Hi guys, this is the twenty-third podcast that Spider Muttons Productions © 2010 have done, and in this we feature Melbourne’s own Antony “Antman” Nguyen!
Widely regarded as Melbourne’s best UMVC3 player, Antman has had a hell of a year since the release of UMVC3. He started it off by having a dominating win-streak at the SNLs at the start of the year, went to OHN and had a blockbuster moneymatch with KG, upset Tokido and DJHuoshen and got top 8 at Shadowloo Showdown, travelled to America for EVO and Curleh Mustache, qualified for SBO and beat Abegen to get out of the first round, and finally got invited by Ghaleon to go to Seasons’ Beatings to be on the World team. He might not even be at BAM because of that! But if he is, I for one am looking forward to see who can claim the crown in UMVC3, and I would also love to see if anyone can beat Arnold’s godlike Morrigan.
In this episode we talk about all his travels, his history as a fighting game player, and how he got to his level. And of course, since it’s a pre-BAM special, we also did some predictions and callouts!
Also, if you listen to the podcast, you’ll realise that I am doing the introduction solo. This is because Igor has once again retired from the podcast, to focus on other real-life commitments. While I’m sad to see him go, I completely understand and am very grateful for the stuff we’ve done together. In any case, he will still be present in spirit (and in gear, because he lent me the recorder for this podcast.) And who knows, maybe he’ll come back someday.
So I was unsure whether to continue the podcast and shut it down for good. But Antman going to SBO proved to be too much…of an interview bait! I couldn’t let it go. So I grabbed Gab “Gabneto” Ferrada to be my co-host, and we did the recording at an SNL two weeks ago. I’m extremely happy with Gab, because he’s a confident speaker (unlike me) and also knows a crap ton about stuff I don’t, namely Tekken! And he offers a lot of insight into characters like Vergil, and Morrigan, characters that he plays at a high level. So big thanks to Gab.
Big thanks to Rossco for a extremely buttery banner, thanks to Dave and Sol for letting us use their office/photography, and also thanks to Xavier for his shots of their time in America. And of course, cheers to Antman for taking the time to sit down with us!
You can find Antman on his Facebook.
For Direct Download, right click this link and “save as”
Muttonhead: How you doing Antman? Good to see you.
Antman: I’m doing really good man! Haha. It’s pretty cold but it’s good. (Rubs hands together.)
M: How long have you been back for?
A: I’ve been back for…as in like, what do you mean like in back?
M: From America. From Japan, sorry.
A: From Japan, ah okay. I was in Japan about two weeks ago, and yeah. Been back since then so been…I’ve only been travelling there for like five days just for SBO. So I didn’t spend too much time in Japan. So…yeah.
(My phone rings. Yay for professionalism. Antman continues:)
Yep, so um…
M: So yeah. Why don’t you start the questions… oh! Before we continue, our co-host today in the place of Igor…
Gab Ferrada: Is Gab.
M: …is Gabneto! Heheh.
G: Gabneto who doesn’t even play much Marvel anymore. Doesn’t deserve that name….
1- G: What’s your history with fighting games? I remember that I used to play Tekken with you but…
A: I would say my history of fighting games is…I started playing fighting games when I was like thirteen- back in high school days. I used to go to Highpoint and play at the arcades. I used to play like all sorts of random games. Like I wasn’t really good at the games. I just really enjoyed playing fighting games. So I started playing X-men vs. Street Fighter. Back in the days where Toxy was actually playing as well. So I used to see Toxy all the time playing X-men vs. Street Fighter and trying to learn how to play the game as well. Ever since then, I’ve been moving onto games like Gab said. Been playing Tekken for a long time as well. Played it since Tekken 5. Been in the Tekken scene for close to about…I would say a year and a half to two.
So yeah, been playing in tournaments. I was quite consistent in tournaments. I then, after 5 DR, the game just basically died down, so I just stopped playing Tekken and now I’ve been moving onto Marvel, so.
M: Ah, that’s really interesting.
I didn’t realise that you guys used to play Tekken together. When was this?
G: Oh we did. We got here [on my notes] that you won a team competition, was that the one where you, me and Johno teamed up?
A: Ah no…actually…
G: Or was that the other one. Because I remember there was a few that they used to run back in the day.
A: Yeah definitely. If you’re talking about the Highpoint tournaments, I actually used to team with the brothers- Diego and Alex.
G: Ah yeah! That’s the one.
A: I used to win tournaments with them! I used to win tournaments with them, so yeah.
M: So are you going to get back into Tekken once…
A: (Before I even finish my question) Yes I am. Definitely. Yes. I’ll be getting back into Tekken Tag 2. That’s where it begins again.
G: Got a team planned up?
A: Ah yeah. Forrest Law and Law.
M: (Laughs.) That’s sharp. That’s sharp.
Oh is that why…I mean I had a little birdie tell me that you were thinking of retiring from Marvel after SBO. Is that why, because you want to move onto Tekken?
A: Yeah, I was thinking of like, slowing down my pace on Marvel a little bit. So I don’t actually play games as much as I used to anymore. So that’s why I usually come on Sundays, to get my game kind of back up again. But it could be a chance…I’ll probably stop playing Marvel a bit and just moving onto Tekken for something different. That I actually enjoy a lot, so.
M: So is that because you’re getting slightly bored with Marvel? Or, is it just because Tekken is your first love or something.
A: Ohh. It’s something that I like, man. Like Tekken, ever since I’ve been playing that game, I have so much passion for that game that I wanted to keep playing it.
G: I should mention that he had a really, really dirty Law.
G: You don’t know about Tekken too much, but after a wall combo he would always hop over their body, hit them back turned with a low jab, and then a launch, wasn’t it?
A: Yes. Yes. Launch. Either that or I can sweep under your leg as well. It’s a free launch combo.
G: Yeah. It was really, really dirty. And effective. Because you’d still…if you didn’t hop over them, then you’d land in front of them and have the wall game basically anyway.
G: So yeah. Really dirty.
A: That’s the reason why I liked 5: DR. Because the game wasn’t really balanced, it was just dirty altogether for any character in that game.
G: Yeah. Pretty much.
M: That’s pretty interesting because another thing that’s prominent in our scene is the split in the Tekken community right? Like the rest of the fighters, and the Tekken community’s off to the side.
G: It’s more because the Tekken community is really arcade-centric.
But that’s also because of how Tekken ports have generally been uh…pretty shit.
M: Right, right.
A: Yeah I agree. Definitely agree.
M: But yeah, if like our top players like Antman starts picking up Tekken, maybe with the two scenes, maybe they’ll come to meet in the middle and come to accept console? I don’t know.
G: Yeah. Well so far this version that’s coming out, Tag 2, does seem better than what the previous ones were. And also because more people outside the…let’s just say solely Tekken community interested in…there’s more opportunities for it to grow.
G: It’s definitely a bit different.
A: I just think the difference between that is… they love the arcade scene. That’s the bad part about it. Like because we’re gonna be playing on consoles we don’t know if they’re going to come down for that. Because like, the good thing about the arcade you get to use your card. With the customisations and the battlepoints and stuff.
M: Ah right, yeah.
G: That’s actually a really big thing.
A: It is, it definitely is.
M: Okay so I mean, this is kind of like “the year of Antman”. I remember- do you remember back in Shadowloo Showdown 2 where Tokido and Mago blew all of us up in Marvel?
A: Ohh! That’s…yes.
M: And then Ultimate came out, and then I remember that’s around the time that you started coming out and winning SNLs and beating Toxy in the grand finals and…
G: Not just winning SNLs, winning what was it? Seven or eight in a row?
M: Yeah seven or… it was a win streak.
A: Yeah I had quite a streak like…I think twelve nearly?
2- M: Yeah, so what caused this jump? Like before Ultimate you were still pretty good, but then you jumped out to be like the best in Melbourne.
A: I just…I just worked a lot harder. In vanilla Marvel I didn’t think I had that talent coming through. I didn’t know if I was ready to step up my game or not. Like, I learned some cheap stuff. But it wasn’t gonna help me win. So I needed to learn how to block…and like mix-ups properly. And when to position the setups and everything.
G: Speaking of that. That’s actually one of the things when I play against you that I find is really quit good, and that’s your positioning. That it’s actually hard to catch you in the first place.
A: Definitely, yeah.
G: So in that sense, it’s like your defense has improved, in not necessarily in terms of blocking, but simply in getting anywhere near you in the first place. Not where you’re able to get in and out on your own terms, at least with the players here.
M: And then you dropped Wolverine and picked up Vergil which…(Laughs.)
A: Yeah! It’s now even more dirtier than…yeah.
M: Heheh. From dirty to dirtier.
A: And I kept Wesker since Vanilla as well. And then my favourite character- Hawkeye. Yeah.
M: Oh yeah, tell us about that. Hawkeye, obviously his level 3, is your namesake. How did you get your name. Did you use that in Tekken as well?
A: Ah I didn’t actually use that in Tekken. I just used to call myself Antony pretty much. I just started having a nickname after vanilla Marvel. I just used to call myself by my original name. But I just felt that Antman suited me.
