbomb], after the first round I knew I just had to keep him out. Keep him out; zone him out to the point where he is frustrated that he couldn’t jump in. As you saw, I started anti-airing with crouch fierce…but I fimbled in the last round (laughs).
Speaking about Humanbomb, tell me about when you played Daigo’s Ryu with your Abel, and you played Bomb with your Abel. What was the big difference between them; or are they from the same vein?
Biggest difference? [I] was intimidated by playing Daigo, and that threw me off my game completely. It wasn’t until the last round that I actually played my game against Daigo. Bomb…Bomb was Bomb. I know how he plays; I know what he does because I play him online a bit. It helps. But Daigo, it’s the first time [playing him]. C’mon man, every person hears about Daigo online, and you’re playing him here, you’re gonna be nervous. Plain and simple. You’re always gonna be nervous [first time against Daigo].
So the “Daigo Factor” is real, and it does exist?
Yes. Yes. Even though he threw a random fireba…but anyway.
Yes. Should we go into that a little bit? ( Daigo slayings at Season’s Beatings)
12) Okay cool. What are your thoughts on BAM overall as a tournament and your performance.
Yeah, I was happy with my performance. It felt good having Melbourne’s support from the top players like Mike (Toxy), Heavy[weapons]. Heavy was really good the whole weekend, always cheered me on. Xavier (Somniac), Ali and Dave my brothers, they were very helpful as well. You got Naruga, [and] Akira as well, told me a few things midgame [about] what to do. Just having players of that capability on your side telling you what to do, and living in your house, helps a lot.
Which is interesting, because I was walking past/eavesdropping on Toxy and Naruga talking and Exis was going “No don’t take me on the 5 on 5 [Melbourne team]. Since you already have Naruga’s Blanka. Take Sol. Sol’s Abel.” And I was walking past going Hmm… And later in the day you beat four Sydney guys. So that was a good selfless decision by Exis.
It worked out okay (laughs). BAM overall was really good. The only thing that could make it better in my opinion is air conditioning, definitely, and a high level player.
An international player.
Yeah. Either America, Japan…even Europe.
So if you could choose one guy, any guy to come from anywhere in the world to come, who would you get?
Tokido. Knows English, and good in multiple games.
Interesting that you and Ali both say Tokido.
Yeah, it’s just the overall fact that he’s really good at the game. And he’s really good at multiple games. And he knows English. Yeah it’s the trifecta, really.
Tell me what was going through your mind during the exhibition. First match was you versus Kientan right?
First thoughts was…don’t let Chun feel like she’s gonna dominate you with her poking. ‘Cause that’s what happened the night before with Bison against Chun Li, when I played Kientan [in top 8 singles]. I let him get in. Once you get in with Chun, all her pokes are safe, and she can do them all day if she wants. Standing medium punch beats everything. And that’s when I realised something. I never use EX change of direction. Until that match, which was the first time I’ve actually used it. ‘Cause I knew he was gonna poke, I knew he was gonna do pokes. It’s Chun. He has to poke. So yeah just absorb [with EX COD], get a free knockdown, and set up from there. Also, I realised he backdashes a lot, so I tried to option select sweep him as much as I could, to catch him.
And yeah, just basically when you shut down his game, if you can’t poke and you can’t backdash; you’ve just eliminated two big things for Chun. Two huge things for Chun. That’s it, and I just worked it out from there.
So were you nervous? Were you nervous at the first match or?
[I was nervous] first round of Kientan, yes. After I won that, [the nervousness] basically smoothed out.
So by Benson, Genxa, Sicario, you were starting to get more and more confident.
Yeah, and then when Bomb came on, it was back to square one again. It was back to Kientan again. And it was after the first round again I started feeling okay again…and last round was just Ehh (laughs).
So after you lost to Humanbomb, and you sat down and all the Melbourne guys gathered around you, did you think that Humanbomb could’ve reverse OCVed us like that?
I had it in my mind, just because of the simple fact that every member of my team did not have casuals that day. And Bomb was there since 9 am playing casuals.
Really he was?
Yeah he was. That’s the only reason I had it in my head. Toxy just walked up, Naruga just walked up. Akira just walked up. Somniac just walked up like an hour before.
I’m like, these guys haven’t had any warm up and this guy’s been playing all day and he’s coming off a win. So he’s got all the confidence to do it, while these guys haven’t played. Yeah.
For me the interesting thing was that Toxy wasn’t the anchor. That you guys put Akira last. Who made that decision?
I think it was Akira himself.
Okay so he said “Put me last. I want to take down Bomb.”?
