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The “Canada Cup incident” was an ordeal that spread like wildfire within the Fighting Games Community. The entire ordeal garnered so much attention that even websites that do not normally cover what is happening within the FGC had something to say. With so much blame being thrown away and a punishment as harsh as a lifetime ban from this particular tournament, I decided I wanted to see the other side to the story and learn more about one of the individuals involved.
I find it is always infinitely easier to simply dismiss someone as being a terrible person from a single bad choice than taking the time to see if there is a history regarding similar behavior (such as someone losing their Syndicate eSports Sponsorship…). From the onslaught of trash talk, myriad of ill-mannered memes, and relentless finger pointing, I just needed to see if Lina (Holy Order-Troll) was as bad as she was being made out to be.
Reaching out, Lina seemed reluctant to do the interview considering how she had been under fire within the community due to the recent drama surrounding her and Quack Bot’s actions at Canada Cup. However, she came back a few hours later and agreed to take time out of her busy schedule to respond to my questions so I could formulate a proper interview once she saw I came with an unbiased curiosity.
I wanted to ask about her origins, involvement within the FGC, and various thoughts about different topics. I wanted to know more about the role she seems to play as a whole, mostly to see if her actions were really done on a whim and did not realize the possible ripple effects of her actions; we all have those days.
Below I have included a 20 question interview with Lina “Holy Order-Troll” Crawford, hopefully you learn more about her fighting games beginnings and current plans for her future in this evolving community.
01. Hello Lina! Thank you for lending me your time for this interview! To begin, I want to start off with how you came up with your tag “Holy Order-Troll”. While it is apparent it hails from the Guilty Gear franchise, are there any specific reasons you chose to go with this?
The pleasure is all mine, and thank you for being neutral despite all the recent drama. I chose the name because I mained Holy Order-Sol in Guilty Gear XX: Accent Core for several years, and because of my tenancy to troll. It is a family tradition!
02. Haha! The name certainly fits then. What made you want to main Holy Order-Sol? Also, by trolling, do you mean in-game or otherwise? I know many people have different meanings for what “trolling” is, so I would love if you could clarify that if you don’t mind.
Order-Sol fit my style and mindset more than any other character I have ever played. He was mid-tier, but embodied the rushdown, mix-up, pressure, somewhat technical, high-damage, and a little gimmicky style that I love. However, normally I prefer to use characters with a strong rushdown who also have the option to zone (like Wesker, Sol, Zero, Ultron) or who have a useful projectile, which HOS does not really have. Still, I am very saddened by the fact that I may never have another character like him, which is why I cannot take Xrd seriously, sorry.
As for the trolling part, both! But I usually troll people that I know to an extent, especially outside of gaming. By trolling I mean talking trash/heckling (I do not cuss, though), acting dumb and random, making fun of myself and just normally playful, silly joking around. I honestly feel that trolling should never sound personal or hateful, such as attacking one’s character or appearance. But I have recently crossed the line with a few even though it was mostly joking or because I strongly resent the ones I said those things to…Still wrong and not a nice thing to do ever, so I will avoid doing it again because I am supposed to be a religious lady. Overall, I do personally enjoy trolling and talking trash mostly in a playful way, so I will NEVER give up trash talk (in person), especially when it is necessary for standing up for someone I care for or myself. I still troll game-wise, such as tea-bagging and taunting friends for fun. My sister and I would always do that to each other. Most of the time, the more I like you, the more likely I am to troll you 🙂
03. Within the FGC (Fighting Game Community), you have had several roles in both major and side tournaments; mind talking about the active roles you normally take on?
Um, well I started voluneering to help run GG brackets and pools at Final Round 13, along with my sister/training partner and our friend, Jeff. Despite being very shy, I have always wanted to do more for the community, especially since I was and still am lacking a bit in skill. Then I volunteered again at Final Round the following year, helped run a GG side tournament at Season’s Beatings (RIP), a VERY LARGE GG side tournament at I think Evo 2010 or 2011, another the following year, brackets and commentary at Arizona locals from 2013 until last year, commentary at a few majors and regionals like West Coast Warzone, Hyper Bomb II, etc., more brackets at this year’s Evo, Undefeated, I also assisted a little at the Curleh Mustache Finale, and ran a Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite team tournament at Canada Cup. I just like to help when I can, because I appreciate what others do and I am a workaholic, haha.
