PLAYERS TAG

Wolmar

REAL NAME

Guillaume Lestage

COUNTRY

Bordeaux, France

CHARACTER/S

Dhalsim, E.Honda, Chun-Li

GMC INTERVIEW WITH Wolmar

GMC: Can you remember your first encounter with SSF2T, and did you instantly become a fan?
Wolmar: Well at first, I played Street fighter II turbo (Hyper fighting) on snes, and I discovered ST just 3 years ago, because I remembered being decent at Hyper Fighting, and I wanted to see if it was possible to play it online. Then I discovered kaillera platform and then 2df, and played ST because it was the most popular version of SF2. At the beginning, it felt weird because as a Honda player, I didn’t want that fat*ss to go forward when I mashed punch. I wanted it old school, you know, just controlling the Hundred hands with the joystick. I soon found out how to pick Old version of Honda, and then it started. I played O.Honda on pad (snes habit) for a almost year. My favourite trick was High punch grab to Hands for just a tick, then instantly going back to the same grab. Watching the opponent becoming mad at it was really funny. I came into the game in-depth very fast though, and even if I played an Old character version, I appreciated the use of the super, as a new tool in the game, forcing you to be on point and extremely careful.

GMC: What is the most memorable tournament/event you have played in, and why?
Wolmar: Without any doubt, X-Mania Europe. Thing was crazy : all top euro players was there except a very few. 3 tourneys, and the 3on3 (starcup format) one : my personal favourite. Plus Kurahashi and Kusumondo being there. What else could be better seriously ? It was the greatest ST tournament ever in Europe. And I managed to do good performances, which is just fantastic, but honestly, I don’t care that much. Even if I were eliminated soon, just playing with those guys, the overall atmosphere, etc. all was so perfect I didn’t care that much about the results. The other tourney I will always remember is Stunfest 2011 for sure. First time I won a title, plus at such an event, one of the most important in Europe. I knew then I was going to be recognized as a good player. But most of it all, the feeling it gives you when you win is mind-blowing. I went at Stunfest without any expectation, and I just won over and over, I couldn’t believe I was able to win such an event. I think my gameplay with an arcade stick was then on point, after a year of practice. It gave me huge confidence, and after that, at X mania, I was relaxed and managed again to do good without having any pressure. Like, winning just Stunfest was enough for me. But now I got this X mania title also, thanks to Milanea, who beat Kurahashi in final and did like all the job in that tourney haha. So, 2011 will be for me just great memories.

GMC: Is there any advice you wish you’d have been given when you were new to competition?
Wolmar: I know U.S players often give advices like “don’t pay attention who is playing against you”, and that is indeed a great advice, yet very hard to apply when you play Kusumondo, haha. Basically, ST is such a fast game that pretty much everything is possible in 2 matches. Also, my personal advice, a bit in contradiction with the previous, would be “know your enemies strategies”. Most terrible thing is to play even an “average plus” player you don’t know a thing about. You gotta know everyone’s gameplay and favourite tricks, to avoid surprise, the greatest enemy in ST.

GMC: How do you prepare for a tournament, is there a routine of training before the event? 
Wolmar: First I try to know who is going to enter and I train against their characters on ggpo, with good players. I stick with the character I know I will play. I try to list after the matches everything I was in trouble with, and try to find answers to it, watching you tube vids of top Japanese players in the matchup I’m interested in. I play like 45 minutes a day, but I’m a lot more watching matches or just thinking about tactics.

GMC: You are most known for playing Dhalsim, ChunLi & E.Honda. How did you settle on this character as a tournament winner? 
Wolmar: I rarely play E.Honda in tourneys, apart if it’s a small tourney I know there won’t be any unfavourable matchup in. It’s really too hard to be consistent with Honda because his bad matchups are so hard to deal with. If I have to play Honda against a top shoto (like at X mania Vs. Orf), I try to surprise my opponent with risky tactics, because if you go into classic patterns, chances are actually greater for you to lose. Chun, I play her but at high level just since too little time, so I’m not really confident to play her at a single-character locked tourney. Maybe it will change though, because I feel pretty comfortable in most matchups with her. She’s cheap and you can be good with her quite fast, but don’t underestimate her too much ; you gotta learn to be dominant in a consistent way. For Dhalsim, well you just gotta work ultra hard. Know everything, anti airs, spacing, timing, tricks… I even don’t know how I came to play this character, because he is crazy hard to learn. Don’t go with Sim at a tourney if you don’t know perfectly at least all of his anti airs, or you will be crushed instantly. Playing Sim is like playing chess : forcing the opponent to move the way you predicted, for you to apply a specific pattern leading to a dominant position. It demands great reflexion and patience, just like the character discipline is about.