Generally yes, knowing Akira, it’s a good decision. It just wasn’t a good day I guess, at all. Akira’s good enough that he can do whatever he wants to do, man. Everyone on my team was [really good]. Xavier, Naruga, Mike (Toxy), Akira, they can do whatever they want, man.
Yeah, you can say that because you knocked Akira out of pools right?
Ah, that was a close game. Heh.
I was spectating, and I saw Toxy go second last. For some reason, I was so hype going oh man! That means Akira’s going last! The “secret weapon”!
Yeah, ‘cause it was Akira. But that’s the thing man. You got Bomb, who’s on a four win streak. Full of confidence and Akira hasn’t warmed up. No excuses or anything, but I’m just sayin’. Just the general theory of Street Fighter, [if you have] somebody who’s warmed up, and with the skill of Bomb, over someone who hasn’t played at all that day? Generally, it’s a big factor, in my opinion.
13) Who are your favourite players. Who’s the best Abel in the world, in your opinion?
Shiro. Shiro is an inspiration.
Is he still playing [vanilla]?
He just started [playing Super] recently. He doesn’t upload much, but yeah I don’t think he plays much either. He just recently uploaded some videos, on the PSN network.
So he’s your favourite Abel? What about Bison players?
Bison? Probably Kuma. The Japanese player.
So all Japanese players?
Generally, that’s what I learned off. I got one American [favourite player] and one Japanese [favourite player] for both [Abel and Bison]. I was gonna say for Abel, it’s Rider as well, and for Bison, it’s probably Andre or Yipes. They’re both really good to watch.
Other than players who play your mains, who are your favourite players to watch?
(Thinks). Uryo. Uryo, definitely. With his Sakura, Chun Li, and Viper. And Tokido, you learn a lot from watching Tokido. Just his overall knockdown game, how he always goes for knockdown and sets up after; he’s very entertaining to watch.
14) What are your top 5 SSF4 favourite matches of the year?
From BAM, Bomb vs Toxy. Winner’s finals. I’d say Mago vs Sako [at Godsgarden’s FT10]. I knew Mago was gonna to win. Mago is too solid. I think he is the best player in the world in my opinion.
So you think Mago’s the best in the world? If he went to America, he would win EVO?
I don’t know if he’d win it. He’ll do well. I don’t know if he’d win it though. Um…other matches. Uryo vs Mago? That was good as well. It was pretty dominant for Mago, anyway.
Andre vs Daigo from Season’s Beatings was definitely a good match. Gamerbee vs Justin Wong, the loser’s finals. The one where Gamer rezoned perfectly.
Yeah was that interesting or what? The Makoto…
Yeah but that’s the thing though. I was impressed by [Wong’s] Makoto, but I was more impressed by the actual re-strategy by Gamerbee. I don’t think he lost a round after that, I think he only lost one. Just perfect play from [Gamerbee].
That’s how you know someone’s a good player. When they lose a game against a character they don’t play against, and they come back and beat them the next game pretty convincingly? That’s a good player.
Speaking of adaptation, how do you get this skill?
[Get] really good at learning what your opponent’s doing, what he’s constantly doing. What he’s trying to abuse and knowing that character. What poke or normal move or special move can be beaten by what [move you have]. That’s my point about learning multiple characters. If you know what beats what, and you know if they’re going to abuse that move and you know what beats it? That’s it. You can basically take him down from there. You basically make them change their whole game plan and that’s a big thing in Street Fighter.
15) Are you guys really heading over for EVO Japan? Tell me about your plans about that.
Just want to witness Japan! Basically, it’s a holiday for a whole week and a bit. We’re already in good contacts with Gama and KSK and stuff like that. So that will help, meeting them for the first time. And meeting everyone else that is going to be over in Japan. There’s going to be a lot of people. Yeah, should be fun.
All three of you guys are going?
There’s a lot of us going, actually. There’s me, Ali, Dave, Pyro. A few of Pyro’s friends, maybe Robsux from Sydney.
Can you stuff me into a briefcase or something?
I want to go so bad, but I’m a bum, I can’t afford anything.
Well, save up from now! There’s still 5 months man.
Well I can’t even afford an Xbox man.
Five months, you never know what can happen in five months.
Oh yeah. In five months…I’ll still be a bum.
16) Any up and coming players in Melbourne you want to highlight?
H (Carnage) is definitely underrated, he doesn’t get talked about much, but I think he’s up there. Heavyweapons definitely as well, even though he’s known. He’s known, but he’s not as known as I think he should be. His knowledge of the game is very good. He knows a lot about the game. Cactus has improved has improved so much with his Dhalsim. And probably Wei. He just recently started playing again and he’s already placing top 4.