04. It takes quite a lot of dedication to volunteer since you do not get paid for your time and are often tasked with a lot of responsibility, it helps the organizer but can be stressful. As someone who regularly does this, what is your takeaway? Do you also encourage others to also help out based on your past experiences working these positions?
Indeed it does take dedication, but I honestly do not feel that I do much at all, especially since I have never rented a venue myself to host a tournament. But I would like to one day, however, I prefer to be mostly a player for now. Also, I do sometimes need help calling names because I am soft-spoken and shy, haha. As for the takeaways, I do get stressed out easily at majors, so my brain tends to get overwhelmed quickly. Handling stress is my #1 demon, and unless you are a creeper, I apologize to anyone who ever thought I was rude when running/helping with or attending a tournament. I hate speaking when I am under stress or upset. Also, I prefer not to compete when I run brackets, because it will be even more stressful and will possibly cause delays. And I always encourage others to volunteer, but it looks like lately, we already have so many volunteers at most events, which is GREAT. Hopefully it will continue and grow. Though, it is not for everyone; it is often stressful and honestly a thankless job, but helping others is worth it every bit.
05. I have heard that sometimes you do extra things (such as bringing baked home goods) to tournaments and other FGC events; mind touching up on this a bit more?
I have been doing this for the past 4 years, because I thought it would be cool to teach myself how to bake from scratch, and it is very common to starve during tournaments, sadly. For the first couple years I would spend the whole Friday night/Saturday morning baking before locals (ranking battles) and then hopefully bake enough to feed most entrants, or at the very least, give specialty desserts to the top placers! I love baking and I love the FGC. Because I decided to stop attending locals last year, I only baked when I hosted games at my place or for majors. This year I brought baked goods to Pasadena Regionals, Evo, Undefeated, Absolute Battle, and a few others, and I am grateful that people are willing to try my food that I put my heart into every time.
BTW, my specialties are cherry cheesecake brownies, chocolate cheesecakes, smores cupcakes, cherry cheesecake cookies, and Hawaiian pineapple-coconut cakes.
06. Cherry cheesecake brownies?! Chocolate Cheesecakes?! If you ever visit Texas, I am definitely going to need one of those, lol. Y’know, while I was playing Super Smash Bros. Melee competitively, there was this couple who also brought baked goods and it really gave a “home touch” to things. For one, I know it made everyone feel more united, and I was also less inclined to bag on people after a brownie (Haha). Do you think home touches like these changes the atmosphere for those who are participating?
I definitely plan on visiting Texas again– in fact, I will likely move there soon. If we end up going to the same tournament, I will absolutely save and deliver some to you. Of course I think that bringing food to tournaments gives it a more welcoming, family feel. I absolutely encourage anyone to do it, and quite a few people do, actually. Not sure if many people remember this, but at the first few Evos, the staff would have food/appetizers kind of like a mini buffet. Every year, I secretly hope they will bring it back, haha. And yes, nothing cures the salt better than sweets.
07. What got you into fighting games? You are a long-time veteran of the fighting games community, so I am always curious about what got people into such a cut-throat genre.
I have been playing fighting games with my two sisters since I was very little; almost a baby LOL. My first somewhat serious game was Street Fighter Alpha 3 upon its release. Once our parents began to take us to the arcade, my sister and I moved onto mostly Verses Series games, such as X-Men vs Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter, Marvel vs Capcom, Capcom vs SNK 2, Street Fighter III: Third Strike and finally Marvel vs Capcom 2. I found fighting games to be a good stress reliever, challenging, keeps your mind and reactions sharp, there is such a rewarding feeling that you get from being part of the community, learning with other, and doing well consistently. There is simply a great feeling I have gotten from competing. Also, my parents, especially my Mom has always been very supportive of her daughter’s gaming and travelling to tournaments.
