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'The Dee Jay mindset is to deceive your opponent' - KitasenjuDJ talks Dee Jay's playstyle, Topanga prospects, practicing a rare character and more

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • October 1, 2015 at 5 a.m. PDT • Comments: 27

Note: This interview was conducted in Japanese and subsequently translated by the interviewer.


Since we've just gotten a batch of new people qualified for the 5th Topanga A League, we reached out to get some interviews.

The third interview in our series is with the impressive KitasenjuDJ, who managed to bring Dee Jay to new competitive heights with his superb performance in this year's Topanga B League. In this interview, he covers topics such as why he chose Dee Jay as a character, how he goes about finding tech and training with the character, his prospects in the Topanga A League and more.

You'll find a snippet below to get you started.
MajinTenshinhan: Dee Jay is considered a pretty weak character by most players. Why did you choose to use Dee Jay, and how good do you feel he is compared to other characters in Ultra Street Fighter 4?

KitasenjuDJ: Before covering why I chose to pick Dee Jay, I'd have to go in to why I picked T. Hawk, who I was using at first. At the very beginning, I tried playing the original Street Fighter 4 a little bit with Ryu, but since that was my very first fighting game I had difficulty with combos and I didn't understand footsies very well so I ended up quitting pretty quickly.

However, when Super Street Fighter 4 came along and new characters were added, I met T. Hawk. T. Hawk felt like he had more freedom than his fellow grappler Zangief, and his combos were easy to do, so he was a perfect simple character for a beginner like myself. Because of this character, I was able to start having fun with the game.
KitasenjuDJ's response continues after the jump.
When the next new version, Arcade Edition, came about I had improved a lot as a player, but T. Hawk had so many difficult matchups that I felt like I'd reached my limit. I decided that I might as well dedicate myself to a new character, and acted upon those feelings. But because of how used I'd become to T. Hawk, I wanted to avoid characters that required a lot of combo practice or precise execution.

That's when I met the charge character we know as Dee Jay. He seemed more balanced between offense and defense than Guile was, and since neither his combos or his movements were particularly complex, it didn't take long for a person like me, who only had experience with T. Hawk, to get used to him.

Basically, what's important to me isn't whether a character is strong or weak, but how much freedom I feel I have with them and that have clear strong areas to them, and I also wanted someone who didn't require a lot of combo practice. Of course, this is a character everyone considers weak, so even if he is easy to use the question "Won't it be hard to take him to a high level?" came up, but I felt that my prior experience with T. Hawk, who was in a similar situation, helped me through it.

In Ultra Street Fighter 4, Dee Jay is stronger than he has ever been before in the Street Fighter 4 series, but compared to other characters I'd say he's somewhere right in the middle. However, if Dee Jay was theoretically played by many more players, I think he'd fall to a much lower rank. The reason I think so is because I consider the rarity of Dee Jay players to be his greatest strength.

Dee Jay is easy to use and offers the player a lot of freedom, but his moves end up being restricted in many matchups, and tactics against him are pretty simple. The mindset becomes "How do I deceive my opponent?" and it's very important to try and poke holes in the other player's matchup inexperience and take advantage of opportunities.

As such, the longer the set is, the more difficult it becomes for Dee Jay to keep up the smokescreen, and his choices become much more limited with time. Basically, since there are so few Dee Jay players, there are many people who don't know how to counteract Dee Jay's moves, so you have to take advantage of this inexperience.

Based on all of the above, I consider Dee Jay to be solidly mid-tier when it comes to character strength.

MajinTenshinhan: You rose through B League this year, and ended up making it all the way to this year's Topanga A League, which is a very impressive feat indeed. How do you feel about your chances in this year's Topanga A League, and are there any opponents you think will be extra difficult for you?

KitasenjuDJ: Just being able to fight in the A League makes me incredibly happy. I don't think I have any opponents that aren't difficult for me, but if I had to pick one especially hard one, it would have to be EG|Momochi.His incredibly skilled footsies, his quick adaption and his solid mental game are all magnificent, so I'm worried there might not be any cracks in his armor for me to attack.

