First to Ten comes back for story time with PxP | AF0xyGrampa

Greetings!  I hope everyone has had a great 2018 so far.

I apologize that I haven’t been as active with blog writing as I’d like.  Despite the incident that happened to my home in January, I have also been working on a podcast for Dragon Ball FighterZ that has consumed a lot of my free time getting up and running.  I appreciate the patience my loyal readers have had. And if you’re a new reader, hello there. This is a blog where we interview personalities and players in the NetherRealm competitive fighting scene in a series of 10 questions to show you a little bit more about who they are and what they bring to the table. This week I wanted to go back to the UK for this special edition back.  

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PxP | AF0xyGrampa himself. Photo by Robert Paul.

Denom Jones is one of the top players we have seen come from across yonder, but you probably know him by the name, AF0xyGrampa.  Denom has always been a calm and collected guy when I’ve interacted with him. He’s always prepping as much as he can for tournaments and has traveled an insane amount in the last couple years.  Going back to even MK9 when he played Rain, F0xy has always shown he is a determined player. I’ll never forget seeing him take ComboBreaker in 2016 with his Mileena, it was a big victory for the UK as well.  

Even in Injustice 2, we have seen this man do work with characters like Deadshot on TBS’ ELeague. I think it’s important for the community to learn more about players like F0xy who have done a lot in the game and still continue to put work in while dealing with everything else life has to throw their way.  So let’s get started:

1. F0xy, thank you for joining us today, could you please start off by telling us a little about who you are, where you’re from, and how you started competing for fighting games?

Hi mate no worries👌🏾. My name’s Denom Jones from the UK and I first started competing when I was 15.  Originally it was in Halo, and eventually when I turned 19 (when MK9 came out) I ventured into the FGC.

2.  Why Mortal Kombat?  What got you into the series and what was a changing moment for you in your competitive career with this game?

Mortal Kombat is a part of my holy trinity of series (MK, DBZ, MGS). So before I knew I wanted to compete in it, I knew I was gonna be hooked on it anyway. I’d been playing MK games since I was 4, or as early as I can remember on the Sega mega drive. I’m just drawn to the darkness of MK in game and in its lore.

3. What kind of stuff do you do in your spare time when you aren’t traveling for tournaments?

When I’m not travelling to tournaments, if it’s the off season, I’m trying to do as minimal as possible. I’m mostly a hermit. At least this season, it’s a good break from traveling globally multiple times a month.  I’m just chilled mostly, tournaments and travel have got me into a nocturnal sleeping pattern so I’ll keep up to date with a lot of the events from other scenes since I’m usually up so late, just as a spectator.  Other than that I’ll either be on the turntables, at the studio or just taking out my girlfriend, Vonnie. I’ve become a simple man.

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Denom and his beautiful girlfriend, Vonnie.

4. How does it feel always traveling?  Has there ever been a time where it has caused an issue you had to overcome in order to keep chasing success?

The consistent travelling is something you can get used to, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve flown back and forth from America in the last 3 years. I’ve come to accept that a plane is a mental prison for whatever duration you have to sit there. It’s cool and it was always a childhood dream of mine to be a pro gamer at some point. I am grateful.

The time I questioned it most was before I went to the Eleague last chance qualifier. I’d placed throughout the year and knew I could possibly win the LCQ. But I had to decide if I wanted to spend the money and potentially come back completely at loss and completely empty handed. I had a chat with Vonnie, I basically said ‘I’ll be emo if I go and lose, but I’ll be more emo if I stay and don’t give myself the chance’ – to which she said, “Yeah just go.”  She had given me some good guidance.

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F0xy in the center on a promo for ELeague along with players: ForeverKing, Dragon, and TekkenMaster.

5. What is the fighting game scene like where you are from?

The fighting game scene in the UK is a good community, obviously not as big as the USA, but everybody seems to get along, and we’re all supportive of one another on our successes, regardless of which game they play, we seem to be tuned in to support our players.

There are scenes all across the UK, the main ones I can think of would be Scotland, the north Manchester, the midlands Birmingham and the southern Londoner scene. Each with their own quirks.

6. What is your favorite tournament to date and why?

My favorite tournament to date was probably EVO 2015, it was the biggest NRS event ever, year one of MKX, seemed like an electric atmosphere, the outcome was unknown, the hype, the game sounded crazy on EVO main stage too.

It was just one of those tournaments where any player you met that weekend, you’d probably end up in some funny situation with them that would be memorable, such as cheap Eddie getting lost in America with Madzin, or Ketchup rage quitting the hotel over Kotal Kahn, eating out at all the weird and wild places in Vegas.

Although typically EVO isn’t my top tournament of the year, 2015 was particularly memorable, despite how well Ketchup and I did that year, even if we hadn’t, I still think it’d be my favorite.

7.  We’ve seen you notably have the U.K. flag on your back when competing?  Is this a must for every time you compete like a good luck charm? What made you start doing this?

I started wearing the flag at the Kombat Kup finals in Sweden 2015, 16 countries had 16 qualifiers, I lost the UK qualifier to Aixy but qualified in Sweden at the last chance event.  When it came to the finals the bracket said UK had to play Sweden (Aixy vs I) so I got a flag, put it on the table and said, the winner plays for the right to continue in the bracket as the UK.

I won and I kept the flag, it just reminds me of what I was saying earlier, all the people in the UK who I know support me, you can’t hear them across the ocean, so that’s my reminder of them.

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F0xy sporting the flag and throwing up his signature “cheeky” on stage.

8. Now we’ve all seen the cheeky.  For those looking in on this, I’m sure they have also seen you do this in photos.  Can you explain the origins of this and how it became a thing since it seems to be one of your signature poses in photos?

The cheeky symbol 👌🏾, I can’t honestly remember what it came up in, I think it was something along the lines of OmegaK talking about going for a Cheeky Nando’s, (Nando’s is a food chain in the UK) then he threw up the sign next to a Nando’s sign or something.

At least I think that’s where it came from (lol), kinda out of context whenever you use it I guess really. Ultimately it’s just PND banter.

9. What is one thing you’d like to see the community do more to grow?

I don’t think there’s just one thing the community can do to help make itself grow, it depends on the region and the attitudes of the players in that region, geographical location too. Growth in America for example could be easier because everything’s all in the same country. But let’s say you try to develop EU, African, Arabian and Russian scenes for example, traveling isn’t always so simple.

I think a lot of a games growth now is dependent on the developers. Genuine hype for a game will help a community grow, so if the community shows genuine love and passion for the game as well as the game being accessible to viewers and new players alike, the community would grow naturally. I guess my answer is, I think it just has to happen naturally and can’t be forced.

