Ultimate Insight 9 : Joz
1) Coastal Clash just held it's Pissmas event to universal acclaim. The main praise was the non traditional aspects such as Smash Cash. Does this response make Coastal Clash more inclined to run non traditional events moving forward?

> Thanks! I'm over the moon to receive so much positive feedback about Pissmas! It all started as a joke that Milis made a few months ago, and I immediately loved it. I organize these mostly solo I have no real reason to look esports and because I knew it would be a hit with the community I thought why not? Now you can't just call a tournament Pissmas and call it a day, so we (piss gang) got together and brainstormed. The idea for smash cash originally came from Shitashi, Omta built on it and then we all got together to come up with the prizes and details.

Huge shout-out to Piss Gang for helping me create it, but especially Kyle (Weeb). The Twitter campaign he ran, as well as all the ideas and organization he provided helped immensely. It wouldn't have been Pissmas without him and I'm so grateful to have friends like him.

In regards to your question, I would say yes and no haha. A lot went into making Pissmas such a successful event, and I don't think we could replicate that indefinitely. It's like asking BD why he doesn't run Sunny Side Up as a weekly haha. Now that's not to say we wouldn't run another event like that. I have heard some whispers of Peester or Pissoween (Hallopeen?), however nothing's been set in stone so we will have to see.



2) You consistently hold group training sessions at your house that many top Brisbane players have travelled for. What advice do you have for others looking at starting up training sessions?

> Just invite someone over, or drive/get driven there. It's quite simple really haha.

When I first joined the scene I had barely touched smash, and had almost no friends who played. Armed with having watched the documentary and a long history of playing games competitively, I knew I wanted to be good.

Around September 2017 I worked up the courage to ask to borrow a friend's wiiu, practiced online every night for a week and immediately headed out to my first tournament, by myself.

It was kind of intimidating, but I'd watched vods of the qld scene (shout-outs to Jett) so I knew who to look out for. Everyone there, especially Jaice, were very welcoming to me and I felt at home almost immediately. It went okay, I won my first set 3-0 and felt good about myself, only to lose every other game that night.

After another week or two of this, I knew I needed a practice partner, as smash online sucks. However I lived out in caboolture and knew almost no smashers, so the following week at tournament I asked Jaice if he knew anyone close to me.

He told me about Drew (switch) and Zeno (Kneesus/Zeus) of whom hadn't been to tournaments in almost a year, but lived down the road from me amazingly. I added him on Facebook, introduced myself and immediately asked if he'd be keen to play. He said yes, invited me over, and within a couple weeks we were playing every second or third day and became fast friends. People even started thinking I was Zeno’s friend he’d brought to tournaments. Drew also turned out to be a fantastic guy who I’ve become great friends with, as we had heaps in common.

Because of how easy it was becoming to make connections, I just kept asking. I soon had a multitude of people who I would hit up for practice if I had any spare time. I would even drive an hour to Ari's house on the coast to make it happen.

And that's where it started, every week I would drive up the coast to play. Dfs, Yoyo and whoever else was free would come together and practice with us.

When ultimate came around, and the good people of piss gang started coming out of the woodworks, it was just a natural progression. We invited them to come to the sessions, got to know them and eventually we became piss gang.

If you have a passion for the game, then step out of your comfort zone and ask someone from the community. You will be shocked how easy it is.



3) You've come very close but have never made it onto a PR. This has given you the role of a "gatekeeper" where many up and coming players are viewing you as a target. How do you deal with the pressure of knowing many players are gunning for you and what needs to happen for you to break through into the PR?

> This is a tough question. I guess I don't consider myself a gatekeeper, so it's tough. But I've been ranked just outside of top 10 since smash 4, so it would be a fair call.

There are a few things separating me from pr. First, the guys at the very top have better fundamentals, but that gap is closing quickly. Playing Lucina definitely helps with that, as well as my other 20 odd characters. I wouldn't recommend playing so many characters, but it's fun, so what are you gonna do?

