The Belgian Style

A lot of people like to play by the numbers in Street Fighter V.

They can be quite stubborn with what they should and shouldn’t do.

As you can see with Takamura, we don’t play like that in Belgium. Sometimes, you have to push that button and go wild. When you play against someone like that, you’re always the one having to guess the 50/50, even on offence.

That’s the Belgian style.

In Street Fighter V we have so many good players, but not so many that are getting recognition. So, last year, I finally pulled the trigger last year and started my own company, DragonTail.

I knew that Belgium needed more representation, and that’s why I set myself on an all-Belgian team. There are other players in the scene that could have worked well, but I know my scene better than any other. It’s what I wanted from the start.

Initially my recruitment was done through the Flemish Street Fighter scene Discord server. There are a lot of players in there that I’ve known since the Street Fighter IV days, so I already know their ability.

When you play for a long time, you make those connections in your game, and the wider FGC as a whole. I have a lot of friends in the FGC from my playing days, and that helps when you move on to management. It sets you apart from others because you already have that trust and respect.

It helps that a lot of my players are already well-established too. Fuhajin, for example, was doing a lot of damage in Street Fighter IV.

At first the whole thing was just a passion project. It took some work but I just did for the love of this community. I made the decision to keep it to a 3-player team to keep things sustainable. We went to VSF, UFA, and NRW. I did 9 tournaments myself too, to try and get the name out there a little bit!

Things have exploded since then and a lot of opportunities are now presenting themselves. The belgian pros have been giving me lots of advice and helped introduce me to people that I would have otherwise never met or known.

That level of collaboration is what makes the Belgian scene so great. I feel like Dragontail are acting as a liason to get the whole of the Belgian FGC together as one. We want to be great as an entire country, rather than seperate scenes or players.

As it is right now, the scene is split into two parts, Dutch and French. In Brussels – the capital – you have to speak both languages, which is why Brussels became a fighting game hub.

When Street Fighter V launched, CLL was playing and running his own events in Brussels. I started getting out to the capital more often, and because of that I was able to have conversations with CCL and Ketaroz. I learned a lot about the state of the FGC scene in different parts of the country.

It’s good to have healthy competition within a country – I don’t want to get rid of that. Places like Brussels, Liège, and Flanders should certainly have some rivalries when playing within Belgium, but when we go abroad it’s time to band together. Belgium vs the world.

It’s about supporting your countrymen and letting them know that you have their back no matter what happens. We’re all here to find success for ourselves, but also to put our scene on the map in a global scale.

All the time, we see successful players coming back from the big international tournaments and sharing the lessons that they learned with the less experienced players. The ones who can’t afford to go abroad, or aren’t quite at that level yet.

The players are all rising up together. Obviously that also helps me in the long run, because it means I have a bigger pool of players to pick from now.

Because of these factors, we have a great opportunity with our scene. There are a variety of really strong players with a diverse roster of characters. The only missing factor is to bring all of them together to share their knowledge.

The next step for me is to start my own tournaments within Belgium to help plug that gap. Brussels Challenge is huge, but I hope we can get more tournaments of that scale. More native sponsorships would be fantastic too.

Even though the Brussels scene is huge, as I said before, there are many different hubs in the country. If you ask any player what’s near them, they will know about it. And there’s always someone travelling to Brussels that can travel with them.

That’s a great first step, and I want players to travel as much as they can to get experience of other scenes, other players, and other playstyles. We need to be able to recognize their differences, learn from them, and know how to counter them.

I have a lot of faith in Belgium.

Even if my company dies eventually, I want to get to a point where others can step up and take my place. We have a lot of growing to do, but I know that we can do it, because of the amazing people here.

Tam Mageean assisted in the creation of this article.

Photo Credit: RaienRyu

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    Kris Noels

    Awesome post! Keep up the great work! 🙂