I’ve always loved that character man, it’s awesome.
M: (Laughs.) Ah, that’s really cool.
G: Actually speaking of your team, okay. How do you feel that it is, in terms of tiers.
A: In tiers, I’d say high tier. But not the toppest tier. Like Zero, Zero May Cry teams. Like Zero, Vergil, Strider. Or Morrigan, Doom, Akuma like Chris G. Those kind of teams are definitely better than the team that I have, so. Yep.
M: Mm. I also notice that- when I see at SNLs and things like that, you don’t really play that much casuals right? It seems that you prefer to lab at home…so how do you get so good without…
A: Ohh…It’s actually…what happens is I actually like to play once in a while. But it actually makes me feel better, so I don’t like burn myself out. Like straightaway, if I keep playing too much, my mind sets out differently.
So I can just go into it like a tournament. Just playing a little bit, just practice my combos. Just make sure they’re all good. And then yeah, just play my gameplay, so.
M: So what is the main part of your practice? Against your brother or?
A: I’d say…probably lab. Yeah, I’d say, practising combos. And like he said, positioning, make sure you know what characters like, what they’re supposed to do. Say like Morrigan or Vergils and all that. What’s punishable or not. It’s all sort of things that I need to practice on, so.
G: So do you read up on much technology then that other characters have so you know how to deal with them?
A: Ah yeah, I actually watch a lot of videos. That’s how I get better. I watch a lot of streams. So that’s the reason why I actually learn how to block their kind of setups. Because you expect the opponent to do something like that to you. It’s mainly guessing as well, so. But yeah I definitely like watch a lot of mixups to make sure that I know what I’m doing, so.
G: How about like…with all this practice would you say that it improves your muscle memory…
A: It does.
G: Because that’s something really important I find in Marvel, and that’s just to be able to…any hit that you get to confirm into a combo.
A: Yeah definitely it does. On the line mode [unsure] I actually practice on the dummy till I jump. Make sure when to position. Like if I get an anti-air, if I know how to confirm from half-screen or against the wall. So I practice the combos all over the screen to make sure where I’m positioning so.
G: Yep, cool.
3- M: Followed by that you went to OHN and then there was the big money match with KG! So tell us about that.
A: Yeah I actually came through. Because I was actually not planning to go to OHN that day. And then got this call-out on the forums.
Saying that I was free…I was quite disappointed when he said that. I was like, he hasn’t seen me play yet, he’s already calling me out. So I was like, I’m not really gonna back down on it. So I definitely told my brother that I wanted to do this money match. And all the Melbourne community guys just told me to told it, make sure you win.
And yeah, so I just went down to Sydney. No pressure. I know I did bad at the tournament. That’s the part that I didn’t like. In the tournament my mind was just thinking about the moneymatch the whole time that I just lost after three rounds. So I got eliminated pretty early in the tournament.
Then with the moneymatch all I thought [about] was beating him.
M: What was going through your head during the match?
A: During the match? I was actually quite shaky at the start. Because I’m thinking; he’s playing Wolverine. Like I’ve played this so many times, but Wolverine can just like get you in with Akuma the whole time. It’s really hard to block. So my gameplan was just to play my gameplay. Like, if I see him going in, I’m going to just keep turtling him until I find a decision that he’s gonna do Berzerker Slash out of nowhere. And I can just punish him. Or with a random dive kick that whiffs, then I’ll just punish him from there. Yeah.
G: Did knowing his team though…what was it? Err…
M: Wolverine, Wesker, Akuma. Heh.
G: Okay so not even we’ll say an optimal form of that team. Did you knowing this team let’s say better than…didn’t he pull out at one point Dormammu?
A: Yeah definitely um…
G: So knowing his first team like as well as you do, did that help in your moneymatch?
A: It did, it did. Yeah. Because I was actually watching him play my brother in a tournament. So I was actually studying his gameplay. So I knew he was a rushdown player. So I definitely knew that he doesn’t like back off and just walk away and turtle for a bit. Wait for something like whiffing or like he could just throw random supers.
Yeah so his gameplay was definitely rushdown. But then the whole time everybody was telling me that he had like a new team for me and Toxy as well for the moneymatch.
But it actually turned out to be worse than his actual Wolverine, Wesker, Akuma. So I don’t know why he changed that team around. So.
G: He was full of shit, that’s why.
A: Yeah, I guess so, yeah. It did cost him the game though, so yeah.
M: That was so hype. I think that was one of the hypest things that I’ve ever seen. I think it was a combination of several things.
One was that every state was sleeping on each other.
A: Yeah definitely.
M: Nobody…only Melbourne knew that you were winning SNLs, and the rest of the states were “who is this guy?” and we were like, “who is this guy KG?” (Laughs.)
A: Yes! So we definitely didn’t know how good we both are until we played each other!
G: You gotta give respect to KG, okay. He did win regionals in what, Perth, ACT…
A: And Canberra! (Laughs.)
M: So yeah, that combination of that unknown factor really made it hype because everyone thought they were the best, basically. (Laughs.)
A: Yeah, definitely, yeah. At least he backed up his words and played the moneymatch, so.
M: Yeah. And I remember watching the match and I was thinking that: “Man. I would be exhausted if I was Antman.”
Because I remember watching you, you were popping off after every single match you won! (Laughs.)
A: Yeah. That was like the biggest moment of my like, entire life of playing in a tournament or in a moneymatch. I’ve never felt that emotion…
G: So it’s your number one highlight, you would say?
A: Oh no, number one highlight’s still Tokido, yeah.
G: Ah yeah!
A: My adrenaline was rushing, I didn’t know what to do.
G: Ey ey, but we’ll get to that!
A: (Laughs.) We’ll get to that.
G: We’ll just say, only just like Australia in terms of locals…
A: Australia, in terms…
G: That was your highlight.
A: Still the highlight, yeah.
G: Okay, great.
M: So before we move onto after OHN, just tell us what you think about Arnold, and OHN- the finals.
A: Ah okay so. Coming through OHN I was just wondering what kind of talents that Queensland or like Sydney or like WA, what kind of talents that they all had. So it was good to see…I was playing one…when I arrived there, because I arrived late so I didn’t get to play on Friday. So I arrived on Saturday morning and just had some casuals with some Queensland players. I can see some improvements from some new players I played like Baxter whom I’ve never seen before. And I was playing the old players like Jim. And like Tom. They’re all solid-ass. I didn’t actually get to play Arnold until the 5v5. And then I was wondering…the guy’s so good. I’ve never played a Morrigan in my life. What am I supposed to do to this guy. So basically he just kept keep-awaying me.
So I couldn’t do anything. Like once I got in I just kept getting hit, for no reason. And I was just thinking; this guy’s gonna be one of the best players I’ve ever played now. Yeah he’s definitely a new talent for Marvel as well.
G: Do you ever wonder how good he can be with Morrigan considering that he does play pad? And an X-box pad?!
A: Yeah. An X-box pad, yeah.
M: And he only uses female character so he can’t use Doom. With Morrigan.
A: Yeah. He can’t use Doom missiles as well, yeah.
G: That’s his choice, okay. We’re talking about Morrigan alone.
A: Morrigan alone, yeah. His Morrigan alone is really good. He has that Trish assist that traps you so you can’t jump over. Like once he’ll back off the trap is like right in the middle of the screen so you can’t really jump in. And he’ll just keep throwing fireballs. And his movement on his characters are real good. On that pad as well, it’s really good.
M: So have you considered since Arnold’s going to be a major threat in the Marvel scene for a long time, have you considered any anti-Morrigan tech or teams?
A: Ah, I’ve been trying to study the Morrigan matchup. Because ever since I went to Japan I played this guy called Gottsu. And he’s a Morrigan player as well. And I learned a lot of things from playing against him. I thought that would be a bad matchup when I played Wesker with that as well.
So basically I just kept waiting for him to fly up in the air. So I’d dodge his fireballs, so I’d be underneath. Once he drops down I have the Hawkeye assist still there. So I can just jump over with the Hawkeye assist with the teleport and just catch him off-guard. Because once he’s on the ground, I don’t think where to block or not.
So I can just make him guess for a bit, so.
G: What is this guy’s team? Morrigan and…
A: He plays Morrigan, Strider was anchor. And Wesker. As second.
G: Ah okay. So…just to add to that, one of the things I’ve noticed with Morrigan teams, the ones…there are pretty much two different Morrigan builds. Morrigan with Doom, and Morrigan without. And they play completely different.
A: Definitely, yeah.
G: Yeah. And like, even with Arnold’s team that he plays so well, I’m honestly scared to think how he be if he was using Doom. Because, what’s his team again? Storm and Trish yeah?
A: He plays Morrigan, Storm, Trish.
G: Yeah. I’ve seen Morrigan and Storm used effectively. Like using shenanigans to get unblockables and whatnot.
A: Definitely, yeah.
G: But yeah. Just…just putting it out there that it’s very different in terms of playing against them.
4- M: So moving on chronologically, the next one was obviously SS! So tell us about that hype!
