Posted here is part one of a Facebook interview I had with Renzo Vigo, world-renowned El Fuerte player from Utah, following his excellent showing at Southern California Regionals 2014 from Feb 28-Mar 2.
What, if anything, did you do to prepare for SCR 2014? Out of that preparation, what was most responsible for you placing 7th and not, say, just going 0-2?
[You were] mostly riding on past training/experience?
RENZO: Ya, pretty much. Street fighter is like riding a bike: you never really forget and even ir you're rusty, [in] just a few rides, it's like you never stopped.
Do you think you would have placed higher if you had done some serious pre-SCR training, say on matchups?
RENZO: Not really. You can play, watch videos, and practice all you want against your buddies Akuma and think you got down all the setups and everything.
Then you play Infiltration and get bodied.
Or in my case, I played against all the online Oni's and destroyed them all and knew all the setups and everything and then I got Wao'd.
Got Wao'd! hah! Lot's of people got Wao'd. Dude got 3rd.
So why was that? International players are different, Wao is just a superior Oni player, tournament pressure...
RENZO: No, it just comes down to playstyles. He chose to go nuts and play crazy, and I wasn't ready for it and got ran over.
I definitely have a "Fuerte" mindset when I play Elf's online nowadays. I do crazy Rose, lots of movement and misdirection, jumping, just weird stuff so they can't get a bead on me. It seemed like that's what he was doing.
RENZO: Yes and no, because he was doing it in smart spots and at the [proper] spacing. It was low risk, high reward for him so it was a good strat.
Is there just no good punish for Oni's Tatsu on wakeup?
RENZO: Not really. It breaks armor, forces stand...it pretty much rapes elf, lol. The only thing I could've done is maybe wakeup Ultra.
And then he's right next to you, ready to start the mixups. That's rough stuff.
Okay, change of topic. I've seen the rise of the SF coach from the start of SF4. From what I saw, Gustavo was acting as your "coach", at least on stream. Do you like the idea of coaches, and how effective are coaches?
RENZO: Ya, I've coached and been coached a lot since we started seeing it and it's always good to have someone up there even if they have no idea about fighting games. Just be there to give you encouragement.
A good coach reminds you to take a break in between rounds and if they're really good they can tell you some tendencies or remind you of things you forget mid-match or just aren't doing.
See, this is interesting, because this happens even to top players. It definitely happens to everyone else. What makes you miss your opponents tendencies or forget things that you know to do and aren't doing? Simple pressure?
RENZO: Adrenaline mid match, pressure, you just got blown up first match and the crowd is going crazy... A million things could happen.
So the coach is there to keep you grounded, like a caddy in golf or something, recommend a good club while you're looking for the next shot.
The second part of this interview will be coming soon. In the meantime, watch FINAL ROUND 17, which has been happening this weekend in Georgia. Lots of fighting games, lots of big names, very stream.
Also, if you like/dislike the interviews, let me know by leaving comments. Or let me know what you would like to read. On this blog, that is. -Dana