I don't think Dee Jay's matchups against the characters in A League are that bad, so if I do my very best I think that it might not be a mere dream for me to reach as high as top 5. Of course, I'm aiming even higher - my goal is to win it all!

MajinTenshinhan: When did you start playing fighting games, and what fighting games have you played seriously?

KitasenjuDJ: As I mentioned earlier, I played Street Fighter 4 for a short while with Ryu, but I gave up almost immediately, so I'd have to say I started properly with Super Street Fighter 4. Before that, I hadn't played any fighting games.

MajinTenshinhan: After a long wait, Street Fighter 5 is coming next year. Are you interested in the game so far, and if so, what character do you see yourself playing?

KitasenjuDJ: I am interested in Street Fighter 5, but I don't know yet if I'll be playing it or not. If I do end up playing it, I want to use R. Mika.

MajinTenshinhan: You had a difficult experience at Final Round 18 earlier this year, but do you think that you'll be open to traveling to more events overseas?

KitasenjuDJ: My experience at Final Round was very valuable to me, even though I couldn't answer people's hopes and ended up with a very nasty aftertaste.

I don't know when it would be, but I would like to get my revenge for that. It's just that I don't have much time to travel overseas, and I don't have much money either, so I'm not sure if I'll end up going after all.

MajinTenshinhan: Dee Jay, as a character, is pretty rare. How do you go about finding new techniques with him, and training with him? Are there any other Dee Jay players you look to for inspiration?

KitasenjuDJ: There really are very few Dee Jay players. Because of that, there have been very few videos of the character to watch, so I've had to watch a lot of good players who play other characters as a reference, and try to imagine how to apply some of these strategies to my Dee Jay, to eventually try them in practice either at home or at arcades, in real matches.

Also, since there are so few Dee Jay players, our unity is very strong. We have a Line (Japanese chat service on smartphones) group where us Dee Jay users gather and share information and tactics with eachother. A lot of my inspiration has come from there. I believe that combining the inspiration from there together with everything I've earned from my own experiences in matches is what has allowed me to reach this high level.

Huge thanks to KitasenjuDJ for agreeing to do this interview with us, and we wish him the best of luck in the upcoming Topanga A League.

Image credit: 5th Topanga B League Opening.

Continue below for the Japanese version. 下に日本語版があるので、ご覧ください。

魔人T: ディージェイはほとんどのプレイヤーからとても弱いキャラクターと見られていますね。北千住DJさんはなぜディージェイを使おうと思ったのですか?また、ウル4のほかのキャラクターと比べて、ディージェイはどれくらい強いだと思いますか?

北千住DJ: 何故ディージェイを使おうかと思ったのかは、自分が最初に使っていたT.ホークに理由があります。
自分は一番最初のストリートファイター4でリュウを少しだけ使いましたが、当時格闘ゲームが初めての自分にはコンボが難しく、立ち回りがよくわからずに辞めてしまいました。しかし、スーパーストリートファイター4になりキャラクターが増えた時T.ホークに出会いました。T.ホークは投げキャラでザンギエフより自由度が高く、コンボも簡単で素人の自分にはとてもわかりやすかったのです。このキャラのおかげでこのゲームを楽しめるようになりました。

アーケードエディションにバージョンアップする頃にはかなり上達していましたが、T.ホークは難しい組合わせが多くいつしか自分は限界を感じていました。そしていっそ新しい気持ちでキャラクターを思い切って変えてみようと試みました。しかし自分はT.ホークに慣れてしまったためコンボ練習や忙しい操作が必要なキャラクターは避けたかったのです。そんな時、タメキャラであるディージェイに出会いました。ガイルと比べて攻めと守りが両方使えて、操作やコンボも難しくはなく、T.ホークしか経験がなかった自分でも短期間で操作に馴染むことができたのです。
つまり、自分にとって大事なのはキャラクターが強いか弱いかではなく、ある程度自由で強い部分がしっかりと存在し、それほどコンボ練習が必要ないキャラクターが良かった訳なのです。

