Talking Red Bull Conquest with Jimmy Nguyen, Tasty Steve, YipeS, Persia and Vicious
Red Bull Conquest kicks off today in Chicago, so we caught up with the team!
Regional fighting game circuit Red Bull Conquest officially kicks off today at the Ignite Gaming Lounge in Chicago, IL! The tournament circuit will empower competitors to represent their local fighting game scene and embark on the journey to: Rise. Rally. Conquer. From April 28th to November 18th, Red Bull Conquest will travel to 15 qualifiers across the United States, with one additional online qualifier, to determine which region has the best players in Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, TEKKEN 7, and Guilty Gear Xrd REV2.
TekkenGamer was able to catch up with Red Bull Conquest tournament director, Jimmy Nguyen, and hosts Steve ‘Tasty Steve’ Scott, Michael ‘YipeS’ Mendoza, Samantha ‘Persia’ Hancock and Jeremy ‘Vicious’ Lopez, to learn what all you can expect from this amazing tournament circuit over the next few months.
Jimmy, with so many popular fighting games out today, how were the three games selected for Red Bull Conquest?
Jimmy: You are correct! There are many fighting games out there and while it would have been awesome to feature more games, we wanted to focus on the games that have the deepest roots in each of the fighting game genres: 2D, 3D, and Anime.
Street Fighter is the king of 2D and started the 1-vs-1 craze, TEKKEN innovated the 3D space, and Guilty Gear established the foundation for the Anime genre. All three of these franchises helped cultivate the FGC to what it is today.
This is only the first iteration of Conquest and we have a full year to see how things unfold and develop. It will be interesting to see how Conquest evolves next year.
What can those who attend and the stream monsters expect to see as far as production? Will there be a main stage with all of the bells and whistles?
Jimmy: Attendees and stream viewers can expect the same event and production experience as previous Red Bull FGC events. In each region, we are teaming up with local Tournament Organizers, production teams, and talent to deliver the quality people expect from us.
The region rivalries don’t stop at the game and players. Each region is looking at offering a unique experience and will be creating their own stage to highlight the event and showcase the games and players. It will be interesting to see how each region builds their venue to best each other.
The tournaments are one-day events. Will all three games take place simultaneously, or will they run one after the other? And, will all of the action be on stream, or just segments?
Jimmy: Each region is tasked with creating their own event schedule. Typically, games are executed in a scattered fashion to minimize player overlap. However, this is dependent on venue hours and other logistical factors. I recommend visiting each region’s smash.gg page to find out the exact schedules.
Given that each qualifier takes place in one-day, viewers can expect to see some pool play coverage along with all of Top 4 (or Top 8) for all three games. Additional coverage is dependent on available venue and production team hours.
Steve, what does it mean for Red Bull to embrace the FGC in this manner, and how will this help it grow? And I know you’re especially glad to see Tekken 7 involved!
Steve: It means a LOT to extend further Into the FGC. Because it shows not ONE part of FGC is growing, but ALL parts of the FGC are growing. It’s beneficial to show that every game’s scene has dedicated groups in all regions and in those groups players who want to be the best!! All they want, is to represent their game by saying they’re the best. With an event series established by Red Bull to include games like Guilty Gear Xrd REV2 & TEKKEN 7 means a new level of player gets to showcase why they’re the best at. Also, with a game like TEKKEN that has history, and a new game that pulls no punches with its ridiculously fun 3D fight… it just makes the fight more personal!!
Everyone knows you’re a man of fashion! And you all had one some cool Red Bull Conquest merch in your photos. Will those be available for purchase at events?
Steve: First, those photos will used on numerous media accounts. Second, I don’t wear clothes that don’t look cool. So I’m pleased to say the sick Red Bull Conquest merchandise will be available at all Red Bull conquest events! Let’s be twins guys! lol
How big of a deal will it be for the region that wins Red Bull Conquest?
YipeS: Coming from the arcade era repping Your region is such a Beautiful feeling because that’s where the comradery comes from and that’s a key element of Building a FGC in said region. Back in the day, Chinatownfair in NYC, University Pinball in Philly and 8onThebreak in New Jersey..there was so many players from all different kind of fighting games traveling coming together to represent one region and that was East Coast and we repped with Pride! And that’s the sole reason why we rang bells and become one of the most dominant scenes in the country. Fast forward to now and you got so many different media outlets that it gives a perfect opportunity for the winning region to set an example and really help grow not only their side but Motivate and inspire the FGC as a whole to grow nice and healthy! With rivalries and storylines! So with that being said it’s a very huge deal! For the growth of the CULTURE THAT IS THE FGC!
Steve: Its always been a staple of the fighting game community to represent your region by traveling to events nationwide to stake your claim with wins. Red Bull has made it a little easier by organizing conquest events locally in so many respective regions. So it’s a really big deal! With those winning players having a chance at making it to the Red Bull Conquest finals in Washington DC!! Where they have a chance to represent their region & possibly compete against the best in the country. You don’t want to leave that kind of thing up to a Rookie player from your area do you? Now what’s left, Rise to the occasion, Rally your Friends, Conquer the competition!! I can’t wait!!
YipeS, when you consider all of the regions, do some excel in one or more games over other regions? And does this give any particular region an edge?
YipeS: Absolutely and its mostly because those regions(EC/WC) historically in the FGC has history when it comes to sharpening their swords! So yes I would have to say the EC region in my opinion is the strongest cause we do have a strong scene overall and i’m a bit biased! Buuuuuut thats the beautiful things about Red Bull Conquest because history can change when it comes to who’s the strongest region!
Persia, the very first Red Bull Conquest event is on April 28th in Chicago. With it being the tour kick off, what kind of exciting surprises do you have planned, and are there any unique things that will take place at each tour stop?
Persia: I am beyond excited to be kicking off Red Bull Conquest in Chicago! I’ve hosted a lot of events but Conquest, hands down, takes the cake in terms of creativity and will be providing a whole new experience to the fighting game community. What I’m looking forward to is being a part of an all-star team of hosts throughout this year and seeing what type of crazy antics we get in to. Every event that is a part of Conquest is going to be completely unique and we’ll be able to learn so much about the various local scenes and maybe even find the next rising star in any of our three games this year. And of course, a surprise wouldn’t be a surprise if we told you now! Be sure to tune in on the 28th to see all the action!
Persia and Vicious, as two of the hosts, what are you most looking forward to from Red Bull Conquest, and what do you hope it accomplishes for the FGC?
Persia: One of my favorite things about Red Bull Conquest is the initiative to strengthen the entire community from the inside out. Giving support to our local scenes and creating such a unique event opens the door to both new players and veterans. I’m looking forward to seeing which region becomes the strongest by the time we reach our finals in DC!
Vicious: I’m looking forward to seeing players from all over gather together for their favorite fighting games in each of the regions involved in Red Bull Conquest. Having three different franchises not only strengthens the local communities but allows each sub-community to get to know each other a little better while also being able to showcase how great fighting games really are. With Red Bull Conquest, I’m hoping that the players can come together for a common incentive, to further push the competition, and of course make lifelong friends in the process.
Vicious, what is the prize for the team that wins Red Bull Conquest? And after a successful run, do you think we could see this again in 2019?
The team that wins Red Bull Conquest will be receiving a cash prize as well as the chance to represent their region with pride at the next EVOLUTION JAPAN! With the current momentum of the FGC, there could potentially be more in store another for Red Bull Conquest!