A Q&A with IBDW
Author Credits: @dalonzo4451
Hey MnT Fam! We recently got the chance to ask our new Smash Melee player iBDW some quick questions about himself, the game, and more. Here's what he had to say.
What is your history with competitive gaming? Were there any players or teams that influenced you?
Melee was the first game that I played at a super top level, but previously I competed in gamebattles for Halo 3 and CoD, both Black Ops 2 and MW 3. My introduction to a competitive environment in video games probably dates back to games I played in about 7th grade on a website called ijji. The games were GunZ: The Duel which is still possibly the most technical game I’ve ever played, and Soldier Front. My biggest influence as a player had to be Armada without a doubt. I loved his brutal efficiency which is what I strived for as a player, and respected him tremendously as a person. Extremely sad that I’ll never have an opportunity to play him in tournament in light of his recent retirement.
When did you first realize that you potentially had a future in the Melee scene? Did anyone help cultivate that feeling of success, or encourage you along the way?
I always felt that I would have a future in Melee if I truly wanted it and put in the requisite amount of work. I would say the people who helped me the most in various ways in no particular order are my cousin (his tag was RustyPan, he was a really good PM Sonic, but he doesn’t play anymore, and he’s the one who got me into Melee), Armada, Beerman, DJ Nintendo, Warriorknight, Hax$, my coach whose name is Grant, Darktooth, Rishi, and of course 2Saint.
How long have you known 2Saint? Tell me a little bit about your friendship and how that developed into being teammates.
It started off as a friendly rivalry. I actually played him first on netplay - the first day I got netplay he was beating my ass with Zelda and I complained about how busted Zelda was. He was a Fox/Puff dual main at that point, and I believe I played him at my first Nebs which would’ve been in December of 2015. We knew we had started around the same time and I would say we started to become close friends in Summer of 2016 as we were racking up similar quantities and quality of wins while training on netplay fairly regularly. I think we entertained the idea of becoming static teammates, but never really acted on it until he made a post some while later where he asked around and I just kind of said, "no you’re not looking, we’re going to be teammates." It’s a really great friendship, as we’re both very comparable skill wise, have very similar interests, and hang out outside of Melee as well. He’s the one person in the world I will never root against and would be completely okay with overtaking me on a Power Ranking (something I take tremendous pride in is that to date, I’ve never been overtaken on a ranking outside of Hax when he came back on the b0xx).
What are your aspirations now that you're with MnT?
I don’t know that I have any particular aspirations. I don’t see a point in playing competitively if you’re not trying to become the best player you possibly can, so that’s always going to be my immediate and long term goal. I obviously want to represent the team to the best of my capabilities both as a person and a competitor, but I feel like that should be an obligation, not an aspiration. I guess my goals as a member of the organization is to help the team grow and give them the best exposure that I possibly can.
Have you had a chance to play Ultimate yet? What aspects of Ultimate are you most excited about? Is there anything you're nervous about with the new Smash title?
I have not played Ultimate yet. I had a chance at CEO, but the line was so absurdly long that there was no chance I was going to wait when I had to warm up and break in my controller. I’m really excited to have more of a middle ground between Melee and Smash 4. I don’t want another game to play competitively, but the pace of Smash 4 was too slow for me to enjoy even casually, so I’m really excited to hopefully have a casual smash game that I can enjoy.
If you could introduce one new non-Nintendo character into Smash Ultimate, who would it be and why?
Crash, easy. Crash was one of my favorite childhood games growing up. I loved the remakes, and Crash Bash is one of the most underrated party type games of all time. Probably the easiest decision for me.
What's your fondest memory or most proud moment of your career so far?
Tipped Off 12 losers bracket. It was the first time in my life where I had a serious anxiety attack, and in every other tournament I’d always dropped out because I couldn’t regain my thoughts for the next few days. I lost to dizzkidboogie in winners who I really wanted to beat because I knew beating him would’ve secured top 100, and had an anxiety attack during the set. Afterwards, I told the TOs to DQ me because I felt I was unable to play for the rest of the tournament. Kyle (dizzkidboogie) took me aside for about half an hour convincing me to stay in, and eventually I decided that I had nothing to lose. I wound up getting 7th and securing a top 100 spot, making comebacks in multiple sets that if I had lost, it was very possible I would not have been ranked. I have not had an anxiety attack of any proportion remotely approaching that since.
Have your close friends and family been supportive of your pro-gaming endeavors?
My close friends were always enormously supportive of my gaming endeavors, as I’ve played video games all my life. I live with my grandparents, and they were a little slower to come around, but initially they said as long as I wasn’t prioritizing them over school they would support me in competing. They started to come around more as I improved, and once I became Top 100 and they read the article, they were all for it, even as I entered law school.
How is life outside of gaming for you? What other hobbies or interests do you have? Work/school stuff like that.
Recently, I haven’t had much free time. My life has been almost exclusively law school and Melee, but it’s actually been pretty fun. It’s a nice contrast, and I feel like each day I’m being productive. This past year I was working at a law firm as an assistant to the paralegal and clerk, but my main hobby outside of video games is baseball. I follow it religiously, and it takes up the reminder of any free time I have. I also love playing other games, always on some kind of rotation. This past year I sunk a lot of time into PUBG, Diablo 3, played some GunZ again, was playing Rainbow Six, always play some Civilization 5 (think I have maybe 1700 hours in it total). I just really enjoy video games in my spare time and hanging out with my friends. I’ve also played piano for about 19 years.
Is pineapple an acceptable pizza topping? Make your case.
Absolutely not and I’m upset I have to even make this argument to be quite honest. I’m a New Yorker, I believe that’s a sufficient explanation.
Favorite place to eat or drink after a tournament?
Some Japanese place at St. Mark’s we used to go to after Nebs whose name I don’t remember since I never actually paid attention to it and other people showed me. Don’t really have a favorite spot to drink since we’d normally just go to someone’s place or somewhere nearby with some beers. Favorite food is pizza though by a significant margin.
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