Second Dimension: The Warriors 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 prizepools, 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 the moon rambler himself, Ryan Coker-Welch aka CTRL | The Moon.

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

The Moon: Hi , my name it Ryan “CTRL |The Moon” Coker-Welch.

Kash: A fighter’s tag is like their identity: some would rather use their real name and some their nickname; how did you decide what yours will be?

The Moon: Well my tag originally was “Silverliight” and i used that name when I played a lot of Halo competitively and I got that from the software called Silverlight that was created by Microsoft, I figured it was a good name. Then later around 2011 I had a smashfest with my friends and we were talking about Naruto and there was a part of the story where this character name Madara wanted to do a plan with” the moon”. So I kept rambling off about “the moon” plan that Madara was going to do and I talk so much about it my friends told me to be quiet. Then it got a little silent and then everyone said you know what you look like a moon and they all laughed. Then they decided to start calling me “The Moon”

Kash: I’ve talked with numerous members in your group Control, could you tell us how did you end up joining the team?

The Moon: The way I got on Team Control was based on my efforts in the Smash community. I attended a lot of tournaments and eventually I started to improve as a player and started to climb to the top to become a really good player in a short period of time. I started taking out big names such as Eggm, Chillindude, Swiftbass, and many more. and I’ve been only playing for 2 years or so at the time. Later around November of 2013 ROM 6 came around and I caused a few upsets by beating Chillindude which was one of the original Smash players of the 1st generation of smashers in the community. After I placed 3rd at ROM 6 Alukard(Brian Garcia) which I’m really close friends with saw the potential in me and decided to talk to me after the tournament and offer me a spot on team Control and in a split second I took the offer and now I’m part of Team Control.

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

The Moon: I’m mostly known for playing Super Smash Bros. Melee and my main character is Marth. I also use Fox but I rarely use him because I prefer Marth.

Kash: Do you play or plan to play any other fighting game competitively or are you strictly Smash?

The Moon: I’m trying to expand my gaming career in other games. Mainly other fighters such as Marvel. I like how fast paced the game is.

Kash: Smash Brothers in terms of competitive play usually comes in two flavors, singles and doubles. Which do you play and which is your preference in a tournament environment?

The Moon: I love both singles and doubles but if I had to choose it will be doubles. Doubles is all about team work and I love having a partner to help me defeat our opponents and plus I just love the fact that you can play with three other players simultaneously!

Kash: From your two other teammates who play Smash Brothers competitively, DJ Nintendo and team manager Alukard, who meshes well with your style of play in doubles?

The Moon: Actually they both mesh well with me since we’re all from New York, we play all the time and during sessions we rotate teams to understand one another play styles. DJ Nintendo and Alukard use to be former teammates and time to time they still team, and I must say their team synergy is like no other from anybody in New York. They understand each other in and out.

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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?

The Moon: It depends on the player. Some people play their character because they love them, it suit their playstyle, and for loyalty. Then there are players that just play the high tier characters because they don’t want to struggle in a match with a mid tier character or they might just pick the high tier character because they see everybody else is winning with that specific character. It’s all about the mindset of the player, if they believe they can do it with the character they like they will play the character if they don’t believe they will most likely just pick top tier characters based on the current tier list.

Kash: We saw with last Evo that Super Smash Bros Melee is a popular game, raising a lot of money to breast cancer in order to make it at the event. It also didn’t make it due to Nintendo’s views which were quickly changed upon the FGC joining together. Do you think that was THE moment the FGC welcomed Smash or do you think we still got a long road to walk?

The Moon: As a whole, yes I believe the FGC welcomed smash after the fundraiser for breast cancer, but a lot of people that are new to the scene or didn’t really know the past history of the FGC not accepting the smash community was that a lot of high level FGC players actually respected smash(melee) and actually use to play smash at one point. Justin Wong, MastaCJ, Unknown, Alukard, Noel Brown, etc. These are players that have play/played smash before. But as a whole I would say the FGC is accepting the smash community!