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F0xy at ComboBreaker 2016 Photo courtesy of PVP Live’s Chris Bahn

10. What tournaments do you plan to go to in 2018? What can we expect to see from you?

In 2018 you’ll see me when or where ever they announce Pro Series 2 (fingers crossed). Any premier event on the hypothetical tour I should attend, also hoping to play some DBFZ at these events this year too.

Until then I’ll just be waiting patiently for it to start, like a hermit 👌🏾

You can follow Denom and keep up to date with him on social media:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AF0xyGrampa
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/af0xyg

It was a pleasure to have F0xy join us for First to Ten’s comeback.

I plan on having a new story now by every Friday (instead of previously Sunday since I have my podcast now that day)!  I hope to see you all next week again and I am always looking for feedback on how we can appeal more or grow as a page for you all in the future.  The NRS community means so much to me and I want to continue to help you all as much as I can get stories out there and grow.

Thank you all so much, as always.
And again, thank you Denom for joining us for this F2T.

 

Posted and edited by Romanova.

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First to Ten exclusive with everything about Florida weekly: Juicy Game Nights

Welcome back everyone!  

I know we’ve been on hiatus for a few weekends but we’re back in full swing just in time before Frosty Faustings.  I hope everyone enjoyed the Thank You NetherRealm video I was able to put together with the community.  Every time I watch it I think of how amazing it is when we all get together to do something powerful.  A video like that is positive power to show everyone else how our community loves our games, regardless of the occasional salt we see online.

Anywho, I did a poll recently and noticed people want to see more artists in the community featured. PLEASE, if you have any in mind feel free to tweet them at me during the week before Thursday because i’m always taking new suggestions.  This week I wanted to use this platform to help put eyes on a weekly called Juicy Game Nights that takes place in Florida.  We know our community has a strong presence in Florida so I’m hoping this will help spread the word about what they’re doing and have more people check them out.

Arris Whittaker is VP and co-founder of Juicy Game Nights and will be representing them in this interview.  He’s someone who’s always seems to be kind and supportive of what people are doing in the fighting game community. Interviewing a TO was really fun back when I did one with Wafflez of GGA, I feel this one will be informative and fun as well.  With that said, let’s get the ball rolling.

1. Hey! Thanks for doing this F2T.  For those out there who don’t know you, tell us a little bit about yourself and where you’re from.

No problem! My name is Arris “Blacky” Whittaker, I’m an NRS head from Kissimmee, Florida. I’ve been playing video games since I was a wee lad (GameCube days) and since then I’ve been a hooked gamer! Over these past couple of years, I’ve grown more and more fond of fighting games and so I want to do what I can to contribute and help the community thrive.

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FLBlacky himself at CB 2017.  Photo by Robert Paul.

2.  How did you get started in the FGC?

I have been involved with the FGC since late 2015 when my partner Alex “Duelist” Pesante was running a small local called Eccentric Emporium. After that, I went to my first major CEO in 2016 and since then I’ve been an addict.

3.  What is Juicy Game Nights and when do they happen?

Juicy Game Nights is an organization that hosts local FGC tournaments twice a week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) as well as larger scale tournaments once per month.

4. What was the most difficult part of starting a weekly and how did you overcome that?

One of the biggest obstacles for not just our weekly but with the FGC as a whole in Kissimmee was convincing venue spaces to allow us to host and stay at their location. Consistency is key for a local but after nearly a year and a half and 3 venues later, we went from a hookah lounge to working with a world renowned franchise, Buffalo Wild Wings. In order to overcome those obstacles, we had to stay patient and have confidence that our community will come out and showcase their skills, and they have definitely done that.  

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Juicy Game Night set up in Bdubs.

5. What is one of your favorite memories from a tournament?

As a TO/bracket runner: Being able to work with Kitana Prime and Gweedo at CEO to run Top 48 for Injustice 2 (that was extremely behind schedule) and finish it with nearly an hour to spare.

As a player: playing against Nivek at Combo Breaker and doing a Raiden ditto against him in tourney. Got bodied but it was worth it.

6.  Why the NRS scene?  What games and characters from these have been your favorite?

The NRS scene knows how to bring the hype. A great example is when Slayer was able to defeat Sonicfox at CEO. Mortal Kombat X has been my favorite thus far. As for my favorite character, I have to pick Tremor because his Aftershock variation makes it look like he needs some SERIOUS Vaseline on his chest!

7.  What is your favorite part about the Florida scene?

We’re all lab monsters and not afraid to share knowledge on characters in order to raise the bar for the competition.

8.  Who is somebody that inspires you and how do you apply that to what you do with JGN?

The Hadou. That man is tireless at making sure that the people and the community are taken care of first. I want to provide the best for our community as we move forward into 2018 and my partner, staff and I plan on doing everything in our power to accomplish that.

9.  What other games can people attending play at JGN?

In addition to Injustice 2, we have Tekken 7, Street Fighter V, DBFZ, Super Smash Bros  Wii U and Melee, Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, and Rivals of Aether.

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Photo from Juicy Game Night of some other games being played.

10.  What tournaments can we see you at this year?

If everything goes according to plan, I’m hoping to attend Combo Breaker and CEO. If you see me, don’t be afraid to say hi!

 

If you’d like to keep up to date with Juicy Game Nights or FLBlacky himself please feel free to follow them on twitter and twitch:

FLBlacky Twitter: https://twitter.com/flblacky
Juicy Game Nights Twitter: https://twitter.com/JuicyGameNight
Juicy Game Nights Twitch:  https://www.twitch.tv/juicygamenight

 

There you have it!

If you are near the Florida area and are looking for a fun weekly for Dragon Ball FighterZ  coming up as well as these other games – you gotta check out Juicy Game Night.

Never forget that First to Ten is about the community as a whole.  If you’re someone with a weekly you run that you think not a lot of people know about, let me know.  I’m more than happy to signal boost or help promote you and your scene.  The only way we can keep growing as a community is by supporting each other.

Trying to find some artists in the scene we’d like to see on here.

If not artists let me know some of the people who you’d like to see interviewed!

Have a Seat: First to Ten kicks into kombat and victories with Meryluna

Happy Holidays everyone tuning into this week’s First to Ten!  I hope everyone had a good time at NEC this past weekend.  For those who didn’t go we saw quite a variety of characters in top 8 which was hype to see including Hellboy, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, and Black Manta.

I wanted to take this First to Ten to cover another woman in the scene who I admire.  Meryluna is not only an incredible person, but a very talented player.  She has clutched spots in top 8’s for Mortal Kombat X in Kombat Cup for more than one time.  She has also placed top 8 at Defend the North 2017 and Summer Jam 2017 in MKX. Her ravenous Mileena is insane and not to be taken lightly. She also has some pretty amazing titans in Injustice 2 she plays.  It’s only a matter of time before she shows her work she’s put in for Injustice 2. I felt it only appropriate to put her on this week.

