From newb to Top 8 @ EVO


OK… yeah… I dream big. So what?

I’m coming into this game as a total newb. My ultimate goal way down the road is to make top 8 at EVO. It’s going to be a long journey. But to speed things up, I wanted to come here and ask an important question.

As a newcomer, what is the fastest way to improve my game? Where do I start? Do I hop online and start fighting people right away? Do I practice links and combos and training mode? Do I fight against CPUs?

At the moment, my gameplan is:
1 - Complete all Trial Challenges for my character (done already with Akuma)
2 - Learn and memorize the best combos for each situation/matchup, and be able to perform them perfectly, 10+ times in a row
3 - Play matches against the CPU to learn about blocking, footsies, range, etc.
4 - Go online to play against human players and learn more from them
5 - Hook up with some local players and learn more from them
6 - Attend local tournaments
7 - Attend regional tournaments
8 - Attend big tournaments
9 - EVO

I guess… critique my gameplan… as an experienced player, what do you think is the fastest way to learn?

The SRK GD Lounge: Dear Epidemic, my money's on the chimp

That’s all looking pretty good, but the biggest tip i can give you is, find a rival.
If you are playing against people worse then you, you will not improve, despite how fun it is to just troll them with your pocket characters (non mains) and feel good about winning all the time. (a problem most players have) I remember being a scrub back then and always wondered why high ranked players would join, and eventually thought of this reason, they’re the even bigger scrubs to be honest.

Playing against people better than you is nice, you do learn things obviously, but you don’t learn anything if you’re getting your ass whopped to the point where you don’t really have time to access the situation. (like when i played M2K and TaJ in Melee casuals at a tournament a year ago, improved though) In if you fight someone way better than you in Marvel, you REALLY don’t learn anything, besides possibly seeing a new combo (or way to combo) as you eat that 125+ hit combo.

Playing against you equal is the ultimate way to improve, IN MY OPINION.
You can really think what you did wrong, have the drive to wanna improve cause you cant stand the thought of him being better than you, and various other advantages.
But of course, watching top players on Youtube is a godlike way to improve.


Take notes. Do the Infiltration and whip out that phone.

Learn from your mistakes and analyze every situation and all its possible outcomes. You can limit it to “every situation where I lose”, but you still need to do it.

Record yourself if you have to.

If you are playing, and you don’t know all of your options at any given point in time; if you say “this is cheap” or “I can’t beat this” or “I’d win if you weren’t playing top-tier”; you haven’t analyzed enough.


I only play ST, not SF4, but I’d recommend the following - ignore the trials. Learn how to incorporate your character’s normals and specials and when they should be used. Then proceed to steps 5 and 6 from your list, as often as you can. Add a step in there to learn matchups in between local sessions (take notes, understand what other characters options are and how your character should deal with them), and then add combo practice in there as you continuously do steps 5 and 6. Head to 7, 8, and 9 when you’re comfortable enough with your play - you don’t need to necessarily win, just have a drive to play that it’s worth the investment for the trip!


Also. Forget EVO top8. Seriously. Forget being better than someone else. Just learning how the genre works is a long, long road and you won’t get anywhere if you’re stuck on your winrate and stupid shit like that.

Find a game you love to play - doesn’t need to be SF4, that game definitely isn’t for everyone - and play that game, because doing stuff that is a riot makes you want to play more and helps immensely with motivation to practice and study. Then play and practice a lot and just try to be a better player than you were yesterday (or last week/month, more realistically). Keep it up and at some point you’re good enough to start worrying about who you’re better than. But before that, just find a game it’s fun to play and improve at and put in the work.


Whoa, Komatik, chill… hahaha… I’m not worried about being better than somebody else. And I recognize that you learn a lot more from losing than you do from winning.

I’m prepared for a very long road ahead (years), before I can even think about entering any big tournaments. I’m not concerned in the least with winrate or stats. I have a full tank of humility, and I’m ready to learn, and I won’t back down from a challenge.


by the time you’ll reach the level it takes to make top 8 at evo we’ll be playing SF5. Seriously, forget about it, it’ll take you 1-2 years of dedicated play just to become “good”.

TL;DR: stop smoking crack


“If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it’s OK. But you’ve got to shoot for something. A lot of people don’t even shoot.” -Confucius


They have good intentions. Getting into top 8 at a big major like EVO will require consistently beating multiple fantastic players that have all been playing the game for 5 or 6 years longer than you have. Regardless of how much skill you have at the game or how much you practice it is extremely unlikely to happen. You can definitely get good, but to compete at a level comparable of Haitani, Daigo, Infiltration, etc takes years of playing the best in the world and a lot of work.

To be clear, I’m not saying this to discourage you from being competitive at SF4, I’m trying to clarify the situation for you so you don’t have unrealistic expectations. That being said though, I’d love for you to prove me wrong, so if you want it go for it.


Go for it all dude, it’s gonna be hell, but you can do it. Really anyone can it just depends on how bad you want to succeed.


^That’s pretty much my thought. I’ve found in my life that anything I’ve ever REALLY wanted, bad, I was able to attain.


It’s different this time

As the guy above said, you’d have to beat multiple people who have 10-15 or hell even 20 years of FG experience at the highest level. And all of them have been playing SF4 for 4+ hours a day for the last 5 years.
Even if you somehow have super reflexes or great mind games, it’s still impossible to get at their level in 2 years.
Everyone who tells you otherwise is just trying to be nice, but someone has to tell you the truth.

If you train HARD you can definitely get decent, hell maybe even good if you have some natural FG talent, at SF4, but forget about getting to pro level. Really it’s not any different than “real” sports. You don’t need special physical requirements to play golf or tennis, but it’s laughable to think you can get to pro level in 2 years


keep dreaming


It is a lofty goal but hey, all the big names were newbs at one point too. It isn’t like they didn’t have their struggles. Some of the old rivalries are still around. Sanford v Justin has been getting a lot of attention lately and that has been a rivalry for…ever since marvel 2 and possibly before iirc. A lot of good advice in this thread. Forget evo for now. Keep practicing, be a sponge. Watch every match you can, including the bad ones. Watch a lot of streams, talk with your other fgc friends about matches. My group treats evo like most people treat a UFC or pro wrestling event. Cook outs, drinks and a different stream in every room, along with casuals. I wouldn’t suggest playing against the computer. Just hop online. Better alternative.


find ur offline scene and play there as much as possible


I wonder how much of this talk Infiltration got a few years ago…


Top 8 at evo is not gonna get you any pussy bro bro. I mean come on, look at those guys.


I didn’t come here to ask people whether or not they THINK I can make it to EVO or not. I came here for advice/help on getting there. If you doubt the fact that it’s possible, don’t bother. Wonder why YOU haven’t made it? Because you don’t have a desire. If the desire is strong enough, it can be done. Daigo/Infiltration/PR Balrog… Whoever… all of those pros… they’re human. And they all started somewhere.

Am I trying to make EVO in 2 years? Not necessarily. 3 years? 4 years? 10 years? However long it takes.


And you still think SF IV is gonna be even relevant in 4 years?

That’s like saying if I put a LOT of effort into it, I can be really good in vanilla SSF 2!


Totally pointless.

You wanna get good, you got to dive straight into human competition.