We’re back to our usual programming with a preview of the upcoming Super Steam Xrd Exhibition League. It’s a little bit different this time, as we’re switching continents. The Europe special showcases four Daredevils from Finland, Russia, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Let them Keep the Flag Flying for their homelands and let’s see what they have to say before they face-off in FT7 sets on Silva’s stream this Sunday.
Here they are: first up will be Raven vs. ZoKHiZ, followed by Pida vs. King_Rasta.
Tell us a little bit about playing GG in your country, and your scene: “I think the Russian community is one of the strongest. Top RU players can compete with top EU and US easily. We have more than 15 players at the top of the community. Notable players are Goga (Chipp), Kler (Ram), Loulaim (Ky), Ashimriat (Sol), Diron (VE) and special notice to Potemkin player, ArsenKamelot, who helped me prepare for Shine at Evo. We have like 100-ish players at our biggest GG major. And the older players like me have some sort of second family.”
On his opponent: “I hope he will not take me to the bus tour. At least not too often… But I do think the match-up is slightly in my favor, and I will make the best of it. So I’m sure it will be entertaining to watch.”
On his own playstyle: “I’m in love with Johnny’s conversion from footsies actually, and also I like to do some hard read options in between the spacing game. Overall, I pretty much am a passive-aggressive player. The weakest part of my game probably is anti-airing and unknown matchups because I freeze too much.”
Tell us a little bit about playing GG in your country, and your scene: “Let’s see… First of, Finland is a somewhat big country when compared to the amount of people who are living here. There are not that many bigger cities, and they are somewhat far apart from each other, so getting offline matches can be hard depending where you live. For example, the city where I live, there is one active player for Guilty Gear, me! For nearest offline games, I have to travel around 100-150 km or 250km to the capital city where most of the players are. Sadly because of this, most of the time you have to rely on online play for games.
On his opponent: “That’s a tough one. Raven plays Johnny and is one of the best players in Russia, he has played Guilty Gear series for very long time so he has lots of knowledge of the game. I haven’t played against him that many times before, so I can’t really comment on him on a personal level. But I’m sure it’s not going to be easy for me, I’ll try to play my best and show you all what I can do!
On his own playstyle: “Hmmm, I tend to gravitate toward slow, hard-hitting walls of meat, so Potemkin was a pretty obvious choice for me in GG. My playstyle? Guess I would like to consider myself to be more of a defensive/reactive player, not that you have that many options when playing Potemkin in Xrd. Other than that, I don’t know what to say, I am not the kind of person to toot my own horn, I’ll let my games speak for me.”
Tell us a little bit about playing GG in your country, and your scene: “With 10-15 players, we are not exactly such a big GG community, but I guess it ain’t that bad for such a small country [Austria]. We usually play offline, thanks to having the VirtualDojo available, but online king-of-the-hill lobbies happen regularly too. That amount of players isn’t enough to get familiar with every matchup, but that’s what the EU discord is for, that has managed to attract a lot of great players and is the #1 place to go to look for some matches. The average skill level and the playerbase has increased significantly in EU since -SIGN- came out, and Discord, as well as event organizers, helped quite a lot in that regard.”
On his opponent: “Pida is a great Axl player, in my opinion, the best in Europe, and it was fantastic to see how quickly he managed to get to the level he currently is. I think Xrd -SIGN- was the first Guilty Gear he played and he is one of the younger players around too, so that’s quite something. We don’t play that much online anymore, but our matches are usually very even and close.
“The match-up I’d say is quite even, and very weird for both parties. Both Faust and Axl force each other to do things they usually don’t want to do, namely go in neutral. Axl has overall stronger pokes hitbox-wise and Rensen to just stuff almost everything Faust does, but Faust hits way harder and can throw items to get opportunities. As a Faust, I have to make calls when to just dash in or when there might be a chance to counterpoke. A few good pokes can turn everything around though.”
On his own playstyle: “I prefer a more defensive and reaction based playstyle, where I annoy my opponent (with items and pokes) until he goes in, then punish those approaches. If I get the chance to start mix-ups and rushdown, I’ll go for that and play aggressively until it’s back to neutral. This is one of the aspects I really like about Faust. The other thing I really enjoy doing is just improvising around the items, see how what I get and how I can use certain things for combos and mix-ups. There are a lot of setups you can learn in Training Mode, but some item constellations are just too specific to Training. And those are the situations I really enjoy too, as they are also the most interesting situations and make Faust entertaining to watch and play.”
Tell us a little bit about playing GG in your country, and your scene: ” The Guilty Gear community in the Czech Republic is quite small, we have only about 10 players. Most of them are really dedicated to the game though. Probably the most visible guy from our community is prk`who streams his netplay adventures. Czechs travel a lot around the European tournaments, where we are usually able to get quite good placings. You can also hear some of us commentating at European events.”
On his opponent: “Axl vs Faust is mostly an even MU in my opinion. Axl has better tools in the neutral game, but Faust can usually capitalize on random hits a little more. When Faust gets the knockdown, he’s much scarier than Axl. Rasta is a tough opponent. He can read the game well and he has solid MU knowledge. He’s really patient and he’s great at adapting to his items. I’ll need to be really on point to beat him. Also he’s an RNG god.”
On his own playstyle: “I‘ve always enjoyed playing characters with long reach who dominate the neutral game with their normals. I try to take control of neutral game, force my opponent to get impatient, and then I punish their mistakes. Basically, I just do Axl things and it works.”
The Europe special is coming up on silva_hime’s Twitch channel. It’s on Sunday, April 16th, at 4:00 PM EST/1:00 PM PDT/9:00 PM GMT, with the second fight about half an hour after.
Curious about the previous Super Steam Xrd Exhibition League match? Check out our coverage, which included YanuCerda, rubedoe, TSB|Blaze, and Ryan Hunter.