GMC: What players do you enjoy watching play Super Turbo and how do you fair when playing against them?
Wolmar: Well there is a lot of them. Basically, every good T. Hawk and Zangief is a great entertainment for me. I do good against Hawk and Gief in general, thanks to Honda lol. I played Djfrijoles quite a lot overall, he is a crazy Zangief player from Mexico (plays Hawk too) ; also Damdai who mained O. Hawk recently. I believe I do okay against them, but it’s not a great performance matchup wise haha. In Europe, I like to watch guys like Fuz, ntrade (didn’t see him for a while though), Cem for the few times he played the game (O.Gief madness), Orf, Kareeeeem, Spinalblood, Er commander, Aerorockman… Well the list would be too long, but top euro players are pleasant to watch and play against. I guess I do okay against them too, always great games. In japan, I love to see any top player, no matter the character they play. My favourites being grapplers too, Kusumondo, Gian, Yoshimura and Komoda. I played Kusumondo at X mania. He’s from another planet. I managed to take some rounds, but I’m sure it was for him to analyse my gameplay and crush me up the next rounds. I did “better” against kurahashi, in casual games ; managed to win a chun mirror, and a Sim / Guile match. I lost another Sim / Guile match but it was really close, and same for another Sim / Ryu match where I was leading and he managed to win thanks to a super I should never have taken haha. But don’t get me wrong ; this guy is also on another level. We euro peeps have to work hard to reach them someday. But in a way we weren’t that ridiculous ; some of us took matches off of them with style !

GMC: What are your thoughts on the release of HD remix? 
Wolmar: Well it allowed to spread the word about ST, and it brought some top players (Sharizord, Kareeeeem, Aerorockman, Er commander…). Apart from that I don’t enjoy playing the game too much, because I’m too used to ST. You can’t call that a shitty game, because changes are not that important to make it a bad game. Though, this game feels less precise to me strangely, but it should be my personal impression. But all that stuff around Sirlin is stupid in my opinion. Dude wanted to make ST live another life, and well he somewhat succeeded. I really won’t be the one dissing his work, even if I really prefer the vanilla version of the game.

GMC: What is the ST community like in France, since the release of SSFIV?
Wolmar: Well I haven’t got the impression that SF4 had an impact on the French community of ST ; this is certainly true for the rest of Europe, but not in France. The ST French community is so nice. I think it is the greatest in Europe in terms of number of players. And we got very good elements, with top Blanka, Dictator, Dee jay, Honda, etc. The spirit of the community is united, and even though there is competition, no bad behaviour can be seen, almost never. We know ST is not a big scene, and everyone is doing an effort to keep the community alive, with the best atmosphere we can.

GMC: Even with the age of ST, why do think that people are still playing it competitively?
Wolmar: Because it’s both a very accessible and a very deep game. It is the basis of roughly every fighting game. I don’t think this game is gonna die. People still play Super Mario bros. 1 or Zelda 3. ST is this kind of game. Like a piece of art, time cannot pass through. Also, the game quickness and brutality is very enjoyable to watch, as everything can happen anytime. Nothing is ever done until it’s over. That’s the definition of a good show. So I guess both for the players and the spectators, ST has everything to be worth for, let’s say, ever !

GMC: What is the future for Wolmar and Street Fighter; will you continue entering major events in ST? If so, are there any tournaments coming up we can watch out for you in?
Wolmar: I think I will continue to enter events, even if I sometime think about the meaning of it lol. And well it’s just fun after all. You know, there is something I always thought : my opinion is that winning tournaments is not meaningful, because it’s just about being ready at a specific moment. It’s quite a shame that only names that won something are known to be good players, because there is a lot of them that won’t ever win a thing and are as good. But hey that’s how the world goes I guess. So yeah I will continue to enter tourneys as long as I will play this game intensively, because I don’t care about losing or winning that much actually. Of course, it’s always a great feeling to win, but I just enjoy to play the game IRL with cool dudes, and that’s all it’s all about I believe.

GMC: Thank you for your time, any closing words? 
Wolmar: Thank you too for your interest in the game, you help keep it alive. Oh and something else : I’m a huge fan of Windjammers (Flying disc game) and I would love tourney organizers to incorporate tourneys of this incredible game in their events. That would be the greatest thing to happen for me ! Spread the word if you can. Play that game kids, it’s fun as hell and also amazingly deep if you know how to play. Cheers guys.