Step Your Game Up with EG|Justin Wong

Step Up Your Game: Chapter 15 - Reading your opponent

Written by Justin Wong
September 1, 2013 at 9:26 p.m. PDT
There will be times when you will fight someone completely brand new, and you do not have the data on how to deal with newly fought opponents.

This chapter will talk about on what kind of things that you can do to figure out what type of opponent you will be playing against.

At a tournament not everyone you come across will be a top player, good player, average player or even a bad player. How can you determine what type of player is a "Johnny Doughnuts?" Now if you think about what the highest level of players can do, they usually have the following qualities.

1. Amazing execution.
2. Amazing anti airs.
3. The ability to Option Select.
4. Space control with footsies.
5. Able to differentiate from frame traps and tech traps.
6. Tight block strings.
7. Able to confuse the opponent with wake up options.

Now, not every player in the tournament has these qualities and even the average/good players will maybe have half of these qualities. When I play against someone I don't recognize, I will do the following to see how to categorize a person I never fought before.

1. If they have the ability to anti air sneaky jumps.
2. If they can option select my wake up back dash.
3. How good their footsies are.
4. And how often do they wake up with a move or backdash instead of blocking.
5. And how often they get hit with the same frame trap.

If they get hit with any or all of these things will help me determine what kind of strategy to use — in terms if I have to respect my opponent, or if I can just bulldog my way to victory.

Also, if the player is able to counter example 5, that should give you the idea that you need to approach things with a little more patience.

Most players can anti air decently, but if they do not know how to option select or play footsies and you have the superior footsies, the match is already heavily in your favor.

In this case you would not need to worry about going in 100% offensively, and instead you can play a mid-range game which minimizes the risk of you getting "randomed out" by someone who you think that "should not beat you."

I use Rufus who is a heavy offensive character with dive kicks, but the way I play him is different from how anyone would think.

Before I decide to bulldog my opponent with dive kicks and tick throws, I play a mid-range game with my crouching heavy kick and standing medium kick and do low dive kicks to gain space control and to see if my opponent can react to it and punish my dive kick.

Once I land my first crouching heavy kick, I will walk up to my opponent and see if he will wake up with a special move or back dash and because of that data — that will determine if I can bulldog my opponent or should I wait and gather more data before applying a plan.

During this duration, I make sure my defense is heightened so I can inform my opponent that I can anti air all the time and also play a better footsies game than my opponent.

The only time you should step it up a notch is if the player you are fighting can perform all 5 of those examples. Then it comes down to the match ups, overall player's skill, and little habits that you can obtain.

For example: My bad habit up to this day is that I love abusing crouching heavy kick with Rufus but certain players will take advantage of this and focus a lot at mid-range instead.

Every player even if they are a top player, will have a bad habit that is hard to spot, but once you spot it, you can take advantage of the situation.

Most importantly, if you guys understand which qualities you are lacking, focus on that and try to perfect it so players will have to respect you!

Create your own “Wong Factor” comebacks

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


Existent said on September 1, 2013 at 10:09 p.m.

This is a topic that's not touched on often. It can be huge challenge to approximate a player you've never met, and the sooner you do the better.

perfume said on September 1, 2013 at 10:32 p.m.

Really good read.

Beanybomber said on September 1, 2013 at 10:37 p.m.

jokes on him i taunt on wake up

GentleFist said on September 1, 2013 at 10:46 p.m.

@3 That gave me a good laugh, thank you.
Great article as always by Justin

otter said on September 1, 2013 at 10:55 p.m.

wow this is great info even for strong players. Breath of fresh air.

markp said on September 1, 2013 at 11:49 p.m.


xLuna said on September 2, 2013 at 12:07 a.m.

aren't frame traps and tech traps the same thing

rebirth112 said on September 2, 2013 at 12:18 a.m.

What is the difference between tech traps and frame traps?

sergio_reyes_ said on September 2, 2013 at 12:19 a.m.

each opponents attacks are different the basics is the practice

Jalenp69 said on September 2, 2013 at 12:22 a.m.

I think Tech traps are frame traps that blow up when you just try to crouch tech. It's purposely supposed to counter your crouch tech.
I think frame traps are what we think they are but they aren't necessarily solely for blowing up techs but also just things like counter buttons and stuff. Idk, just guessing, lol.

VulcanHades said on September 2, 2013 at 12:53 a.m.

frame traps: poke/string setups that are designed to counter hit crouch teching. (walk up cr.strong)

tech traps: airborne maneuvers designed to counter stand teching OR baiting a player to whiff a throw and whiff punish them with a combo or throw of you own.

e.g. rufus instant air dive kick beats stand tech but loses to OS While OS would lose to a typical frametrap.

That's how I understand it at least.

EnsignHiro said on September 2, 2013 at 12:58 a.m.

Thanks justin wong. Hmm thats the first time i ever heard if a tech trap. What is that?

rebirth112 said on September 2, 2013 at 1:28 a.m.

Just a question: shouldn't this be chapter 15 since the last chapter was 14

chubbyfingerz said on September 2, 2013 at 1:50 a.m.

Good stuff

TataJooma said on September 2, 2013 at 4:03 a.m.

This is a great read! Will take into practice on my gameplay.

dookey_dude said on September 2, 2013 at 5:40 a.m.

A frame trap is what your character can do in terms of tight block strings.
a tech trap would be a frame trap designed specifically to counter your opponents tech habits. if its slow, fast ,late , stand or whatever your opponent's technique in dealing with a throw mix up.

TheTTimeLives said on September 2, 2013 at 6 a.m.

In simplest terms, I just try to figure out "in soft reads" what strings, tech and level of pressure the opponent isn't capable of blocking against.

But that answer isn't very helpful against high level opponents so that's why JWong writes this not me lol.

bree78 said on September 2, 2013 at 6:23 a.m.

Good article!

EVIL_MECHANICK said on September 2, 2013 at 7:18 a.m.

@3 you a fool. Thanks for the laugh. Good read.

DrDucker said on September 2, 2013 at 9:16 a.m.

I'd read more of theseeeeeeee
get on it JWong - supply to the peoples

Catalyst said on September 2, 2013 at 10:40 a.m.


Yes, d'oh. That was an editing mistake on my part. Fixed now, though.

RedRyu said on September 2, 2013 at 11:24 a.m.

You wrote 14, hehe... ;)

Daedae22 said on September 2, 2013 at 11:58 a.m.

Awesome article keep em comin Jwong

Undead_Hayabusa said on September 2, 2013 at 3:15 p.m. does this pertains to the untameable beast that is the online Warrior

ExtendedRenegade said on December 29, 2013 at 7:50 p.m.

Considering all the tips he gave are/can be used during a match, it would be exactly the same in an online match I would assume, though it would only really be helpful if you know you'll be facing the same person multiple times.

TrainTrackJack said on March 26, 2014 at 6:25 p.m.

I dont play strat fightar or many 2D games but this helps me with my TTT2 playas well as SC5 much apprectiated Jwong.


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