'Being creative in the game is what keeps me going' - EventHubs interview with Ryan Hart covers KI, fighting game passion, top players and more

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • December 3, 2013 at 7:26 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.

The first interview we'll be posting from this event was with European top player WW|Ryan Hart, covering thoughts on Killer Instinct, how to keep the passion for fighting games alive, and who Ryan Hart believes are the best Street Fighter 4 players in the world. Hit the jump to check out the full interview.
MajinTenshinhan: What do you think about the changes to Sagat in the current build of Ultra Street Fighter 4? While he seems to be getting quite a bit stronger, is there any other character in the game you're interested in picking up seriously?

WW|Ryan Hart: I haven't actually played Ultra yet, I've only heard that Sagat is really strong right now. Since I haven't played it yet, I don't know.

M: You've been playing fighting games for a very long time. There's some very old video footage of you being on TV playing Tekken 3 up on YouTube, even. What is it that has kept your passion for fighting games burning bright for such a long time?

R: I think the inspiration for me comes from my passion, the hunger for knowledge and the enjoyment. When you don't have competition around, it can be pretty difficult to really find players that can push you. Right now online isn’t the best for me and I hardly ever get offline opportunities locally so although there are good players around I rarely get to play them.

In this kind of situation I find that being creative in the game is something that keeps me going. Trying to find new things, new tricks, new setups, new ways to play your matchups, that's what keeps it interesting, keeps it fresh.

And the games are so big right now content-wise, there's always new stuff coming out and you never know everything. Like, even games that are over 10 years old still have new findings all the time. That's just how deep these games are, and that allows you to express yourself in different ways.

For me predominately it’s about competition, but when there's no competition in your area due to people being too far etc, it's the expression of creativity that keeps me going.

M: I remember after E3, it seemed like you'd had a positive experience with Killer Instinct. Now that it's been officially released, is this a game you think that you will be playing competitively?

R: Yeah, at E3, Killer Instinct was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed it, it was my first time playing it. I definitely think it's an amusing game and I like what Double Helix has done with it, but I have yet to see a competition or anything like that with the game so I’m really interested to.

For me, specifically, it's a bit early to tell if it's going to be that tournament game or not. It definitely has the tools to be, but how it'll play out when players know everything, and are using everything to its potential is what we’ll have to wait for.

I think until then we won't really know. But yeah, it definitely has the potential to be a serious, tournament fighting game.

M: You're known to be the European player who travels to the most international tournaments. Do you think you'll be keeping up as busy of a travel schedule next year as well?

R: I'm starting a lot of things now, new things, so I'm not sure how much time I'm going to have for just traveling to events, so that's a difficult question. I mean, obviously it's still fun for me, I still enjoy it, the competition is nice and I like the community, and I'm always improving as well so that's good.

I'm not sure, it's going to depend a lot on work, etc. If things outside of gaming allow it then I'll be traveling, but otherwise I'd be happy to just tone it down a bit and maybe just go to a few of the major events.

M: Who do you think are the 5 best Street Fighter 4 players in the world right now?

R: My top 5 best players for Street Fighter 4 in the world right now... I definitely think that Daigo is the best player. After Daigo, it's quite tough. I mean, I like a lot of players for top 5.

And then it comes down to what you are basing it on. When you say top 5 players, are you referring to just tournament results or are you talking about long sets? Casuals and money matches? Skill and talent? Consideration for character choice also means a lot too. These days it’s difficult to roll it into one.

If Sanford beat Aquasilk in a FT10/tourney/mm in the Sagat vs Gief matchup what does it really mean? SF4 has many examples of this nature.

But for skill, talent and effectiveness in tournament my top 10 would be – Daigo, Infiltration, Fuudo, Gamerbee, Tokido, Haitani, PR Rog, Xian, Chris G, Justin Wong in no particular order other than Daigo 1st.

It's really hard, because Street Fighter 4 is not that kind of game where you just know how good a player is right away based on X and Y. There are so many factors, which makes it difficult, but also makes it exciting and interesting I guess.

I think maybe Ultra will be able to show some of the differences more, but I'm not sure if it's different enough to do so. Can't wait to find out.

Many thanks to WW|Ryan Hart for agreeing to this interview and giving us great and insightful responses to our questions. Have any thoughts on the content? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy of Ryan Hart.
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