08. Actually, that’s really amazing to me. So your sisters got you into fighting games?! Normally when I find that siblings introduce their brothers or sisters to fighter, it is normally a brother. Do your sisters also still compete and play an active part of the FGC? Do you feel like playing and training together strengthened your bond? I know me and my little sister have played together on Gears of War since its second iteration, I just bought her an Xbox One to play Gears of War 4 with me, so I’m wondering if you experience the same.
Well, my younger sister/”twin” Abare-Ky, who is actually fairly well-known and always makes it far in GG majors, has always been my training partner from the early 2000s up until a couple of years ago (consistently).Training and competing together absolutely strengthened our already close bond, and it is probably the most beautiful thing, ever. We would always be together, support each other during pools by cheering, recording, comforting, and coaching. Abare-Ky competed in a couple of tournaments earlier this year and did well, but she started school right before Evo, so she will not be competing for a while, as studying to be a Software Developer while working as a full-time manager is hard. She will definitely be back soon and plans on playing Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite!
Honestly, this is why I travel alone because I prefer to go with females/my sister, and without her, I feel like I lost my entire identity and true reason to compete– she is the only person on earth who truly understands my bad habits, how I fall apart under pressure, so only she would keep me calm and have my back. Hopefully this will change in 2018. Unfortunately, our older sister, who is a Project Manager with a family in California, stopped gaming before we started to travel to tournaments. However, she DOES watch the Evo stream with her family, and definitely understands/is interested in Street Fighter V, Marvel, TEKKEN, etc. I truly hope that you and your sister continue to play and will possibly play FGs together if you want. I just love gamer BFFs, gamer siblings, gamer couples… The connection is so real.
09. While I am sure this question has been asked a million times, I will have to make it a million and one. I want to know about your feelings on the “Canada Cup Situation” with you and “Quack Bot”. Do you feel the lifetime ban was fair?
For me, yes I suppose, and I will always feel very guilty about the whole thing. But for him? No.
10. That is very humble of you to say that. Capcom banned Noel Brown from the “Capcom Pro Tour” for the duration of its season in 2016 due to sexual harassment; While OmgiTzAndre lost his sponsorship deal with Syndicate eSports right after announcing it due to his past, he was NOT banned from EVO due to scamming players who were at the hotel for the event; do you feel that these incidents are less severe and deserved the lighter punishments compared to the CC incident?
First of all, I would like to say that neither I, nor most (or any) of the people that I know have ever had any issues with those two gentlemen, and they have always been very kind and respectful to me. I do not really keep up with FGC drama, however, if these incidents/CRIMES did indeed happen as people say, then obviously, they absolutely deserve a much harsher punishment than inadvertently cheating with no ill intent nor plan whatsoever. But everyone deserves a second chance, and the FGC is not always fair, sadly.
For example, please forgive me if this does not sound classy of me, but a well-known player from Arizona was arrested for shoplifting a couple of years ago but no one here has ever brought that up and as far as I know, he has never been restricted nor banned from locals; despite occasionally showing dishonest traits afterwards, in my opinion. Though as much as I personally despise unlawful acts, there are at least two sides to every story; and people truly need to remember that.
11. While I know you are part of the Guilty Gear and Marvel vs Capcom communities, are there any other games that you are interested in playing competitively or socially?
I plan on playing Dragon Ball FighterZ once it is released, and I am down to casually play games such as King of Fighters, Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter V, Hokuto no Ken and a few others. I always wanted to play shooters and racing games, and I still enjoy Sonic games, Pac-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters. However, when you have a demanding career and other obligations, I find it difficult to play multiple games at average to high level, so I try to focus my somewhat limited time on two games max.
12. You said you have always wanted to play shooters and racers, have you given any thought as of which? Also, as far as Dragon Ball FighterZ goes, are you playing because it is Marvel vs Capcom-esque? Or are you a fan of the series? Both?
