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 probably one of the nicest guys on the East Coast FGC (yes they do exist) Steven Delgado aka BIFU | Insaynne.
Kash: Thank you for joining me today, please introduce yourself to the Broken Joysticks readers.
Insaynne: My Name is Steven Delgado, better known as BIFU | Insaynne. I live in NYC and regularly attend fighting game tournaments around the East Coast.
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?
Insaynne: I was primarily into shooters before I started playing fighting games. I played Gears of War and I seen it had an “Insane” difficulty level. I decided the name would look cool so I just spelled it in a weird way to make it my own.
Kash: So from shooters to fighters, when exactly would you say was your first start in the FGC?
Insaynne: I started about 4-5 years ago with Street Fighter 4 as an online warrior. I felt I was a strong player on xbox live and decided to attend my first tournament a few months after I started. I ended up placing 2nd, and more top 3 placings were following along quickly, so I decided I wanted to take it to the next level.
Kash: Online play is something that many of the FGC prefer not to do or do it in secret. Starting as an online warrior, how do you feel about playing fighters online?
Insaynne: I feel like online is just another source of practice. You won’t face the best players all the time, but you will run into a different variety of players both near and far. When you see players like Wolfkrone, who wins majors and has a background of coming from online, there’s no denying that success can come from it. It’s a matter of how you look at it and how you use it.
Kash: Which game(s) are you most known for playing and what character(s) do you use?
Insaynne: I play Street Fighter 4, Street Fighter x Tekken, Injustice, and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. I play Blanka in SF4, Marduk/Zangief in SFxT, Aquaman in Injustice, and Nova/Spencer/Doctor Doom in UMvC3. I’ve been known for my UMvC3 play locally and have had more success in that game recently. However I have always been seen as a contender in the other games as well.
Kash: Close to half of all the current fighters out. Before we go in each one individually, how difficult is it for you to balance out the four games to be successful at tournaments?
Insaynne: It’s hard to find a solid balance in time. But most of my time goes to UMvC3 and SF4 because those are the games that I focus on the most. When it comes to Injustice, I spend the least amount of time because it’s a bit easier for me to remember particular strategies, combos and set ups. And with SFxT, I’m very knowledgeable in the game so for right now I only play at tournaments or big sessions, but don’t really sit in training mode or online for it.
Kash: Going back to the games, lets start with Street Fighter x Tekken. This is probably a fighter that since probably the EX series that Capcom has gotten a lot of grief over for various things. Since the patch a lot of people seem to have gotten over some issues. Do you feel the game has improved?
Insaynne: I feel like the game is much improved from the previous version, however the patch might have been too late. Tournament numbers are still low and are slowly decreasing. It is disappointing because I love the game the way it is. Capcom did try to correct the errors for the fans, but it is still hard to pull numbers at locals and majors.
Kash: How do you feel Injustice is currently doing when it comes with tournaments as well as the concerns with constant patches?
Insaynne: The game is new and I think it’s doing great. But I feel like constant patches are going to push people away. It takes away the incentive to practice because people might feel like what moves or strategies they are doing might be different and not work as well in the future. I think if patches are as frequent as they are for Injustice, it should only be for fixing bugs and glitches, not character balance.
Kash: When it’s time for patches it’s usually an argument of nerf the top tiers and buff the low tier. What would your stand for that be?
Insaynne: These days, top tier generally means the more popular characters. Most players don’t fully explore what makes a character strong or weak in their particular game. They just run with what people view as the strongest characters at the time. However, they’re definitely characters which are noticeably weaker than others and don’t have the tools necessary to contend with the rest of the roster. I would like to see every character on the roster playable to create variety.
Kash: The current tournament life for both UMvC3 and SSF4 seem to be similar. Both are popular, both have their top player everyone wants to beat, the only difference is the more character variety on screen in SSF4. SF4 is getting a patch soon while Marvel is not for reasons unknown. Are you excited or scared for what may be coming for Blanka? And if Marvel got patched, how do you think your current team will fare?
Insaynne: To be honest, I’m not sure how to feel about Blanka in the upcoming version. But I am excited for change in general and am doing my best to stay optimistic. When it comes to Marvel, if it were to get patched, I would just have to hope that the synergy of my team will stay in tact. However, like SF4, I would be excited, and happy to see a patch for UMvC3 regardless of how my team is in the end.