But all these guys are, you could say, old heads in Melbourne. They’ve been playing fighting games for a long time.
They have, but I don’t think they get as much credit as they should. But if we’re going to be talking about new blood; I think…what’s his name. That Makoto player. I don’t know his name.
You mean Andrew?
Yeah him. He’s got potential. He already knows how to do her kara grab, it’s good. It’s a big learning curve.
Yeah too bad he’s playing Makoto!
Yes you can say that, but pretty much practicing a character no matter what tier they are… Wildcat’s the biggest [example] of that, showing his Hakan. Just put in enough effort into a character, learn the matchups and they’re still viable. You can play them.
I was talking to him the other day, and he was like “Ah man. I’m going to drop Makoto. I’m gonna play Rose…”
He shouldn’t. He should play who he’s comfortable with.
And he also said after he watched Justin Wong versus Gamerbee, he was inspired, so that was pretty cool.
17) Who’s your Top 8 in Australia.
Toxy, Bomb. I count Akira, even though he’s kind of Japanese. Akira, Naruga, Heavyweapons. …Genxa. Is that seven?
Robsux, definitely. One more. Um…probably…I’m just gonna throw it out. I’m gonna say Exis. From how he started from Vanilla to now, like adding all the electricity, and basically all the links you don’t see most Blankas doing. So yeah, I’ll put [up] Exis.
How does Exis get so good, when every time I ask him “So have you been playing much?” And he’s like “Naw. Fuck this game. Play Starcraft 2!”
No he doesn’t play much. He only plays when he comes to my house, which is once a week, basically. But that once a week, what we do is sit in training mode and see what beats what. We learn from each other.
So the best way to get top 8 in Melbourne is to go to your house every week?
…No (laughs). If anything, go to Toxy’s and Naruga’s house.
18) Tell me the story behind the BAM combo video. The collaborators, everything.
Plaasia contacted me in July after seeing my previous combo video series. And he’s like “can you do one for BAM?” And I was like, “Alright.” And then I got invited by Maj…I got put in charge of the [BAM combo video] and CPS2 was a lot, a lot of help. I can’t give him enough credit for that. He asked Maj from Sonichurricane to help me, and Maj contacted me on my Youtube channel.
And from then, I made a thread; BAM combo video, and I told him what I’ve got so far, showed him what I’ve done. I started making about 8 videos on my own. Yeah, I just put them in, and they gave me advice on which ones I should keep, and which ones I should take out. And from then on, basically people chipped in, Dave’s editing kicked in, everything was going on right. And then I went for the other people like Desk. Everyone knows Desk; he was very, very helpful as well. Very nice guy. There was Combonauts, and GEOM Modinside as well. Really helpful people.
Wow. That’s like a Hall of Fame of combovid makers.
Yeah, basically. And that’s why I was honoured to actually work on it. And I can’t thank those people enough. Especially Maj. Maj was a whole lot of help. Maj and CPS2.
Yeah Maj’s a pretty nice guy (Shoutouts to Maj). Not only do we have players and organisers working together around the world, we have combo vid makers collaborating around the world. That’s pretty cool.
19) So what big plans do TEC and Shadowloo have for the Melbourne community?
Well the website’s getting bigger. More and more viewers are coming in, more and more people, visitors. More and more names… we’re good friends with Iplaywinner, Eventhubs, Shoryuken, big websites y’know? And basically we’re hoping to get to the point where we have enough sponsors and such to actually make people want to come? Someone like Daigo, someone like Gamerbee, the hype of the month. Someone like Wong, Marn. Anyone really. Tokido; any known name. I feel that Australia’s got what it takes to take to them. Toxy almost beat Daigo. Bomb almost beat Daigo.
After the first game (laughs.)
In general though. He lost in casuals…Personally Daigo does lose in America. But Daigo, the way he was playing in Australia, is a different Daigo to how he played in America. The guy did not miss a link. In Australia. I’m not joking; he did not miss a link.
I kind of agree with you…but why is that?
I don’t know. I personally don’t know. Maybe he was enjoying himself more? Maybe he can be more casual, more relaxed.
Is it our food or something. Our Subway has you know, the link juice or something?
(Laughs). I don’t know. That’s all I’m saying. I’ve always said, the way Daigo came here and played; he was serious. That was Daigo at his best. That was Daigo not missing a link, not missing anything at all. Any opportunity to do anything; he wouldn’t miss it. If you’re good like that with Ryu; you’re going to make it places.
