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 one of the most recognizable names in the NetherRealm game community, Emmanuel Brito aka EMP CDjr.

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

CDjr: Hi, my name is Emmanuel Brito aka CDjr and I’m a professional fighting game player.

Kash: Are you currently sponsored by someone? If so, who are you sponsored by?

CDjr: I am currently sponsored by Empire Arcadia.

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?

CDjr: Well I really didn’t choose my tag, the fans and people from the community did. My brother Crazy Dominican was the best Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 player and was well known in the MK community. When Mortal Kombat 9 dropped I got into the competitive scene and everyone started calling me Crazy Dominican Jr. so I stuck with the name CDjr.

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Kash: So your debut into the FGC was just about two years ago essentially?

CDjr: Competitively yes. I’ve been keeping up with the FGC since ’08 and I’ve been playing fighting games since I was 7 years old.

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

CDjr: In Mortal Kombat 9 I played Jax, Smoke, Kabal, and Kung Lao at high level but I can play the 90% of the cast at a decent level. In Street Fighter x Tekken I play Hwoarang, Nina, and Jin and in Injustice I currently main Wonder Woman but I also play Superman and Black Adam.

Kash: Going to your character choices, any specific reasons for these characters? Also why the lack of Shazam? :'(

CDjr: Well different reasons, some characters I just genuinely like and some characters have the playstyle that I like. For example, I was never a Jax fan but in Mortal Kombat 9 he has great footsies, decent rush down, and decent zoning that’s what I like in a character. Usually I prefer characters that have variety in their playstyle and don’t stick to just one specific role.

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Kash: Was there any difficulty for you to transition from Mortal Kombat 9 to Injustice: Gods Among Us? Especially considering how stage selection is a big factor for certain character matchups.

CDjr: Yes actually. I was having a hard time trying to find a character I can bond with in Injustice. I played Superman for a while and got 4th at ECT and 5th at CEO but I had to drop him cause even though he is the best in the game, he is boring and I felt like I wasn’t learning the game with him because almost every match up was to easy. Now I’m having lots of fun with the game because of Wonder Woman, she is my Jax in this game.

Kash: What is your opinion on the current state of Street Fighter x Tekken? Many figured most of the flaws were wiped with version 2013 but less people are entering events. Any reason you can think for that?

CDjr: The main reason I think people aren’t playing SFxT is because since most of the capcom community said the game is not good, everyone else listens to them and stop playing the game. Almost all the top players think the game is really good and some of them even think the game is better than Super Street Fighter 4 AE. I love the game because it forces you to have a good ground game because any whiffed normal can result into a boost chain punish so you have to have great footsies to avoid getting whiffed punished. The game also has a roll which gives you more option on wake and you don’t have to take an ambiguous jump in or cross ups and you don’t die in one knock down like in SSF4AE. Oh and yeah no unblockables in SFxT 🙂

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?

CDjr: If the game connection is good, I think online wouldn’t teach you bad habits at all. I think online is great (if the connection is good) and should be used more for learning match ups and testing stuff than actually trying to win all the time because online wins don’t matter AT ALL.

Kash: How nervous do you get before your tournament matches?

CDjr: In Mortal Kombat and SFxT, I don’t get nervous at all during a tournament because I know the game already and I just try to play like if I’m playing at home. In injustice I still get nervous because I’m still learning my main and match ups.

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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?

CDjr: I think in the U.S for Capcom games at least most top players play the characters they actually like but outside of the U.S most players pick top tier characters.

Kash: And for the non-capcom games?

CDjr: Well in King Of Fighters, every player that I see has at least 2 top tiers in their team, in MK and Injustice it was half and half, some players pick top tier characters even if they didn’t like them and some of them stick to the characters they really like. In Tekken Tag Tournament 2 I don’t see a lot of tier whoring either only outside the U.S like Capcom games.

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?

CDjr: This is a very delicate topic and my personal opinion might affect my reputation but I think it’s a combination of the “leaders” of the FGC and the overall attitude of the FGC.

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?