Mery and I became friends from being in a group chat we were both in a while back. We first officially met in person at NEC last winter.  We blossomed into a good friendship where as of today where we have even gotten to play casuals at a tournament and a bit online as well.  We also just talk occasionally because she’s just honestly a sweetheart and enjoyable to talk to. Let’s get to it so she can share all the amazing things about herself with you.

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The lovely Meryluna herself. 

1. Meryluna thank you for joining us! Please tell everyone a bit of a personal introduction like who you are, how you got your tag, and where you’re from.

Before anything, thank you for having me in your First to Ten. I think what you are doing here is amazing and great for people and it gives everyone an insight of other players in the scene. My tag at the moment is Meryluna, but deep down it will always be Merytrailmix. I was eating a bag of trail Mix one day and the name just popped into my head and i loved it.

2. What got you into playing fighting games competitively? What makes you choose a character?

As a gamer, I am naturally competitive. But when I found out that there was a Fighting Game Community, it opened a whole new world to me. I couldn’t believe that there was a whole community dedicated to fighting games and it motivated me to get so much better. I wanted to learn the fighting game language, frame data etc. When MKX came out, I attended these locals in StartupBox and I loved that feeling of playing against other people in tournament, especially with my character Mileena.

When I pick a character, I go for the aesthetic but I usually love the villains and non-human characters. I like to find something that I have in common with them and then I pretend to be that character while I’m fighting, it’s more fun that way.

3. What was your first top 8 and what kind of feelings did you have before and after playing it?

My first top 8 was in StreamMe’s Konquest, and honestly, I was happy and both disappointed. Happy because it was my first top 8 but I knew I could have done better. Sometimes that is my problem, I am a bit hard on myself after tournament matches. I try to tell myself to not be satisfied with how I do, so that way I motivate myself to perform better.

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Meryluna playing games at Summer Jam XI with Starcharger.

4. Do you feel the community treats you any different (good or bad) for being a woman? What advice would you give to women looking in?

I don’t feel they treat me different at all, and my advice to anyone trying to be a part of the scene is never get intimidated to lose or play poorly because we all start off as noobs sometime in our life. Be patient with yourself, we don’t always learn things at first. I tell people this all the time. Give yourself time to learn at your own pace. Trust me, you will definitely get better. Practice makes perfect.

5. What made you go with Ravenous for Mileena and not piercing? Was she always your main in MK?

When I first heard about Mileena being in MKX, I already knew she was going to be my main character. I tried all her variations but I loved Ravenous the most because of her pounces and how crazy her fighting style was. She also reminded me how Nitara played in MK: Deadly Alliance so I felt like it was a combination of the two characters.

6. What characters are you playing in Injustice 2 and what do you enjoy about them?

I currently play with Robin and Starfire. It’s hard to say which one is my main character because I play both of them equally. Robins sword animations are so nice to look at during combos, and I love his sound effects. Starfire’s appearance and animations are also what I enjoy most about playing her, I love anti-airing people with her B2, it’s so satisfying.

7. Do you go to any locals? How do you do at them and do you have anyone you feel is a rival to you there?

I have gone to NLBC several times but lately I haven’t been able to attend . I don’t really have any rivalries there but if I did, I feel it would make things more interesting, since I love competition. The last time I attended it was the second week after Injustice 2 was released.  I had a set with someones Harley Quinn who kept beating my Robin. I was still new to the idea of not having a block button, and I barely knew any bnbs with him.

8. What other games do you play? Would you recommend any for those reading this?

Right now, I am currently obsessed with Overwatch. I used to be a Call of Duty fan all of my highschool years but when I started playing Overwatch, I instantly became hooked. It is such a stimulating game that I never get bored of. I recommend the game to anyone who likes FPS and games that require teamwork. I also recommend the The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. When I play that game, I feel like I am really inside the game, and the music is beautiful!!

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Screencap from Mery’s twitter of her rank in Overwatch.

9. You stream pretty often from what I see. What do you like about streaming fighting games most and how do the community of viewers you have make you feel?

What I like most about streaming fighting games is how the viewers are able to help you out with the game. When I streamed MKX, so many people would help me out with matchups and share advice on how to deal with other characters. It definitely helped me get better, so I’m very thankful to everyone that took the time to help me learn these things. That’s what I love most about the community, everyone just wants to get better and have fun in the process.

10. Lastly, what tournaments do you plan to attend in 2018?

I’ve never went to CEO and I heard it is one of the most fun events in the whole year so I’m going to pray that I am able to make it next time it comes. Of course, I will try to attend NEC and Summer Jam since they are the closest to New York if life allows me to.

If you would like to support and follow Mery you can do the following here:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/xomeryluna
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/xomeryluna

The local Mery goes to is always a blast to watch on stream.  If you haven’t already, follow the twitter for NLBC and also feel free to check out their website:

NLBC Twitter
NLBC Website

I hope everyone in the FGC has a safe and happy holiday.

I am pleased to announce here first and later on twitter my video project.  Many of you I have already contacted about submitting a video for it.  The project is called Thank You NetherRealm.  I need all video submissions by the 25th and will upload and post on the 31st or 1st.  My goal is to ring in the new year with positivity for the NRS community.  Together we can achieve this.  If you would like to be a part, please record a horizontal video (<—–>) (please no vertical because it is not the format).  You can use your mobile phone or any device to do so.  The video needs to be no longer than 7 seconds (9 is cutting it close).  You will say in the video “Thank you NetherRealm for….” and say something positive you are thankful for.  Some examples of ones that have been said are:

“Thank you Netherrealm for creating my favorite game ever.”
“Thank you NetherRealm for creating my wifey Mileena.”
“Thank you NetherRealm for the constant updates you put in the game.”

If you have any questions feel free to ask.  And if NetherRealm games have impacted your life in some way (MK or IJ etc.) feel free to make your video clip and send it my way.

Email all videos to: romanovacosplay@gmail.com

Thank you everyone for a fantastic new year.  Can’t wait to see what happens with First to Ten going forward.  I love you all and I am extremely humbled by your support.

First to Ten venoms up with Canada’s own Biohazard

December is already flying by!

Right now, is a good time to be an Injustice player. There is still a lot going on weekly to do.  If you’re not in the War of the Gods tournament you can now also compete in the Winter Clash online as well.  We also have NEC coming up on the 15th and I hope to see many of you there.  Unfortunately for us (but fortunate for them) we will be missing some of our favorite Canadian players at NEC due to a big tournament in Canada the same weekend.  One of those players competing for the grand prize at Northern Arena is this week’s guest on First to Ten.

Biohazard takes time to snap a pic while on his vacation to Viennality. 

