The SpinShare SpeenLeague is underway! With week 1’s matches already concluded, we have a glimpse of what the league might shape up like going into this weekend’s matches. The SpeenLeague brings together top players from all around the world, both familiar faces from the top 8 of the SpinShare SpeenOpen and newer faces from within the community.
Enter PickPig, Celeste speedrunner and Spin Rhythm charter. PickPig first made waves in the Autumn SpeenOpen; where they faced off against third-seeded Programmatic and took him to within a hundred points on the last map, eventually losing due to a broken hold. Pick enters the SpeenLeague to make a name for themselves within the league, but a change in playstyle has led to early doubts as to hopes for success.
I talked with PickPig about their playstyle changes and their aspirations for the league.
rewardadrawer: Tell us a little about yourself.
PickPig: Tough question. I’m Pick (who coulda guessed?). I’m a speen player and charter. Pretty hard to think of anything else to say about myself; like I guess I inactively speedrun Celeste, if you know me from there, and sometimes Splatoon, too.
You are perhaps the most recent convert to turntable play among high-level players. What turntable are you using? How have you been liking it?
I was going to get the Hercules Inpulse 200, but funny Brexit moment made it so Hercules wouldn’t ship to the UK for like, another week, so I gave in and got the Pioneer DDJ-200 instead, which is essentially the same controller but from a different brand. I’d still recommend the Inpulse over it though; I’ve had a few inconsistencies with the touch sensitivity, not sure if that’s just for me where something got under the wheel, if that’s even the cause of it. Other than that, good controller.
Have you fully made the transition to turntable play for competitive matches, or do you still default to keyboard+mouse for competitive play?
It depends on what you mean by “fully”. If you mean if I use the turntable, yes, it’s so fun to the point where freewheel isn’t fun anymore. If you mean if I’m as good as I was, not at all lmao, my accuracy has definitely taken a bit of a hit, and sometimes I just miss notes, especially on same lane tap colour swaps.
Has switching styles recently had an impact on how favorably or unfavorably you view charts on the pool, or charters you look out for? How?
WELL, being one of the people who approved a lot of these charts for SSSO (and therefore SL), I can’t say I agree with my past freewheel self. There’s, um… Quite a lot of turntable unfriendly stuff in the 40-50 range, which is now the ENTIRE POOL for 5 weeks, so that’s fun. Let’s just say there’s a reason I haven’t been practicing the map pool very much.
Before Spin Rhythm, you were part of the Celeste speedrunning community. You’re not alone in that; in fact, you were one of the speedrunners in the so-called “Celeste Group” last SpeenOpen. What do you think draws so many Celeste runners to this game?
It’s a combination of a lot of factors. The one that probably started it was Lena’s song being included as a base game chart, which drew a few eyes to the scene. After that, I guess it just spread by word of mouth within the Celeste community, as well as Archiethon a few weeks ago which featured a 2 hour speen segment (shout-outs to the rest of the schpeen group, the organizers and the rest of the runners in the event 🙂 ). I know that got a few people in the community to buy the game. I’m willing to bet Celeste is the community that has the most tie-ins with the speen community that isn’t another rhythm game community.
Between major and minor events, you are known as an extremely unlucky player, often losing matches against top players by razor-thin margins. How do you see that luck playing out in SpeenLeague, with a larger match pool?
Is it really me being “unlucky”? I’d say it’s more like I was equally matched but choked an early or two, but that was while I was playing on freewheel. Now that I’m on turntable, I think it’s more likely that I whiff a same lane tap colour swap completely and drop to 2x combo which makes me lose, rather than timing.
You suffered an 0-2 week early in the SpeenLeague, losing to swagdude 1-2 and TreXDer 0-2, and dropping to the bottom of the standings. Do you see yourself being able to turn your luck around against kaddalaug and Mapy this weekend?
See, I’d love to be optimistic but… no, not really. I’d have to play pretty cracked on the day to win against kadd, let alone take a map off of Mapy. Not that it’s impossible, there’s definitely timelines where I win the matches, but I doubt this will be one of them. For the longer term, unless I suddenly get incredibly good at turntable, I don’t see myself escaping the relegation bracket.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to readers?
buy a turntable
You can watch PickPig and the rest of the Eurasian SpeenLeague on Twitch Saturdays, starting at 1pm EST/6pm UTC. If you’re not able to watch the SpeenLeague live, you can still follow the action on the Toornament bracket. Spin Rhythm XD is available on Steam. If you’d like to play these charts yourself, check out SpinShare and get in on the action!