At the 2005 Championships in New York PC Chris proved he was a Smash contender; several months later he showed he has the potential to be the best when he beat Ken on his way to a tourney victory in the 2006 season opener. However, after five straight events without a repeat, including a season low 13th place in Orlando, many questioned whether PC Chris could ever take the top spot again. He peaked at the right time, though, and silenced the critics as he became the 2006 National Champion in Las Vegas. MLG had the opportunity to talk to PC Chris about his recent accomplishment, along with some of his future ambitions.
MLG: Congratulations on the National Championship, it was quite a performance.
PC Chris: Thank you, I guess my practice paid off.
MLG: It certainly has. How did you feel when it was all said and done?
PC Chris: To be honest, with my bracket, I didn’t really expect to win. I aimed for top three, so naturally I was really excited and shocked when I won.
MLG: At Orlando you had your worst performance of the season, partly because you ran into Azen early. When you encountered Azen again in New York he once again defeated you. Your matches in Vegas, though, looked nothing like any of your previous meetings. What did you do to improve? How did you go about beating Azen?
PC Chris: Azen is a great player, but everyone has a weakness. I tried to study his style as much as I could before Vegas. I saw all of his strong points and a few of his weak points. I also practiced against my girlfriend who mains Marth. I perfected my game against Marth so I could go into Vegas confident that I’d do better.
Following his spectacular National Championship victory, PC Chris is awarded $10,000 by MLG League Commissioner John Nelson.
MLG: Unfortunately the way things turned out we didn’t get to witness a rematch between you and Ken. Instead KoreanDJ showed what happened in Orlando was no fluke and advanced to the Winners Bracket Finals. Since you are both sort of “new blood” in the Smash elite, how does it feel to have risen so fast and to have made such a large impact? To what do you attribute your success?
PC Chris: (laughs) It feels great, it really does. A couple years ago I’d be watching videos of Ken, Azen…and all the great players back then. I’d think to myself, “I wish I could play them sometime.” Now I’m not only playing them, but I’m up on their level and going toe to toe with them. As for KoreanDJ, I remember him coming over to my house at times for area tournaments or for a Smashfest. I would beat him with most of my characters, but now a year later he’s up on my level. It’s amazing how he continues to improve at such a fast pace.
MLG: Yes, he seems to pick up strategies very quickly. Can you run through what happened in the finals? In particular what prompted you to switch from Falco to Fox?
PC Chris: He just caught onto my style really quickly; he pressured me so much I felt nervous. I’ve always been strong in Fox dittos so I felt like a character switch was just what I needed to take the last two games.
MLG: Just like you did to Azen in Vegas, you also managed to end your rut against ChuDat in New York. What did you discover about him that broke the ice, which character(s) did you use?
PC Chris: (laughs) I went out with Fox like I normally do and was able to win the first match. So from there my plan was to use Fox until I lost so I could surprise him with a counter pick. He won the second match so I counter picked Mute City and ChuDat thought I’d stay with Fox, but I tricked him with my Peach and was able to win the next two games. I was planning to use Peach against him earlier in the season, but I felt it didn’t have enough tournament experience. So I won a couple local tournaments with Peach and built my confidence.
MLG: In the first New York tournament this year you took out Ken and won the title. How have you changed since New York?
PC Chris: My style with Falco has remained the same basically. Just a few minor changes here and there. I just learned all the match-ups better in the game and became a smarter player in general. Most importantly I got so much experience during the season. That helped a ton. I also picked up a few characters that I thought could help me like Peach. Sorry, Chu (laughs).
MLG: (laughs) ChuDat. Last season very few Smashers attended every tournament. This year, with the help of stipends, there was a core group of about 20 players who were at every tournament. Have your friendships with these players benefited from seeing them each month?
PC Chris: Yeah, definitely. I became pretty good friends with a lot of the pro Smashers like Tink and Dope even though they live in the Midwest. We all had a great time before and after the tournaments. It’s a great experience.
MLG: Going forward, do you expect to have a consistent teammate? If so, do you hope Wes will be able to make it to each event?
PC Chris: Yeah, I’m really excited for a next season. This season was amazing and I have so many memories from every event. From winning the season opener in New York, from being outside of Dallas in my boxers during the silly bomb threat and now winning Vegas, it’s been truly an amazing year. I talked to Wes after Vegas and we’re more serious then ever. I plan to team with him at every event and place high next season.
MLG: You two definitely have amazing potential. Were you a little surprised at your performance in Vegas? What did you think of the Doubles competition as a whole?
PC Chris: We knew facing Ken and Isai first that we’d have a tough time, but after losing to them 3-0 in all pretty close matches we were upset and wanted to make it back to the finals to face them again. We had to face the Husband and Wife next and, because Wes and I usually beat them, we naturally weren’t worried too much.
It seems they were on their game, not only beating us 3-1, but beating Azen and Chillendude829 later. It surprised us, but they definitely deserved it. Wes and I were still disappointed, but this gives us more motivation for next season. The teams [competition] this year has been really exciting. Wes and I shocked everyone when we beat Ken and Isai in a set at the New York opener, but we couldn’t finish it off. A few teams actually managed to beat them, though, which hasn’t happened ever before. A lot of new teams also formed as well, like King and Mew2King. It was really fun to watch.
MLG: Coming into the season, Ken was the two-time defending champion and considered to be the best in the world. While it is probably too soon for that title to be passed onto someone else, some things have changed. Going into 2007, and any tournament after this, it won’t be Ken with the target on his back, it will be you. Do you think you can handle the pressure of being the player to beat?
PC Chris: (laughs) I don’t think it will be easy, but I’m confident that I won’t be giving up the title without a fight. I’m still trying to improve as much as I can and winning Vegas is no reason to stop. I want to keep getting better and better but all in all I think I can handle the pressure.
MLG: That is the mentality of any true winner. Onto a little more lighthearted topic: have you played the Wii yet and what do you think of it?
PC Chris: (laughs) Oh my god! I didn’t get it while I was in Vegas and I so regret it!!! I played Wii sports with my best friends for about 7 hours straight; it’s so amazing.
MLG: Are you beginning to get excited for Super Smash Brothers Brawl? There was a new trailer released recently, have you seen it and what are your initial impressions?
PC Chris: I’ve seen a couple trailers but I’m not sure if I’ve seen the most current one. Yeah I’m definitely excited for it I think it will bring a whole new and bigger community to the scene, but still keep the same Smash aspect to things that everyone in this community loves.
MLG: One more thing. In the first interview we conducted, you mentioned that newcomers should play the game because it’s fun and not lose focus on the fun aspect of Smash. Do you have any other words of advice and is there anyone you want to thank for a season of hard work and great accomplishments?
PC Chris: Yeah, I’ve come a long way but I still keep the same mindset. You have got to love what you do. It can be used for anything–not just Smash. I’d like to thank MLG for some amazing times and great memories this season as well as some nice paychecks (laughs). I’d also like to thank Ken and Azen. You guys were my motivation to get better and I had a great time hanging out with you guys. Tink, Dope, Chillin, Pha, and Kaiser, its been great spending time with you guys. I know I thanked Wes before, but without him I wouldn’t be here right now. I can’t thank him enough. Thanks to all my fans, too. It means a lot to me getting that support before and after tournaments, so I have someone to play for other than myself which is a huge help. Other than that always a thank you to friends and, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten where I came from. My family and my girlfriend, thanks for support always, guys.
MLG: Good luck in the off season, you deserve a break.
PC Chris: Thanks again.