Matthew Commandeur aka Biohazard, was one of my first friends I made in the FGC.  His kindness is unforgettable.  At the MKX Pro League Season 2 finals he was one of the people who were instantly nice that I met.  It was nice to get to chit chat and I’ll never forget the moment during that tournament where he brutalitied Sonic with Ferra/Torr. Bio was kind enough to reach out to me about a tournament called WinterBrawl that happened maybe a month after the pro league finals.  When I mapped it, I realized it was only a 25-min drive away.  I had been living in Delaware at the time.  I was down to come out, but this was my first like actual tournament, so I had no idea what to expect.  I brought my cosplay though because I realized on the website they had a contest.  When I got there, I met up with Bio and instantly saw other familiar faces from pro league like Sonic and Honeybee.  After that I just kept going to more and more tournaments and becoming more involved.  I would’ve never known about WinterBrawl if it wasn’t for Bio because I was a brand-new baby to the FGC.  He’s also never been “too cool” to play against someone.  He was always down to sit down at casual stations to help me practice.

One of the big reasons I wanted Bio on F2T is because he’s truly someone with a good heart and determination to keep leveling up in the game.  He was also for a long time not sponsored despite making many Top 8’s in Injustice 2 and placing additionally well in MKX.

Without further ado, let’s get to it:

1. Thanks for joining us today Matt.  Please for the first question tell everyone about where you’re from and how you got started playing fighting games.

Hey Amanda, thanks for having me on F2T! I’m from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’ve lived here my entire life so naturally I enjoy representing my roots whenever and wherever I am. My first memory of playing a fighting game is probably when I was 6 or 7 and I saw a Marvel vs Capcom 2 cabinet at a Chinese Buffet. I grew up playing video games so whatever the game was I was always eager to play. After that I got into playing Street Fighter 4 in high school because I had a lot of friends who also enjoyed fighting games and we were rather competitive within our small circle. Since then I casually dabbled in many fighting game titles such as Ultimate/Marvel vs Capcom 3, Persona 4 Arena, Blazblue: Calamity Trigger, and Tekken 6 which would eventually lead me to try another fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us.

2. Now you’ve told me before Injustice: Gods Among Us was your first competitive fighting game.  What was it like competing for your first time and did you always main Bane?

Competing for my first time was an interesting experience. I’d played so many other fighters, but not once had I thought about playing them competitively. It wasn’t until I introduced my brother Tim (HoneyBee) to Injustice and to try it out that he wanted to see how we’d do at a local, so we found one downtown, and got totally mopped. I’m pretty sure I went 0-2 at my first local and I just thought, wow, these guys are so much better than me, but I had fun! I met a lot of new people from the Toronto scene, the TO (NeoRussell) was very welcoming and we both wanted to go back, try again, and get better.

Competing for the first time in the US was a different story entirely. I was so used to seeing top Injustice players on streams from locals like GGA in Chicago and the Break in New Jersey. The first time I was in a room with guys like Darth Arma, Zyphox and Jupiter at ECT I remember being star struck, it was such a strange feeling, but eventually I just became one of the guys after attending multiple tournaments.

I didn’t always main Bane in IGAU, I started off with Bane, but he was really bad in the beginning, so I had to use another character while I was competing at my locals. I decided to use Harley because she was a bit better than Bane, I loved her character and I had fun using her. By the time I was travelling to the states for the second year of Injustice, Bane had received the Bane treatment and I was basically all Bane in tournament except for a few sprinkles of Harley, Doomsday and Nightwing here and there towards the end of the game’s life.

3. You and your brother are always going to tournaments together.  What is it like having a brother who also is known for playing the game so extremely well?  Has there ever been any insane matches in tournament where you had to play each other to eliminate that you recall?

During Injustice and MKX it was fantastic, I was living with my training partner who also happened to be a top player in both games. We would spend hours just grinding games and while I would be playing a few different characters to give him MU exp, I only got Flash in return. I’m pretty sure I’ve had one or two nightmares about the Flash haha. Nevertheless, even though I mainly got Flash experience from him, it helped immensely to sharpen my fundamentals and I was able to get a decent amount of MU experience from my locals as well as online, when it ran smoothly. It’s difficult to remember a lot of insane matches that happened involving my brother, we rarely ever if at all played each other in US tournaments. I remember winning a local one time and popping off though since he dominated our Injustice local scene. We also had a great set at Toryuken for Injustice 2 days after the game released.

Whether Bio or Honeybee are playing they’re always supporting eachother.

Regardless of what CMNDR brother is playing, they always have each-others backs.

4. What was it like not having a sponsor while still doing very well? Did it affect what tournaments you were able to go to? How has it been since becoming sponsored by Eanix?

After Combo Breaker, after I got 5th place in Injustice 2, I decided that I wanted to see what other opportunities there were for sponsorship for a guy in my position. Critical Reaction had been a great sponsor for the time that I was with them but with the expenses that travelling, and tournaments come with I was wondering if I could find an org that could help me out with covering more of that. I decided to go solo for a while as I searched for another sponsor. As I was doing well, I would get offers here and there, some good, some not so good and sometimes things just wouldn’t work out during the contract phase, but I stayed patient. I knew that eventually I would find a good sponsor and that things would work out so I didn’t sweat it too much, for the time being.

Not having a sponsor didn’t really affect what tournaments I was able to go to or not go to, I made some good decision making and saved a lot from my previous job which allowed me to go to places like Vienna/England and Australia. It was a huge risk but I felt like the odds of me doing well were high and that I’d be able to make a good profit.

Currently I am no longer sponsored by Eanix but my time with them was great. I was able to go to a lot of tournaments that rounded out the end of the Injustice Pro Series and now I’m back to searching and patiently waiting until I find another org that gels with me.

Biohazard vs. Slayer at Viennality.

5. Have you ever struggled during your time in the FGC? How did you overcome that?

I think anyone that has followed me since I came into the scene knows all about my ups and downs, MKX probably contributing to most of them. In MKX I had a good amount of decent results, a couple of top 8’s here and there, but also a lot of bubble boy moments, meaning I would get eliminated right before the money. I think a lot of those struggles stemmed from being a character loyalist to a character that wasn’t top tier and couldn’t handle a vast majority of bad match ups on their own. This is something I decided to change with Injustice 2, clearly, as I’m using upwards of 5 characters now. I knew that my issue in MKX wasn’t a problem with me not being skilled enough, it was one of poor decision making, and it was a lesson well learned. In the end you have to believe in yourself, it helped a lot also having people like my brother and my friends in the FGC who believed in me.

6. A lot of people would probably say you love big bodies but then you also play Harley.  What makes you love a character enough to play them?

I’m a DC fan at heart, I love reading the Suicide Squad, Injustice and Gotham City Sirens comics so already I’m interested in characters before I know what they play like in the game. I do love the big body archetype but it’s also the tools and playstyle that a character possesses that really draws me to them and gets me attached. I’ve found that I enjoy multiple playstyles, Grappling, Zoning and everything in between so I play characters that allow me to enjoy all of those playstyles and add my own style to them.

