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'Winning EVO felt good, but inventing Gen felt better' - EventHubs interview with Xian, talks EVO victory with Gen, Tough Cookie, consistency and more

Posted by MajinTenshinhan
December 10, 2013 at 8:16 a.m. PST

At the recent DreamHack event that took place in Jönköping, Sweden, EventHubs' very own MajinTenshinhan was present on the scene, managing to get a bunch of exclusive interviews with notable people attending the event.

Our seventh and final interview is with the reigning EVO champion in Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition v2012, DM|Xian. In this interview, Xian discusses his thoughts on Gen's upcoming Ultra changes, what it felt like winning EVO with an underused character, how he stays on a consistent level in several different titles and more.

We've also included a bonus question in our player interviews, asking who each player thought would win DreamHack Winter 2013, prior to the tournament beginning.

Hit the jump to read the full interview.

MajinTenshinhan: What do you think about the changes being made to Gen in Ultra Street Fighter 4? I've heard you mention before that you'll be switching from Gen in Ultra, do you still feel that way?

Xian: Changing my character, well, it depends on how you see it. I will still play mostly Gen, but probably have a sub character, and not change my main. The changes for Gen ... I've tried Gen a little bit, and it really depends on the delayed wakeup (which wasn't present in the DreamHack build of Ultra).

Because now, my Heavy Gekiro won't have hard knockdown, but my EX Gekiro does. If there's no delayed wakeup, I feel like Gen will still be very strong, but with the delayed wakeup mechanic, I think it'll make a really big difference, and Gen won't be as strong anymore because of it.

As for a secondary character, Evil Ryu is someone I'm looking out for a lot. I tested him in Ultra, and it seems that the characters that Akuma can do tatsu into sweep on, Evil Ryu can now do too. Even though that doesn't apply to the whole cast, he seems to be able to on the same characters as Akuma could, which is big. I really haven't been seeing any nerfs for Evil Ryu, either. Everything seems to be the same, or better.

MajinTenshinhan:You've been performing quite well in both Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and King of Fighters 13 lately, how much focus would you say that you put into each game respectively when practicing?

Xian: I don't think that you have to play every day, or train a lot in fighting games when you're at a top level. I think that you need to practice really hard to get to that high level, and then once you've reached it, you can even play like, twice a month, or three times a month, it doesn't really matter. It's just the effort you have to put in to even get up to that level first.

Doing this kind of journey, to get up there, is the problem that everyone faces. Everyone takes a different approach to try and reach the top, which is what leads to different playstyles between top players. But once you get there, you don't have to practice a lot anymore. You only watch videos of other top players.

MajinTenshinhan: If someone said a year ago that a Gen player would win Street Fighter 4 at EVO, most people would have probably just laughed at him. How did it feel to not only win the biggest tournament of the year, but doing so with such a rare character?

Xian: I think that the biggest achievement wasn't just winning EVO, but that it felt especially good when you've invented the character, and created a sort of playstyle that everyone started copying. Like, everyone that plays Gen starts to use him the same way that you play, and eventually people start complaining that he's a top tier. I think that's the biggest source of satisfaction, because you made that happen, you created something, and winning EVO with that just feels really good, I can't even describe it.

MajinTenshinhan: A lot of people, myself included, were very sorry to hear that Tough Cookie got shut down earlier this month. Have you had any luck finding any investors, and is there anything the community can do to help out?

Xian: I believe that Tough Cookie is my passion, and that fighting games are my passion. I don't want any help from the international scene to gather money, because it's about my own country, and my own business. So, I want to build it back up again by my own efforts. I don't want donations, because I want to adapt this to a business model that works, and my passion is always high.

I'm thinking of reopening Tough Cookie next year, along with the location tests for Ultra Street Fighter 4. It's not open right now, but we're opening for one week for the location tests, and next year I want to reopen it again, and I hope that I can get the full support of all of Singapore's community.

MajinTenshinhan: Are you excited for any of the new fighting games coming up, like Killer Instinct which was just released recently, or Guilty Gear Xrd that's on the horizon right now?

Xian: Because I'm always traveling so much, I haven't really kept myself updated with the new games. I only go to EventHubs, that's like the only site I go to. So I wasn't really fully updated on all the news for upcoming games, and I'm not really sure what new fighting games are coming, but yeah, probably Killer Instinct. That's the one I think will give the highest level of challenge.

MajinTenshinhan: Who do you think will win DreamHack?

