Tag Archives: CEO

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.


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.  


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.


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!

First to Ten has you now, Beyond Toxin

Good day to everyone tuning in on this Sunday.
You have made it to another week of First to Ten!

I hope everyone enjoyed when we went to the UK with Ketchup last week.  I know that I had even learned a few things about him that I didn’t already know.  He is such a talented person in our community and outside of it too!  I would like to thank him again for his time he took to do the interview.

This week we are going back to Florida, again.  There happen to be a decent amount of our scene in Florida.  If you look at the sunshine state and our community many players come to mind.  Some of these players include but are not limited at all to Noble Semijj, DR Gross, RNG Whiteboi, and PG Kitana Prime.  The talent runs deep there. We are nothing shy of that talent when it comes to Juan Jing Contreras, or as many know him as, Beyond Toxin.


Toxin during a match at Combo Breaker 2017 and his father, “Papa Toxin” close by supporting.

A small backstory before the set…

I met Toxin at ESL’s MKX Pro League Season 3 Finals.  He and his father were instantly heartwarming and kind.  Toxin was nice enough to play some casuals with me after I offered to play my Mileena against him for some match-up practice. I feel like I got to even know them both more as we all got to grill together the day after finals thanks to a genius idea from Mr. Joshua Gray.  A friendship had been made and only got better after meeting such sweet and genuine people.


Myself, Papa Toxin, and the crowd reacting to Toxin’s comeback on Sonicfox during ESL MKX Season 3 Finals.

After ESL, I had seen Toxin at EVO 2016 and I believe maybe one more major that year. It wasn’t until this year at Combo Breaker that I had learned some of Toxin’s background as to how he got into eSports through something bad happening to him.  However, he turned that unfortunate event into something that has, and will keep giving him memories to last a lifetime: the competitive gaming community.

It was after discovering Toxin had this history that got him into our scene that contributed to why I wanted to do this blog.  I knew our community needed an outlet to get his story as well as many others out.  But I am so excited for you all to finally hear it from him himself.  I won’t make you wait any longer.

  1. Juan Jing, thank you for taking the time out to be a part of this week’s F2T. As tradition, please answer us the simple questions of who you are, where your name came from, and tell us about your local scene.

Hi Amanda, thank you for having me on your first to ten segments! My name is Juan Jing Contreras also known as Beyond Toxin. My gamer tag originated from a clan I was in back during gears of war 3. And ever since then I never changed my name and BeyondToxin just got hooked onto me. The “Beyond” part came from the clan and Toxin is named from a symbiote in the marvel universe. Now my local scene in my opinion one of the strongest scenes! Down south they used to run the weeklies and versus gaming center but for some reason after a couple of months people stopped going. Then Jebailey started doing these monthlies and the first month Injustice 2 was feature we had over 60 players and unfortunately the last meeting we only had 16. I already told myself now matter if 7,6,5, or even if 4 people showed up I will continue to support my local scene and try to grow the community here in Florida.

  1. How did you get into the FGC? How did you overcome what happened to you?

It was around December 15, 2014 I was headed to the gym from school when I got into my first car accident. Lady wasn’t paying attention and ended up rear ending my car causing my car to be totaled and leaving me with a herniated disc. Ever since I kind of fell into this dark abyss, everything around me wasn’t going the way I had planned. Mind you this was my senior year of high school this is the year where you have fun and enjoy! But thankfully I finished my football season but was heartbroken that I could not continue weightlifting and run track to pursue that scholarship to run or play football in college at a D1 or D2 level. But thankfully my friend Elliott was kind enough to buy me Mortal Kombat X and after watching the ESL season pro finals I decided that I wanted to grind and become one of the pros or top players in the scene. Mortal Kombat made me forget everything that happened back in high school and I just saw this as a blessing in disguise.


Toxin in his football uniform when he still played.

  1. I know you are a very family oriented person, I’d like our audience to see that as well. Your dad comes with you to almost every tournament.  When and why did that start? How does the rest of your family feel about your gaming path and how do they support you?

My family and especially my dad have always been supportive with anything we do. Whether it was track, basketball, or football my family was always there for me. My dad made so many sacrifices just to make sure he was every sporting event we attended. My dad turned down jobs that would pay 80k or more a year just because he knew if he took the job he wouldn’t have time with his kids and would never ever make it to any our events. And for a father to make sacrifices like that goes to show how much love has for my brother, and sister and me. And for that I thank him and by doing well at tournaments and hearing the excitement in his voice after I did well at a tourney is one of the best feelings ever. Especially when my mom calls me because she doesn’t even know what is going on but she’s supportive also. But at first, I wasn’t comfortable traveling on my own, so I made sure my dad always came with me. Now that I am more experienced with traveling and what not he’s staying home and just being a stream monster while I go and travel by myself. Main tournaments I am going to bring him to are definitely CEO and Combo Breaker. Chicago is after all, my dad’s hometown.


Toxin and his dad at a Cubs game pre Combo Breaker.

  1. Again, about your love for family and their importance to you: You did a GoFundMe for your grandfather in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma. I know the community we have was able to come together and support you during this. I was hoping you could tell everyone how he is doing now that you succeeded in your goal and what you were able to do for him with the goal you hit.

My grandfather from when we last spoke to him he was doing good! We were able to use all of the money to purchase the food for him.  Unfortunately the generators in our budget with the leftover money are currently sold out in Florida where we are.  So we are in talks with FEMA to see what my dad can do. But as of right now we have no communication with my grandfather still. Everyday my dad goes to work around 8am and he gives him a call in hopes to answer him because we need to know how are things and what not. But as of now we are waiting to see if he would love to fly here to Orlando and stay with us until things are back to normal in Puerto Rico. But from the bottom of my heart I just wanted to say thank you to all who donated it means a lot to my dad and I ad without you guys things would have been tougher.

