I had the chance to talk with and interview a few players during the Great Salt Ranbat #1 last month. One of those people was Conner Anderson.
We talked about his entry into the scene, his first evo experiences, how he earned gas money to come home from Evo 2013, and what he would like to see improve with the scene.
Dana: Introduce yourself.
Conner: I'm Conner Anderson, my xbox gamertag is MrGork801. I'm 19 now, entered the scene at 16. I live in the Ogden area, north of Salt Lake.
C: The summer of my junior year, all that year I had seen videos about Ricky Ortiz and Daigo and everybody. I remember them specifically. I saw the 2004 Daigo parry video in my junior year, 2011. That just generated so much hype for me. I thought, "This is really cool, I'm gonna see what Evo was like" because I started watching more videos of the current game that was out, because the Daigo parry was just ridiculous. I tell this to everybody. Anybody that asks me about the FGC.
D: I've seen it. But what about it got you so pumped to join the scene to play Street Fighter?
You know, I wanted to train, I go to this tournament, because I had played SF4 for a bit, so after seeing that video I got more into it. I got an SE stick before my first Evo, so when I went to compete...I think the games that were current were vanilla Marvel and SF4AE.
D: Evo 2011 was your first one? What did you think of it?
D: So you went to Evo alone?
C: I went to Evo with my family, and I attended Evo the whole three days mostly by myself. I had my family there to back me up the days I had my matches, because they were interested in supporting me and seeing me.
My initial impression of Evo is it was exciting to go and play for real, to play against everybody who considers themselves good enough to go to Las Vegas and compete. You have to have a lot of respect for people that live outside of our country, especially those that don't have a name already, you know what I mean? If you're some hidden Marvel player that lives in, lets say Guatemala...there's just hidden players everywhere.
D: Like KaneBlueRiver? Isn't he Chilean?
C: Llike KBR. Let's take an example. Evo 2012, Japanese Marvel. No one knew what the hell was going to happen. We just knew that Japan was going to come over and play Marvel with us. Evo 2012 everybody was like Abegen is going to come and f--- everybody up. Everybody had a concern. I remember there was a panel that Fanatiq had. It was mainly just about Japanese vs USA Marvel, and so everybody was really concerned about how well USA going to do at Marvel. FChamp ended up winning that year. There was so much hype.
There was one player in particular from the Japanese Marvel team, mamespider, who came over. I had never heard of him before. Being there and seeing him play, he was an example of a player that was hidden, hadn't seen him before, didn't really have a name. If you've seen KBR before, "Oh, I've heard of KBR before, I don't know what game he plays, I don't know what team he plays", you already have a basic idea of who they are because of their popularity, you've heard his name before. Somebody you've never heard their name before, its that much more exciting, and mamespider...I had no idea who he was. It was so hype to see him. He bodied clockwork 3-0 the time he played him.
D: Are you going to go to Evo this year?
C: Yeah, I had intended to go. Me and a group of my friends intended to go. This time it was going to be more laid back. I've been every year since '11, and last year, me and 5k, we went on a whim. We weren't there to compete, just to observe. We didn't have a room to stay in.
D: Did you stay in your car or what?
|Cheaper than a hotel, but tough to have casuals.|
C: We actually bummed a room with Zach and TheUltimate, Casey. So we went down there with no room, and we were only there for 23 hours, and then we turned around and went back. We went there, watched what we could. We entered on a Saturday, and so that day they were doing Marvel top 32. We were so good at side betting, I think we were 8/10, and it won us all our gas money back. We were not good enough to money match top players, we were just good enough to bet against these people that don't know the game.
D: When you go to Evo this year, what are you looking to do?
C: So this year I want to compete because I came to this tournament today. I went 2-2 in SF4, 1-2 in Marvel. Usually, to be honest, that's about how every local tournament record goes for those two games for me, 1-2 and 2-2.
I guess because of today I want to enter Evo. It made me want to enter more now than before. I was going to go to Evo because it was fun; Evo is hype every year. I was mainly going down as a trip for my friends.
After this tournament, I had a lot of fun competing. My tournament nerves weren't really there. I only lost to Mark and Tom today. It's really satisfying for me, because back when I played a lot, they were the only two I really played, and Zach here. When people lose against people they don't know, they think, "Aw, that guy was a scrub!" They get salty, just based off of not knowing who the player is. I was content with losing to them, because I played them all the time and they're really good.
D: What would you like to see with the scene?
C: I would like it to come back up again because it's..I don't think I need it, but there's a lot of people here, they come and they have so much fun every time and so many friends here, and even though these are not people you talk to on a daily basis, every time you come here you remember all these faces, so many memories, shaking hands with everybody, and it happens at every gathering. That just needs to happen more often, continue to do stuff as a scene, and we haven't been doing that lately. People have the ability and potential to contribute to the scene, and there's only a handful that do it.