Bio’s custom stick he uses for Injustice 2.

7. When you made the MKX Pro League, was this your first time getting to do something that big? How did it feel getting to do that?

When I made it to Season 2 of the MKX Pro League it was my first time doing anything as big as that. That has a lot to do with the whole Chasing the Cup series that also documented a select group of players, (me, HoneyBee, SonicFox, Pig of the Hut and Perfect Legend) and had us doing filming in our hometowns, Vegas and California. I also made a really deep run in the tournament and even though I didn’t place as well as I wanted at the finals, It was a fantastic experience and one that I will never forget.

Screen cap of Matt during his bit on Chasing the Cup.

8. What’s it been like competing in Northern Arena?  What has been your favorite major to date and why?

The Northern Arena online qualifiers started off a little shaky, but they were able to smooth everything out after the first week. It’s great seeing who is able to come out on top each week in Canada, there’s a lot of talented guys here and some that I didn’t know about until this tournament. I can’t wait for next weekend where the finals will be held in Montreal!

There’s been so many great tournaments that I’ve been to over the years, it’s hard to pick just one. Viennality had an amazing venue and all the guys involved really worked so hard to pull off a memorable tournament. CEO is another tournament that I enjoy going to so much each year. The location, weather and wrestling themed tournament is a fantastic production that is just eye candy to a wrestling fan. I have to say that this year’s Combo Breaker was probably my favourite tournament though. I really dug the venue and stage that they had for us, getting interviewed with the top 8 after we finished on Sunday was really awesome and Chicago Deep Dish is just sublime!

9. What are you currently studying to do as a career?  Do you think it’s important for professional players to have a career outside playing?

Currently I am studying to work in IT, I have a diploma in early childhood education, but it wasn’t a field that I could see myself working in, so I decided to go back to school. I think it’s super important for professional players to have a career outside of playing. With competitive gaming you never know how you’ll do at a tournament, it’s a huge gamble to try to make a living off that and attempt to support yourself, let alone a family. That’s why I respect SonicFox so much, even though he has won a huge amount of money from winning tournaments, he still has his priorities straight and wants to have a stable career after he finishes college.

10. What tournaments can we see you at in 2018? Will we see more characters in your arsenal for 2018?

You’ll definitely see me at Combo Breaker, CEO and EVO in 2018. Since I am in school, I want to focus on that and being currently unsponsored I’ll have to pick my tournaments wisely. Although if an IPS season 2 is announced, I may throw those plans out the door and just go ham. We’ll see.

Right now, I’m currently using Bane, Harley, Manta, Swampy and Starfire, oh and Deadshot just for fun, RIP Floyd. I’d definitely see myself expanding my roster in 2018 and I have my eye on trying out Enchantress when she drops.

If you’d like to keep up with Bio you can follow him on social media:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/biohazardcmndr

Twitch: http://twitch.tv/biohazardcmndr

 

Thanks again everyone and to Matt for taking the time out to do this for us all. This weekend I will be traveling to NEC in PA so I hope to see as many of you there as possible. I will be catching up with Meryluna the fierce Kahnum herself for a special interview on her time in the FGC. Sadly it will no longer be in person but I’m so excited to have her on here. Hope to see you all tuning in again then!

First to Ten Creative: Artist Richard Suwono creates “tasty” art influenced by Mortal Kombat and other fighting games

First to Ten fans, I have a very special creative feature for you this week!

I reached out on twitter not too long ago about wanting fan art to do a collective on the blog of.  That idea later evolved in featuring aspiring or professional artists in our scene whether it’s 2D with drawings or costumes bringing the characters to life.  Our first was a First to Five with an amazing Australian cosplayer.  However, I felt after him even thinking it was short, 5 questions is not enough. I decided I want to do a whole First to Ten with our art features from this point forward.

When I tweeted about looking for fan art I was responded to by a few artists, one specifically was referred to me.  His name is Richard Suwono.  I absolutely fell in love with his artwork (and I think you may too).  Richard manages to bring the personalities of the characters he illustrates to life.  He also has run into Ed Boon himself giving him a Mileena art piece he created.  I hope you all enjoy learning about Mr. Suwono.

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Photo of artist Richard Suwono.

1.  Richard thank you so much for joining us on this First to Ten creative special.  Please take this question to tell our audience about where you are from and how long you’ve been doing art for?

I’m an Illustrator from Indonesia, and I have been doing art professionally around 5 years. I’m doing some other projects too (Yu-Gi-Oh (Dark Abyss), KOF Card game, Megaman Card , Dungeon and Dragons concept art, artwork for Street Fighter statues, and many more). I’ve loved drawing since I was little, but I still love fighting games themes a lot! That’s why my favorite theme is fighting game stuff.

2.  How did you learn to do artwork like this?  What is a favorite technique of yours?

Some is from self taught and some of them is watching some tutorials on the internet, because sometimes when I see some great or unique style. That’s why until now, I love to try some new style, while also honing my style too.

So far my favorite technique is Street Fighter style with the Sumi-e Brush because It’s look more expressive also looks strong and have the classic caligraphic essence.

3.  Have you always been a fan of NetherRealm games?  What do you love most about Mortal Kombat and Injustice?

Yes, I still remember first time I know Mortal Kombat when I play Sega Genesis at my cousin house. It’s so real and also the fatality is so epic! That’s why when I met Ed Boon I was so hyped and super excited. Because of him, I have very awesome childhood with Mortal Kombat having grown alongside me too.

And for Injustice, it’s also one of entertaining and exciting for me too. to see DC superhero fighting games in very competitive way of E-Sport. And also the player who win the tournament with underused character, or crazy comeback too!

 

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Mortal Kombat X Sub-Zero vs. Scorpion concept.

 

4.  Do you travel for tournaments or conventions?  Where can we see you at in 2018 for those in the United States and elsewhere?

Yes, I want to travel to meet all of the FGC members, becauseall of you also make my weekend is so HYPED! That’s why I would love to hang out with the players too instead just selling my stuff. Because When the first time I go to SEAM, I’m so HYPED and can watch all the Epic matches from my booth. That’s is Super Awesome experience for me too.

for 2018, I still must have planned first, because I have plan my budget for the flight and the hotel too. But I really wanted to meet US FGC peoples again. And also I must go to EVO Las Vegas, to get Hyped together with the FGC!

5.  Where did you meet Ed Boon and what was his reaction when you gave him the Mileena drawing?

I met him at Combo Breaker.  I still remember when he saw the Mileena while eating he thought she looks so cute, and I love drawing her so much. That’s why I want to show Mileena’s cuteness and also her love of food. Because I love food too, that’s why I’m having so much fun draw her while eating . And I’m so Happy I able to meet him,one of my childhood Hero who made amazing childhood for me!