A: SS, I came into SS practicing nearly every day. Soon as I got home from work, first thing I’d be like turn on the PS3 and start practicing. Because all I thought about was: I need to redeem myself from OHN, from what happened in the tournament. I didn’t even get to the next state of the day to play top 8. Which I was devastated [about] as well.
So my plan at SS was to get top 8. That’s all I wanted to do. Even though I had to play good players like Champ in my bracket as well after I got out of winners. And like I just knew that I had to come through losers somehow if l lose to Champ.
M: Speaking of Champ, I noticed that, what was it Thursday when they came over, you played a ton of casuals…
A: A ton of casuals, yeah.
M: So did you grab anything, and did you learn anything new?
A: I actually did grab a lot of things. I realised my blocking was terrible. I never blocked overheads. Because people I would say around in Australia don’t have the technology to dash in so fast and overhead you out of nowhere.
M: You mean Magneto’s overhead.
A: Yeah, Magneto’s overhead, yeah.
I had no experience with Magneto. Like I played players like Low Blow and stuff. Like, when you play against Champ it’s just something different that you’ve never seen in your life until you play it.
And he’s got like that Doom missile just coming down on top of you. So you can’t really do anything because he locks you down, so. So I definitely learn a lot about how to block, and like, how to dash underneath his missiles, which I used against Tokido.
I tried to study something against Tokido when I knew I had to play him in top 8 in losers’.
G: Oh yeah, they play the same team. Or at least, Champ’s older team was the same, yeah.
A: Yeah. And Champ gave me some advice as well. And we were playing another thirty games after that as well just to get me ready to play against him. So Champ definitely helped me out, yeah.
M: Yeah, regardless of whatever Champ might be like, I think in person he gives a ton of helpful and good advice right?
A: Definitely he does. He told me like there’s a thing when you play against a Phoenix team, what you’re supposed to do is kill the first character without snapping it up. So you have the second character that can only build meter on his own. So he can’t really like TAC like into Phoenix or anything, which is pretty risky.
So what you do is you kill the first character and then you just snap in his Phoenix. So if you don’t kill his Phoenix he has to switch back to Doom anyway, there’s only one character so it’s hard to build meter. So that’s actually a pretty good strategy that he told me, so.
G: That’s actually pretty smart.
Because thinking about It as well, it means that Doom wouldn’t have an assist anyway, so.
A: Yeah definitely, that’s a good strategy that I thought as well.
M: Yeah, yeah. Especially for Champ’s team. Knives was saying that a lot as well. Did you learn anything from Knives?
A: Yeah naw man, I learned a lot from Knives. That guy is crazy man. I’ve never played someone so good with Spencer and like using the drones with it. Yeah I have to block so many things, that I’ve never seen ever as well.
G: Were you surprised at someone actually using Sentinel effectively as well?
A: Yeah definitely man, his Sentinel was really good.
M: Yeah, his other two characters are pretty underrated right?
G: Oh Akuma’s not really underrated.
M: No, I mean his (Knives’) two characters.
G: Ah yeah, yeah.
A: His two characters, yeah, very underrated.
But yeah he does have a very good Akuma as well. Like he uses a lot of the demon flip in the air to get away from things?
Which is a really smart thing. That no-one does. I’d say him and Justin Wong are the ones that usually do it.
G: What about the other Americans that came? Did you get to play against them very much?
A: Ahh…the other Americans…I did get to play Justin Wong. Because I had all the five Americans stay over at my house for the first day after the Box Hill tournament.
G: Oh nice.
A: I played casuals with Airtola, yeah we just played for like a couple of hours. And then Champ came in as well, I got to play with him more. Justin Wong, I did so bad [against him.] That’s why I was a bit worried when I had to play him in the next round after I beat Tokido. Yeah because I played him in a first to five and I lost to him 5 to 0.
A: Yeah he was too strong.
And it was good to play Huoshen as well. Like, it was a different feeling knowing that Huoshen came last time, and we completely got destroyed. So we were thinking, have I improved enough now to actually beat Huoshen.
M: Right, right.
G: And you actually eliminated him to get into top 8 right?
A: …Top 8, yeah.
M: And nobody was watching! It was only me and Fish was around.
A: It was actually him and Stef, they were just like right at the back, just watching the whole time.
And like my hand was shaking because I didn’t really want to play Huoshen because he’s a good friend of mine. And I was thinking through my head: can I really do this and beat him. To make it to what I want to do, to make it to top 8.
And I ended up playing very good, so. It’s like the best I’ve played in a long time.
M: Yeah I watched that, and Huoshen was so sad when he lost man. He was like…
A: He was actually quite devastated, yeah. I was actually quite sad for him as well. I didn’t want to see him coming from America and just lose. He didn’t qualify to make top 8.
M: He’s a really good guy.
A: Definitely a good guy, yeah.
M: But going back to Jwong, what separates…because I haven’t seen Justin play casuals. I saw you play Champ, I saw you play Knives, but I haven’t you play Justin.
What separates Justin from the other Americans?
A: The separation from Justin to the other Americans I reckon is his fundamentals. He’s the smartest…I reckon one of the smartest players around. Like, he will know what you’re gonna do and like he will know how to counterpick you as well. As soon as he sees the one thing, you can’t ever use the same trick again. Because he will just punish it straightaway. So that’s the one thing that I reckon why, when I play against the other Americans, that separates from Justin Wong, is his fundamentals and his blocking as well, it’s really good. Yeah.
G: And wasn’t he using Wolverine, Storm, Akuma?
A: Oh actually when he played against me, he actually used the Felicia team. Felicia, Nova and Frank West. And he completely destroyed me still.
G: Because in terms of his team, like even though it’s got Wolverine and Akuma, it’s not nearly as dangerous as what it was before. And I know that in the fighting game community leading up to EVO that people were saying, oh is he gonna pick up a new team? And obviously he did.
But at that point his team would’ve been…
M: It was too early.
G: Let’s say weaker then Champ’s, maybe even weaker than Knives’ one. And so yeah, his fundamentals obviously are a huge difference compared like to him and other players who have arguably stronger teams.
A: That’s correct. That’s known for Justin Wong as well to play low-tier teams. He never plays top tier teams, ever. Like you never see him play him as much…
G: Whoa whoa whoa…
A: …until he plays like Wesker…
M: At least in Marvel 3…
A: In Marvel 3, yeah. If we’re talking about Street Fighter and stuff then he does play top tiers. But then with Marvel, after losing a lot, knowing that he needed to find a counter pick team for other teams, he finally jumped onto a top-tier team with Spencer, Vergil and Frank West. Which is a good idea.
M: Good-ass team.
G: We’re missing someone. Marlinpie.
A: Oh Marlinpie! Yes.
Aw to play Marlinpie was definitely a pleasure man. That guy’s been my idol for a long time. Ever since I’ve seen this guy play Vanilla man…
He does the things that you’ll never see in your life. Like he does something that it just gets you really hype. To play this game.
M: So hype. I’ll never forget watching him live man. That was…
A: Yeah, same man. Definitely.
G: The crowd. FOOT-FOOT-DIVE! (Laughs.)
M: FOOT FOOT DIVE! (Laughs.)
A: And he brings out the swag yeah. He’s got the best combos I’ve ever seen.
M: Too bad he came late. I mean you guys didn’t get to play against him in casuals right? He came on the Saturday?
A: No I didn’t…
G: Heheh. He was my second opponent in the tournament and he bodied me bad! (Laughs.)
A: But yeah I did get to play Marlinpie in casuals. I actually did quite well. I did get about an about 40% rate of winning. I actually probably got close to 50%. So I did pretty well.
The thing about him is I actually struggle against his Ammy. He was telling me that as well.
Like he even told me when we were playing and we would be getting 50-50 wins, and he was telling me I think I know why you can lose so much. Because it’s the Ammy.
Because what I do is I use my X-factor on his Viper. Then I kill his Doom. And then when he has level 3 Ammy.
M: He comes back.
A: I don’t know what to do to it. Because he will slow me down and the time just keeps clicking and he keeps beating. He would do instant overheads and I don’t even know when to block. And he’ll do the infinite sword loop. Yeah.
So yeah, I think I struggled with his Ammy. Then after he told me that I actually tried to snap his Ammy in. It was actually a great idea. That’s when I started winning more.
M: Yeah, his team has a similar weakness to mine. If you snap in Ammy and kill Ammy…that’s team’s synergy just combusts into…
G: It’s basically a one assist team.
M: Yeah, yeah.
A: Yeah definitely. So to kill Ammy at first I reckon is a good idea. Cos that’s where Doom gets even stronger. With the THC combination, he can just get in for free. And you can’t really do much except block.
G: Would you consider him the best Ammy that you’ve played?
A: I’d say the best Ammy I’ve ever played. Yeah, definitely.
M: He’s the only Ammy to win a major so far.
A: That’s actually quite true, yeah.
That’s a good point there.
G: So obviously now, Tokido. You want to tell us all about it?
A: All about this feeling? Okay.
Coming into top 8, I was thinking in my head, okay this is it. Make or break. Can I actually win a game in top 8 now. With all these good players.
To play Tokido, I was just thinking, I’ve played Champ so many times. I know I’ve been getting wrecked by Champ every single time. But then he’s something different compared to Champ though.
