Teaching a friend to watch a FG match properly


A friend of mine has expressed interest in watching high-level fighting game play. He doesn’t know a lot about fighting games, but wants to be able to watch and understand what’s going on.

My question to this forum is, what matches should I show him, and what should I be teaching him as he watches? I’ve already picked out the EVO 09 SF4 finals as a good example, and anything with Seth Killian commentary.


Lurking SRK helps.


If he is interested in watching SF specifically, I would show him this match.


Explain what is going on the match, this one in particular, the spacing and footsies. It would also be good to explain much of the terminology that may come up on commentary such as footsies, option selects, vortex, etc…


Have him subscribe to teamspooky on youtube. High level players, regular play, coverage of majors and you hear the word ‘technology’ so many times you feel like an engineer by the end of any given match, lol. Its also important he learns the importance of space control, how everything has a purpose (yes, all of those fireballs were planned, he’s not just randomly spamming them, lol) reversals and how the game evolves with FADCs and certain matchups eg Ryu X Gief compared to Gouki X Rufus. Knowing about the 4 way blocking system is also key to know and that shit happens so often on marvel that he’d see what you meant.
The best way to learn though is to play. Perseverence gives experience.


Mix good matches with bad matches
Its hard to figure out whats going on when everything is going right all the time and both players are above your level, but when you alternate its easier to see what good players are doing right and what bad players are doing wrong.


Show him the infamous 3rd Strike parry so that he can understand how godlike these games can be with the right practice.

You are on a righteous path sir, do not unintentionally make your friend stray from it. I salute you.

Crossups, mixups, and anti-airs shouldn’t be too hard to explain.

Frame advantage and so on is probably where he may start to scratch his head a bit though.

If I had someone to teach me, I would want them to stress blockstings, but I’m a defensive player normally, so there you go.


You can explain all the basic concepts like spacing, whiff punish, anti-airs, etc. but unless he actually plays on the side as well he’ll just forget. Unless he actually plays (if even a little) it’ll only be an intellectual concept and he won’t appreciate it as much as someone who plays. It’s like reading about and watching sex versus actually experiencing it.


Probably would be good if you actually play more games before watching


The first part of a video that is broken down into several parts.


It’s a pretty good play-by-play of a top level match, that really goes into the mind of what the good players are thinking. These basic analysis principles should be used on each and every match that your friend seriously wants to analyze.