 

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Mileena art piece Richard gave to Ed at CB2017.

 

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Additional concept of a hungry Mileena again.

 

6.  What other games do you really enjoy drawing fan art of?

Fighting Games mostly, (SF, Tekken, Soul Calibur, KOF, GG, etc.) because I love fighting game so much. But sometimes I also draw some of anime characters I follow. But one of most favorite If I must choose one is Street Fighter.

7.  I noticed that (even though its not MK) you have a big love for Sakura! What do you love most about the character and what do you think about your first drawings of her compared to those you do now?

Yes, Sakura is my favorite character. I love her passion, cheerful, and also Her Spirited Up attitude to pursue her Dream. And I’m also kinda related to her with her Spirit up attitude and passion, especially for Fighting Game. That’s why I’m also want to pursue my Dream to have doing Official artwork for my beloved Fighting Games (SF,MK,Tekken,Soul Calibur, Darkstalkers,GG,KOF,etc)

What I’m thinking when I draw her is “What I want to people to see from Her, (Her Cheerful attitude, or Pursue her Dream to be stronger or meet with “Ryu”, or sometimes What side I want to show from her like her kindness, or Cute, or maybe clumsy too. I Just Have so much fun while drawing her.

8.  Do you have any original creations that are your own design that you are proud of?

So far one of my favorite original character I made is Cat Girl with cheerful attitude , food lover, and also funny. Her name is “Nekona” , I draw her to have fun and also sometimes when I want to try something new, I try draw Nekona with some new or exciting style I want to try.

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“Nekona” – Original character created by Richard.

 

9.  Who is an artist you look up to that you’d recommend others check out?

There are a lot Artist who I look up for, But One I love most is “Edayan” from Street Fighter Alpha,  “Laurel D Austin” from Blizzard Entertaiment. I love the SFA series style so much, and also the Storytelling with some jokes from Laurel artwork too.

10.  What advice do you have for other artists starting out or looking to get better?

My advice for starting is you search first which artist you want to look for, so you know from step by step the artist you look up too. And then also be honest to yourself about what style or what work you want to do most. That’s why building portfolio so important too. Also, don’t afraid to do what you love for the artwork you done. Because If you don’t love your work, its hard for other people to love it too.

If you would like to see more of Richard’s artwork or keep in touch you can follow his twitter and also check out his deviant art website for more:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/richardsuwono
Deviant Art: https://r-chie.deviantart.com/

 

Thank you yet again for tuning in everyone.  And a big thank you to Richard for taking the time to do this for us.  This is only more of a way for our community to connect with everyone.  We are so much all in one. From players, artists, to TO’s – so I hope with this blog that is even more clear to everyone with each F2T.

Remember to tune in this Sunday for our interview with Biohazard!  I’m very excited for him to tell us all more we might not already know about himself. Also with NEC coming up I have a very special video project I am going to be working on and aiming to go live on the 31st.  If you are attending NEC make sure we connect so I can include you.  I would like to include as many people in the NRS community as possible!

A look at the Galloping Ghost Arcade and the Chicago NRS scene with GGA Wafflez

Happy Sunday to those in the NRS community and FGC.

I wanted to take this week to go back and interview another T.O. in the scene. If you recall, First to Ten’s first interview was with Chyna who helps run a weekly in her town in Tampa, Florida. This week I decided to show you all a man who’s involved in the Chicago local scene who’s’ been around for a long time, GGA Wafflez.

As you all know, many names in NRS’ past have been associated with the Galloping Ghost Arcade. Some who were even associated with the name currently work at NRS such as 16 Bit, Dizzy, PPJ, and SaucyJack. I reached out to Mr. Tommy Wafflez for him to give you all the scoop on the Chicago NRS scene.

I had the pleasure of officially meeting Tom about 2 months ago when I went to my first GGA weekly. I had wanted to go for a while, but schedule had restricted me a lot. But honestly, I am glad I went. Tommy and the other GGA gents like Jeremiah, Max, and Fillpops are all very kind and excitable individuals. They continue to run this weekly in the suburbs and it has a pretty decent turn out as well. It also peaked my interest to interview Tom because I still haven’t gotten to learn much about him even with spending some time down at GGA. First to Ten gives myself and all of you in the scene a chance to learn more about everyone though, so let’s get to it.

1. Tom, thanks for joining us this week. Please start out by telling everyone a little bit about who you are, where you come from, and what you do.

Glad to be here! My name is Tom, but most know me as Wafflez. I’m an original member of Team GGA from Brookfield, IL (Western suburb of Chicago), was actively competing and traveling from 2011-2014, and now run Ghost Battle Series at Galloping Ghost Arcade every Thursday evening.

2. When did you start going to GGA and what made you want to stick around most?

I found out about Galloping Ghost in late 2010, shortly after they had opened. I fell in love with their Street Fighter IV cab, and played it as much as I could when I was there with one of my best friends Fil Pops. This inspired us both to pick up the game on Xbox, buy our first fight sticks, etc. We later transitioned to Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which they had a cabinet for as well. Finally, in April 2011, Mortal Kombat 9 was released. The owner, Doc Mack, decided to put a team of strong local players together for one of his favorite game franchises. The game took off (within the FGC, being at EVO and all…), and our team of sponsored players started grinding it out, as our first tournament was Seasons Beatings later that year in October. I had always been a competitive person when it came to video games. Like many others, I was always dominant or at least strong among my group of friends. I was immersed into a scene where I was nowhere near the top. It was new to me, but I was determined to play everyday, travel where I could, gain as much exposure to the game, to become the best I could possibly be.

3. I know you really loved Mortal Kombat 9. Who did you main and what did you love most about that character?

Yeah, it’s easily one of my favorite games of all time. There is a ton of nostalgia attached to it for me, which is probably why. I mained Smoke. I won’t lie, I started off because he had MASSIVE damage when the game first came out (and even after they patched it 🙂 ). I thought he was a cool ninja. His color, his HAIR, his schtick, his name is Thomas. He was just really cool, had great tools, and I just clicked with him. Not many people played him either, which I like. I definitely used people’s lack of character knowledge against them in tournament often.

For some video of Tom’s Smoke:

GGA Wafflez vs. DR Gross

4. When did GGA begin to change and what caused that change? What do you miss most about those days?

Our scene had a lot of really good players back in the day. At the tail end of MK 9 and into Injustice, everyone on our team (Jeremiah, Dizzy, Fil Pops, Hahn, Saucy Jack, PPJ, MAX, SOONK, MOE, myself) was able to play at a high level, and that helped draw twitch viewers, as well as out of town guests, especially during Chicago based tournaments. One player in particular played a big role in creating the monster scene GGA was, and that was 16 Bit. He is a hype man, and with a strong team to back him up, he was able to create tension between other local scenes, and in the end, create really strong rivalries between regions. People wanted to be where he was, he always had something spicy to say. We would easily get hundreds of viewers for GBS (which started during Injustice: Gods Among Us).

