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Hey guys. Ryan here. After a great successful weekend at The Fall Classic in Raleigh, North Carolina, I want to open discussions on how to improve.
I don't know why, but the character specific discussions are now open to see. Thats great! I hope to see some new activity amongst you guys discussing how to improve your characters.
I was very impressed by the level of play in Raleigh this past weekend. It seemed that even guys who don't play anymore can still shake off the rust and make some good plays. Guys who are still active were doing sick shit and everyone seems ready to take their game to the next level.
When I first moved to Japan in 2012, I thought I was sick. I was just getting into Chun-Li, and had the confidence of a schoolboy who gets A+'s on all his tests. All the Japanese players were giving me compliments saying how strong I was getting. I was on top of Tokyo Tower; or even on top of the Skytree! Fast forward a few years later, and I know that the compliments were just kindness. I had plateaued. I couldn't win consistently. I couldn't place well at every tournament I went to. I would lose to random guys in casuals. It was then that I realized I wasn't playing properly. I needed to level up again.
I had a lot of discussions with many players and asked for genuine criticism and advice. The thing that many people said to me was that I played too reactionary. I wanted to do a sick parry and kill someone. i wanted to wait for people to make mistakes and punish. It's not the correct way to play.
There are some important general guidelines to playing 3rd Strike properly.
The first rule should go without saying that you have to have perfect execution. You should be able to play a match and feel that you didn't make a single mistake. This is the most important.
Next, is learning matchups. This is an area that Japan does so well, and America does not. In America, people don't use their full potential with matchups. When you go into a match, you should know exactly what your general game plan is. For example, I'm Q and I have to play vs Dudley. Ok first things first, my best pokes are back hp, cr mp, and cr lk. I know that he will be looking for pokes to punish with EX mgb. He wants to get kill me, and I want to get my taunts in. I should know how to get the Dudley specific combos and not drop them. I should know how to properly guard against Dudley's offense. These key things should help make the matchup much easier.
A major breakthrough mentally in this game is when you get hit by something and you acknowledge it with acceptance rather than resentment. When I play vs Ken and I get hit by cr mp jinrai, I never feel mad. I don't feel confused. If you get hit by something, you understand exactly why. When you watch strong people play, they will often nod their head when they eat something. Basically you want to feel that you ate something because you chose the wrong thing, rather than you fucked up. It's a fact that everyone is going to eat cr mk houyokosen. Everyone will get hit by short short jinrai. Everyone will eat karakusa. You have to make decisions and stand by them.