Xiao Hai: 'I began training for KOF13 in March 2014; Xian's Gen and Dakou's Gen are on the same level' - 4Gamer's post-EVO interview

Posted by Cheng Kai 'KarbyP' Sim • July 15, 2014 at 8:58 p.m. PDT

Japanese gaming site 4Gamer caught up with Qanba|Xiao Hai for a brief interview right after he won EVO 2014 for KOF13.

In this interview, Qanba|Xiao Hai not only recounted his thoughts on the KOF13 grand finals -- during which MCZ|Tokido gave him some difficulty due to the way he was about to stop the Chinese player's offense by reacting merely to the sound of his button presses -- he also spoke at length about the reasons why he began playing SF4 and KOF13, and how he was able to get so good at those games.

4Gamer: First of all, congratulations on winning EVO for KOF13. In all of the matches you've played from the pool stages all the way to the grand finals, were there any opponents in particular that left a deep impression on you?

Qanba|Xiao Hai: That would have to be MCZ|Tokido. I first got to know Tokido and the other Japanese KOF players better back at the Topanga World League earlier this year, and they taught me a lot about the techniques in KOF13. But at the same time, Tokido had begun to download my play habits.

4Gamer: Ah, was that the case?

Qanba|Xiao Hai: Especially with the EX Iori mirror match, I think Tokido was able to put into good use today the fight tactics he saw me use from back then. In addition to that, at the EVO 2014 grand finals, his play style with Chin had completely changed from the way he used to play him, and that really put me on the spot.

On top of that, Tokido is really good at side-by-side match play. There were quite a number of times when Tokido managed to stop my offense simply because he could react to the sound of me hitting buttons on the fight stick. In the latter half of the matches, I decided to not go on the offense as much, and focused on zoning instead. And I felt that it was because of that switch that I somehow managed to win.

4Gamer: Although you're always been known to be a remarkably strong player in KOF98, we heard that it was only recently that you began picking up KOF13. When did you began to train for KOF13?

Qanba|Xiao Hai: Near the end of March 2014, I participated in the KOF13 category at the Id Global Tournament in South Korea. At that point in time, I had barely practiced, and so my run in the tournament ended with me tied for 5th place. It was right about that time, when I began to ask my friends who were still on KOF98 and KOF2002UM to come play KOF13 with me online, for the purpose of getting better at it.

4Gamer: Could you provide any details on the type of practice you did?

Qanba|Xiao Hai: It involved playing matches, of course, but at the same time since my specialty is in KOF98, I thought a lot about how I could capitalise on my strengths from that game to do well in KOF13. And so, even at EVO 2014, from the day I arrived at the hotel, I've been holed up in my hotel room all alone the whole time doing image training. Rather than looking at match videos, I focused on coming up with fight tactics from within my head, in order to polish my game plan.

4Gamer: From within your head? That's... kinda amazing. Now let's change the subject a little. Although you were originally a well-known KOF98 competitive player, in recent years you've also developed a reputation for your performance in the Street Fighter 4 series, even though at EVO 2014 unfortunately you were knocked out this time. What were the reasons that caused you to start playing the SF4 series?

Qanba|Xiao Hai: Before I had begun playing SF4, I watched a number of overseas tournament videos for the game and thought "if the competition is at this level, then if I tried my hand at it I could probably emerge victorious". At the very least, I was about as skilled a fighting games player as those who placed in the upper echelons at SF4 tournaments.

4Gamer: Ah, right, you mentioned a little bit about that when you were at the Topanga World League too.

Qanba|Xiao Hai: Besides, I believe that KOF98 and SF4 do share some similarities. As long as you make good use of the invulnerable moves you can win. Even though, well, I guess you could say that's pretty much the case with any fighting game in general. In any case, I really enjoy winning at tournaments.

4Gamer: And that's why you began playing the SF4 series, which saw a lot tournaments organised for it. We heard that the KOF series is incredibly popular in China. But how about the SF4 series? Is it popular there?

Qanba|Xiao Hai: Frankly, there aren't that many people playing SF4 in China.

4Gamer: In light of that environment, how did you manage to become as strong a player as you are now?

Qanba|Xiao Hai: I think it's all thanks to Qanba|Dakou (who is another strong SF4 and KOF player like Xiao Hai). After playing with him for a while, I was able to grasp the game's systems and mechanics quite thoroughly, learn to use all of the game's characters, and come up with fight tactics and combos on my own. In China even though we can't access Nico Video or YouTube, by simply relying on Dakou's ability to conceptualise match-ups, I was able to compete on the world level. For instance, RZR|Xian's Gen and Dakou's Gen, I think they're about as strong on the same level. So by sparring with Dakou, I was able to get really good.

