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News posts tagged "Interview"

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What's up Allisbrawl, Peterdinosaurous here and over the weekend I got the opportunity to interview our very own Zero about his big win at E3. The last couple weeks have been a very exciting time for us smashers due to the E3 event as well as the best buy smash demos. But our focus today will be on Zero and E3. The E3 event was pretty solid this year for Nintendo. We have quite a few things to look forward to. We get two new Zelda titles in the making as well as Bayonette 2, Yoshi's Woolly World, Captain Toad, and a game I’m particularly excited about - Mario Maker - among others! I can safely say we can be pretty pleased with this year’s turnout. However what we were all anticipating the most was Smash 4. We got several character announcements such as Pacman, Palutena, Mii and even a Game and watch teaser. During E3 we had a smash 4 invitational that featured several important members of the smash community past and present who have impacted the game in some way shape or form over the span of the series. Zero managed to take out Hungrybox in the finals in a very close game that came down to a clutch grab in sudden death. The crowd seemed extremely into the event and it put even more hype going into smash 4. Without further ado here is my interview with Zero!

Hey allisbrawl, Peter here with the E3 invitational smash 4 champion Zero, how are you doing man?

Gonzalo ZeRo‎:
It's been a ride! Incredibly busy. Have barely slept ever since, been very busy with all these media things. But honestly, love all of this and couldn't be happier. Gotta be efficient!

For sure man riding that brawlstar status!! You played well though! What was your reaction when Nintendo got in touch with you to be chosen for this event?

Gonzalo ZeRo‎:
I was extremely happy. I immediately jumped out of my chair and fist bumped in excitement.

That's awesome man, we were all rooting for you I was at the edge of my seat when you and hbox were fighting on your last stock, what was going through your mind during that match?

Gonzalo ZeRo‎:
More than anything, stay focused, play well and think about options. It came down to the wire, where I managed to get a risky grab in.

Worked out though! Speaking of zss how did you like playing as her? And why did you pick her other than because you're both named zero? XD

Gonzalo ZeRo‎:
I like her because she's fast, has a good recovery, solid edgeguarding, range and tons of mix ups.

Yeah the spacing on her side B seemed like a pretty solid spacing tool. Do you intend on trying to become a top player in smash 4? And do you have a main planned out yet?

Gonzalo ZeRo:
Yes I do! I plan to stream, practice and play that game a lot. Not yet, but loving Zero Suit Samus!

Awesome man, I know you're gonna rock it! You're a great smasher! Just a few more questions and I’ll let ya go! Besides smash how was your E3 experience? And are there any other games that you are particularly excited about?

Gonzalo ZeRo:
It was fantastic, had tons of fun. Unfortunately, i couldn't try any of the games due to a lot of work, but the event itself was a blast.

That's cool man, the atmosphere there seemed amazing. One last question before I let you go! It's a tough one, but I think you can handle it! Why do kids love cinnamon toast crunch? And do you have any shoutouts or plugs you wanna mention!?

Gonzalo ZeRo‎:
I actually haven't tried that yet (or remember its taste). However, since its cinnamon, and that's where M2K comes from, it's because it must be a magical place! I'd like to thank my mom, dad, aunt, family, friends from the US, Chile, Vex, Mark and my awesome fans.You guys can keep up with me on twitter @CT_ZeRo, Facebook at /Chilezero and I stream at

Thanks for having me!

Peterdinosaurous:Thank you so much for your time Zero! Best of luck in smash 4!!!

With E3 2014 now in the history books as smashers we can look at this one differently down the line. Nintendo acknowledged competitive smash in an important way and going down the line this could be a very monumental step in the right direction for us. It was cool seeing our peers on stage with some of the big wigs of Nintendo. October might seem far away but its swiftly approaching and smash 4 will be in our hands before we know it. Again I want to thank Zero for his time and cooperation. So closing thoughts guys, if it happened to Zero it can happen to you. Keep improving and get your name out there, you never know what opportunities life can throw at ya. Smash 4 is anybody’s game so I hope to see you guys playing your hearts out! Maybe next time I’ll be interviewing you! Peterdinosaurous signing off, take it easy doods!

With the end of the year rolling around, I thought it would be a perfect time to interview someone who did outstanding during the year of 2013. For this I picked LOE1, a Michigander known for his patient play style and rage inducing time outs! With wins on MJG and Orion as Wario, this smasher has made a powerful statement putting the Midwest back on the map!

Ryuga: First I would like to congratulate you on getting top 5 at Phoenix Saga 6, that's an amazing triumph with a character like Wario!

LOE1: Thank you, I try my best. I honestly think people underrate Wario, he actually can be a really good character.

Ryuga: Even with the trash talk of your state you still manage to beat some great players, and keep a steady mindset during tournament matches. Please give us some insight on how you do this.

LOE1: Yeah, a lot of people hate on Michigan, thinking we only have Zinoto. They normally don’t think of me as a huge threat. I want to prove those people wrong, and I think slowly but surely I'm becoming more known. My mindset during all of my sets offline is to do anything to win. If that means timing people out, I’ll do it.

Ryuga: And as you know a lot of people get very frustrated at this, you've even timed me out a few times haha! Tell me how did you figure out Wario was perfect for you? Where did you begin? And lastly how did you make up this play style fit for you?

LOE1: Well, ever since I bought the game, I have mained Wario. Never switched mains or anything, I just liked how he worked. I started going to tournaments about three years ago, and for the first 6 months or so, I got last place. However, this never stopped my drive to improve. Slowly, I started beating good players. As for where I got my play style from, you can thank ice climbers for that. One tournament, my first big win, I beat lain by timing him out. Ever since then, I’ve stuck to the play style, and realized it’s the best way to play Wario in my opinion.

Ryuga: Your opinion is always the best opinion when you have stayed faithful to your character for so long, who helped you reach the level you're at today?

LOE1: To be honest, I mostly have to thank the people of Wi-Fi for that. I used to be on AiB every day practicing, getting friendlies with good players, and getting help from other Wario mains. All is Brawl is what made me start to get good, and I’d like to thank everyone that i used to play with back in the day.

Ryuga: Any names in particular you would like to mention?

LOE1: Let's see...Wafty for sure, our double Wario team is still really fun. There's also Mr. E for always being a nice guy when I played him in ladder. A final person I could think of would have to be iota for showing everyone that Wario could indeed be a big threat. There are many more, but those people are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Ryuga: Ah the double Wario team, always a formidable foe on the battlefield. Who else do you use?

LOE1: I have quite a few secondary’s I like to use for fun, like Snake, Pikachu, Diddy Kong, and Kirby. However, I would not use any other character in an offline tourney. I'll be going Wario all the way.

Ryuga: So just Wario offline, very faithful to your character. What do you think of the other Wario mains who are notable such as yourself? Like TheReflexWonder,  Abadango, or Gluttony?

LOE1: In my opinion reflex was and still is the best Wario in the world. He knows so much about Wario, I can't understand how he is so good with him. Abadango is also really good, but sadly he lost to Shaky at apex. The same goes for Glutonny, he makes aggressive Wario seem good. Also sadly, he lost to Mekos at SKTAR I think? Not giving discredit to the players that beat them, I just think that Wario should have prevailed. Anti and Ally also have very good Wario's even though they don’t main him. I could go on for every Wario main I know, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

Ryuga: Ah said like a true Wario! Tell me LOE1, what are your most notable wins so far? And please tell us about how this 100$ Money Match got started.

LOE1: My most notable wins I believe are MJG one time, Orion, Kain, and Bizkit. As for the $100 money match, a guy named TO Joe challenged me to the money match at Phoenix Saga 6. I accepted, and so it began. There were so many side bets going on, most of which thinking I would lose. Luckily, I had my Midwest crew on my side, and when the time came, I 3-0'd him. It was a big accomplishment for me, winning my first high stakes money match.

Ryuga: How did he challenge you to the Money Match, any drama beforehand? Fill us in!

LOE1: He posted on Tech Chase's(The TO of phoenix saga 6) Facebook page, saying, quote "make a high stakes money match between me & LOE1 happen at Phoenix Saga, it’s time I expose that baby ***** fraud, I’ll put up 100$ of my own money." I think he kind of got mad at me at SKTAR2 when I contributed to changing the bracket, but that’s the only thing beforehand.

Ryuga: And you took the cake and ate it too! Well I have one last question before I end this interview...
Ryuga: Who do you plan on beating next to continue working your way up to the best Wario spot?

LOE1: That’s a good question. At apex, I’m hoping to make top16, and beating anyone that stands in the way. Top 32 would also be fine, but I’m aiming for top 16. I'm not aiming for one specific player in particular. Whoever I’m pinned against at apex will be the people I plan on beating to keep up my reputation.

Ryuga: Smooth way of putting it. I like your style, Well this concludes the interview anything else you want to say to the people of AiB?

LOE1: Once again, I'd like to thank you people for helping me get as good as I am today, couldn’t have done it without you guys :). If you want to play, just ask me. However, don't get too mad if I end up timing you out...

Ryuga: Trust me he will.

Ryuga: Well I am Ryuga mostly known as Cody! And this concludes this interview with up and coming champion... LOE1!

Video of LOE1 vs TO Joe 100$ Money Match at Ps6

Tags: Interview, LOE1, Ryuga
by Stridez Dec 12 2013, 10:42AM
Hello AllisBrawl. Wi-Fi denizen Stridez here bringing you this short but sweet interview with the incredible Peach player SlayerZ. SlayerZ is known for being one of the top players in the ladder (current Spring 2013 Doubles Ladder Champion) and is more recently making quite the showing in the local offline scene, placing 2nd in both singles and doubles at Super Smash Sundays this past weekend.
Stridez: To start off, what is your name, age, and main in Smash for people who don't know?

SlayerZ: My name is Jacob, I'm 18 years old, and I main Princess Peach.

Stridez: How long have you used Peach, and why do you prefer to main her over everyone else?
SlayerZ: I've used Peach basically since the game came out, however I also used a variety of characters like Metaknight, Ike, and Kirby before, lol. But what stood out for Peach was her combo game and her ability float, which I loved.

Stridez: Those are some of her unique qualities as a character that really set her apart from the rest of the cast, and you especially as a player. You are known for your very quick low string combos with Peach, as well as your precise float cancels. Do you feel like her uniqueness makes up for her weaknesses as character?

SlayerZ: Lol, uair strings are soo good. Floating is amazing, without it I really think Peach would be really, really bad. It gives her more mobility with float cancels, and fast punishes out of shield. Another reason why floating is so good because you can poweshield MK's nado just by ledge floating onto the ledge and simply shielding. MK's nado destroys Peach, but this gives her a way to combat it. So yes, it really does make up for the weaknesses she has.

Stridez: That is a very clever option to use versus one of her most difficult matchups. Do you spend a lot of time looking for new options with Peach, or are there other Peach players you look to for advice/new strategies?

SlayerZ: Yes, I do. The training room is very helpful for finding little obscure things to add to your playstyle. Kie in particular does many interesting things that I have added to my playstyle, which by the way has been working really well lol. He wanted me to contact him, which I did. Through Twitter and we talk about Peach stuffs. Silly Kyle and I also talk about  Peach strategies, in hopes of improving her metagame. So my Peach references are the training room, Kie and Silly Kyle (my boo 4 lyfe<3).

(Kie is a strong Japanese Peach player, widely considered the best Peach overall, and Silly Kyle is a Peach main from Arizona who competes with SlayerZ currently for the title of best Peach on the west coast)

Stridez: Both Kie and Silly Kyle are amazingly successful with Peach, and it’s nice to see that you a sharing that same success in recent times. On another aspect of training, lets talk about your history of playing wifi. For as far as I know, you have dominated the singles and doubles ladder with top placings since as far back as 2010. That level of consistency is pretty amazing. What are some of the pros and cons of playing wifi, in your opinion?

