Steve “Lord Knight”, a Fighting Games player for beastcoast, has spent a great deal of time playing different games within the FGC (Fighting Game Community). Lord Knight has competed in a wide variety of fighting games across his career.
Primarily playing anime fighters such as BlazBlue, Melty Blood, and Dragon Ball FighterZ, Steve is a skilled player with significant insight into what it takes to win. He most recently competed at CEOTaku, where he had a conversation with Sportskeeda’s Jason Parker.
Lord Knight recently discussed his beginnings in fighting games, advice for players trying to learn anime fighters, and strategies for picking a team in games like Dragon Ball FighterZ.
Q. First, thanks for taking the time to speak with us! Fighting games have recently received many announcements lately, from new games to updates. What were your favorite reveals?
Lord Knight: Thank you for having me! I really enjoy announcements that I don't expect, so things like Testament's reveal earlier this year, or Melty Blood Type Lumina's reveal last year, are very memorable to me.
Q. You're well-known for your expertise in the world of 2D fighting games. Out of the many that you have played, do you have a favorite?
Lord Knight: My favorite fighting game is the original version of Persona 4 Arena. The IP was unexpected, but I love Persona, and it was a pretty formative experience in my growth as a fighting game competitor.
Q. How did you come to love fighting games? What title was the genesis for you?
Lord Knight: To be honest, I have been competing in games for a very long time. The first game I played in a tournament was Super Smash Bros. Melee, but the first traditional fighter I played competitively was Melty Blood: Act Cadenza.
Q. You've been very active when it comes to DragonBall FighterZ and GG Strive. What is your strategy when picking a team for games like DBFZ? What makes a character worthy of being on your squad?
Lord Knight: Picking a competitive team for Dragon Ball FighterZ is pretty hard, but by the end of the second season of the game, I had a pretty good strategy for picking a team. It isn't about a single character, it is a team game, after all. So, you have to evaluate the individual characters, the assists they contribute, and how they work together to accomplish a macro strategy to help you win the game.
For example, the last team I played was Gotenks (C assist), Master Roshi (B assist), and Z Broly (A assist). The Gotenks and Broly assists made it so I could control the screen, no matter what character was on the screen, and the Master Roshi assist helped both with combos and with protecting me in scrambly situations (which are very common in Dragon Ball FighterZ).
On top of that, Master Roshi's assist enabled Gotenks to do incredibly strong offense that he isn't normally capable of, which made him very threatening. When you're trying a team out, I would say wait a couple of weeks to see if the strategy is working and then go from there.
Q. Are you going to be diving into Street Fighter 6's upcoming closed beta? Or is it not really something you're interested in?
Lord Knight: I'm interested in trying out Street Fighter 6, for sure! Mostly, I want to see what they are bringing to the table, but I don't usually compete in Street Fighter games.
Q. On the subject of 2D anime fighters, you've also played a significant amount of BlazBlue. Which is your favorite iteration of the game, and would you like to see the series come back?
Lord Knight: Probably my favorite version of BlazBlue is Chrono Phantasma 1.0. Just take out Kokonoe, please. Right now, the game is having a resurgence because it got a netcode update. However, with the producer leaving Arc System Works, I don't expect them to release a new game any time soon.
Q. In the BlazBlue games, characters evolve and change, but not always for the better. Which version did you feel the most powerful in?
Lord Knight: Also, Chrono Phantasma 1.0. I think I played stronger characters in BlazBlue, but I think, in that period, I grew a lot as a player and had a fresh mindset since I switched mains from Litchi Faye Ling (who I played since Calamity Trigger) to Valkenhayn R. Hellsing.
Q. As a skilled anime fighting game player, what do you think is the most important hurdle for players who are struggling to level up their skills?
Lord Knight: Usually the main issue I see with people who are learning is that they play too fast. It makes sense because the games themselves are fast, but if you play too quickly, you won't be able to assess situations reliably.
Q. Anime fighters also tend to be very heavy on intricate, high-skill combos. What is your advice to players struggling with combo mechanics?
Lord Knight: If you're lucky, there are tricks to make a specific combo easier, but to be honest, the only way to learn is to practice. There are cases of there being ways to make inputs easier, but even then, practice makes perfect.
Q. The mental aspect in fighting games is so important. How important do you feel the "Iron sharpens Iron" philosophy is? By that, losing to someone who is better than you over and over to improve?
Lord Knight: I definitely agree with that saying. Personally, I try to play people of all skill levels, because people at different levels make different choices in the same situation. Losing to someone who is better than you is a very good way to see where your flaws are as a player, whereas playing someone you're better than can show you where you can optimize things you are good at.
Q. You're also a well-known Fire Emblem fan. Who is your favorite character, and which is the strongest, would you say?
Lord Knight: My favorite character is Sigurd from Fire Emblem: Geneology of the Holy War. That's where my online name comes from. He is also probably a top three main character in terms of strength.
Q. Have you ever had an idea for a fighting game character that you'd like to see come to life? If so, what was it?
Lord Knight: Not really. I like seeing what the developers come up with. Usually, I like guessing what characters will be added to a game with an established IP such as Persona or Dragon Ball FighterZ. I remember before Ultimax was released, the scene kept saying "they can't add Adachi, right?" and then they did.
Q. We appreciate you taking the time to chat with us while you're busy at CEOTaku. How do you feel about your performance so far, and are there any players you were particularly excited to play against?
Lord Knight: It would be a lie if I said I was happy with my placement (33rd), however, that's growing pains with the new main. I'm happy I stuck with Baiken for the whole tournament and I felt like everything I was prepared for, I did well. I'm usually not excited to play anyone really, I don't even like looking at brackets before the event!
Fans can find Lord Knight on a variety of platforms, including Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch. He actively plays different fighting games and will continue to compete at a professional level.