I had a chance to sit down and talk to one of the premier Sol players in the Guilty Gear scene, DEB. Some of the topics we discussed include what got him into fighting games, his history with them, discussing his career so far, and his thoughts on the future of the scene.
Q: First of all I just want to say thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. How are you doing?
DEB: I’m good! I appreciate the interest in discussing things with me! I can’t promise I’m the most interesting person though lol.
Q: I’m sure a lot of people will be interested in getting to know both you and your thoughts. So let’s start with sort of your history with fighting games. Obviously, now you are pretty well known for your Guilty Gear play but what originally got you into the fighting game scene? Was it an event you attended? A game you played with a friend? Where did it all start?
DEB: The first time I ever played a fighting game was in about 2009. One of my best friends, who goes by MoltyBleed, tried to get me into Melty Blood Act Cadenza. I wasn’t particularly good at it since I had no previous understanding of fighting games – I didn’t know holding 4 would make you block, even! I didn’t play for very long, but fighting games really interested me despite that. I tried again with BlazBlue CP and GG +R in about 2013, and that’s when it really clicked for me and I started playing quite often. I’ve played consistently since then!
Q: Awesome! So when you really started to get into Blazblue and Guilty Gear what was it that drove you to keep playing. Were you just playing because it was fun? Were you playing because your friend circle was into it? Were you trying to get good enough to compete? A combination of multiple factors?
DEB: I for one just found it really fun, so I wanted to keep playing off that alone. I’m really stubborn, so if I ever got beat up in game too much, I’d just watch a lot of match videos and keep trying to improve so I wouldn’t lose. I never really thought about competing beyond that, I just wanted to do well on netplay really lol. With time though that kinda shifted and I started focusing more on the idea of competing in tournaments and things like that.
Q: Obviously, you’ve competed numerous times between your first tournament and your most recent one. Do you still remember your first tournament? Do you remember how you felt? Was it something you really enjoyed and looked forward to doing again or were you just doing it as something to do? How does that compare to now when you look back at your most recent tournament? Do you still feel the same as you did back then or do you view the game and competing differently?
DEB: My first tournament was CEOtaku 2016, and it was a fun experience. I was playing Potemkin at the time, and I remember going in with the goal to just make it out of pools. I ended up making 17th, which was something I ended up not being particularly proud of because I felt I ended up playing bad despite getting beyond what I wanted initially lol. I went because I never went to an offline thing prior to that, so CEOtaku was my first offline GG experience. I wanted to meet some of my friends in person too. I remember being extremely nervous and worried about what people thought of my play, but nowadays, I don’t really care too much about other people’s opinions of how I play, and I’m not really nervous about much anymore.
Q: So we’ll use that to sort of transition to more modern times. You mentioned part of the reason you wanted to go was to meet some of your friends. Is there anyone you played or maybe still currently play with that you helped think develop you as a player? Someone that brought you to the next level?
DEB: Most of the people I’ve played with a lot then I still frequently room with to this day! I’d definitely owe it to Daymendou, Bears, Kid Viper, and Zidane have helped me improve a lot recently, but I remember Kizzercrate, ProblemSkater, and Lost Soul helping me learn a lot when I went to my first major. I still like playing all of them because I still tend to learn things from each set we play.
Q: That’s great to hear! Hopefully one day I’ll be able to talk to them as well and I’m sure they’ve got nothing but praise for you as well. Now, you mentioned earlier that you used to play Potemkin and I know currently you play a lot of Sol. What was the sort of evolution of your character selection? Why originally Potemkin? Why did you end up going to Sol? Was there any other characters you were considering in between?
DEB: I actually played Johnny in +R, and since he wasn’t in SIGN, I went and tried Slayer and Potemkin. I thought 6k loops looked pretty cool so I wanted to try playing him, although temporarily since I couldn’t see myself playing him forever. Johnny came out and I wasn’t as fond of playing him in Revelator due to his playstyle changes. It ended up being beneficial for me to learn how to defend better, and in general playing Potemkin gave me more appreciation for really good movement. As a result, when I decided I wanted to play someone else, I was thinking of either playing Millia or Sol. I ended up deciding on Sol since I liked his combo variety and just thought a majority of his routes looked cool. I don’t really see myself swapping off Sol from here on out, but I do intend to try Bridget when he’s released and see if he’s fun for me.
Q: Speaking on things to come, how do you feel about the Guilty Gear scene as a whole at the moment. With the recent EVO announcement do you feel the scene might be in a downward trend? That is, do you think that more players will leave to play other games or do you think the player base is going to stagnate until a big announcement is made such as a new game?
DEB: I think the GG community is pretty consistent about playing, and I think almost every major inspires people to keep grinding and playing. I’m pretty sure the numbers will be pretty consistent regardless of the EVO announcement – I think most GG players didn’t particularly expect it to be a main game this year. I’m sure there will be new players who continue to pick up the game, but I’m sure it won’t be comparable to if a new version was released.
Q: In regards to a new version of the game, what are some things you would like to see brought over, something things you would like to see scrapped, and anything new you might want? It could be characters, mechanics, anything you can think of.
DEB: I’m actually pretty content with how most things are now. I personally don’t mind this version too much now, but I think making the game more approachable is one thing they should probably do. Guilty Gear is pretty notorious for being difficult after all. I’d like it if they maybe normalized wake up times and implemented a better training mode with more options for things like wake up reversals, etc. Maybe add hold to tech as well – things like that. Nothing to really mess with the core of Guilty Gear, but change things to make learning the game more approachable to beginners. As I mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t mind playing Bridget, so seeing him in the next version would make me happy. I also have some friends who want to play Robo Ky and HOS, so seeing them would be great too.
Q: And speaking of things to come what does the future hold for you? I know you’ve been doing a bit of streaming and you do some work for discotekmedia but what are your plans for 2019 and beyond? Do you play on entering as many tournaments as you can? Focusing on streaming? Doing more outside of the game?
DEB: I’ve been wanting to focus on streaming more. In fact, I’ve just met the requirements for partner and sent in an application only a few days ago, so hopefully me getting partner comes soon! I’ll continue my work with Discotek Media, be streaming frequently, as well as enter more tournaments than I did last year. I already did Frosty Faustings, but I also intend to do Michigan Masters, Super TSB, Combo Breaker, UMAD, and CEOtaku at the bare minimum.
Q: That’s great to hear! Well DEB, I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to talk to me. Before I let you go is there anyone you would like to mention or give a shout out to and where can people find you on social media?
DEB: Thanks a lot for taking an interest in me! Shout outs to Team CATPION and Box Empire. You can find me on Twitter at @DaEvaBeato and you can find me on Twitch under the same name. Thanks again!