SlayerZ: Thank you! Wifi allows you to implement and try new things out to add to your playstyle. That's basically what I use it for now, to try to improve my offline game. It's also very good for match up practice and getting pretty colorful names, lollll. Cons include: lag, rage inducing, irritating/immature wifi players, I know I can think of more, but not at the top of my head. But yeah, play wifi at your own risk, LOL.

Stridez: Thats interesting to hear that you use it as a tool for improving your skills offline. Were you always using wifi as a way to prepare for competing in person? I ask because there was a time when you didn't attend any events here in SoCal, all while placing top in the Allisbrawl ladders.

SlayerZ: I really just used it to get better as a player in general, but now that I have changed my playstyle drastically over the years, it's now mostly for implementation. Yeah I was a wifi monster but now I attend all the SoCal monthlies. It's easier because I just got my license so I don't have to be as dependent on others.

Stridez:  That leads to my next question. Now that you are pretty much a regular attendee of these regional tourneys, what are some of your impressions of the offline scene as whole?

SlayerZ: I like the offline scene, it's fun and there's lots of nice and cool people. The competition is exciting. Overall it's enjoyable and wish I was a part of it sooner.

Stridez: Yes there's so much excitement that goes a long with playing in tournament matches, and I'm really thankful for all of the cool people I've met through tournaments. I'd definitely recommend attending to anyone who hasn't yet. Taking a step back from smash, do you have any other interests? Such as sports, schools of study, etc.

SlayerZ: Besides smash, I'm mostly at college, with my boyfriend, or hanging out with my cousin. Right now I'm attending Mt.Sac and majoring in psychology or bio... maybe a double major, dunno. And I don't play sports, but I exercise often at home.

Stridez: Wow I didn't know you also attended Mt. Sac. I know a few friends (and smashers) who go there as well. How lucky for you that they started hosting large events right across the street from where you go to school lol.

SlayerZ: Yeah I'm like 10 minutes away from the venue, yay. And Mt.Sac does have a small smash scene. They play Brawl, PM, and Melee. Sometimes If I'm not busy after class, I'll go play and hang out with the smashers there for a bit.

Stridez: That's cool! You should get them to come out to the next tourney. It’s always interesting to see a new face. You never know who the next low/mid tier hero might be.

Stridez: That will conclude the interview. Before that do you have any shoutouts you would like to give?

SlayerZ: Lol we'll see. Shoutouts to mah boo Silly Kyle, Legyt aka Queen Beyonce, and Stridez for being a wonderful interviewer.

Stridez: Haha thanks man. See you at the next tournament, and good luck with the rest of your endeavors.
Check out this recent match of SlayerZ versus DEHF, the APEX2010 Champion from Super Smash Sundays
With the end of Brawl 'til Fall 2013 ladder season, I thought it would be the perfect time to interview someone who placed well in it.  I picked out Cody, a New Englander formerly known as Quest, who placed second in the ladder with an impressive record of 22-0.

Hamek: First and foremost, I'd like to congratulate you on getting second on the fall 2013 ladder, that's quite an accomplishment, especially since you were undefeated.

Cody: Well… thanks, but it was only a joke ladder lol.

Hamek: Even so, not losing at all in 22 matches is nothing to sneeze at.  According to the brawl widget on your profile you main Zero Suit Samus, but in some of the feedback I noticed that your opponent mentioned you played Sonic.  Who did you use during this ladder season?

Cody: I used mostly three characters. ZSS, MK, and Sonic.         

Hamek: Is that because you wanted to see how your Meta Knight and Sonic complimented your ZSS in certain match-ups or because you just wanted to have some fun playing different characters?

Cody: Mostly to have fun. I just used Sonic to see how he would do and as for Meta Knight, it was a joke ladder. But I wanted to practice tech skill and input consistency for using him more offline.          

Hamek: Speaking of that, you live in New England, a region which to my knowledge has had a good amount of drama, were you yourself involved in any drama?

Cody: Sure I trash talk a lot of the other players hoping to motivate them to improve. I want them to be able to compete against any other regions we might have to face at a national but when I trash talk it's all in good fun. They know I joke around (or at least I think they do).

Hamek: Trash talking people is a great way to make them focus on getting better to try to beat you, I agree.

Cody: The "drama" we have is just an occasional argument on aib. We don't even do it as much anymore. Everyone is nice in person at the tourneys I attend.          

Hamek: Yeah, I saw arguments on allisbrawl and wasn't sure if that extended to offline or not.  It's nice to see that it doesn't. Who do you think is the best player you've beaten?

Cody: Well, I haven't beaten anyone *super pro* yet, but I do have a winning record on Joe ST in tourney, and he's pretty good. Also Sails, the best Diddy Kong in New England, who beat Bloodcross.

Hamek: A similar question but changing the focus a bit, is there anyone who you think is underrated in the smash scene?

Cody: There might be a few.

Hamek: Do you have anyone in mind?

Cody: Maybe Falln the kirby main? I think he's pretty amazing or… on the east coast, maybe Koolaid. Koolaid doesn't go out of region as often as Bloodcross and Mike Ray do, but he is still very consistent. All the "good players" I can think of are already pretty famous. Oh, maybe some Japanese players are underrated.

Hamek: I looked up falln and he has some impressive wins, one against Mikehaze and one against Tyrant too. Is there anyone specific who you practice a lot with or is do you ladder mostly by going to tournaments and playing ladder?

Cody: I live in New Hampshire, in a very rural area. The only other New Hampshire brawlers I know of are Artemis the Pikachu main, aqua421 the Kirby/Pikachu main, and etecoon the MK/Snake main. etecoon's aib account is Nick C. They all live at least an hour from me, so unfortunately most of my practice at home is from wifi. Luckily, there are tourneys that happen every month or so in New England.

Is there anyone specific on wifi you you play with a lot?

Probably etecoon (Nick C.) when I see him in free play we usually play for a while. I also practice with Yoss, Ryuga, and Foodies sometimes.

You've got quite the variety of mains accounted there, MK, Snake, Falco, and Marth.

Cody: Yeah this is why I believe wifi is very good practice.

Yeah, it means that you're able to easily find people who main any character, you're not bound by who you live near.

Cody: The only high-level players I can face offline use Snake, MK, and Falco. On aib I can practice against many other match ups as well.

Hamek: That should definitely help you, especially in national tournaments where there are high level players who main just about any character. You joined allisbrawl right at the beginning of 2010, were you playing Brawl before that on another site or did you start playing when you joined allisbrawl?

Cody: I started competitive brawl on another site but only a month before joining aib (December 09). when I joined aib and swf it's where I really started getting into tourneys and watching the pros.

Hamek: Do you think you were at a disadvantage due to coming into the scene a bit late, or did you take advantage of it due to having a clean slate as the metagame was really starting to develop and change?

Cody: No, I don't think coming into the scene late was a problem. there are people who started much later than I did and are doing very well now.

Hamek: Okay, one final question. The end of the ladder coincided with allisbrawl being down for a while due to a Denial of Service attack. Are you disappointed that ladder playoffs were canceled and you could not see how far you could take your winning streak?

Cody: I'm not really disappointed. I had to play CT Zero round 1 and that was of course difficult because of the distance. Similarly, last playoffs I had to play Z, who is also distant from me (so it was pretty laggy). I prefer the ladder because you get to choose your opponents, and I usually pick the ones with whom I have a good connection. If I'm allowed to make a closing comment about the last ladder season .

Hamek: Yeah, I was going to ask what your thoughts were next, so go ahead.

Then I'd say it was fun. I played over 100 matches, and it was my first time using ZSS and MK in a serious ladder. I definitely benefited from it. The joke ladder was fun as well, and I did treat most of my matches seriously. I'm appreciative of the aib staff who worked hard to make the ladder run as it did (both the spring season and the joke ladder.)

Hamek: Yeah, it's a bit hard for the staff to make it run smoothly with neal having a limited presence. Once again I'd like to thank you for your time.

Cody: No problem, thanks for interviewing me.

So there you have it, someone who came into the brawl scene a bit later than most but still found a way to hone his skills and become a great player.
by JV_ Jan 4 2013, 3:16PM

Goodbye 2012, and hello 2013. Happy New Year all!

On behalf of the entire site and staff wanted to wish everyone a happy new year and the best in the coming year. Hopefully the dropping of the ball went well and Santa did not just eat all your cookies but hooked everyone up with their wishlist in December.

Aside from well wishes and Santa talk there is some various goodies to mention to everyone.


1. Follow TioPro for your chance to win a $200 gamestop giftcard.

Thats right folks we are giving away a $200 gift card for anyone that is following us come January 14th at 11:59 EST. We will take every name from our facebook follwers and twitter followers and dump them into a giant TioPro raffle bracket. Then randomize the seeding and whatever name is listed on the very top (aka the first player you see on the bracket) will be our grand prize winner. It takes about 2 clicks to follow us and given that we have less than 100 people on both combined currently it may be end of being one of the best value per entrant contests you will ever see. Head over to facebook and twitter and get your follow on right now for chance to win.*Note* You may follow us on both twitter and facebook to receive two entries to the drawing. It is not against the rules

2. A welcome to 2013 AiB site feedback festival of fun

With the new year being crowned we are looking to improve as a site, staff, and community in 2013. It something that is going to take work on everyones part. And to that ends we will be hosting a one hour chat in which many key admins, myself, and the big (and sometimes mean) father of AiB Neal will be there. If you guys have thoughts for improvement, ideas, or just questions hop on the chat. Date/Time will be announced next week but wanted to give you guys a heads up to it happening. We will also be conducting meetings within staff as to ways to improve, create more or more of compelling content, and better serve all our users (excluding any that fall under the asshats category).

3. TioPro E-Sports Plug-in is live!

In late December we released a minor bug fix and our very first plug-in to the TioPro software. In which you can modify your bracket to include images of smash characters (as well as various other games), country flags, or team logos. It is an exciting step towards customizing the program to include specific data that people care about and just another feature showing why TioPro is the only way to host a tournament. If you have not seen it you can read about the plug-in and upgrade here

4. Alex Strife Interview

With Apex rapidly approaching I sat down with its host and founder to get some insight into what being a tournament hosts means. Check it out here

The interview itself runs a solid 25 minutes (longer than we would like in the future. Rapid fire series of questions starts at 22:24 for those that want to skip right to that), could be a bit better quality, and not something ive done a whole lot of (interviewing that is). But at the end of the day Alex/John provides some really well thought answers that hopefully everyone digs. That was the whole goal. Tournament hosts do not get as much attention or credit as they deserve at times and with this interview series we hope to take a look at some of the most important hosts from not just the smash community but competitive gaming at large. When it comes to this series feedback is more than welcome.

