Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Image: Famitsu

Last year, a special tournament was held in Japan in which corporations could put forward players to compete in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Switch. Famitsu recently interviewed the winner of that event, Seisaku Matsukawa of Taisho Pharmaceuticals.

We’ve gone ahead and translated the interview for you below!

Famitsu: Congratulations on your victory! After the tournament concluded, what was the reaction from your peers, as well as colleagues in your company?

Seisaku Matsukawa: I received many congrats from my office, but my friends weren’t surprised. (laughs) As for my sister, when I told her I won on LINE, it was left on 'read' and ignored.

Famitsu: That’s a shame. (laughs) Were you nervous during the tournament?

Matsukawa: We had the first match of the tournament, so I was very nervous at first. However, once the match was underway, I was pretty focused, so my nervousness was gone. In the next round, I watched each and every match, and I knew I could win. Therefore after that first match, I wasn’t at all nervous.

Famitsu: You went undefeated in the tournament and it was a spectacle, so have you been playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate long?

Matsukawa: I first played Super Smash Bros. when I was in daycare. Back then, I went to a nearby house for the first time to play, and I was told that we would play Super Smash Bros. I hadn't even touched the game until then, so it's a bit of a bitter memory that the kid made me feel like crying. (laughs) That said, my goal back then was to beat the other kids in Super Smash Bros. I've been playing for about 20 years. I play all the popular games, but the series I’ve focused on most has always been the Super Smash Bros. series. I was able to play with many characters of other games within only the one, and you just can’t beat the feeling of winning, so I think I was pretty addicted to the game. When I was still a student, I destroyed my friends who used to say “I can’t lose in Super Smash Bros.!”

Famitsu: Are there any other games you play other than Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

Matsukawa: Recently, I’ve been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I love cute animals such as hamsters and seals, so I was hoping that those sort of animals would live in my village, but my first residents were gorillas and monkeys. (smiles) I was considering resetting it, but I think that this was destiny, and I live on the edge of the island.

Famitsu: Please tell us what you like about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Matsukawa: This isn’t restricted to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but anyone regardless of age and sex can easily play, there are no limits to growing even stronger, amazing matches that both players and viewers can enjoy, easy to understand fighter design, many playable fighters and stages… Sorry! I’m naming everything I enjoy about the series!

Famitsu: Your love for the game is very apparent. (laughs) Please tell us why you used Palutena at the tournament and if you have any other favourite fighters.

Matsukawa: The rules of the tournament were timed team battles with items, so we searched for a character that is strong in such a match, fast enough to go to be able to help our teammate, but easy to control for any development in-game. Palutena was the best choice. On the day of the tournament, my teammate was so in control that he didn’t need any help, and I was also able to make good use of advantageous opportunities, so I was able to win. I also like Joker. His speed, combo potential, unique mechanics, and power him perform well and pretty cool, and, personally, I think there are no better fighters.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Famitsu: What other fighters do you think are strong?

Matsukawa: I think that the fighter balance of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is quite good, so really, I believe all fighters are strong, with some exceptions. To name a few, Joker, Mr. Game & Watch, Zero Suit Samus, among others, all feel superb and strong.

Famitsu: Tell us about your practice routine for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Matsukawa: We often check and analyze videos of top players in the competitive scene, including those abroad. This is because the accuracy of reading opponents will improve if you learn new offensive and defensive options that are unfamiliar, and consider them to predict the next move of your opponent. That said, my work keeps me busy, so I don’t have much time to practice. Recently, I’ve been able to practice for three hours at a time, max.

Famitsu: Are there any players, in particular, you are focused on?

Matsukawa: One player I pay particularly close attention to is MKLeo. I’m always checking videos of tournaments he participates in. Since he also mains Joker, and has participated in many tournaments, I sometimes imagine “I’ll also eventually be that good,” like a dream. (laughs) Since he has mastered Joker, I continue to study his usage as an ideal that I want to match as closely as I possibly can.

Famitsu: What do you think separates novice and advanced players?

Matsukawa: That difference is quite nebulous and it's difficult to explain. Consider novices as not VIP and advanced players as VIP. Are you playing consistently? Are you properly reading the opponent? Are you able to combo and connect hits? I think this makes a big difference.

Famitsu: Please give your advice on how beginners should practice.

Matsukawa: It's difficult for me to give advice, but it is important to learn what the strengths of the various fighters are, such as closing the gap between fighters, ranged attacks, and the timing needed to set up attacks. Because of this, I think it would be more practicable to learn the techniques top players user on YouTube, or to battle players stronger than you and get their advice. Keep in mind that advice does not necessarily mean it is correct, even if they are strong. It is crucial to analyze such advice on your own before taking it to heart.

Famitsu: Thank you. It’s been said that you will be participating in other tournaments. What are your future competitive plans?

Matsukawa: My motivation to continue competing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is high, and, rather fortunately, the competitive scene is well established in Japan, so I hope that I can focus on offline tournaments instead of online tournaments in the future. I’m always wanting more Smash Bros. friends, so I'm happy if you would come chat with me if you see me in future tournaments!

Are you active in the competitive scene? Who do you main in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? Drop us a comment and let us know!