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.
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.
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.
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:
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!