GhaudePhaede010: Most of you are familiar with this man. He came all the way from Chile to enter APEX 2012 and if I do say so myself, gave us quite a few entertaining moments. He is a multi-tournament winner, the best player in Chile for more than a year running, a dominant force in the Smash community, one of the nicest people on the planet, a fellow interviewer, a premier player entering his prime, a serious contributor to the Smash community, and not afraid to bring the noise. Returning this year for APEX 2013, I present to you, ZERO! Zero, thank you so much for taking the time out to do this interview and help promote APEX 2013. I am honored to have you because you are my first true, "international" player interview. Thank you.
CT ZeRo: Oh, stop it you! Making me blush, haha. Thanks for having me. I'm thankful that there is interest in knowing what I have to say.
GhaudePhaede010: To get into this interview about the future, I am going to look into the past a bit. Starting with APEX 2012 lets be honest, the goal is to take the crown home for yourself and your country. Do you feel like you represented your country as best you could? Were you greeted to a hero's welcome when you got back home?
CT ZeRo: I didn't give much representation due to me not breaking into the top 8, and well, I gave it my all in both singles and doubles, but got outplayed in the end. Yeah! I gained a lot of respect after my trip to Apex 2012.
GhaudePhaede010: You had that money match with Ally and it did not go at all as you planned it. Ally definitely bested you and showed you there was yet another level you needed to get to in order to compete with the most elite of players, do you feel you have made strides in that direction over the past year?
CT ZeRo: Oh definitely. It was a good set because it allowed me to understand what I lack to be the best. Been working on it since I got home after APEX 2012.
GhaudePhaede010: I have played Ally many times and I feel like, "thee Ally factor" gets me more than he does. Stuff that I know other players would never get away with, he gets away with and it makes me so irritated. Is he really that good or was there a level of intimidation? Are you thinking of a possible rematch?
CT ZeRo: Ally just gets in your head too easily. It's very easy to get intimidated, especially with him being 'Ally'-factor. He is obviously one of the best in the world, and has proved so many times. I hope to play him in tournament, that would be a cool rematch.
GhaudePhaede010: I have no idea when you actually got into America last year but you are here now and to me, this is extremely early. Now, I know last year players like, Inui told me you were legit and could cause some upsets so I do know you were here but what made you decide to come so early? Do you ever feel like you can give too much of yourself away by playing too often before the tournament? Is that a concern of yours now?
CT ZeRo: It's because I want to get used to the professional scene. I want to get used to the different styles, players, normal USA crowds, and etc. Apex 2012 was extremely different to what I'm used to, and that threw me off a lot. So that's why I'm here earlier, to better prepare myself better for the tournament.
GhaudePhaede010: Your answer leads perfectly into my next question however, this next question is not an open door to bash America (but if you want to, please feel free): Being from Chile, I assume there are some cultural differences between the Smash community there and here. Did you notice any and did they affect you in any way?
CT ZeRo: Well, the USA is a much better country than Chile, so there's the obvious differences. I also feel that most people are nicer, due to them being probably less stressed than Chileans. Mostly, the only thing that affected me is playing in-stream with so many people watching. In Chile, it's not common to stream tournaments, so that threw me off a bit. I'm a shy and timid person by nature, but now I can play in-stream just fine. So it's ok.
GhaudePhaede010: Wow. When playing on stream, I never take notice of the fact that there is another crowd watching. To me, the people in the venue are thee only people that affect me consciously. That is a perspective I have never heard before. When I was in my younger years and even into my early twenties, my parents were strongly against me playing video games or trying to pursue it at a professional level. I was not allowed to travel out of state (despite how good I was, the type of game played, or the money I was making) so you can understand my jealously for your ability to travel out of country. Honestly though, how does your family look at your pursuit?
CT ZeRo: I live with my mom, and she supports me 100%. My dad supports me too, but he doesn't like video games that much.
GhaudePhaede010: On that note, I would want my mother to be there first hand to experience me playing and hopefully winning big matches because I feel it would validate me. If you could take anyone with you for thee APEX 2013 experience, family or friend, who would you take with you and why?
CT ZeRo: Either Neko, or K-Lao, two of my best friends. Because they would appreciate it the most and it would be so much fun to hang out with them in the US. Fortunately, Neko is coming for Apex 2013, so my answer for this Apex, would be Kalao, since he couldn't come.
GhaudePhaede010: And you are so fortunate to have parents that support you like that. Lucky! At APEX 2012 you partnered with Kadaj and while I thought you two did well, I was not expecting you to go far compared to some of the more experienced teams out there. What was your expectation level for doubles going into APEX 2012? With that said, I thought showed you have serious doubles potential and you provided some fine moments for us stream monsters. I enjoy doubles more than singles but how do you feel about doubles vs singles? Who is your doubles partner this time around and what are your expectations?
CT ZeRo: My expectations for APEX 2012 were pretty low for doubles. I was teaming with someone I didn't know, so it's natural to not feel confident. I simply brought my A+ game and hoped for the best. I personally like Singles more, because I can control more the game with the '2 player' factor. I'm teaming with quiKsilver for Apex 2013. My expectations are pretty high this time, but I will not let that affect my in-game performance, and I will play as carefully as I always do in tournament.
GhaudePhaede010: You are teaming with quiKsilver? That is hype I love quiKsilver! There is obviously a level of tournament nerves that come when you are at a tournament of this caliber, did you feel anxious or nervous while at APEX 2012? What did you do to curb those nerves or do you feel in some instances, the nerves actually bested you? And since you now have that experience under your belt, do you think you will naturally handle the scene better this time at APEX 2013?
CT ZeRo: I felt both. And yes, they did affected me quite a bit. I've been working on them since Apex 2012 finished, and I hope to handle them better this time around.
GhaudePhaede010: I was born in and lived in a very poor country. I love my home country but as I said, it is a poor country. Things people take for granted in this country, people in my home country would kill over (literally). There is a different attitude in America vs a lot of the rest of the world and that is why I think having a major event such as APEX 2013 in America is a great thing for the whole community. With that said, I do wish Jamaica could host an international event because that would be amazing. Do you ever wish Chile could host an even like thee APEX series despite the countries shortcomings?
CT ZeRo: I agree with the '…taking things for granted things' part. And well, every country and their people act differently. In Chile people are always stressed or angry, due to how the country's economy works. In short, it's just unfair. It would be awesome if that happened, all of my friends would be so happy to play their idols, and I would have to travel less to play a World Championship. Win-win situation for everyone!
GhaudePhaede010: A lot of people may not know this but you conduct very, VERY high level interviews yourself. When I read other people's works, I am often very critical and I find myself unable to fully enjoy another person's works. Do you find yourself being competitive when reading other interviewers works? You have gotten to interview top level talent from all over the world and have done a great job doing it; I have read them and honestly, I am critical but I sincerely enjoy reading them. Do you ever think of pursuing a career in journalism?
CT ZeRo: Oh, definitely! If I'm going to do something, I like to be great at it. Not just good. It's part of my competitive nature. Hmmm, I am not looking to pursue journalism for now. At the moment, I want to get a degree from the Wall Street Institute to perfect my English, then move to the U.S., get a translations degree, and then finally study Laws, which is my college goal.
GhaudePhaede010: This is a question I have always wanted to ask but never had the chance so lets see how it goes: When I show up to events, I have practically no idea what people look like. I kinda stumble around and some of the people that I do know point out people that are worth mentioning. I see some of these people and am surprised at how they look. When I saw you for the first time, it was after reading your APEX 2012 interview and I guess I had an image of you in my mind that was absolutely nothing like what you actually look like. For the better might I add because in my head I saw you as a morbidly skinny dude with huge zits and no sense of personality. When you meet people at events, are you ever like, "...what? You look like that?" you know?
CT ZeRo: Wow! I know I'm out of shape, haha. Well, not really, I watch a lot of videos and have almost everyone in FB, so I know how everyone look like.
GhaudePhaede010: Even with facebook, a lot of people look different to me in person. My last questions for you are fairly straightforward: since you went to APEX 2012, you pretty much got to meet every big name in the Smash community. Before APEX 2012, who were you dying to meet? Is there anyone left you would like to meet? Who have you not played that you are itching to play at APEX 2013 for whatever reason?
CT ZeRo: It was always Mew2King. He's my idol. But fortunately, he lives right next to my good friend Vex, so I had the time to hang out with him, and play him. He's now a good friend of mine. But in general, I simply want to meet everyone. I still have to meet Ken, and hang out more with the people I like at the moment. I want to play again with Kakera, Otori, and Rich Brown. I definitely want rematches.
GhaudePhaede010: ZERO, thank you so much for doing this interview. It is quite an honor to set with you and get all this information. If you have any shout-outs or e-hate to send out, let it be known now. Represent your people!
CT ZeRo: Once again, thanks for having me. Shoutouts to my family, my mom, my sister, my dad, Neko, Kalao, Hb2, Dragon, Snake, Rody, Fast!, Dabuz and my pals Vex, Chibo, M2K and Bluez! And last but not least, shoutouts to my wonderful sponsor ClashTournaments. If you guys want to stay in touch with me make sure to follow me in Twitter at @CT_ZeRo and Fb:
GhaudePhaede010: In case you missed it, just one day after conducting this interview, Zero went to the tournament XSmash and defeated Mew2King (twice), Nairo, and Vinnie amongst many others to take first. Were you thinking he was a quack that only got love because of international hype? Yeah, you thought totally wrong. I would say congrats but as much work as he has put into this game, he deserves all thee accolades he can get and a simple congrats is not enough. Nice work, and keep this momentum strong heading into APEX 2013, ZeRo.

Winners Quarter Finals vs. Apex Vinnie:

Winners Semis vs. Nairo:

Winners Finals vs. Mew2King:

Grand Finals vs. Mew2King:
Apex|Vinnie: Today I will be interviewing Denti, one of the best Olimar mains in the country. Denti is the main  tournament coordinator and #1 player in his scene of Fort Worth, TX. Due to lots of determination and training, Denti has been rising in the ranks - placing top 3 at WABA (results here. Denti will be traveling to the East Coast before APEX2013, and will attend Uprise 11 (held in LI, NY) to show what he's got.

Apex|Vinnie: How are you today, Denti?

Pretty good. Finals are eating me alive but I'll manage as long as I work hard the next two weeks lol.

Hopefully you do as well as possible so you'll be in a great mindset for your upcoming tourneys. First off, what are you expecting at Uprise 11? Have you ever attended a local tournament in a stacked region before?

The closest I get to attending something like that is when I visit Houston. That is where Gnes, Razer, Trela, Pwii, Shadow1pj, Illmatic, and ect live. I do know that Uprise will be harder than that, but my expectations are.. idk I know everyone knows how to fight Olimar from Dabuz experience, but I know I have what it takes to win any tournament, I just have to bring it out.

Great answer. You've had impressive tournament performances recently, getting 1st/41 at Get Hype II and 3rd/103 at WABA, as well as taking sets off Gnes and Razer. What did you do in preparation for these tournaments?

Besides dissecting all threats in the region, I try to focus on going in with the right mindset. I feel like I'm far enough into the game to where mindsets help me more than any technical skill preparation. Also something else I do is check youtube for any recent videos of them vs an Olimar. This way I get an idea about the type of playstyles I'll be up against.

Gotcha. Going into Uprise11 and APEX2013, are there any specific players you want to play in tourney? Also, are there any players you specifically want to beat?

I would really like to catch any of the top players going to uprise or apex. Dabuz however did challenge me to a 50$ MM at Uprise. I don't really have the money to do it since traveling is costing so much. Also I'd like to play M2K in tournament. I never have and when I joined the early early scene in 09 I always wanted to beat him. But really, playing any top level player would be a thrill.

Offline experience against top players must be exciting for you, considering your circumstances. In general, what do you think about the Olimar:MK matchup? I remember you used to struggle against MK, but at WABA you proved that you're well-seasoned in it, 2 and 3 stocking Seibrik.

I am doing considerably better in it. I have a lot of mix ups I do now which conditions them to fall into kill blow reads. Also I'm avoiding their juggling game better. So I'm feeling pretty good about it. Tornado still sucks a ton though LOL. It's easily around a 55/44 MU, with MK's advantage.

I see. Creating more mixups and traps definitely helps against MK. Other than smash, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I like spending time with my family, they're pretty cool. I also spend a ton of time with Will, my boyfriend. Also I've been playing this game called Civilization 5, it's super addicting LOL And when my friends can, we hang out and have a blast.

That's awesome. Final question before we wrap things up. APEX2013 is quickly approaching. Who are you teaming with, and how are you going to do in singles? This is your time to fire some shots!

