Interview with Exodia

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First off, thank you so much coming over to Vancouver to participate in our tournament! Please tell us a bit more about yourself.

I am a 20-year old student in my third year Bachelor of Science program. Not sure what I want to do for a career yet, but I love helping others. Born in Israel with ½ Israeli and ½ Hungarian roots. Love meeting new people and travelling. Since I’ve turned 18, travelling has been a huge and exciting part of my life. Visited three other provinces in Canada, three states of the US, and got to visit and explore my home, Israel. I have a Black Labrador, two amazing and caring parents, and a twin brother who I love and care for very deeply. There have been many stresses at home the past year within my family so it’s been tough but we all have to stay strong, united, and positive to overcome difficult times. Friends, love, and passions really helped me grow as a person. My past experiences with family and relationships really opened my eyes to reality and was greatly what shaped me into a caring and considerate person.

How long have you played Smash competitively? What got you started in the first place, and what drove you to keep playing competitively?

I have played Smash competitively since December 2014. Growing up I always played it casually with my brother and cousins, but had a special rivalry with my cousin originally, and my brother later. What drove me to continue playing competitively was when I lost to certain players repetitively. I had heard of the legendary “Alphicans” who was the best player of the region uncontested. I wanted to test my shot at him one day! (Got beat the hardest I ever did that day haha). Also two players continuously beating me, tagged “Kuraudo” and “C-Lusion”. I always had the drive and motivation to improve and defeat them.

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Can you give us your thoughts on the Vancouver scene? How do you feel it fares compare to the scene in Alberta?

The Vancouver scene is super pleasant to be around. Most players have their own special personalities I appreciate. Everyone was so caring for me when I visited, just like “Don’t Park on The Grass” in Seattle a month ago when I met most of the scene personally. They all cheered for me whenever I played against American players, and that meant so much. Being with them still felt like home. I had met Captain L and Focus in May 2015 when they visited Alberta. I was stunned at how strong they were, as that was the first time I saw players from other regions competing in mine. Captain L beat me really hard that tournament, and since then I have always really respected and appreciated him as a player (currently my favourite!) Alberta has hidden strong players as well, and have recently been climbing in strength making every tournament very interesting now, but I believe BC’s top level players and mid-level players are slightly stronger.

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You were sent to losers bracket quite early in the tournament, and it caused a bit of a shocker for most of us! Tell us about what you think happened in that match, and how you felt about the way your opponent played. Also, tell us what you could have done better if you managed to get a runback.

I simply got outplayed! I usually go Meta Knight vs Kirby because it allows me to play aggressively and control the pace of the match, but this time I thought I could play the matchup well enough, I was not ready! I believe Kirby is tricky for Zero Suit, but if played patiently and precisely it’s even game. Bundtcake is an incredible player, I wasn’t aware he used to be BC’s best Brawl player until Alphicans from my region told me he’s hidden talent now since he’s not as active. In the runback I managed to win, but my neutral game was weaker, and I wasn’t careful or patient enough around the ledges when he trapped me well. I intend to improve my Meta Knight for certain matchups in the future, this time he managed to assist my run to third place.

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Tell us about how the rest of the tournament went for you. Can you name some matches that were most memorable to you?

The tournament was incredible. Long’s stream setups are the best I’ve EVER seen, and it’s a treat to see it in person and be able to review those matches later at home. Long, Clinton, Kenny, and Aya were always smiling and willing to help me whenever I needed it. Positive and helpful TOs like these are a blessing to have and I’m so grateful they helped me so much. When I lost early, I had a mission to play incredible and perform as well as possible! Memorable matches for me were against Espeon and Firefly. I respect both these players very much and don’t have much data on them or their characters so I knew they were going to be difficult to play.

Tell us about your character choice. What is it about your character that you like, and something that you feel your character needs more of?

Love this question. I’ve been asked this many times before so it’s good that I can address it to a wider audience. Zss is a character that rewards those with strong spacing, mix-ups, and execution. I have always been a perfectionist. To be precise and accurate is something I strive to achieve in many aspects of life, sometimes a little overboard though. Perfectionism is a suiting style to a character that has one of the strongest punish games. Love that the character looks flashy, has so many options in all cases, but knowing when to use which tools is a challenge in itself. Zss is currently a great and balanced character with all her tools effective for use, some a little unexplored in my opinion. I would rather keep her the same to maintain a fair meta-game.

Which match up would you say do you enjoy the least? For what reason?

There are matchups that are difficult but fun because they’re challenging, and there are stressful and volatile matchups. Other Zero Suit players collectively believe Diddy is very rough. I believe it’s difficult but doable if played well. Probably Kirby, because playing neutral is simply very awkward against that weight class and size. Yes, Bundtcake added more weight to this opinion, but from past experiences I’ve always found it awkward.

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Can you describe 2 or 3 other players from your scene that are noteworthy? Tell us their characters and their playstyles.

2ManyCooks (Originally Dr. Mario, recently new Mario): Was ranked “inactive” last season, but continues to prove his fundamental mastery of the game to all of us. Simply incredible at the game, gives a feeling of pressure in all situations. His playstyle is bait-and-punish, but he strikes a sense of fear in his opponents with his patience, presence, and pressure. A similar neutral to Big D I would say.

Alphicans (Originally Mac, recently new Mewtwo, ranked #4): Originally the first dominant force of the region in Smash 4. His defensive-evasive style makes him difficult to hit. Difficult to tell when he’s going to strike, and when he does, he makes it count.

MD (Sonic, ranked #5): Improved at a TREMENDOUSLY quick pace, and continues to do so. Playing him is always a challenge for anyone in this region. I believe MD can climb further up the PR. Would be very exciting to see him travel and represent our region. He’s defeated almost everyone in our region, the top 2 of Manitoba, and some of the best of Saskatchewan. His defensive bait-and-punish playstyle makes him extremely difficult to hit, and it helps that he has the extreme speed of his character to back it up. With consistent wins and respectable placings, MD is definitely one of the biggest threats our region has to offer.

I’m going to give you a list of words, and I want you to give me an order in what’s the most important to what’s least important. Please also share why your top pick was the most important, and why your last choice was least important.

Passion 1 (most important): Passion is what drives one to improve in the game, or any other aspect of life! With no passion there is not enough effort and determination to improving in what you love.

Game Knowledge 4

Mind Games 5 (least important): Part of the game itself, but I feel the other features are more important to gain effort and motivation to improve in anything.

Self-Reflection 3

Patience 2

I’m not a competitive Smash player, but I want to improve. What advice would you give to players like me?

Passion, determination, and motivation if you’re looking to seriously improve and join the competitive scene. If you just look to beat your family members or casual friends for fun, I recommend watching videos of your character played at a high level competitively and try to imitate what professionals do in similar situations!

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If you want to give any shoutouts, please share with us here! This part is all yours.

Shoutouts to my friends Clark Jeske and James Vo who originally helped me find the community in the first place! Alphicans, Kuraudo, C-Lu, Captain L for originally giving me the motivation to improve and defeat those that beat me hard. 2MC for then becoming my ultimate rival, and to this day. Always the motivation to help me improve. My parents for letting me do what I love together with other things I love. All those that assist me when I travel, whether it’s physically or emotionally. The neighboring regions of BC, SK, MB for coming quite often to Alberta and giving us exciting tournaments and challenges to help us all improve as a country. And finally to my own people in Alberta, who help me continuously get stronger by supplying tough challenges and always supporting me.

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