20) You guys made an “I hate Blanka’s chips” video. Are you gonna make a “how to escape Breathless video”?
There’s no need to man! It’s pretty simple. Really the biggest one [to escape] is don’t jump! You don’t have to jump against Abel. Keep him on the floor, and just uppercut after the forward medium kick if you think [he’s going to do something]. Because that’s when the guessing game begins with Abel. After the forward medium kick. If you know what Abel’s gonna do and if you know he’s gonna poke anything? Uppercut it! Or do whatever special move you have.
But what if [the Abel] blocks?
That’s the thing, if you know that Abel’s going to block, then that’s it; you’ve got it in your advantage.
So making your opponent block is just as important as getting the counterhit?
Yes, in my opinion.
Very interesting. So what’s on the horizon, in terms of video content?
I’m working on a combo video at the moment. This one’s not going to be up for a while. I’m trying to make this a big in-game one. Six, seven minutes long.
(Talking about Shadowloo again.)
Just basically taking our scene, our name, to Japan, and to actually make people recognise it. Make them remember Shadowloo. Show them what we’re made of.
That’s what I wanna do. I want to go with the name Shadowloo – Sol on my name as a competitor, and I wanna win. I wanna win some games. I’m not gonna go over there [just] for fun, I want to be serious.
Go there for business.
So how do you feel about Juicebox, and Sanford Kelly and Yipes repping Team Shadowloo at Season’s Beatings? No matter how inadvertent the name connection might’ve been.
It was good! Good feeling.
Did you know they made Grand Finals?
Yeah they did, but they didn’t play it. Very strange, but yeah.
Yeah…it would’ve cool if like Team Shadowloo had won…
(Laughs.) If Team Shadowloo won.
21) Last thoughts, anything you wanna say?
Don’t underestimate Australia. We’re good. Personally, I think we are good. Just…sometimes some players, not really others…some people like Toxy and that, they perform at the highest levels consistently, but some players in Australia who are really good don’t yet; they buckle under pressure. But once everyone gets to the same level of confidence of other countries like Japan, I really think we’re going to be a big force to be reckoned with.
You’re the most optimistic top player I’ve talked to. I’ve asked Toxy and Somniac about this and they say we still have a long way to go.
Well look, obviously we’re behind. That’s a known fact. But if you look at the size [of the] population comparing us to America’s? They’re got thousands of players everywhere, man. We’re got what, a playerbase of fifty, sixty?
But here’s a question. How far is Taiwan from Japan…you get what I’m saying?
You wanna talk about the internet?
That’s another big problem. We’re nowhere near any other country. And when we do, we got shit connections. What’re we supposed to do?
Yeah, ‘cause you know, Gamerbee got that good by…
…playing the Japanese. I was watching the stream last week, and this Taiwanese Boxer player was searching in Ranked. And from one search in Ranked, there was Daigo on the list, there was Tokido on the list, there was Mago on the list, there was that Viper player, Matsuri, on the list. There was quite a few. If you have a list of like that to play every day; you’re gonna improve.
You got Daigo, you got Mago, everyday on your list to play? And apparently it’s lagless? Dude, you’re obviously gonna improve. If you don’t improve there’s something’s wrong with you.
So did you vote for Julia Gillard?
So you seriously think we could get a connection to Japan?
Heavyweapons can quote me on this; he showed me a match he played online against Sunset, the Sagat player from Japan. And for reason, Heavy comboed better in that match than in some other games (laughs). And at least it was not that bad a connection. And if we can get fiber-optics, which is very good, and it’s basically a straight-line wire, not cutting through blah blah, you’re gonna get a decent connection with the Japanese.
In vanilla, all I used to play was nothing but the Japanese. Because Internode had a low ping to the Japanese players. That’s how it is. You get a good connection, they’ll play. If they see at least a yellow bar; they’ll play.
Wow. That’ll be something. Like yo, I just played Daigo five minutes ago.
Exactly. I don’t know if Daigo out of all people will play you, that guy loves his execution. But I think you’re gonna be able to play that level of Japanese players. If you think about it, the reason Japan is so good; is because if you look at their middle calibre players [compared to] their high calibre players. People that begin the game train against them. They play against them online. You’re gonna improve by tenfold each week, even. Plus they share tips, they share everything. And that’s what I like about the Melbourne community; it’s quite similar as well.
Shoutouts to Melbourne, then shoutouts to Australia. Shoutouts to Ali and Dave, shoutouts to Shadowloo, shoutouts to TEC, shoutouts to Muttons, shoutouts to Toxy, Naruga, Heavy, Somniac, Exis definitely. Nickerz, Rob, Cactus…
(As if on cue, Cactus opens the door and comes through. “You guys still going?”)