I'm teaming with Zinoto. It seems pretty fitting honestly because he's a hardcore fast rising diddy, considered 3rd best out of the diddy's. And I'm a hardcore fast rising Olimar, considered 3rd best out of the Olimar's. We both have a lot we want to do and we both know we have the skill to reach it. Plus I have sexy banana control with Olimar. Right now I'm aiming for nothing less than the best. So my eyes are on first and nothing else. This is why I'm coming so early to Apex and entering Uprise and United and training with CT ZeRo, Vex, and whoever else I can possibly play. I'm coming to train with the hardest toughest region around. I first entertained this idea by realizing when brood got 2nd at apex he was there early training, when nietono got 2nd at apex he was there early training, and when you got 2nd at SRT you were there training early. I'm doing whatever it takes. Training hard, creating new strategies, practicing mindsets, ANYTHING that helps me improve.

Sounds like you have it all planned out. I wish you luck in your endeavors. Watch out for Denti, people! Thanks for the interview; is there anything else you'd like to say, or any shoutouts you'd like to give?

I wanna give shoutouts to Fort Worth for being freaking awesome! Shout outs to Infinity for beating my Olimar into shape vs MK. Shout outs to everyone that gives me positive energy in my life from the smash scene. Shout outs to Houston for being such a strong region. And shout outs to TX! I know all of our top players quit but I'll take the torch next you guys! I got this!

Check out Denti on Youtube!
• Denti vs Seibrik
Denti vs Nick Riddle
Denti vs Gnes

Links to these tournaments!
Uprise 11
APEX 2013
Tags: Interview, Denti

Diska: Hello everybody! I'm here to present you guys a good-length interview with a well-known friend of mine. After all these months, it’s time for one of Brawl’s most hyped players to have a turn in the spotlight. Everyone, I present to you everyone’s favorite player to watch on stream this year. The guy who took 1st place last year on this site’s very own Ladder. The man whose offline appearance was the subject of talk everywhere when he finally showed up. The man that placed highest with ZSS at Apex 2012 and is single-handedly making ZSS one of the most fun characters in Brawl to watch on Youtube. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you… Salem!

DiskaSalem, thanks for joining me for this interview! I'm excited to be the first person to officially interview you.

Salem: Oh hey! I've kinda been waiting to be interviewed for a while, though I have been also sort of trying to avoid it till I won a tournament or something. But whatever, it's either now or never, lol. I’ve already done enough amazing things as-is anyway, even without winning a tournament, so this is fine enough.

Diska: You sure have, Salem. I'm sure many people have been just waiting to hear from you, and it's finally the time. I'm pretty psyched myself! Considering everything, I think it's safe to say you're one of the most hyped players right now for Brawl. Though you haven't won a tournament yet, I'm sure you will in the near future, and as you say, most people are quite aware of your skill level in Brawl due to the number of high level players you've been beating lately.
Actually on that note, I have a question for you. Back in '10, you were a wifi player who was relatively unknown, but more recently, your popularity has just skyrocketed! What do you think is the major reason for your improvement and success?

Salem: Hmm... well, I'm not sure of that myself really, since at that time (2010) I was more or less multitasking, doing many things. One of them actually was playing other games (ex. M.U.G.E.N. Killer Instinct Gold, Fraxy and etc.)- though I played Brawl more than anything else, I still had put time into those games and that adds up, so I'm guessing those little small things combined were a lot more than average and combining that with my Brawl knowledge helped me become better.

Diska: You feel like playing multiple games helped you to get better at Brawl? Wow... that's not something I hear very often, since many high level players make a point to stress focusing mainly on Brawl. Are there any specific concepts you can remember from those games that you think had significant influence on your Brawl playstyle?

Salem: Oh, well let’s see. Killer Instinct was more or less a rock-paper-scissors game; that helped me learn when to mixup and switch my playstyle mid-match. M.U.G.E.N. too- what I usually fought against were AI who people coded to be extremely hard to beat. This game helped tons when I was seriously getting into Brawl by helping me practice reacting faster than them and knowing when they were going to throw out an attack. Fraxy- that game taught me that I don't have to get hit if I don't want to. I could just move away (which is probably where I got the idea to start planking with ZSS). There's just soooo much stuff from those games, I could probably still learn from them now. Lol.

Diska: That's some pretty crazy stuff, Salem, no lie. I honestly feel like every game has something to be learned from it - and the more you can learn from anything you do, the more you can apply it to the next thing and it does indeed build up exponentially. A lot of Brawl players probably miss that simple fact: it's not just character vs character, it's their mind against the mind of the next guy. And all those little tricks learned from every experience in every single thing they do make the difference between winning and losing, in Smash just like in any other game.
Along the lines of little tricks, I was wondering about your opinion on Brawl's WiFi. One of your first accomplishments was winning an AiB ladder, and many consider you to be one of the very best players when it comes to winning online in the infamous laggy WiFi connection speed, which forces players to change their playstyle a bit. Many find that reads, mindgames and basically thinking ahead can help them adapt to lag. What do you think about WiFi and its effect on gameplay, and how do you adapt to its shenanigans so well?

Salem: I kinda think of WiFi the same as offline really, just slightly slower and forcing people to play differently like you said. It's amazing practice to learn MUs and learn many different things. Whether you're able to go to tourneys or not, it helps. Now how I've adapted to WiFi is kinda simple really: I literally just went into training mode, practicing all the basic things, getting the feel of everything and completely memorizing it. When I go online, there isn't much I have to change except for my speed and buffering, since if you're not careful you can SD so fast on WiFi it's not even funny.

Diska: Those are good words of advice, Salem. I know a lot of people really struggle with making that crucial adjustment to the lag - it's one of the reasons that WiFi has been getting less and less activity compared to the past. Hopefully this will help people who just need some new ideas on handling lag!
Your first offline tournament was Concentrate II. I’m sure everyone remembers how hype it was - I remember watching the stream, and you seemed entirely in your element. What did it feel like to finally break the ice and play offline for a change?

Salem: Now that was a brand new experience. Like, as soon as I went through the door, I felt so hyper, as if I could do anything. It was almost like going to your first party and just getting wasted and dancing to the music, just partying. It was fun, and of course other people were there to help that boost in hyperness of mine too. If I remember correctly, those people were Alex and Waldo, who I didn't exactly expect to be there. Lol.
That was seriously one of the best times of my life and I was surprised I did well that tourney too, since I didn't practice for some time before that tourney.

Diska: Despite you not practicing, you definitely more than lived up to the popular expectation of how well you'd do that day. Teaming with Anti, you made it all the way to an amazing 2nd place in doubles, and on your own you made it up to 5th place in singles! I can definitely agree with you that having friends there who support you can make all the difference - I remember times like that from tournaments I've been to. And the crowd supported you too, along with the livestream. Good times. Another thing I remember about that tournament was that it was MK banned, so your addition to its character diversity really made that tournament shine. Which leads me to ask, why ZSS? What made you choose her instead of a popular character like Meta Knight or Olimar?

Salem: Oh yes, this is one of my favorite questions. Now the reason I picked ZSS is because she reminds me of a girl that I was secretly in love with when I use to go to school. I believe she was my only friend there at that school too, and she had a pony tail exactly like ZSS's last I remember. But anyway, eventually I guess I just wasn't motivated enough to continue school so I stopped going. I sort of regret it... but eh, it's alright, I still have her with me in memory as ZSS and I still have 2 future careers so I can legitimately skip school and not be a bum. LOL.

Diska: A reminder of someone you care about... what a great reason to pick a main, and it's even cooler that you've gotten so far with that character. Someday, maybe, you can tell your friend about this? It'd be pretty cool to just walk up and be like "Hey, I used to sort of have a crush on you, so I picked a character in my favorite game that looked a bit like you and I became one of the best with that character." I bet that'd be such an awkward but cool experience, especially seeing her reaction, haha.
Well, we're off topic a little bit, but since you brought it up, would you like to tell us a little bit about your future career plans? It sounds interesting that you have two options. That's more than I have right now, lol. Also I'd be interested to know about what your future plans for Brawl are, if you have any.

Salem: Hmm, well, the first one is me being co-manager of my dad’s company. What they do is host little festivals and stuff and rebuild things that were once here in this city, like clubs, music stores and etc. Currently they're just basically a water bottle selling company, though I believe we had a festival this year already. The other career is me running a restaurant, since my dad apparently is too busy to do that himself. The only thing is he has yet to name the restaurant and pick a building for it to be at.
Now my future plans for Brawl... hmm, well, I kinda want to quit, but it's so fun when I keep doing amazing things. I really don't know what plans I have for this game, not yet anyway. I'll figure it out eventually though, at least before Smash 4.

Diska: Sounds exciting, Salem- you've got a lot of possibilities lined up for you right now! Make sure to keep your friends informed; with the success you've pulled off in Brawl, I'm sure you've got what it takes to succeed elsewhere. We'll be around to support you there too, just like at tournaments!
 While we're still not too far from the topic of ZSS: which ZSS matchups do you find the most crippling, and which ones do you find more easy or enjoyable to play?

Salem: Good question. I don't really know since I haven't exactly encountered a real problem with ZSS yet. A lot of the matchups are pretty close to even, at least when I play them. The matchups that I usually enjoy playing are vs MK or Snake, those are really fun and funny matchups to me.

Don't even get me started on how annoying the ZSS:Snake matchup is, I hate that matchup so much! Feels like no matter what I do I get juggled like I do against Peach, but I die as early as I would in a Snake ditto, lol.
So many of us struggle with dittos, but I noticed you seem pretty good at them- you beat Nick Riddle in the bracket of Apex 2012. For the past few years many people have considered him to be the best ZSS, but your recent wins are at the worst on his level. Do you think you've surpassed him?

Salem: I felt I surpassed him as soon as I called him out on stream at Concentrate II. Lmao.

Diska: If you have indeed surpassed him, then you are the best ZSS right now. In any case, if you keep up what you're doing, all doubt will be gone before long. Though some top players aren't 100% certain about your skill level because of how your gameplay looks- I even asked Nick Riddle about his opinion on you while I was at WHOBO 4, and he said that your playstyle seems like a gimmick- it's still one of the biggest reasons a lot of people enjoy watching you play. Your playstyle is flashy, but it brings the wins in. What do you think is the biggest reason for your playstyle being the way it is?

Salem: Hmm... kinda hard to say since there's many things that could be why my playstyle is this way. Most likely, if it's anything, it must be due to my brother. His playstyle was based around defensive things while mine is being offensive, so I had to learn to break his defenses down in EVERY game I played him in. I had to always bring his defense down, otherwise I'd basically be chipped out, considering he does more pokes than anything else. I had to have the most powerful offense to beat his defense, so I guess that could be why it's this way now.

Diska: All-out offense ftw! I've noticed lately that offensive-styled Brawl play has been getting more common- players like Illmatic, Nairo and yourself have been growing in number. Keep it up, Salem. It makes Brawl a lot more fun to watch than the old timeout style does.
You mentioned that you have a brother - he must have served as a pretty good rival until you started getting really good at Brawl. By now I'm sure he can't even win a match here and there against you, so I guess you get your practice from high level players online. What players do you consider your rivals in Smash right now? Also, which players do you consider to be your best offline wins?

Salem: Yeah, he kinda stopped playing Smash after I started getting really good at the game. But anyway, not at all. I don't really play high level players online a lot, I kinda just play anyone. The only player I consider my rival currently is Meek, since our placings are kinda funny. Now my best offline wins... hmm, I guess Atomsk, Will, Bizkit and Kingtoon. Not much really. Lol.

Diska: Sounds like you need some new rivals, lol. Your wins are more than many people could claim, but yeah, ever higher right? I'm looking forward to hearing that you beat Ally or ESAM one of these days, you could certainly do it. Actually, speaking of Ally, I have another question: do you ever think you'll switch mains like he did?  I know that he switched to MK after making his name famous with Snake. While I've seen you play Marth against ESAM in tournament (and you did pretty well too), I'm wondering if you're planning to get serious with any character other than ZSS.

Salem: Hmm... well, the only characters I might most likely seriously use alongside ZSS are either Snake, Marth, TL or Sonic. Most likely Snake or Sonic. Otherwise, I'm just sticking to ZSS, lol.