当然、強くはないと言われていたキャラクターなので操作は簡単でも上位に行くのは難しいのでは?となりますが、そこはT.ホークで培った経験を活かすことができました。
ウルトラストリートファイター4では過去作最高の強さになったディージェイですが、他のキャラクターと比べるとしたら真ん中位の強さだと思っています。

しかし、仮にディージェイを使っている人々がもっとたくさんいたとしたら真ん中より下の位置のランクになると思います。何故なら使用人口が少ないことが最大の強みだと思っているからです。
ディージェイというキャラクターは操作感覚は自由度が高いですが、組合わせによって行動に制限がかかることが多く、戦術もシンプルになりやすいのです。その部分をいかにごまかしていくか、対策不足の穴をつくかが大切になると考えています。

よってディージェイは長期戦になるほど、ごまかしが効かなくなり選択肢が狭くなると考えています。
実際にはやはり使用人口は少ない為、ディージェイとどのように戦っていいかわからないという人々が多いので対策の穴をつけているわけです。
以上をふまえたうえで、ディージェイは真ん中位の位置だと自分は思います。

魔人T: 北千住DJさんは今年トパンガBリーグを勝ち上がり、今年のトパンガAリーグへの道を開きました。これは確かな、すばらしい功績です。今年のAリーグでの活躍のチャンスはどれくらいだと感じていますか?また、特に難しくなりそうな相手はいますか?

北千住DJ: 自分がAリーグで戦えること、それだけで大変喜ばしいことです。
難しくない相手はいませんが、特にと言うなら「ももち」さんでしょう。

立ち回りの上手さ、対応の速さ、メンタル全てにおいて素晴らしいので自分が付け入る隙があるのか不安ですね。
Aリーグにいるキャラクターの中ではディージェイは相性が悪くないと思っているので、自分の力を出し切れればもしかすると五位以内も夢ではないかもしれません。もちろん目標は高く優勝は狙っていますよ!

魔人T: 格闘ゲームを初めたのはいつですか?そして今までどの格闘ゲームに真剣に取り組んだ事がありますか?

北千住DJ: 格闘ゲームはストリートファイター4でリュウを少し使いましたがすぐに辞めてしまったため、本格的に始めたのはスーパーストリートファイター4からです。
それ以前は格闘ゲームをプレイしたことはありませんでした。

魔人T: 来年、待ちに待ったストリートファイター5が発売になります。今のところ興味はありますか?もしそうであれば、どのキャラクターを使用したいと考えていますか?

北千住DJ: ストリートファイター5には興味はありますがプレイするかはまだわかりません。
プレイするとしたらR.ミカを使いたいです。

魔人T: 北千住DJさんは今年始めのFinal Round 18で難しい経験をしましたが、これからもより多くの海外のイベントのために旅する事に、積極的でいると思いますか?

北千住DJ: Final Roundでは貴重な経験をさせて頂いただけに、期待に答えられず悔しい思いをしました。
いつになるかわかりませんがそのリベンジはしたいと思っています。
ただ、海外に多く行ける時間もお金も少ないため積極的にはなれないかもしれません。

魔人T: ディージェイを使用しているプレイヤーはかなり珍しいですね。北千住DJさんはどのようにしてディージェイの新しいテクニックを見つけ、またトレーニングをしていますか?ほかのディージェイ使いのプレイヤーの中で、北千住DJさんがインスピレーションを受けるようなプレイヤーはいますか?

北千住DJ: ディージェイは本当に使用人口が少ないです。そのため、動画も今まで少なかったので自分は他のキャラクターの強い人の動画を参考にして自分のディージェイにどう当てはめられるかをイメージしながらひたすら家庭用やゲームセンターでの対戦による実戦経験を積みました。
他に、ディージェイを使っている人は少ないですがそれ故に結束も強いです。

Lineでディージェイ使いが集まり情報を共有しています。
自分のインスピレーションの多くはそこから得ています。
そのインスピレーションを自分が対戦によって身につけてきた実力にプラスしていくことでここまで上達できたと思っています。


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