Top Player Interview with CigarBoB


#2

<CigarBoB> For EVO2005 I ran my stuff on the side, didn’t have anything to do with EVO officially. I ran ST during Marvel.
<VF4> So at EVO2005 is the 3v3 side tourney for ST, and the PS1 version for the main event.
<CigarBoB> Yea, but everyone there considered the main EVO event to be subpar to my 3v3.

http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/9885/3v3stwithchikyuu9nm.jpg

<CigarBoB> You can see a ton of top players in that pic: DGV, Seth Killian, Apoc, Bob Painter, Bacardi, me and Sabre, Sirlin, Justin Wong, Chikyuu, Gian, NKI, I think I even see DreamTR.
<VF4> NKI’s team won the 3v3 that year?
<CigarBoB> Yep, Chikyuu gave his winnings to Gian and NKI because he didn’t think he deserved them.
[media=youtube]5j-vg2QWNpo[/media]
[media=youtube]rVkEU11ANME[/media]
<VF4> yeah [media=youtube]TTdUB6z63HI"[/media] as well.
<CigarBoB> Gian was amazing, never played a Dhalsim like him, he inspired me to play Sim after that, I spent a year just playing with Zazza. Gian’s knowledge of the game is amazing, but you have to have that level to play high level sim, IMO DHalsim is #1 in ST but he is the hardest to win with. IMO there were no U.S. Sim players nearly as good as Gian. Cole is good but he wasn’t up to his level, if he ever was I don’t know

<CigarBoB> But as far as ST at EVO that year it was a widely head belief that my arcade ST tourney was the real one and the EVO console one was just for fun. After that evo I went home and played nonstop with Zazza. [media=youtube]URPdlPnFWSI"[/media]. Break for food, then back to games. Joe and I were playing nonstop, either on LIVE or in person, getting sharper and sharper, then EVO2006 came around and my life fell apart with work and I couldn’t go. I recovered and was getting ready for Evo07 and that is when the mortgage industry fell out and I lost everything.

<VF4> you remember the hype around CCC2?
<CigarBoB> Fuck yea, never played it, had my cab, never needed to, by then if it wasn’t CPS2 I didn’t want to touch it.

<VF4> so you didn’t go to EVO2007?
<CigarBoB> EVO07 I lost everything when the mortgage industry crashed., then I had a serious bout of depression that i couldn’t get over for a long time, I’m sure you have read about me not delivering some sticks that I was to build, it was at this time that that happened, to Mike Watson, I totally flaked on it, during that time i kind of avoided anything to do with SF. i was really embarrassed about what I did but, Giga [alias of Zazza] brought me back. I contacted the people i wronged and made amends. [media=youtube]ckBNags3ovE"[/media], one day I installed GGPO, I played every day, hours and hours, getting better and better, not just returning to form, I was finding new levels that I had never seen before, I was getting closer and closer to Zazza, my Gief was on point, Zazza would have to pull out all his tricks to beat me.

http://img518.imageshack.us/img518/8431/ggpopcto0.jpg

CigarBoB’s GGPO setup

<VF4> what new things made you better? new tricks or techniques? higher reversal percentage? greater matchup knowledge?
<CigarBoB> Watching Jodim, exposure to higher level play, [media=youtube]ul1ur-fbRC0"[/media], there were a ton of good US players as well, I remember playing 40+ games with Ganelon Claw vs Gief. GGPO then was 100 people all the time, top players all the time. Lots of players had big egos on GGPO though, when Grahm Wolfe would jump in on GGPO and I could see him in my mind stroking his own ego.
One night it got so bad that I challenged him to a FT10. I played my ken, and at this point in 2008 I was at the best I had ever played. I beat him 10-4 ken versus Rog, right before that Giga beat him 10-2 Dictator vs Rog. He stopped coming to GGPO for a long time after that because he couldn’t handle losing. Lots of top players can’t take losing on GGPO so they play under alt names to hide their identities. Now GGPO is a shadow of its former self, you have people like Willdestroya thinking they are top players because no one good plays on GGPO often enough to challenge him and knock him down. There just aren’t enough top players, online and offline, to constantly raise the bar. Guys like [media=youtube]Q4QAmRdC6mc"]Ganelon, Damdai, and Rambo deserved to be on the [, because they are top players, the rest of the U.S. I’m not sure about right now.

