EVO22 was a blast, and while SC6 was not on the main stage, it was still presented and rocked hard. So here are the 4 players who came out on top and the interview with those!
None of you need any introduction to the SC community, so instead I will ask you to quickly introduce your preferred playstyle with your main.
DEUS|Incendiate: I like playing Ivy the most. I tend to revolve around an aggressive approach to the game, generating damage out of calculated guessing.
MasterCJ: My preferred playstyle with Amy I would say is aggressive and focus on mixing my opponent as much as possible. The fewer options I can give my opponent the better.
MICK|Xephukai: Sophitia would be my preferred if I wanted to focus on fun. Xianghua is preferred if I want cheapies.
FAT:Toothpaste: I would not say I have a preferred playstyle with Hwang, as I like to think I shift my decisions around my opponent because Hwang is a flexible character that allows me to do that. I try to use all of Hwangs mechanics though instead of only sticking to using one aura and not using his niche moves, like Wuxing Talisman [B] or kB for example. I just use all the tools that are there.
Evo2022 was the 1st offline Evo in 3 years, what were your thoughts when heading there to compete in SC6?
DEUS|Incendiate: I thought after my numerous Top 8 placings this was one of the few chances left for me to prove myself as a player. I went into EVO looking for a win.
MasterCJ: I always wanted to go to Evo for years, so I wanted to go to compete and see everyone in the community. Going into the competition I thought I would do pretty well but nothing too crazy, the bracket was pretty stacked.
MICK|Xephukai: My thoughts on heading to Evo:
– few things, I am not the biggest fan of Las Vegas. Evo is fun, and is considered the WORLD STAGE for FGC tournaments, but not my favorite city to go to.
– Main priority was to do my best, because EVO was my last event for awhile. I have no plans on travelling/competing until (MAYBE) next year at NEC.
FAT:Toothpaste: My thoughts were that I hope I make it out of pools and I hope I put on a good show, both of which I did. I also understood that the level of competition this EVO would be different from 2019 as the only people really playing in this tournament are the ones who really care about the game, so that means every match will be a very hard match. This turned out to be very true as almost every match I played in the tournament was 2-1 and most matches I played were last hit last round situations.
How did you prepare for the tournament? Did it pay off?
DEUS|Incendiate: I prepared by tailoring my character specifically for players and playstyles. I intended to play Xianghua, Geralt and Ivy, practicing all 3 simultaneously by streaming and playing in online tournaments very often as well as having many offline practice sessions with Linkorz, DEUS | EndersJ and Geist.
MasterCJ: A lot of VOD reviewing and labbing characters I didn’t know so well. I went over my recent tournament run at NEC, and saw what I needed to improve on from those games. There is a lot of information you can learn about yourself from just watching one set. Watching over those sets by myself and with others to critique, really helped me place so well at EVO.
MICK|Xephukai: I prepared for EVO by forcibly playing and practicing a month out before EVO. Dedicated time nearly every day to get sets in with anyone, really. and I think for myself yeah, it paid off. I was in great condition, not my own personal best, but I was playing solid as intended.
FAT:Toothpaste: Honestly saying I prepared for the tournament was a stretch. I live in the west coast so online experience for me is very rough and I mostly play in parsec tournaments. So I ended up playing lots of Valorant and focusing on the mental aspect of the game in my own time, since I mostly understand the game in and out and just figuring out myself since the main thing holding me back is myself. I played in every online tournament that was available before EVO to practice as much as I could but it was not as much practice as I would’ve liked to have gotten. I owe a lot of my preparation to Ramon from the NY scene as I had him coach me a week before the tournament to brush up on the things I need to smooth out before heading into bracket. This coaching session really paid off and I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to improve.
Looking at the bracket, there were a lot of great matches that were played off-stream. Are there any memorable sets you would like to mention or to expand upon?
