Super Steam Xrd Exhitbition League, which features two FT7 matches every week, continues this weekend with a new set of challengers. The PC league will include an exciting matchup between May and Chipp, which can get very explosive. That’s between BloodWolf and B.Z.B. The second set, between Grant’s Slayer and zenzen’s Ky, will be a good demonstration on how Ky establishes control, versus the Slayer player taking smart risks.
Here’s a breakdown on the new fighters duking it out this weekend, and a little on their background:
On the match: “I am very excited for the set. I’m glad I was chosen for this event and given such a skilled opponent. I’ve played him a few times in the past and the matches were always extremely exciting and enjoyable. I hope we’re both able to play at 100% and make this event entertaining for those watching.”
On his opponent: “I think he’s an extremely skilled player, and a pretty nice guy when I’ve talked with him. In the times we’ve played, he was always on point with his confirms and made it very difficult to get a hit in. I’ll have to make sure I make my hits count.”
On his own playstyle: “My own style? I’m not sure. I’m pretty terrible at the self-assessment and classification thing. I guess I’d say I play through instinct. Maybe that’s not the right word. Ironically, I think a ton in the lab all day, and when I get home to play games, I do just that, I play. I just play a lot. Gameplay-wise, I chose May because of her dynamic options and combos from the summons. I get the most enjoyment out of confirming stuff based on ball position or a summoned dolphins, so I like to summon a lot. That’s not something I can do too freely in this matchup though. This is more like catching an angry wasp with….well, an anchor.”
On the match: “I personally feel like it’s slightly in May’s favor. Chipp can out-maneuver May, but May can take a lot more risks to even it up. She’s got a quick backdash and a very good jump arc to get away from my ground normal and pressure me from the air. Air-to-air is very risky to try to beat her normal preemptively. Solid neutral and not dropping oki opportunities is going to be key for me.”
On his opponent: “I met BloodWolf for the first time at Evo 2015! We’ve only played casuals at tournaments I’ve managed to make it out to, but we did get some recent matches online via Steam. He’s learned a lot since we last played! I’ll definitely need to step-up my gameplan to beat him.”
On his own playstyle: “I would say my playstyle is very momentum-based. Xrd was the first installment of Chipp that really normalized his combos, which let me focus more on learning his okizeme and playing the player rather than the matchup. My goal with Chipp is to frazzle you and capitalize on your mistakes.”
On the match: “When it comes to the character matchup, this is going to be a tough match. Ky is a very hard character for Slayer to fight due to how safely he can play neutral and establish an effective zoning game. When you pit him against Slayer, who has to take high risks in order to get started, he is very oppressive. Luckily, I often play against many talented Ky players, so I feel like I have a very good grasp on the matchup. I am confident that I can win this FT7.”
On his opponent: “I think that zenzen is a very undervalued player who is definitely a threat. As far as I know she only appeared on the radar quite recently and is starting to become well known in the US scene for her solid Ky play. I think that she definitely has the potential to become a bracket killer so I expect great things from her.”
On his own playstyle: “I think of myself to be a very aggressive and read-based player. I love getting in my opponent’s head at close range and using all of the tools at my disposal to instill fear. I do play very risky, so I enjoy characters that give me a good reward for taking such risks. Slayer is a perfect character for me since he excels at all of these things. Since I mostly play from the heart and focus on player vs. player interaction, I feel like I make decisions that other players wouldn’t think to make. This does get me into trouble from time to time, but I feel like my mentality is both the most fun for me, and I’ve managed to make it work for the most part. I still have much to learn until I can consider myself a top player, but I am confident that I’ll get there!”
On the match: “I personally think that Ky has a distinct advantage in this matchup, due to Ky’s neutral game having consistent answers to Slayer’s options. For example, Ky’s 2D is a strong tool due to its fast startup and incredible amount of active frames. This can easily stuff two of Slayer’s main movement tools in his forward dash and Dandy Step, which both have invulnerability; forward dash in the later portion. Other useful tools in my arsenal include 2S, f.S, and Stun Edge YRC. IAD is also generally not a good option for Slayer to approach with, as Ky’s 6P and 2H will cleanly stuff any jump-in.
“However, not everything is sunshine and Greed Severs for Ky. Whiffing any Slash normal is dangerous, especially if Slayer used his forward dash or Dandy to go through it. This situation will almost always lead to a knockdown for Slayer, and that’s when he gets really scary. Once he has his pressure going, he has access to a lot of great tools. Many of his moves are plus on block, even if Instant Blocked, and can lead to deadly frame traps and even mixup if respected enough. 6K and It’s Late are throw invulnerable, so they can blow up mindless throw mash easily and go into high damage combos. Backdash cancel is also an annoyance, even if I’m on the offensive; Ky’s usually consistent okizeme options can be evaded by BDC jump and BDC Dandy YRC.
“Overall, the matchup is personally very fun to me. With Ky’s strong neutral, it can seem hopeless, but knowing that Slayer just needs one chance can be frightening, yet thrilling.”
On her opponent: “Grant is a player that I have a lot of respect for. I got to meet him at CEOtaku this past year, and I had a lot of great back and forth matches with him. I haven’t gotten many chances to play against him since, but I’m excited to play against his Slayer. I think he’ll come in with a good approach with the matchup as well, as he has two good Ky players in his area, Ukyo and Kizzercrate.”
On her own playstyle: “I like to play characters with strong normals and good neutral control, so I think Ky fits me like a glove. Despite that, I have a fairly aggressive playstyle. It used to be aggressive to the point where playing a character like Ky probably wouldn’t fit me well, but over the time I’ve been playing Guilty Gear (since Xrd release), I’ve calmed down and learned to play reactive when needed to. And reactive play is something that Ky excels in.
“As for my aggressive play, I try to be relentless in pressure, sometimes getting greedier than I should and getting blown up for it. I’m also not against utilizing hard reads often depending on the matchup; for example, I try to IB into Vapor Thrust a lot on defense if I’m playing against a character who has a lot of gaps in their offense. Despite how risky it can be, I find that it can help tame a player’s offense, giving me opportunities to get out of pressure later on without having to go to such an option.
“Perhaps that shows how inconsistent my play can be sometimes, but it’s what feels right to me!”
zenzen will be up first against Grant. After that FT7 finishes, BloodWolf will make his case against B.Z.B. This time, the league match will air on Sunday, April 2nd, 7:00 PM ET/6:00 PM CT/4:00 PM PT on silva_hime’s Twitch channel. FaultyDefense and Voguekun are up to provide commentary.
Last week’s Super Steam Xrd Exhibition League featured tenpai!!’s Dizzy and Octopimp’s Potemkin. ElvenShadow’s Faust also fought Zidane’s Leo. See how that turned out below:
Sources: Mdesilva; interviews