If anyone could truly wield Yukianesa, Jin Kisaragi’s sword notorious for taking control of him, it would be CAG|Fenritti. Fenritti told Shoryuken in an interview that it was the character’s aesthetic and lore from Story Mode that got him on track of playing the BlazBlue: Central Fiction character. But story tidbits aside, Fenritti (sometimes written as Fenrich) needs little introduction: no one would disagree that he is the world’s best Jin player, and definitely one of the best players in the world.
Fenritti has become famous for his almost mechanical play with perfectly-calculated combos and maximally-optimized punishes for any situation. If the opponent has 6,000 life points left and there is a combo that would finish them off, resources permitting, he will do it. He also has an amazing sense of spacing, and frequently calls out the opponent’s attempts at bursting. This was only his second appearance at an American tournament, the first being Evolution 2017, and at Combo Breaker 2018, the fans were treated to the very first sets between him and PG|SKD.
Big thanks to @GREATFERNMAN for helping out with translating the conversation.
Woocash: What was it like to face PG|SKD?
CAG|Fenritti: SKD’s blocking is really good, I noticed, but he’s also very confident at letting the opponent do what they want, and so he lets them get away with some things. Even though he’s really good at punishing what they’re weak at, he does let them get away with a lot of things. If SKD managed to cover that up, the next time will be a different result.
Woocash: How were you able to Dragon Punch reversal so well against SKD?
Fenritti: It was yomi, it was a read. I expected the warp and then Dragon Punched.
Woocash: What did you think of Combo Breaker?
Fenritti: I’ve only been to Evolution 2017 before; when it comes to overseas tournaments, and I thought this one was very exciting, on the same level as Evo.
Woocash: What makes it exciting?
Fenritti: I find these really exciting because in Japan, when players are cheering or when competitors do something cool, they don’t show it as much. In America, the audience is really loud and cheers for the players they support, so I find that really exciting.
Woocash: Is BlazBlue: Central Fiction remaining a central focus for you, or is there anything else you have your eyes on?
Fenritti: Mainly, I’m playing DBFZ, but I’m also playing BBCF and BBTAG. Even after the latter comes out, I plan on continuing BBCF.
Woocash: What is the most common mistake that BlazBlue players make?
Fenritti: A lot of players in America, here at Combo Breaker, they are really strong player-wise, but with regards to BlazBlue, they don’t really understand the system as well as Japanese players, I feel. BlazBlue is a game where a difference in knowledge really shows. I think they are really strong players in terms of skills, but their knowledge is a bit lacking.
Woocash: What has it been like joining an esports team? What changed for you?
Fenritti: As expected, the main difference is winning allows me to get more income. Before, even if I won, I wouldn’t get anything other than the prize pot. But now, when I win, because I can get money from games, I can immerse myself fully and play more games, take it more seriously.
Woocash: Why do you play Jin and how did you become so good at him?
Fenritti: I love Jin. At first, it was the aesthetic, I saw Jin and thought he looked really cool. I also played the arcade Story mode, and I thought he was really cool too. Then I played the console Story mode, and was reaffirmed that Jin is really cool, so I kept playing him.
Mainly, I got strong through a lot of Training Mode. My attitude is that I won’t let the opponent make any mistakes, I’ll kill their character for it. My older brother, Iwashi, also plays BlazBlue, and he has really good neutral, so I attribute a lot to learning from him as well.
Woocash: What’s coming next?
Fenritti: Right after this, I’m going to Las Vegas for a Dragon Ball tournament, and I also plan on coming to Evolution 2018.