Cross Assault Daily Blog: Choosing the contestants

Feb 22, 2012
2012 Feb 22
Mattdeezie

Hope you are all excited by the news of the 25 th Anniversary Tournament Series and the new characters which will be coming to the Vita. Cross Assault is our first milestone for the 25 th Anniversary celebration of Street Fighter, and as you can see, Capcom is supporting the fighting game scene in a very big way. The 25 th Anniversary Tournament Series is a major element of what is easily the most aggressive celebration Capcom has produced, and while specific information about dates and venues will be shared by your local territories later, I can tell you now  that this year is a very good year to be a Street Fighter fan.

Also announced in today’s press release is that IGN will host the central hub for all three of the Live Streams, and will be the exclusive location to view all the daily recaps, so you can stay up to speed if you missed watching it live. So make sure to bookmark crossassault.ign.com , as this landing page will be live tomorrow before the start of the show.

Today I’d like to talk a bit about the methodology we used to choose the contestants for the show.  Tom Cannon at Shoryuken already wrote up a breakdown of each contestant on Team Street Fighter and Team Tekken , and pretty much nailed it. So instead of just repeating what he already wrote, I think it would be more interesting to shed some light on the behind the scenes conversations. 

But first, two main themes arose during the waterfall of salt on our roster announcement day. Let’s get these two things out of the way:

 

Where is Justin Wong?

Cross Assault is about learning the game as fast as possible, and testing a wide range of fighting game skill. It’s unquestionable Justin Wong is a fantastic player.  He breaks down games extremely fast, and has a very proven resume of doing so.  Having him on the show and watching him in action won’t be something new for the community. People have seen him dominate before, and they will have plenty of opportunities to see him do it again, like at the 25 th Anniversary Tournament Series.

 

Where is Xian?

Yes, Xian is badass. Yes, we watched his video too, and were blown away as well. But, Xian doesn’t live in the US, and legal rules are legal rules, so he is not eligible to participate.

Now that those points are covered, let’s dive in deeper into how we came to a decision.

The first is skill level and their gaming resume. We needed to ensure that whoever is on the show will be able to pick up the game quickly and be able to put on exciting matches. One week is not enough time to turn a brand new player into a top player, so we had to look for that middle ground.

Street Fighter X Tekken is a unique fighting game, as it is trying to merge the style of two different fighting franchises. Street Fighter is the daddy of 2D games. Tekken is the same for 3D games.  Each have a very different playstyle, though many of the strategic concepts behind them are the same.

I think Street Fighter X Tekken does a great job at trying to hit both of these audiences.  It is clearly still a Street Fighter game, it is 2D after all.  However, the juggle system feels very similar to Tekken, and it throws in some new concepts, and a much wider move list, both inspired by the Tekken franchise.

Street Fighter players will naturally be better at footsies, cross ups, dealing with projectiles and jumping. Tekken players will probably adapt more quickly to the juggle system, dealing with rolls on wakeup, and they will be more familiar using a wider move set which is one of the main differentiators between Street Fighter and Tekken characters in SFxTK, and also SFxTK has a lot more quick overheads and low / overhead strings, that Tekken players should be more natural at dealing with. 

One of the things we quickly came to agreement on, was that this is a Street Fighter game, and Street Fighter players will have an innate advantage. So, yes, that is why the resumes on Team Tekken are a bit stacked.  Additionally, we tried to target players that played Tekken, but still had some Street Fighter experience, to try and even the playing field.  We did make it a criteria to select players from Team Tekken that have made a splash in the Tekken community. So for all those Street Fighter players that applied for Team Tekken, good try, but unfortunately you axed yourself. 

Since the coaches have an incentive if their team wins Cross Assault, we wanted to make sure that they were part of the process, and signed off on the opposing team before locking it down.  This will ensure both coaches feel the teams are balanced.  Both coaches and the majority of our crew were involved in the discussion to lock the contestants. Cross Assault has a lot of strategic layers attached to it, and the way the coaches manage their team is a huge aspect of the show. So, for those claiming that Team Tekken is overpowered, you can give some credit to Aris for his negotiating tactics. 

We also wanted to make sure that we picked interesting personalities for the show that could potentially clash in different ways. Dr. Sub Zero and Tasty Steve are both good examples of this, and they have the skills to back up their personalities. 

Additionally, we need to have interesting stories behind each of the players. SherryJenix plays SSIV: AE and holds her own in one of the most competitive regions for fighting games. Additionally she plays Viper, one of the most complex characters in the game.  SuperYAN plays both Tekken and Street Fighter and trains heavily at Keystone II. Both of them actively fight stereotypes against girl gamers, and want to be recognized for their skills, not just because they are girls. NerdJosh is a great innovator and plays a wide range of teams, which makes him a great fit for this competition. ReNiC is an old school 3 rd Strike player who is known for playing low tier characters. TFA Hornett represents the new age of online warrior and pad players. KOR is a seasoned Tekken player, with minimal Street Fighter experience, so it will show how a “pure” Tekken player translates to Street Fighter X Tekken.  200yen is our cheap, play to win player. And then there is Bronson…

Based on the feedback we read online, Bronson has been the most controversial pick, and we did have a pretty large discussion around him. There were concerns he could be too good for the competition, and when it comes to raw talent, he is probably the best out of both teams.  However, the reason Bronson was still chosen, was his composure under pressure. Bronson’s worst enemy is himself, and he has a reputation for choking in matches when it matters the most. Cross Assault will have a lot of visibility and a lot of pressure, and maybe Bronson can pull off a nice comeback story, or Cross Assault could be his most epic choke yet. He also isn’t the best at playing with others, and tends to be very overconfident, so seeing his dynamic with Aris should be pretty interesting. 

So that’s the lowdown of how we approached the teams, and hopefully that gives a bit more insight into what went on behind the scenes. I’ll be back tomorrow to talk more about the format of the show.