Sponsors need to take heed, because Joshua “Wolfkrone” Philpot is putting his name on the free agency map this season. Having placed 3rd at Frosty Faustings IX, 2nd at Naptown Clutch 6, as well as strong results at Final Round 20, he had already shown himself capable this year. His meteoric rise to the top of the charts at ELEAGUE, finishing at #1 in Group C–which was considered the pool of death–has cemented his place as a player to be feared.
While at Naptown Clutch, I talked to Philpot about his feelings on Street Fighter V’s Laura this season, his chances on making Capcom Cup this year, and his ever-growing rivalry with EG|Kenneth “K-Brad” Bradley.
Corey “Missing Person” Lanier: Josh, congratulations on your success at Naptown Clutch. 2nd was not what you were looking for I’m sure, but run me through the match with EG|NYChrisG in grand finals.
Joshua “Wolfkrone” Philpot: I definitely need more Guile experience. The Guiles that I find online are pretty easy to beat, but I believe they’re not on the same level as Chris. During the first game with Chris, he turtled the whole time, moving back and throwing Sonic Booms. During the second game, I realized that’s what he was doing, and adapted. I went in a lot more. It worked and I won that game. During the third game, he adapted as well, and started pressing more normal buttons in the neutral game. I didn’t anticipate that, as it’s easily punishable on whiff. He won the third game off of that. In the final game, I re-adapted and started punishing the normal moves he was throwing out. He immediately switched it up again.
That’s one thing that online players struggle with doing is the constant adaptation. We were both constantly adapting to each other over the course of the set.
Missing Person: How are you feeling with Laura? You were one of the holdouts last year, even though she was considered bad last season.
Wolfkrone: I like the adjustments that Capcom made that made her tournament viable. The main thing that I didn’t like in Season 1 were V-Reversals. Whenever you applied pressure and were at an advantage, various characters could just V-Reversal and make it their turn to do the same thing. I felt like it was unfair for most of the cast to make you work your way to get in, then off one safe block string, they can knock you down, and it would be their turn to apply pressure.
Also in Season 1, a lot of characters were using [invincible] DPs to get out of my setups. Now they actually have to block. I feel like they actually have to fight me instead of just doing DP.
I feel like Laura is viable now, and doesn’t have to deal with abuse from the rest of the cast anymore.
Missing Person: Do you worry that the new patch may flip it back around, or do you think that Laura will stay viable?
Wolfkrone: I haven’t felt any sort of worry about it this time. I would actually even be happy if they reverted the changes. My main concern was DPs. I actually like Season 1 Laura. I was actually peaking near the end of Season 1 just before the patch took effect. I think I would’ve done well this season in spite of DPs. I was actually getting better with my reads on when to apply pressure. Even if they reverted her changes, I would be happy.
Missing Person: Will we see you travel more this year on the Capcom Pro Tour?
Wolfkrone: Well, you know we all have real life responsibilities outside of the game. But as time permits, I plan to travel as much as I can, and hopefully qualify into Capcom Cup.
Missing Person: What do you feel will be your biggest hurdle in doing so?
Wolfkrone: After playing some of the pre-season tournaments, I’d say my biggest challenge so far is Guile. I’ve lost two tournaments to Guile. I’m confident that Laura can beat any character in the game. It’s just very difficult for her to get to him.
Missing Person: So do you feel like it’s adapting your mobility and approaches then?
Wolfkrone: That would be great, but that matchup still favors Guile. It’s one of those bad matchups where she just simply can’t get her way. He doesn’t really have to play footsies; he can spend the entire match playing keep away from her. You can die just trying to get to him.
Missing Person: At Frosty Faustings, we saw a bit of a pop-off from you against K-Brad. What’s the background on that one?
Wolfkrone: I have historically always beaten K-Brad, even in Street Fighter IV. All of a sudden in Street Fighter V, he started acting like he wasn’t used to losing to me. He acting like he was shocked to lose to me. So I just wanted to send a message and tell him, “I’ll always beat your ass.”
Missing Person: Do you think there could be an exhibition between the two of you at some point?
Wolfkrone: There’s always the possibility of it. Shinblanka offered to hold one at Final Round, and I declined; I want him to earn his chance at redemption. Until then, he can hold the loss. I know at Final Round, I’ll be up there alone on the stage, and all his little friends will run up there to try to coach him. I don’t want to worry about that. My sights are set on the CPT. That’s more important to me. He can hold that grudge.
Missing Person: Something that was discussed shortly after that by Yahoo! Esports was how rivalries in the FGC were necessary, and how they were diminishing. Do you feel like the FGC is being whitewashed to the point that they are disappearing? Do you feel like they should actually be common?
Wolfkrone: I feel like they should be common. It rids the scene of contentment. You shouldn’t be thinking that you beat someone or got beat by someone and be happy either way. When someone beats you, you should never be happy about it.
I don’t want to generalize and say that it’s like that across the board. But when someone bodies you and you smile and shake their hand like it’s okay, I can’t stand it. It’s not okay. It should never be okay.
People keep saying, “Well, you have to be a good sport.” But those people are likely being eliminated in pools. They don’t know how it feels to be up on that stage to lose like that. It doesn’t always hurt to express how you feel, and I don’t feel like you should be punished by the public for that because of how they feel you should act. I feel like players should always be able to express themselves, and rivalries are part of that expression.
While Philpot lost to K-Brad at Final Round 20 in one of the most infamous popoffs to date, he currently has the last laugh in his performance against his rival at ELEAGUE. We’ll see how this growing feud develops over the course of the season.