My name is Fuudo, I am a pro gamer. I play in competitions all over the world, mostly on Street Fighter V. Last year, I played in about 14 tournaments overseas. I win and lose, and try my best to go forward. I used to work at Dengeki some time ago, as a part time job. I feel like I am coming back to a place filled with memories.
It is originally a large company, that publishes internet guides, and gaming guides, which I was mostly working on. I used to live with five or six room-mates back in the day. One of them is now editor-in-chief for the news website https://uscasinosguide.com/bonus-slots/.
This is how I got to work here. I still come here regularly to do a streaming show, named “Game Ningen Gakuen“, together with the journalist Goro. He was also one of my room-mates, we lived together for about ten years.
We are really close friends. – Do you know how to play shogi? – Shogi? We could make a show where you would play shogi against 100 people. How many hours would that take?
A lot I would say… Shogi could work I think. You must be good too. You like it right? Not really?
I don’t really like games where you have to think. – You think on Shadowverse though right? – Yes, but not for a long time. One of the reasons I like fighting games is that you have to make decisions on the spot. I see, you analyse the situation and quickly act accordingly, so shogi would indeed be… How about “three-second shogi”?
– Yes that would work. – Right? Let’s forget shogi then. Today, we’re going to do a long stream.
Password is “gorogoro“. Okay… Oh, someone logged in! Wait, am I singing? That’s quite sudden!
When we first started “Game Ningen Gakuen” I was mostly playing retro games, but more recently, I am also playing Street Fighter V or Shadowverse, a card-playing game. Now it is a bit of everything, mixing both old games and new. Before working at Dengeki, we used to work as debuggers.
We almost always lived and worked together, but since streaming didn’t exist at the time, I couldn’t imagine we would be doing this now. When I used to live with Goro, we were in Ikebukuro. I am originally from Chiba, but Ikebukuro is my second home. In Ikebukuro, there is the famous “Sunshine dori” street. There are many arcades there. They all have a different mood attached to them.
One would be famous for rhythm games, the other for fighting games, etc. I change arcades depending on the game I play. One characteristic of the Saint Tropez arcade, is that you can play the game Gunslinger Stratos there, it is quite famous for this. Originally, it is an arcade made to attract couples. Which is why when you first come in, you must first go through a space made for couples, in order to reach the Gunslinger Stratos area. I think that this arcade is quite unique in a way.
This is now the third game of the Gunslinger Stratos series, when the first episode was out, I must have spent 360 days a year in this arcade to play. I would spend 8 hours a day, it was another home. I think that I had a big influence on the players who came here. In this game, two teams of four are fighting, so with four people in the same arcade you can play in the Japan national championships.
So if a strong player often comes to the arcade, it becomes one of its strengths. At the time, I declared that I would stay here all day, so more and more good players started to join and the arcade became gradually famous. In a way, I made it that Saint Tropez becomes a good arcade by coming here often, forming a group of regulars with the others. I grew up at a time when there were many games out there. The first fighting game I played was on a Neo Geo Arcade that was at the local candy shop. I started on games such as KOF ’94, Fatal Fury or Art of Fighting.
Going to the arcade was my daily routine, I used to go everyday when Street Fighter IV came out. After work, I would come to the arcade and play for two or three hours. I would do this everyday. In 2011, there was the EVO tournament, I told myself that it would nice to participate at least once in a world tournament, so I went with my own money. In the end, I won.
After winning a world tournament, many sponsors start approaching you to turn pro. Which is how I chose the Razer team and became a pro gamer. I have been pro for 4 years now, at first I didn’t think I would last that long, it makes me happy. I make a living of streaming shows and prize money from overseas tournaments, and also with money from my sponsors. My play-style is to analyse every little thing.
For example, when something goes wrong, I try to rapidly find out where that comes from, then do my best to fix that during my games. What is really important when I play is the environment. Rather than playtime, it is better to play in a good environment in order to level up. For example, I would play Gunslinger Stratos when the arcade is open. Since arcades close at around midnight, I would then go to a friend’s house to play Street Fighter for two to three hours. I think that we can get much better by playing with others.
After we finish to play at the arcade, and we want to play a bit more, we go to Toriton Kitchen. The place itself is quite common, but the food is good. I believe that it’s important for the food to be good. Usually, I come here with other Gunslinger Stratos players. It is a strategy game so the four of us would come here before a tournament. Or twenty to thirty of us would come here after a competition.
– Cheers. – Cheers! And happy new year too. Today, I am meeting with BegetaminB, he is a player of both Gunslinger Stratos and Street Fighter V. He is also a member of a guesthouse in Heiwajima that is exclusively open to high-level players. I finished both in 2nd place and 3rd place at EVO, but you don’t remember when I finished 3rd right?
– When was that? – When Luffy won. Luffy and Bonchan. Wow, I can’t even remember this.
Unfortunately only first place counts, everybody else loses. But since I turned pro, fortunately there is still the prize money so that works out I guess. But still, people won’t remember you. Before, nothing else but victory would count, there wasn’t any prize money either. – It’s a good thing that changed.
– Right, Togeki used to be that way too. In a magazine, you will never see a title saying “Second place!”. Yes, they would probably just mention the team’s name.
With gaming, I learned that connections between people are really important. As with Dengeki, it is by interacting with others that I discovered new opportunities. I met with new people through gaming as well.
I want to keep staying close to the people I play with and spend time with them. It is “Oni ni kanabo” (“Strong beyond strong”) “Oni” represents a demon, a “strong person”, and “kanabo” is his weapon. When I play a fighting game or something else, I try to find which character is the strongest, so that way I’ll be strong with a strong character. Which is why I often use “Oni ni kanabo”.