Top Player Mentality


SSF4 is coming out pretty soon, so this is a perfect time to post this.
There has been a real problem in this community lately, which on the long run can?t do anything but affect it, and this problem cannot be described as anything but
?Top Player Worship?

Don?t get me wrong, the purpose of this article isn?t to disrespect top players or anything like that. Top players are really smart people who deserve respect. Now with that said a lot of people are deforming this respect and turning it into a senseless and mediocre mindset that can only produce a senseless and mediocre player.

I?m talking about players who see something and instead of analyzing the situation; they just say ?He?s Justin Wong, that?s how he did it? or ?Daigo made a psychic DP? or players who won?t even dare to think that they have the ability to beat JWong or Daigo, and whenever they face a top player in a tourney, they loose to themselves before the match even starts.

This is a long read. I always thought it would have been better to illustrate this on a video, but I?m not good at making videos, so I decided to write it.

Hope you enjoy it

Top Player Mentality (TPM)


I want to be clear on something.
Mentality is something that?s completely subjective. The main purpose of this thread is to help you understand that you need to develop a mindset by yourself.
If by the end of this article you feel that now you?re going to follow this mindset instead of the one you currently have, then you didn?t understand anything at all.

Let?s get this started
TPM Tip #1 ? Follow the cause, not the messenger**

This is the #1 mistake that most new players do. When somebody sees a top player doing something that he/she feels identified with, 99% of the time, people direct their respect to the player himself instead of the play style he?s using.
You have to realize that you are you and you will never be like Daigo or Alex Valle, you can only be you, Daigo and Alex Valle will never be you either.

This means that what you?re feeling is identification with this play style, not the player.
If you direct your respect to the player, then you?re only going to be as good as that player is.

I met Combofiend back in 2004 when I was a beginner MvC2 player. I played team Combofiend at the time, and when I met him it was really exiting for me.
A couple of years later (2007) I saw Combofiend again at EVO and we were talking about different stuff. He asked me ?So you still play my team??? I answered yes and he seemed a little surprised about it. I asked him why and he answered
?I figured you would have quitted by now since I haven?t won any Marvel tourneys lately (by this time Combofiend was more focused on CvS2)?

It?s sad to say, but in reality, a lot of people did stop using this team cause of that.
If you realize that you feel identified with the play style rather than the player, that?s a more real and responsible approach to become a serious player.

In other words, you don?t want to be in a position where you follow Daigo for example, you want to be in a position where you and Daigo follow the same thing, and if Daigo starts falling apart, that won?t affect you at all.

** TPM Tip #2 ? Skill level is a Subjective thing**

This can sound pretty obvious for some people, but it is in fact something that people tend to forget all the time (this happens a lot in tournaments).
There?s no way to measure your skill level.
When a match starts, you and your opponent have the same exact chance of winning and losing, even if you?re playing against someone with more experience than you.

This is really hard for people to accept since they can?t even permit themselves to consider that they can beat players like Alex Valle or JWong.

I know that you can come up with thousands of reasons of why the odds are against you if you play against Daigo, but remember that like you, he has to figure you out as well.

?Imagination is more important than knowledge? ? Albert Einstein

I know that a lot of players are gonna freak out after reading this but…
if you play against Justin Wong in a tournament
All of his tournament titles DON’T MEAN ANYTHING
We live here and now, and right here and right now, we both have the same life bar amount left.

TPM Tip #3 ? Know your priorities**

How many times have you lost a match cause you spent the entire round trying to land that flashy combo, or do that tactic you saw???
a lot right???

You have to be aware that your priority is to make sure that your opponent?s life bar reaches zero. Whenever you learn to do something, be aware that this is a tool for you to use, it isn?t a tactic that?s supposed to be the priority of the match.
You have to learn not only how to execute this new combo you just learned, but you also have to understand what this is useful for.
If you learn something and you don?t know why it?s good to know it, then you?re just wasting your time.

Sad to say, but most players imitate something and then they run to perform it against somebody like a robot, with no real knowledge of why, and this may work, but on the long run, a smart player will easily detect that you don?t know how to use it, and he will make you pay for it.

Make this tactics your own, understand how it works completely.
Dont be lazy and just call a combo “The Daigo Special”

TPM Tip #4 ? Do everything with a reason, don?t follow a script**

?Your opponent is just as good as you let him be? ? Alex Valle

Have you ever realized that there are a lot of things we do on a match that we didn?t really have to do. That?s because lots of players are really impulsive, and they freak out when something that they?re not familiar with happens.

