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    Japan player interview series! Ep.9, Ft: The Passion and 'Hero' of Pokkén Japan, CROSS-Igarashi!


    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!

     

    image.png 

    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...

     

    image.png 

    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.

     

    image.png 

    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*

     

    Image result for sweets and chocolate 

    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! B|)

     

    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

    Spoiler

     

    M = みどり

    C = CROSS

     

    追加=最初の問答を読んだ後考えた質問でした。

     

    --

     

    1.クロスさん、何のきっかけにポッ拳を始まりますか?


    2016年の闘会議でポッ拳がWCSの種目になる事に決定したことがきっかけです。
    元々オレはWCSの舞台に憧れていました。それが格闘ゲームでその舞台に挑戦できるというのがとても嬉しかったです。
    なので、オレはWCSで優勝するためにポッ拳をしています。

     

    2.「五十嵐」の名は個人本名から来たけど「クロス」と言う名を何の理由で選びましたか?


    すみません。実は覚えていませんw
    「クロス」には交わるという意味がありますよね。
    ポケモンはコミュニケーションツールである。ポケモンの生みの親「増田順一さん(Mr.JunichiMasuda)」もそう言っています。
    人とポケモン、人と人との交流のきっかけを作り、そこから何かを生み出せたらいいですね。
    うーん、さすが厨二病wwwwwww

     

    3.どうしてルカリオメインですか?


    一番好きなポケモンだからです。
    オレは元々スマブラプレイヤーで、その時もルカリオメインでした。
    ポッ拳のルカリオとスマブラのルカリオは違いますが、それでもなお一緒に戦いたい大切な存在です。
    辛いことがあった時に、どんな時でも支えになってくれたからオレはこれからもルカリオメインです。

     

    4.ルカリオの一番好きな技と一番変更したい技は?


    一番好きな技は2Yですね。あのリーチ!あの隙の無さ!使うたびに相手がめっちゃ苦労してるのが分かるので「ルカリオ強えwwwwww」ってなってますw
    変更したいのはシュート攻撃です。密着でもせめてボーンラッシュくらいは繋がってほしいw 使いどころはありますが、かなり不遇な技なのでもう少しなんとかしてほしいですw

     

    5.個人的のベスト3とワースト3お願いします?


    ベスト3
    ルカリオ
    テールナー
    ジュナイパー

    ワースト3
    カイリキー
    サーナイト
    グレッグル

     

    有利な相手を圧倒するより、不利な相手ともある程度戦えるキャラクターが強いと思っています。
    世界中の人と戦うなら、相手のメインポケモンが分からなくても互角に渡り合えるキャラクターがいいですね。
    ただしワースト3のキャラも決して弱すぎるとは思っていなくて、良いところもたくさんあります。
    一部とても不利な相性を持つのが欠点ですが、逆に有利な相性も持っているのが彼らの長所です。
    ちなみにルカリオが1位なのはテールナー、ジュナイパーに比べて共鳴がとても強いことが理由です。

     

    6.ポッ拳の一番楽しいところは?


    分かりやすさと奥深さですね。
    分かりやすいジャンケン要素を持ちながら、極めようとするとホミキャンなど多くの細かいテクニックがあります。
    始めたばかりの人にもチャンスがありつつ、でも強い人がきっちり勝ち上がれるゲームシステムだと思います。
    少なくとも日本において、大型大会でオレの優勝以外はみんなの予想を大きく覆す人はいないのがその証明ですね。

     

    7.ポッ拳以外の趣味や興味教えてください


    実は趣味と呼べるものがなくて……
    全くユーモアのない人にならないよう気を付けないといけないなと思っています。
    一方でなかなか時間が取れないのも趣味を作れない理由の一つではあります。
    オレは決してトッププレイヤーとは言えません。ゲームも上手くない。
    それでも勝つために頑張ろうとすると、あまり遊ぶ時間は取れないなと思っています。

    興味があるのは英語ですね。もっと海外勢と交流したい!
    しかし全然頭に入らなくて……w 何かアドバイスください!w

     

    8.憧れやもっと仲良くなりたい海外勢は?


    真っ先に思い付いたのははXAbsolutedですね!彼とは会ったことがありませんが、同じルカリオメインということもありたくさんサポートしてもらいました。大会が終わるといつも情熱的なメッセージをくれて、オレを励まし、勝った時は祝ってくれました。彼には本当に感謝しています。早く会ってバトルしたい!
    同じルカリオメインといえば、PentaoさんやMilln、Deitylightもたくさん応援してくれます。彼らの応援は毎回大きな力になっていますよ。
    他にも、プロとしてたくさんの発信と挑戦を続けるALLISTER。いつもリザルト表を作ってくれるBurnside。プレイヤーとコメンテーター両方をこなすH2。日本に来た時一緒に盛り上がったUchi。初めて参加したWCS2016で凌ぎを削ったSuicuneMasterやCatFightなどなど、あげればキリがないw
    RoksoやThulius、Twixxieともバトルしたいし、WhityWhiteの実況が好きなので直接聞いてみたい!D1の実況も大好きですよ!
    彼らともっと仲良くなるためにも英語の勉強頑張らないとダメですね。うーん、きっつwwwwwwwwwwwww

