Second Dimension: The Warrior’s Code Interview

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 week’s guest is a good friend of mine making moves as of late, Toi Allen Bridges aka GOL BOI TOI.

Kash: Toi, thank you so much for joining me today, please introduce yourself to the Broken Joysticks readers.

GOL BOI TOI: I am GOL BOI TOI, leader and co-founder of GOL and I hail from New Orleans, Louisiana.

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?

GOL BOI TOI: Well my tag started with Zarakaikenpchi spelled that way because Xbox Live could not fit the entire name or it was taken or something, this was during my anime phase of course. Then I felt like I was too cool for anime and decided to use my real name Toi. As I got more involved in competing in fighters I wanted people to know what state/city I repped so I added Toi504. I then created GOL so I added GOL Toi504. Then tournament organizers started announcing me as GOLE TWAII FOY during tourneys, so I just changed it to something simple and catchy such as GOL BOI TOI. Also BOI TOI appeals to women more, at least id like to make myself believe that lol

Kash: So in other words you are GOL’s Boy Toy lol when exactly would you say was your first time competing in the FGC?

GOL BOI TOI: My first time competing in my local FGC was about three years ago at a local Play N Trade. I would say my first time competing at a major tournament would be at Seasons Beatings 2011.

Kash: Which game(s) are you most known for playing and what character(s) do you use?

GOL BOI TOI: The only game I could proudly say that I am “known” for is Street Fighter 4 and I main Chun-li. Other games that I enjoy playing and have played in the past are Street Fighter x Tekken, Mortal Kombat 9, and the new love of my life; Injustice: Gods Among Us.

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Kash: Online play is something that many of the top players in the FGC prefer not to do or do it in secret. Do you feel online play is good and some players just don’t take advantage or do you think online play teaches too many bad habits that won’t help in a tournament setting?

GOL BOI TOI: Online play is needed at this point of the game for sure. Online play is what graduated me from scrub status to a formidable opponent. This is because, fighting the many different characters and playstyles around the world have given me the power to never have to use the excuse ” I lost because I did not know the matchup”. When I first began competing it was hard for me to go to anything out of state all I had was online. The more I played online the more I was able to “sorta” think ahead of my opponent. When I was able to travel more I began to compete against some extremely strong players. With online graduating me from scrub status to my constant grind vs players at majors I began to notice myself beating people online with ease that I had issues with before. Now I am at the point where I can say I do not need online play with Street Fighter 4, because of the level I am currently at this moment. Online play only frustrates me with the random craziness I lose to and if I were to continue to play online then I would eventually revert back to my “scrubby” ways. Online is good for learning a game but not for constant competition at high level. At the moment I play the hell out of Injustice’ online because I have to learn matchups so In a way I am starting over but with a new game.

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?

GOL BOI TOI: The answer to this question could go both ways to be honest. But I believe players that do not intend on being pot monsters would choose their characters based on current tiers and meta game, at least that is how Street Fighter 4 is at the moment. People that play for fun use characters that they like.

Kash: As of late there’s been this push to get the FGC to eSports level. The community has a variety of colorful personalities as well as hype moments at events. What do you think is currently holding us back?

GOL BOI TOI: I am not really big on politics so I do not really have much of a response for this question, but if I had to answer I would say stream monsters and top players/sponsored players false sense of entitlement. Also a person does not have to be in a stream chat to be a stream monster anymore, stream monsters are a real thing now lol.

Kash: When it’s time for patches in fighters, it’s seems there’s never a middle ground. Taking Injustice: Gods Among Us for instance, the game like its predecessor Mortal Kombat 9 is constantly getting patched. The constant cry is to nerf a top character. What is your stand with patching fighting games?

GOL BOI TOI: The FGC has become spoiled to all hell. I believe NetherRealm Studios had a great selling of the game and they would like to please their supporters by keeping up with demands. I really believe they should leave the game alone, add characters, and let the people that complain do just that; complain. Regardless people will complain about the game because it is an NetherRealm title same with Capcom titles. The FGC is such a small community as it is. We are becoming smaller by drowning upcoming games and by doing so it discourages other people that were interested in the game in the first place, which would then result to them not picking up the game which in turn would lead to a “dead” game. For example: lets say little Nathanyial was interested in Persona 4 Arena and he watched a stream of it, then a stream monster by the name of EMP Sanford’s Chapstick says “PERSONA IS DEAD” little nathanyial would say “aww man, persona is dead I guess” and would more than likely not pick the game up. Anyways back on topic, NetherRealms’ patching has gotten to the point where I am afraid to continue with a certain character I have been practicing with because I fear his playstyle will change completely the next week. Just let us play the game please.

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Kash: How difficult do you think it is for a new person to enter the community and feel welcomed from your experiences?

