Meet the players - Extra

13/09/2016

Blog article by Atyeo

Extra has become a big name in the world of Australian smash because he's not just good, he's EXTRA good.
A player with an incredible mindset and the perfect competitive attitude, I have no doubt that at some point Extra will be the undisputed #1 in the country , but what is it behind that lovable face that drives him forward?



Extra first got into smash by searching Smashboards on a whim to see if there were any tourneys around, and found his way to his first Smash @ Swanston. His first tourney was an interesting one, a gimmick tourney where you chose your opponent's character and couldn't choose the same character twice, in which he did quite well. " I beat V in winners semis in a very intense Peach vs Zelda match then beat Ignis to make it to grand finals. He ran it back to win the whole thing but I was no longer anxious about my skill and had a chat with Pudge and Ignis who are two of my best friends now." An early teaser perhaps about a player who could win with characters who arent considered top tier.

Where does the name Extra come from?

"It comes from a Pokemon forum 10 years ago when I was thinking of a new username and decided on Extrasensory. My buddies eventually shortened it into Extra. I originally entered tournaments as my real name, Nick, but the existence of Nicks in the scene made stuff to confusing so I defaulted to my online username"


​Extra feels its important to choose a character that fits your playstyle and mindset and that you enjoy and sync with, than simply picking whichever top tier you like the most. It's a philosophy you can see in action in Extra as he has interestingly moved down the tier list rather than up, and seen great success, slowly moving away from a mostly Wario player to a mostly Game and Watch player although he still maintains both.

"I played Brawl casually, but I never went to tourneys cause I lived in Warrnambool, which is around a 3.5 hour drive from Melbourne. In Brawl, I played Wario and Game & Watch. After Smash 4 came out, I messed around with just about everyone but couldn't pass up my old mains. I used Wario mostly because I couldn't handle dying so early with G&W.
I've been using G&W for most matchups nowadays, Wario's options against shield and roll aren't too good. He's not too fast on the ground so punishing rolls is difficult and he doesn't get much reward from grabbing you. If you mash out of Chomp he might do 8% to you and only gets followups at very low %. He also lacks the ability to kill early without waft. He works well against defensive play-styles and I bring him out vs characters like Sonic and Toon Link but G&W has a better advantage state and I'm more confident in my ability to live longer now.
I've thought about picking up better characters, but I haven't really gravitated towards any of the top tiers; I've got a Villager in the works though, because I find that character really fun and feel that they fit my playstyle well.
With regards to character choice, as I've improved and taken sets off of high level players my mentality has evolved into 'I'm going to be better than everyone in Australia, so it doesn't matter what character I choose.' I do have fun playing a decent chunk of the cast, so you might see a character switch from me down the line, but I'm going to try to make sure my main two aren't invalidated."



Extra is a hero to us all, but he also had some heroes on his Journey to where he is today.

"Ignis bopped me for a good five months or so and our sets are always close so I have a lot of respect for him - if he didn't exist there was no way I'd get as good. Waveguider was my first taste of a top player completely outclassing me in tournament and I was really driven to get to his level. I also admire Ghost's ability to play so many characters at a high level, which is something I'd love to do in the future."

Extra's feelings on the Australian smash scene are extra positive, and he has high hopes for how we can move forward in the future.

"A big thing that keeps me coming back to the scene I love is a combination of everyone being super chill and me being super competitive. I've also met some of my best friends through Smash. Depending on when people first talked to me they may or may not realize this but I'm usually shy and awkward around new people so I never made a lot of friends after moving to Melbourne. I think I've gotten a bit more outgoing through smash, the ability to say to myself that I'm the best at something, even if it's only 'best Smash 4 player in Victoria', just makes me a bit more confident in casual situations. The smash scene has really helped me in that regard.
I think the Australian scene is in a good place right now - just about every state has their own top player who is a threat at majors as well as a handful of hidden bosses. It's hard for our scene to expand so I think a realistic goal is for there to be a decent amount of players in each state who all manage to reach that top player level that people like me, Jezmo/Jaice, Ghost etc. are at. If this happens then I think we as a country will start making pretty rapid progress."

With his victory's at both Expand Gong and OHN14, Extra has now become the first Australia Smash 4 player to win 2 Majors. His strategy to deal with placing pressure is just to not sweat the little details.

"I tend to do well out of state (if we pretend SXC didn't happen) but I don't try and lump expectations on myself as that tends to lead to me choking. When I attended both of those tournaments I wasn't thinking of an arbitrary placing that I'd be happy with if I reached. I just play the game and if I play well, I'm happy."



Extra's prep plan going into big Tournaments is pretty straightforward too.

"The guys I travel with tend to grind pretty hard on the days before a tournament so I practice with them along with doing basic movement stuff by myself. I also do a lot of reviewing my own replays in order to improve my gameplay and I keep an eye on other scenes when I can. When I'm at the tournament I do my best to get friendlies with / watch players I don't know much about so I can start formulating a game plan in my head."

Extra is also the first really top tier Australian player to emerge who started at Smash 4 rather than being a carry over from melee or brawl, a fact that Extra is rather proud of, although Smash wasn't his first taste at competitive gaming.

"I used to play competitive Pokemon. I was a 'hidden boss' kind of guy and a couple top players rated me very highly cause I was very good at predicting the opponent. I think that carried over to Smash. The ability to put myself in my opponent's shoes, formulate a game plan and mentally stay one step ahead of my opponent has definitely helped me get as far as I have."



The future is looking bright for Extra,
"My ability to constantly keep improving is definitely my best quality and it's why I'm so optimistic for my future. Regi the Mexican G&W got 17th at EVO, so in a couple years who knows where I'll be? I'd like to make it to the international stage just once. People in the Victorian community probably know I'm notorious for saying "Australia sucks" but I'm actually feeling pretty good about my gameplay right now. One of my goals is to inspire people to really push themselves towards improving. If I send the message that you can be great no matter what character you play, then I think that's a super positive thing for the Australian scene."

Extra's favorite sets and moments in Smash so far
"My first S@S victory, where I came back from 0-2 against V to take grand finals and really started figuring people out. My set against Waveguider at Expand Gong, where I finally got revenge after getting destroyed at Town & Sydney. Stacked 2 vs Luminescent in Grands did so much for my mentality, after having everyone cheering against me and still clutching it out, I rarely feel nervous anymore during sets, because it honestly doesn't get worse than that. If I had to choose one I'd say the set vs Waveguider, because that was my first indication that I really could reach those top players."

When asked "how would you describe yourself in 3 words?" Extra had the best response to that question I've ever seen.

"Follow my Twitter"

So give him a follow on twitter for top level bants and for anyone who wants more of extra, watch the Youtube videos he's made and harass him into making more.
https://twitter.com/unwnded
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb6wJBZCC34I3LrqPeeRUhQ
by Atyeo 09/13/2016 00:00:00 5
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