Born With a Controller Interviews XiBassiX
What’s up everyone it’s ShadowJin here and we’re kicking off the beginning of this year with an interesting story of Born with a Controller. We’ve got a really special guest today who’s passion for gaming has taken him places we’ve all dreamed of. He’s won multiple major tournaments and landed a sponsorship with Ultra Arcade. He’s also made top 8 at Evo twice with him taking 7th place in 2015 and then showed everyone how fierce he can really be by getting 2nd place in 2016 playing Killer Instinct. This is just the icing on the cake of accomplishments this player has made. I’d like to introduce you guy and ladies to my good friend Bass.
Shadowjin: Bass how did you get into gaming?
Bass: I have two older brothers, they had an NES and just got a brand new SNES. They used to take me to local pizza shops and arcades. My uncle always played Mega Man games with me. We always played Street Fighter II as well, I was about 3 or 4 years old.
Shadowjin: So they’re the ones responsible for getting your foot into gaming. That’s pretty awesome. Would you say because of them introducing you into video games that it made your bond to gaming stronger?
Bass: I’d say so. It was the only thing that really brought us together, even now. I grew up to obviously love it more than they did, but I appreciated every moment growing up.
Shadowjin: Now when did you decide to take your love for gaming to the next level?
Bass: If we’re talking about competitive and into the FGC, my first tournament was King of the Couch back in 2013. made Top 8 for Street Fighter x Tekken, but didn’t think much of it. I was just really happy to see all of the big names since I was a huge stream monster back then. Killer Instinct came out later that year, and I decided to walk to East Coast Throwdown and compete there.
Shadowjin: Street Fighter x Tekken was awesomely fun game! Isn’t it amazing when you see these big name guys for the first time? How was it getting to meet these players that you had watched streamed for hours? Was there anyone who made you star struck? Hahaha
Bass: My first event I only knew of Chris G. After he won Grand Finals, I went to go shake his hand and told him how much I enjoyed watching him play. As time progressed, I had the pleasure of meeting people like KBrad, Yipes, and F Champ and I tried really hard not to be an idiot. I couldn’t help myself with Gootecks though. I fangirled hard body.
Shadowjin: Not gonna lie I know how that feels but, you’ve made quite a name for yourself now playing Killer Instinct. Tell me what that’s like.
Bass: After Winter Brawl 9 (2015), I had gained a lot of confidence in my skills as a player, lost all tournament jitters, and somehow won my first major shortly after. In a span of 2 months, I went from “underdog”, to “threat”, to “best Spinal player in the world….and is now sponsored”. It was a lot for me to try and take all at once. While I still felt the same about myself, many others had already started seeing me in a different light (target on my back, mentor, leader, professional player, etc). I thought it was silly that people wanted me to sign stuff or take pictures and all that. But now it’s just normal. I’m just a player just like everyone else, but I’m extremely grateful to be respected by the GOATs of the rest of the FGC, along with a large majority of it altogether.
ShadowJin: I find it awesome that no matter what happened, you stayed humble and true to yourself. Being respected by GOATs of the FGC has to feel pretty damn amazing. Did you ever think that some day you’d be traveling to compete and playing video games?
Bass: If you would’ve told me about it 2 and a half years ago, I would’ve laughed in your face and said “yea sure buddy”. My personal life has been a struggle for about 8 years now, so something as amazing as this opportunity was definitely a long shot in my eyes. It’s probably what fuels the humility about my journey. I know what the struggle is, and I can only be extremely thankful for everything that’s been presented to me. I took a risk, accepted a chance given to me, and now I’m making it work. I even got to visit my dream place two times already: Japan.
Shadowjin: That’s right! How was Kombo Klash Japan?
