12/1/17 – Zain, the red Marth from the MDVA (Maryland and Virginia) region, has quickly become one of the best Melee players in the world. His Marth has come a long way in only three and a half years of playing the game. Zain has taken sets off the likes of TSM RB Leffen, CLG Sfat, Liquid Chudat and many more. He is currently ranked No. 41 on the MIOM top 50 for the Summer of 2017.
In an interview with Zain, he talks about his origins as a player, his inspirations to play the game and much more!
What are your goals for yourself as a player in 2018?
I’d like to place in as many top 8s as possible. I don’t really like to set milestones for myself for each event, since every tournament I go to I want to win.
Whose marth was your biggest inspiration and why?
PPMD is my biggest Marth inspiration! His dash dance and positioning are so much better than every other Marth.
What do you recommend a newer player do to get better?
Pick one character and stick with it. Personally, I developed my punish game first. Once you’ve done this, learn why you’re getting hit, where you’re getting opened up, and why you’re getting your own punishes. Keep notes on different matchups. In terms of mentality, you have to control the pain of losing. Losing should feel bad to the point where you want to get better, not to the point of discouragement. You also have to separate your emotions from logic when you’re analyzing sets. Be the best, most objective critic of yourself that you can be. Make sure you analyze all of your sets. If you can’t get your sets on stream, get a friend to record them.
What’s your opinion on ucf?
UCF is awesome! I hope it’ll be used at all majors in the near future.
Who do you think wins the fox vs Marth matchup?
I honestly don’t really care that much about matchup spreads. If I had to pick, I’d say that Marth wins for the simple reason of ease of conversion.
When was your first ever Melee tournament?
My first tournament took place on May 23rd, 2014. It was a local tourney at a bar in Virginia and I entered as tekkenz. Here’s the bracket: http://dcesportslans.challonge.com/clarendonsmash2
How much further do you think you can go as a player?
I’ve been pretty happy with my overall improvement in the game. I think that I can go all the way to the top.
What is the most important thing to practice in your opinion?
That’s pretty different for each character. I think that a universal answer would be a strong mentality.
You can follow Zain on Twitter @SSBMZain to keep up to date with the smoothest Marth on the planet.
Tyler J. Linden