4Gamer: From this point forward, do you intend on continuing to play KOF13 and USF4 concurrently?

Qanba|Xiao Hai: In either game's case, as long as there continues to be tournaments, I will keep playing it. Although I love KOF98, I find that KOF13 is a more intriguing game. In KOF98 if you were to play to win, you really could only pick from four viable characters. However, in KOF13 regardless of the character you've picked, there is a good chance you could win. The same could be said about USF4 too, and that's what makes it enjoyable.

4Gamer: I see. Finally, please leave a message for the KOF players in Japan.

Qanba|Xiao Hai: It was definitely not through sheer luck that I was able to win at EVO 2014. In order to win, I had to put in that much effort on training. I would like that to be an encouragement to the Japanese KOF players, for them to be zealous and to practice more. And then, we'll be able to play some good matches the next time we meet at a tournament.

4Gamer: Thanks for your time.

Source: 4Gamer.


BluePepsi said on July 15, 2014 at 9 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

SrAbuguet said on July 15, 2014 at 9:19 p.m.

Impressive how he managed to get those results by only practicing what he thinks is an effective game plan and having only one high level partner (Dakou). Can't imagine myself living in China without being able to watch all the streams and videos on the internet. However, for Xiao Hai's case specifically, could be that it doesn't make a difference watching what others do, since he's confident on what he know bout the game. Interesting stuff tnx for the post.

Burnt said on July 15, 2014 at 9:25 p.m.

Man how can you know Tokidos a button listener haha. Ive heard that about him somewhere else too, does he tilt his head toward your stick in the middle of a fight?

Nightblade777 said on July 15, 2014 at 9:36 p.m.

I didn't get to see much of KOF this year, but I don't remember seeing Reynald, Bala or Romance anywhere. Did they go this year? And was MadKOF the only Cafeid member to go? Because if so, then I can't help but think that this years result would have been vastly different had they attended.

VulcanHades said on July 15, 2014 at 10:50 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

DrDevice said on July 15, 2014 at 10:57 p.m.

No Gen is on Xians level.

Emesots said on July 15, 2014 at 11:05 p.m.

I'm a fan of this guy! Xiao hai is the best, he was a legend in kof 98 when he was still a boy . then began to play SSF4 and challenged daigo, it faced has been there and done it! most recently in Topanga stars that had infiltration, PR Balrog ,etc. the chinese was the one to beat daigo. after he gave an interview how did to achieve such a feat. this was before the launch of the ultra. this guy is a beast in kof and now in SF4

MCHAWKING said on July 15, 2014 at 11:06 p.m.

KoF98 must have really amazing gameplay if all of China favors it over games that 15 years younger.

GiBGUN said on July 15, 2014 at 11:17 p.m.

Not the most photogenic expression on either of their faces.

BornFreeEH said on July 15, 2014 at 11:21 p.m.

"From within your head? That's... kinda amazing. Now let's change the subject".

Brilliant reporting.

The reporter stumbled on the most interesting and useful insight and decided to move on instead of delving deeper!

deus said on July 15, 2014 at 11:25 p.m.

Thanks 4Gamer for this good interview! Cheers EH too

Rei said on July 15, 2014 at 11:39 p.m.

Verna participated this year but lost to ET and Violent Kain.

BornFreeEH said on July 15, 2014 at 11:49 p.m.

I want to see an interview with Galileo from BlazBlue. Best finals ever, and I don't even play the game...

chaosmage said on July 16, 2014 at 12:04 a.m.

@ #4: Reynald and Romance didn't attend, although I can't remember why the commentators said they couldn't make it. Not sure about Bala, though he didn't seem to attend many tournaments in the past year so it's possible he just didn't go.

allnighter453 said on July 16, 2014 at 12:28 a.m.

i lived in china for a year, i can say that they favor KoF98 because the cabinets are just much cheaper, every arcade i went into had KoF98, only the upper class arcades had SF, and only the really expensive ones had AE2012 version of the game, hell tekken is everywhere, but in the city i was in only 1 TTT2 cab at the most expensive arcade(pop. 10 million), the game is fun and all but i really do believe its based on the price of the cabinet that its so popular, its just everywhere and at all arcades good and bad

Eden said on July 16, 2014 at 2:32 a.m.

The Koreans, especially MadKOF and Verna, were here. The Mexicans, Reynald, KouKou and FOX weren't.

TheCheeze09 said on July 16, 2014 at 3:04 a.m.

