Evo 2017: Interviewing Street Fighter Legend Daigo Umehara

In traditional sports, the very elite are those that can transcend mere technical mastery, and become synonymous with the word “athlete.” Players like Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan, and Pelė come to mind. People whose prowess and dominance make them household names.

In the world of the FGC, which is more niche than its esports brethren, one man has taken to a pedestal similar to Jordan and Jeter. Daigo “The Beast” Umehara has been a pro gamer longer than Panda Global’s Punk has been alive. Most famous for Evo’s Moment 37, Daigo has consistently stayed a top competitor for more than two decades. And with the backing of team Cygames Beast, and sponsors including Twitch and HyperX, the veteran is poised for continued success. For Daigo, the big results just keep on coming, with his recent win at Fight Club NRW 8 his second tournament win on the trot.

What lets someone stay so competitive for so long? What allows a man to be good not only at one game, but at different games and different patches? While at Evo 2017, I was afforded the opportunity to talk to Daigo about longevity as a pro gamer and what it takes to stay on top.

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Gamerbee at Evo 2017: Fighting games have made me a better person

A few months back, during Evo, I was afforded the opportunity to interview Cygames Beast’s Yu-Lin “Gamerbee” Hsiang. To be honest, I knew little about Gamerbee except for the fact that he seemed to always have Echo Fox’s Justin Wong’s number, he played Necalli, and that he was very good at the game.

With that in mind, I saw this as an opportunity to focus more on the man himself, rather than the Necalli player. Even before the interview started, we joked about how tiresome it was to be asked question after question about Necalli in every interview. Instead, we talked about his competitive nature, being in a relationship, and hopes for Season 3. Read More

Dragon at Evo 2017: Raising the Trident in Injustice 2

In a game where you can be classic DC Comics characters like Batman, the Flash, Superman, and Catwoman, Ryan “Dragon” Walker won Injustice 2 playing a character that not many people respect or even consider fun. Aquaman, the but of many jokes, is what many would refer to as a “lame” character. He has many zoning tools and can deal tremendous chip damage.

And as boring and lame as Aquaman may be, Dragon was able to takedown crowd favorite Tim “HoneyBee” Commandeur for the right to hoist the Evo 2017 trophy over his head. Read More

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. Read More

Bonchan at Evo 2017: Winning and Losing with the Last Nash

By the end of Season One, one thing was made very apparent to Capcom; both Nash and Chun Li were too strong. Both characters saw a lot of their tools either removed or nerfed, leaving many people to leave the characters in a dust. Often referred to as the “Last Nash.” Masato “Bonchan” Takahashi has refused to leave the character behind. Despite the inherent weaknesses of the character, Bonchan has pushed the character to the brink – even taking a string of 1st place finishes at The Colosseum ‘17, Battle Arena Melbourne 9, and the Saigon Cup.

Considered a potential Top 8 favorite, Bonchan fell into Losers after taking a loss in his first match of his Round 1 pools. After pools were over, I was able to chat with Bonchan about Nash and life outside of Street Fighter. Read More

LI Joe at Evo 2017: Evolving with Street Fighter V

Last year, with the help of the ESPN broadcast, LI Joe captured the hearts of FGC fans and casual observers across the world. Doing what was believed to be the impossible, Joe made his way into the Street Fighter V Top 8 as the sole American. Twitter erupted, as fans called him a real American hero; a play on his name being Joe like GI Joe. The storyline couldn’t have seemed more scripted as his dad was flown out to without his son’s knowledge to support him. And while Joe faltered and didn’t take home the crown, he was cemented as a household name.

A year later, LI Joe hasn’t been able to replicate his success but he’s still a great ambassador for the FGC. And while he may be modest about his commentating skills, listening to him and IFC Yipes be the inhouse commentators for the Street Fighter V Top 8 was pure magic. Joe and I had a brief amount of time to talk about pools, the growth of the FGC as an esport, and how he manages trying to stay competitive and keep up with his 9 to 5.

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Whispers of the Muse #2 – The Professor

Whispers of the Muse is a Magic the Gathering interview podcast where Amanda Stevens talks with fellow spellslingers about how they got into Magic, what keeps them playing, and why they pick the spells they do.

This week, Amanda had the delight of having Tolarian Community College’s The Professor on as her guest. The Professor initially started his Youtube career with what he thought would be a one and done card sleeve review video. But then he was asked for a review of deck boxes, and then playmats. And so, the student body of the Tolarian Community College grew.

On this episode, Amanda and the Professor talk the new Commander ’17 product, why the Prof is a red mage at heart, and some real life stuff. Read More