Both, and not to mention that it is also like GG 🙂 I have never been a fan of anime, but I do/did enjoy a couple of them; Dragon Ball Z being one of them. I have the older Dragon Ball FighterZ games for PS2. As for the shooters, Call of Duty for sure, Grand Theft Auto, and I am not sure what others I would be interested in. I only keep up with FGs for now, but also might get into LoL soon, haha. My reasons for not trying them yet is because I am afraid of the potential salt and addiction.
13. Outside of the FGC, what do you happen to do as far as hobbies, passions, or interest? “desk’ said music, “Sherry Jenix” was a car enthusiast, anything like that for you?
Aside from cooking and baking, no one actually knows that volunteer work is a big passion of mine. I like to donate blood, plasma, clothing and food when I can, feed the homeless, host or join fundraisers for children or for the needy (baked goods help), and even the little bit of work I do in the FGC is fun to me. I also enjoy writing code and developing Websites or cute little programs that simulate things like vending machines, vehicles, etc. I am honestly very boring, haha. Oh yes, and I am also obsessed with crime documentaries because I like to learn how and why people think and can do the things they do, plus I like seeing criminals caught & punished.
14. Well, I see that volunteering does not only apply to the things in the FGC. As far as writing code and documentaries, it seems like you love things that stimulate the mind (which is what fighters are also good for). Do you feel that your tenacity in fighting games from an early age helped you in these things? Any examples you would be willing to share?
Regarding writing code at least, I think so. Like fighters, my reasons for enjoying it is that you start from nothing but the tools you are given, kind of like a new game; then read or watch tutorials, use your logic, common sense to create something by taking advantage of functions that you continue to build on (like your mains and tournament experience). The better you get, the more sense of pride and accomplishment you feel, and the problem solving is extremely challenging in an exciting way. However like fighters, it also takes hours upon hours of patience and hard work to get consistent results; can be extremely frustrating when you are not getting the results you desire. But not without constructive criticism; and like matches, learning from your mistakes is CRUCIAL, haha.
With documentaries, perhaps the problem solving part (why did my set up/combo/match up approach not work?) might have come from FGs, but I mainly watch those to unwind and to learn; a bit of guilty pleasure, although the violence tends to upset me. Being a homeschooled kid and an introvert, I love to learn things daily; even “boring” things are often exciting to learn for some reason.
15. eSports are effectively changing the face of gaming and the FGC as a whole. Do you feel like this transition is hurting the community?
Hm, I am not very knowledgeable, but I feel it is a little bit of both. It is great that some people are able to make a genuine, lucrative living off doing what they love (gaming) and the general public is FINALLY taking competitive gaming seriously. But, people compete for many different reasons, so I think it would kind of hurt the FGC as a community if it were to “evolve” into eSports. We would lose A LOT of things that made the FGC more exciting, humble, welcoming, IMO.
16. For me, I hate that typical eSports commentary is usually very boring and “NFL-like” in how their casters give play-by-play and thoughts. I prefer people like Yipes, Tasty Steve, Zhi, etc. I also love beef (LowTierGod vs Viscant), grudge matches (Smug vs Brental Floss), and rivalries (Sonic Fox vs Perfect Legend). Do you feel that we will eventually move to more “business-like” mindset and begin to lose that FGC flair as time goes on?
Exactly. I feel the same way as you do about the eSports thing, and I ABSOLUTELY feel that the FGC will lose much of its flair if it were to fully transition to eSports. Money matches come to mind; and coming from Marvel vs Capcom 2, they are one of my favorite parts of the FGC.
Another thing that bothers me is that eSports will likely discourage A LOT of lower-level to mid-level players from competing, because honestly, most people will never be like Justin Wong and the others, so they might feel like they are wasting their time/pressured to compete for the fame and money.
In my opinion, the FGC losing most of its flair will take away a lot of its uniqueness and fun, which will likely drive away a lot of OGs and regular members, unless they will get a lot out of it. But in no way do I feel the FGC turning eSports is truly bad, but I do personally think there would be more disadvantages than advantages to the scene as a whole.
