What’s your role in the Tournament of Legends this year?
David “Atari” Bibona (@AtariFGC) is running Tournament of Legends this year with a secret illuminati Shadaloo group, ST Revival, and I am the evil general helping him take over the world! Just kidding! A lot of the ST Revival people are consulting with him, so my role is to be a helper. If he has any questions, I provide input. And if there are any special announcements, I try to do my best and spread the word on Twitter as need be. Eugene “eltrouble” Lin (@eltroubleSRK) and I will be running a couple of SoCal qualifiers.
How do you feel the Tournament of Legends is progressing so far?
The legends so far are krost, Comeback, Zarghatt, and RizOne. Out of those four so far, I’m excited to see how krost and RizOne do. They are definitely homies. And both happen to be great players and great people to boot. I’m excited to see how they will fare.
I’m also excited to see who else will be considered a legend. Personally, I want to be on that poster. This year, I’m traveling a lot for this opportunity. I would be the first female “legend” unless someone beats me to it. The old Tournament of Legends 2 poster is hanging in my bathroom to help push me to get better. So yes, I am excited about Tournament of Legends 3. And you should be too! There’s going to be so many great matches leading up to it as well as the big event this year at Canada Cup 2018.
Why do you think Super Turbo has stood the test of time where other games haven’t?
We’re very spoiled in SoCal because we stand on the shoulders of other great Super Turbo TOs and streamers before us. It is a game that has consistently been at Evo every year and, thanks to this new generation, a pretty consistent group at Wednesday Night Fights. There are people all over the world playing Super Turbo after work or school, and they can now show the world thanks to streaming. It’s also one of those games with such hidden depth. I mean, after almost 30 years, we are still finding tech and moments that we can’t explain. I can literally travel the world on vacation now and meet up with Super Turbo players all over the world. That is insanely awesome! Not to mention a lot of the people first playing Super Turbo are parents now, so you’re seeing a lot more kids getting into this. I’m incredibly excited for this new generation.
Personally, what keeps bringing you back to Super Turbo?
No matter how much time you’ve spent away from it, it’s like riding a bike. You’ll always remember how to play. Footsies and spacing is much more prevalent than combos at the mid-tier skill level. I’ve had a lot of family medical issues lately and I have not had the time to practice. And yet, Super Turbo doesn’t let me down in remembering my Honda groove. Where my Street Fighter V game is getting worse and my Mika is feeling my lack of practice, my Honda is aging like a fine wine. As a working adult, your free time is precious. You constantly have to make decisions between family and Street Fighter. Super Turbo Honda always has my back through thick and thin.
At NCR, I saw you were giving out small prizes to folks who went 0–2. What’s the thought process behind that?
I’ve always been a fan of the Continue Tournaments at West Coast Warzone. And since NCR didn’t have something like that, I offered them prizes instead. This was my first time doing this and I wanted to try it out at a major. Thanks to John Choi giving me the go-ahead. I really enjoyed it! I definitely want to do it again.
The thought behind this idea was I wanted to invest in the people who are trying so hard to get better at this game. It takes a special (and sadistic) kind of person to go 0–2 for months (or years, in my case at Super Arcade) until you finally win your first game. Super Turbo already has a high learning curve. And it’s an old ass game. So we need to do everything in our power to make sure they are having fun, enjoying their matches, and, of course, learning. Since this game doesn’t have the best accessibility, there are very few ways for people to practice. I want everyone to enjoy this game! If it takes a little appreciation and added incentive to the new or beginner-level players, that’s an easy solution to a very complex problem.
I’ve personally never had a significant other that played fighting games, and it’s really cool to see you and Eugene so heavily involved in the community together. What’s it like to have him as a training partner?
Honestly, it’s the best and worst all at the same time. I’m very lucky that my significant other is very, very patient with me. I’m sometimes far too competitive for my own good. Especially when your relationship changes to teacher and student (and not in a sexy way), it really changes the dynamic of your partnership. There have been many instances of stick throwing but there’s also been plenty of first-to-3 dishwashing competitions between us. It’s also interesting, because I think I can easily say we are the couple to have the most “couch matches” in top 8, which basically means whoever wins sleeps on the couch because the loser is going to be salty. And luckily, our couch is very comfortable (we’ve both been there).
But at the end of the day, we support each other in our love for Super Turbo and our love of fighting games in general. I was once the person who didn’t even like fighting games until Eugene showed me Gootecks and Mike Ross’ Cross Counter show, Evo, and the awesome community. I’m very grateful I gave it a chance. And it ended up turning into a full-fledged part of my life. It is super convenient at times when your training partner lives with you. So when you have long drives, you can always break down matches and talk about a game you both enjoy.
A large part of your work is advocating for Super Turbo and trying to get more people to play. What’s your elevator pitch for the game?
A. You remember that game back in the ’90s that was everywhere? Yup, that’s it. You know you want to see if you still got it. Let’s go!
B. Oh, you don’t remember the game? No worries! Let’s just have some fun. What character do you want to pick?
Anything else you’d like to share about Super Turbo, the Tournament of Legends, or your work in the community?
Please donate to this wonderful tournament: https://uk.gofundme.com/legends3
Sadly, money makes the world go round. It will definitely help put on a great production as well as get some of your favorite international players (e.g. Kusumondo, MAO, etc.) out to the event!
I can’t wait to see y’all at the SoCal, Combo Breaker, and Canada Cup qualifiers as well as the main tournament itself. Please follow @KillrMillerTime @eltroubleSRK @ST_Revival1 for more Super Turbo news! Oh, and don’t be a dumbass. I will hit you with the Sword of Equality, and it will hurt!
Responses edited for clarity and brevity