The way he plays with his team is keepaway. He will use disruptor and keep on the missiles. So what I did is I kept waiting for him to use missiles. That’s when I started dashing in. That’s when I found gaps in between his moves. That’s why I always kept getting happy birthdays when I played him as well.
M: Oh so you were waiting for the missiles?
A: …Waiting for the missiles.
So I was dashing forward slowly, then I’d teleport forward. That’s when I could punish both of them at once. Yeah.
A: Yeah. And what I was doing is I was staying at that range. And everytime the missiles kept coming I kept teleporting down so it would miss the whole thing.
M: Ah, that’s so smart.
A: Yeah. I already thought about strategies while I was playing, yeah.
M: Ah, did you come up with that on the spot or you like…
A: I actually came up with that on the spot.
M: Ah, that’s sharp. That’s sharp.
A: It did came through my mind. Because I kept thinking that missiles don’t track you if you go all the way down from the top. So I just kept teleporting down as soon as the missiles kept coming from the top.
M: That’s pretty sharp. I wish I had a teleport. Damn you, Wesker players.
A: (Laughs.) It does do well yeah. Because I do think he’s a really good player to beat…Doom, I would say, yeah.
M: And do you remember anything from the last round? All I remember was- Wesker super. (Laughs.)
A: Ah Wesker yeah! And the one thing he kept doing is killing my Vergil. I didn’t even get to use Vergil once on him. It was just basically Wesker the whole time. But in that first game he completely destroyed me as well.
Then in the second game I was just thinking: this is make or break now. He’s coming in to start dashing and jabbing me. So what I have is to use is X-factor. I basically killed off his Magneto. And then snapped in Doom. And then I killed his Phoenix. And I was just wondering, this is it now. This is where I can actually come back. I’ve killed his Phoenix, he can’t do Dark Phoenix anymore. Then I actually did the level 3 onto his Magneto as well. Now I was thinking: Doom now. This is where I’m really good against. Because I’m good against most Doom players. Because all I can do is keepaway the whole time. And every time he kept dashing in I had Hawkeye to back me up.
G: Mm. Solo Doom has so much trouble against that shit.
A: He does, he does.
A: He has a lot of trouble with keepaway.
M: Yeah. Doom can’t fight a good zoning team by himself.
A: Yep. That’s correct. That’s why I felt confident as soon as I had his Doom alone. I was just thinking, okay, maybe I can do this now. Yeah.
M: And then when you won, the whole room broke into a chant: “Antman! Antman! Antman!”
M: And then Shadowfox ran from the commentator’s booth all the way to hug you, and I was standing in the corner and I was laughing my ass off!
Oh man. That was probably the hypest moment I’ve ever had in my life. Like, winning the match I was just going crazy. Like, I can’t believe I won. Yeah. Best feeling ever.
M: (Laughs.) That was crazy, yeah. Alright, that’s SS covered. Do you want to move on?
5- G: Let’s see. What happened after SS. I guess that would have been training and then going to EVO.
A: Yeah so after SS. Everyone was just asking me, like the Americans, you should really come to EVO man. You can do pretty well there. You can start showing yourself, represent Australia.
So I was just thinking, yeah, I can give it a shot. I just need to save my funds and everything from work, and see how I go. And yeah, I was just talking to the Melbourne community guys like who would come to EVO and stuff. And yeah, Somniac asked, hey we should we should go to EVO. We should have a really good adventure and see how it feels. He wanted to take me for my first time because I’ve never been to America as well. So ever since I’ve figured I was going to go to EVO I started training a lot. Practicing at SNLs and labbing it for an hour at home just to practice my combos, make sure I don’t drop them.
M: So when you went to America, I think Xavier (Somniac) was telling me that Kevin (Cameraman) took care of you right?
A: Ah yeah, Singapore Kevin. Yeah, he did. We actually stayed in a hotel with him for seven days. And yeah he showed us around LA because he’s been in LA before. So he showed us a few things. It was really awesome.
M: Did you get to get any long sets…Oh and you ended up on the Cross Counter, the Broken Tier sets, right?
A: Yeah! Actually, the first day when I got to America as well, I went to the…the Runback! Because we arrived there in the afternoon and like we just stayed at the hotel and hung out a bit. And yeah, we’ll like, let’s go to the Runback. Why not? Because it’s today. So yeah, me and Xavier went to the Runback, like haven’t played anything, we just played a couple of casuals with random players. And yeah, we just felt like yeah, we’ll join the tournament as well. So um, with my first match I had Wentinel. So I was like, a top player already!
A: In my first round!
I was just playing and then Somniac was like “You’ve got this. You can do it. I know you haven’t played any casuals at all, you’ve played like two, three games.”
And I went into the game playing my gameplay, like I always do. And then I realised that we both play Wesker on point! So this is like, you don’t know what is going to happen now! He has a Magneto disruptor and I have a Hawkeye!
M: Yeah, yeah.
A: So all I did was stay on the top of the screen the whole time.
A: Until he whiffed something then I just kept going in. Yeah, so the first game I did take and then the second game he did beat me. And then the third game it actually came down to my Hawkeye vs. his Magneto. So I kept outzoning him so I actually got the game, so.
Then who did you play after that?
A: After that I actually played some kid, I think he played a Spider-Man team, but it wasn’t Covina Kid. It was someone else. He was quite solid as well, but yeah.
After that I would say, after a couple matches, after I got to my fourth round, DiosX was the tough one.
A: Yeah, that’s when I played on stream.
G: He knocked you into losers’ right?
A: He put me into losers’ yeah. And then I had to basically run through a long losers’ bracket. Because it was actually a 128 man bracket.
G: I wish we could get that for weeklies! (Laughs.)
A: Yeah man it was actually quite packed in there man!
Like, because I thought the Runback was actually huge. And then I realised it was just a normal arcade, it’s not too big.
G: Oh yeah? Oh geez.
M: Yeah so Xavier told me about that, and I was wondering, where do all these people…do they just stand around the arcade? Like outside?
A: Yeah they basically stand around the arcades. And there’s like plasma screens outside of the door.
A: And they can watch it as well from outside.
M: So they cheer from outside. They’re like…
A: Yeah people just chilling, smoking and watching. Yeah, from the outside.
M: That’s pretty cool.
A: That’s pretty awesome yeah. I really like the idea of that.
M: California weather.
G: Nah, time to give a hint to Ali and that. Heh. Get some screens outside.
A: Get some screens outside, watch. Maybe some benches.
G: Okay, wait a second, nah. No screens outside. We’re in Footscray.
A: We’re in Footscray, you don’t want to lose those!
M: That’s true, that’s true.
G: There was other events before EVO though as well. Wasn’t there the Curleh Mustache?
A: Yeah the Curleh Mustache, yeah. We got an invite, me and Somniac to the Curleh Mustache. Ah yeah man, every player there was too good. Like, I had to play my first game against Royal Flush, you guys had to watch it on stream. Like I had…I was thinking through my brain: this guy’s got an unorthodox team. I’ve never played this team before. All I know is the Viewtiful Joe mixups. Because I played Stef all the time and Stef’s quite solid himself. So I learned a lot from him. But after when he came back from 2 to 2, I was just thinking, damn. I could lose this after like doing so well the first two games. And like the last game he accidentally did a Thor twirl and I accidentally hit him. And that’s when I started coming back. And then it became between his Thor and my Hawkeye. And I was just thinking: Thor has so much life. What am I supposed to do to this? Keep chipping him all the time?
G: That’s actually correct!
M: You need like ten gimlets to kill him.
A: Ha probably about ten gimlets! Haha.
G: Who was the big names in your pool again?
A: Ah okay, the big guys in my pool. We actually had three guys that I thought were a threat in my pool. Of course Yipes was definitely the one. He was the top seeded in my pool. Then we had Ponce that I just recently played in Curleh Mustache, he eliminated me from the tournament. And it was such a close game as well. It came down to our last characters 3-2 and he won. And I had FrankieG. He eliminated me from EVO, so.
M: What team did he play?
A: He played Wesker, Dante, Vergil. I lost to level 3 Vergil, so.
G: Ah okay. Dark Vergil.
A: I lost to Dark Vergil, yeah! I accidentally did something wrong that I lost a game. I accidentally switched in my Vergil after doing Maximum Wesker and he killed him off first and I was like, I got no comeback now. And so I basically just lost the game.
G: Actually that brings up something that I wanted to know your thoughts on. Do you think more people should be snapping Vergil in?
A: Yes definitely agree. Because you don’t want to keep him at X-factor level three because that’s where he’s too dangerous.
G: But even if he’s second or something.
A: Or second.
G: Because I find that his, we’ll say his options upon entering, is pretty much Helm Breaker or not.
A: Helm Breaker or not, that’s correct. And when he’s meterless, he’s terrible, to be honest. His footsies are not as good. He’s got a lot of unsafe moves, like he can just whiff a move and just die for that.
G: And he basically gets stronger the longer the game goes on.
Because he’ll have more meter or stronger X-factor. There’ll be less for him to have to deal with.