17. As a woman in this male-dominated community, you provide a unique perspective not normally available to most. If you would not mind, could you shed some light on your experiences; both good and bad?
Honestly, I have never thought of myself as a female gamer, and I cringe every time I hear “gamer girl” and such. We are all the same; many of us want the same things, and competing has always felt very natural to me. But unfortunately, I have definitely been through a lot of crap due to my gender, and that is the only time I actually think about it. For example, when my sister and I started playing and improving at Capcom vs SNK 2 and Marvel vs Capcom 2 at our local arcade in Hawaii, almost all of the boys treated us quite badly even though we never said anything to anyone. They abused us verbally on a regular basis, got physical at times, bullied us, and the list goes on. Because of this, my sister and I made a pact to get so much better that NONE of those guys were able to beat us consistently; most not at all. By the way, this was Hilo/The Big Island; which had a fairly decent scene, but as far as I know, never had tournaments. We had to travel for them.
Then moving onto competing at actual tournaments, I have been hit on relentlessly and seriously stalked both online and offline; touched inappropriately, retaliated against for ignoring and rejecting guys (this is a big one) and lots of scary stuff. Even though I travelled with my sister for most of my “career”, they messed with both of us 🙁 I still get it A LOT these days (almost more than ever?!), despite never putting myself out there and not dressing remotely provocatively. Aside from the creepers, when I travel to an event for the first time, I sometimes get people assuming I am a spectator, and when I call next 10 games ago, guys try to cut because they do not take me seriously. Or, some guys use their alts when playing me for the first time, and usually get blown up 🙂
As for the positives? Simply being treated like everyone else is something that I truly appreciate. I am not looking for trouble, so when the above things happen, it is very disappointing. Sometimes, kind gentlemen are courteous by allowing me to go before them in the rotation, and are very much willing to help when needed. I would definitely say that over 90% of the FGC guys are cool and respectful, and prior to that Canada Cup mess, I would say I was respected among most people who actually attend tournaments. Just because there are a few bad apples does not mean most of the community is like that. We are all just a bunch of geeks having fun.
18. I wrote an article on that before, that referring to themselves as “gamer girls” instead of just “gamer” was detrimental for everyone. Well, a lot of guys do still have backlash on female gamers for a lot of things; especially seen within the SRK article I did on Sherry Jenix where many were merely referring to sex as to why she was even on there. At the very same time, I have seen many good things within the FGC where people openly credit women for their skills and defend them; such as with Kayane. Do you think as time goes on it will become even more welcoming to women who enjoy fighters? Also to take them as serious competitors upon first playing them?
It is very unfortunate that a lot of random people tend to hate on and severely disrespect a lot of ladies in the FGC, when they have done nothing to them, and there are so few already. My Daddy always said that real men do not harass, bully or hit women, and that doing such things just because is one of the lowest things a guy can do. These ladies just want to play and live their lives, so ignore them if you dislike them; seems a lot less cowardly, IMO. However, I actually believe that aside from some ignorant, mean or new members, I think the FGC has gotten MUCH more accepting and “respectful” towards female players overall.
When I see females on stream and play in pools, for example, I often do not see some of the shock and crowds that I used to see, so I am assuming that a lot of people are used to it. The FGC’s growth may be the biggest reason, though, but we are honestly all the same. I also love how people are referring to ladies like Sherry, Kayane and others for their undeniable skill, and Persia for her wonderful talents like commentary and influence, rather than for being beautiful, super-friendly females. Though I know that being well-known will always come with haters regardless of gender, and I also understand that a lot of very experienced ladies, like Mosh (Jeanatte), Cristina Wong, Abare-Ky, myself (not good anymore though, haha) and others kind of go out of our way to be unknown and hate playing on stream.
I personally feel that allowing your skill and contributions, such as playing, creating merchandise, content, TOing, etc., speak for you is the most admirable, but sometimes you cannot avoid exposure, which is fine as long as it is good. I like to think that pretty much everyone/lady plays a role and I truly enjoy meeting new ladies always. They are my sisters.
