Today, we focused into characters and meta revolving around them. For this, we had Boom and PartyWolf from America; Aelz and Skyll from Europe; and Shen Cahn, TheKura and Yuttoto from Asia to answer the questions!
Today, we have a little twist in standards we had in place before: To properly represent different Asia communities, Shen Chen (Singapore) will be accompanied by TheKura (Korea) and Yuttoto (Japan, big kudos to MaiMai for taking care of this!)
And here are today’s questions:
When you see your opponent locking a character on a select screen… Do you think more about facing the character – or the player behind it?
Aelz: It’s usually both, I think about my match-up knowledge on this specific character and what I should be wary of : What kind of spacing is preferable, punish I should expect, what am I allowed to do in this MU… Then I think about my opponent and how he pilots the character in question, what are his habits, if he is aware of the MU, what kind of tempo he applies in a match…With all those information combined, you can create a gameplan to better counter your opponent. If you don’t think about those 2 aspects, you’re more open to be surprised and cheesed.
Boom: For me, it depends on the player. Opposing characters give me a baseline of the tools to look out for/good tools to use, but as far as how my tools are executed versus my opponent is totally dependent on my opponent. I guess it’s a bit of both, but mainly the player.
Shen Chan: At the end of the day, it’s a fighting game. Knowing the MU well can only bring you so far, it’s always against the player ultimately. If you can beat the player and ignore the MU, that will always be the ideal situation.
Party Wolf: If I am at character select for a tournament, I am usually focusing on myself. I think that it helps more with mental alertness, since you have time to remind yourself of what mistakes you tend to make. The character and player doesn’t really matter until I see their interpretation of the game on that day. Players are ever-changing, so you could have a general idea of what they like, but you could easily get surprised if you stereotype them. I also think if you’re trying to remember how to fight a character, you probably aren’t going to win anyways if they’re really strong. You should have all of that ready before tournaments.
Skyll: The character is always the priority for me. Like remembering the punishes and the specific match up stuff. After that, I also prepare myself to my opponent’s playstyle. If I’m really confident in a particular matchup, the order can be switch though.
TheKura: I tend to think more about characters than players. There are more than 20 characters in SC6, so I think we need a lot of knowledge about countermeasures and strategies. So in my case, I tend to focus on the character that I have to fight against, such as weaknesses, strengths, characteristics, skills, frames, etc.
SC6 has a high degree of completeness for each fighter, and features and differences vary greatly from character to character. That’s why I’m taking this approach.
Yuttoto: I focus on the player! I am confident with my countermeasures against characters, so I try to focus on the techniques my opponents like to use or analyze situations where they go for high rewarding moves.
How important is it to have sub-characters ready for a tournament?
Aelz: I dont play with sub characters in tournaments, because I do not believe they are at the same level as my main. However If you have the time to actually train a sub char to a competitive level, it is very much worth it. It allows you to to have a more favorable matchup chart during your tournament : It give you possible solutions against an opponent that is counterpicking you while also giving you the opportunity to counterpick and ride to victory thanks to an easier MU.
Boom: I think it depends on who you play and how comfortable you are with bad matchups, but I actually have come to be on the side that leans towards a sub character not being as important. It’s a lot of work having to understand multiple characters in a complex game like SC.
Shen Chan: In the past, it isn’t as important. Right now in the competitive scene, I think it’s important to have a variety of characters to cover either your character/personal weaknesses. It makes it harder for your opponents to prepare for you too.
Party Wolf: It depends really! They only matter if you lose confidence when you see a match up you don’t like. Conversely, sub-characters don’t matter if they aren’t giving you the confidence to win when your confidence is lost. If they’re not dead the moment you select the character, then why bother getting lucky on a character you’re decent with vs getting lucky with your main who you are amazing with?
Skyll: That really depends on the game and on your main character. For SCVI, because characters can be really different in terms of range and speed, having a sub can help a lot against your character’s bad matchups. Especially if you play a character that’s not very flexible in his gameplan like zoners or grapplers. Characters that are well rounded are often less dependent of a secondary.
