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Interview with RAGE Byakko Cup Champion: Tokido

Original: FamitsuAppVS, publicized on Mar 22, 2018

"To throw down the gauntlet to Daigo again."

Tokido wins by taking down Machaboo at the grand finals.
(Original: FamitsuAppVS)

March 21st, 2018, RAGE Street Fighter V Byakko Cup took place and Tokido won it by beating Machaboo at the grand finals. After the tournament, we sat down with him about the matches as well as his feelings for the competition with Daigo. Here's the interview with him.

Interviewer: Congratulations for the winning. The grand finals was close. How were you feeling after Machaboo made the reset happen?

Tokido: Feeling "this is a bad sign... ," but I just played as thinking "I'll win if I'm able to play in the same way as always."

Interviewer: The grand finals was a rematch with Machaboo, whom you faced against at the winners finals. Did he made any changes?

Tokido: He obviously jumped in more. Akuma walks faster than Necalli and the match-up is in favor of Akuma. So Necalli is forced to take a risk at some point. I got hit from jump-in a lot and thought he was pretty good in timing of jumping in.

Interviewer: So did you make adjustments, taking account of that?

Tokido: Of course I adapted for jump-ins. Necalli will definitely jump in, so the thing was oki after solidly handling his jump-in.

Interviewer: Was there a point where you felt you were going to win?

Tokido: I became convinced of my winning when he got the stun right before the K.O. in the very final round, but there wasn't anything else. You can make a comeback from any point in a fighting game, so you have to stay sharp until the very end. As I lost the match, which I thought I would be able to win, and missed out on the potential 20,000 dollors at the last year's Capcom Cup, so I brace myself for it.

Interviewer: RAGE is among the few domestic tournaments that provide prizes. How do you feel about them?

Tokido: I'm happier with prizes than without them, but, to be honest, I'm fine if it has a "brand." For instance, a lot of players attended to Evo Japan, which didn't provide high prizes, because it had the brand of Evo. Initially, RAGE didn't sell its merchandise at all. It used to be such an event, but it's establishing the brand as holding tournaments. If you win such a tournament, you'll get attention, which will lead to monetary value. I therefore would be happy if there are more domestic tournaments with established brands.

Interviewer: Is your enthusiasm affected by brands?

Tokido: I sometimes feel like "if I win the tournament, I'll get attention. Besides, the sponsor's caring about that, so I should fire myself up." I think RAGE is becoming such a tournament. Just holding a big event only once can't establish its brand. All you need to do to grow your brand is continue.

Interviewer: Does it seem like domestic competitors would increase when there's a sufficient number of domestic tournaments?

Tokido: It's good to have more competitors. After all, fighting games have a mutual enemy, "society." I'd be glad if players who want to show our serious effort for fighting games to the society increase.

Interviewer: You said you'd got enough funds after the tournament. What are you going to use the prize for?

Tokido: Actually, I've said this before, I'm going to fly out young players to Evo. I got a bigger prize, so I'd like to fly out two or three players.

Interviewer: So, are you thinking of growing younger players now?

Tokido: I have no intention to do that at all. Because I'm the kind of person who'd be satisfied and no longer play games if doing that. I want to do my best as a player as long as possible and make it to the top at least once. I want to be the "number-one player."

Interviewer: I think you got almost the best result ever last year. In spite of that, don't you think you were the number-one player?

Tokido: I want to throw down the gauntlet to Daigo again this year with winnings at a number of major tournaments.

Interviewer: Oh, I see.

Tokido: I have a plan for it, just like I did for Kemonomichi 2. I believe I'll be able to be dirtier than I was for Kemonomichi 2, all the way down to throwing down the gauntlet. Now I'm working hard for that.

Interviewer: Did the previous plan go well as intended until you challenged Daigo?

Tokido: It went well until then. But the way I prepped for the first-to-10 match was nothing like as good as the way he did. I felt somewhere in my heart like the match was an extention of tournaments. That way, I'll never win him. So, I wanna fight him again. Nevertheless, I can't right now and I need results good enough for public opinions to consider it as fun to see.

Interviewer: At the last two events, Final Round 2018 and RAGE, you won the second place and the first place respectively. This is a great start for that. Are you confident in keeping it up?

Tokido: Although getting good results is important to make people acknowledge (the rematch), the problem in confidence is how many results I need to get confident enough to challenge him again. That depends on myself, but... hard. For me to, in a satisfactory state, challenge him, I have to become more stronger. But I think I'm not enough yet.

Interviewer: In closing, please give your fans a message.

Tokido: I'll become even more stronger. Otherwise, I won't reach to the number-one player. You can count on it!

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