Armada at Evo 2017: What it Takes to Stay On Top

When you think about Adam “Armada” Lindgren the phrase “GOAT” may come to mind. And rightfully so. After winning Evo this year, Armada is now the second person to have two Evo wins under his belt. Even to someone like me, who is very removed from the Melee scene, has had Armada’s name engraved in my memory as I constantly hear about he has taken down event after event.

But how does one stay that dominant and that consistent for so long? How does Armada continue to topple the competition while coming from a region not known for its Melee scene. After his Evo win, Armada and I spoke about what has allowed him to earn the right to be called the GOAT.

(This interview was originally published on PVP Live July 31st, 2017. PVP Live is now defunct)

Armada.png(c) Red Bull Japan / Stephanie Lindgren

 

Once you saw your bracket and saw how everything was going to line up; how likely did you think it was going to be for you to make Top 8?

Regardless of bracket, you always need to go in with confidence for sure. I knew the brackets for me personally was a very rough one. S2J took me to Game 5 at Genesis, he was up 2-0 even. Axe is one of the very few players who has taken me to last game in more the one set. And also Wizzy and n0ne were in the bracket. MacD; Peach ditto not really one of my best matchups.

So, I knew I had a lot of rough matches leading up to Top 8. But the thing is, if you want to win a tournament you need to be ready to beat all of them. You can’t hope that “I’m going to avoid this opponent or this opponent.” I knew it was going to be hard, but maybe it pushed me to work even harder.

You’re not local to the US. It’s a long trip to get to Evo and then a tournament like this is much more intense than the average Melee event. How do you make sure you have the stamina for such an event?
I normally try to practice a lot. Even if I feel a little bit exhausted I still try to keep playing quite a bit. Because I know at tournaments your conditions are never going to be optimal. You can’t really control everything. Anything can happen that might mean you’re not going to be able to have everything perfectly. So, I still work a lot to increase my stamina by playing a lot, by thinking about the game a lot, and I guess it paid off.

What do you do between matches to stay focused, to stay mentally prepared?

I just try to look at the next opponent. Never like two or three sets in advanced. I focus on one person. And that person has my full attention. The thing is…I feel like a lot of people watch Smash [Melee] and think “this is an easy win.” You do not get any easy wins in Melee in 2017, that’s for sure. I try to make sure that I play the best that I can in every set. Especially at a tournament like this with best two out of three, one simple mistake could cost you everything.

What is a normal day for you like? Is it wake up, eat breakfast, play Smash, eat lunch, play Smash, etc?

If it is leading up to a Major then that kind of describes my day. Then it’s a lot of Melee. Like when it’s Evo or Genesis or something is coming around the corner. Then it’s a lot of Melee. When I’m home, especially right after a tournament, I’m so exhausted. I just take it easy. Hang out with my girlfriend a lot. Then I stream and stuff on the side as well. I’m also motivated to grow my Youtube channel. So, that also has a lot of my attention at the moment.

My life is a lot about Smash but sometimes it’s nice to take it easy and hang out with friends and grab a beer.

It’s something I’ve always wondered about. At events like this you have players who people expect to Top 8 or Top 16 because they’re so consistent; players like yourself. What do you think has allowed you to stay as consistent and as dominant for so long?

I feel like it mostly comes down to mentality, to be honest. Like I said earlier it is very important to take all the matches very seriously. Any person from one tournament to another could have improved drastically. They might have a different gameplan. You don’t really really want to be caught off guard more than necessary. So, I feel it mostly comes down to mentality.

A lot of people mention that it’s because I play Peach. And, yes, Peach does allow for more consistency than some of the other characters. But it’s not as simple as that. It’s very easy from the sideline to say “this is an easy win” or “this is easy to be consistent with.” The fact that a lot of people are saying things like that kind of proves why, in their current state, they will not be able to do it.

And I am not trying to say that to be rude. There is just so much more into being consistent than spectator may notice.

You’re not from an area that has a big Smash scene. Here in the States, players are closer to each other. They can grind out games. You’re on an island, sort of speak. How do you make sure you have effective practice?

Obviously the practice in Europe is a drastic disadvantage. I’m not going to try to say otherwise. Andrew and me, we play quite a bit. He moved in with me fairly recently. So, we get to play against each other a bit more. We haven’t lived together for like three and a half years. Honestly, it’s mostly just me making sure my movement and my execution are on point.

And then the few times I get the chance to play with people I try to really really pay attention to things and make the most of my time. Because, I feel like I have to since I don’t really have, as you said, a community like the Cali players or the Florida players.They have so amazing players who can push them to their limits all the time. In Europe, it’s rare. We are far and few between. I feel like players like me and Leffen really play have to play Smash when we’re playing Smash with better people. Really have to.

A lot of people have been talking about how much Evo has changed in recent years. To you, what has stayed the same about Evo?

I still feel like it’s pretty much the same thing. It’s just bigger. It’s still has the same atmosphere. I love and I do believe everyone loves it. That’s why a lot of people come back every year or as many years as they can. So, even though it’s grown bigger, I feel like….it’s still Evo. They haven’t changed for the worse. If anything, it’s improved in quite a few areas. I know numbers overall weren’t as high this year probably because it’s more expensive. But, I feel like it’s a good move long term. And for people missing out this year, you should reconsider for next year.

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