Xian: I feel that Daigo has the highest chance out of everybody, but someone who I wouldn't be surprised if they won is Tokido... Because, he always has a lot of games to practice and play, but since DreamHack only has a Street Fighter-tournament, he's only had to practice for one game, and when he does that, he's definitely one of the scarier opponents.

Massive thanks to DM|Xian for agreeing to this interview, and for his inspiring and thoughtful responses. Thoughts on what Xian had to share? Let us know in the comments.

Please also let us know in the comments what you thought about our seven-interview series from DreamHack 2013, and if you'd like more similar exclusive features in the future.

Image courtesy of MadCatz.com.

Comments

UncleBibby said on December 10, 2013 at 8:25 a.m.

haha, i guess he feels that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!!!

If i started using like, Gouken or something, and everyone started copying me cuz i was so good, then i guess i would feel pretty good too. Xian is a cool dude, i hope his success doesn't go to his head tho!

#1
elecshield said on December 10, 2013 at 8:26 a.m.

Talk about a real man. Wanting to work from the bottom up again in reforming Tough Cookie. If anyone can do it though, it's Xian.

#2
putozeros said on December 10, 2013 at 8:26 a.m.

With all my respects to Xian, but before him, Warrior By Sand played Gen in an extraordinary way.

But, indeed, Maybe Xian has developed some new ambiguous setups for the old man...

I don't want to be mean, they both are fantastic players, but I have played with WBS a few, and their playstyles are pretty similar.

#3
Nayte said on December 10, 2013 at 8:26 a.m.

Delayed wakeup WAS present in the USF4 build at DH. Had to hold MP+HP at knockdown, then the character stands about 12-15f later.

#4
MajinTenshinhan said on December 10, 2013 at 8:27 a.m.

Dawgtanian himself told us that it wasn't present, so at least I didn't even try it because we were informed it wasn't in the build.

#5
zhieeep said on December 10, 2013 at 8:28 a.m.

bo jio

#6
Nayte said on December 10, 2013 at 8:33 a.m.

I'm also totally sure of this mechanic to be present, so I'm really confident about Dawg being wrong ;). Anyway, the only important thing is the lengh of the delay. Everything else will be theorycrafting. He's right to tell Gen, like every character/player who heavily rely on okizeme setups, will have to work.

#7
SquallSaga said on December 10, 2013 at 8:37 a.m.

If that was the same built than in Japan, it was indeed MK+HP... That means no one tried to do delayed wake up at Dream Hack ??? O_o

#8
MCZ_Ryu said on December 10, 2013 at 8:41 a.m.

Much respect for the guy and what he does. I agree with his point about building a successful business model in Singapore. Anybody can rake in donations but without a solid business infrastructure, it'll fall apart without sustainable capital.

Wish him the best in his endeavors. Also, I <3 Zhi.

#9
Nayte said on December 10, 2013 at 8:46 a.m.

I did, it worked, with mp+hp. It was really nasty because the char started to wake up like a normal wake up, but slowed down after the animation starting to stand about 12f later.

#10
Focusflute said on December 10, 2013 at 8:47 a.m.

Xian playing Killer Instinct? Watch out!!!!

#11
Balthier said on December 10, 2013 at 8:52 a.m.

Come on Putos, WarriorBySand is really good but Xian is the world champion. You can´t even compare them.

Xian plays in another different league.

#12
trinispartan said on December 10, 2013 at 8:58 a.m.

While I don't think he invented gen I believe jibbo, yeb, wbs, amiyu and ryu apprentice did most of the ground work. Xian did take gen to the highest level. Ppl just don't get it tho without the hard to block set ups gen was always really tough to win with. Gen is one of the four highest skill chars in da game. Viper too but she is broken as s***.

#13
SquallSaga said on December 10, 2013 at 9:01 a.m.

Yeah, a the "funniest" thing I saw during the location test was a friend of mine, playing Akuma, facing a Fei Long who did the delayed wake up after the usual knock down of Gouki, and my friend didi the dive kick, but it messed up his timing, so that the Fei could use effectively, on reaction, his Ultra 2 ! ^^

#14
NvhA said on December 10, 2013 at 9:10 a.m.

True about building his own business. Donations can only sustain the business temporarily on life support. If you run it properly and with good supportive community, it will bode better. Real talk, Xian :) Hope it will work out. I was disappointed to hear it closed down and now looking forward to visit next year.

#15
Remondo02 said on December 10, 2013 at 9:11 a.m.

Inventing Gen ?
Well like trinispartan wrote, I think Amiyu did most of the work, first.
Anyway he is a really scary player with Gen.
Good luck for the Capcom Cup dude.

