Hey everyone, my name’s Luke. I originally asked DS these 20 questions for a school project but it got me thinkin. I’m going to try my best to do these interviews with top SF4 players on a weekly basis. If you would like to be interviewed the best way to contact me is through aim(kungfufreak226) or a private message on here. This interview was done through AIM. I promise in the future the questions will be more specific, forgive me, its my first interview
A little background on DS. He is a Balrog main who uses Bison as a secondary. He lives in New york city. Here are some videos of him posted by Frameadvantagedotcom:
1.How many hours a week do you play Street Fighter 4?
2.Would you consider this to be the best 2d fighter out there right now and why?
i think it’s high up there, but it does have it’s flaws. regardless, capcom did manage to get the game right on it’s first try since every character can compete. it obviously goes farther than that also since i played ST competitively for 2 years and it reminds me of ST in the sense of it being a very footsie oriented game. also, it’s brought back the competitive spirit of the fighting game community
3.Why Street Fighter 4 and not another 2d fighter?
because as simplistic as the game is, the sub-system does allow for it to go deeper and there’s a wide variety of styles of play for each character. KOFXII and BlazBlue have a very 1 dimensional style to them. while you do need defense in all of these games, the aforementioned 2 games are more offense oriented. it’s all about momentum and who can land the bigger combo to win
4.Do you consider yourself to take video games to a level above most people?
it’s all about dedication at the end of the day. when you’re exposed to a different level of play and how the game really works, you just fall in love with it because everything looks flashy and you just wanna do this cool looking stuff. and of course, the competition keeps you coming back. so yes, i guess i can say i’m one of those people that would take video games to a level above most people
5.How long have you been a competitive video game player?
i’ve been playing locally since 1997 when marvel vs capcom 1 first came out in the arcades. i didn’t begin traveling to compete nationally until 2007/2008. so to put a round number on it; i’d say 13 years
6.How many places have you traveled to play video games?
i’ve been to atlanta, chicago, las vegas, california, philadelphia, Virginia, connecticut, rhode island, ohio and hopefully one day i’ll add japan to that list of places.
7.How much money have you won from the tournament scene?
considering that i’ve only recently found my stride finally in SF4, i haven’t really made much considering top 3 is official payout these days. i’ve made maybe a total of 100 dollars. it’s not much, but it’s also at locals where it’s smaller entry as opposed to majors where there are more hungry players later in the brackets. it’s never easy. i did get a cool c.viper figure for getting top 3 at this one tourney in Pennsylvania
8.What character do you use in this game and why?
i first started out as a bison player when the game first came out. i always liked bison, but thought he was really hard to play in a lot of games. i liked cvs2 bison since i played a-are(a-bison/vega/blanka) and though he looked cool doing his patented paint the fence custom combo. just looked sex and he always had a cool voice. so i found out he was considered top tier at first because of his 6 frame s.rh which beat out a lot of things and his ex headstomp which was amazing and nobody knew how to stop it. but then i switched to balrog after watching more videos and watching gootecks and combofiend play him. i played balrog in ST, Alpha 3, and CvS1 and always liked the character because he’s black, angry, and a boxer. so after a lot of video watching and studying, i switched to him and became more known for balrog. so in essence, i almost main two characters as opposed to one.
9.Who is characterized as the ?best? at the game that you play?
the best in america is currently justin wong. the reason why is because he has an amazing footsie game. last weekend he won a tournament, in which i entered, with fei long. fei long is not really considered a top tier character or a mid tier character. he’s more bottom mid, but with his amazing footsie game, justin was able to prevail against chris hu’s ryu. some people think they lose to the character, but in reality, they just get out-played. and justin wong is that kind of player. i would almost say he’s the new john choi although mr. choi still plays till this day
10.What made you want to take the game to another level?
plain and simple: hunger. placing 33rd is not fun half the time. it just means you played well enough to win two matches. why stop there when you can get better? i was never into competitive sports as a kid. i never really had the talent for them, so i ended up finding my niche in fighting games. granted i wasn’t the greatest, but i would try my best to emulate what i saw and try to understand as to why it was done in a certain situation. results were less than stellar, but with experience, i’ve been able to understand fighting games a lot better as a whole. better late than never, in my honest opinion
11.Why do you think video games are looked down upon when being compared to sports like football or basketball?
in america they are looked down upon because the first thing you envision is a fat kid sitting on a couch playing metal gear solid or final fantasy. it’s not a proactive sport by any means. you do a lot more sitting down than actual physical labor. the only labor you do is mentally. granted, sports are very huge on the mental aspect more so than the physical, but you’re also maintaining your health as you play. video games is really just a game of hand/eye coordination with more thinking. it’s like a virtual chess that just so happens to be more intense than chess itself since you need to think fast and consider your options in as few seconds as possible or you’re dead. as opposed to japan, there’s more of a emphasis on the social aspect of it. you go to the arcades and make friends and you play. it’s just pure chance that you end up becoming really good at the game, but it’s more about the social aspect. basically, it comes down to cultural differences
- What other games have you played competitively?