19. Taking into consideration with everything you have seen as a tenured FGC member, including everything you have dealt with due to the Canada Cup controversy, do you plan to continue forward as an active member?
I am definitely not going anywhere. Although due to the threats I constantly receive lately and that I travel alone as well, I definitely have safety concerns, and do not believe in using weapons or violence. But all of the friends in my very, very small circle have been very supportive and encouraging, while also rightfully calling me out for being so dumb haha; and a lot of other players and strangers have reached out to me to try to help me cope with what happened. Honestly, no one except for 2 – 4 close friends really know much about me, and I have always been a loner who never puts herself out there. But not because I dislike people or have things to hide; I simply like peace and doing things alone.
So I should be attending Final Round, and maybe a couple more before and after Evo. Always down to drive to SoCal or Vegas for tournaments while I still live in Arizona; I still practice Marvel and plan on being very good at the game once life settles down a bit and after I have my stick fixed. My dream is to be a top player and possibly sponsored one day, and I want to help new players overcome their fears and challenges of competing.
20. If you had to give advice to anyone who is considering joining the FGC, or those who are within it and feel as though they are outcasts or simply have only seen toxicity on sites or forums, what would that be? What do you think is most important to keep in mind?
Um, this is a tough one… I strongly suggest avoiding the drama and toxicity as much as you can, even if it involves someone yoy dislike. I always think about how instead of wasting your time on negativity, you can spend ALL that time grinding out your BnBs, set-ups and match-ups, reading frame data and watching videos to improve. Even salty, laggy online matches are much more worth your time and much less toxic. If you feel as though you have a truly good reason to stay in the FGC despite what some may say about you, just learn from your mistakes, if any; realize that almost all of the people constantly talking trash, spreading rumors and instigating drama are one or more of the following: DO NOT know you very well, *have a personal grudge against you*, are low-level, casual or do not even play the game(s), play but DO NOT attend tournaments, felt REJECTED by you in some way or are seriously lacking something morally/physically that only drama and other people’s misery can fill. Do not feed the cowardly trolls that likely know almost NOTHING about you despite thinking they do. They feed off reactions and will twist your words to fit their version of you; which is basically a ragdoll that does not exist (easy for someone you do not know or have not heard much about to look like a scumbag if your first or most notable impression of them is when they are arguing with others or entangled in controversy). You will likely never see them at a tournament and they know it, or if you do, I can almost guarantee that they will either be too afraid to say something rude or will decline your money match challenge, haha the classic.
Regardless, if your name gets out there for good or bad reasons, people are going to talk about you as you cannot satisfy everyone; just do what makes you happy and play for yourself and/or loved ones. It is your time, life is short, and again, please learn from your mistakes.
Arizona FGC Spotlight
|Commentating at the “Hyper Bomb 2” tournament|
To be perfectly honest, she was really forthcoming when it came to conducting this interview, despite hiccups like her not feeling well and the holidays (Thanksgiving) being around this time. I got to learn a lot about someone who has a ton of involvement in the FGC; as I did not know that she has run several events and even baked! What is even more surprising is that her sister’s also play fighting games and were even the ones that got her involved, that is pretty rare.
While what she did at Canada Cup 2017 was indeed worthy of some-type of punishment and questioning (such as why did she not just borrow Quack Bot’s stick or know she could not give a registered spot away), I feel a lifetime ban was a bit too harsh considering how much she has volunteered within the FGC (even running a Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite team tournament at Canada Cup). While I feel bad for players like Killer Kai who had their dreams dashed by this event, I also feel like others have done much worse things and have gotten a lighter sentence.
As far as what her reception will be from now on and how those who truly know her feel about her continued involvement within the Fighting Games Community, that is up for debate. As long as she was being truthful and have learned from her actions, she will hopefully be able to recover from this and have her name more positively associated from the volunteer work and continued love from supporting our FGC. I for one am simply hoping I get to taste one of those cheesecakes at some point, lol.
Hopefully you enjoyed this interview!