A: And he can combo off meter as well, like no meter, he can just use Devil Trigger and just combo off that.
G: Yep, exactly.
A: It’s unbelievable, yeah.
G: So, go on about that, but it’s still good to know your thoughts about that.
A: Yeah, definitely.
So my pool okay. I played my first game against…I can’t remember his name but he played a Hulk team. So it was Hulk, Sentinel and Haggar?
I was just like these characters…
G: Team Bigs? Heh.
A: Team Bigs, yeah. I was just thinking, damn, I know what to do against this team now. Just keep shooting him in the air with Wesker!
A: And then um, I played him in the first game, he got really annoyed. So I just kept killing him with Wesker. Like, the two games went straightaway with just killing with Wesker. Kept gunshotting him the whole time.
G: So you got him salty-as.
A: Yeah, I did, I did.
Because I had to play him in losers’ as well. And he actually did a ragequit.
G: Oh! Serious?
A: Yeah he did. After like I kept doing the same thing with Wesker and kept shooting him, he basically gave up and just pulled his stick out and just walked away.
And I was just like…okay. Fair enough.
G: Hey hey to be fair, if he doesn’t know how to deal with that and he’s gone to the biggest tournament in the world…
M: Yeah I see what you mean.
G: Yeah. You said that Frankie G eliminated you, yeah?
A: Yeah he did.
G: Tell us more about that then.
A: Basically I don’t know what was going through my mind. I wasn’t playing my best, because I was so angry at myself for losing. Because like, when I played Yipes, I thought I had him. Because the first game was completely in my way. The first game when I beat him, I was thinking, man. I can really beat Yipes in this tournament right now.
Second game in my mind, he just X-factored my Wesker. He thought that was the trouble. And he just like…basically as soon as I did one jab, he just X-factored and killed my Wesker. And I was like, ah okay, he knows Vergil now. So what am I supposed to do now.
So I tried to do some random mixups but he blocked everything.
So it didn’t go too well my after he killed my Wesker, so. In the third game it came to one of our last characters. I had Hawkeye, he had Spencer. I was like, aw, this is a very bad matchup for me. So. Then he just did one bionic arm then I just died.
That’s really interesting. Yipes actually said, oh I don’t mind Vergil. Lemme kill Wesker first?!
G: Well if you look at it, Spencer can actually bloody bionic arm swords on reaction. That is like a huge thing.
A: He can, yeah. If it’s close to quite mid-screen he can punish it with bionic arm, yeah.
G: Mm-hm. And that definitely limits what Vergil can do safelt.
A: Definitely agree, yeah.
G: Because like, swords has what? 14 frames of recovery?
A: About 14 frames, yeah. A lot of supers can punish it, yeah.
G: It’s just that a lot of supers will be beaten out by swords if it’s physical, or the swords will actually cancel it out unless it’s beams or projectile. So we’ll say out of the high tier characters, Spencer’s among one of the only ones with something practical to punish it.
M: His arm is 7 frames startup.
M: 11 frames invincibility.
G: Well there you go. That would explain a bit.
A: It does explain it, yeah! Heh.
G: So Yipes knocked you into losers’. And against Frankie G, was that to qualify for the next stage?
A: I would actually qualify to losers’ finals…
G: Ah, so you lost in losers’ semis.
A: I lost in losers’ semis. To win that, I would have to play Ponce.
And I was actually quite comfortable…I was thinking if I beat Frankie G, this could be a good chance to make it out of losers’. But my mind wasn’t set. Ever since I was losing to Yipes I was just like, damn. There’s no point now. That’s all I wanted to win.
M: You wanted to beat Yipes.
A: Yeah. And basically when I played against Frankie G, I just basically played out of my zone and out of gameplay. I didn’t even like keepaway or anything. I just went in and lost my characters like that.
That’s one thing I really need to learn, to stop pressuring myself. Even though you lost, you can still come back and win.
But yeah. Didn’t go my way at EVO, so yeah.
M: Mm mm. But yeah, speaking about Yipes, Yipes said that, was it on twitter? He said that he felt that you had a lot to learn. What do you think he meant by that.
A: Ah, basically I think blocking, I would say. When he said that, he was actually playing me at the Broken Tier sessions, he was using Nova. It’s the same thing that happened with Champ. I couldn’t block overheads properly.
M: Oh overheads.
G: Oh nonono, but that’s worse, because Nova is pretty much all overheads. That’s all you have to worry about. He has like one viable low!
M: Yeah heh. (Laughs.)
A: And then ever since he said that, I knew that I had a lot to prove to him at EVO. Which I did. So I gave him a really tough game to go through, so yeah.
M: Did he play his Nova team?
A: No he actually didn’t, he played Spencer, Vergil, Hawkeye.
And I knew that team quite well. Because there’s Hawkeye…and Vergil…
G: Heh yeah. That’s two thirds of the same team as you. So yeah.
A: And Spencer is one of my weakness characters to be honest. That’s one character that I struggle against him so.
M: We have a fair few Spencers in Melbourne. We have Burnout…
M: Mike is playing Spencer now as well. Toxy is playing Spencer.
A: Yeah we got a few people playing Spencer now.
G: If anything it’s simply the amount of threat that Spencer has though. Like Yipes’ one compared to any of the Spencers here.
A: Especially when he’s got that Hawkeye assist at the back.
G: Yeah, or even let’s say the guardbreaks…
M: The guardbreaks…
G: Things like that.
A: And he’s got a command throw. That hurts a lot, so.
M: I never would’ve thought that Vergil assist would be so good for Spencer. But it is!
A: It’s awesome, it’s so good for Spencer! And Zero!
G: You’re tempted aren’t you? Heheh.
M:….naw, I won’t play Vergil. (Laughs.) But I mean, that such a top tier character like Vergil, that his assist would be so good another top tier character like Spencer…
A: Gets him that 80k extra…(Laughs.)
M: Yeah heh. 80k!
G: So how about the rest of EVO. Like outside of the tournaments, what did you think about it?
A: Oh it was awesome. I had a ball there. Getting to meet all the players that I’ve been watching for a long time on streams. Everyone was friendly. And yeah we were just playing some casuals. Yeah, didn’t play enough casuals though because EVO was like quite busy. And after EVO we just went out to eat. And like hanged out with Huoshen and stuff. Because I stayed with Huoshen and the Maryland boys. So yeah, got to meet their scene out there.
M: Did you play anybody that really surprised you in terms of how strong they were?
A: Umm…I’d say probably…because I didn’t play enough casuals to actually know who was the best player I played throughout the whole entire time I was in America. But all I can say is there’s solid players everywhere. I’d say probably Yipes was the strongest one, I’d say.
M: What do you think is the difference between the American level and our level? What do they do differently? How far apart are we?
A: Ah, their defence. It’s on another level!
That’s the thing that I really think…like when it comes to the rankings of the world in Marvel, I think the US is easily, by far number one. And number two could be any country, to be honest. Because I’ve been travelling to Japan as well. And to me, we both lack on defense.
When I play against the Japanese they couldn’t block as good as I expected.
M: Is it because the Americans have that Marvel 2 background?
A: Yes, I would say that. The Marvel 2 background does help.
G: Yeah. They’re the only country that really took it super serious. And obviously no matter how different Marvel 3 is…even though it’s different, there’s some things that are the same. And that’s that really fast-paced bullshit.
A & M: (Laughs.)
G: It’s like, what the hell just happened? I got a character killed? Oh crap. You know?
M: Yeah. I think we had this conversation before. Like Street Fighter is a game of ranges, and Marvel is basically a game of “do your gay stuff before the other guy gets off his gay stuff.” Right?
A: Yep. (Laughs.) I agree with you there!
6- G: Anyway, you were talking about the Japanese. Maybe a good time to talk about SBO?
A: Okay SBO. As soon as I left my hotel with Kyle and stuff, we’re just thinking, how far is this place from our hotel and Kyle…
G: Ah yeah. Wasn’t it like a train trip?
And I was like, are you serious?
A:…Kyle was just…oh. It’s about two hours.
Two hours to get to an event?
A: On a train. In hot weather as well. The weather down there is terribly crazy. It’s the hottest thing that I’ve ever felt in my life.
M: Worse than the summer here?
A: It’s actually worse than Las Vegas, to be honest. And Las Vegas is a desert.
G: What, is it really humid or something?
A: It’s really humid and even when it rains, it’s humid rain. So you would feel so hot when the rain gets on you. It’s so weird.
G: So what did you think of it being outside then?
A: Being outside is the worst thing I’ve ever been to. To be honest.
A: Did you guys hear about the little creature on the machine.
M: Oh yeah.
A: It’s like a cricket. I’ve never seen it in my life.
G: We heard they were inside the cabinets.
A: Inside the cabinets, and I was talking to Dieminion and he said a frog jumped on his leg!
A: And I was just thinking, what kind of creatures could come this time if I was playing! I’d get some…like a bird or a pelican like they say, flying somewhere….
M: (Laughs.) That would be godlike if Filipino Champ was playing and a pelican came and obstructed his view…
M: And he lost…
A: Hahahah. Saying, damn you Pelican!