I miss the camaraderie we had built in grinding the game almost every single day in preparation for tournaments. This was in a time where playing online was not optimal, and we would all meet up at the arcade to train. Offline/local scenes were valuable, and we had arguably the best. 2 AM trips to Tony’s, the all day breakfast place across the street from the arcade. Going on road trips to Ohio, Indiana, and all the way to Georgia for tournaments. Talking matchups, the blowups, researching opponents, looking at brackets and figuring out every possible scenario on who we could play. It was all really fun.

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Group photo of Team GGA

5. Who would you say was your biggest rival as a player during the peak of the weekly tournaments at GGA? What is your opinion on rivalries?

I am a very competitive person, and generally don’t take losing lightly. I’d say 16 Bit and Fil Pops were some of my biggest rivals locally. Fil, because he is one of my best friends. There’s always pressure when playing him for some reason. He plays weird characters usually, that for some reason always do monster damage. He also likes command grab characters which is a style that is hard for me to play against. When he puts time into a game, he gets really good. He has a win over a Glass Sword I remember. He had come in from Atlanta, and Fil played out of his mind and won (it’s on YouTube go check it out). 16 Bit, because we had always gone toe to toe for the most part. He had more major tournament success than me, but I was able to keep up with him because I knew his play style, and vice-versa. Our matches were usually very close. These rivalries never ended with shit talk though. They were friendly, and after 5 – 10 minutes of salt, everyone is cool and we’re back to just playing the game. Rivalries in general are great though. They are what the fighting game scene was essentially built on. It’s head to head competition. The person on the other side is not your friend for those 10 minutes you’re playing in tournament. They make things interesting, they stir up hype. Everyone wants to see the pop off, the blowups.

6. What are some of the struggles you face with running a weekly tournament?

Attendance is probably the biggest issue with our weekly. We lost a lot of our big players, who had really good pull for the tournament. With a larger average attendance, we’d be able to put more resources into our tournament. Pot bonuses would be a nice thing, though it’s not what this tournament was ever built for. The idea of this tournament is to encourage more nearby players to make it to offline events, support their local scene, and meet other people who have similar interests. I highlight people, because what we try to do is provide a social aspect to video gaming. It’s not just playing faceless players on the internet in ranked sets. We try to bring people together who would have never met each other otherwise. I think we have done that part well, as we have created a small, but strong group of players who come out every week after work or school, to hang out and play the game. It also serves as a means to improve the level of local Injustice 2 competition.

GBS tournament

Photo with Tom playing with others at GGA weekly.

7. What advice do you have for those looking to start a local scene/tournament in their town?

Patience is virtue. Make sure to greet those who are new, and try to be as a friendly as possible (give yourself 10 minutes after losing a match haha). You need to put time into these things, and I’ve been slowly learning, season after season, what I can do to improve. This means things such as match videos, streaming on twitch, promoting it through Facebook, Twitter (something I’ll be working on for next season), Testyourmight.com, etc. I was lucky to take over something which had already started. Going out to your local GameStop fighting game tournaments, or your local monthlies and promoting. Talk to people, gauge interest. Also… CONSISTENCY IS KEY!

8. Do you play any other games in your spare time? Any that you are looking forward to?

I play a gross amount of League of Legends and like to pretend I’m good. I’m looking forward to Vanilla World of Warcraft.

9. What would you say is the best part about being at GGA?

I have been given insane opportunities through GGA. They have been able to provide me with things I would have never dreamed of when I was a sponsored/active player for them. I’ve met a lot of really cool people who are now my friends, traveled to places I wouldn’t have, and have accomplished some great goals I set for myself as a player.

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Tom and a bunch of NRS familiar faces such as Kitana Prime, Noobe, DR Gross eating at GGA local diner, Tony’s.

10. Do you have any plans in the future for your weekly? Also, are there anything you’d like to see specifically?

I want to buy more setups and promote more through Injustice centric websites like Testyoumight. I’d like a little more professional commentary for our viewers. It’s tough being a small, local, casual scene though. I want to see more players come out. I think people think we can’t provide the level of competition they’re looking for. I think we provide pretty good competition for those looking to get involved in the tournament scene. We’re a great stepping stone for that, but provide more than just tournament experience.

Shout out to Doc Mack and the Galloping Ghost Arcade group for all that they do.

And also people can tune into the GGA stream: http://twitch.tv/gallopingghostarcade
Don’t forget Thursdays around 8PM Central time is when the weekly begins there!

You can also stay up to date with GGA and Tommy at the following:
GGA Wafflez Twitter
Galloping Ghost Arcade Twitter

It’s always really interesting to hear the perspective of others in this scene and what they do.  No two players are identical and I think that’s a beautiful part of our scene. This guy started awhile back loving the NRS scene and is still around to date making it so players young and older have a place out here to play each other and have fun.

I hope you all enjoyed this segment.

As always I’m very interested in feedback.  I don’t know what content to keep providing other than what I think wants to be scene without it. If there are certain players you really want to see get the spotlight for this let me know. Next week we will have an artist interview mid week as well as Canada’s own, Biohazard. Please remember as always to tune in next Sunday for that.

Protector of the swamp and Goro gains, DecayNRS

Hey community!

 

It feels like forever since I got to post here even though it hasn’t been.

I hope everyone enjoyed the first creative post on this blog with Badge3d! I thought it might be a cool way to introduce different art mediums into this so that those outside looking in might find some creative inspiration here as well.  Speaking of creative, we have a very special guest for you this week.

It probably seems like an obvious to put NRS’ own Decay in here (Thanks Ragnarok).
So, we are putting him on First to Ten this week.

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Some of you may know Decay from back in the days of Injustice: Gods Among Us.  He was known by quite a large amount of people for his Lobo back then.  Many of you may know him for his artwork he posts online or when he does a freelance project.

Regardless of how you know him, he’s an interesting and all around nice guy.  He’s been living out some of his dreams by having gone from competitive player to QA analyst over the last 2 years. He is still a humble person and someone who isn’t shy to play games at home with members of the community or attend tournaments for fun.  This man got a big heart for the FGC and the people he’s come to know from it.

That’s enough from me, I’d rather him tell you the best parts about himself.

1.  Eric thanks for being on First to Ten. Please tell everyone tuning in who you are and where you are from originally.  Feel free to include your background about you as well such as any degrees or awards you’ve achieved also.