  1. Back to gaming – what got you into Mortal Kombat? How did you end up choosing Ermac as your main? What was your favorite variation and why?

I always thought Mortal Kombat was cool, but I just never got around to playing the old ones. The only old one I played was UMK3 and it was a PS3 purchase! Now for choosing my soul mate Ermac, this how it happened. Upon release of Mortal Kombat X my brother and I were so eager to just start playing. But while the game was downloading the rest of the characters the only characters we could use were Scorpion, Sub zero, Reptile, Kotal Kahn, and Ermac. I just saw this cool looking floating dude and said yep that’s my main! And ever since release I was an Ermac main and never dropped him.


  1. What was the hardest moment for you in your competitive history of MKX? What did you decide to do after to overcome that?

Hardest moments in my MKX career was definitely being stuck in that 9th and 13th place vortex. It was the toughest thing to swallow after a loss at a major knowing that you were either 1 or 2 games away from that top 8. All I would tell myself is to get over it, level up, and just keep on grinding until you get that top 8. Once I get that top 8 its time to start aiming for consistency and trying to win a major.


A meme from Toxin’s twitter… Sorry Toxin.

  1. How did it feel going into Injustice 2 after the success you had in MKX? Who are your mains and why do you play them?

To be honest, I was a little nervous since I never played injustice on a competitive level.  I was super nervous to see how well I would transition over to a new game. I went into Combo Breaker 2017 telling myself that I only played this game for like 2 or 3 weeks if I drown in pools then I drown. Turns out I actually got 17th and felt really good after that and just continued to grind and level up for the upcoming IPS tourneys. My mains are Scarecrow and Supergirl. Scarecrow was just one of those characters that once I saw him on the “it’s good to be bad” trailer, I told myself that I was maining that character. His command grab and chain moves attracted me to him so that’s why he’s my main. And Supergirl, well, there’s not much to say. But she’s better than superman character wise and during the Injustice 2 announcement trailer at ESL S3 MKX pro finals she looked cool.  I find her a lot of fun to use.

  1. With you currently being in College now, how do you find time for gaming and balance it with your studies?

It’s tough! Since now that I am almost done with my A.A. and will be transferring to UCF next fall.  It is only going to get difficult and more stressful. Time management is key when going to school full time and trying to stream and play games with fellow players. I go to class around 8am and I don’t get back till around 12:30. As soon as I get home I start doing my homework and get all that stuff out of the way. So, by around 3pm once I pick up my sister I can do my daily stream and then around 7pm my dad gets home, and my brother and I go ahead and go to LA Fitness and get our workout in, and that’s basically what I do everyday school, homework/study, workout, sleep, rinse and repeat!

  1. You were recently at the last chance qualifier and did exceptionally well. How did it feel to go that far there?

Last chance qualifier for me was mainly to get back to my competitive level and see where I was in my game plan and what I needed to fix. Mind, I had to stop traveling after EVO because I ended up starting school the following month and could not afford missing any classes to attend tournaments. Overall, my main goal was to get top 2 and make ELeague.  But for me being out of the loop for so long and making top 8 there, I just had a big smile on my face and knew that I still had it. That’s why people asked after I lost to StarCharger they noticed I wasn’t upset at all. And I told them “no, why would I be upset? I haven’t traveled since Evo and just wanted to shake off the rust!” I was really happy with my play and that’s all that mattered at that tournament! Not to mention my pool was STACKED! You had me, Foxy, Sylverye, Iluusions.  Also some names I also recognized were Tsunami who beat Slayer at ECT. Additionally Xenomorph and Smarrgasm who were Injustice 1 players. I knew that if I wanted to make that top 8 I had to play my best!


  1. I know you’re a HUGE Dragon Ball Z fan. Who is your team going to be when Dragon Ball FighterZ comes out? What other games are you looking forward to coming out next year?

Honestly Injustice 2 and Dragon ball Fighterz will be my main games going into 2018. Dragon ball has been in my life since I was little I remember my first episode my dad sat me down next to him and all I remember was the scene when Goku took out most of the Ginyu force single handedly and ever since then I got hooked onto and I just fell in love, my team as of now will consist of Android 18, Cell, and Vegeta. January 26th can’t come any faster because I am super excited for this game! This is the dragon ball game all dragon ball fans have been waiting for.

I know we had our 10 questions but this week I’d like to throw in a new thing that I’m calling a tie-breaker.

Since the idea is a first to ten set we will pretend we went 5/5 in this set since I still have another question I’d like to finish our talk with before we end this.

Tie-Breaker Round:

What are you biggest plans for next year and where do you see yourself?

My plans next year are to go to every major possible and stay consistent and aim for those top 8’s. Other than that, we will just see what the road has in store for me!


Toxin and community reacting at Final Round during a match.

Thank you so much Juan Jing for every bit of your personality we got to see shine today.

Toxin is clearly somebody in our scene with a lot of compassion and talent.  He’s been able to rise against things like his car accident and make something spectacular out of the situation.  He’s somebody who whether sponsored or not will not quit and keeps going.  I look forward to seeing what he does in our scene in 2018!

I hope everyone tuning in enjoyed this week’s First to Ten.

Next week make sure you tune in.  I’ll be taking it to Tennessee with a Player many of us know or maybe don’t know, ITS Oakiess.  I don’t know much about this player myself but his performance at IPS really caught my eye thinking we need to get him on First to Ten so we can learn what he has in store for us with Grodd and upcoming tournaments.

As always, thank you all.  This community is a wonderful thing.

Article written and published by Romanova.