#16
XeroDgX said on December 10, 2013 at 9:20 a.m.

Doesn't anybody remembers Yeb???

#17
caruga said on December 10, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.

I'd rather see people express themselves through their character and have their own style, rather than having an endless clone army.

#18
Smorgasboard said on December 10, 2013 at 9:38 a.m.

Good on you, Xian for not accepting donations. That's the way it should be.

#19
Madbeats said on December 10, 2013 at 9:52 a.m.

Total respect for the EVO champion, presents himself in a good manner and also posts on EH, which not many other top players do (or maybe don't have the time). Good luck in CC!

#20
I_Are_RaBBiT said on December 10, 2013 at 9:55 a.m.

Yeah maybe Xian should have said "Re-inventing Gen"! But whatev, he's got the best Gen I've ever seen anyways. Great article as always Majin!

#21
GentleFist said on December 10, 2013 at 9:55 a.m.

I don't think he invented gen so much as he did popularize him. He created some respectable tech but the majority of the frame work had already been laid out for the character by players such as Amiyu and yeb

#22
jberry05 said on December 10, 2013 at 9:57 a.m.

Xian stays in the comments section around here. Cool stuff

#23
sarif2soon said on December 10, 2013 at 10:09 a.m.

Xian, play Sadira :D
She's got some nasty stuff with her air mobility.

#24
ForTheViolence said on December 10, 2013 at 10:12 a.m.

You just named several players that can't even make top 8 at a big e event and said they laid the groundwork for the Evo champ. Such wow, much stupid. People are so quick to try and discredit someone when they are feeling themselves a little bit.

#25
JusticeBFBHCBHS said on December 10, 2013 at 10:14 a.m.

"I only go to EventHubs, that's like the only site I go to. So I wasn't really fully updated on all the news for upcoming games, and I'm not really sure what new fighting games are coming"

Step up your game EHUBS so Xian knows what games are coming out. lmao.

#26
akaisora said on December 10, 2013 at 10:55 a.m.

Inb4 Xian comments here.

By the way, MajinTenshinhan, you misspelled "abuse" in the title.

#27
xianmsg said on December 10, 2013 at 11:04 a.m.

Thank you Eventhubs, MajinTenshinhan for the story!

\(///_^)/

#28
foolly said on December 10, 2013 at 11:07 a.m.

I don't think it's fair calling Viper broken. They are both highly technical characters and at the highest level Gen seems to has exceeded Viper's capabilities. I guess gen's solid playstyle saw him through. Not to mention he has become, as of late, just as ambigious on wake as Viper is (@ the highest level as Xian has proven).

#29
Jaxon76 said on December 10, 2013 at 11:08 a.m.

If delayed wakeup is a fixed amount of frame delay for the wakeup, then logically players will try to create option selects. Such as jump attack, whiff a cr.jab (typical fast jab is 12 frames total), into another jab that is option selected with sweep. It seems the developers are smart, and chose ~12 frames to foil this, as the jab would leave you recovering the moment of the grounded opponent's delayed wakeup reversal timing. Its seems like a number chosen specifically to foil autopilot type option selects to deal with both wakeup options.

However, assuming the number is fixed, I think you could do some cool meaty option selects, perhaps not all being able to punish backdash, but setting up meaty combos or frame traps.

Say, Zangief does safejump timing and then when landing, crouching medium punch. Pretend opponent delays wakeup. The cr. strong connects from the 9th to 13th frame. If you connect on the 12th frame, you are actually at even frame advantage on block instead of -3, or plus 6 on hit, so gief could do a really nice meaty tick grab for instance. Not an option select, but a way of using delayed wakeup to the attacker's advantage in some way. This is just theory, but I am sure there will be ways for the attacker to option select for the delay in some form, that still sets himself up something that is timing-based, and gives some kind of small advantage.

#30
xianmsg said on December 10, 2013 at 11:10 a.m.

LOL I only found out after the interview was done (///_T) or was it.... ? I still dont know lol

#31
xianmsg said on December 10, 2013 at 11:11 a.m.

Sorry cant make it for your Taipei Location test (///_T)

#32
xianmsg said on December 10, 2013 at 11:23 a.m.

I know that Infiltration reads EH and reads the comments.

#33
TheTHCGamer said on December 10, 2013 at 11:26 a.m.

I like Xian dude comes off very likeable and it feels like forever since he was positing on CAPCOM unity in the tatsunoko vs CAPCOM forums. I hope to see you keep winning Xian.

#34
applesandwieners said on December 10, 2013 at 11:39 a.m.

