Managed to catch up with known fighting game’s player Deg, a.k.a. “Scorpion Legend” for an interview. Most known recently for his performances in Injustice: Gods Among Us and his masterful use of the underplayed character, “Zatanna”. I thought it would be interesting to get his perspective on things and find out where he plans to go from here. You can catch the full Q&A session after the jump.
Motivation Behind this Interview
Deg has been a friend of mine for sometime now and I have seen his growth as a player over the years. Once he was someone whom I was fairly even against, but before long he turned into someone that I was not able to win but so often against (That goes for Super Smash Bros. Brawl , Street Fighter IV, and despite him only just picking up the game at that time, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger). Seeing someone grow so rapidly is astounding, especially since I was attempting to get to that level myself.
Deg has grown to be a recognized player in Florida who attends weeklies and tournaments within his game of choice, and since he has also begun to participate and do well at big tournaments (Such as CEO), he is becoming a more recognizable household name. This interview is to find out where that growth stems from and what he plans to do as he only continues to improve.
This interview consists of 16 questions which cover a variety of different topics. I tried to asked things that I wanted to know personally, plus somethings that the fighting games community would also find interesting. I thought that it was good interview overall with some interesting choice in the answers. Be sure to read the entirety of it below and comment on your thoughts. Thanks and enjoy!
01. I have seen you with a variety of usernames during tournaments. Do you have a particular one you are fond of? Why do you have so many names?
I’m not sure which one is my favorite to be honest, Scorpion Legend maybe? The reason I did it was because people in the community were so obsessed about seeding when it came to tournaments. I’m not talking about seeding by region, I’m talking about seeding by rankings. Now, don’t get me wrong, certain players deserve seeding, but when you start talking about people that have only made top 16, you’re asking for too much. So I entered tournaments with fake names just to troll I guess. It would have been kept a secret until certain individuals exposed me haha. Anyways, the bottom line is you should be ready to fight anybody entering a tournament no matter who they are.
02. I like that thought, that you should be ready and willing to fight anyone no matter how early. Do you feel like that sometimes tournaments are seeded quite unfairly and because of that some of the “top ranked” people are able to bypass new faces that might prove to be a natural counter to them?
Most definitely, but it’s the way tournaments are formatted. I guess those new people simply have to prove that they’re really good so they can start being seeded as well.
03. What made you get into fighting games?
I started back in 2005 with Super Smash Bros. Melee. At the time, I was the best out of my friends and felt like I could do really well if I went to tournaments (typical mentality). Anyways, my first tournament I got 3rd place out of about 40 people and I didn’t even know wave dashing existed yet. From there I moved on to Soul Calibur and basically played only that and Brawl until 2009. At this point I picked up Street Fighter 4 just to win a local tournament at a college. I thought after that tournament I wouldn’t touch the game again. However, after getting 2nd place I was motivated to get better. From there on out, I pretty much picked up every fighter after that.
04. What makes you decide whether-or-not you will invest your time into a fighting game? Do you try them all coming out and then make your decision? Or do you favor some styles over others?
I definitely pick games up based on what I like. I played Street Fighter x Tekken for over a year, a game that wasn’t too popular in the tournament scene.
05. I am assuming Injustice is your main game at the moment. Do you think the tournament scene will last to see the next Evolution?
Not at all, Injustice felt dead after the tournament was over. People were so focused on the Mortal Kombat 9 side tournament that Injustice just felt ignored. I had maybe a total of 5 sets of casuals throughout that entire weekend. On top of that, the game just has issues that will never be addressed…. oh yeah and MKX will be out by then.
06. I do remember you playing Mortal Kombat 9 and had one hell of a Kitana (Fan combos..ugh). Do you plan on playing Mortal Kombat X as your main fighter when that debuts?
I’m definitely going to get into Mortal Kombat X, but depending on how good the new Smash turns out to be (go Palutena!) will make me decide how serious I take MKX.
07. During the CEO tournament, everyone was rooting for your Zatana and seemed disappointed when you switched to Aquaman. Any thoughts about this?
