The fighting game community (FGC) has grown from holding local events to smaller venues to occupying ballrooms at four-star establishments with talent from all across the globe attending. Major sponsors such as Capcom, Namco Bandai, and others are responsible for the development of some of the world’s most famous franchises in gaming, and are showcased at a central tournament featuring the top fighting talent from across the world. With major prize pools, fighting games are now reaching a platform that can be compared to traditional eSports.
Each week, I’ll be posting interviews I’ve had the pleasure of conducting with members of the fighting game community. The interviews will touch upon their history in the FGC, where they got their start, and what they’d like to see from video games in general.
This weeks guest is a man who’s widely considered as one of the top El Fuerte players in the United States: Renzo Vigo a.k.a. iPeru.
Kash: Thank you for joining me today, please introduce yourself to the Broken Joysticks readers.
iPeru: My name is Renzo Vigo aka iPeru and I am an okay Street Fighter player.
Kash: A fighter’s tag is like their identity. Some would rather use their name and some nicknames; how did you decide what yours will be?
iPeru: Ok well it started wayyy back when Halo CE came out; I was looking for a tag and couldn’t really come to one. Finally I decided since I’m Peruvian and that used to be unique back in the day I would use Th3peruvian (lol I know). As I went through Halo 1 then 2 I realized people were just calling me peru on online cause it was too long to say Th3peruvian when your making call outs every 3 seconds. Soo by the end of Halo 2 I changed my tag to IIPeru, since Peru was already taken. The “i” got added at seasons beatings 2011. I believe it was during a team tourney and they asked me my name for the stream, before that point I was strictly an online warrior soo I thought no one would recognize me by just peru, so I said IIPeru and they only heard one “i” and voila my tag was born.
Kash: How would you say you got your first start in the FGC?
iPeru: It would all have to start with vanilla SF4, it was the first fighting game I had ever played. My first tournament was some local at held at the University of Utah.
Kash: Which game(s) are you most known for playing and what character(s) do you use?
iPeru: I mostly and only known for Super Street Fighter 4. My main character I play is El Fuerte.
Kash: We don’t see many people pick up El Fuerte. What made you decide on picking him about the other characters on the roster?
iPeru: Initially the only reason I picked him was because he was Spanish and the only other Spanish fighter is Vega and he is whack lol. After I actually started learning the game however I realized I had made the right choice. His movement and the freedom he has in the game I couldn’t imagine playing another character.
Kash: Are you currently sponsored by anyone?
iPeru: Well, yes and no. I do have someone who who is sponsoring me currently to go to select events, but it’s not your traditional sponsorship between a company and player.
Kash: Do you think other people in the FGC like their characters because they like them, or because they need to use them based on the current tiers and meta game?
iPeru: It depends on the level of player I believe. If you look at all the people that are good, most of them are using the character they like best. When you go down to mid and beginner level players however you see them switch characters depending on what won the last tournament or who Sako is playing lol.
Kash: The FGC has been slowly evolving from something small to big as time continues to move. Do you feel the FGC is at the same level as eSports?
iPeru: Lol not at all have you ever seen a Korean StarCraft tournament? But seriously we are no where close unfortunately.
Kash: How difficult do you think it is for a new person to enter the community and feel welcomed?
iPeru: Not at all I’ve said this a lot and the more and more I go to fgc events the more I believe it. The fgc is the most open, welcoming community out of all game genres. I dont know any other community where someone will let you just borrow a piece of equipment that costs over $120 and not bat an eye. If you were to ask a Halo or COD player to borrow their Xbox controller, they would look at you like you just asked them to sleep with their first born daughter.
Kash: How nervous do you get during a tournament match?
iPeru: In the beginning I was nervous just like anybody else, but now almost never. I only get a little bit jittery when I am playing international comp, but even then it’s not nervous, more hype than anything.
