Announced via social media, Dark Sided have confirmed their Street Fighter V roster with the resigning of both Duong “ZG” Nguyen and Adric “Falco” Middleton, and the acquisition of Xavier “Somniac” Nardella. Both ZG and Falco have been with the organization since May 2016. All three players have had a history of top 16 placings at Australian SFV Majors, with notable upsets against international pros over the last year.
Dark Sided has also committed to sending the three players abroad to South East Asian events and potentially even further based on their performances. This will be the first time an Australian org has made a concerted effort to send an entire roster overseas for Street Fighter, and will hopefully increase OCE’s place amongst the SF community.
The newly signed roster gave some exclusive words to GAMURS via an interview.
At OHN14 we saw Falco take a game off of K-Brad from Evil Genius’s, one of only two series at the tournament were an international dropped a game to a local player. Is this the level you expect to hit moving forwards? Taking the odd game from international pros while dominating domestically, or do you have higher aspirations?
Zgnoud: “Prior to OHN14, there was another Australian event held in Melbourne called BAM (which was also part of the 2016 CPT tour) where several top tier international guests were attendance. In that tournament Falco was the highest placing Australian player with one of the highlights being him defeating the former Evo champion Xian – effectively sending him into the losers bracket.
At SEAM (Singapore premier CPT event), Somniac was able to push the current Street Fighter V Evo champion (Infiltration) into a super competitive set (2-1) with his masterful display of his character M.Bison. I myself was also able to perform strongly by narrowly losing to Yukadon (3rd place Evo finalist from Japan) in a nail biting set that went down to last game last round. In addition to this, we joined forces to represent team Australia in the SEAM Street Fighter V team tournament. In this tournament we not only defeated Team Hail Mary (The Japanese team that won Japan’s prestigious Topanga Charity Cup team tournament), but also narrowingly lost to Team Humanbomb in another thrilling last game last round situation.
These results as well as how strongly we performed in the numerous international friendly practice matches sent a clear statement; that the players from Australia is not be slept on nor underestimated.
Our setback is definitely the Australian internet infrastructure – Because the game is depend on running at 60fps, it can be a real obstacle in getting solid practice with the other top Australian players, yet despite this I can confidently say that we are strong.”
Following up from that, where do you guys all want to be individually in the CPT rankings by the end of the season?
Zgnoud: “We can only get better [and] we hope that we can perform well to represent Australia on the Capcom Pro Tour. The dream is see one of us qualify for the Prestigious Capcom Cup one day.
One of the bigger elements of this move/resigning is that the Dark Sided organisation has committed to sending you guys to South East Asian events and potentially tournaments even further away from home. What will this do for the Australian Street Fighter scene as a whole having three representatives overseas, and how do you think playing against more international impact you own games individually?
Somniac: “The Australian Street Fighter scene has always been rather segmented from the rest of the world as we are not able to play against any other country online. We’re only able to test ourselves against international opponents in the event that we do travel or they visit for either OzHadou Nationals or Battle Arena Melbourne.
Every time that a strong Australian player has had the opportunity to travel they have always leveled up significantly and learned the gaps in their gameplay. Travel and experience outside of the Australian play base is extremely important as it exposes us to different styles and even different characters that we may not get a chance to play locally.
There’s also a hope that seeing Dark Sided compete in the international scene will also invigorate the local player base, giving them players to cheer for and aspire to compete alongside of.”
In Australian SF, you guys are more or less the big fish in a little pond. Looking abroad it will become the reverse almost instantly. Considering this, how are you looking at domestic events now that more competitive tournaments are on the horizon?
Falco: “Building confidence is an important part of being a competitive player with success and support from your local or even national community is an important first step before going to the world stage. The next step is making sure this confidence doesn’t become arrogance. Over confidence can lead to lazy work ethic or making excuses for situations instead of finding solutions. The last and never-ending step in this transition to a larger stage is taking on the advice and experience of those you encounter while developing your own playstyle and strategies along the way.
Domestic events are still the same as any other event, varying opponents with something to learn each time you play. Taking what you learnt overseas and applying it to your national scene is a new experience in itself with new questions that need to be answered. “how do these players respond to this situation? ” “why do they use this as a counter and not another?” and so on and so forth.”
To finish up, the follow words are yours. Any thanks or shout outs?
Zgnoud: “Special shoutouts the entire Darksided army for their love and support as well as all our wonderful partners ZQ, Plantronics and Twitch.
Also a huge personal shout out the entire FGC community that has continued to show their support and love for me and the team. A massive thank you to @ShadowlogicHQ, @CouchWarriors and @Ozhadou for what you guys have done and will continue to do for the Australian fighting game community.”