<VF4> There aren’t enough players in the U.S. to get to the level that the Japanese are?
<CigarBoB> That is just a truth that some people don’t want to own up to, GGPO is a great tool but you are still limited to the level of players, most people on there are stagnate and don’t improve, I’m always pushing my game to get better, but i can only get better than my competition, so there is a limit. You never discover the little things that really matter, for example with Gief, after a knock down you do a meaty st.lk so it hits last frame, makes it a safe meaty because it has 0 recovery, then you SPD to down back during the kick, it’s the little things like that with Gief that take your game to the next level


<CigarBoB> I didn’t go to EVO2008 but i took my cab to 09, by then I had actually built and sold 4 other cabs like mine, but by then I could tell everyone was into HDR.
<VF4> before HDR came out what’d you expect of the project?
<CigarBoB> I had really high hopes but i knew that Sirlin would be the weak link, the second i saw Fei’s changes I knew it wouldn’t be as good, even on paper they don’t make sense, when Sirlin posted his change list I make a huge post of why they were wrong. There was one time when him
and I were in a room, I was still really sharp on my game from GGPO and playing Fei, I played Brian’s Guile and ripped him a new asshole. I didn’t use one thing that Sirlin put in the game, didn’t even use CW at all.
<VF4> O.Fei style
<CigarBoB> Yeah, exactly, Sirlin on the mic said “See that is why I made Fei like that”, then I spoke up “Sirlin you have no idea what you are talking about. I played that match the exact same way I did in ST. Infact, I had to limit my self to no CW’s because they suck now”. He left the room and wouldn’t talk to me any more after that.

<VF4> you played the HDR beta online and discovered the [media=youtube]KwSoMMDXlXk"[/media]?
<CigarBoB> Yeah and posted a video to show the speed difference, they changed it right after that, even used the video to demo it. After HDR came out I played it for two months, then quit, never went back, HDR just never felt right to me.
<VF4> did you go on GGPO after HDR came out?
<CigarBoB> Yeah i went back to GGPO, but it was crickets around there, 30-40 at peak times, really bad.
<VF4> I remember HDR being really popular on XBL/PSN when it first came out
<CigarBoB> really popular, it was crazy, you could go on and play nonstop, i remember i had a record of like 200-9 the first few days, it was actually really boring, then all the iThugs, trashing on me for throwing them

<VF4> you went to EVO2009 despite HDR being featured? and by that point you didn’t like HDR all that much?
<CigarBoB> I didn’t like HDR at all, I still entered it, lost to Caesar on stage, made it to the finals of my bracket vs Viscant, then vs Viscant my make shift table broke and I missed a combo to kill him with Gief. At this point most of the top ST players didn’t like HDR, people like SJV were into it and we would have heated discussions about it. Even at this point Damdai was more into HDR than ST, because he didn’t have to deal with O.Sagat and Claw. Now he is on the other side, and I agree with him about Gief being over powered on HDR. I still find it funny that people like SJV think that they are experts on ST, he was never anything more than average at ST, but now he is an “expert” and prefers HDR


<CigarBoB> Ok so EVO2009, I was running another 3v3 and we had 24 teams for arcade ST, but Ponder came over and shut it down because they needed the floor for the main tourney. The setup was awesome, I had a camera to record the faces, and direct feed audio from the crowd. But Ponder told me to shut it down and refund everyone’s money. If I go to EVO this year Im doing a singles ST tourney, big money only like [URL=“http://shoryuken.com/f7/seasons-beatings-redemption-u-s-vs-intl-ssfiv-5-5-oct-15-17-columbus-oh-245802/”]Season’s Beatings Redemption](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaSMnhGk5Qs"[/media).

<VF4> now after EVO2009 what did you think about the future of ST?
<CigarBoB> IMO the ST community is slowing fading away, one day it will be gone , in japan maybe it will live on, but here… Its GGPO or nothing. I have a hard time seeing any type of real revival of ST as long as HDR is alive, if we can get rid of HDR and converted 10% of the players to ST then it would be good. HDR killed real ST, nothing more to be said about it.
<VF4> would you settle for HDR Classic Mode?
<CigarBoB> Settle? Yea i guess, but I’m at this point in my life that playing anything less than CPS2 is like giving up on a dream.

<VF4> where you surprised that EVO2010 was HDR Remix Mode again?
<CigarBoB> Not at all, why would they switch from HDR to ST? It would just kill them for all the noobs that play it, and there aren’t enough old men to play classic in high numbers.
<VF4> I think if you invited YuuVega, Otochun, Kurahashi, and a few others to EVO, it would be enormous for ST and get a lot of people to come out.
<CigarBoB> Yeah, but why would they come here to play HDR Classic Mode when they can just stay at home and play real ST in the arcade in X-Mania?


