[SSBM] Don’t chase a faster character!

Super Smash Bros. Melee professional Mango reviews his match loss to Leffen in the grand finals of GOML 2016. Leffen was playing Fox, while Mango (in all but one game) played Falco, Fox’s slower near-twin.

In this post, I’ve pulled points where Mango noticed himself making or avoiding the same strategic mistake again and again: chasing. He chases Leffen’s faster character into bad fights at ledges and platforms. Fox’s speed advantage gives him many options for turning on the pursuer, who has to correctly divine what is coming. Mango recognizes he should have patiently played from center stage instead of chasing, forcing Fox to come to him. Doing so would negate some of Fox’s speed/options advantage by forcing him to openly commit an approach. Mango’s chasing and other missteps cost him the first place finish, but reviewing the games helps him continue to improve.

Early in the match review, Mango asserts that “you can see he’s always running away from me already. Any time I do anything towards him he’s either full hopping or running away. That was his gameplan, which can easily be countered and am patient and have lasers.”

Falco on stage has trouble approaching Fox on the platforms. Leffen is using platforms and hops to approach at indirect angles:

“I’ve got to give up edge and go to center stage and laser.”

“He likes to come at me at weird angles…the answer is laser more, be more patient…I dunno, I got a little antsy.”

“I just need to give up ledge, again. Stop fighting it, Mango!”

“Again I get *#$*ing hit because I’m trying to fight at the edge and I shouldn’t be. Again! Not doing that ever again, just going to stand in the center and laser.”

“How is Falco going to chase Fox when fox is so much faster?” Here in game 3 Mango is finally playing the matchup better, though it’s too little too late.

“Made him come to me instead of chasing him everywhere.”

“He’s getting fucked up this game because I’m not making a lot of the little errors. If you look at the first and second game…the little errors that he just completely took the the bank…You’re supposed to punish someone when they fuck up.”

“Again I shouldn’t be going to him right here…I should just bounce.” Though he does have a significant stock advantage, so trades favor him.

“Again same mistake. Don’t attack there.”

“This chase lucked out but still shouldn’t have chased.” Mango recognizes that chasing here was a bad idea even though this time it worked out:

Review after match 3. This time didn’t play Leffen’s game. Was more defensive.

By looking at the videos of his match, Mango improves his ability to recognize play patterns. He repeatedly engaged in situations that let the opponent get more value from their speed advantage. By watching his games, Mango takes the opportunity to see and think on his mistakes, which may help him check his impulse to chase and voluntarily give up center stage when playing this matchup in the future.

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