You have to get the habit of questioning everything you see, understand why and go from there. Only a fool uses something cause they think that if a top player does it then it must be right. You CAN disagree with a top player?s method.

?Don?t do something cause you think its good if it hits, do something cause you think it will hit? ? Ohnuki

What Nuki means is that if you understand something, then go for it, don?t hesitate, go for the hit. Trust yourself; trust what you?ve been observing.
You?re not always gonna be right on what you think is gonna happen, but I can assure you that this habit creates champions since you will actually train your mind into reading your opponent as you look for reasons to do something.

Even if you don?t land every single hit, the habit of doing everything with a reason will improve your skills a LOT.

**TPM Tip #5 ? There?s not a real reason to be nervous
If you learn to accept that you have the same chance to win that your opponent has. You can easily realize that there?s no reason to be nervous, even if a big crowd is watching, or if you?re on a major tourney.
There?s nothing set in stone in a discipline like this.
I know you can come up with tons of reasons to feel nervous in a tournament like EVO, but when you think about it, you have the same amount of reasons to be exited, so why do you only pay attention to the reasons to feel nervous???
Top players realize that there?s no reason to be exited or nervous, that?s why you usually see them with a straight emotionless gesture [media=youtube]DHi8MUVopVI#t=4m55s"[/media]

TPM Tip #6 ? Keep in mind the way you condition your opponent

Have you seen [media=youtube]_HuUJBqDbZ8#t=4m45s"[/media]???
Sad to say, but most people only remember those 10 seconds from that video
Most mediocre players would just assume this is a psychic DP, when in reality, Daigo spent most of the match conditioning Iyo for this.

I won?t get into much detail, look at the video and you will realize that in reality, Daigo was reducing his risk rather than taking a big risk. Daigo fanboys usually tend to ignore all the dps that daigo whiffed before landing that one.

I hope this article is helpful to yall.
Lets stop this top player worship and lets level up so we can be a community of professionals.
This hobby is better than you think.
If you develop the skills to be organized and calm with what you’re doing while keeping an open mind, you will see that these skills can apply to real life as well.


Good read.


good read. i agree with the points you are making

mods will probrablly move it to FGD though:)


nice post



This really has nothing to do with SSF4, and you should know where to put your posts by now.


stuff like this gives me hope for FG community. if EVERYONE followed this it would be decent


Worst part is when after hearing something like “Daigo doesn’t like playing against console characters in money matches” these dickriders will get offended and act as if Daigo somehow betrayed them.


Damn it’s been a minute since I’ve posted on these forums…

With that said this article was so good I wanted to suggest that you see about getting it thrown up on the front page for those newcomers to read. Most new players come here because they saw a video of a top player, then end up imitating that player instead of the skill and what they are actually accomplishing. We all know it, we all see it, most of us have done it at least once. Either way good read man.



i feel that

good read. unfortunately people have bad life habits that are just gonna transfer over to fighting games, and just turn out even worse for them. i go through life with my head up, ego trippin, walking through life with little fear, even if the odds are against me, and you know what, its always fucking worked out. gotta stay confident man. bring that spartan out in you, and keep truckin. with that said.

thing is, the community has made people scared to straight up be like, i dont think valle’s ryu is that good, because as soon as that is said, you get a ton of wanna be og’s just blah blah blahing them to death about how he’s done so much for the community, and who the fuck are you, blah blah blah. so you know what they end up doing, shutting the fuck up and following. this thread is not only directed at newcomers, but at people who have been around a while who just back up top players they dont even know like that just because.

i understand it can be frustrating when someone blatantly says something dumb and out of line, but people are allowed to have opinions. hell, i dont think the u.s is shit compared to the rest of the world when it comes to most of our fighting games. fact. bet it. can we be the shit? of fucking course, but only with a proper attitude, and hard work. attitude being the keyword here. unless jwong is your boy, who gives a fuck about jwong. really. this culture is wrong at times, and we are putting people up on pedestols like they should be admired and gawked at, when really, who gives a fuck. move on, figure how to beat him next time. you wanna visit jwongs website, and follow his life on twitter, feel free, but you need to recognize your in this game to win, not have fun, and shake hands with good games all day while you lose. to win. to look good doing it too. sorry, the ego coming out. lol. hell, at least look good losing. u.s be looking horrible when they lose sometimes. just bad. like damn, do you play this game at all.