#3

<VF4> who do you think are the top three Japanese ST players of all time?
<CigarBoB> Man I have no idea, I have my favoritess, Aniken is my favorite player in Japan, Gian, [media=youtube]s-loLND3Zt8"]Matsun because he is so crazy with his execution, I like to think that my play is some what similar to aniken but that is a far stretch, [URL=“http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLshWHVnX_M”[/media], but he is also a very safe Gief player,

<VF4> what is your least favorite matchup for each of your mains?
<CigarBoB> For Ken, I don’t really feel like I have any matchups that I cant win with players on my level or a little high, but I would have to say, Honda vs Fei, Honda vs Gief. For Honda vs Fei it is a total turtle fest for Honda
<VF4> what advice would you give for someone trying to win Fei vs Honda?
<CigarBoB> use st.fp alot to stop headbutts, good recovery and good hit box, if you should land a cross up just do cr.jab xx rekka, because fp xx rekka will miss on the second hit of the rekka. If you get the lead some how you can sit back and spam LK to stop the head but, but even when you get in on Honda you have to do you damage and get out.
<VF4> how about Gief versus Honda?
<CigarBoB> staying just out side st.fp range will stuff most of Honda’s moves except cr.jab, Gief versus Honda is where I really get lost, most of the time I don’t even have a game plan to pressure him
<VF4> what kind of Honda players bother you the most in that match? Turtle or aggressive players?
<CigarBoB> Turtle, at least with the aggressive ones I know that I will get a sweep in and get a splash and a dizzy on him, the turtle is just hard as fuck, his cr.jab beats everything, I cant jump at him, headbutt beats everything,stored oicho is a pain in the ass, jab hands, hell all hands. I’ve seen Jodim beast on some really good Honda players but I could never figure out how he was doing it.

<VF4> what is your biggest weakness in ST?
<CigarBoB> My execution, but not in the way you think, I feel like i have really good reactions and exection, and I tend to sniff out psychic DP’s a lot with Ken aid Fei, but I get into a lot of trouble with that too, versus a smart player if I am wrong one time I can die. So something I need to work on is just being a bit more reserved conserve a bit more. Also my FB game isn’t too strong with Ken, so I have to rely on my tricks and tactics Ken’s FB’s aren’t that good but I could still use them much better.


<VF4> which is better…ST or HF?
<CigarBoB> ST IMO, to me ST feels like a much more balanced game, with more options, while I can apprecaite and love HF, it can be very one dimensional in some areas, larger cast of characters and a much wider variety of characters really opens up ST, look at the difference of Rog from HF to ST no where near the same character, Ryu/Ken have become so unique from HF to ST that they can really be considered different characters. I don’t think that HF would have lived as long as ST has if the game had stopped there.
<VF4> were you surprised at how popular HF was on XBL when it came out?
<CigarBoB> Not at all, it was mainly nostalgia and how cheap it was. The game was the PS1 port on Xbox 360, with too much lag. But, whenever you have a game with thousands of players they will keep playing no matter how bad it is.

<VF4> is ST the most balanced arcade SFII version?
<CigarBoB> See, balance is an odd thing, I think that just about everyone has the tools they need to compete vs any character, I rarely ever feel like my characters have any inherent disability that I cant overcome with skill, to play them at a decent level you have to be far better than your opponent

<VF4> Who is the most underrated character?
<CigarBoB> i would have to say Fei.
<VF4> who is the most overrated?
<CigarBoB> Claw, midlevel players fear the wall dive so much that they shit their pants, he is top tier for sure, but you block the wall dive and you are back to even.

<VF4> what do you think of counterpicking?
<CigarBoB> no problem with it, it is up to me to be strong in my hard matches, and its up to my opponent to show nay weakness in my game, I’ve worked really hard on matches like Gief vs Blanka, and if someone wants to counter pick that ill give them my best.

<VF4> if you had to enter a tournament like Star Cup, where you get three locked slots, what team would you field?
<CigarBoB> Easy, right now i would say, Fei/Gief/Ken, if I can get my Dhalsim up to par again I would have to flip a coin for Fei or Sim.

<VF4> You don’t care about what tier your characters are?
<CigarBoB> No, i never really have, I play the characters that make me feel good when I win. Each of my characters I have to out play my opponent, winning with a max range SPD or a backward MK FP Rekka with Fei or a beautifully timed DP with Ken is far more rewarding than picking Claw. I would put my three man team vs any counter picker. I will guarantee that I know my bad matches far better then they know what should be a good match up. i laugh every time someone counters my Fei with O.Sagat. I remember when I started to tell people that I think that match is even, they thought I was insane, so I had to prove it. O.Sagat player after O.Sagat player would die to my N.Fei.


And that’s it. Interview number one is done.


#4

Guys, please help nominate and get this posted to srk front page so we can spread the love of sf2!

Cigarbob, thanks for spending the time to share with us.

VF4,
thanks for your hard work, greatly appreciated.

I think all sf2 fans will enjoy this piece. thank you guys.