Basically just shoutouts to the whole Melbourne community. Also final words; just watch out for Melbourne.
Nice. To steal something from Fighter’s Fury what about some rant outs?
Rant outs! Hm…well one thing I don’t like is when Daigo loses, not everyone should jump on the bandwagon and say oh my god he lost because of this, he lost because of that. You know the guy loses. Everyone loses. If they lose, they lose, plain and simple. They don’t lose for a reason…alright sometimes that might be a TV issue. But that’s not their fault, they can’t control that. And Daigo’s never actually that angry after a loss.
But that being said, there is something to be said about taking hype to a whole ‘nother level, and crossing the line of hype. Aka what a few people did [at Season’s Beatings]. Stuff like that. Maybe Daigo’s used to it. But a new player from Japan coming to these events probably won’t be used to it.
That’s what I’m saying. It’s not bad, hype is great, I love hype. But there is crossing the line. That’s basically saying stop the Daigo love, and sticking up for him every second, he doesn’t need it, but also don’t…upset the person.
I get what you’re saying, I really get what you’re saying but…But in Australia when Kientan beat him in casuals, when Daigo lost a round, when Toxy took a game…we cheered like CRAZY.
We cheered…yeah. Cheering’s fine. But going on the mic, saying stuff, I think that’s pushing it.
But look, I give credit to Marn and Andre. They beat him, and they played really well. They deserve the credit. And I don’t think it was necessarily it was them doing it, it was the crowd kind of? I think the crowd took it to another level. Just them in general was fine. But that’s the thing, the people are hating on the players. It’s not the players, it’s the crowd. The crowd got too excited, but you can’t blame them man. Street Fighter’s a hype game.
Yeah it is a hype game, but one thing I’m getting pretty worried about is that when you go to Youtube videos or when you go to any kind of Street Fighter media and look at the comments…
Yeah, that’s the thing. That’s what I mean. It’s the internet. Everyone’s gonna hate. Haters are gonna hate. You’re doing something right if you got haters.
Yeah I guess so, but what does it say about our community…I mean when somebody puts up something, most of the time if somebody likes the stuff they don’t really bother to comment right? But haters love to…
Haters love to comment.
I dunno man. I know people have talked about this before, but I kind of feel that if our scene wants to become like a big force in gaming…something’s gotta…I dunno…
What do we need? Is that what you’re asking? We don’t need that much. We just need…the way it’s going now, the more Chris’ Club Houses we have, the more Couch Warriors we have, the more meetups in general we have, the more people are going to improve. You got people in there now taking turns against Toxy. That’s more practice that you can [ever] get man. That guy is a genius with most characters; actually I’ll say all the characters. And you got Naruga as well.
Sorry I keep going on and on, but explain to me what makes Toxy a genius. What makes him Toxy? How come he can dominate the Melbourne scene like that?
He is almost flawless. I’m not going to say he is, but he’s very close to flawless. His gameplay in general. Any character he picks, he will know the safe jumping and what option selects they have on the jump in. Any character he picks. I don’t know how, but he just knows. He takes his Akuma gameplay which is his main; and he uses it on other characters, which works very well.
And then you got Naruga. And Heavy. Who are all very good as well.
So you’re saying Toxy is a really well-rounded player, and he has no weaknesses?
Barely [any weaknesses], I should say. Toxy on his best day, I think can play anyone. I think he can take on anyone in the world.
It’s interesting that you say that about Toxy, because I feel that when I ask him some kind of stuff, he’s like “Oh. I just do it.” He just says it like that. And I ask him “How do you do this really difficult thing?” And he’s like “I just do it.” And I’m like, okay, you just do it, but that doesn’t really help me much!
(Laughs.) That’s Mike, and that’s why we love him, I guess. Look, if you get Mike into a proper situation, proper area, where he wants to talk? He’ll talk. He’ll teach you. He will. He’s a good guy.
Having a good guy, plus a really good player is…Him, Naruga, are the main two in my opinion. They’re really nice, and they’re really, really good. And you got other people in the community, like Heavy. Heavy’s a really good person for the community to have. He speaks the truth,
I love his BAM commentary.
He speaks the truth, he will say whatever needs to be said, good player, and he’s smart with his words. That’s why I give him credit. I love him. Heavy’s a funny person.
Heavy’s a dude that you have to see in person to fully appreciate. That’s cool. Okay man, thanks so much Sol.
No problem man.