Updated on December 22, 10:15 a.m. (GMT+8): Edited photos, content.
Japanese pro player Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi is considered one of the best Street Fighter players of all time.
He is a three-time Evo champion who’s defeated veterans, newcomers, and even fellow legends like himself.
In one of his streams, he shared some personal insights into his own thought process when he’s competing in major fighting game events. He even revealed the secret strategy he often uses to “get better at games.
This is what Tokido thinks about when he plays Street Fighter
At first, he was hesitant to share his method because he didn’t want anyone to copy him.
Tokido eventually revealed that he tries to imagine what other high-level pro players would do in certain situations during a match.
“Daigo Umehara is really good at strategy,” he said. “Naoto “Sako” Sako is great with combo accuracy and execution. And you can raise Masahiro “Machabo” Tominaga’s anti-air reaction as an example, although this is a bit more specific.”
Tokido imagines himself as the player who is the best at certain aspects of the game.
“To be honest, I don’t have anything I can claim to be best at in terms of factors in fight games,” he humbly said. “This is why I borrow good factors from many different players. If you play fighting games from this perspective, I think everyone has a lot of things to learn from others.
Tokido then shared two instances where Sako lost a tournament match after going for a difficult combo.
The first was when he tried to link an air fireball into a Dragon Punch at Capcom Pro Tour’s Season 2 tournament in China. The Dragon Punch missed, which led to Sako losing the match.
“That left a huge impression on me,” he said.
The second time was during a Top 32 Winners’ Bracket match against Masato “Bonchan” Takahashi.
After reaching match point with a perfect in the previous round, Sako was about to advance to the Top 16. However, he dropped an air-juggle combo, which lost him the round.
Bonchan ended up clutching out the match with an epic final-round win. After the match, Tokido asked Sako about his missed combo and, instead of questioning his decision, Sako replied, “That’s definitely executable.”
And this is the reason why Tokido won’t compromise.
Tokido is regarded as one of the five Japanese Gods of Fighting Games. He is also widely respected as the best Akuma player in the world and is one of the most consistent players in multiple Capcom Pro Tour campaigns, so it is refreshing to see how he remains humble, despite having achieved so much.