when i decided to expand on my competitive play and finally start entering tournaments locally, i played cvs2 mainly. then around 2007, i picked up ST because i felt that i had to improve my footsie game and shake off the habit of jumping. it also prepped me up for SF4 when it was announced. by the end of this year, i will be adding tekken 6 to my resume of fighting games. hoping to do my best in that game, but it’ll be a long journey in that one. lots of hungry players in the tekken community
13.What do the people around you think about you playing video games at a competitive level and playing for money?
when i first started getting into competitive gaming, my mom looked down on it pretty badly. she thought it was a waste of time. but my uncles actually liked it because i was traveling the country, which is fun in it’s own right. if it wasn’t for fighting games, i would have never had authentic chicago deep dish pizza. my friends think it’s cool to be popular for something, albeit it being in a niche community, but you have to start somewhere i guess. that’s only assuming this turns into something bigger than what it is. as for the money aspect: i don’t really think i play for the money. i play to see how well i can do against those better than me. money is just there. if i win, i win. if i don’t, then i have to become better. the goal in every tourney is top 1. money is really just an incentive for those coming in to have a reason to be hungry to play
14.What would you personally say was the highlight of your gaming career?
hmmm, if i was valle, i would say something along the lines of beating daigo in 3S a few years ago at evo. i forget which evo, but it was pretty intense. but to be honest, while i think landing ex kara cancel ultra against chris hu’s ryu in tourney play was pretty awesome because of the crowd cheers(which is something i never got in my life of playing), i would have to say meeting daigo, bas, and tokido. especially my picture with tokido. he was my inspiration because he plays top tier in every game and doesn’t care about it. he wants to win at any cost and i respect that. and i’ve always wanted to meet the japanese players. so i think that’s a really good highlight for me
15. Is the competitive gaming community friendly or hostile and why?
i’d say in the early days it was more hostile. so much drama between east coast and west coast, it wasn’t even funny. it never turned into a fight or anything, but it was a really serious war of words and the only way to justify those words were in game. back then, results mattered most, so whichever coast came out on top had bragging rights until the following year since the B series was the beginning and would later evolve into EVO. the reason as to why the hostility was there in the beginning was because west coast would get their games first and had them about a month or two in advance compared to the east coast. so they always thought they were the best by default. however, over the years that changed as the games got older and more stagnant. SF4 managed to bring that fire back, but there was less trash talk. we let our game do the talking. however, east coast did talk a big game due to justin taking back the east coast title from ryan gootecks guiterriez and mike ross at final round. this was shortly after gootecks and peter combofiend rosas beat justin at sinsation. gootecks beat justin in winners and losers in top 8 and combofiend beat justin in a ft7. but the hostility is no longer there. we let our game do the talking now and get along a lot more than ever
16.Would you say playing video games, either competitive or casually, is a bad thing for people to do? (i.e. not focused in school, lazy, etc.)
it’s never a bad thing. just depends on how you approach it. it can become an addiction because winning is always fun. but some people do take it a bit overboard and dedicate themselves a little too much to it and just abandon their day jobs for it. i’ve seen that happen before and it’s not a pretty sight. it’s really just a recreational activity. you just so happen to do a little more than the average person to enjoy this hobby(i.e. traveling, spending money at the arcade to play, playing long hours on weekends at gatherings). like most things; it has it’s pros and cons. the pros are obviously getting better and maybe winning some money out of this. the best pro is the interesting people you meet. i’ve met some really good people thanks to the scene and i can easily consider them friends. the cons are obviously losing focus on the more important things in life. it’s always good to find a fine line between both and try to balance them out
17.How many people play the same game you play at a competitive level?
considering there were 1040 entries at evo this past july, i’d say that’s just maybe half of the people that play it at a competitive level. not everyone has the time or money for evo, sadly. however, those people that don’t have the time or money do have some really good talent. but thanks to the power of the internet, there are a lot of streams for SF4 and people get to see those hidden talents play.
18.Do you think it should be used a source of entertainment on television and why?
well, in korea they have this series called tekken crash which is either streamed online or actually aired on TV. they show high level tekken 6 matches in a 3v3 team format. each week is a different set of teams that go at it in a 20 minute segment. it would make good entertainment as long as people understand what’s going on. it works well in tekken’s case because it’s a full 3D game and it looks like a kung fu movie. now you look at SF4 or SF in general, there’s a concept of spacing and a lot of very quiet moments in the matches you normally see. it’s like watching chess, but with frames.
19.What is considered the ?super bowl? of gaming tournaments?
evolution is the super bowl of gaming tournaments. bar none. nothing is bigger than evo, in my opinion
- If you could send a message to all the people that want to get better at this game at a competitive level, what would it be?
hard work and guts. nothing is free. dedication is always key to get what you want and to get where you want. and never feel discouraged after a loss. you learn from it and you improve upon it. never be afraid to ask someone better than you what you did wrong. questions have answers and answers contain enlightenment. and above all else, practice makes perfect.