Battle Arena Melbourne 9 (BAM9) kicks off tomorrow and is set to be the largest fighting game tournament ever held in Australia. With BAM being a Premiere Event on the Capcom Pro Tour, we will invaded by an army of international invaders coming for the Street Fighter V crown such as Daigo Umehara, Razer Infiltration, Razer Xian, Echo Fox Momochi, Fuudo and many more. Who will defend the Victorian shores from these overseas insurgents as well as the armies from interstate and how has the metagame and player rankings changed since the last major?

Let’s dive into Guilty Gear with Feri, someone who has been dominating the anime fighting game scene since he was a teenager, and Vincent Lim, a Guilty/Gear Smash stalwart.

Muttons: Do you consider yourself the strongest GG player in Victoria right now?

Feri: I think the skill level in Victoria is too close. It’s hard to say right now.

Muttons: Who are the top guns from Victoria?

Feri: Javi’s alright. Myself, CM and Tailais round it out.

Vincent: We also have Popo, a May player. He’s an example of our online players who are really strong but don’t usually show up to monthlies. They’re like the wild card. They could do really well against other people!

Muttons: How have things changed in the Guilty Gear scene since the last major? I heard the grand final at SXC2016 was decided by a lack experience in a certain matchup…

Vincent: At SXC Javi got third. Ando from QLD lost to Nerk from SA at SXC… but he won the Tasmanian major.

Muttons: Who does Ando play?

Feri: Faust. I reckon Ando’s still extremely strong.

Vincent: He might beat Nerk this time. At the time he didn’t know the matchup with Jam, which was Nerk’s sub- character (His main is Sol). So it was a combination of nerves and not knowing the matchup. He might be more settled against Jam this time around, we don’t know.

Feri: In Guilty Gear matchup familiarity is really important…whether people have done the lab work on specific matchups….

Vincent: And the bracket matters a lot in the final outcome, like who matching up against who early on, so you never really know [how it will turn out].

Last BAM’s top 4 from left: Javi (3rd) Ando (1st) Falco (2nd) and Popo (4th)

Muttons: Who are the main challengers for the Guilty Gear crown from interstate?

Feri: Nerk, Falco and Giggles from Adelaide.

Vincent: Ando from QLD and Adam a young guy who plays a lot of Guilty Gear.

From Sydney you have Audacity (Feri: Oh yeah!) and Seraph as well but we’re not sure if he’s coming. He would be a very strong player if he came.

Muttons: How do you think Victoria is gonna hold up this time against the interstate horde?

Feri: Javi will do well, the rest of us will struggle!

Vincent: He plays Jack-O, not many people play Jack-O

Feri: Only Melbourne has matchup experience against Jack-O. So they’ll struggle – it’s really hard!

Battle Arena Melbourne 9 takes place on May 12-14 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. It will be a 3 day event with features such as: official afterparty, huge pot and prize bonuses, artist alley, cosplay competition,

BAM9 is a Global Premier Event on the 2017 Capcom Pro Tour and will feature international guests such as Daigo Umehara and Razer Infiltration and Xian for SFV and Nakat from the US for Smash. BAM9 will also feature a Tekken 7 pre-release tournament, a Tekken 7 New Challengers tournament, international players such as Saint and JDCR and the Tekken Pass: free entry to play on over 40 Tekken 7 machines all weekend.

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