GOL BOI TOI: Ah well from what I have seen lately and have experienced people have been very timid in joining the FGC because they feel that there is a lot of heckling involved or some sort. It kind of goes back to what I said before: people are becoming soft. People used to observe the competition, pick a rival, decide that that’s who they needed to beat to be recognized in their “local” communities. They would then money match them or something then others would see that he/she actually put in work and wants to get better and accept them into the community. In New Orleans, we have had several people post on our thread that they traveled to one of our “Fight Nights” at our local gaming cafe and that no one asked if they wanted to play or that no one approached them and asked who they were so they would leave and never come back. There was also an instance where a guy said he attended the gathering but left as soon as he heard someone swearing after a match or something like that =/. The FGC that I joined about 3/4 years ago showed hunger and drive, and I am not trying to pose and seem like I am an OG or something like that because I am without a doubt an 09er lol. Its just sad to see how much milder things are becoming in the FGC as a whole.

Kash: While it’s something that’s been going on for a while, what’s your take on pot splitting or throwing matches on stream? Should there be ramifications for doing it?

GOL BOI TOI: Well like I said before I am no OG, but I have done my research. And from what I have been gathering is that pot splitting and throwing matches have been going on for quite sometime. It seems like the game changed when streaming came into the picture. I believe that now since the tournament organizers and streamers that are involved are working so hard to broadcast the FGC to the world and make us as a community worth something “more”, that it is extremely childish and inconsiderate for players to participate in such acts as pot splitting, throwing matches, and collusion. At the same time If there was a bit more of professionalism being displayed by the players, then I feel that no one would really be complaining, for example, If I remember correctly Justin Wong picked Dan vs I thinkvAir’s Ryu a while ago at some tournament and no one really seemed to care, in fact I remember it being pretty hype.

Kash: I’ve caught your match at UCC recently which was streamed by PandaxGaming. At the Grand Finals for AE, you went in by losers, won three matches to reset the bracket and win. You were able to beat someone who everyone was confidant was going to win. What was going through your head during that set?

GOL BOI TOI: To not get knocked down or counterhit for 70% of my health lol. I had to fight against AB Good Meal Joe who is by far the BEST cody in america. His execution and setups are S+ Tier. I really wanted to win the trophy, so losing at that time was not an option for me. I knew that If I met him during pools in a 2/3 set then I would not stand a chance of winning. I was also visiting vegas the week after so I was thinking if I beat Joe, I could see the Jabbawockeez twice, then Celine Dion and buy a 12 pack and have about $30 dollars left over. Yep losing definitely not an option here lol. Nah but in all seriousness Joe is an outstanding player I have beaten him before at the recent tourney and he put me into losers and I ran it back in Grand Finals so it was almost kinda the same situation. I had to remember that my footsies “should” be better so all I did was wait for him to leave himself open get the knock down and rushdown to all hell and bait out an unsafe move. and eventually it gave me the UCC trophy and Celine Dion tickets lol.

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Kash: Other than fighting games, what other styles of games do you play?

GOL BOI TOI: Before fighters I have always been an RPG guy. Saga Frontier and Shadow Hearts are my favorite franchises. I also definitely have to throw the Shenmue series in there too, although I dont know if you could consider that an rpg really. Well I guess you could because you sorta train in the parking lot at 9pm in Dobuita until your skills increase.

Kash: Was there anything at this years E3 that made you scream I need this in my life now whether it was a console or game?

GOL BOI TOI: lol nah to be honest I don’t really keep up with anything new unless its a fighter. If I ever play anything other than a fighter it would be beating an old rpg again. Other than that I am stuck at ATT fixing your grandmas modem that she unplugged while vacuuming =/.

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?

GOL BOI TOI: I would make Fuk San from Shenmue the 5th character in Ultra SF4 no explanation needed.

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Kash: Super Smash Brothers 3Ds/Wii U revealed to us newcomers in the form of 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 or 3rd party?

GOL BOI TOI: Alright so I think it would be awesome if Goofy and Max could be added from the Goof Troop SNES game and be a combination like the Ice Climbers is and then I would like to see Alkaiser added from Saga Frontier…GODLIKE….also Freedan and Hamlet from Illusion of Gaia.

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Kash: Any upcoming tournaments that you’ll be attending?

GOL BOI TOI: Well since I used up all of my vacation time I wont be attending anything up north but upcoming I will be attending Mississippi’s Red September Tournament and Absolute Battle in Texas.

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?

GOL BOI TOI: Unfortunately I work too much to hop on streams like I used to, but whenever I have any extra time I like to hop in PandaXGaming’s stream every now and then. Shout outs to PXG for keeping Street Fighter 4 streaming alive where others have abandoned it, much appreciation and respect.

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?

GOL BOI TOI: If you are trying to up your game and you feel that you have hit a plateu, it is all in your head. When I felt that I could go no further I believed that I could be better than the next and I trained my ass off. Saying you have a job and a life is nothing but an excuse and a crutch pot monsters/ stream monsters use. If you want to be better than the next guy then believe you can. Setting goals also help a lot as well. My next accomplishment is winning a major up north so keep an eye out for GOL BOI TOI’s unorthodoxed Chun-Li lol. If you wanna reach me you can hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks so much!

Chun_Li

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