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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?

The Moon: I would say in order for the FGC to be on eSports level there needs to be a little more professionalism in the community. Big companies look at the streams and if they see commentators cursing or using inappropriate language they will turn the other cheek. Also it never hurts to dress formal during commentary. Apprearance means a lot to esports. I would also say as players when watching a match we shouldn’t heckle a player that is playing. It’s ok to cheer for a player but to heckle someone is a whole other story. For one, it may distract the player concentration and secondly it doesn’t look professional and that will not get our foots in the eSports doors.

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?

The Moon: Personally I don’t like to collude and this should be enforced in any tournament rule settings that you should get immediately disqualified because you take away the experience from the audience and viewers if there is a stream available. Also just play your heart out because at the end of the day you can look back at the videos or memories and you won’t regret that you didn’t go down without a fight or you won and reigned supreme victory. I also dislike pot splitting because its just unfair to the other players. Whatever place you got you take your winnings and move on. As long as the rule is enforced not to collude then we will see less pot splitting and colluding .

Kash: How difficult do you think it is for a new person to enter the community and feel welcome, from your experiences? Also how open are you for people to come to you for advice, guidance or to play a set?

The Moon: It’s relatively easy for anyone to enter the community and feel welcome because there are players that are always willing to help new players all the time… you just have to find them. Plus if you help them grow, then the whole community grows as one. The hard part is actually staying in a community that is already stable and strong and as a good understanding of which ever game the community plays. You have to be committed to do research and play matches to gain knowledge from players and forum that have been out before you even got into the community. Pretty much if you’re a new player your’re playing “catch up” with the rest of the players. From my experience, I did really well joining the community because I really enjoyed Super Smash Bros. Melee(SSBM), I enjoy melee so much I started to reach out to people to play the game by traveling to players houses and they were kind enough to let me in their houses and open-minded about playing a relatively new player. I’m very open-minded about giving adivice to players and also playing new players as well because I was once in that “new player phase? before so I can relate!

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

The Moon: I also play First person Shooters(FPS) and Role playing Games (RPG)

Kash: The newest character unveiled for Super Smash Brothers Wii U/3DS was revealed and it was Little Mac from Punch Out. He apparently has a lot of tricks to his arsenal. With what little information has been revealed for the new characters, any that calls your attention so far?

The Moon: Actually Little Mac caught my attention. Before his release i realized that the Smash Bros. series didn’t have any boxing characters at all. Then Boom! Little Mac appears and i was immediately interested in him.

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Kash: Sakurai comes up to you and says he wants to reboot the Smash Brothers series like NetherRealm did with Mortal Kombat. What 12-14 characters would you select?

The Moon: Marth, Fox, Falco, Sheik, Dante(DMC), Vergil(DMC), MetaKnight, Mario, Dixie Kong, Samus, Geno(Super Mario RPG), Chrono(Chrono Trigger), Jago(Killa Instinct), Zero(Mega Man).

Kash: What’s your top three favorite games of all time?

The Moon: Halo 2, Super Smash Brothers Melee, Chrono Trigger

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

The Moon: I will be attending a tournament in Long Island, New York Called “Stony Brook University”(SBU) this Saturday. I’m also attending another tournament in Queens, New York called “Smash Mode Sundays” and then March 8-9th I will be attending ROM 7!

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?

The Moon: Well Alukard will like for me and DJ Nintendo to actually start streaming on Friday Nights and do sessions and play and give players tips and advice so hopefully that happens soon! the stream name is twitch.tv/alukardny

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?

The Moon: Yes I have a few words. I would like to thank Broken Joysticks’ for the opportunity to be interviewed and I would also like to give and shout out to to my friends that I play with all the time, Team Control, Control Gaming, and my supporters. Without you guys I wouldn’t be anything. Also you guys can follow me on twitter @TheMoon112 and my facebook is www.facebook.com/rcokerwelch. Thank You and I appreciate the time Broken Joysticks!

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