This time, it was Europe turn to have some mayor offline action going on for SC6. Many top players headed to Dublin, Ireland, to compete against each other. And in the end, it were D3xus, Habaduba, and Aelz who took the TOP3 spots!
Hello, can you briefly introduce yourself as an SC competitor? Let’s pretend that not everyone knows you already! 🙂
N3xus: Hello my name is D3xus, I’m a semi-professional SC6 player who plays Siegfried and has recently picked up Groh.
Habaduba: Yo, Im from Poland and might aswell by synonymous with Haohmaru in EU at this point.
Aelz: Hello everyone, I’m Aelz, your local Tira main since the beginning of SC6, I’ve been playing the game competitively to a varying degree of success, earning some good placements in EU tournaments throughout my career.
CT21 was the first international SC offline event in Europe in a long, long time. How did you enjoy it?
D3xus: CT21 was technically my first major with my only large previous event being the WUFL Invitational in Ukraine. I really enjoyed the event as a whole, met tons of people for the first time, was really happy with my performance and just had a blast playing the game both in casuals and in the tournament.
Habaduba: Its hard to compare since that was my first offline but I didn’t expect such an enjoyable expirience, turns out the SC scene is really nice and chill, the TO’s did a fantastic job too The only real regret is that it was so short, and that not everyone got there… guess going straight 0-3 in grandfinalls is a bit regrettable too haha
Aelz: It felt great to play Offline again since WUFL, especially when I could finally see the EU community in flesh once more, it was a great time and a stressful time as offlines tend to have this effect on me 🙁
What was your personal highlight of the tournament?
D3xus: Honestly not sure, I don’t know if there was any one moment that severely stood out for me, but I guess I’ll give the boring answer of winning the tournament haha.
Habaduba: It would have to be Lyonides run, the man did crazy callouts and played outstandingly all while going through a really long and hard bracket, having to fight Ganon and Neon in pools would stop anyone there from worrying about top8.
Aelz: My match VS D3xus was the highlight for me, it was a great match to play and even though I lost, I have no regrets. Even I can be CHEEEEESED
How do you feel about your performance?
D3xus: Since I only played 3 games in the top 8 I’ll make a brief breakdown of each set.
1. Winners Semis vs MercyMain
Hilde is an extremely tough MU for Sieg in my opinion and as such I was really scared of having to fight Mercy the second I saw the bracket. Her neutral tools far outclass Sieg in almost every aspect so originally I had planned to play Groh to try and brute force my way through the MU by overwhelming them. In the end I decided to try my luck with Sieg first and then possibly swap to Groh instead in case it didn’t work, with the plan of playing as mixup heavy as possible, heavily relying on SRSH, grabs, flapjack, run up wrB to basically deny any neutral and keep the whole set in a permanent mixup state where I’m favored. It ended up working really well as Mercy seemed too unfamiliar with that particular playstyle and didn’t have the proper counterplay ready for it.
2. Winners Finals vs Aelz
By far my most feared opponent of the whole tournament, Aelz knows the Sieg MU really well and has a very good mindgame on top of that, as such as opted for Groh instead who I think is more favored against Tira than Sieg in general and is a character Aelz has way less experience against (also I think Groh has better neutral tools than Sieg which helps a lot on top of that). I was really happy with how I played the whole set only having one clear instance of where I could’ve sealed the game but dropped it and in the end the lack of MU experience and/or nerves did Aelz in as he dropped a crucial punish which gave me the win.
3. Grand Finals vs Habaduba
Haohmaru is one of the prime characters which I vastly prefer to play Groh against than Sieg ever since I picked him up. Groh can chase him down very easily as all his moves makes him lunge 1/3rd of the screen forward and his frame data is vastly superior to Hao’s, not to mention his SC game which Hao also has trouble dealing with. Me and Haba have played this MU a lot in online tournament sets in the past and I think he simply got overwhelmed even with the adaptations he had picked up during the event.
As a whole I was really happy with my performance, I think I had a decent game plan for each match and everything went according to keikaku.
Habaduba: Its still hard to gauge performance offline, everyone plays differently altogether and I don’t have enough expirience to say if it was good, regardless im rather happy with the way I won rounds even though my execution and punishment in particular were far from perfect. Im really surprised I managed to beat Aelz, I can’t remember of a single event in the past where I won a FT2, let alone a FT3 vs him, and for a good reason. I would love to show Im still capable of contesting D3xus but he kept his composure way better then me and executed his gameplan, his stability is definitelly one thing he stands out in and something I haven’t been able to catch up to.
Aelz: A bit disappointed of course, I really wanted to at least get top 2, but Habaduba managed to get the upset during our confrontation. I felt like I couldnt manage to bring my usual levelheadness to the tournament because of stress. Top 3 is pretty good ofc and I cant complain, its just I expected better from me.
How did you prepare for an actual OFFLINE tournament?
D3xus: Mostly I did what I usually do, just played the game a lot as well as labbed the characters I felt I was most likely to meet during the tournament such as Hilde.
Habaduba: Honestly more thinking about the game and theorizing then actually playing it, I expected offline to be a different game altogether and didn’t want bad habbits… I don’t think I was correct though. Having played offline I feel like online could be a good training environment, I was quite surprised by just what exactly works and doesn’t when playing the game offline, but I believe almost everything carries over, if anything… playing offline could have a bad impact on my online play haha.
Aelz: Not a lot actually, just played a bit more than usual to try to derust as much as possible. I have a hard time to prepare myself for the stress of participating at an event so instead I just went with the flow and tried to enjoy the event as much as I could.
How did it feel, to compete offline after such a long time?
D3xus: It was really fun and I can definitely see why people say offlines are so fun (although I still don’t think all the hate on online is warranted cuz of it). I got quite sick the first day so I’m happy I still managed to get through pools haha, but other than that I had a blast. It was especially fun to finally play people like Habaduba and Mercy who I’ve never fought offline before as they live quite far away, and even just to see how they look like lol.
Habaduba: Well, I never really did before but the matches were quite thought provoking and extremelly tense in some cases, probably because there were just so many close sets.
Aelz: Fucking great m8.
Is there anything – or anyone – you will like to mention or talk about?
D3xus: Don’t really have anything specific for this so I’ll just say that I really love the SC6 community, 99% of people are really chill and it’s a blast to hang out and I’ll gladly travel more just to see everyone again.
Also will give a special shout to Darxy who I traveled there with and took care of me while I was ill, love you honey <3
Habaduba: The most alarming expirience I had was when I got to the venue and got beaten by Lyonide who I’d usually have a good score against, and then got bodied by Blade of Flame the next day, I always respected the idea behind judging players off of offline but I didn’t expect some people would have a near seperate offline style.
Aelz: The EU community is fantastic and I’m glad I could see for the first time in real, people like Lyonide, MercyMain, Fotten, Loz Kiaz, Tao, Branstar, Kellerak, and Habababababa. I hope you had a great time, just as I have. Offline is such a social experience and it proves again and again that our community is one of the best.
Thanks a lot for the interview!