• Midori
    Hi guys!
     
    It's been a while so I hope everyone is doing well and excited for the next interview!
     
    This was a rather long one, and happened during a pretty busy period this year for myself, so again apologies for the wait.
     
    This time, we have our recently sponsored, EVO Japan champion....
     
    V3 | CROSS-Igarashi!
     
     
    The man that is deemed the main character of the scene!
     
    A little bit of background information:
     
    - One of the most notably vocal members of the community with a passion second to none in terms of connecting to others, including outside of Japan!
    - Partnered up with Mikukey to seize the title of Champion for EVO Japan. Hoshino-San himself made a comment indicating how happy he is for Cross upon winning the championship!
    - Extremely welcoming person who notably always makes time whenever a non-Japanese Pokkén player makes their way to Tokyo.
    - Follow him on twitter: @CROSS130
     
    -Glossary for noobs-
     
    - Eighth grader syndrome: The notion that one believes that they have super powers. Very common for eighth grader kids!
    - OP: Overpowered. Too strong.
    - -San: honorific attached to a person who is respected by the talker. Closest English equivalent is miss. Or mister. But the overall nuance is more sophisticated than that. 
    - RPS: Rock paper scissors. In fighting games, the notion that option A will beat option B, option B will beat option C and option C will beat option A.
     
    --
     
    Let the interview begin!
     
    --
     
    M: So what made you play Pokkén in the first place?
    C: What made me decide to play Pokkén was the WCS Qualifier tournament Choukaigi 2016. I’ve always yearned to stand on the WCS stage in the first place, and being able to challenge myself to see if I could earn the right to stand on the main stage of a fighting game tournament makes me really happy.
     
    It is in order to be WCS champion that I try my best and play Pokkén!
     
    M: I know that Igarashi comes from your real name but what made you add the “Cross” part for your handle?
    C: Sorry but I actually don’t remember! *Cross laughs*
     
    However the “Cross” part of my handle does relate to ‘communication’.
    (Editor's Note: Cross implies to ‘cross paths’)
     
    It is as one of the founding ‘parents’ of Pokemon, Mr. Junichi Masuda says, Pokémon is a means for communication. It’s where people and Pokémon alike communicate and hence I decided on this handle.
     
    Though yes.. As expected, kind of an 'eighth grader syndrome' answer I suppose! *Cross laughs*
     
    M: *Laughs* So why do you main Lucario?
    C: I main Lucario because he’s my favorite Pokemon. I was originally a Smash player and even then I was a Lucario main. Although Smash Lucario and Pokkén Lucario are very different, even then, Lucario is a very important existence that I want to fight together with. As Lucario has been with me through thick and thin, I will continue on as a Lucario main!
     
    M: I see, very loyal of you (I love character loyalists!). So what is your favorite move and one move you’d want to change with Lucario if you could?
    C: My favorite move is his 2Y! Dat reach! Dat lack of recovery! I know how difficult it is for the opponent when dealing with this move so in my head I am always like "Man Lucario is so OP!" *Cross laughs*
     
    The move that I’d want to change if possible would be his nY. At the very least I’d want to make it be able to combo into bone rush when hit at point blank range. The move itself admittedly has its uses, but it is a pretty lacking move so I’d just like a little more from it...
     
     
    Lucario 2Y. One of the best normals in the game.
     
    M: Which characters are your personal best and worst 3?
    C: Best 3 is Lucario, Braixen and Decidueye. Worst 3 is Machamp, Gardevoir and Croagunk.
     
    I think it’s more important to be able to have ways to fight characters that have the advantage over you rather than to win your winning matchups by a landslide. If you’re fighting against all sorts of people from all over the world, it is good to have a character that can still fight somewhat evenly in matchups you do not know very well.
     
    I also just want to say that the worst three characters aren’t too weak by all means, as they have a lot of strong points too.  In part, having lopsided bad matchups is a weakness, but I think having really good winning matchups are on the other hand, their strengths.
     
    Anyway the reason I think Lucario is number one over Braixen and Decidueye is because his Burst mode is extremely strong when compared to Braixen and Decidueye.
     
     
    A force to be reckoned with.
     
    M: I see... Thank you for elaborating! Next question is what is the most enjoyable aspect of Pokkén in your opinion?
    C: I think it would be the easiness of the game intuitively and also the depth of the game.
     
    In other words, the simplicity of the RPS theme to the otherwise many deep and technical concepts like Homing Cancelling and Perfect Blocking. The game system and mechanics give the new players a chance while strong players could still win decisively. For example, at least within the Japanese scene, myself winning a major event is not within the expectations of the scene in general. I think that is proof enough.
     