MadKOF don't seem to be as dominant as before. Reynald wasn't there. Bala also wasn't there. What happened to Bala BTW? I don't think guys like xiaohai and tokido would have gotten that far if the missing players that I have mentioned were present. Those guys are way more superior than tokido and xiaohai.

Lilith said on July 16, 2014 at 3:51 a.m.

love xiao hai<3

JIHADJOE said on July 16, 2014 at 4:36 a.m.

Bala got banned.

MRN_SirFoxington said on July 16, 2014 at 5:27 a.m.

Dakou's Gen on the same level AS XIAN'S GEN ?

I don't think so.

No. Absolutely NO.

MRN_SirFoxington said on July 16, 2014 at 5:34 a.m.

Because you look better than them right?....Right?

superficial people on this planet smfh......

Antstarr said on July 16, 2014 at 5:54 a.m.

Umm well how can you say they are not on the same level without playing them before? It was like all Americans on EHubs saying Europe was the worst until they proved it wrong with the recent Evo win.

messias_89 said on July 16, 2014 at 6:21 a.m.

if xiao hai is this good and he lives in a country where access to information is limited,imagine if he lived in japan or korea for instance...this guy is truly a genius,he has a very deep knowledge of the games he plays.And btw dakou's gen isnt on xian's level,i guess he was just praising his training partner.

Akter said on July 16, 2014 at 6:24 a.m.

damn no youtube in china? i aint ever moving there

fusion said on July 16, 2014 at 6:39 a.m.

They probably are at the same level gen.

xian has much more match up knowledge and experience in general. Dakou gen will almost certainly place worse in a tourney.

However in a mirror or if they both play vs xiaohai, it could swing either way. He means in general their Gens are close enough for him to test his might.

Kudarane said on July 16, 2014 at 6:42 a.m.

(This user was banned.)

TheTTimeLives said on July 16, 2014 at 7:11 a.m.

Yo didn't Dakou get knocked out by Mike Ross at EVO. No Kappa.

dennishubs said on July 16, 2014 at 8:29 a.m.

elaborate pls

AveMcree said on July 16, 2014 at 9:35 a.m.

hands down the best kof to me

I_Are_RaBBiT said on July 16, 2014 at 9:43 a.m.

This!! I'm a Guilty player and could never bring myself to touch this game due to the speed.... but those finals single handedly made me go out and order a copy of the game! The HYPE was unreal!!

GiBGUN said on July 16, 2014 at 9:44 a.m.

Don't flip your wig - I said it's not a good shot of them. If anything I'm having a go at the photographer.

It's a bit rich that you, the person who wrote Americans deserved 9/11 (god knows how you didn't get banned for that), is trying to establish moral high ground.

I'd say you need some serious analysis of your own words and actions before you start (wrongly) judging other peoples.

Clamper said on July 16, 2014 at 10 a.m.

"However, in KOF13 regardless of the character you've picked, there is a good chance you could win. The same could be said about USF4 too, and that's what makes it enjoyable."

Well, easy to say this when one plays Cammy and EX Iori/Karate/Kim.

SliferSkyD said on July 16, 2014 at 10:19 a.m.

Is`t Garireo, GaRiReo ... ROR Rhaugs.

krazhy said on July 16, 2014 at 10:58 a.m.

Did Dakou win evo tho??????????????

JIHADJOE said on July 16, 2014 at 11:05 a.m.

He overstayed his visa and as such is banned from entering the states for a while.

ThaBigDaddyCMaster said on July 16, 2014 at 11:13 a.m.

The difference is Ex Iori/Karate/Kim don't shut down the gameplan of the other characters allowing them to still play their game and be a large threat, like Woo was with Mai/Ryo last year. But yea, they will work harder compared to the top tier like in every game. They're just still viable.

Est said on July 16, 2014 at 4:01 p.m.

Exactly, especially when you compare it to KOF98 where a few characters played optimally can single handedly shut down most of the cast. Iori/Karate/Kim may be top tier, but they can still lose to Mai, Ralf or Elizabeth.

LK said on July 16, 2014 at 7:41 p.m.

Dakou and Ricky Ortiz... some similarity?

camhigh said on July 16, 2014 at 9:39 p.m.

if you know the results of the money match xiaohai won before EVO,LOL

ve12sus said on July 16, 2014 at 9:51 p.m.

so dakou serves as his mokujin...interesting

SuperStraightFighter said on July 17, 2014 at 3:02 p.m.

How is he arrogant? Do you even know what arrogance is? He didn't show one bit of arrogance in that interview.

SuperStraightFighter said on July 17, 2014 at 3:02 p.m.



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