G: So there was a lot of people tweeting about it, like even Justin Wong and that. That there was glare on the screens. And there was no real sort of thought put into…oh okay we got these screens outside. And they’re not covered or anything.
A: Yeah. And like what happened apparently was that the first day was really terrible, which I didn’t go to. But the second day apparently they tried to sort a lot of things to make it [better], to stop the glare. I had no trouble with the glare to be honest, when I went in there. Because they had some cardboards on there!
A: Like on the sides and on the top! And I was like, are you really sure this is really gonna stop the glare? So I put my seat so close to the screen to make sure I could watch the play.
A: Haha. But yeah, the tent was pretty good. But yeah, SBO, I thought there would’ve been a bigger crowd. Like, they had so many chairs set up in the background and there’s no-one even there.
G: Maybe because it’s so damn hot.
A: So damn hot and it’s too far for people.
Because most people would live near like…around the other side of Tokyo. So it takes people like two hours to get there as well. Yeah.
M: That’s sad, that SBO has kind of like…come down to this.
A: Yeah, it is quite sad. Because I really think this event is really good. I just think they should really put in a better venue, like an outdoor event…sorry an indoor venue, sorry.
G: To be fair, they’ve had indoor venues before. And typically, they find some way to fuck it up.
A: Yeah I understand, yeah.
G: Like last year there was that whole thing for AE. Well, I’m not sure if it was AE at that point, but Street Fighter…actually it was AE. Yeah, with the Banana Ken and stuff.
But that had nothing to do with the venue. That was their…
G: That’s what I mean, that it’s like bad organisation.
M: Ah okay, okay.
A: That was what I was worried about as well, if I came to Japan, this could happen to me as well. Saying that oh, I had to play someone to qualify now to get in.
G: Yeah, that would’ve been really bad.
A: Yeah, it would’ve been devastating for me as well. Like, I was watching last chance qualifiers, there was a lot of qualifiers. Because it was free when you actually pay for your registration to get inside the venue as well. But yeah, the price to get in is actually quite expensive to get in. Apparently, it’s 70 dollars, Australian dollars, to get inside the venue.
G: On top of the price for the trip to get there from Tokyo.
A: Oh, because I spent like thirty dollars to get there. On train tickets.
A: The prices are quite expensive! So you’d spend a hundred dollars to get to an event. And it’s outdoors, in the heat.
M: Which is like single elim.
A: And single elim! You could just play one game, and oh! Time to go back to Australia now!
G: Not just single elim, single elim, best of three.
A: Best of three as well.
M: Imagine if it was one game, single elim Marvel. Oh my god! (Laughs.)
A: Oh no…I would have been devastated! But the funny thing is it would have actually been in my favour because I actually won my first two games against my opponents!
M: Oh yeah, yeah.
So on a totally unrelated note, you stayed with Kyle, did you?
A: Yes I did, I stayed with Kyle.
M: Did you manage to play online Marvel on…
A: Oh yes I wanted to try it!
A: But we didn’t get to try it…
A: Because we were at a guy named Matt, he used to live in Cali as well. He lives in Japan now, I wanted to try his online, but he was already asleep so I couldn’t get to try it. It was like me, I was staying with Mihe and Jan and stuff, we were going to try it out for fun.
A: Yeah. See how it is, yeah.
Because I heard from Kyle, what he says, because he plays at home sometimes, he says the online’s good. So yeah. And he plays on PSN, so yeah.
G: Mm hm.
M: Online Marvel being good. Imagine that!
A: I really wish it would happen in Australia, man. I would actually be more motivated to play at home if the online worked better.
G: It would actually be a legitimate way to get some more [matchup] experience.
A: Definitely agree, yeah.
M: Because the main problem with Marvel here in Melbourne is…yeah you can’t play online! Because it’s ASS online!
A: Haha. We got the worst internet.
G: Hell yeah.
A: Okay so my first game I had to play against Abegen.
G: Ahh yeah, that’s right.
A: Yeah. And I played Abegen at Matt’s house. And that’s the first thing what I did, when I got to Japan. Went to sightsee for a bit. And yeah, I got an invite Frieda to come hang out with the Marvel community from Japan. So basically went to their apartment to play.
M: Oh, nice!
A: And yeah I was actually quite comfortable playing against Abegen. Like, I was just like oh. I really know how to play against his teams. He does struggle to block. That’s what I realise. His defence is lower than most players that I’ve played. Like, he’s not very good at blocking, so.
M: So would you say that the Japanese have really good tech and setups but they…
A: They have tech, yeah, that’s what I realised. Their offense is something different that you won’t see from Americans. They play like unorthodox characters that you’ve never seen before.
M: Right, right. Like Thor [grab] super into She-Hulk [air-grab] super. (Laughs.)
A: Yeah! That stuff is the best stuff I have ever seen. When I saw him dashing down with Thor, I was like, what is he going to do?
Command grab into another command grab!
I’m done. Haha.
M: (Laughs.) That’s hilarious.
A: And like Kyle was like, that is the cheapest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
G: Still, you got to respect that level of bullshit.
A: That was my bad though. What I could’ve done, is probably like dash back with Wesker or like Maximum Wesker because you can’t grab off that.
M: Oh yeah, you could’ve done that.
G: I dunno, might’ve been caught by She-Hulk’s one. It has some invulnerability.
M: It does.
A: It does? Yeah, probably would’ve been caught by She-Hulk then.
G: But even so, it’s better than not doing anything.
A: Yeah. Because I didn’t expect that because he didn’t actually do that when we were playing casuals! So I didn’t know what was coming.
M: So he saved it for the…
A: Probably saved it for the…
G: What’s that term? Save that shit for nationals? (Laughs.)
A: Yeah you gotta save that shit for nationals.
M: So in this case you’d save that shit for the outdoors…the jungle. Heh.
A: Yeah! For the jungle. Hahah.
M: But okay, that’s cool.
A: But yeah, I was comfortable playing against Abegen as well.
G: And you beat him what, 2-0?
A: I beat him 2-1. 2-1.
So the second game I actually stuffed up. I accidentally pressed Wesker, I mean Vergil. I should’ve have…I would have completely lost that game anyway because I would probably been disqualified for that. Because I didn’t realise I had Vergil in front because I had Wesker in front. And then the third game when I came into it, I played my normal way. And I played with Wesker and I had all three characters alive. So I just beat him with Wesker so.
G: That reminds me, about how you accidentally pressed a button, what was it that…they only had their own sticks that you could use?
A: Yeah that’s correct, they had their sticks.
G: And no Mad Catz sticks right?
A: I was actually playing Mad Catz but it was a Soul Calibur one. It felt like a Hori as well. The TEs. But they didn’t feel like the same sticks that I play. So I asked the Japanese guys, can I test it out before I play the game in a tournament? So I played it for like five minutes and tested it out.
I was like, I’ll try to get used to it in a match. But yeah, it was definitely out of my comfort zone to play on a different kind of stick that I don’t usually play on.
G: So after that, who did you play after Abegen?
A: And after Abegen I knew I had to play Frieda. And me and Frieda played a couple of games in casuals as well, and it kind of went like 50-50. I went, oh yeah, this is gonna be pretty tough. Because it’s Zero, of course, Zero can destroy you like that.
And he had Magneto level 3 and Dante in second. So my plan was just to kill his Zero as fast as possible. So.
It turned to be wow, I actually killed his Zero every single game, but it was level three Magneto. And I’ve never been swept so much…I kept not blocking low for no reason.
G: Mm. Too much chicken blocking there.
A: Yeah. What it was I think I was just not focusing on the sweeps. I thought, when I had him, I just pressed a jab with Vergil on his level 3 Magneto. I knew he was going to X-factor guard cancel.
So that’s when I jumped. And that’s when I realised, I’ve got to air grab now. I didn’t use my meter because I wanted to save it for swords. And then I accidentally called Hawkeye and then he killed both of them, happy birthday.
M: Oh yeah, yeah, I remember now.
A: I was so devastated. I was thinking in my head, what the hell did I just do?
I could have just won the game. I already did the one thing I wanted to do, which is waste his X-factor. So I screwed up the game plan.
Because what I could’ve have done is after I threw him, I could’ve have just chucked on swords to waste some time.
M: I think, when we were watching here in the Shadowloo HQ, Mike- Toxy was shouting out, do super! Waste his X-factor.
A: I actually didn’t want to do that because I would have no meter.
M: Ah right, right.
A: And I wanted to use it for swords. To guard myself for a bit.
M: But I mean, having said that, it’s still been a hell of year. You’ve been to EVO, you’ve been to SBO…
A: Yeah, I wanted to do something for Australia as well. To pass first round as well.
M: And you did!
A: Yeah I did, and the Tekken guys as well! They made top 8! Which I was really happy for. I wish I was there to see it because I didn’t go the first day because I heard it was too hot, so.
A: And too far as well! So I was just like, oh. I’m only here for another four days. I might as well sight-see for the whole day with Kyle, so.
M: So is Japanese ramen really that godlike?
A: Ah, Japanese ramen’s so sick man. And I went to many cities like Harajuku, Shinjuku. And I went to Akibara which is where the arcade centers are at, like the Sega arcades and stuff. So fun to go, so.