    M: As a community, what do you think we should do in order to promote and make Pokkén grow worldwide?
    C: Hmm... My response is a standard one, but you should act upon what you can. Try to invite a friend who doesn't play Pokkén, show them videos and talk to them about Pokkén during your hangout and drinking sessions. I think that continually pushing our scene outside of the community is a very important thing.
     
    At the same time, if you are savvy on streaming within the community, etc., making combo videos or strategy write ups would be extremely useful to the new players.
     
    M: Maybe so! Let’s take this out of the game for a minute. Tell us your hobbies outside of Pokkén!
    C: Hmm.. That’s a toughie.. For real I don’t have anything I’d call a hobby otherwise...
     
    I don’t want to be taken as someone unfun but a big reason would be simply because I can’t find time to cultivate or get into new hobbies. I am decisively not a top player and I am also not good at games. However, in order to strive to win I don’t really have the time to play around!
     
    For interest though it would be English. I want to communicate with the overseas players more! However English would just not retain itself in my head.. So please give me advice! *Cross laughs*
     
    M: Guys, give Cross your language learning advice! *Midori laughs*
     
    M: Who do you want to be better friends with outside of Japan Pokkén?
    C: Well the first and foremost person that came into my mind is XAbsoluted! I’ve never met him in person before, but as a player of the same main, I got a lot of support from him. After the end of tournaments he’d always give me passionate and encouraging DMs, and when I win, congratulatory messages. I’m really thankful to him and would like to meet him soon for battles!
     
    Speaking of fellow same-mains, there is also Pentao, Milln (Accel), and Deitylight. They also give me a lot of support and their cheers fuel my strength every time!
     
    There are also others such as the pro player who continues to challenge himself, ALLISTER, the one who always makes amazing result graphics, Burnside, and the player and commentator, H2. The exciting Uchi, who roused things up when he came to Japan, as well as Suicune Master, Catfight and the rest, who put on a really good show with their battles in WCS 2016. Honestly if I keep going there won’t be an end to this. *Cross laughs*
     
    I also want to battle against Rokso, Thulius and Twixxie, and I’ve always liked WhiteyWhite’s commentary, so I want to hear him in real life! I also love D1's commentary! In order to be better friends with them all, it’s not an option not to work hard on my English huh… This is really tough... *Cross laughs*
     
    Of course I can’t forget about DC, as he was the one who gave me a participant T-shirt even though I could not compete myself for WCS 2017. Even with half a year passing by and the ocean separating us, he still kept his promise, so personally he is my hero. It is because of that kind of support and energy DC gave me that I was able to grasp the champion title in EVO Japan. I don't think I could have won without him, so I am thankful from the bottom of my heart!
     
    I will not say that I am a strong player yet, and I cannot speak English yet. However, those guys still gave me LOTS of support. Time and time again it is their personal messages that give me strength and help me out a lot. As a player, to battle them and on top of that, to be friends and communicate a lot with them is my dream!
     
    M: I’d like to add a piggy back question to this but how about who you look up to in the Japan scene?
    C: Oh, there is no doubt in my mind for this one. It would be Tanoshimi-San! He’s a Mewtwo main now, but his Lucario is honestly the strongest in my opinion. When I first started to play Pokkén, he taught me a lot and supported me during the WCS 2016 championships. It is one of my dreams to surpass Tanoshimi-San, as the Lucario player I look up to.
     
    M: That is so inspiring... (Thank you Cross for the long response!). Any questions you’d like to ask yourself? And please give us the answer to the question as well!
    C: Yes, it would be what food do I like! The answer is I generally LOVE anything sweet!
    (Editor's Note: Funnily enough, this is exactly like XAbsoluted!)
     
    Especially Chocolate! I’m really happy every time I receive chocolate as a souvenir, so for example when ALLISTER and Suicune Master gave me chocolates I was really happy! *Cross laughs*
     
     
    What Cross really wants!
     
    M: Random but speaking of food, what is something that you MUST eat if you come to Japan?
    C: As expected it has to be Sushi! The combination of vinegared rice and fresh seafood is just wonderful! As I am saying this it makes me want to eat it actually! *Cross laughs*
     
    M: Is there anyone that is still unknown outside of Japan that you would like to spotlight?
    C: Yes, it would be “Masquaito”-San.
    (Editor's Note: I am unsure of the actual spelling the person himself decides so apologies if I am grossly wrong.)
     