Thanks for having me.  As mentioned before, I’m Eric Tran, or Decay. I am a competitive player who got started in Injustice: Gods Among Us and ended up using my artwork to get my foot in the door at Netherrealm Studio.  While being at the studio, I have not only been able to input gameplay knowledge but also have done some really cool artwork for Injustice 2.

Lots of people ask me about my art background so I’d love to explain it a bit in detail here.  I started drawing at about age 4, and continued drawing throughout the years and I eventually got my bachelors degree in Art and Illustration.  I didn’t quite know exactly what I wanted to do with my art until my dad bought me a book called “Spectrum”, in which I saw amazing digital concept illustrations.  I decided at that point that I wanted to draw for games and that I would teach myself how to draw and paint digitally.  I invested in a Wacom Tablet and taught myself the rest, with the help of online tutorials.

2.  When did you first start competing? What is the best placement you’ve ever gotten and what tournament?

I first started competing about half a year after the launch of Injustice: Gods Among Us’ release.  At first I was just an online warrior using Lobo until people online noticed my Lobo was getting pretty damn good and suggested that I go to Eight on The Break arcade and compete locally.  I went there almost every week, and then eventually started to compete in major tournaments.  My first major was Summer Jam 8, which I got 9th place. The best placement I have gotten is 4th at WinterBrawl and I also have won Eight on The Break a few times.

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Eric competing at Salty Sundays, a local Jersey tournament that he used to attend.

3. What is Eight on the Break? What was a favorite memory there and how did this impact your life?

“The Break” is an amazing arcade in New Jersey which runs local fighting game tournaments on a weekly basis.  EVO champion KDZ ran a lot of these tournaments and the streaming was typically done by Shock and 8 Way Run.

My favorite memory had to be getting bodied for the first time there.  If it wasn’t for that, and for Zyphox saying “just keep coming here and you’ll level up super fast”, I don’t think I would have wanted to train so hard and become one of the best at that game.

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Arma and Decay commentating together at the Break.

4.  What was King of the Bill?  What do you miss most about it? Why do you think Podcasts are important to the community?

King of the Bill was a Podcast that I created with Mr. Aquaman, Honeybee and Forever King.  Our idea was unique, because we would host a player in a King of the Hill game match, and fight each other for a prize at the end of the podcast.  We would intentionally ask difficult questions during the matches to have players screw up!  It was a blast.

I really miss it because not only was it just a great time, but it was a way to get top players to show off their skills but also joke around and let loose.  I think it’s important to have that kind of outlet in a community, especially since the rise of Esports.  Esports are amazing, but are so big budget and so serious, that sometimes I feel like we forget what it is that brought us here.

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King of the Bill art by Decay for the podcast. From left: Mr. Aquaman, Decay, ForeverKing, Honeybee.

5.  Since it’s no mystery where you are working now, what got you there?

My artwork and my competition background got me into Netherrealm Studios.  A concept artist who was working at the studio stumbled upon my work on Instagram who then noticed we both share a lot of passions (art, gaming, bodybuilding) and he extended his hand to help me out.  After meeting him and other studio members at Evo, we all became friends and they recommended that I look at working there as well.  Since I’ve already been competing in their games, it was very obvious that I knew my stuff when it comes to frame data and gameplay mechanics as well, and I got my start in QA because of it.

6.  You are known by many for your artwork.  Are there any upcoming freelance projects you’re working on you can talk about?  Also, who is an artist that inspires you?

I have a bunch of cool smaller freelance projects that include clothing design and whatnot.  I just recently got the word that I am going to have a booth at C2E2 artist alley, so a clothing brand by the name of Sukeban NYC and I will have a joint booth, where I will be selling prints, clothing, and also hopefully sketchbooks (compilation of my sketches in a bound book). I also am working with a tournament organizer on a big project which will be announced soon!

It’s way too hard to pick just one artist who inspires me.  I would say that I have a few artists who regularly inspire me, and those are: Karl Kopinsky, Dave Rapoza, Kim Jung Gi, Carlos Huante, Justin Sweet, Anthony Jones.

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Eric giving his childhood Mortal Kombat drawing as a gift to Ed Boon.

7.  In Mortal Kombat X you were known for your Goro.  What made you choose Goro and what did you love about him most?

Honestly I wasn’t really big into MKX at first, and after going through a character crisis, I selected Goro as a joke because I heard he was really a low tier character.  After learning him, I realized he’s the perfect character for me because he had good damage, good footsies, and amazing armored moves.  He was a struggle character but after a few patches and buffs, he ended up pretty decent.   I also thought that he was awesome because he was swole as hell, and has two extra arms to get gains with.

8.  You love to workout from your posts online.  Were you always this fit?  What advice would you give to others looking in wanting to get into fitness?

I wasn’t always fit, no.  Growing up I was overweight and got picked on quite frequently.  At age 16 I decided I no longer wanted to be like that, and put myself on a diet and went for jogs after school.  When I was light enough to skateboard, I did that religiously and that served as my main source of cardio activity. I managed to get down to 170 from 245 after all that.

After a tragic skateboarding accident where I shattered my ankle and dislocated it, I decided that I should no longer look at skateboarding as my only source of exercise since I can’t risk getting hurt that badly again.  My college roommate brought me to the campus gym and, even though I was nervous since I was the smallest person there, I fell in love with it and continued with it a decade later.

My advice would be to just get started no matter what. Don’t wait for a specific date, don’t look for the perfect gym, don’t wait on a gym partner.  If you want to get in shape, you will.  You can work wonders in a basement gym with $100 worth of equipment from Target, or even shred weight off by going on regular walks and jogs.

9.  Here’s a fun one.  Who was your favorite action hero growing up and why?

Favorite action hero was either Jackie Chan or Tony Jaa.  I always loved martial arts growing up in a house with a sensei for a dad.  My dad owned every single Jackie Chan movie and I ended up hearing about Tony Jaa later on after Ong Bak came out.

10.  What games outside of fighting games are you playing right now?  Anything you are looking forward to?

Mostly just Fortnite Battle Royale.  I love shooting games, but a lot of them just get really boring or don’t have a high skill gap.  What I love about Fortnite is that Epic Games is constantly updating the gameplay and taking advice from pros.

The upcoming games I’m looking forward to the most would have to be The Last of Us 2, and God of War.  I really wish they would announce a new Bloodborne though!

 

If you would like to stay up to date with Decay you can at the following:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/decayNRS
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Twitch:  http://twitch.com/lord_decay

And to watch old episodes of King of the Bill:
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4

That’s all for this week everyone.  I will have a mini art feature with some fan art at some point.  If you are someone who loves to draw NRS related content please let me know and I would love to add it in with credit to you.  Other than that, I will have another new interview Sunday.  The interviewee will be announced mid week.

Hope you all enjoyed this installment of First to Ten.

 

 

 

 

Interview written and published by Romanova.