[ I talked to cigarbob regarding his comment on SJV. He said they’re friends but that’s just his opinions. I hope people would not take that comment too seriously ]

BTW, “Accept defeat” is so Japanese

I can picture Kuni putting his sword back to the sheath, back on Giga and say: “Accept defeat!”

XDDDDDDDD

Can’t wait for other interviews. This is like those good shit that I used to read from SNES game magazines.


#5

Nice interview with Cigarbob VF4.:karate:


#6

Nominated. Certainly a fun read from CigarBoB, who’s always been a fun guy to play against. Glad to see you back from retirement.

That was also a smart line of questioning by VF4. A realtime, custom-tailored interview always flows more fluidly when the interviewer knows how to follow up and is already knowledgeable about the topic. I’d recommend he interview other players he has time and interest for.

This series of interviews that papasi has proposed is really looking to be a great idea because week after week (well, maybe not that rapid), we’ll be receiving a huge amount of info on the game from different perspectives who lived in various places and started SF2 at different times. It’s a great way to promote SF2 and also serves as a fascinating reference to the august history of this long-lived game.


#7

Got my nomination. Good shit.


#8

This interview was as good as VF4 said it would be. Nominated!


#9

Thanks for the interview, vf4 and CigarBob. Great stuff, for sure.


#10

Great job, thanks to both interviewer and interviewee.

I liked this quote: “winning with a max range SPD or a backward MK FP Rekka with Fei or a beautifully timed DP with Ken is far more rewarding than picking Claw.”

But I think the comments about SJV were unnecessary.


#11

Man that desk is so cool.


#12

That was awesome until the “waa-waa HDR/Sirlin sucks” part. I also agree with geo about the incredibly unnecessary personal attacks.


#13

Great article! Bravo on the great job VF4! I nominated it for an article. But 5% of me regrets doing that because:

LOL! CB, you dick! I don’t really take offense to it. I know CB and I assume that was just a friendly jab. But you have some splainin to do next time I’m on GGPO! :rofl::lovin::rofl:

Just to set the record straight, I don’t think I’m an “expert” player. I have no delusions about my skills. If I was to rank my skills on a tier chart, with the Japanse being S rank, and the top US players being A rank, I’d rate myself as a mid to low-end B rank player. In other words I think I’m above average, but certainly not an “expert”.

Now, my knowledge of the game and debating skills may be another story. Hehe, but seriously, I’m a pretty chill and humble guy. Fuck…why am I even explaining any of this. Most of you guys know me well enough :wgrin:


#14

Do all ST guys just circle jerk each other?

Nice interview, would like to see more, hopefully less sand…


#15

LOL SJV you know i have always hated you!!! I think you know what i meant and I didn’t say anything that I hadn’t said to you directly in person. Especially when we were debating HDR vs ST at EVO09 during the finals.

SJV and I just have different opinions on the game.

And as far my comments on Srilin. I was asked a direct question and I gave a very nice honest answer. VF4 even edited it down quite a bit.

No need to turn this into a HDR vs ST thing any how.

Yes and your not invited.


#16

More insults, great. CigarBob, I have no memory of that exchange ever taking place between us. The last thing you ever said to me was how great HD Remix is and how much you like it.

Also, Fei Long is obviously better in HD Remix, I can’t believe that’s even still debated. (Just look at how he appears in tournaments now…) Beating Brian is neither here nor there. I beat him really badly in person with Fei Long in HD Remix, heavily using the new stuff. No knock on Brian, it has nothing to with anything anyway.

Sorry to hear that you’re full of negativity. Like I said, last I heard from you was all good.


#17

Sirlin,
Thanks for reading and posting in this thread. I refuse to take this to a HDR v ST thread.

I made my opinion more than clear shortly after HDR came out and I do not need to go into it again. FYI I NEVER said that i loved HDR at any point.


#18

Hehe. Ya, i figured I knew what you meant. My only real objection is the insinuation about me thinking I’m some expert. And that’s only cause this thing is gonna wind up on the front page. But whatever, if people wanna call me out on that I can probably take most of 'em anyway :wgrin: It’s all good dude.


#19

Guys, please calm down.

This is just one person’s opinion.

We still have folks like DGV, Afro legends, Snakes eyez, Kuroppi, BTC, ganelon who all love/play HDR, and they would have another side of the story to be told.

Cigarbob is in the ST camp. So just take it as it is. I hope no one is offended as he sometimes can be too straight forward with his words.

We just want to learn more about SF2’s history through different people’s perspective.

[EDIT:

if you haven’t checked out the giga vs danpei match linked in the interview, you’re missing some very very solid ryu play

]


#20

Actually i dont go by caesar people know me now by Mongolorobokop Aka Mongoloidrobo aka MangoRobokop just to let ya know

P.S. I still hate you


#21

hate you too mongo