    He is still a player with good room for growth, so I will not say he’s a top player but among returnee players from the Wii U version I think he is one with real skill. There are a lot of players who become strong quickly by going to tournaments, so it’s important to just challenge yourself on everything! Then as you are doing so, you should be determined to defeat strong players all the while!
     
    M: Finally, please give a message for the fans and readers at home!
    C: I can’t really speak English so the fact that I got the chance to be in this interview series and have everything translated into English makes me really happy! Midori, thank you so much!
     
    Looks like there is going to be WCS Qualifiers this year as well, so I expect everyone is giving it their all as players in order to win!
     
    If you are a player and reading this, please battle in high spirits! Let us meet in a real battle!
     
    If you are not a Pokkén player, please try to watch the live streams of Pokkén matches! Seeing lots of players battle seriously will show you how cool they really are!
     
    I am an average person with no special talents, who has made countless numbers of mistakes in my life up to now. Even then I was able to be cheered on by people from all over the world and become the EVO Japan champion, so from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to express my gratitude once again!
     
    Soon, the battle for qualifying spots to represent Japan on the big WCS stage will start. Japan has a lot of amazing players so it will be an extremely tough situation, in my opinion. Even then I will still try to become the champion, for the sake of everyone who is cheering for me and in order to meet players from all over the world once again. I want to show the people who look up to and respect the title of the ‘best in the world’ what ‘best’ really means and prove it.
    (Editor's Note: Cross is implying this is his goal.)
     
    Another thing I’d like to say is that I have something important to announce soon, so please wait in excitement for it!
    (Editor's Note: It was hush hush before, but now it's out that Cross is sponsored by V3! Congratulations cross! )
     
    Thank you for reading this article and let us meet again in battle (tournament) or on stream!
     
    M: Thank you CROSS-San!
     
    End of Ep.9, Ft Cross-Igarashi!
     
    Thank all of you guys for your patience and interest in this series! Stay tuned for more~
     
    ~~Midori~~
     
    Japanese version / 日本語版

    Jetsplit
    The voting stage has concluded for the NorCal Regionals Community Flights, and the three winners have been announced! These three lucky competitors will be flown out to NCR 2018 free of charge to compete in the Pokkén Tournament DX bracket.
     
     
    - ThankSwalot 
    - Mitchel 
    - Kino 
     
    You will be able to watch these three players compete at NCR 2018 at the end of this month! Congratulations to the winners!
     
    Again, this all would not have been possible without the generosity and hard work of Zyflair. Make sure to show him some love for everything he's done!
     
     

    Jetsplit
    As we reported yesterday, there will be a special Pokkén mini-tournament between YouTubers at this year's EGLX. It's been revealed that this event's special "final boss" be - surprising few - ALLISTER!
     
     
    SetToDestroyX confirmed on Twitter that ALLISTER would be the Pokkén master mentioned in EGLX's earlier tweet. Considering ALLISTER has worked with Nintendo at various events, this announcement isn't particularly surprising. ALLISTER has been one of the best examples of our community's ideals since the beginning, meaning he's one of the best candidates for showing the game to new viewers!
     
     
    Not only will ALLISTER be taking on the YouTubers competing in the mini-tournament (or at least the YouTuber who wins the tournament), an article by World Gaming also states that fans will be able to face off against ALLISTER on March 10.
     
    Speaking of World Gaming, they're currently running a giveaway for a digital copy of Pokkén Tournament DX plus 2 electronic tickets to EGLX! You can learn more and enter their giveaway here.
     
    It's still unknown which YouTubers will be participating in the mini-tournament at this time.
     

    Sabrewoif
    A new Nintendo Direct has been announced for tomorrow: March 8th. With it will come new details on upcoming Switch and 3DS titles. This is a very exciting time for Nintendo fans and could prove to be even more exciting for Pokkén fans!
    The second strand of our initial paid DLC will be launching on March 23rd and there's a strong chance we could receive more details on it, but maybe even more details on a potential 3rd DLC character to fill the last remaining space in our CSS that will be left open once Blastoise is added!
     
     
    So set time aside and catch the Direct live at these times:
    2pm PT / 5pm ET for America
    10pm GMT / 11pm CET for Europe
     
    You'll be able to catch the direct here
     
    Let's all hope for some exciting news! 
     

    Jetsplit
    For those who aren't familiar, Level | Up's Wednesday Night Fights is South California's premier weekly fighting game event. The tournament series has been around for 7 years, and has since grown into one of the world's most established and well-known weekly fighting game tournaments.
     