Kash: While it’s something that’s been going on for a while, what’s your take on pot splitting? Should there be ramifications for doing it? Do you believe players are insulting fans, their previous opponents and their sponsors in doing so?
iPeru: I feel like when it affects the product for the viewers or is blatantly obvious then yes, there should be some sort of punishment. People are tuning to see the best play the best with their best characters, and when people pick random teams or secondary characters it’s like spitting in the viewers faces.
Kash: Other than fighting games, what other styles of games do you play?
iPeru: Honestly I play everything, if I had to narrow it down I would say rpgs and fps.
Kash: What is your current system of choice and which system do you see yourself using for the next generation?
iPeru: Xbox 360 and only Xbox from here on out. Microsoft 4 lifeeee yaaa boiiiii *shoots guns off in the air* lol
Kash: With the current release of Injustice: Gods Among Us, and all of its unique features in a fighter, how do you think the FGC will treat it? Will you consider picking it up?
iPeru: Well what I think and what I hope are two different things. I think the fgc will treat it like every other new game that comes out. Play it for a month or two then jump back onto SF4. What I hope is that it becomes a mainstay and competes with Marvel and SF4 and doesn’t become another Mortal Kombat. Yes I am picking it up, and am liking it so far, it’s just taking a little bit to get used to playing a different kind of fg when SF is all I know.
Kash: Do you think the game will help evolve the fighting game genre? So far it seems your character and stage selection are crucial as well as each character playing uniquely.
iPeru: Oh ya of course but I don’t think interactables would work with every fg, it is definitely a cool thing and works very well with Injustice.
Kash: If you could grab any character from one game and put them in any other game, who would you pick, where would you place them, and why?
iPeru: I would put Cloud from Final Fantasy 7 in Final Fantasy 8. Why, so he could pimp smack Squall and Seifer and show them who is the best FF character of all time.
Kash: In this segment, I’m going to name two different characters, series, etc., and just tell me which one you’d pick over the other one.
Kash: Chun-Li or Sonya Blade, which veteran female is stronger?
iPeru: Hmm Chun-Li she’s got bigger thighs to choke people out with lol
Kash: Haggar or Zangief, which big man is the true king of the squared circle?
iPeru: I’m gonna have to go with Haggar he’s the mayor and he’s got dat PIPE!!!
Kash: Fei Long or Marshall Law, who is the better tribute to Bruce Lee?
iPeru: Definitely Fei he’s all business and he’s a movie star that’s a no brainer.
Kash: Princess Peach or Princess Zelda, which lady should rule the lands of Nintendo?
iPeru: Hmmm I’ll go with Zelda, Peach has no powers and controls a kingdom of mushroom folk and non teenage mutant ninja turtles bleh.
Kash: Last one, Batman or Spider-man, which of the two most popular comic icons reign supreme?
iPeru: Oh the easiest one of all Batman hands down. He would find a a way to defeat Spider-man easily if he hasn’t found one already…
Kash: What’s your top three favorite games of all time?
iPeru: I would have to say Final Fantasy 7, Street Fighter 4, and Halo 2.
Kash: Any upcoming tournaments that you’ll be attending?
iPeru: Ya I will be attending CEO and EVO I hope to see everyone there!
Kash: With stream sites like Twitch becoming the easiest gateway for people to view the community and players in action, is there any particular stream were people may see you play outside of a tournament setting?
iPeru: Of course I’m usually always on Solid Panda’s endless stream at twitch.tv/pandaxgaming and always looking to help people promote if they’re starting out.
Kash: Any last words for the Broken Joysticks reader as well as any way for them to contact you with any questions they might have?
iPeru: Ya I’m reachable on twitter @801iPeru of course shout outs to the Utah scene, Andy Nguyen aka Hadoukenmd aka without him I would be nothing in the FGC and wouldn’t be able to go to any of the majors I’ve gone to. 801 Strider the best player in Utah and one of the best in the world. Without having someone better than me to train with I would have never got to level I am now. If you guys see me at tourney don’t be shy come say what’s up and lets get some games in! I can also be of help in terms of coaching, lets get #CoachiPeru trending!