Welcome to week two of my attempts to get competitive at Injustice: Gods Among Us!
One thing no one really talks about when discussing competitive gaming and e-sports is exactly how dull a lot of the practicing is. Sitting in Injustice: Gods Among Us’s training mode for hours just practicing a given combo from one side of the map to the other until it is practically muscle memory is not a terribly exciting use of time, but is definitely essential.
The ability to simply know how to apply different moves and combo strings based on the specific circumstances encountered in any given situation is vital against a skilled opponent. It does not matter in the faintest if a person can land a combo nine times out of ten under ideal circumstances. It matters if they can land a combo against an opponent who is definitely not cooperating.
Even under perfect conditions, the timing is always slightly different. Opponent get knocked slightly higher in the air this time? That changes your timing. Opponent jumps in and you catch them in the air with the juggle? That changes your timing, and possibly the combo itself if the moves involved have notably different hitboxes or if the character being hit does.
Unique circumstance aside, different opponents have different possible reactions to combos, some because of traits. Certain characters can use attacks that grant armor, making it impossible to combo them unless you can get enough hits to get through the armor before they hit you. Some traits make those combos more difficult to pull off, such as Doomsday’s giving him armor or Aquaman’s letting him start blocking mid-string.
All of which comes back down to the point that those combos need to be practiced and practiced and practiced until you can fire them off literally without thinking, knowing instinctively when you need to swing and with what to hit and combo in any possible situation.
It is still a much more boring process than most people, even those who enjoy watching competitive e-sports, would realize. Saying you’ll practice for even a single hour a day is a lot harder to do than it sounds without simply zoning out, gaining nothing but repeating the motions, making it more likely to drop combos in those slightly off-perfect scenarios.
Over the coming week I’m going to start practicing actually using these combos I have spent so much time learning. Wish me luck!