maybe thats just me. on a personal level, yes i can respect someone as a man, a player, and a human being, but when it comes to this gaming shit, i will have an opinion for days when necessary. the thing is, theyre such good players that most of the time there isnt much negative to say about their gameplay, so just analyze, and move on, but dont just follow. i read shit all the time in chat or on hear with people justifying what the fuck they do, and how they play because of other players. like flat out, wong does this, or gillie said that. im not saying dont take info, but i think if gillie dropped guile, the whole guile forum would fall off the face of srk, or if wong said fuck sf4 a long time ago, hundreds of people would just follow suit.

i understand a lot of people just flat out to be honest, dont give a fuck. that is the american fight gaming culture. its a lot more casual then serious. we know it, other countries know it, and it blatantly shows in comparison to our top 8 of any game, vs the top 8 of other countries in said game, except maybe marvel and mortal kombat. but at the very least in my opinion, you can be a high intermediate player without as much grinding as you think. hence why so much has popped up on srk over time about training smart, etc… everyone has time. people on srk with wives, children, or are just drunk 9-5 working party animals still can make time, anyone can. if you wanna be the best, be the best. whats stopping you?

i think its that scared to succeed syndrome also that stops some people. like, they dont want to be the best, and are content being okay, which is understandable, but for what. at the end of the day, if you have the game, the console, the stick, the tv, and srk, you can make 2-3 hours in your day to get better. especially considering most of srk members are between 18-22. yall not even old yet. lol. all that damn free time yall got. ha ha

i dont see hope for the future to be honest, because following people is some hardwired bullshit stuck in most peoples brains in a subconscious zombified type way, so thats what they will do, and its just even worse when it comes to this fighting game shit. fighting games are not rocket science at all. it takes some time to come up, and no im not talking years, thats bullshit, but with all the help that has been on srk with footsie articles, and keeping the hype through combo challenges, podcast, right way to train threads, and countless amounts of videos on youtube, i am utterly shocked when i see someone at a tourney that they drove to and spent their money on, to just play like complete trash. utterly shocked and in disbelief.

hell im still pissed at my tvc performance last evo. im ten times better then that, and had access to the game. i basically gave away money, and for what. i knew i had to be sharper, and yeah it was only ten or five bucks, but thats still money out my pocket, time out of my day. i shoudve taken that way more serious, and i guarantee it would have shown. i came in like 5th, but not the way i wanted to. far from the way i wanted to. keyword in the past few sentences was “serious”. people are all just like, eh, whatever, i just came to gawk. fuck that. if you lose, at least lose with some damn dignity. i lost, and i dont think i lost with proper dignity. yaris came in third, but you know what, i look back at his videos and im like, at least he was getting that shit in something serious.

there is nothing stopping people from being high intermediate to advanced players but themselves. i havent been able to play games in months because im boycotting my broke xbox ( LOL ), and never played sf4 like that, and i bet as soon as i get back on here soon, because im fiending, i could take that serious for a month, and play better then most people i see that have been playing it for months. oh surely you jest jimmy. no, because i have the right mindset to make it happen, and i understand this shit aint rocket science. get in do work. bam

i really liked the part on nervousness. i understand cultures are very different within our community, so yes, niggaz from ny might be more ego high and ready to go, then random 18 year old in alabama somewhere, but really, there is no need to be nervous. i realized that coming up the ranks in tekken back east. i never really got that nervous to be honest, but one time it just clicked, i was like, wtf, i can hurt niggaz too, fuck i have even one ounce of nervousness for. for what.

im not trying to suggest any type of disrespect by the way, but really, most of us dont know these top players, so get in and do work. i understand srk elitism at its finest can be intimidating, and people hunt threads just to find the lulz, or fucking grille you into the ground until you just quit, but at the end of the day, fuck them, who are they. no one, exactly.

i wanna see an army of american fighting game spartans at evo this year. i want everyones pool to be rough. unknowns droppin l’s on known players. all that shit. ha ha


Very good post JD in order for our community to evolve we can’t worship our pro’s . I believe that many in our community has an inferiority complex that they need to get rid of .


^ yeah they do. major inferiority complex sometimes. like when i made a thread recently about its almost summer time, time to get right, lose that weight, step up your game, blah blah blah. people are all like, waaah, fuck you, i dont wana be like you. fuck being like me, be the best you can be, rather then just woulda shoulda coulda your whole life, and i see that with the community at times. just ready to bow down just because, and for what. i understand the community is relatively young in age, but i didnt know so many people just like giving away money and time like that.

when sf4 first dropped, yall remember all that wong hate. people were all like, “who does wong think he is. he such an ego terd. waah waah waah”, and now look, they riding his dick. but point being, mad people showed their weakness right there. hating on wong for being confident, and hype. for what? same reason a bitch hates on another bitch at the club that they know looks better then them. they feel inferior,so they just lash out, and that just transcends to their gaming, and they suck and feel inferior there too, except now rather then hate as much as they use to, they just dick ride and still suck.

thats why i have little hope, because the fighting game part is easy, but getting better at self, well thats beyond street fighter.


