The Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 finals at Combo Breaker stood out for a variety of reasons. More international players than ever before gathered at the St. Charles location, adding a certain gravitas to the event. The final match took place between an amazing Korean I-no player, Daru, and a famous Japanese Jam player, Teresa.
Teresa practices at Mikado, the premier competitive spot for Japanese Guilty Gear players. Daru also has spent a lot of time there, and he usually beats Teresa. Things looked different initially at Combo Breaker, as Teresa sent Daru to losers. But the REV 2 Combo Breaker grand finals were full of surprises.
Shoryuken approached Teresa shortly after the set for a first-time interview. The player walked us through the emotional sets, admitted weaknesses, and explained his approach to improving. On the lighter side, Teresa spoke about his frequent tweeting in English, and whether he’s coming to Evolution.
Woocash: Walk us through your matches in the finals.
Teresa: I fought Daru first and won, then Hamad in Winners Finals, then Daru came back up through losers. You can definitely tell that Hamad didn’t have as much Jam experience as I did for his character, Ky Kiske, especially since I fight a lot of strong Kys at Mikado. I think Hamad is very, very strong as a player, but you can only go so far, being a good player and knowing a match up to some level, especially knowing it to a degree that I do.
Woocash: What was the match with Daru like? What was going through your head?
Teresa: For the first match, in Winners top 8, normally, I’m not very good against Daru, but I changed up my movement for the tournament, and that led me to the win. In the grand finals, I kind of got tilted when I dropped one of the combos, which was a parry into P K, and I didn’t delay it enough, so the double Puff Ball dropped… I lost the round. I couldn’t shake that off for the next matches.
Woocash: What was going through your head when the stick malfunctioned?
Teresa: I struggle with confidence a lot, and I’m starting to think, “maybe this will work” after I’ve taken the first match. Then suddenly the button stopped working. I thought, man, maybe I’m just not meant to win. I wanted to die.
Woocash: How are you going to work in overcoming your weaknesses?
Teresa: I’m definitely a very emotional type of player, as you saw. That’s something I need to work on. When I’m going, I feel very confident, but when something goes wrong, I mentioned that combo before, that one combo, that puts me on tilt pretty badly, I really need to work on that.
Woocash: Onto a lighter topic, you’ve been tweeting a lot, in English as well. You’ve been interacting with the international audience, what’s that been like?
I will talk to you in theory and testimony. If your opinion is wrong, I will reply. When I am wrong, I will spread your theory as new facts. Regardless of the strength of the game, I want to talk in theory. This is what I could not do in Japan.
— TERESA ≒ Atractylodes (@jamtsukaware) May 28, 2018
Teresa: I’d like to say that even if you’re a top player, it doesn’t necessarily mean your opinions are right. Some people are colored by their perspective too much, or of their own character. I want to talk a lot about the game and about theory, I want to help other people if I can. In Japan, it’s not that people don’t listen, but they’re not as inclined to talk in a public setting. I feel Americans are more receptive. I want to spread knowledge as much as I can.
Woocash: What are your thoughts on playing at an arcade setting versus an American-style major?
Teresa: The way that we approach gaming is very different. The arcade is basically the place you go to after work. And you go to play and relax. Even when you have tournaments or weeklies at the arcade, it’s more or less a local thing, and here, it’s huge, there are so many people. It’s very cool to have so many people in one place.
My goal is definitely to come to an American major and win it. I’m still working on it, and I want to get there some day.
Woocash: Are you planning to come to Evo? Any other major plans looking toward the future?
Teresa: Of course, I am going to Evo 2018. There are rumors going around that there might be a new Guilty Gear announced. If so, I’m going to put travel plans on hold for a bit and practice and get better in Japan first. If not, I want to travel a bit more, like to South East Asia Major and also the Brazilian tournament, Heaven or Hell. I’ve been to one, and I want to go to it again.