I asked the top 8 a few questions about their previous tournament accomplishments, their historical matchup data, some predictions and if they had a special message to any doubters, about their chances. I was planning on doing this from bottom to top, but I havent gotten an answer back from two of the contestants, so we'll do it as best as we can with what we have.
So first one up is Niijima-san!
What tournaments have you won, or done well in?
I have come in top 8 of all three Summer Smashes I've entered. In fact I come in top 8 in almost every tournament I enter. I've had crapola results on the IYLs I've done though, losing two in play-ins and this year being the first time I've gotten to playoffs losing first round to someone I 3-0ed in league. I win a lot of single day tournaments, winning like 3 or 4 or CKR's when he ran them and of course the one of yours I actually had the day off to enter. I have won some of the weirder format tournaments, like Dietz's Persephone's Pick Your Poison. I won plenty when V1 was still early, before I left and Friiik/deluks became household names. I also won a few back when V2 was still in flux, but as far as winning "majors" I have a hard time closing them out. I usually dominate until late in the bracket and then just fold. I think that's why I do so well in these single day ones because I don't have the time to get in my own head.
You only participated in one of these fast timer tournaments, but you are the player with the most tournament matches on record, with an astounding 678 recorded matches in the historical matchup chart. Not only that, you have a 6.1 winrate to boot! With that in mind, you might be the player people would imagine ends up winning this tournament. How do you feel going into this?
I feel like I always do going into every tournament: doom and gloom. I am a very negative person when it comes to my own skills/strengths, so even if I was the best player in the top 8 I still always assume something will come and ruin my day. In fact, the better I feel about winning the worse I do. When I first entered the game I dominated, then I steadily lost more and more, then I took a long hiatus. When I came back in V2 I dominated, then steadily lost more and more. Then I took a hiatus when the forums broke down and came back and once again dominated. I won like 10 tournament matches in a row. And now I'm losing again.
Your most played character, Vendetta, is considered to be one of the worst characters in the game, but you still have a 6.3 winrate with that character. Your only bad record with Vendetta is against, DeGrey, Zane, BBB and Gloria. Outside of Attilian, there arent many who main Zane here, and I don't know if I have even seen a DeGrey in this [tournament series]. Will we see Vendetta do well in this top 8?
Vendetta will probably make an appearance, and I'll probably have at least an even if not positive winrate with him. I usually do. I don't start matches with him is why. I hardly ever start matches with my best characters, I bring them out for advantageous CPs and clutch points. That's how I have such a great winrate with Rook (and Vendetta). If I just led with him every match I would get G1 cped all the time and my Rook would look like everyone else's. So I wait until someone picks someone who is soft to my low tier mains then bring them out to capitalize, and I'm good enough with them to sometimes win the counter CP afterward. Hence positive winrate. This all being said I predict a lot of Rook and Gwen and Setsuki and I'm not going to play Ven against any of them (though he can still be a pretty good skullbreaker against Gwen), so maybe he won't come out after all.
What are your predictions for top 4?
Predictions for top 4? Fluffiness almost definitely: he has been playing so well since I've come back, I can't imagine he won't make it. Fusxfaranto probably: he is very solid and plays an explosive character. Caralad probably: seems pretty good. Then maybe me for #4? If not then prob BD Corro.
Do you have any message to anyone who might not think you are able to win this?
You're probably right.
So, the player with the most matches recorded in the historical chart and arguably the most consistent highest placer in tournaments in general comes out not feeling all that favored. There might also be some tips in here too the people playing "low tiers" as well, don't lead with them, but try and force your opponent to counter pick into a matchup that is favorable to that character.
Next up, in a day or two, we get to see what Fusxfaranto has to say ^^
This top 8 is going to be nuts!