Diska: If you ask me, Marth is the only one of those who would appear to fit your offensive style. I know from experience that the other ones need a lot more camping and waiting. If I remember correctly, you did pretty well using Snake in doubles, teaming with Bizkit's MK. Hoping to see more of your secondaries in the future, I'm sure they'll perform just as well.
I have just two more questions before I let you head off, Salem. First, are you ever planning to go out of country for Brawl? And second, what's the next tournament we can expect to see you at?

Salem: That's another something I'm not sure of. Just expect me to be wherever Chibo is streaming. And most likely I'll go to Canada so I can try to play Ally. That's as far as I'll probably go too- I don't think I'd ever go far out to Japan or something, unless of course the Japanese win Apex again. Then hell yeah, best believe I'll be going over there.

Diska: Haha, sounds good Salem. I'm looking forward to seeing you perform on the livestreams, and good luck against Ally whenever that match comes up! If there's anyone you'd like to leave a shoutout to, this is the time for it.

Salem: Oh, shoutouts time. Shoutout to Chibo, just cause he's awesome and drives me to tourneys. Shoutout to Waldo, forever funny as hell. Shoutout to Alex, even though he needs to learn to stop making me mad, not even that hard. Shoutout to Xzax: “FALCO IS BAD MAYNE”. Shoutout to SlayerZ who some say is the WC Salem. And of course for my last shoutout, a shoutout to you, Meek; should be obvious why.

Diska: Thanks for taking the time to get this done, Salem! I appreciate it and I know everyone else will enjoy hearing from you. From all of us in the Smash Community, good luck on your upcoming tournaments, and we look forward to seeing you on the livestream.

Tags: , Interview, ZSS, Diska, Salem
Sumer: Hey everyone, I’m joined today by TO extraordinaire, Today, to get some info on School is in Session 5, which happens to be right around the corner.

Sumer: To start off, I’d like you to introduce yourself, for those who don’t know you, and maybe give some insight as to how you got involved in the smash scene.

Today/Day♪: Okie dokie! I got involved by the smash scene from a local tournament in Cincinnati in the end of 2009 held by the God Kais. They invited me to play with them on Wednesdays and I eventually became extremely close with the scene and improved my skills in Smash. I really liked the smash scene then and wanted to do so much for it!

Sumer: God Kais~

Sumer: That’s a pretty awesome way to get into the scene. I’d also like to know what got you involved in TOing, and how you managed to make your tourneys not only some of the biggest in the Mid West, but also in the nation.

Today/Day♪: My first tournament was a tournament called Smashing Through the Stones. It was more so focusing on raising money for Haiti's Earthquake. I felt it was a good way to raise money and I was extremely inspired by those trying so hard to work and help others through the earthquake. After that tournament, I continued to make more and more and hopefully can continue to use the money I make for good causes. I guess eventually others saw and spread the news of the tournaments and more people attended!

Sumer: You hear about people raising funds from tourneys to fly out players to events, but not too many host tourneys for charitiy, way to step it up and make the community look better with your events. :3

Sumer: Everyone knows how great the SiiS tourneys are, with each new one racking in easily over 100 people. What have you been doing with SiiS 5 to increase attendance and awareness to get more people to show up to this event?

Today/Day♪: Mostly just getting the world out! Whether it's through cards at anime/gaming conventions, or making a trailer through YouTube to show on Facebook. My friends also help spread the word, and the God Kais help by asking other players to come as well!

Sumer: Cool, glad to see you have a lot of support to help make the event successful.

Today/Day♪: Yus! Thank you!

Sumer: You mentioned that you ran your first tourney to raise money for the Earthquake in Haiti.

Sumer: For those who don’t know, you’re running a fund raising event at this SiiS call Smasheducation, to help raise money to build schools in Africa. Can you please tell us more about this, and what people can do to help out with it?

Today/Day♪: Definitely! Since School is in Session is a school themed tournament I figured why not do something that has to deal with schools? I discovered Unicef's Schools for Africa and figured to give money to them. There are a couple ways of helping. 1) Simply attend the tournament and enjoy yourself! 2) I will personally donate money if you take a picture of yourself with your gaming controller and tag. More info can be found here.

Sumer: Awesome, I hope this interview helps spread the word a bit more to those on AiB who don't use Smashboards too much.

Today/Day♪: XD Sure sure! I wouldn't mind. Anything helps.

Sumer: What can people who are going to SiiS 5 expect outside of Brawl and Melee? Perhaps some side tourneys, door prizes, etc?

Today/Day♪: SiiS5 will have Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and an MK9 side events! Not only that, it's at a huge arcade full of classic games, and fun party games cabinets like DDR and Rockband. The Arcade is too awesome for words so here's a video of everything in it.

Sumer: Sounds like a lot of fun to be had for smash and non-smash fans alike. O:

Sumer: There have been some pretty big upsets in past SiiS tourneys, and it’s always enjoyable to see who comes out on top. Who are you expecting to pull of some upsets this tourney, under perform, or come out on top (if you feel like sand bagging)?

Today/Day♪: It seems lately M2K hasn't been placing as high as he normally does (although he still places very well), so I wouldn't be surprised if an unexpected top player ends up beating him a round. Midwest has also gotten a lot better, and I am a good handful of us can prove that this weekend!

Sumer: Midwest da bes~

Sumer: /bias

Sumer: Speaking of Mew2King, we all know what happened between him and Coney at the last SiiS, which left a few people upset at the outcome of the set. Do you think the use of the Unity Rule Set this time around is going to have an impact on how some people perform this weekend?

Today/Day♪: By Unity Ruleset I'm assuming you are indirectly speaking of LGL. Obviously with LGL, it will keep players from planking for an extensive amount of time; however, I do think players like M2K will continue to play as they play: like how an MK should play.

Sumer: You assume correctly. lol And very true.

Sumer: I know from hosting tourneys myself that you can’t always do everything you want to with the resources you have. Is there anything you’ve wanted to do in a past tourney that you never got a chance to, but are trying out this time? Or is there something that you wanted to do at this tourney that you might have to push back to your next one?

Today/Day♪: Hm! At the moment, I feel like SiiS5 is perfectly where I want it to be. Tons of locals are interested in coming down, and we have good players from all over visiting. The venue is amazing, and the money raised is going to a good cause! If possible, I would still maybe like to do more things for the community itself. More side prizes and maybe get new players who never played Smash to take interest after SiiS!

Sumer: Those are always things you can plan to do at your next one, and with all of the out of region players coming in, including TOs from other regions, you might be able to get some advice from them on how to pull those things off. =o

Today/Day♪: Thank you, Sumer! I hope so!

Sumer: You got this~

Sumer: Also, regarding players coming from out of state to attend this, can you recommend any cool places to check out while they’re in Cincinnati? I honestly wouldn’t know where to go, but I’m sure there are a ton of cool places. lol

Today/Day♪: Yus! I think the best and fun place to visit in Cincinnati is King's Island! It's a huge amusement park with tons and tons of roller coasters! A lot of them are scary and soooo fun! I know people who do come out to SiiS take a trip to King's Island, since it's so fun!

Sumer: That sounds like a fun place to check out. O:

Sumer: I'd want to go there and see if it's better than Cedar Point.

Today/Day♪: Cedar Point is bigger, but Kings Island is extremely entertaining!

Sumer: I'll defenitely have to check it out then. XD

Sumer: Do you have any shout outs to people who’ve helped you get where you are today as a player/TO, or have helped make the SiiS tourneys as big as they are, including this coming one?

Today/Day♪: Mostly shoutouts to Cincinnati for all the support and being there! God Kais, Clowsui + Sai has always been super helpful in spreading info and generally being supportive.

Sumer: Lastly, do you have any closing comments to everyone who will be coming out to SiiS 5 this weekend?

Today/Day♪:I hope everyone enjoys themselves this weekend! It'll be an amazing time with unlimited arcade gaming for two days straight, multiple tournament entries, all while doing good for the world! If anyone needs anything, please feel free to ask me! Thank you so much and see you lovelies this weekend! <3

Sumer: Thanks so much for taking the time out to do this interview with me. I hope you have a fun and successful tourney this weekend, and that you keep up the hard work your doing to make the community that much better for everyone.

Today/Day♪: And thank you so much, Sumer for taking the time to interview me!!

Sumer: No problem, I had fun doing it. :3
I recently got a chance to interview Malcolm about his recent success in Brawl, among other things. This was a pretty informal interview, since I've known Malcolm for a while, so please no comments about using emoticons or anything. Enjoy:

Sumer: I’d like to start off by taking a chance to thank you for making time in your busy schedule to do this interview with me.

For those who don’t know, you were one of the top Sonic players back in the day, shout out to bluesteak, but decided to pick up Wario I believe a year after Brawl’s release. Why did you choose Wario to be your main instead of someone like Meta Knight or Snake who were clearly top tier at that time?

Malcolm McNulty : Wario was actually my first character in Brawl. I played Zelda once because I loooved her in melee (See my Zelda in Melee!) but she just didn't feel the same so I decided Wario looked too funny to pass up. I picked up Sonic right b4 I went to tournaments because I'm a huge sonic fanboy and well...he was fun, effective and could be played really offensively before people understood what to do. He turned alot less fun later on so I made the change to Wario because he's too funny and better of course.

Malcolm McNulty : ;o

Malcolm McNulty : He's also the onllllllllllly other character I can play!!

Malcolm McNulty : My metaknight is so bad ;-;

Sumer : I know you got that pocket Falco. (smirk)

Malcolm McNulty : Wifi falco is the strongest Falco.

Sumer : XD

Sumer : I actually picked up Wario after playing yours, and have used him in a couple tournaments, in both singles and doubles, and have a lot of fun using him. What makes him so fun for you to use and do you have plans on trying to pick up a higher tier character, or even lower tier, to help you with some of your tougher match ups?

Malcolm McNulty : I find Wario fun because he's entirely in your opponent’s head. His moves are pretty good, but the fear factor is his specialty. I find reads fun...and he makes a lot of them. IMO he's forced to make more than any other character around him in the tier list. I haaaaaaave dabbled with Falco but I think it's going to be just Wario. DDD frustrates me to no end (Shoutouts to every DDD that has beaten me...aka every DDD) but the way I look at it...once I get past that hurdle I'll be unstoppable so it'll be well worth it.

Sumer : I'm sure you'll find a way to get past those DDD players soon, whether it's by finding out some ground breaking technique in the MU or just by playing gay to the extreme every time you play a DDD. lol

Malcolm McNulty : I'm getting better @ it!! I just have to win on FD ;o

Sumer : On to more recent events, you’ve been enjoying an increased success in tournament performance ever since your victory at Baltimore Brawl 2 where you beat Junebug in Grand Finals. Since then you haven’t placed under top 3, placing 3rd at Hall of Gaming #4, behind ADHD and Anti, and placing 2nd at Mass Madness Legends, behind Fatal. What do you think can contribute to you performing so much better recently?

Malcolm McNulty : Well I took a break from Brawl because I lost my controller and found this dope game called League of Legends. I actually believe that is the reason for my recent success. It's easy to get wrapped up in patterns in this game and lose sight of all the options you have available to you...and sometimes just not seeing the game for awhile can make things a lot more clear to you when you return. Oh but just to clarify I have placed below 3rd in the past few weeks. I got 4th @ a New Jersey tournament that Ally attended. I beat ADHD's Diddy in winners then lost to Atomsk's DDD in winners and ADHD's 'Peach' in losers.

Sumer : I know what you mean about breaks. I've personally taken time off from Brawl and returned playing better than before, and I guess I didn't do my research as good as I should have lol, but that's still very impressive to not place below 4th after playing again.

Malcolm McNulty : It was a stacked tournament! And yeah I think the occasional break is good for everyone.