(This user was banned.)

#35
xianmsg said on December 10, 2013 at 11:47 a.m.

Motivating

#36
MarthFE said on December 10, 2013 at 11:50 a.m.

I disliked xian, read this interview, now have a whole new view and opinion. Respect, bro.

A lot of people seem against delayed wake-up... But there's big reasons why it needs to be in the game... so why not make the delayed wake-up cost a bar or w/e. that way the option is there but it isn't free, it stops vortex bs if you fall but if you're out of meter you eat it... Idk cause I don't really play sf much and I'm far from good, but that seems ok to me

#37
xianmsg said on December 10, 2013 at 11:57 a.m.

<3

#38
MajinTenshinhan said on December 10, 2013 at 11:57 a.m.

Best. Reply. Ever.

#39
Hiya_tiger said on December 10, 2013 at noon

Good luck Xian!

#40
bagel_bytez said on December 10, 2013 at 12:27 p.m.

If anyone wants to train against a B+ dhalsim on psn add me :) I'm not the best sim ever but I'm 300th on psn :)

#41
throughsilence said on December 10, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.

You also gotta realize that even if jibbo, yeb, wbs, amiyu and ryu apprentice made their round of discoveries, it was Xian who actually placed in tournies. So yes, those guys did play Gen, and used him extensively, but at the end of the day, it was Xian who brought him in the spotlight.

#42
akaisora said on December 10, 2013 at 12:37 p.m.

Hey Xian, who do you think is going to be a problem for Gen in USF4? A lot of mid/low-tier characters are getting buffed, and some of them were strong vs Gen.

#43
RedRapperSux said on December 10, 2013 at 12:43 p.m.

Re-inventing is actually perfect since Yeb originally invented Gen. Xian totally raised the bar on the skill ceiling though.

#44
bagel_bytez said on December 10, 2013 at 12:48 p.m.

Oh and maybe xhian didn't study many other gen's and just went in the lab and found a way to make him work. In that sense he could still feel like he invented gen, or a style that can make gen win Evo anywaus : p. Koodos to you xhian. I never watched CC Asia but as soon as I started seeing interviews and tourny footy, xhian and zhi have become 2 of my favourite Fg celebs :)

#45
kkumar628 said on December 10, 2013 at 12:48 p.m.

THE MAN.

#46
akaisora said on December 10, 2013 at 12:51 p.m.

Xian used his haircut.

#47
MCHAWKING said on December 10, 2013 at 12:55 p.m.

If it cost a bar it would be worthless.

"Oh look my opponents meter just dropped a bar when he hit the ground, better adjust my oki for delayed wake up timing".

#48
cnorw00d said on December 10, 2013 at 1:37 p.m.

well its official the only people who care about winning evo are stream monsters who would never even enter

#49
emmettfmb554 said on December 10, 2013 at 2:15 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

#50
xenochrist said on December 10, 2013 at 2:24 p.m.

Reinventing I guess would've been a better word but semantics don't really matter in this case, Xian pulled off what very few thought possible. Mad respect.

#51
trinispartan said on December 10, 2013 at 2:36 p.m.

Your probably right my viper salt levels run high at times.

#52
yaboiman said on December 10, 2013 at 2:45 p.m.

i feel when ppl start inventing setups instead of copying (nothing wrong with that, essential to learn in fact) they are truly beginning to master the game...and thats when it becomes REALLY FUN and u play a lot more (even more then when u didnt know high level stuff i argue), then the game becomes more about learning and defending against what other setups ur oppenents who see the game lk u can makwe, and of course footsie zoning but they are with all sf games

#53
trinispartan said on December 10, 2013 at 2:46 p.m.

Well u ass..... even xian said that he learned gen by watching tech from these very gentlemen and any unnamed others I missed. Yes he is probably the best player to ever use gen but the tech was always there. Xian just consolidated it into one lean mean gen. Plus tech is tech I can do almost and combo or set up xian can but can I play the game as fundamentally great as he does? Hells to tha no. Like i said when xian won evo ......... It was the player not the char. Have u ever seen the dudes evil ryu or yun or dhalsim? The dude is a genius but did he invent them too? Ass.

#54
trinispartan said on December 10, 2013 at 2:51 p.m.

U know its funny how u ppl respect Xian's gen soooo much now yet the dude has been destroying his way to evo since cross counter Asia a few years now.

Xian vs amiyu money match

I would give up my son. Not really tho but make it happen god.

#55
trinispartan said on December 10, 2013 at 2:56 p.m.