Yes, I’ve heard that the stream monsters were bashing on me for not using Zatanna but they quickly forget I was having to fight Batgirl…. a character with loads of nonsense. Imagine a character that restricts you into using only 1 normal, not being able to anti air, not be able to zone unless you burn meter…. yep Batgirl does that to you. But of course nobody bashes on Sonic Fox for using the character, haha. I believe the main problem was people never saw any Zatanna from me at all because I only used her during pools (my pool was not streamed). I used her a few times in top 8 but yeah, not enough Zatanna for the viewers I guess. In the end I have no regrets for doing it because it’s my time and money and I need to satisfy my needs. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to go to a tournament to pick a character in a losing matchup just to impress the viewers.
08. I find that a lot of stream monsters wind up mad because they are not getting as an entertaining of a show as they would like (Such as DiosX in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3). Are you a firm believer that a person playing to win should only do what is necessary to win? What are your thoughts concerning viewership?
I’m definitely the type that does anything to win a match. I used to be different where I wanted to show off Zatanna even if it meant a bad match up. I did it at a CEO regional once and I’ll never do it again. Especially after all the bashing I received from CEO 2014, my goal now is quite the opposite (trident rush AHAUGHAUAHAHAAH).
09. I am sure you have played other games (Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, BlazBlue, etc.). What made you stop playing them competitively?
Yeah I’ve mostly lost interest in those games. After a few years of playing the same games, nothing really develops as far as the meta goes so the experience just gets boring. Of course in Ultra, things have changed so it’s given me some interest in going back.
10. So, you do have an interest in returning back to the Street Fighter series? There are also new games on the horizon like Persona 4 Ultimax, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Guilty Gear Xrd. Do you plan on playing any of these at a competitive level?
I really want to get back into Smash as it is my first competitive fighter. I’d also like to get into Guilty Gear Xrd but I need a PS3! As the years go by, not having a PS3 haunts me.
11. Are you currently sponsored by anyone?
Not at all.
12. Are you looking to be sponsored by anyone should that offer come along sometime in your tournament life?
Of course! I wouldn’t reject a sponsorship.
13. What is your preferred play style? Zoning, Rush Down, Counter, or a mixture of them?
A hybrid of zoning and rushdown. I like to play characters that have something they can fall back on, like a projectile. But at the same time they need to have decent pressure. Zatanna is more of a zoning character and doesn’t have any rushdown except for free chip when she makes you block. However, she has the most ambiguous mixups in the entire game.
14. So, characters that have a mixture of different tools seem to be the best fit for you. On the regular, what type of players do you hate having to fight against? What do you find the most frustrating to deal with usually?
Honestly, just brain dead tactics. While it might not be my weakness all the time, it’s definitely frustrating. For example, Doomsday! The worst design ever in a fighting game I’ve ever witness. – He has a move where if he meterburn tackles you, it’s +6 on block. You also can’t jump over the tackle because of the dumb hitbox.
– Anyways, he takes advantage of the +6 by doing a d1(7 frame startup) earthshaker, unavoidable chip that takes a lot of practice to block because of its 2 hit quick overhead low property.
– So you block, eat 8% chip, he gets half a bar back, and you’re put into his d1 range…. a footsie tool that cannot be contested.
Then you think, why can’t I just backdash after blocking the tackle. WRONG! He can delay his d1 anywhere from 1-5 frames to catch your backdash. But I’ve learned to deal with it and I can beat any Doomsday in the world at this point haha.
15. What is your ultimate goal while a member of the fighting games’ community?
After traveling to tournaments for Injustice, I started realizing that it’s amazing to meet all the people from the community. So my goal is just continue to meet new people and have a blast going to tournaments.
16. In order to get within the Top 8 or 16 in a person’s preferred game, what advice do you have in order to meet that goal of one day earning a top spot?
First of all, make sure you’re playing a game you enjoy over playing games that are popular. If you like a popular game, well double the points for you haha. I see people all the time trying to play games they don’t like and it hurts their performance. They just don’t learn fast enough and are just too stubborn. The other thing you have to do is research your character with the help of online tutorials (again pick a character you like!). Then after you get a grasp on what you should do, take it to the lab and find new things on your own. And finally, just play a lot. It’s important to play people at your skill level and then move up slowly to higher skilled player. Fighting somebody out of your league isn’t going to help you. You simply won’t understand why you’re losing and you’ll make the same mistakes. This also goes along with learning from your losses. If you lose a match, think back as to why you lost. If you don’t understand why you lost, well it’s back to research.