Following CEO Dreamland, we got the chance to catch up with IMT|ANTi for a brief discussion about his thoughts on Smash 4, how to build a brand in this new world of esports and what he really thinks of Mario in this current meta. Don’t worry, we did ask him whether he is Team Milk First or Team Cereal First.
Sam “Trilby” Foxall: Do you feel playing Street Fighter has improved your Smash play and vice versa?
Jason “ANTi” Bates: I feel that the ideas that I took from Street Fighter definitely helped me get better in Smash. The biggest thing that I took from Street Fighter that I’ve implemented into my Smash gameplay is corner pressure/corner control. When I have my opponent locked down in a disadvantageous position I can keep them there for a longer period of time now.
SF: How hard is it transitioning between the two games? Do you have to massively change your mindset and playstyle when switching?
JB: I feel switching between games is quite easy, mainly because of how the controllers used to play each game aren’t remotely similar. For Smash I use a Teal GameCube controller, for Street Fighter I play on a Mad Catz TE2+ Arcade stick.
SF: I know you’ve said you feel like you’re in a bit of a slump with Smash 4 at the moment, what do you think has brought that on?
JB: I’m not quite sure what triggered this slump, but I feel as if I’ve been slumping for a very long time. But it also may be that since I am a perfectionist with my gameplay that it’s a mental thing. In recent times, I’ve shown that I am capable of placing top-16 consistently at large events, but that isn’t enough for me. I want to be in the grand finals of super majors such as Evo or CEO.
SF: What would you personally change about Smash 4 if you had the power?
JB: I would take away the rage mechanic entirely and just give characters more killing power across the board. That’s a personal preference and a big reason why I enjoyed Brawl so much. I’d also make it if you are near the ledge and someone attacks your shield, you will fall onto the ledge. That’s how it was in other Smash games but they made it so that doesn’t happen in Smash 4
SF: What is your honest opinion on Mario in the current meta?
JB: I currently do not believe he is a top-10 character but that doesn’t mean he isn’t top-tier. This game is very diverse and there are about 14 top-tier characters in my opinion. He’s around 11-12 on my personal list.
SF: What are your thoughts about mid-set coaching?
JB: I believe every player is entitled to at least one timeout per set to gain some insight from a friend. That is what makes Smash feel more like a sport.
SF: Are there any aspects of tournament production and organizing you’d like to see improved?
JB: I envy how games with developer support get such pristine production for their events/tournaments. I like to watch LoL tournaments because the stage at Riot Studios is something that I wish we had for Smash.
SF: I know your Civil War beef with Zinoto got people fired up, do you think Smash 4 needs more rivalries like that?
JB: I personally didn’t care for the “beef” after the first week, but I felt as if it was something I should do for the community since the buildup for Civil War seemed pretty stagnant and didn’t have any additional flavor to it. But I believe that entertainment should be found within the game.
SF: For other players looking to do well in this new world of esports, what do you think is the best way to build a brand?
JB: A great way to build your brand is to make sure you are constantly active on your social platform of choice. If you have an outgoing personality and like to have people watch you play video games, then you should be very active on Twitch. If you have a witty personality but you are always on the go, you should be active on Twitter since it allows you to showcase who you are at any given moment to your fanbase.
SF: With it having a tournament at CEO Dreamland, what do you miss about Brawl? Are there any players you particularly miss?
JB: I miss a lot of Brawl players since that game was my first true love. I miss Otori’s Meta Knight, Mikeneko’s Marth, and a lot of other players who didn’t move onto Smash 4 since they didn’t really prefer the game.
SF: Finally, milk first or cereal first?
Feature image c/o Immortals