G: Is there a lot of VF there?
A: Yeah, they have VF, they have Persona. They have like twenty setups of Persona just aisled up.
G: That’s like huge there now isn’t it?
A: Yeah, and like Tekken has like another thirty setups.
M: Damn so SFIV is actually the…
A: SFIV is actually quite huge itself but you have to play at Shinjuku where all the top players play.
M: Ah right right.
G: Ah okay. So it’s like each region has their own thing.
A: Yeah they have arcades everywhere in Japan so.
M: So where do the Japanese Marvel players play? Do they play online or?
A: They play at the Final Roundbat. So I’m not really sure where that is. But yeah I was speaking to Scott Popular, basically he does all the ranbats and all sorts. But yeah he organises it at his events once a month. But I’m not really sure where they held that, actually.
7- M: Okay then now, the next step is, the thing that is coming out is BAM, or Seasons’ Beatings, which I heard you’re invited to.
A: I was invited to Seasons’ Beatings by Chris Ghaleon, the owner, and he told me, we want you to come to SB. And we want you to be on the World Team for the 5v5 against America.
And I was just thinking in my head, oh this is a nice moment. For me to go to something like this, and show what I’ve got. Do I deserve this spot to go on this World Team to play against the US? Yeah. And in my mind I was thinking like, I’ve been to so many trips, how am I going to off work?
M: Oh yeah, the money…
A: The money issue is probably the most problematic because at the moment prices are quite expensive to fly to America at the moment from Australia. So.
M: So you haven’t decided yet?
A: Haven’t decided yet. I don’t know if I can make it. I really do though…this would be a good moment for me to actually get my motivation to play more Marvel again. Because I don’t really play as much anymore.
And yeah, it would definitely help.
M: Because, selfishly,if you don’t go to SB, the other thing that I’m looking forward to is the Melbourne vs. Queensland 5 on 5 in Marvel at BAM! So.
G: Considering that it didn’t get done at OHN.
A: At OHN yeah, no time and all yeah.
M: And at Buttonsmash, Tom’s not there. And you’re not at Buttonsmash. So it’s like we don’t have the complete 5 on 5? I’m not sure if the Queensland guys are coming down for BAM but…
A: It seems like from I’ve heard that they won’t be coming down. Probably two or three but it doesn’t include like their best players and stuff. You really want it to make a perfect 5v5.
M: Yeah, a perfect 5v5 right. I really want that to happen, but I’m not sure…
Yeah, we have too many majors! I’d never thought I’d say that. (Laughs.)
A: Yeah and most people won’t travel interstate as well. Just time issues and stuff.
G: It might also be that Buttonsmash is right at the beginning of September, and then you got BAM at the end of September. Two in one month is probably a bit much, you know. And it was always going to be difficult considering the…we’ll say that’s that Melbourne vs. Queensland thing to still be settled, so….I don’t know.
M: Well maybe if we can’t do 5 v 5, we can do a 3 v 3? And have…I dunno. We’ll have to see.
A: 3v3 would be good as well. But that’s kind of like a tournament format, kind of thing.
A: If you want to do an exhibition, 5 v5 would be so good. I can already think of the 5 players that we can put in that’s so strong. Like for Buttonsmash, even if I’m not going, I really think that they have…
M: Yeah, tell us your five!
A: The five that I reckon?
G: Actually, how about your top five for Melbourne, your top five for Sydney, your top five for Queensland.
Ay ay, I know finding top 5 for Sydney is hard…
A: Oh no no no, no harsh to them. But I really know their best character- their best player.
G: Give us the top five that you would consider for Australia.
A: Okay. So…
I kind of feel…I don’t want to be biased or anything. Let’s start off with Melbourne. Like, to me I really reckon that I probably have the best placings in most tournaments. That I really think that I’m probably the best player here in Melbourne. And then to me, for second, I really think for some reason Stef probably can be there.
Stef really something that…
M: Really unorthodox.
A: Really unorthodox, yeah. And people can’t handle it.
A: When I play him I struggle to handle him as well. And I can find gaps. Like last week when we played at SNL he was in winners’ bracket, and he was so anxious to win one of these tournaments for the first time.
And I devastated him with a 6-0 loss, so.
A: Yeah and coming back from losers’ as well, from Somniac beating me 3-2 so I had to come back through losers’. And third I really think Somniac is there.
And we got Toxy at fourth. And fifth…to be honest it probably be…
A: Probably Fish or Burnout.
It’s be a snap in between those two.
M: Just which Zero you prefer, you know? (Laughs.)
A: Yeah. It’d be hard to say fifth, but the top four that’s what I really reckon.
M: Alright. The fifth spot we’ll just put: Zero.
G: “Zero. User.”
Then what about…if you’re hesitant to say about Sydney and Queensland…
G: You could just say notable players.
M: Australia top 5 or whatever.
A: Australia top 5…Oh Queensland is really hard for me to say, but to be honest I really reckon Tyrone’s their best player.
A: After seeing from SS Tyrone performed the best, and he looks more solid that the Queensland guys by far from what I’ve seen. And with Sydney, Arnold’s their best player. And probably KG right behind.
And for Australia to make the top 5 team, just say if we had to go to an event in America or something. I’d put myself. Arnold. Tyrone. Probably between Stef and Somniac as well in there as well maybe. Or probably Toxy could go in there as well.
And from Queensland, I haven’t seen the improvement from the other players like has Minh improved, has Tom improved? Or like the other guys. But they are quite solid but I don’t know about the top five spots to be honest. Yeah.
G: Yeah, there’s not quite as much um, we’ll say media, that comes out of the other states anyway. So it’s hard to see exactly where they’re at.
A: Yeah, like I said, I really wanted to come to Buttonsmash because I know that Queensland has so much to prove now after SS. Like I know they’re a lot better than they expected to be.
But I just really think that Melbourne has really stepped up their game so badly that…
M: So much, you mean.
A: So much, that we’re going to get so good now at this game. But we just need like quality of players to learn the matchups and stuff. And keep on practicing.
G: You know what you gotta do, you just got to randomly call out someone in a moneymatch and get them to actually get their arses down here for BAM.
A: I know what you mean, yeah. That’s the only way you’re going to prove yourself. Like…
G: Exactly. It’s like, you throw down the gauntlet.
M: So yeah, if you were to throw down the gauntlet. Who would you throw it at?
G: At. Yeah.
A: Um…If I had to throw a gauntlet…this is no hate, but to be honest the only player that I would have such a great match is Arnold.
M: Yeah, exactly!
G; That’s actually what I was…
A: After OHN man, that guy is…I realise that this guy’s got some talent man. I’ve never seen this in my life.
G: Actually even at SS, didn’t he just miss out on top 8?
A: He just missed out yeah, he lost to Zak Bennett to make top 8, yeah. It was quite devastating for him as well.
But yeah, Arnold’s just a solid player man. To be honest I really do think this guy still could be one of the best in Australia.
M: Yeah. I would love to see that money match. The battle for the number one spot…
A: Yeah, and we got Queensland as well. After SS I really think that they’ve been playing this game so hard. I know they’re probably just as good as us but we don’t know how far they’ve gone.
M: So yeah. That’s why I mean when I say if you don’t go to SB, I selfishly think that might be a good thing. Because I mean you say you’re the best in Australia right? But so far for example you haven’t won a major yet, and the SBO qualifiers didn’t have much interstate players coming down. But if you win BAM, that’s like a definitive thing to say.
A: Definitely, yeah.
M: You won a major where there’s no internationals at, so it’s like the Australian major, so that would be a good thing for you, definitely.
A: But yeah, I just hope these players will just come down. Hopefully we get to play this match because…I dunno, I don’t see myself as the best player yet, I see myself as a top five player in Australia.
M: Right, right.
A: But I don’t know, I really want to prove to myself that I am the best. If these guys come down we should just play first to tens, see who does it better, see how it goes. It would be good to see, if I don’t go to SB, then BAM is where it’s at, at the moment.
G: So does that mean if you can’t make it to SB, you’re really going to focus on getting number one at BAM?
A: Yes definitely, agree. I will definitely want to win BAM, because last year Toxy did stop me from coming first. I got second at BAM. And I really want to win it this time. So yeah. I want to win my first major. So this is finally an Australian major that I should be winning.
8- M: So are you going to make any changes? For example you and Toxy have problems with the Hawkeye assist whiffing on the shorties right? Are you going to switch up your teams?
A: I’m actually staying with my team man, we got Toxy changing over to Magneto. So he actually played it last week with me. So yeah he played it in tournament, practicing his Magneto, making sure it’s up to scratch to play for BAM. It was quite solid, but like he said, he needs more time with Magneto. Because you can’t just pick Magneto on the spot and like…
M: Yeah he requires time to get down.
A: He does, he definitely needs time to get down.
G: Magneto is like Marvel Ryu. Okay?
A: He does, yeah yeah.
Ryu does take a lot of time, but people think it’s easy to use Ryu but it’s not.
M: Easy to learn, hard to master, so.
