daymendou talks to Shoryuken about playing Slayer, thoughts on sponsorship, and handling tournaments

By on June 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm
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While the Guilty Gear scene has been growing in terms of the number of sponsored players, there are still many “undiscovered” — or unclaimed — talented warriors playing REV 2. One of those, named daymendou, has become notorious for his excellent Slayer, especially since triumphing at Anime Ascension earlier this year. daymendou continued to place high at many tournaments, including at Combo Breaker 2017, where SRK took the time to learn more about him.

We discuss why daymendou decided to play Slayer, what distinguishes him from many other competitors, and whether he ever thought about being sponsored by an esports team.

Luke “Woocash” Siuty: Could you briefly introduce yourself?

daymendou: My name is Peter, and my tag is “daymendou,” and I play Slayer in Guilty Gear Xrd. I live in Northern California, that’s my scene. We’re kind of the smaller and younger scenes compared to a lot of other GG ones maybe. I guess for the past six months or so, NorCal has been doing pretty well.

Woocash: What’s your fighting game resume?

daymendou: I actually haven’t played fighting games that much before. It was never really a thing that I would spend my free time on. I didn’t have a PlayStation or go to an arcade when I was younger. When Xrd -SIGN- came out, I got a PS4, so that’s when I started playing games competitively.

Woocash: What made you do that?

daymendou: I always liked watching fighting games, and Guilty Gear is one of my favorites for sure. When Xrd was announced, I just remembered the trailer, so cool. At the time, I had not really been watching or paying attention to Guilty Gear. But that trailer sort of just sparked something within me. I said: maybe this time, I’ll decide to start playing other people. I used to just play the computer.

Woocash: Why did you gravitate to Slayer?

daymendou: Since I was starting at fighting games, I wanted a character that was easy to play. Well, “supposedly,” he’s easy to play. He’s kind of easy execution, especially his combos in Xrd. So that was one major factor. Another major factor was the launch trailer for Xrd. When I started watching a bunch of Accent Core +R on Goldenrody. I really liked watching Slayer. Before, when I just played casually, I used Sol, but watching those videos I thought Slayer looked really cool to play.

Woocash: If Slayer wasn’t in the game, who do you think you would play in REV 2?

daymendou: It’s hard to say, really. I never thought about this. I do play a couple of characters on the side, but I wouldn’t say I would main them if Slayer wasn’t in. Our NorCal Slayer, the old-man Slayer, went to Sol in Xrd. Xrd Sol has more combo flexibility. For me, I wouldn’t play Sol. I can’t do DP inputs very well. So it had to be someone without a DP or without a heavy reliance on it. It could be Leo, to be honest.

Woocash: Tell us a little about your matches today.

daymendou: It was Kizzie Kay first, then dotNova. Lost to Bears, lost to Dogura. This morning, even though Kizzie Kay was first, I was preparing for dotNova in the room. Jack-O’ is a really underplayed character, for whatever reason. I haven’t played against her in so long. The day before, when I played dotNova in casuals, it was getting worse and worse the more we played. I felt like if I wanted to make it to Winners Finals, I really had to be able to beat dotNova. Kizzie Kay, we ended up playing on finals day. The other thing is, Sin is a new character. The way he plays the game, you don’t have to do too much to remember how to play against him, at least to me. I had beaten Kizzie Kay every time we met in tournament, so I wasn’t that worried. Me versus Kizzie Kay was my first match in the top 16.

Combo Breaker did everything up to top 16 on one day, then top 8. If you have such a long break between tournament games, you really need to spend your first tournament match wisely. Not just warming up for that game, but thinking about how to get ready to play in the tournament again. When I played Kizzie, I almost 2-0’d him, but I had some pretty bad input drops, and he managed to take a game back. I did end up beating him, so I kind of have to watch my inputs more.

Woocash: What about versus Xcel| BjornSonOfBear? You’ve beaten him before in Grand Finals.

daymendou: I’ve beaten him sometimes… It’s very strange how we do against each other. Even though we play each other at locals, there is kind of a thing where whether I play him before the tournament matters. If I get to play him before the tournament, I generally beat him really easily. If not, I lose to him. Today, I was thinking, well last week, we just had a local. I had to go home early, because I had to go home for finals, so we couldn’t play casuals after. I lost to him really badly in Grand Finals in that tournament. I think that I wasn’t surprised that I lost. If you watched it, I would get him very close to death, and then I would make a bad decision on pressure, and he would just start running things back and kill me. I wasn’t too surprised about that.

Woocash: Have you ever thought about whether you want to be sponsored? Would you like to?

daymendou: I’ve thought about the issue a lot of times before. I was actually given an offer after Anime Ascension, but I turned it down, because I didn’t feel ready for it, more or less. For Guilty Gear, it would be good to have more sponsored players. We are one of those fighting games where money is kind of small compared to all the others. Exposure is small too, so it would be good to have that outside support.

Woocash: Why weren’t you ready back then?

daymendou: I think even right now, I don’t feel ready. There is sort of a responsibility and a weight on your shoulders when you do carry that sponsor name. You are expected to perform well not only by your sponsor but the community and yourself. Personally, I didn’t actually start traveling to tournaments until this year. A lot of the times, it didn’t work out. I only went to Evo last year and NEC this past December. I don’t feel like I can travel that much, it’s just too tiring to me. For tournaments, you have to prepare as well. You’re not just traveling, preparing and playing the game is even more tiring. I don’t have the stamina to do it once a month or even once every two months, which is what I’ve been doing sort of recently.

Woocash: Any tips for people who are looking to start playing Guilty Gear?

daymendou: If you want to start playing Guilty Gear, the first thing I would do is, well, play the game of course. I think a lot of people worry about picking characters, and there is a lot of minute information you need to worry about in Guilty Gear. I wouldn’t worry about the big things, I would just worry about playing your character in the beginning. If you do want to be able to compete, you’re going to have to learn a lot of things, but if you’re just starting out, you should at least make sure you’re having fun with the game. As long as you keep playing and thinking about it, you should get better.

Woocash: Any other advice?

daymendou: If you’re plateauing and struggling to get better, I think it’s very important to learn to deal with the tournament setting. That’s extremely important. I think my main advantage is, I don’t feel that I’m actually that much better than other people, I keep things very well together in tournaments. I can stay focused, I don’t get tilted from single errors or mistakes that I think happened. You have to accept that you won’t always be right because it is a fighting game, there’s a lot of guessing on both sides. You can’t let one big error just ruin your thinking process. You have to stay sharp when you’re playing.

In case you missed them, check out our interviews with PG|SKD and Fable|KidViper from Combo Breaker 2017!

Luke "Woocash" Siuty is a Chicago-based writer who specializes in ArcSys titles. A Guilty Gear veteran, he plays Baiken and commits atrocities by playing Sin when he's not busy pondering the ArcSys Cycle. He's always down to talk on Twitter, so send him tips. He's good at OS-ing in real life, not so much in video games, though.