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Step Your Game Up with EG|Justin Wong

Step Up Your Game: Chapter 3 - Exposure to Pressure

Written by Justin Wong
November 20, 2011 at 10:52 p.m. PST
One of the hardest things to achieve is being able to play the way you want to play under a huge amount of pressure. Some players love the pressure and some players despise it. I personally love playing under pressure. I believe that I make some of the best comebacks when I am under pressure which is how the “Wong Factor” came up. Many players have gotten some awesome comeback victories when a huge crowd is watching. We have Peter “Bionic Arm” Rosas, Daigo “Lets Go Justin” Umehara and many more.

In order to see if you can play under pressure, you can do the following things.
  • Play on an online stream such as Peaceful Jay or Shoryuken.

  • Travel to a local tourney and see how well you do in the tourney with actual people.

  • Travel to a major (EVO, Season Beatings, Canada Cup, etc)

  • Try to play on a stream at a tournament (Highly Recommended)

  • Do you get nervous playing against a top player? Y/N

Many players choke because they cannot handle the pressure or they are new to the environment. You may be amazing in casuals or online but if you can’t do it in a tournament then not many people will care or notice the talent you have inside of you. A perfect example is Wolfkrone. I remember I played him at Season Beatings 2009 during the team tournament. The first time I played him; he dropped a lot of small things but still played very well. Wolfkrone knew his faults and from there he kept playing on the Peaceful Jay Stream very often and also traveled to every major possible. He had determination and motivation to make sure he can play under pressure. Now he is one of the top players in the USA for the Street Fighter IV series and he is still grinding to become that perfect player.

One of the best ways to improve playing under pressure in my opinion is going to as many tournaments as possible. Even if you do badly in the tournament, it is a learning experience and a stepping stone. You can do a lot of things at a tournament even if you are knocked out of the tournament. As I said in the previous chapter, grinding out in casuals with different type of players will make you feel more comfortable with the environment; you will see new strategies and techniques, meet new people to add on your friends list and just tons of knowledge that can get you to the next step.

Playing against a top player in a tournament is one of the things that most people fear the most. I thought a lot of people would love to face a top player in the actual tournament. The players that do want to play the top players in a tournament have the right mindset because it means they are more ready to perform than the player who does not want to face the top players. The most common phrase I hear from other non-top players is “Crap! I have to play [Insert top player name] next.” I think that would be the best scenario for anyone that wants to step it up. Here are the following reasons why this is beneficial for you.
  • Playing against a top player who is already exposed to the pressure.

  • You can see the skill gap between each other.

  • Bragging rights if you win which will boost a lot of confidence in you to perform.

  • You get to play on the stream and have lots of people watching your match.
I believe that is a win-win situation. Most players would love to play Daigo and tell the tale of how well or bad that person did. A perfect example would be DJ Houshen. Not many players have heard of DJ Houshen before and he played very well. He eliminated 3 top MvC3 players but you can tell DJ Houshen was nervous because he dropped some combos, and made some unnecessary decisions. But in the end he did cause an upset and beat UVG|Noel Brown, MCZ|Tokido and|Combofiend. This gave him a lot of confidence because he defeated a lot of amazing players.

Don’t be afraid of top players at tournaments and try to upset them in the tournament so you can gain recognition and confidence that you can perform well and that you do have what it takes to get to the next level and compete with the pros. This is how you expose yourself to the scene and this is how more top players will show up.

Create your own “Wong Factor” comebacks

Justin Wong is a member of Evil Geniuses, you can find more information about this organization at


shadowxel said on November 21, 2011 at 11:08 a.m.

Thanks for the article Justin. Good read.

illdie said on November 21, 2011 at 11:25 a.m.

I've gotten use to playing against top players but at times I still get nervous S: lol Playing smash as a kid in local tournies and now street fighter I've just learned to be calm and cool playing others and I have fun with stronger players :)


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