Kash: Tell us a bit more about your sponsor.
Insaynne: Andre Augustin, AKA Bifuteki, is a streamer, making his mark in the FGC. But he is, however, not a sponsor for tournaments. Bifuteki has been there to support me through my success and failures inside the FGC, but mostly outside of it and I’m honored to be able to represent him whenever I attend tournaments.
Kash: We talked about this briefly with patching Injustice but overall, 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?
Insaynne: I think most people in the FGC play characters because they are deemed better than other characters. Eventually, some players grow to really like the character. In the end, if winning is their primary objective, players will determine which character will best suit them to get the job done.
Kash: The FGC has been slowly evolving from something small to big as time continues to move. We are starting to see growth in numbers at venues. Do you feel the FGC is at the same level as eSports?
Insaynne: The FGC isn’t there yet. When you look at games like League of Legends or Starcraft, that have hundreds of thousands of dollars in the prize pool, that divides and pays out to top 16 or top 32 in most cases, as well as millions of views on twitch for one or two tournaments, it becomes evident where the FGC stands. Growth in numbers is good, but the money, quite frankly, just isn’t there. In my opinion It won’t flourish until more corporations and big companies are involved.
Kash: How difficult do you think it is for a new person to enter the community and feel welcomed?
Insaynne: To enter into the community is the easy part. The difficulty is becoming a respected player. After competing and placing well numerous times, people will eventually notice. But you can also be recognized just for being an individual with a great and friendly personality as well.
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Kash: How nervous do you get during a tournament match?
Insaynne: Nerves don’t really kick in until I’m on the verge of being eliminated from the tournament. Whenever I’m in the winners bracket, I’m usually very comfortable and have a clear head. However when I get knocked into the losers bracket, the nerves start to show. Sometimes I’m able to fight through the nerves and play well, but there are many cases where I let the fact that I can potentially be eliminated here run its course in my head and I start to crumble.
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?
Insaynne: The only problem I see with pot splitting is when players make it very clear that they are not trying their best. It’s not just insulting to the fans, but it’s insulting to the players that competed and that were gunning for first place. If a pot split is going to take place, players should still do what they have to do to win.
Kash: Other than fighting games, what other styles of games do you play?
Insaynne: I love RPGs, Megaman, and some single player action games. The Splinter Cell franchise being my favorite, followed by Megaman, The Tales Series, Kingdom Hearts, and Kirby.
Kash: What is your current system of choice and with all the information about Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which one do you see yourself playing in the future?
Insaynne: I’ll eventually have all next gen consoles, but the Playstation 4 is looking a bit more promising for me. I’m a huge Nintendo fan as well so the Wii U is definitely still in the equation as well.
Kash: E3 is all but done at this point. Is there any games you saw that quickly made you say I need this game right now and likewise, any game you saw that instantly turned you off?
Insaynne: I saw many games that I would love to get my hands on ASAP (Kingdom Hearts 3, Dead Rising 3, Destiny, Super Smash Bros 4, too many others to name here). I wasn’t turned off by much that I can remember. The games looked great!
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?
Insaynne: I would put Donald Duck in every fighting game because he’s my favorite character ever!
Kash: Donald Duck in Marvel casting that magic, I respect that lol. If you could challenge anyone in the FGC past or present, who would it be, in what game and why?
Insaynne: I don’t have a specific person really. Whoever is deemed the best in every game I currently play.
Kash: Super Smash Brothers 3Ds/Wii U revealed to us the Villager from Animal Crossing, Wii Fit Trainer from Wii Fit and a guest character, Classic Megaman which we all know from the NES Megaman titles. Seeing how Nintendo can grab any character and turn them into a fighter, is there anyone you’d like for them to add both 1st party and 3rd party?
Insaynne: Protoman and Tom Nook are my two first choices!
Kash: Any upcoming tournaments that you’ll be attending?
Insaynne: I’m gunna miss a lot this summer, including VxG and EVO for reasons I cant get into, but bar battles June 22nd. and then Summer Jam in August, followed by the Fall Classic in September.
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?
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?
Insaynne: Follow me @MrInsaynne on twitter. I answer any FGC related questions. And one final word: Hail ( ͡° ^ ͡°)7