'My biggest challenge to overcome at Apex 2015 will be myself' - Armada talks Apex 2015, character choices, Europe's Smash scene and more

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • January 26, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. PST

Since Apex 2015 is happening this weekend, we here at EventHubs decided to catch up with some of the best Super Smash Bros. Melee has to offer, and will be publishing a series of interviews every weekday, starting today, with the Swedish Sniper himself, Alliance|Armada.

You can expect more interviews like this to be posted the coming days at roughly the same time as this one, so look forward to hearing from these top level competitors.

Below is a snippet from the interview with Alliance|Armada to get you started.
MajinTenshinhan: You've been the Tournament Organizer for a Swedish Smash event called B.E.A.S.T. for five years running now, and B.E.A.S.T. 5, which happened a few weeks ago, was not only the biggest European Melee event, but also the 5th biggest Melee tournament of all time. How does it feel to have achieved such great success, not just as a player, but also as an organizer, with an event in your home town?

Alliance|Armada: It felt great for sure!

Lolex and I always had in mind to break the former record in Europe, but my real goal was 300+ entrants for Super Smash Bros. Melee singles, which was a goal we definitely beat. Europe needs more big tournaments and I hope we motivated more people. I like to help out the community, but I'm also mostly a player and that's my job, so I hope that all the big tournaments won't be done partly by me.
Hit the jump to read the rest.
MajinTenshinhan: You were recently picked up by Alliance, who became a household name for gamers when a team they sponsored won DotA2 at The International in 2013. How do you feel about such a successful team making its move into fighting games, and you, yourself, being a part of it?

Alliance|Armada: It feels awesome, for sure. I remember watching the DotA2 finals when Alliance was a part of the Grand Finals. Akke is a friend of mine and we both went to Smash tournaments back in the day, and he even showed up at B.E.A.S.T.. Actually, one of my goals was to become a player for Alliance, so I'm happy that it happened. It's proof that I made it.

MajinTenshinhan: One of the biggest talking points as of late, from what I've seen, are from two of your matches, namely your matches against Leffen at B.E.A.S.T. 5 and Paragon 2015. Specifically, you taking a quick break between matches, closing your eyes, and suddenly awakening and playing in a whole different dimension than you were before the break. What exactly do you think about when you do this "Armada meditation", and how are you able to compose yourself so well? Also, is it a Leffen-specific thing?

Alliance|Armada: Honestly, at Paragon I didn't use this, only at B.E.A.S.T.. At B.E.A.S.T., I was a TO, I was extremely exhausted and I felt tired. When the matches didn't go as I wanted, I started to feel the pressure and I needed to close my eyes and calm down.

So I took deep breaths, and I understood that if I want to win the tournament, it's still up to me. After this I started to look back at common mistakes to remind myself of what to do, and what not to do. At Paragon, I think what gave the same feeling was the crowd and the people around us, and D1 started to talk about it on the commentary.

I also think that Leffen started to think about it, because he seemed very eager to start the match and when I got the first stock just like that, people started to believe. When Leffen had 2 stocks left most people seemed convinced the 4 stock would happen, which it did.

This is not a Leffen specific thing, I have done it in the past, but not with the same results. If I feel I need to calm down I will use it at Apex as well, and I don't care if it's Leffen, C9|Mango or someone else sitting next to me.

MajinTenshinhan: At Paragon 2015, we saw something from you we haven't seen in a while - your Fox. Back at Republic of Fighters 3, Fox didn't work out so well for you, but it looked much more impressive this time around. Do you think that we'll be seeing less of the "Swedish Sniper" from you, and more Fox play in the future?

Alliance|Armada: The thing is, people often seem to forget the fact that competitors are human beings. I honestly went through a depression during that time, and going to tournaments was something that I forced myself to do because I had to. The Smash summer was coming up and I had to go, and I tried to do something I loved to take distance from other stuff.

It did not quite work and Republic of Fighters 3 was a huge downfall for me because of this. I always knew my Fox can beat anyone in the world, but only the few people that have played against my Fox after this occasion knew that my Fox was real. So for me, I wasn't surprised, but for the people that did not listen to me, this was a huge surprise.

I'm not entierly sure, I really like Peach and I have invested so much time into her... But the thing is, she is very bad against Jigglypuff, and also way worse against Fox than people think. I honestly think that you can be a better player than your opponent and still lose as Peach, but with Fox, that's never the case. I also haven't played Fox that much since May, so we'll see what happens.

MajinTenshinhan: Despite currently being a 14-year old game, Smash is now bigger than ever, which is unprecedented for a fighting game in tournament. Even Nintendo themselves have begun to get involved with the tournament scene, which they largely ignored before. How do you feel about Smash reaching such new heights, and what do you think it will mean for the community in the long run?

Alliance|Armada: Smash is finally starting to reach what we deserve. We are not quite there yet, but we are on our way. Personally, I feel very good about this. Everyone who plays this game on a competitive level, or even just spectates it with a decent understanding of the game knows how good and deep it is.

When EVO 2013 and the Smash documentary happened, more people got the chance to see what it was all about, so for me, it's no surprise that when people saw it with their own eyes, we started to get so many more big tournaments. With real support from Nintendo for Super Smash Bros. Melee, this game would be around for another 10+ years.

MajinTenshinhan: Which player do you think will be your biggest challenge to overcome at Apex 2015?

Alliance|Armada: Myself. People might say that I was a TO at B.E.A.S.T. or that I was sick at Paragon, and while that's true, I threw away both of the sets that I lost at Paragon, and that's not okay. I'll have to go back, and show that I'm a clutch player that wins in those situations!

Massive thanks to Alliance|Armada for agreeing to do this interview with us, and we here at EventHubs wish you the best of luck at Apex 2015 this weekend.

Picture courtesy of Karaface.
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