G: I was thinking more along the lines of that…he’s the sort of baseline in everything?
G: Yeah. Heh. Play Magneto.
M: (Shakes head and laughs.)
A: He’s got a good team man, he’s playing Doom Ammy! That’s the best combination to be honest.
M: Everyone keeps telling me to put Spencer on point.
G: Look, you know…
M: See, he’s going to start doing it right now. (Laughs.)
G: Nah nah. You go Magneto okay, and then you know what you do to whatever character? It doesn’t matter. You snap-back.
You bring in Ammy, and you kill her. And then what happens? Doom Ammy doesn’t exist at that point.
A: That’s correct. That’s why what Marlinpie said…you snap in Ammy, that deals with the problem, pretty much. Because Doom won’t have an assist to back himself up with. He’d have to play it alone.
G: Not to mention that Magneto’s snap-back is a freaking pimp slap.
What the hell else do you need?
M & A: (Laughs.)
G: (Mimics the pimp slap motion.) Bsychhhh.
(Mimics Magnus.) Get outta here.
A: I still like his voice in Marvel 2 though!
M: So yeah. If we’re not talking about changing teams, what characters do you think have yet to be explored that could potentially make a splash?
A: To be explored, I really wanted to learn Magneto as well. I’ve been talking to Gab as well. Like maybe give me some time to teach me how to play Magneto. Because yeah, I really wanted to learn that character. Because yeah, I really wanted to learn that character. Because after looking at everyone’s team, I really reckon that Wesker, Vergil and Magneto is the strongest team.
In my eyes, because I like to use Wesker and Vergil. And I reckon my Hawkeye is slowly getting better but he has so many bad matchups that Magneto can deal with. But if I use Magneto it would help me a lot.
G: Not to mention the damage output with Magneto on that team is stronger.
A: A lot stronger yeah. Because it doesn’t scale so yeah.
G: Mm hmm. You got an OTG hyper that means you’ve got more flexibility, better way to get Vergil in. You know.
It’s a different kind of bullshit.
A: Yeah definitely, I agree.
M: Yeah but that means that you and Mike will have the same team again! (Laughs.)
A: Yeah…Mike…that’s kind of been a thing, ever since I’ve joined the community, me and Mike have played the same characters in every game nearly.
G: Pretty much, yeah.
M: That’s kind of interesting.
9- I think that’s mostly it. Any last thoughts on your year? The year of Antman?
A: Oh, the year of Antman, oh. No it’s been a good year. I finally have something that I can prove myself in a game. Ever since I’ve joined the fighting game community. I’ve always wanted to keep getting better and better. And that’s why I’ve come out to these events. To meet the nice people that we have in this community. And get to play with. And yeah, just hope the event managers just keeps going man. Wanna just keep getting better and better.
M: The decade of Antman. (Laughs.)
A: The decade of Antman! One day it’ll come there. Heh.
G: Hey hey, and then it’ll be the legacy of Antman.
A: The legacy of Antman. But yeah, you’ll see my return in Tekken Tag 2. Hopefully I’ll get good at that game. And hopefully Gab joins as well. Because Gab was there for one of our top players in Melbourne back in the 5 days, Tekken 5.
G: You going to attempt to take Tag 2 at BAM as well?
A: Tag 2 at BAM? If I get enough time to play, then yes I will enter.
G: Because it is going to be released a couple of weeks beforehand.
A: Yes definitely, yes. I will definitely join into the team. So I’ll be in that tournament.
G: Good on you.
A: So hopefully you guys watch me play Tekken, see how you go.
M: Yeah. From my perspective, having seen you come into the scene, it’s really been really nice to see new blood sort of grab that spot. I wish that would happen with other games as well.
A: Yeah definitely. Because Toxy’s always been our best player. In every game. And for me to stop him Marvel is a good thing. Like…
M: It just makes all of us better.
A: Yeah it makes him hungrier to win as well. He really wants to focus on this game, finally. To beat me as well. It’s good that people want to have that pressure on them, so.
M: Yep. So I guess, one last question.
10- Predictions for BAM. Go.
A: For which game?
M: For Marvel.
G: Any, any game.
A: For AE…Sol.
I really think Sol.
For some reason Sol is so good every week now, I really think it’s his time to win a major now, so.
M: Yes. He had that really bad luck at last years’ BAM. So it’s like karma that’s his turn right?
G: And you know that he’s not just gonna walk off.
M: And Mike hasn’t won a BAM yet (for AE) as well, so I know he’s hungry to win this year.
A: Yeah Mike would definitely want to win that. Because he’s won Marvel last year. But AE would be good as well. Because AE’s probably the main game of BAM as well.
And then we got Marvel. I really think I’m going to win it. I really think I’m going to focus as hard as I can, to make sure that I win. If I do come.
But if I’m not here I really think Stef and Somniac or Toxy. Either of those three to win.
G: So you think it’ll be taken by a Melbourne player.
A: It’ll be taken by a Melbourne player, for sure.
G: Okay. Let’s see. What other notable games do we have?
M: We have KOF…
G: I said notable games.
M: (Laughs.) So harsh!
A: We got Soul Calibur, I dunno. I don’t know the Soul Calibur scene.
G: Soul Calibur’s died off a bit. Let’s see.
G: Yeah, Tekken. If we have visitors from Sydney, they’ll probably win yeah?
A: Yeah they’ll win, and other than that we got Aken here. And Aken’s probably gonna…
G: Oh yeah! Aken!
He actually took the tournament that was on yesterday.
A: Yeah it was. And Aiken has a good history man of playing Tekken. Because back in the Tekken days when I used to be there I used to play the RMIT tournament when he came. And I got to see his Kazuya. And his Kazuya is on another level.
G: He still does counter hit down forward to electric.
A: I don’t know how he does that. That is unbelievable.
G to the Tekken noob Muttons: Relevance. You know how the sidesteps? This move tracks both ways sidestep and on counter hit it gives plus 13 I think. So it’s a one frame link into his fastest launcher.
Which is a just frame as well.
M: So he’s anticipating sidestep and punishing it with something that leads into a one frame link with massive damage.
A: It does a lot of damage. Since it’s a tag game now, so.
G: It’s basically…there’s a lot of stuns in this game, but this is full launcher off a stun. So it’s chunky.
A: Yeah so this is definitely one of the hardest things to do in the game.
G: Yeah, and he does it consistently.
So you think Aken will win Tag 2.
A: Aken will win, following by behind I really think it could be Dion or.
Dion and Chinese Jack- Talons.
Those two are definitely one of the best players that we have in Melbourne at the moment. So. Yeah.
G: One last thing. There’s still a few more new games coming out. Aside from Tekken, there’s obviously Persona. Any interest in that?
A: Yes I do have an interest in that. I really like this game, it’s so fun. It’s actually quite an easy game to play. I just wish the release came out earlier so I can actually play at home more. Because I really want to get into this game, so.
M: It’s not going to make it in time for BAM is it?
G: Yeah, nah. Don’t think so.
A: No it’s not, yeah.
G: Let’s see, what else is there.
A: Got Dead or Alive 5 as well.
I see no interest in that game to be honest.
G: Yeah okay, what about Guilty Gear?
A: Guilty Gear I played the last series, I don’t think it suits my game style. But maybe if I had to play a bit more maybe I might like the game.
G: Uh, let’s see. What else is there.
A: If we’re talking about x Tekken, don’t worry about that! (Laughs.)
G: Don’t worry I said new games.
G: Injustice? You’re not going to get that?
A: Probably not, no.
G: We didn’t get MK here anyway.
And let’s see. I know I’m forgetting something. Oh. Playstation Smash brothers.
A: Yes! Definitely going to get into that game! Looks so sick!
Yeah I reckon that’s going to be bad.
M: When is that coming out?
G: Like October or something?
M: Can you uppercut and throw fireballs in that game?
A: Yeah you can.
G: It has Dante.
A: It does Dante. The newer version of Dante.
G: It has Heihachi.
A: It has Heihachi, Kuma.
It’s got all these characters that it’s going to be so exciting to play Smash Bros style. Yeah.
G: Is that it for fighting games?
A: Pretty much it yeah.
G: So basically it’s only really Tekken that you’re really interested in.
A: Ah definitely. To take another game seriously I really want to get to the top on Tekken again. I have so much to prove in that game. I know I dropped the game for a long time, but I really want to pick up the game again to get better and better.
Hopefully it won’t take me too long to get to where everyone is at the moment. So yeah.
11- M: Any shoutouts you wanna make?
A: Ah, shoutouts to you guys man for the interview as well. It’s a pleasure.
M: Cheers man.
And yeah shoutouts to the Melbourne community man. These guys have helped me a lot with the Shadowloo Headquarters where I play every day, to practice. Every day this event’s been open, it’s been a pleasure to be here. To play with the people that are so awesome. And shoutouts to all the trips like…the Japan Marvel scene. They’ve helped me a lot as well. Throughout being in Japan. And the American guys as well from SoCal. And the guys that I’ve met in America. Shoutouts to them as well.
M: I think that’s it. Thank you very much Antman.
A: No worries man, thank you very much man.
M: Cheers man.