The Many Faces of a Player
When you've been playing Fighting Games for a long time, chances are you've been seeing the same type of players over and over. It's always interesting to talk to your opponents afterward and recognize why they play the way they played and made the decisions they made. They allow you to take away a great insight that can help you improve your own game in the long run.
One of the probably best-known player types is the "Lab-Monster." A player that understands a lot of different nuances in a game in a sterile environment, who can analyze those and dig even deeper to gain more knowledge. Mainly analytical from a technical standpoint, he primarily tries to learn the game outside from matches and more standalone, void of any human interaction.
More humanized is the "intuitive player." The understanding of the game is limited to the core and the barebones and has difficulties explaining and logically imagining these systems. However, due to his more empathetic nature, he doesn't have to think during the match actively and can catch human tendencies and emotional responses in a subconscious manner. This allows him to create counter-plays without lag and without regard to risk/reward but is more prone to having bad habits and being easy to read due to the instinctual play.
The "adaptive player" is one of the most common high-level players found in Fighting Games. Consciously making decisions from observing the player, he often can understand the context and adapt his playstyle accordingly to various outcomes of the match. While not necessarily having the most significant reaction times due to the communication needed from his thoughts to his inputs, he will often find ways to optimize his thought process to not impact his play too much.
Finally, the "strategist" is a player that implements meta-level decisions in his play. Instead of observing the opponent in the game, he will create a strategy before the match and create a perfect counter-play. Usually not significant at the adaptive match in real-time, he often is able to see the bigger picture when it comes to players behavior. This is apparently not an exhaustive list of player-types, and they are not mutually exclusive either.
However, those are the most common types of players you will be able to find, and each player has strengths and weaknesses we can do well learning from. What player type are you?