Sumer : There's no denying you're a top contender after placing so high with so many other good players to compete with, and I'm sure it won't be the last time we see you that high up anytime soon. :3

Malcolm McNulty : I am playing reaaaally well atm so I don't wanna count myself out, but you never know in this region. Everyone is somehow really really good lol.

Sumer : I agree with that, you got this though!

Sumer : As far as doubles goes, you’ve been teaming with Vinnie and Inui a lot recently, placing no less than 2nd at your last three tournaments. What do you think makes your team combinations with these players so successful? And are there any players you’re planning to or would like to team with at a future tournament?

Malcolm McNulty : Both of those players are just really good lol. They are both really experienced with teaming a Wario for various reasons and both of them are excellent doubles players. If I had to point out specific reasons...Vinnie and I are both very hard to hit and we see different habits so he punishes a lot of stuff I would miss out on and vice versa. Inui and I are more focused on a grab game. Down throw from Wario is really devastating...and I get it a lot. I am planning to team with Junebug for CoT5. June is like...da bes so I wouldn’t be surprised if we did really well. We teamed once before @ a Maryland tournament and got 1st so we are hoping to replicate that. People that I would like to team with? Anti, Jash, Trela, Nairo, DMG Gnes, Dphat and anyone from the WC that I know. I could see myself winning with any of them.

Sumer : I could also see that, and hope you get a chance to team with them sometime soon. I still want to team with you one day, but I'm sure there's a list of people who'd like to do that as well. XD

Malcolm McNulty : Maybe we will do work @ a MI tourney!!

Sumer : Looking forward to it. :D

Sumer : Speaking of tourneys, what tournaments are you planning to attend that are coming up either nationally or in your region? I know DNA 17 and KTAR 5 are both coming up pretty soon. Also, how do you think you’ll perform at these tournaments? It’s fine not to answer this question if you want to make a surprise showing at these to take everyone’s money.

Malcolm McNulty : I will be @ KTAR and CoT5, but I think that's it for the EC. I wanna save up and go to Genesis! I had a complete blast @ the first 1 and I encourage everyone to go this time around. How do I think I will do at all these incredibly stacked tournaments? I really have no idea. There will be a lot of top players there and there will be a lot of random DDDs there. Let's just say top 10 ;o

Sumer : Those random DDDs so strong.

Malcolm McNulty : Too powerful imo

Sumer : Hopefully I can make it out to CoT5 and Genesis too.

Sumer : They sound like they'll be a lot of fun.

Malcolm McNulty : You should!! Both tournaments are gonna be amazing!

Sumer : I'll try my best. lol

Malcolm McNulty : Yeeee 8-)

Sumer : I wanted to save a question about a topic I know a lot of people are interested in nowadays, League of Legends! You were one of the first people to start playing this on AiB, and now a good handful of the site plays. However, you sort of answered it already when you said taking a break from Brawl and playing LoL is one of the reasons you’ve been doing better recently, so I’ll change up the question a bit. Do you think you might have learned some new traits you can apply to your Brawl mindset after playing LoL for so long and returning back to Brawl? For example, I went about a month and a half without playing Brawl one time, so I passed the time playing a lot of fighting guys like Guilty Gear and Street Fighter; but through playing these I learned just how important playing defensive was to win, and when I got back to Brawl I was playing a lot more defensive and doing a lot better too.

Malcolm McNulty : Things I learned from league...I can't think of any off-hand. Maybe risk estimation? When to go for a kill and when to try and put yourself in your opponent’s shoes? I don't see much similarity in the two games outside of the fact that I enjoy them both. Sorry I couldn't be of any help with this one D:

Sumer : No problem. XD It was just an on the spot question, but thanks for trying.

Sumer : I know you have a lot going on in your life when you’re not owning in Brawl or playing LoL, so what do you typically do when you get a chance to relax from gaming, and what are your future plans as a pro gamer looking like other than gaming?

Malcolm McNulty : When I'm not on LoL or @ a tournament I am usually in the city hanging out with my college friends. I don't really see myself going further with pro gaming. I really just wanna get out of school (not happening anytime soon) and get involved with the field of Psychology...most likely as a therapist. If an opportunity were to arise for gaming I wouldn't ignore it, but I don't have any future plansss. I play games because I have fun playing them and like the competition. Not because I plan to make a living off of them.

Sumer : Sounds cool, and I'm sure you'll be out sooner than you expect, so no need to worry. lol

Malcolm McNulty : It's all good. College is fun even if it takes a little long. ;o

Sumer : Do you have any advice you would like to share for people who are new to LoL or Brawl, or who are looking to improve in either game?

Malcolm McNulty : As far as advice...

Malcolm McNulty : I think the two games are pretty similar in how to get better. They both look really basic and it's easy to get lost in doing what youuuu think is the best and not make any progress. You can figure out the basics of either game on your own, but to get better faster you really have to watch or consult the top players. They see something that you don't most of the time. They may be able to help you correct it personally or you may pick up on an option you've ignored from watching them play. I mean you can take the long road of making 41290412 mistakes and having to learn from each one...sometimes its more fun that way. I prefer the visual style of learning. Neither game has a large technical barrier so it's alllllllll in the mind ;o

Sumer : I see. Good advice and definitely something I try to do to improve myself.

Malcolm McNulty : inb4sumertop3inMIandbesatLoL

Sumer : I'll try my best to get better in both. XD

Sumer : You better help me though!

Malcolm McNulty : O the strongest carry

Sumer : You know it. :D

Sumer : Do you have any shout outs you would like to give to people who have helped you get as good as you are today or people who’ve supported you even before?

Malcolm McNulty : oOoOoOo

Malcolm McNulty : I've been waiting for shoutoutsss

Malcolm McNulty : Well for people who helped me get as good as I currently am...

Malcolm McNulty : shoutouts to HBK. He kicked my *** in melee and even in brawl for a bit.

Malcolm McNulty : Lol a lot of the lessons I learned "the hard way" were from him.

Malcolm McNulty : But other shoutouts go to Shoego aka Shugo, You, Rei, Lightside Lee, TKO, Midnite, Misa, Vincenzo, Sassy, Shadow1pj, L_Cancel, Nappy, Joedot, Meekspeedy, Orez, Mittenkiss, Skaabi and Elite_Viet and all the other people I talk to on Skype all the time =D

Sumer : My final question of the day is how you came up with the nickname WarioMaster15? I personally think it’s because you wanted people to think you were a random at nationals before you owned them. lol But I’d like to hear the reasoning behind it from you.

Malcolm McNulty : Hahahaha. Tbh I was talking and playing brawl with Speed (SonicMaster5) a lot and I just found his name to be absolutely hilarious so I made one of my own and started using it as a tag on Wifi. I had a really horrrrrrrrrrible performance @ MLG Orlando and I was like well...they clearly just hated on the name Malcolm McNulty so I thought this other name might have a bit more luck =P

Malcolm McNulty : I still enjoy hearing people say they "only have to play against some random named WarioMaster15". It never gets old ;o

Sumer : Too good. XD

Sumer : That about wraps it up. Thanks again for doing this interview and I hope you keep up the rape in Brawl, so you can finally get out of that 7th place PR spot. lol Forever 7th! Also, LoL with me later, you owe me.

Malcolm McNulty : I'm like 7th every ranking, but this one may be different lol. And you can get carried by the dopest Tristana/Caitlyn on the planet in jus a lil bit ;o

Sumer : It was a pleasure. :3

Malcolm McNulty : It was also a pleasure for me :D
Inui: Tonight I am honored to have the likely best Brawl Samus in the world and one of the best hosts in the Smash community, Xyro, here for an interview.  He is the host of what I think is the most successful tournament series in Smash history, if not more than that.  His HOBO series attracts national level competition consistently and normally has high turn-outs.  He is also the main host of the WHOBO series, which are basically "world" HOBOs since he intends them to be nationals.  The third installment of the WHOBO series is next month and will hopefully be the biggest one yet.

Xyro: WHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Yea man, thanks for taking the time to interview me! I've never had an "Inui interview" before so I'm sure this will be pretty tasty!

Inui: I'd like to ask you about your HOBO series, which you're most known for.  What does HOBO stand for, how many have you hosted, and why have you decided to keep this series running for so long, even after you got married?

Xyro: HOBO stands for Houston's Official Brawl Ordeal. Kinda dumb, but I needed something kinda unique/funny and I think it's worked out pretty good thus far. As of now I have done 30 HOBOs and 3 WHOBOs(as of March 2011). I decided to keep the series going because I realized it's the MAIN reason why my state is so freaking amazing. The last reasons why I keep on going with the HOBO series are because I LOVE running tournaments and the fact that it brings our entire state together. It's kinda like a massive "Smash family" reunion every month.  Oh, and to comment on you talking about me being married and how it will affect my's causing me some issues. I got married this past September and at first I thought it wasn't gonna mess with my HOBOs and Smash stuff but once I got the news that my wife is gonna bust out a mini Xyro(she's supposed to have the kid in July)....all things changed that instant. Being married and having a kid on the way means I gotta grow up and do it pretty quick so I'm like 99% sure this WHOBO will be my last(spoilers!!).  I may still try to hold events but I'm not sure how I can manage a wife/kid/work/school/trolling the Houston thread and running events at the same time.

Inui:  Yeah, I've been to a few of them and both WHOBOs so far and they were pretty amazing.  I hope you can continue to host even with your family to take care of.  Next month, you'll be hosting that third WHOBO you just mentioned.  *Pound* 5 is occurring this month and then we have other big tournaments right after WHOBO 3.  You've got some stiff competition for attendance since not everyone can afford going to everything.  What sets WHOBO 3 apart from the other big tournaments going on in the first half of the year?  Why should people choose WHOBO 3 if they had to choose between all of the big events this winter and spring?

Xyro:  Yea this year is gonna have some killer events(Pound/Genesis/WHOBO/etc.) but what I think sets WHOBO 3 apart from the rest is really two major things. First of all, it's a national tournament that has LOW TIERS(1vs1/2vs2) as a side event. Most other major events do retarded stuff like Gay-, Gay+, BalancedGay or whatever other dumb hacks out there and I dont like those at all so I make it a goal of mine to be different and bring a REAL side event to the table. The second way that WHOBO 3 sets itself apart from the pack is that it's beng held at an anime convention(Anime Matsuri). Yes, it's kinda expensive, but you get a TON of things to do besides Smash: Cosplay, contests, anime showings, art, hot girls(or guys), imported cars, LARPing, Texas Showdown Tournament(SSF4/MvC3/BlazBlu/etc.), and of course the rave at midnite(Firday and Saturday only).  All of this makes WHOBO 3 a unique experience for ANY smasher. Oh and if you are SUPER lucky(or is it UNLUCKY, rofl) you may get to see the legendary WHOBO BEAST!  Here's the link to the AiB page for the event:

Inui: Haha, I've heard a bit about this "WHOBO Beast" and would like you to explain what exactly it is...

Xyro: Oh god NOOOOOO. Please don't make me tell you about that disgustingly deformed MONSTER that haunts the halls of WHOBO!!! Before I continue, I want to make SURE that if ANYBODY is gonna click the links below, you do it by your own CHOICE and I am not responsible for the night terrors you will have from this horrendous animal.  This is the first sighting of the WHOBO beast, it was at WHOBO 1:  It seems that her need to feed returned because I saw the beast at WHOBO 2 the very next year:  Based off of the encounters with the WHOBO beast, it seems that she will never stop feeding and that must mean that she will return for WHOBO 3. It kinda makes me happy but at the same time it makes me scared. You know, at any given moment she could pick me up, do some nasty things to me, eat me and all I could do is pray that my death is fast.

Inui:  LOL I think I remember seeing her before...  WHOBO 3 sounds exciting, just like the others.  You're going to host both low tier singles and doubles, and it's no secret that you also main a low tier and have a really good shot at placing high in those since you're widely considered the best Samus.  Why do you main Samus instead of good characters and how well do you think you'll perform in the low tier events this time around?