    When Pokkén was released on Wii U, the Level | Up team worked with both HORI and the community to bring Pokkén to the event. This hard work paid off, considering WNF remained one of the most popular Pokkén weeklies for over a year. With many stellar players such as T-Loc, SuperTurboRyan, and Wzurds, excellent casters such as Rudafuda, and the fantastic stream work of ennyMura, it makes sense that many Pokkén fans would look forward to WNF each week. Considering Hitbox Arena's weekly would end a few hours before WNF started, Wednesdays were definitely the day to look forward to if you were a fan of competitive Pokkén.
     
    This carried on until Tekken 7 came to home consoles in the summer of 2017. Pokkén wasn't in the greatest spot, as this was a few months before DX was announced and The Pokémon Company had seemingly dropped support for Pokkén. With interest in Pokkén wavering and Bandai Namco's newest title on the horizon, it was understandable that WNF's event organizers decided to use Pokkén's space for the new game. There have been some efforts by the community to have Pokkén at the venue since then, but these efforts haven't seen much success.

    Since Pokkén stopped regularly appearing at WNF, interest in Pokkén has been on the rise. Thanks to the release of Pokkén Tournament DX and the new fighters, DLC, and continued support from Nintendo, more and more people are taking an interest in Pokkén and the competitive scene every day. Level | Up is aware of this, and they are excited to be bringing Pokkén back to WNF as a monthly tournament!
     
     
    WNF played a huge role in Pokkén's competitive growth during the game's first year on Wii U, so this is an incredibly exciting announcement for our community. We had the opportunity to speak with the Level | Up staff, and they too are very excited to be bringing Pokkén back to WNF. Clear your calendars; let's make sure to show a lot of support on March 21!

    Event Details:
    Event: Wednesday Night Fights
    Venue: Esports Arena, 120 W 5th St, Santa Ana, CA 92701, USA
    Date: March 21, 2018
    Time: TBA
    Registration: TBA
    Stream: TBA
     
    We'll bring more information about this event, including registration and stream links, when it becomes available. Stay tuned!
     

    Jetsplit
    The official EGLX Twitter announced a few days ago that Nintendo would be bringing the Nintendo Switch to EGLX 2018, Canada's largest video game expo. On top of this, EGLX will be hosting a Pokkén mini-tournament between YouTubers on March 10. The tournament will feature a final boss - "a real Pokkén Tournament DX master"!
     
    It's currently unknown who this Pokkén master is, though the wording seems to suggest one of the professional players we are all familiar with. Since this event is taking place in Canada, it's hard to say who this Pokkén master will be. It's also unknown what YouTubers will be participating in the mini-tournament, but we'll be sure to update you when the participants are revealed.
     
     
    EGLX will be taking place from March 9 to March 11 in Toronto, Ontario. Those hoping to attend can register here.
     

    Sabrewoif
    The team behind the Pokkén tech channel, 21 Hits, are at it again with a new video. This time they're covering Homing Cancelling and Perfect Blocking, two skills that will prove very effective for players who are looking to dynamically turn their opponents aggression against them. Force your opponent to respect your defence by mastering these crucial techniques! 
     
    21 Hits continues to periodically upload great Pokkén videos covering techniques and combos that will surely be a boon to any player looking to level up their game. 
     
     
    Please consider supporting 21 Hits and the duo behind the magic: Zyflair and FangShaymin
     

    Midori
    Hi Pokkéners!
     
    My name is Midori and I am a community bridge Darkrai main who previously lived in Japan. I’d just like to mention something I feel is important to this community so here goes!
     
    As we all know, Pokkén has top players from all over the globe, but since it’s inception, Japan has been the region which stands on top, with quality top players maining all sorts of characters that are often poorly represented in other parts of the globe. Unfortunately due to the language barrier, it is sometimes difficult to communicate or get information and opinions from these quality Japanese players. It is for this reason that I started the Japanese player interview series, so that you guys could have a chance to peer into the brilliant minds of Japanese Pokkén and its scene! With this I’m hoping to push cross global friendship and community development, but most of all, to ensure all of you that regardless of nationality, background, new or old can be more connected with the country that started the game that we all know and love today!
     
    So without further ado, I present to you guys the Japanese player interview series! Released episodes at this time will be linked below! Enjoy and don’t hesitate if you guys want to reach out further to the Japanese community!
     
