Ultimate Insight 8 : Verse
1) You're one of the many new faces that joined competitive Smash in 2019. What was the biggest challenge for you in your first few tournaments? Whether it be specifically in game or something external like anxiety?

> Finding the time and energy to come to tournaments was (and still is) difficult, particularly in the beginning when I wasn't sure if this was going to be something I enjoyed doing. I'm a very competitive person and initially I just wanted to come to a tournament or two to see how my wifi skills stacked up against people who played consistently. I was lucky enough to run into some friendly faces in my first few tournaments and their encouragement made me keen to keep coming back. Having a full time job and a relationship make dedicating time to playing games difficult. When you’re dedicating time to seeing friends with the added benefit of playing games, it’s an easy choice to make.

2) People have labelled you as one of the top prospects in QLD and best new players of 2019. How did this feel when this label was attached to you? Did it put you under more pressure to live up to their expectations?

> I always feel a bit weird being labelled a new player. Last time I checked my 3DS, I had over 700 online games played just as King Dedede and who knows how many more as other characters. Playing on 3DS doesn't give you good tech skills but it does teach you neutral and I think that's given me an edge over people who are picking up Smash completely fresh.

I've also technically been to one tournament before Smash Ultimate, back in 2015 where I got absolutely destroyed by a *certain* lemon spamming Megaman, before being beaten in the dededitto. It was pretty disheartening at the time and there wasn't really anything at the tournament that made me keen to come back again. Redemption and amateur brackets are critical steps to retaining newer players, especially when people are still wary about the value of paying to enter a tournament. Even more important is the community aspect. I was interested in smash to compete but I was hooked for the community.

As far as pressure goes, well I absolutely feel pressure to play well but this is why I 100% don't want to be a top player. Being a part of mid level Queensland is the absolute best place to be. Whenever I feel pressure or anxiety about needing to play well to live up to expectations, it's very easy to feel better by remembering that everybody is absolutely nuts and this week might be my opponents turn to show everyone why they deserve to be on the 40.

3) You just attended the SA major Big Cheese. At the pre event you had an incredible run and came 3rd. At the major itself you vastly under performed and were eliminated at 65th. How did this feel for you and what advice do you have to other players for overcoming setbacks?

> Let's talk about the arduous pre-weekly training regime I had on the Thursday. I drank a bunch of beer, played the pinball machine in our Airbnb, played some smash friendlies and just generally had a great time with everyone from Qld. I went to the weekly keen to vs some out of state people, hoping to learn and improve my play. I dunno if everyone else was playing at their peak but I felt like I'd never played that well before and I had an absolute blast.

Cut to the major and I was incredibly anxious and nervous about matching my previous performance. I’d just rewatched my vods from Thursday for the third time, trying and failing to isolate what I had been doing to play well. I couldn't get out of my own head and got absolutely smoked by my opponents. Now that it's post-event, it's easy to see what went wrong.

As far as giving advice to other players...well, when you play well, what was it that allowed you to do that? What headspace were you in? Did you eat breakfast? Drink water? Were you determined to win or just playing to have a good time?

For me, well I’ve signed up for Phantom and my only goal is to meet more interstaters, chill out and have a good time.

4) You've made it your mission to become the best Banjo Kazooie main in Australia. What about the character has driven you to make this a goal?

> Ok so in Smash 4 I mained D3 with a side of ROB. Smash Ultimate comes around and there's PT, well hey I love Pokemon, character looks fun and I like kinda janky characters. 6 months later and I'm practicing every other day and not feeling like I'm improving because well...it's three damn characters in one and my neutral hasn't improved in months. I'm starting to resent this character and I'm not having fun at tournaments anymore.

All of a sudden...Banjo & Kazooie get announced...well that's one of my favourite games of all time...this is the perfect character for me. The sound effects make me happy, especially the Talon Trot, so I just run around everywhere and do the funny Rear Egg popping noise and the Breegull Blaster...as it turns out that's pretty optimal Banjo play.

I saw how stressed top players were and considered why I play this game and what my goals should be. I decided I didn’t want to be the best at smash, but being the best Banjo in Australia wasn’t out of the realm of possibility. Turns out a lot of people aren’t keen on Banjo and he’s not a top tier so there’s only a handful of people who’ve picked him up. Nonetheless, while it may be too early to tell at the moment, my Banjo will reign supreme!

5) You're looking very likely to make it onto the PR for the very first time. What would this mean to you?

> Early on in the scene, I remember checking bracket and people would go “oooohhhh you’re up against a PR player, good luck!”. I’m keen for that. While I don’t want to be the best, I do want someone to have that reaction from having to vs me, only to become confused upon realising I’m just a clown that derives enjoyment from hearing a bear and a bird compete in a childrens party game.


The smash community has been amazing and I’m incredibly happy to be a part of it. I want more people to be able to join and share in the fun, so I’m going to make an effort to be more welcoming to newer players and I urge everyone else to do the same.

by Mittens 12/20/2019 00:00:00

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