Xyro:  I main Samus because I really want to prove to people that low tiers CAN be good if played correctly and played by a player who is also good. The problem is....this is BRAWL so there is a limit to how good she and I can be. In low tier teams I'm teaming with the legendary Gnes and he will use Mario. I'm pretty sure we can get top 3 in LT teams if we play our cards right. As for LT singles, I'm not too sure where I will place. Ally(Falcon), Poltergust(Yoshi), Noid(Samus), Espy(Lucas/Zelda), Lee Martin(Mario/others) and many other amazing low tier players will be there so it's gonna be hard to tell the placings. I also think that you(Ganondorf/Mario) and YOSH(Yoshi) will do extremely well in both events as well.

Inui:  Thanks for the vote of confidence.  I'm sure you'll do well and I'll be rooting for you.  I'd like to ask you a two-part advice question that could help some people out.  Do you have any tips for aspiring hosts to help them host successful events, and do you have any advice for low tier mains on how to overcome their disadvantages?

Xyro: The few tips I have(they are basic but they go a long way) as a TO to fellow TOs is to treat your tournament like it's the last event you will ever run and do whatever it takes(within reason) to make your players happy. Make sure ALL areas/cities/regions around you know about  your event. Pull out ALL the stops: livestream/twitter updates/facebook event pages/huge amounts of set-ups/multiple events(add LT or MT or Melee). House and transport people from OOS or OOC. MAKE SURE you stay active in your tournament thread and answer the question that appear. Oh, and DO NOT be afraid to ask other TOs or friends to help. Like I said before, all of this is pretty basic but if you do what I say you will have an AWESOME tournament and people WILL return. As for giving advice to fellow low tier mains: play to learn. Ask yourself every fight, "Why did i get hit by that? How can I avoid it or lessen the chances of me being in that situation?" Also, learn how to powershield better because you will see instant results once you get that down. No matter what though, don't give up  because you CAN get better and you CAN win!

Inui:  That's some pretty good advice.  I'd like to end this with a somewhat controversial topic you've always been heavily involved in, and that is the idea of banning Meta Knight.  MK surely has saturated the results for a while, but the argument is that he's merely being overused but isn't broken at all, and the repeated losses of top MKs to top mains of other characters backs this up.  It seems like he is indeed overused but it looks very unlikely that an actual ban will ever happen, or at least one backed by the BBR or the Brawl community overall.  What's your current opinion on MK?

Xyro: ROFL I knew this would come up at some point. I still think he needs to be banned. At the end of the day, he's impossible to counterpick by character(his WORST match-ups are EVEN) or by stage(no stage puts him at a real disadvantage). I feel that if a Smash game has a character that can't be CPed in anyway then he needs to go. I also feel than when a scene has to make rules that limit a character just to keep him in the game he needs to go. Think about it; PLANKING is an issue not because of GaW/Pit(because it's proven by frame data that a lot of characters can stop these two characters from doing it) but because of MK and Scrooging is not an issue because of Pit or CHARIZARD(lolololol) but it's because of MK. LOL though I can go on for decades, I'll stop here.

Inui: Well, you know I'm staunchly anti-ban, so we'll have to agree to disagree since we're both also pretty stubborn, lol.  Do you have any shoutouts for some people before we wrap this up?

Xyro: Yea I do. I wanna give a shoutout to YOU because you really didn't have to interview me but you chose to. It really means a lot to me so THANK YOU. I also wanna give a shoutout to any and all low tier mains out there for sticking it out and representing low tiers no matter what. And finally I wanna give a shoutout to everybody in Houston, TX (Gnes/Razer/Trela/Smoom/Illmatic/Jerm/P4/etc.) because even though we argue A LOT, they are all really cool guys and they make Houston the fun/exciting place it is today.

Inui: I definitely enjoy the Texas scene and look forward to going there again.  Thanks for the time, since this interview did take a quite a bit of time since we both had a lot to say.  Good luck with WHOBO 3, your own matches, and your life with your new family.  It's not common to have married Smashers with kids and everything in the community.  Set a good example for the youngsters!

Xyro: LOL Thank you for that! I hope all goes well with WHOBO 3 too and it better or else I'm gonna look like a fool

Inui: You'll be fine.  =]
Sumer: Hey AllisBrawl, I’m joined today by the one and only Plank! For those who don’t know, Plank will be hosting a tourney on the East Coast this weekend a few of you might have heard about, *Pound* V, and it’s looking to be not only one of the best tourneys of this year but one of the best tourneys of all time. I’d like to start off by asking what got you interested in hosting tournaments in the smash community, and where the idea for *Pound* originated from?

Plank: Hey, I actually got interested in hosting tournaments because my friend Travis had hosted the original *Pound*. It was the very first tournament I ever went to, and where I first decided I really wanted to play the game. So when he wasn't making any more *Pound* tournaments I asked if it was okay if I ran with the series, and he said it was cool.  A lot of people don't know Travis (Chinesah) actually ran the first one.

Sumer: Oh, cool. I had no idea until just now. lol Did you ever think *Pound* would grow into what it is today after you took it over?

Plank: No definitely not, when I hosted the second *Pound* I ended up getting MLG sponsorship which really sent it through the roof in attendance, and I guess with it just being fun and running well and hype they continued to grow.

Sumer: It hasn't seemed to disappoint anyone to this day, from my knowledge. The venue looks simply amazing this time around, and there’s so much to do in D.C. or even just in the hotel at night when tournament events aren’t happening. Can you talk a little bit about the venue, why you choose it, and how well you think it’ll help the tourney run smoothly and efficiently?

Plank: Sure, the venue is definitely the most incredible thing about the tournament.  Last year I had a huge problem with organizing transportation because the venue was an hour away from any airport.  It was such a stress to manage everyone rides from the airport to the venue and back, so this year I really wanted a venue very close to an airport. I found this venue which is .3 miles from the airport and an official hotel of DCA.  It has the flight arrival/departure information in the hotel itself along with the ability to print out boarding passes at the hotel and a free shuttle to the airport. It also has a free shuttle to the dc metro which gives perfect cheap access to anywhere in DC which has tons of stuff to offer. Along with the venue being 24 hours for people to play in and over 20,000 sq. feet, I really thought it was the full package.

Sumer: I'm definitely planning to take advantage of that while I'm there. lol

Plank: Good :-) I hope a lot of people do.

Sumer: *Pound* started off as a Melee tournament series back in 06’ and hasn’t disappointed Melee fans since with a record breaking attendance of 347 Melee entrants at *Pound* IV. This is partly due to the fact that the *Pound* series has grown so popular that each tourney is now attracting international attendance as well. For those who haven’t been keeping up on smashboards, the international players have arrived and are ready to represent their countries. How do you think the international players are going to stack up this time around against the US players? Do you think we’ll have even more upsets this time around, or have the US players been preparing themselves for revenge on the International players?

Plank: I think that the international players are going to do even better this time.  I really think that they have more drive than we do; after all they are the ones travelling to us to prove themselves.  I think that we will have a lot of upsets this year, the way Melee is progressing it really seems like it is more anyone’s game than it ever has in the past.  There have been 4 *Pound* tournaments for Melee and only 2 different winners, I'm very excited to see if the final one will be taken by an international player, or if perhaps we will only have 2 unique winners for Pound Melee ever.

Sumer: I fully agree with you on the international players have more of a drive, and think it'd be interesting if one of them took the title this time around as well. As far as Brawl goes, what kind of upsetting are you hoping to see happen at this tournament and what players do you think are going to surprise us? You’ve even entered this tourney, so how far do you think you’ll get given the fact that you’re probably pretty rusty from not playing in a while?

Plank: I really hope to see some sort of low tiers do some damage at the tournament.  I enjoy seeing a player get hype for wrecking groups of top MK players.  I just hope we can have some fun upsets; hopefully my boy Coney can rape some OOS players.  He's mad good.  As far as I go I think I’ll probably make it into brackets but get raped there or something.  I am rusty but I am also Metaknight with a B button and a brain, I'll be fine enough to get out of pools but I don't think I’ll beat anyone beyond that.  I’ll surely try though! lol

Sumer: You got this! I kind of want to see Coney vs. M2K again. I like the inclusion of Amateur Buy-In tournaments and other side events to keep players who don’t have a chance to make it into the main bracket of the game they enter entertained. How are you planning to run these smoothly while still giving your full attention to the main tournaments going on?

Plank: The amateur buy-in tournaments are going to be more self-run.  I'm going to make the bracket and draw it out manually and have someone specific run the event in a specific area of the venue.  I've also got projectors and such to communicate schedules at the venue of when we will be doing specific events since the event is 24 hours.  A lot of these events may have to occur at odd times late at night or something, but we will make it work.

Sumer: Sounds like things should work out with so much room and time to work with.

Plank: Yeah, the 24 hour venue gave me confidence to implement the amateur buy-in idea that I’ve wanted to do for a while but was afraid to.

Sumer: I really like the idea and look forward to seeing how it plays out. lol This is going to be the 5th and final *Pound* tournament in the series. Do you have plans to continue hosting more tournament in the smash community after this, perhaps start up a new tournament series, or step back and let others follow in your hosting footsteps while you move back into simply attending tourneys or maybe something else?

Plank: I'm most likely going to be leaving the smash scene as a whole.  I have been playing for about 5 years and spent a lot of time and money on the game,  I have a full time job and a girlfriend as well as trying to go back to school, I just don't have the time. Really probably mostly though Starcraft To be honest.

Sumer: Can you give some advice to people who are planning or want to start hosting tournaments in their area as to how to get their tournaments as successful as yours, or at least some pointers for beginners for common mistakes to watch out for that maybe you even made yourself when starting out?

Plank:  Well like I said my very first tournament got sponsored by MLG, I really got lucky.  I never had to work at gaining a crowd; I’ve only had to work on maintaining and increasing my crowd.  I don't think I would have been successful at all if I wasn't given that by MLG.

Sumer: It’s fortunate that you were given that opportunity to create such a successful event and bring so many people from not only around the nation, but from around the world together to participate in the enjoyment of a game we all love to play.

Plank: As far as mistakes it's hard to say.  STAY ORGANIZED!!!  It is so important to be organized.  It's easy to just become swamped with taking money for registrations, pool sheets everywhere to record, people calling your phone, it gets tough.  It's very important to be organized so that you can even begin to balance these things.

Sumer: I’d like to finish off with any shout outs you might have for people who’ve helped you get as far as you have today or just anyone, and some hype for what everyone who’s not going to be able to make it to *POUND* V is going to be missing out on this weekend.

Plank: I would like to thank Team Arlington for being amazing and we are going to have an amazing farewell in Arlington this weekend! We are going to try and get updates out to people who couldn’t make it but you will have to be here to believe how hype its going to be.  IT'S ANYONES GAME!!!!!!

Sumer: AW YEAH! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with your busy schedule, and I’m looking forward to meeting you and having an amazing weekend with everyone at *Pound* V!

Plank: Great and I'm looking forward to seeing all the familiar faces who continue to come back and support Smash and hopefully convincing some new people to do the same :-)
I reccently had a chance to sit down with winner of the Fall '10 AiB Singles Ladder, Ally, who also managed to pull off 2nd place in the AiB Fall '10 Doubles Ladder, along side his brother HolyNightmare, to talk about his achievements as well as some of his plans for the future.

I’d like to start off the interview by thanking you for taking the time to do this interview and to congratulate you on your recent accomplishments in the AiB Singles and Doubles Playoff tournaments.
We can start with an introduction for those who don’t know you and for others to become more familiar with you. Who are you on AiB and what character(s) do you main?

Ally: I am Ally, Mad Ally on Smashboards, I use Snake since I unlocked him from Brawl but Metaknight is sharing my main spot with Snake right now.

