Fights And Frag Checks

Moving Forward: Made it to Gold!

I’ve noticed that whenever I say that I’ve moved forward, I always prepend it with “finally.” There’s a lot that goes into moving between ranks even though the point difference between Silver and Gold is just 2000 lp. I’ve reached the halfway mark, albeit barely.

I think the hardest part of moving from Silver to Gold was the rollercoaster of validation that I’m doing the right things in my gameplay and crushing spiral where I’m getting mowed down by people who I can sense don’t have the gamesense I’ve developed but have fortune on their side. There were plenty of technical things that were difficult that I still have to work on:

  • Keeping an eye on my opponent’s power bars (EX, VT)
  • Not dashing in when I have my opponent in the corner
  • Using a flowchart of airtight blockstrings, follow-ups, and pressure when fighting against high-risk/high-reward (i.e., crazy Ken) players
  • Learning more specific punishes, i.e., if a move is -8, use a big move that starts a good combo instead of a faster one that starts a smaller combo
  • Being less conservative with my EX bar usage if I get a confirm like crouch light kick; turn that into EX legs instead of medium for more damage + knockdown

This list goes on and none of it would have been possible without my homies in the /fgg/ discord and a special appearance from Brian_F in the form of two replay reviews. They gave me a lot to work on and it helped, but there’s all sorts that goes on.

There are the Silver-ish Abigails

There are the dropped combos

The Bisons

The wifi players

The perfects

Still more dropped combos

To be honest, it’s really overwhelming in contrast to even playing casual ladder, let alone battle lounges. One day my neutral was incredible and I was just mowing people down, the next I was down 900lp, then recovering, fleeting victories and dragged-out matches leading to defeats. People on ranked at the gutter levels of ranked like mid-Silver up to mid-Gold are degenerate and they play to not lose. They don’t care about getting better or fighting better opponents, they just want the sweet and immediate satisfaction of seeing the win at any cost, even if they have to throw the dice to see it.

It’s fuckin’ hard to deal with, the emotional valleys really suck, and it’s just the hump that needs to be overcome so there’s nothing anyone can magically help you bypass. Lab, lose, lab, win; that’s the path to walk, especially if you don’t have The Fighting Game Gene™.

But, it pays off.

Sometimes you win.