I posted on the SSF4 section cause this is an article directed more to new players, and they are easy to find in that section, but you’re right
its better if its here


This year is gonna be my first evo regardless of that I still am gonna try to win. If our community is to grow we are gonna have to challenge the status quo . As hated as online play is it gives us the ability to play against anybody anytime of the day. We should embrace this as a chance to put on clinics and help each other get better. The U.S is many times larger than Japan thats a gift and a curse for our community. We now can play all time against anyone ,but we lack face to face interaction that japanese arcades have.With the new addition of team battle for SSIV we should see more regions fighting and training together since we all can be in the same lobby sharing tips , and giving advice.


if i can keep it real for a second

for any newcomers reading at least what i said, dont take offense if your game isnt that good, but really analyze why your game isnt that good, and i bet it has nothing to do with street fighter. that might be a little too deep for this thread, but thats where it needs to go. getting good at street fighter is nothing. thats cake, so ask yourself, why the fuck do i still suck. its like the people who complain about losing weight, and blah blah, when they just need to fucking do it. other people have, why cant you. if you cant get over the hump, then thats when you need to step back and be like, what the fuck am i doing wrong.

a lot of things affect us in life, relationships, stress, self esteem issues, etc… analyze that shit, find the demon inside you, acknowledge it, get rid of that bitch, and lets go. i been distracted by my favorite hobby before, and thought i had just peeked, but realized those odd moments that when im just focussed, confident, and hitting them buttons, i would win convincingly. so obviously i was not confident for some reason that i wasnt doing that regularly. it cant be tekken, thats just a game, whats intimidating about that. when i thought about it, i realized i was distracted by real life shit that was bringing me down, that in turn subconsciously was affecting my game play. sounds too deep, but hey, real is real. believe it or not. as life got better, i got more confident, my game got more confident, and i played better.

sometimes you gotta go beyond the game. street fighter, tekken, bb, are just games. the top player mentality goes beyond an ability to just be able to execute well, and know matchups. believe that. everyone got something to work on personally, but when i played with top players i always felt some type of confidence that came from them that was not there in scrubs that i would just beat down. their aura is just different. if i can say something real outside of the usual practice practice practice, what i have posted would be it.


what is a problem is this “preferred seeding” that is allowed in tournaments. Like instead of players seeded randomly its “oh wait can’t put marn and j.wong in the same bracket pools” but we can put all of Dallas, TX into the same pool so there is NO CHANCE that more than one player could make top 8 from Dallas (this was at Final Round). That’s weird and NOT RIGHT.

Now I’m not saying that Dallas TX has the greatest players of all time or anything (most didn’t even go to FR), but its odd that some players are given special treatment and others…well it doesn’t matter about them because they aren’t “famous”

Its like the same players are given preferential treatment so the same players are able to make it to top 8 (or at least it makes it easier for them to!)

Not that the players who made top 8 didn’t have a lot of skill and they still had to fight to get to top 8 but come on!!!

It would be different if said players had won a qualifier or something…Like when Magic: The Gathering Tournaments have “Grand Prix Qualifiers” that earn them 3 round byes into a bigger tournament.

All this “hero worship” has got to go!!!


When Super Street Fighter 4 comes out we should do our part to make to get a real a training/sparring program going.

  1. Lets create a schedule
    2.Create a list of players for each console who are participating in the program.
  2. Lets not bash or commit e-genocide on the 10ers if certain ones give us problems just ignore them or get them banned.
  3. Make threads in the Newbie Saikyo Dojo to ease them into the program
  4. Promote character diversity and maining at least 2 characters, Be a master of one than a master of none.
  5. Lets get our experienced and veteran players involved they have experience that can help new players understand how to play SSFIV and fighting games in general.


I dont think that discussion belongs here

Thanks, but Im not the one who makes that decision
its made by posters, not the OP
try clicking on the nominate for article button and it will hopefully be posted on the front page


Whoa, are you serious?


Whoa, are you serious?


Good post.

Unrelated, but I found the comments in the SBO CvS2 video hilarious.