Much better than the million - 0 you'd get

#56
Kaizy said on December 10, 2013 at 3:04 p.m.

@13
>Gen is one of the four highest skill chars in da game.
>Viper too

Pffttthahahahahaha

#57
Ryu_Apprentice said on December 10, 2013 at 3:50 p.m.

lol! did you say can't even make top 8? HAHHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Oh Lord please deliver me from the clutches of these kind of individuals.

#58
soulthrow said on December 10, 2013 at 3:50 p.m.

hey.. what happened to Amiyu (that pink gen)? I remember watching videos of him on Ov3rheadGreg channel? Did he ever had any mirror matches with Xian? Does anyone know if he attends on major tournies? Can't believe he is just an online warrior ..

#59
MetalxHealthx said on December 10, 2013 at 4:02 p.m.

Gen 4 Life

#60
NvhA said on December 10, 2013 at 4:10 p.m.

Online warrior? He hold the most characters in top 10 ranking of Japanese arcade and is arguably known as the best Gen in Japan.

Just because a player choose not to travel doesn't make them any less of a player. How many Americans did you know travel halfway around the world in regular basis?

#61
soulthrow said on December 10, 2013 at 4:15 p.m.

dayumm... is he that good? Did he ever fight xian? I would love to see a ft10 between these two ;D

#62
lumina said on December 10, 2013 at 4:47 p.m.

i didnt really know who xian is until he beat daigo in grand finals at south east asia majors in 2012. i think it was also the first time they played against each other too. definitely one of the top players. hope he doesnt abandon gen in ultra 4.

by the way, is this the final interviews? i thought there are seven, but i only counts six so far (ryan hart, mago, gamerbee, daigo, tokido, and xian).

#63
ForTheViolence said on December 10, 2013 at 5:13 p.m.

90% of your comment was irrelevant and off topic. Get a hold of yourself, much delirious.

#64
Dawgtanian said on December 10, 2013 at 5:26 p.m.

Unfortunately we found out on the last day that it was in fact present in the build with a new combination of buttons to press.

#65
MajinTenshinhan said on December 10, 2013 at 5:36 p.m.

Ahh, I see. Well, no harm, no foul :) I'll just try it out nex time I get a hands-on opportunity with the game.

#66
tenderoni said on December 10, 2013 at 5:49 p.m.

XIAN: "...I think that's the biggest source of satisfaction, because you made that happen, you created something, and winning EVO with that just feels really good, I can't even describe it."

OBAMA: "You didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen"

#67
Vandylizer said on December 10, 2013 at 6:29 p.m.

Woah, Evil Ryu can combo tatsu into sweep like Akuma?!
Normally that would be something HUGE but we'll see if it makes a difference or not with delayed wakeup.

#68
BladeStunner said on December 11, 2013 at 12:06 a.m.

So, which characters didn't win a big tournament yet? Hakan for sure, but any other characters?

#69
Nayte said on December 11, 2013 at 2:16 a.m.

The wake up agression will tend more to meaties and delayed ground attacks than 50/50 aerial gamblings. I Totally approve that.

#70
MarthFE said on December 11, 2013 at 3:30 a.m.

That's a minor issue, make it so the bar depletes after you rise or are able to take action again rather than the instant you hit the floor and delay the wake-up

#71
trinispartan said on December 11, 2013 at 4 a.m.

Big ups. Hope capcom knocks this and all their other efforts out of the park.

#72
trinispartan said on December 11, 2013 at 4:01 a.m.

I only needed 10% to address your dumb ass. Dumb ass.

#73
trinispartan said on December 11, 2013 at 4:04 a.m.

Don't worry man us gen players luv ya no homo. Plus all the ppl who want unblockables gone yet don't know one set up better appreciate what u do.

Question tho do you that a lot of ppl just cry unblock able when they just can't block? Cuz to me a lot of simple bastards don't even know what the hell they are saying half the time.

#74
Ryu_Apprentice said on December 11, 2013 at 6:07 a.m.

For Gen mostly its because they cant block (except ibuki, seth and guy) Any Oga unblockable can be avoided easily without breaking a sweat but no one bothers to do that.

#75
Chris_P_Links said on December 11, 2013 at 8:22 a.m.

Do u have any videos of ways to avoid gen tech with guy? I'm starting to play guy n I'm still training with him but I got bodied by a decent gen in a short set cuz a lot of normal set ups and tactics weren't working well against gen. Could u post some of this tech if u don't mind giving some 9 it away

#76
pinoy929 said on December 11, 2013 at 6:13 p.m.
#77


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