From first-person shooters to 4th at EVO in his first competitive fighting game: Gutter Magic brings the thunder in this EventHubs exclusive interview

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • July 16, 2014 at 6:07 p.m. PDT

EVO 2014, the largest fighting game event of the year, took place this past weekend, and with it came a slew of hype moments, upsets, and overall excellence.

We were lucky enough to catch up with one of the strongest newcomers to hit the competitive fighting game scene in recent times, and talk to him a bit about his performance at this year's event. After scoring first place numerous times in Killer Instinct at Level Up's weekly event, The Runback, Gutter Magic went on to win 4th place at this EVO, only placing lower than three fighting game veterans.

So what's even more amazing than all of that? Well, Killer Instinct is Gutter Magic's first competitive fighting game ever. Check out EventHubs' exclusive interview with this terrifying Thunder player.

DreamKing: So why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself.

Gutter Magic: My name is Neilimen Joel Alicea [a.k.a Gutter Magic] but people just call me Neil since its easier to say.

DreamKing: From what I've heard, Killer Instinct is the first fighting game you have ever played competitively. Is this correct?

Gutter Magic: Yes, Killer Instinct is my first fighting game I'm taking serious. I did put time into Super Street Fighter Arcade Edition v2012 as a Sakura player, but I felt I started too late to get into the game the way I wanted to with Killer Instinct.

DreamKing: What genre of games were you most into prior to fighting games? Did you regularly compete in said genre?

Gutter Magic: I played FPS (first-person shooters) mostly and competed locally back when I lived in Pennsylvania and once out here in California, but since I played the game type Free-For-All there wasn't too much going for it. I did play Call of Duty 4 competitively and was a leader of a clan, but it fell through after the clan went to play MMO's, which I wasn't too fond of at the time.

DreamKing: You managed to win 4th place in Killer Instinct at the largest fighting game tournament of the year, EVO 2014. The only players to place higher than you were not only three fighting game veterans, but arguably the three best KI players in the world -- EG|Justin Wong, RG|Rico Suave, and RM|CD Jr. How does it feel to know you that you placed among the best of the best?

Gutter Magic: Wow, Since you put it that way, it's pretty awesome to be a part of that elite group of players! From starting off my stream and just playing online then, to competing at TRB and winning 8 times, to placing 4th at the biggest tournament is a HUGE accomplishment. I am honored.

DreamKing: You are known for playing a mean Thunder in Killer Instinct and you’re a bit of a character specialist, sticking with that particular character in every match-up. Why is it that you play Thunder? What do you like/dislike about him?

Gutter Magic: THE HUGS! I mean yeah I feel that Thunder has his bad match-ups, but for me, I just love the design, the movements, the authority that he shows walking up to you, and the fear he gives the the other players.

The biggest thing for me about Thunder is that the mind games come into play. Am I going to grab you, overhead, jump in, or just stand there? I can't honestly say anything bad about him other than that his Sammamish can get hit out of the air. That being said, without shadow meter his Sammamish is pretty crappy.

DreamKing: With Killer Instinct season 2 expected to drop this Fall, are there any characters or changes you’re hoping will make the (killer) cut?

Gutter Magic: CINDER! I mean how can you NOT want Cinder in this game. He would look amazing on the Xbox One.

Changes? Maybe a touch on the ranked match system by adding more ranks exceeding 40, and just a fix on the freezing and lobby system.

DreamKing: Are there any other fighting games you’re considering competing in? Perhaps Ultra Street Fighter 4 or Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3?

Gutter Magic: I've played a bit of Ultra; I wouldn't mind to put more time in it and head to WNF for some practice, but I will put more time into bettering myself on KI for my main focus. As for Marvel, not my type but I'd try it.

DreamKing: So what’s next for Gutter Magic?

Gutter Magic: Just to keep doing what I've been doing. Streaming for my amazing supporters in the Killer Instinct community, talking to and helping whoever I can to better the players, and to keep training and learning.

DreamKing: Would you like to give any shoutouts?

Gutter Magic: I would like to give a shoutout to the Killer Instinct Community! To Double Helix for being an awesome developer for season one and STILL supporting us while we stream with hype and motivation to play more and learn more.

A big thanks to Gutter Magic for taking the time to speak with us.

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