Left: PG|SKD. Center: PNS|Garireo. Right: r/Kappa|Dora_Bang.
CEOtaku 2017, a very important tournament for anime games in the United States, brought a good deal of international competition this time around. Thanks to an r/Kappa sponsorship, Dora_Bang made it to the tournament. For a Japanese player, he’s quite famous in the United States. Dora_Bang not only streams often — lately on Twitch — but he also makes helpful content, often in English. He’s known for his fun personality and a tendency for frequent money matching.
I caught up with Dora right after the BlazBlue: Central Fiction Grand Finals at CEOtaku 2017. Dora_Bang ended up second, right after PNS|Garireo.
Interview conducted through a translator provided by Aksys Games. Edited for clarity.
Woocash: Talk to us about the Grand Finals in BlazBlue.
Dora_Bang: During the Winners Finals, of course I beat Garireo with ease. But Garireo was in a sort of bad tempo, so it wasn’t his best condition. Even during Evo, Garireo made comebacks just like this. I really wanted to fight him on equal terms when he’s doing his very best. That’s what I want to do in the future too.
Woocash: Tell us more about some of the top 8 matches you were having.
Dora_Bang: One of the top 3 strongest players, other than me and Garireo, SKD. I really felt on edge there throughout the fight, I felt like I couldn’t aim for an Astral Finish or Distortion Finish. He’s really one of the best players among the top. In my first fight against Garireo, I was able to do all my combos correctly. But when he regained his composure, I was having trouble, I was missing my combos sometimes. It’s just that if I’m not fighting a great player, I won’t understand my own weaknesses. That really got to me in the middle of the fight when the reset happened.
When you corner Garireo, he’ll start doing wake-up throws [Dora means that instead of Dragon Punching, Garireo would start throwing Dora while getting up. Bang’s Drive can block and go through Dragon Punches.] I realized that sometimes I don’t think, and I just reflexively jump up-back and Barrier.
Woocash: Why do you think you lost to him?
Dora_Bang: One of the reasons I lost is because I wanted to see him after the reset. It’s not that I let him win, but it’s a mindset. I wanted to see how strong he would be after the reset. That’s something I learned today, too. This big money match, even though I lost it, I wanted to see what would happen. It’s a new mindset I’m looking at right now.
Woocash: You recently made a tier list of BlazBlue characters. Any new thoughts on it? Having played in the States here a bit, any new opinions?
Dora_Bang: I don’t feel there should be any new changes to the tier chart. I noticed that in the US, there aren’t many Arakune players. Since it’s a bit hard to tell with Arakune. So this time, I feel that the balance is really good, because you can’t tell who’s going to win just by looking at characters.
Woocash: Why do you like money-matching so much?
Dora_Bang: In a money match, you’re betting on something. It puts people on the line. They get more nervous and they show more fighting spirit. That’s why I like it, because it puts people on nerve. If you’re just playing casuals, you’re only fighting. You don’t know if the opponent is playing for fun or to improve. But in a money match, most people are going to be on edge. I think it’s good for players to grow.
Woocash: What in the United States has surprised you the most?
Dora_Bang: Game-wise, I’m surprised how strong SKD is. Also, I saw a lot of squirrels yesterday. I saw a lot of wildlife in Florida.
Woocash: How are you liking coming to the States? You’ve recently come to Evolution 2017 as well.
Dora_Bang: It’s super fun! Japanese people are a bit more shy or passive. In the US, people will come talk to you. That’s why I like to come more. The community is more talkative.
Woocash: Any other comments?
Dora_Bang: I stream on Twitch, so please watch it!