OzHadou Nationals 14 – Interview with Daigo Umehara and Itabashi
The stage was set and the Top 8 for Street Fighter 5 was just about to take off. Itabashi has spent the last 5 hours straight playing casuals with all competitors, warming up for his showdown with the very best at OHN 14. Just before their trip to the main stage both Daigo Umehara and Itabashi took a breather to have a chat and answer some questions relating to competing, the Australian scene and Street Fighter in general.
Adam – You guys have been here (Australia) before, how have you found the level of Australian players compares to years ago and now?
Itabashi – It’s improved significantly, especially in SFV because it’s a nice and easy game and because of technology improving there’s lot of videos around and many people can catch up, many Australians have levelled up significantly compared to Street Fighter 4.
Daigo – Yes the level has increased a lot more but I’m really impressed with the turn out itself. I remember when I last came it was a really small event with no many players there. I see a much bigger crowd, a much bigger place and that’s not something that happens naturally, it’s all about the effort of the OzHadou staff and we know that they (Staff) have put a lot of effort into Street Fighter to see such a scene in Australia and I’m really happy about that. It’s not about the level it’s about how good the turnout is!
Adam – Both of you have specialised with just one character so far. Are there any characters coming up or in Season 2 that you’re looking forward to that could potentially get you to change?
Daigo – I’m really looking forward to seeing Urien, I used it once Capcom Jam and I did enjoy the mechanics so I’m looking forward to seeing how he turns out but I’m not sure if I’ll switch. As for the other characters, we don’t know what’s coming so it’ll come as it comes.
Itabashi – Well if there’s a character that interests me I’ll probably use it. But over 80% I’ll probably stick to Zangief.
Adam – Street Fighter 5 is incredibly different to Ultra Street Fighter 4 and we’ve all experienced this with the new game. How have you found that adjustment with the new game coming off from such a high level in Street Fighter 4?
Daigo – Between 4 and 5 the difference is that 4 was not about the close range, that comes with it but it was about the mid-range as it was all about getting that knock down into other options. I found in 5 it’s all about the close range and the explosiveness. I found it really difficult to adjust to the close range attack tech.
Itabashi – Zangief in Street Fighter 4 was a solid character, he had a good grab and good strikes where as in Street Fighter 5 he’s a very different character, he has grabs but his strikes are very weak. But at the same time he has a variety of different attacks, like an air grab and meat squasher, so I’m thinking of how I can utilise all the different moves that Zangief has in 5.
Adam – Capcom Cup is at the end of this year and I know you’re both trying to get there and take out that first place. I know that you (Daigo) have a tournament every week for the next 13 weeks, what preparation have you been doing in the lead up to this?
Daigo – I have the next four weeks sorted but after that it all depends on how the points turn out, if I’m more than eligible for it I’ll slow down but in terms of events I’m going to be flexible with it all.
Itabashi – It all depends on how I go for the next month. I’ll try and get around the events in Asia but then that will be the cut-off point. Depends on how well I go and how the other guys go I’m going to decide on how much I’m going to go in on the rest of the year.
Adam – I think we’ve gone over and you’re both about to compete in the finals so thank you for taking the time to talk to me and I wish you both the very best of luck, thank you.
Daigo – Thanks
Itabashi – Thank you very much.
For more information on brackets and results, you can head here and check out the official site.