A big part of my play that I need to work on is trying to play too fast and losing stage control as a result. Jumping off stage or trying to hard punish ledge options nets me kills sometimes, but using Finn as an example, sometimes all that's required is standing on stage and waiting.

But most importantly I think my mentality needs work. I succumb to external pressure really badly. I'm the guy that thinks about ranking and Elo mid-game.

This is far worse on stream too, as I am constantly thinking about what the commentators say about me, and how people watching will react to my play.

Improving this takes three things in my mind. A healthy life and healthy mind first. Including diet, exercise and meditation, but most importantly it takes experience.

The more I'm in the clutch the more I feel comfortable there. Noone is immune to pressure, but eventually you learn how to harness it and use it against your opponent.

Ari is a great example of this, he can throw out suicide up B's off stage against Shadrew because he knows in that moment with all the pressure he won't expect it. It's a calculated risk, in a time where it's most likely to succeed. I really respect Ari in that, and I've benefitted greatly as a result of being one of his training partners.



4) You are one of the veterans to the scene that bridges the gap between Smash 4 and Ultimate. What differences have you seen in the Smash Ultimate newcomers to the scene whether it be how they approach the game, how they carry themselves at events, their competitive drive or whatever it may be, compared to the players from Smash 4?

> Fun. I think a lot of new ultimate players still have stars in their eyes, and it rubs off on the rest of the community. The fact is that I only ever played Smash 4 for just over a year before Ultimate came out, and for the majority of that time I was treated like a newcomer. I had, and still do have a lot of passion for smash. One of the biggest problems Smash 4 had was that most if not all players had become cynical and bitter about the game by the time it was wrapping up.

I was the opposite of this. I had a burning passion for the game and it really ticked me off to have so many people around me who didn’t care about it yet were still much better than me at them game. Now that new blood is the primary blood, the whole thing has flipped on its head. They are so thrilled to be part of the community and playing a game they love that it’s infecting everyone. No one takes the community for granted and it’s awesome. We still have hold outs from smash 4 complaining about the game, but it’s drowned out by the new wave of mid-level Queensland clambering for the top.

A big difference for me is that there is significantly less cliquey behavior going on. Towards the end of smash 4 the community became team A vs team B and there was no in-between. In Ultimate everyone seems to be getting along, everyone is so welcoming and friendly. I love it.

In terms of how they approach the game, it all comes back to the same things I think. Us Smash 4 vets have the leg up on them for spending so many years learning neutral, but it hurts us when it comes to things like shield grabbing etc. So you will often notice smash 4 vets will shield more, whereas Ultimate newbies will dash back and jump. Air-dodging is a smash 4 trait too, a lot of my air-dodge waits will just not work on Ultimate newbies.



5) What are your hopes for the Sunshine Coast region and it's players?

> A weekly. Please for the love of God we need a venue. The CC venue is too expensive for a weekly, the uni isn't going to work with us unless we get 20 people and form a club, and there are no longer any gaming places like reload gaming.

However I can't be the TO of that if it does happen, so I'm looking to piss gang for someone to train up to be a TO. Being that I work in the city, the earliest I can get to the coast on week nights is 7 and that’s just not going to be practical for running anything up there.

As for players, I think we have a great group going. We had just as many people in the 40 as the gold coast, with less than half the players. Our Thursday sessions have really helped raise the average level of skill of the scene, and so if we got a weekly, look out.

There are also a few people like Delve that I think are super underrated at the moment, so with more exposure and practice we will see him climb rapidly. And if Tom ever stops tripping over his own frustrations with the game, he would also be amazing. But we can only hope haha.

===

Come to Coastal Clash =) Come to the Arcadian. Come hang out and practice at mine in Caboolture every second Thursday. That’s all, my twitter sucks so dw about that. Thanks for reading!

by Mittens 12/23/2019 00:00:00

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