DEUS|Incendiate: I think my set against RuberBeefMan was very interesting, as they typically always are. He’s a very strong player who deserves more credit and will hopefully compete more offline in the near future. He played very well and is capable of more.
MasterCJ: I had a very good set with Exander off stream. Both games were 3-2 in rounds and were pretty back and forth between us. I thought Exander played really well and wish more people could have seen it.
MICK|Xephukai: I didn’t get to watch too many off-stream sets. But LessthanLee and my fight definitely made me happy. I consider Lee to be the “future Xephukai” and our games are never not close, so having to see him in bracket and winning made me feel good. Also Lee did well as I expected throughout the whole tournament.
FAT:Toothpaste: I would like to mention both my sets with Twice-a-day and YoshimitsuVI were very memorable.
The set with Twice-a-day was very competitive and came to a final round last hit situation. I hit him with SC 1KKKK and was force into a +0 situation with both of us at a pixel and bet he would mash or step, so I pressed KK as it caught sidestep and beat mash but not 2A, and he ended up getting hit pressing 3K and dying but I literally had to make a bet I could’ve lost to beat him and at the end of the day while I can be a solid player a lot of the time I win by forcing situations and Twice-a-day is overall better at being a solid player than I am, so I just feel really lucky I took that set.
My set with YoshimitsuVI was very similar, his defense was incredibly hard to open up once he stopped ducking so much and I had to resort to going -9 Hwang to gain access to lethal hits that would open him up. It was not last hit last round with him but it was 2-1 round count 1-1 set count and I went -9 to have to beat him because his defense was so strong. In our match I felt an adrenaline boost and was very motivated so I overtook him that last round and shook his hand, he is a formidable opponent and it is always a hard match.
SC6, in it’s current version (v2.31), has been around for over a year. Everyone is familiar with the game thoroughly, so was there anything that surprised you or caught you off guard?
DEUS|Incendiate: It’s usually rare I’m caught off guard by current patch interactions.
MasterCJ: The way Incendiate played Ivy this weekend was insane. I’ve played his Ivy so much in the past, but, I had not fought it here of recently. It caught me off guard, and now I have to start working on my Ivy defense again.
MICK|Xephukai: Even with the game being out for years and all of us playing and grinding, I always see something “new” or something I’ve never seen in-game before. And with a steady flow of competitors grinding, it only makes sense the meta evolves. different types of situational reads, and in general, play was seen at Evo 2022.
FAT:Toothpaste: I will be honest not really. The only thing that caught me off guard was one player at the tournament having extensive matchup knowledge of Hwang at EVO and that was Ronthetryhard. I feel like the game is mostly figured and nobody wants to lab my character anyhow.
BONUS: If you wish, you can use this opportunity to compliment any SC player publicly 🙂
DEUS|Incendiate: I think MasterCJ’s performance was out of everyone’s predictions. I had spoken very highly of him when I did my bracket predictions on stream, and yet he still exceeded my expectations. I hope he continues to compete offline in the future.
MasterCJ: I like to shoutout JJJ. J has taught me so much about Soulcalibur and Amy over the years, it’s insane. I would not have done as well as I did at EVO without J. So thank you!
MICK|Xephukai: Well, first and foremost, Xephukai is the greatest to exists. Other than that, the general pool of talent was very rich. I’m proud of LessthanLee’s performance, MasterCJ did very well maintaining through to GFS, and of course, Incendiate deserves the praise and glory of a champion.
I’ll take this opportunity to say that I still think Linkorz, Blue and Woahhzz are the best players we have in the states. That being said, I don’t think that it’s impossible to beat any of em and we have a lot of quality players who can compete with them. Myself included in this.
Thanks for the interview, and of course, GGs to everyone. Much love.
FAT:Toothpaste: I would like to compliment Ronthetryhard.
He has proven that with enough time and effort and practice, at an offline tournament if you put the work in and are motivated you can set aside your bad habits even if only for a moment to go far and achieve what you want to, and I think he did that at EVO and it impressed me.