Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Some stuff about Armada

Some of the Genesis final videos are being uploaded now; they’re all as impressive as I would’ve guessed. Obviously Armada is the real star here, and his sets against Mew2King and Mango are among the best sets I’ve ever seen. Armada simply shouldn’t exist. I mean, seriously. He’s European and he plays Peach. I remember seeing some videos a year or so ago of him, everyone was in awe of how fast he could play Peach, but no one actually thought he had the precision or knowledge of Vidjo, Mike G, even like Wife or Hella. He just looked like someone who practiced a whole lot. Then I heard a few months ago that he was coming to Genesis. A few people were hyped for him, but I don’t think anyone seriously was predicting him to do better than quaterfinals. I was more pessimistic; I thought he’d be lucky to make top 32, although I hoped he would.


His Peach is on a whole other level, though. He plays it like Azen used to, or more accurately, how Azen played Marth – with lots of pokes and spacing, waiting for the perfect moment to strike instead of the more impatient Ken. Armada can approach with turnips, chain upthrows, gimp recoveries and do all the other prerequisite Peach functions, but it is his adaptation of the basics that leads him to succeed as he does. A Peach player shouldn’t really even be given much of a change to function as a Peach player in this environment, the more aggressive characters will shut down almost every aspect of her character. Armada’s Peach can and does succeed via smart hit and run maneuvers, landing solid hits at every opportunity he can, and most of all, his ability to adapt.


Look at the painfully short set between him and Mew2King for a perfect example of this. On the first match, Armada is acting like he’s never played a good Marth before. Maybe he hasn’t. He certainly hasn’t played one as good as M2K’s. In the first stock he gets utterly destroyed, but you can see him learning. The second match is almost his by default, being on Peach City and all, but M2K’s Marth really plays brilliantly there. M2K knows Marth vs. Peach inside out, and he knows all the tricks Peach can use on MC. They go back to FD, which Armada inexplicably agrees to, but I guess at this point he realized what he would be able to do. This is where the match really begins; they’ve seen each other at their respective bests and now must adapt to what they have seen. This is also where Armada really makes his move, now understanding how M2K plays. The first time he successfully baits M2K into countering his turnip and then punishes him afterwards is a thing of beauty, and soon after, when M2K falls for the same trick again and again, it perfectly illustrates the differences between them. Armada adapts to the enemy and improves, while M2K seems to think he’s still playing against the Peach he expected to play against in the first match. Luckily, M2K is still one of the safest, most precise, most failsafe and technically sound players today. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to keep up as long as he did. Maybe Brawl has dulled his senses and made him too predictable and stubborn, but more likely I think is that no one could ever have prepared to play against a character like Armada.


Even Mango was scared of him. Apparently he was cheering for Mew2King, his archrival, just so he wouldn’t have to fight Armada himself. But Mango vs. Armada is just too exciting not to happen. The first match proved how inexperienced Mango was with taking on Peach with Jiggs, he simply did not seem to know when the attacks would come, and kept getting punished for trying to get away with things that he couldn’t. That said, switching to Falco was perhaps not the best choice. Obviously hindsight is 20/20, but it seems like Mango should have known that Puff was his best bet in the long run and should have kept at it so he could improve more at the matchup. That said, I am happy that he played his Falco for a bit, because it is very entertaining. They were both very familiar with the matchup, which is nice, because then they can use that as a base point to expand the metagame. What impressed me the most was how back and forth it all was. The amount of baiting was huge, and it lead to lots of really intense retaliations and reversals. The fact that two players from two different regions and two completely different histories could meet up here and be so even is nothing less than miraculous. I really have no idea how to describe this sort of match, it was just so ridiculous. So many amazing combos, so many incredible recoveries. Genesis really delivered on all accounts. I can’t wait to see the Grand Finals, with the reemergence of Mango’s Puff and Armada’s Peach at the top of his game.


Anonymous said...

i may never, ever want to play melee again but the scene still fascinates me

lemme know next time there's another big tournament, would you?

also, are the grand final videos up anywhere yet?

Keatsta said...

No grand final videos yet, hopefully HMW will get them up sometime soon.