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'Europe lacks the competition that America offers; it's a HUGE disadvantage for me' - Armada on SSBM, SSB4 and more in EventHubs' exclusive interview

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • July 20, 2014 at 12:38 p.m. PDT • Comments: 31

With EVO 2014 over and done, we took the chance to catch up with Super Smash Bros. Melee 3rd placer, Empire Arcadia's very own Armada, who has also remained one of the most consistent players, counted among the so-called "big 5" of Super Smash Bros. Melee, alongside two-time EVO champion C9|Mango, EVO runner-up Crs|Hungrybox, APEX 2014 champion EG|PPMD and fellow teammate and constant top-placer EMP|Mew2King.

In the interview, Armada touched upon recent tournament results, matchups in the game, and thoughts on the upcoming Super Smash Bros. 4. Below, you'll find a snippet to get you started.
MajinTenshinhan: It's no secret that in the Melee scene, there are five players considered a cut above the rest - C9|Mango, Crs|Hungrybox, EG|PPMD, EMP|Mew2King and yourself, and it's been like this for a very long time. Despite this, you faced difficulties against fellow Swedish player Leffen at both BEAST 2 and Republic of Fighters 3 earlier this year.

After your losses, you returned in full force and went on a massive tear at several US tournaments, most notably winning CEO 2014, placing second at MLG: Anaheim and getting a strong third place just recently at EVO 2014. Do you feel as if you have any issues playing against Leffen specifically, or do you feel as if you were simply going through a rough patch at the time?

EMP|Armada: A lot of people still don't want to accept the fact that I barely played Melee at all in 2013. When I did, I never touched my Peach either, because I had no will to play the game. Leffen is also an extremely good player, and we have played in a lot of tournaments over the years.

When it comes to the Peach matchup, I do believe that he is insanely good, which of course makes it hard for me to play against him. So if we include him being very good at the game, and in that specific matchup, and also me having a long break, I think the result was understandable. We haven't played since Republic of Fighters, but I'm confident that our next set would be great.
MajinTenshinhan: You clearly aren't a fan of playing your main character, Peach, against Jigglypuff. This shows, since you've chosen Young Link against Hungrybox for as long as I can remember, but despite this, he managed to defeat you at EVO 2014. Why do you think that Young Link works so well against Jigglypuff, and now that Hungrybox may very well have overcome this matchup, do you think that you will go back to Peach, or perhaps someone entirely different, against him in the future?

EMP|Armada: Yeah, my plan with Young Link honestly work much longer than I expected it to. I think that many people are a bit happy about that, because it forced me to play something that might've been more entertaining for the crowd.

Young Link has an okay matchup versus Jigglypuff because he is faster than her, and can kill her early with projectiles that connect into his strongest KO move, which is his down-air. However, the matchup is not bad for Jigglypuff by any means, I mostly won because I had more experience than Crs|Hungrybox, and in this particular matchup, even moreso than most other matchups, the small details become even more important.

For future tournaments, I'm not sure what I will do. I had this problem once, where I felt that I needed a new answer for Jigglypuff, and I came up with an answer that ended up lasting for 3 and a half years, and I know that I'm able to pull it off again.

MajinTenshinhan: A while back, we posted a tier list from EMP|Mew2King where he said that he believes, contrary to popular opinion, that Falco is in fact a stronger character than Fox. If you were to list the top 8 characters for Super Smash Bros. Melee, in what order would you put them, personally?

EMP|Armada: I would say Fox, Falco - then Marth, Jigglypuff and Sheik - then Ice Climbers, Peach and Captain Falcon.

Fox is the superior character in my eyes. He has the speed and killing power that Falco can't match up to. He also forces more characters to play a game that they are, by design, not able to play at all. This makes his matchup spread, overall, much better. In my eyes, it's not even a question. Fox is better than Falco, and he always will be.

MajinTenshinhan: Contrary to the other players part of the so-called "big 5", you do not live in the US. In fact, you live in Sweden, which isn't even close. Despite the seeming lack of training partners on the same level as you, you've remained consistent for many, many years. How do you believe that you've managed to keep yourself at this extremely high level, given your circumstances?

EMP|Armada: Yeah, many people have asked me this over the years. I don't like to put myself in a position where some people might be inclined to feel bad for me. It is true, Sweden, and even Europe as a whole, lack the skill and the tournament competition that America has to offer.

This is a HUGE disadvantage, regardless of what anyone might say... Also, I have to switch versions between PAL and NTSC, which is a thing that nobody even seems to consider anymore, these days. The only reason I can think of is that I work harder than anyone in the world when I am truly motivated.

It isn't fun to accept the fact that you have way worse circumstances, but that's the fact. Either I can give up and do something else, or I can put in the extra time and effort necessary to compete with the best players. In the end, if you want to reach the top you have to put in tons of effort - nobody is going to do it for you. Make people believe in the fact that everything is possible, that's one of my biggest motivations to play the game these days.

MajinTenshinhan: The newest Super Smash Bros. game is coming up, and while Brawl didn't manage to light the competitive community on fire the same way that Melee did, the new game might be a different story. What are your thoughts on the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U?

EMP|Armada: Nintendo have shown so much more support lately than we've ever seen before. This makes me think that the chances of seeing a great game is possible. Nintendo of America and Sakurai all witnessed the invitational, they know that we exist, and I hope that they understand that even if Melee is extremely technically demanding, it still managed to appeal to both casual gamers and the hardcore fans.

I did not have the chance to play Super Smash Bros. 4 for very long, but right now the game seems to be a lot more ground-based. That could be interesting, for sure. I do hope that the landing lag gets reduced, though, if I were to give them one piece of advice from my personal point of view.

MajinTenshinhan: In the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, who is your most anticipated character to play as, of the ones currently revealed? Either newcomers or returning are fine.

EMP|Armada: Zero Suit Samus was the one I played the most when I played it. She is fast, has an interesting moveset and also has some cool combo potential. Mega Man is an old time favorite of mine, but I doubt that he'll suit my style in Smash Bros.

MajinTenshinhan: Thank you so much for doing this interview with us, and best of luck in the future.

EMP|Armada: Thank you too, it was my pleasure!

Massive thanks to EMP|Armada for taking the time to do this interview with us, and we wish him the best of luck in the future with both Super Smash Bros. Melee and the upcoming new Smash Bros. title.

Image courtesy of Karaface.
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