CDjr: lol sigh I might get blown up for this but here we go. When it comes to op or top tier characters that are OBVIOUSLY broken and too good isn’t it better to stop the problem early then wait till the character “develops” or has been “out for a while before nerfing said character”? Akuma, Cammy, and Fei Long could have been dealt with early don’t you think? Now everyone just cries when they see Akuma, Cammy, and Fei winning. Scorpion was OBVIOUSLY broken and OP when he was released and I got blown up for constantly complaining about the character but look no one is playing the character right now even though he is still good but not op, cheap and easy to use. The characters exploit the engine. He had crazy movement in a game that is very very slow, plus on his ex teleport, best jumpin in the game, unblockable tracking move I mean how can no one see that? What’s sad is that the people that blew me up for complaining A) Don’t even play the game and B) were really really bad at the game. My complaining was so the developers listen and people won’t stop playing the game cause I assure you, if scorpion stayed the way he was half the people that are playing injustice now would’ve quit and almost all the top players would’ve been playing scorpion. I honestly would’ve just quit cause I already got issues with the game like walk speed, anti airs, controls, run away/lame game bring too strong etc plus scorpion? Lol no thanks.

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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?

CDjr: If you already know someone in the FGC then it shouldn’t be too hard cause that person can tell you everything you need to know about the FGC. If you don’t know someone then it might be a little hard but hey everyone can make friends.

Kash: In that sense, how easy are you to be approached for advice? Should I bring a bribe, get someone to vouch for me? lol

CDjr: I’m not “Hollywood”, I’m not full of myself, and I’m very humble even though some people think other wise. I’m very friendly and always ready to give people advice any time they need it when they approach me. In fact I hate when new people come up to meet me and are scared or afraid to talk to me like if I’m some kind of celebrity, I think it’s creepy. I like when people talk to me like if I’m just a friend or random. Like some players think they gotta money match me to play me in MK or Injustice lol just ask me for a set and I’ll play it doesn’t have to be for money.

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? ? With tournament organizers and streamers vowing to work together to stop that, do you think we’ll see less of it?

CDjr: I think that if 2 players are going to split they should keep it to themselves and play it out for real. Like I split with REO and my brother many times in MK but we ALWAYS played our hearts out cause we all wanted that trophy. To me a trophy has a lot of value cause it represents my win and it’s something I can show my friends, family, and kids when I get older.

Kash: You were one of three players who was called to assist with the Injustice: Gods Among Us strategy guide. How were you approached for this and what was it like?

CDjr: Major League Gaming approached me with the opportunity and I couldn’t say no. Writing a strategy guide for the first time was overwhelming but also fun at the same time. I was very nervous because I wanted the whole community to be proud of me and luckily I got a lot of positive feedback when it was released. I can’t wait to write a strategy guide again IF I ever do ;).

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

CDjr: Besides fighter I play mostly shooters and RPGs only. I’m a crazy Gears of War head but have been disappointed with the latest releases of the series that’s why I don’t play it that much. If we can get the team together, IFC Yipes and I will will try to play Call of Duty: Ghosts. Oh and I can’t wait for TITAN FALL!!!

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?

CDjr: Titan Fall and of course CCCCCCCOMBO BREAKER!!!! (Killer Instinct)

Killer-Instinct

Kash: I saw the day Killer Instinct was announced and how super hyped you were on twitter. How do you feel Killer Instinct will do considering it’s only available on one console and with a small roster of character?

CDjr: Honestly the only thing that might affect the game is the small roster not the console. I mean look at smash brothers both melee and brawl were in one console and the community is huge. I would love for the game to be released on PlayStation 4 also but we know that’s not gonna happen.

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?

CDjr: I would put Juri Han from SF4 in the next MK. Why? Cause she looks like a Mortal Kombat character and has that psychotic/I wanna kill for fun attitude. She will be PERFECT for MK. Or I would put Jago from KI in MK or SF cause he is the best ninja in the world after Rain of course 🙂

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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?

CDjr: A 3rd party additon I would like to see is Viewtiful Joe because I think he fits perfectly in the game. And I would like to see James McCloud (Fox’s father) in the game.

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

CDjr: Tournaments I’m going for are are TFC, T14, and NEC this year. I’m trying to go to Canada Cup and Shadowloo Showdown because they will have injustice 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?

CDjr: Well I’m like 99.9 % sure I will stream after TFC so look out for the CDD: Crazy Dominican Dojo coming soon lol.

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?

CDjr: This is for everybody. Get to know me in person before you judge me cause a lot of people have made that mistake and after they met in person we call each other friends. You can contact me on twitter.

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