    そして忘れていけないのはDCの存在です。
    WCS2017に挑戦できなかったオレに対し、参加者のみがもらえるTシャツをプレゼントしてくれました。
    半年経っても、海を越えてでも約束を守ってくれたんです。彼はオレにとってヒーローだと思っています。
    そんなDCの応援があったからこそ、オレはEVOJapanで優勝することができました。
    彼の存在なしに勝つことはなかったと思っています。本当に心から感謝しています。

    オレはまだまだ強いプレイヤーとは言えません。英語を話すこともできません。
    それでも海外勢はたくさんの応援をくれました。彼らの情熱的なメッセージは何度も何度もオレを助けてくれました。
    プレイヤーとして彼らとバトルを、そして何より友達としてたくさん交流することがオレの夢です。

     

    9.自分に自分を聞きたい質問とその質問の答えをお願いします


    Q.好きな食べ物について
    A.甘いものはだいたい大好きです!特にチョコレート!!お土産にチョコをもらえると毎回喜んでいて、世界中のチョコレートを食べてみたいですねw. SuicuneMasterやALLISTERがお土産にチョコレートをくれた時はめちゃくちゃ喜んでましたよwww

     

    10.読者、ファン達に一言お願いします


    オレは英語を話すことができないので、このインタビューシリーズのおかげで英語で発信する機会をもらえてとても嬉しいです。みどりさん、ありがとう!
    今年も世界各地でWCSの予選が始まっています。全てのプレイヤーは勝つために全力で戦っていくでしょう。
    もしこれを読んでいるあなたがプレイヤーなら、強い気持ちで戦ってください。そして本戦で会いましょう!
    ポッ拳プレイヤーではない方は、ぜひ大会の配信を観てください。多くのプレイヤーが本気で戦う姿は本当にかっこいいです。

    私は貧乏であり、特別な才能もありません。これまでの人生では数えきれない失敗を重ねてきました。
    それでも世界中の人が応援してくれたことで、EVOJapanで優勝することができました。本当に感謝しています。
    そして間もなくWCS日本予選の大会がスタートします。
    日本にも素晴らしいプレイヤーはたくさんいるので、とても厳しい戦いになると思います。
    それでもオレはチャンピオンになってみせる。応援してくれる人に応えるために。海外勢ともう一度会うために。そして、世界一憧れる大切な人の前で最強であることを証明するために。

    まだ話すことはできませんが、近いうちにみなさんへ大切な発表があります。
    楽しみに待っていてくださいね! <-- (「V3Esports」に加入することです!クロスさんおめでとうございます!)

    この記事を読んでくれてありがとうございました。
    大会と配信でまたお会いましょう!

     

    追加1。日本勢以内の憧れるプレーヤーいれば、教えてください!

    追加1.これは迷うことがないですね。「たのしみ」さんです!

    ミュウツーメインでもありますが、彼のルカリオは本当に最強だと思います。

    ポッ拳を始めたばかりの時から様々なことを教えてもらい、WCS2016に挑戦した時も励ましてもらいました。

    そんな憧れのたのしみさんを超え、最強のルカリオ使いになることはオレの大きな夢の一つです。

     

    追加2。日本に来ると絶対食べるべきものは?

    追加2.やっぱお寿司だと思います!

    新鮮な魚介類と酢飯のコンビネーションは素晴らしい!こんなこと言ってたら食べたくなってきたーー!!!www

     

     

    追加3。コミュニティーとして、ポッ拳を世界に広がるため、何をしてるほうがいいと思いますか?

    追加3.ものすごく普通のことを言うようですが、自分にできる発信をすることだと思います。

    ポッ拳プレイヤーではない友達を誘ってみる。動画を見てもらう。お酒を飲みに行った時にポッ拳の話をしてみる。

    そうやってコミュニティの外へ発信し続けることが大切です。

    一方で自分がコミュニティ内への発信が得意な場合は、コンボ動画や対策の記事など、始めたばかりのプレイヤーの助けになることをするのがいいと思います。

     

    追加4。強いけど世界がまだ知らない日本勢の方いませんか?いれば紹介してください

    追加4.「マスクドえいと」さんですかね。

    彼はまだまだ強くなれる部分が多くてトップとは言えませんが、Wii Uからの復帰勢の中ではかなりの実力者だと思いますね。

    大会に出ていくことで、より一層強くなれる人は多いと思います。

    何事も挑戦!そしてやるからには強いプレイヤーも倒しにいこう!!

     

    クロスさん、インタビューお疲れ様でした!m(uwu)m

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