TheKura: I think it’s very important to prepare a sub-character for a tournament. In the tournament, you have to fight against a large number of players and various characters, not a small number. That’s why your main character may have a disadvantageous MU. Or if you are known to handle one or two sub-characters, you can make the other person think a lot. It also has the advantage of changing the flow in terms of variables or ventilation in negative situations such as when I’m cornered, when the game doesn’t work out as I want, when the other person’s handling of my main character MU is too good…
I felt the need for this part very strongly in the recent WUFL tournament! So I think it’s important to have one or two different alternatives ready. In my mind, having too many sub-characters can be also bad so for me, it’s best to have one or two ready.
Yuttoto: You will simply have more options than your opponent (only if your sub character is on the same level as your main). Rather than looking at my opponent’s character and counterpicking for an advantageous matchup, I tend to switch to my sub when I feel like I didn’t have a good flow in the previous match.
Are there any characters you consider to be significantly better for short sets (FT2) than for long ones (FT10) and/or vice versa?
Aelz: Any characters with explosive mix-ups and damage are better for shorter formats since its harder to get a read on this playstyle in a small amount of time, they can go for a lot of read plays or 50/50 and get ahead with their superior damage and guard opening capabilities. Characters with strong neutral are better for long sets, since they are more efficient and restrictive when you have a good understanding of your opponent.
Boom: I think characters that can enforce heavy mix-ups on you with so little information are strong in ft2. Chars like Yoshi, Mina, Azwel and the scariest character in a ft2 being Astaroth. More neutral heavy characters like Hwang, Cass, and Kilik are harder to play in a ft2, but get better with more information that you have on your opponent. The neutral characters do better in ft10s than the heavy mixup characters imo simply because being able to understand when someone is going to mix you up and stop it/have educated guesses on their mixup choices, it naturally gets easier to play neutral and keep the game in neutral.
Shen Chan: Short sets favor characters with crazy burst damage/ring out potential like Nightmare/Yoshi/Cervy/Mina for example. Characters like Raphael/Setsuka favors the longer set. Not to say that these characters aren’t better in short/long sets, but each character has specific tools that favors a good read in a different way.
Party Wolf: Characters that have good moves that you can be reckless with and lead to more pressure are best in FT2. E.g. an Amy 3A is safe and you just have to block it, so it can’t really get risky unless your opponent has a read on you. It then leads to immediate pressure, so it is really effective against anyone.
Skyll: All the characters with high damaging hard reads are stronger in short sets in my opinion. When facing those you need the time to understand how your opponent’s play to avoid those reads. In shorter sets, you’ll lose a ton of your health before having figure out exactly how to reply to these situations. This also applies to the hard to execute punishes that you need to do versus some characters like 2B. You miss one and you lose a lot of damage potential or even your own health.
TheKura: I think characters with excellent explosive power, clear concepts, and clear concepts are better in short Sets (FT2). Because explosive, well-concepted, distinct characters can better overwhelm the opponent psychologically in short Sets and thus cause them to make mistakes or lose control of the game.
Since there are individual differences, I won’t comment on which characters are like that. lol
Yuttoto: In a shorter set, I think characters with high reward from 50/50s are really strong, such as Astaroth, Nightmare and Azwel. For longer sets, I think characters that gain high reward from reading the opponent’s behavior do better such as Amy, Geralt and Cervantes.
BONUS: Which character do you find most fun to play AGAINST and why?
Aelz: I don’t think I have a particular character I enjoy fighting most, I know the characters I hate fighting against tho!
Boom: I actually really enjoy fighting 2B. No joke! The active defense I have to do against her is fun, and actually a strength of mine, so playing into my strengths is always ag good time.
Shen Chan: Mirror matches actually. You know exactly what your opponent is trying to do 😀
Party Wolf: Hilde because she is overrated and you have to be really talented with her to win 😀
Skyll: I like playing against most neutral characters to be honest. I think maybe Kilik, Voldo or even Mitsu are my favorite to fight. It feels that you have a lot of micro reads in those matches. And spacing is very important too which I also really like.
TheKura: I haven’t really thought about it, but it’s the most fun when I fight with a good player rather than a character. I think it’s the most fun when I am fighting a player who’s better than me or similar to me, no matter what character the other person uses.
Yuttoto: I think every character is fun to fight, but if I had to pick, it would be Geralt. I think Geralt has the perfect balance between offense and defense, so I find it fun guessing what a Geralt player is about to do.
Thank you all for your answers!