I bought Guilty Gear X2 as a freshman in college. I had only previously played a few fighting games (Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, Primal Rage). At the end of my Freshman year, I was made president of the gaming club on campus (a title I held for some time). And so, Guilty Gear became a part of the club's weekly routine. Every week we would play video games, and every week we would have a TV with Halo 2 (and later, Halo 3), a TV with DDR (later Guitar Hero, even later Rock Band) and a TV with Guilty Gear X2 (later Accent core). As President, I was constantly introducing myself to students who would walk in. I would show them around our club room, invite them to play any games or choose one we weren't currently playing, and then always (ALWAYS) invite them to play Guilty Gear. Oftentimes they would refuse, stating "I'm no good at fighting games."
And I would always immediately respond that I, too, was terrible at fighting games, I just knew the basics pretty decently. Not a one of us had any great skill in the fighting game genre. Everyone thought I was good, and my constant response is that I only appeared to be any good because I played the game a lot more than anyone else. I had a better grasp of basic strategies because I went into training mode and spent time with every character. But I never really went anywhere extraordinary, and neither did any of the rest of us in the club.
I never thought of being a top player, or anything. I just wanted to play Guilty Gear with dudes. I friggin' loved Guilty Gear XX. A whole lot. I asked anyone who came to visit the club office for a match. Anyone coming to a club event. Even people doing other club activities. And I knew, even before asking, that my enthusiasm for the game would shine through and win people over. I convinced several of my friends (and the club itself, besides) to buy copies of Guity Gear in one incarnation or another. I actually convinced people who played a few matches to go into training and mess around more, and sometimes they even listened to me. Various friends eventually found a character (sometimes two!) and learned some basic combos or at least special moves that they liked to use. It never got very complex, and I didn't expect anyone to really stick with it. If they bothered to play at all, it was a huge victory.
But one of my friends ran with the hobby. I knew I had reeled him in good when he bought a Tekken 5 arcade stick (which he is now far better at using than I am). And now here we are, writing a blog about how great this genre is.