    Midori~
     
    --
     
    Episode #1: Bangi - Top Japanese Garchomp player and third champion of the prestigious Kanto Tournament 3, 4th place for fighting game summit Toshinsai.
    http://www.pokkenarena.com/forums/topic/1314-japan-player-interview-series-ep1-ft-the-storm-of-the-sands-and-our-kanto-winner-bangi/
     
     
    Episode #2: S-Ki - One of the top Blaziken players from Japan who made a splash by defeating last year’s World Championship Series champion in tournament, and making top 2 in the stacked Last Chance Qualifier bracket at Worlds.
    http://www.pokkenarena.com/forums/topic/1315-japan-player-interview-series-ep2-ft-when-passion-meets-calculations-we-have-the-brave-s-ki/
     
     
    Episode #3: Subutan - Top Japanese Pikachu Libre player who placed 4th at 2018's Kanto Tournament 3, and notoriously known for OCVing (One Character Victory) 5 top players back to back in the 5 on 5 Team Tournament PMC2 during Grand Finals.
    http://www.pokkenarena.com/forums/topic/1317-japan-player-interview-series-ep3-ft-the-chosen-one-of-gargantuan-power/
     
     
    Episode #4: NIKO - Top Japanese Pikachu player born in the 2000s! Has won multiple Toratawa tournaments (considered the most stacked local in the world), including 3 times in a row.
    http://www.pokkenarena.com/forums/topic/1327-japan-player-interview-series-ep4-ft-the-sparky-but-collected-youngster-niko/
     
     
    Episode #5: Katou & Akuryou - Top junior league Mewtwo player in the world and his (also very strong) father! Top 8 in 2017's stacked Last Chance Qualifier bracket at Worlds with multiple championship trophies for junior league.
    http://www.pokkenarena.com/forums/topic/1328-japan-player-interview-series-ep5-ft-the-child-prodigy-and-the-unconditional-love-behind-the-scenes-katou-kun-and-akuryou-san/
     
     
    Episode #6: Elm - Top Suicune player in Japan who is also an organizer and the 'charisma' of Pokkén Japan. 4th place for the 2017 World Championship Series, and champion of the 2018 Oceania Qualifier.
    http://www.pokkenarena.com/forums/topic/1376-japan-player-interview-series-ep6-ft-the-silver-prince-that-turns-mud-to-h2o-elm/
     
     
    Episode #7: Mikukey - Top Chandelure player in Japan who is the runner up for the 2017 World Championship Series. Champion of EVO JAPAN's 2 on 2 Pokkén Tournament with Lucario player Cross-Igarashi.
    http://www.pokkenarena.com/forums/topic/1386-japan-player-interview-series-ep7-ft-the-devilish-sadist-who-chips-his-foes-from-afar-mikukey/
     
     
    Episode #8: Midori - One of the top Darkrai players and community bridge leader between Japan and world Pokkén. Runner-up for 2018's Oceania Qualifier.
    http://www.pokkenarena.com/forums/topic/1387-japan-player-interview-series-ep8-the-episode-where-midori-highfives-himself-d-~~-but-darkrai-tips-w/
     
    --
     
    Interested in communicating with Japanese players more yourself? Check out Midori's "Communicate with JP Players" thread here!
     

    skysmaug384
    In memory of Daniel "ONBS" Jimenez, a beloved TX Braixen/Scizor player who passed away due to suicide last month, the Texas Pokkén Community held a charity event at their monthly (Alamo Battleground) on March 3 at 6PM CST. In the end, a grand total of $646 was raised and donated to Garland Pawsibilities, where ONBS volunteered as a dog-walker. 
     
     
    The rankings below are in the order they appear on Smash.gg:
     
    1. Toasty
    2. slippingbug
    3. RadarBlip
    4. Lord Nacho
    5. Just Jared
    5. UDL
    7. Bebop
    7. breeZy
    9. NEO SINANJU
    9. Actias
    9. RoaraG
    9. NewbieTX
    13. PYRATE
    13. Jolts
    13. JWiing
    17. [SRK] Crow Spaceboy
    17. Wazurau
    17. ReluctantTO
    17. Ventus
     
     
    If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please seek help and call the National Suicide Prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255.
     
    Rest In Peace Daniel "ONBS" Jimenez
     
     

    skysmaug384
    In light of Allister's recent birthday on March 2nd, the limited edition Allister competitive Pokkén Tournament DX jersey from EGL is now available on the SetToDestroyX online store: Shop.SetToDestroyX.com
     
    Features:
    - Ferrum Logo
    - "Pokkén" in Japanese
    - Allister's favorite color of Red
     
    Price: $69.95 (Use discount code "STDX" to save $6.99 for a lower price of $62.96)
     
    Allister has stated all proceeds will towards "something cool" and it has not been specified how long these will be up for sale so be sure to get one before they're gone and support one of the strongest members of the Pokkén community!