Sumer: I know you've pulled out your Wario against Mew2King in tourney before, and you're probably the best Falcon in North America. lol Are there any other characters you've been experimenting with, or might consider using in tourney soon, or do you think Meta Knight and Snake are more than enough?

Ally: I've been practicing some Marth and Ice climbers, and I could probably use a ton more characters but I'm really not confident enough to use em. Metaknight and Snake will most likely suffice.

Sumer: For those who are unaware, you teamed up with your brother HolyNightmare for this last playoff season, and managed to place 2nd in the Doubles Playoffs. I’d like to ask what you think helped you do so well in the Doubles Playoffs aside from both of your obviously impressive singles skills, and if perhaps any offline practice or strategies helped get you so far in the bracket?

Ally: Nothing really, we don't even play much together except if it's a tourney doubles tourney (offline) What didn't help us though is the lag coming from various people. Especially when we get WC people. It's unplayable =l johns lol

Sumer: lol Speaking of that.
Your team managed to beat the team of Tairbair and ChocoNaner in the Winner’s Bracket, but they ended up taking the tourney in the continuation set of Grand Finals. I’m sure lag was a huge factor in this outcome with both of them being West Coast players, but do you think any other factors like their team work or frustration from having to play so many sets resulted in the final outcome?

Ally: No, it was just lag, there was one game where we were winning with a big lead, lag came out , like REALLY bad + lag spikes and I think I couldn't do much for the whole stock till I died. Same happened some game where I buffered a BAIR and then a fair after being pushed off stage.

Sumer: You guys still did great regardless, although that's unfortunate. @.@
Ally: Yeah, it's w-e.

Sumer: Let’s move on to the Singles Bracket. You managed to take first place in this tournament. You haven’t played too much online since the last Winter Playoffs on AiB I believe, and yet you started late into this season and ended up getting first on the ladder and in the Playoffs. What do you think helped you pull this off, and was it as easy or hard as you thought it would be?

Ally: Ummm I did start kinda late, almost end of the ladder like usual, I didn't play much wifi until 3 days before Ladder finished. After that, I guess I got lucky for not choking.
I don't think anything really helped me.

Sumer: Nice.
Some people believe that a few of your past national performances weren’t as good as your previous ones due to you quitting wifi, but some are optimistic that you’ll start placing at the top consistently like you were in your prime when you were a top contender both online and offline. Do you think you’re future national and regional performances will benefit from you getting back into practicing regularly online and offline again?

Ally: Maybe, I will find out by playing wifi of course, I'm taking a break right now though and will be coming back on SiiS4 Ohio tournament 8th of January, I hope I win but I won't have practiced for it for sure.

Sumer: I'll probably be attending that as well, so we might get a chance to play against each other there. lol

Ally: Oh right, you're going. XD Michigan. Forgot you were from there.

Sumer: XD
It seemed like you and your brother did pretty well when you teamed at the last APEX, so I think you’d easily place in the top again if you teamed at a large offline tournament again. Are you planning to team up with him in any upcoming offline tournaments and maybe carry your online success from this playoff season offline? Or are there any other top players you’d like to or look forward to teaming with in any future tournaments?

Ally: If I do well through this year, I will probably team with my brother again for Apex 2012. I still team with him for Canadian tourneys and always win doubles nowadays. I don't know about teammates, I don't really have someone I want to team but I do like teaming with M2K, Anti, ADHD. Lee is awesome with me in teams too. Hmm I'm probably forgetting someone else... but that's all I remember.

Sumer: Those all sound like great team combinations. lol
I remember playing you and M2K first round of MLG Columbus. @.@
You mentioned attending SiiS4 next month, but which other upcoming offline tournaments currently have your attention and have you considering attending them? And is there any reason for this other than it probably having a large number of players so a possibility of winning more money? Maybe it being in a state you’ve never been in before or to see some friends from another coast that you don’t see too often?

Ally: lol it sucks for me because I have to bus everywhere, it costs me minimum 124$ RT the bus ticket to go to ANY U.S tournaments, so yes, attendance is important for me. If I was a millionaire, I wouldn't mind flying to Delaware and meet that one smasher. But that's not the case. My schedule right now is SiiS4 then KTAR4 then Pharaoh's tournament (Canada) then VC9 for January.

Sumer: Sounds like a busy schedule. lol

Ally: Nah, not that bad :-P

Sumer: Would you have any tips or advice you’d like to share with up-and-coming smashers to the scene or veteran players who are trying to improve in either singles or doubles play?

Ally: Yeah, expect cheap things to happen in tournaments, a lot of players play to win. Also if you think you've got all of your technical down. Try learning players habits if possible and possibly abusing them, you will get much more chances of winning, same goes with being patient sometimes and read.

Sumer: Sounds like some pretty good advice. :3
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, and good luck in all of your future online and offline competitions! Would you like to share any shout outs to any players you respect or would like to acknowledge for helping you get to where you are today or for any other reason?

Ally: hmmm..Shoutouts to everybody who housed me/helped me with rides and fed me, I don't think I'm a big disturbance anyhow to house ;)
the end
Hey, everyone. I got a chance to sit down with 2nd place finisher at the MLG Dallas Championship tourney, Tyrant, for an interview on his performance, his views on MLG, and a few other things. Hope you enjoy the interview! Like, comment, and tell me if you'd like to see more interviews like this on AiB!

Original Image © MLG
Inui:  Good evening, Trevor.  It's nice of you to make some time for an interview, and hopefully this will help get that offline player coverage you and others wanted.  You're a top player from NJ and have been ranked 2nd there for a while right behind ADHD and you're an MLG pro.  You're very well known around here, so you don't need too much of an introduction.

Atomsk: Hello there Lucas :) . Thank you for taking time to do this.

Inui: So, you recently went all the way to Cincinnati from New Jersey for a Brawl tournament.  That tournament was School is in Session 3, an unusually large and hyped up Midwest tournament.  What made you want to travel that far?

Atomsk: Well, Elliot (Ally) was spending a week at my house since traveling back to Canada to come back to America cost lots of money, and there happened to be a tournament close by that said week. During the tournament, Elliot asked if he could spend the week again and suggested the idea of us (him and I) going to Ohio for Siis3. I was happy to house him again and more than willing to go + my parents love him.

Inui: It does seem like you two have a pretty solid friendship.  What was it like to be with the player widely considered #2 to Mew2King?  Did you get in any really good training and learn a lot?  Would you say it helped you win the tournament?

Atomsk: It was basically like being with an apathetic version of myself. Elliot mostly responds with "I don't care" to everything really so it was quite the challenge at first to do actually be active. Surprisingly, I believe in total we only played brawl like MAYBE 8-10 hours in total over the course of 2 weeks (not including the tournaments). Our time was mostly spent watching a wide collection of horror movies that I have and watching him play Dark Cloud 1. When it came to the "training" as you stated. I basically just focused on why I was losing when we were playing and kept trying to fix my habits. I learned like one or two new things, but nothing major. I feel in playing with him so much, I kinda got a better idea on how to fight/handle snake the character with MK over Dedede since I mostly played MK/Falco/ICs while Elliot and I played.  I ALSO LEARNED HOW TO PLAY SNAKE BETTER.  AS YOU SAW FROM GETTING THE **** IN TEAMS YA *****, AND IN SINGLES.

Inui: Yeah, you did beat my *** with Snake... I suck against that character.  Anyways, to get back to Ally for a moment before we continue, you ended your massive losing streak to him at that tournament.  You lost what, about 20 times in a row in tournament and money match sets to him until that day?  I doubt anyone expected it.  Ally won doubles and dominated his pool, so everyone thought he was playing well.  How did you finally beat him?

Atomsk: I pretty much just used what I had learned from the friendlies (aka handling Snake better) to win. I hadn't really taken notice of Elliot's habits while we played friendlies, but I noticed them more in the singles set, which I used to punish games 1 and 3. Game 2 he straight dominated me in Mk dittos(LIKE EVERYONE DOES) I believe it was last stock mid 30%. I counter picked BF for game 3 in an attempt to either A) have him stay MK so I could go ICs, or B) go Snake again and I could attempt again to go MK and try to win the set.

Inui: And as we know, he went back to Snake and you pulled off the win.  Then, in winners finals, you fought Zucco, which was another big surprise to everyone.  He got through Judge and Hylian to get to you and then put up a decent fight.  You two have played a lot, and you won as usual.  The one person there you were terrified to play was Lain, and he almost got to you.  How do you think things would have went if Zucco didn't stop Lain's rampage in the losers bracket?

Atomsk: In all honesty, I do not feel I am as bad vs ICs anymore as I made it out to be at the tournament. It's just my history vs that character that scared me. I believe if I had lost the first set, I would have been lame and abused the no ledge grab limit rule. Sorry Lain.  :(

Inui: I was actually sort of pumped to watch you play against him and expected him to take out Zucco.  He dropped a lot of chaingrabs, costing him that set.  Oh well.  You and Zucco, a normally pretty good team, ended up getting only 5th in teams despite everyone, including myself, expecting a clean top three finish.  What went wrong in doubles for you that day?

Atomsk: In my opinion, it was all my fault really. Zucco played amazingly well the whole day. I just played like a moron.

Inui: Nicole, a female Peach player, teamed with Coney, a top Dedede from MD/VA.  They beat your team and then ended up getting 3rd.  Did you underestimate her?  What are your thoughts on her exceptional performance in doubles?  She certainly impressed me.

Atomsk: I had visited Missouri not too long ago to visit Saffy. I had known about her skill already so saying I underestimated her would be ignorant. She preformed as well as I believed she would in teams.

Inui: I see.  Best female player in your opinion?

Atomsk: Nicole is by far the best female player, in my opinion.

Inui: Agreed.  From what I saw in teams, you were far too aggressive for some reason, which is usually the only thing that makes you lose doubles sets you otherwise would have won.  Hopefully you work on that and grow as a player.  How was your experience in the Midwest in terms of the event staff and the people?  Today, a girl player that has placed well a few times, was the main host, and Hilt helped out a lot.  How did the Midwest players and hosts treat their guests from Atlantic North and did you have fun with the people?  I sure did, and I thank Smash64 for housing us.

Atomsk: The event went very smoothly except for pools, but pools always takes far too long and that's why I hate them. I didn't really talk to any of the Midwest players that I hadn't already been acquainted with so I cannot say much. Hilt and Today both seemed extremely nice, and TKBro is always awesome to be around. Indeed, Smash64 da bess.

Inui: I feel silly asking this since we took my car and I drove most of the time, but how was the car ride?  Sometimes the journey itself can be fun.

Atomsk: While I stayed in Missouri the first time, Future, Nicole, Cook, MetalMusicMan and I went to a tournament in Iowa...which happaned to be like 6-8 hours away. This didn't bother me at all. On the way back we got lost making it even longer, so long car rides don't bother me at all anymore.   I had my iPod and Baby Zucco, Elliot, Allied the potmonster, and of

Inui: You love me so much!  =]  Would you take another long trip like that to the Midwest again?

Atomsk: Yes, I would.  

Inui: I hope you keep it up and do well in the events to come.  KTAR 3, a big NJ regional, is a few days away.  How do you feel about it considering the hype around you after SiiS3?  

Atomsk: I feel like there shouldn't be hype around me. I did well like the first time in forever XD....I will do my best though. If that happens to not be 1st or 2nd place then that means I still have work to do :3.

Inui: All right man, good luck.  Thanks for taking time out of your busy life of AiB wifi to get interviewed about that video game.

Atomsk: My busy life of watching TV.  Wifi is booty.

Inui: Haha, all right.  See you this weekend.

Atomsk: See ya.  Oh, and shoutouts to Allied! Stay free, stick to Farmville, WHICH I'M HIGHER LEVEL THEN YOU IN, YEA WHAT *****.