Bass: The first year was one of my most memorable experiences of my life. The 2nd time around was also very great. I was there for a much longer period of time, so I got to explore more. The Japanese community definitely has leveled up since last year, and be welcomed back as an “honored player” was one of the most amazing things ever. They asked me for autographs and stuff and really praised and thanked me for all of the YouTube stuff I started doing earlier in 2016. I feel that I’m at such a different caliber in regards to the level of play since 2015 (first Kombo Klash). My only main Spinal back then, I was limited in a sense. Playing 5 characters now at tournament level, I was ready for anything Japan may have been hiding. Domi really likes my Mira and Cinder god himself approves of my Flame Man.
Shadowjin: You are the definition of a World Warrior! That’s a pretty big accomplishment. Especially in a whole other country that you dreamed about going to. Now I know of your youtube series Rough Sets which I’m a personal fan of but, let the audience know what it is and how it came about.
Bass: My friend Thomas (RuinYourDay) and I used to play some exhibitions while fooling around with bad puns and stuff. At first, I wanted to only put up grudge matches (started with Cupcake vs. some dude named Majin Drew who claimed he had easily defeated all of the C88s at the time). After posting the vid, I didn’t know what to name it. So I thought, meh why not Rough Sets? It wasn’t meant to be serious, but it caught on, all teenage jokes aside, and it became its own thing. The terrible puns continued once I expanded to Group Sets, giving the community a more organized catalog of videos to watch. Rough Sets are people fighting specifically. Group Sets are people fighting each other while I host the lobby. FT10s were chosen by me. It’s a long set, so players, both participants, and spectators, can learn what the matchup may be about, and can see if any adaptation is developed. Newer videos have no commentary on it due to my partnership with UltraChenTV. They’re more than welcome to use any of my videos for commentary practice, analysis, or even special episodes (ie. #100 and #200).
Shadowjin: I can tell that you really love this game and the community through the hard work and dedication you put into this game. Killer Instinct had been doing its thing for about 3 years going on 4 this coming Fall. What is it about Killer Instinct that made you love the game?
Bass: Killer Instinct Season 1 was just really fun. I wasn’t hyped about the game’s release or anything when it was first announced. I was a hardcore Street Fighter player. It’s all I ever played, every day. I just so happen to download KI on my Xbox since it was free to play and I got hooked. The game was fluid, the roster was small but very diverse and the net code definitely set a new standard, period. My favorite characters weren’t around yet (Spinal/Riptor) so I mainly played Jago but, once Spinal dropped as DLC, it was all corners from there.
Shadowjin: KI has one of best online net code out of every fighter I’ve played online. So the rumors are true that you were born in the corner hahaha. Another thing is I haven’t seen a game with a cast that is completely different from everyone else. How is it playing 5 characters with completely different styles?
Bass: It tests my skill as a player, alongside my own style of play to mesh with the different styles of said characters. It all started with “I’ll try this one because he/she is fun.” Now with Season 3’s meta and top tiers ruling the land, and my character not being so great anymore, I feel that my different roster is needed nowadays. I’m also not a fan of Season 3 at all. So the new characters help me try to have fun while dealing with the current game.
Shadowjin: I think having fun is one of the key important things to keep in mind too when competing in games. I’m glad you choose to continue and find ways to still have fun with the game. If there were some things you could change or add on to season 3 of KI what would they be?
Bass: In a perfect world, give me back the finale of Season 2 with some adjustments, and we would’ve been straight.
Shadowjin: Season 2 was a really good time. Now I know they’re bringing back Ultimate finishers this month which, should be pretty cool. Are there any that you’re looking forward to seeing personally?
Bass: Besides Spinal who’ll probably get reworked for having an OP finisher (Kappa), I’d like to see what Mira, Riptor, Arbiter, Cinder, and Kan-ra end up doing.
Shadowjin: Spinal would be the one to have an OP finisher (laughs). I wanna see Iron Galaxy make an alternate skin with Brandon Alexander as Tusk. He’s is the embodiment of that character.
Bass: If Spinal were to ever be human, I’d like to take that form.
Shadowjin: Iron Galaxy you heard the man! We need to make this happen! I would pay for these skins. Some people keep saying the game is dying. How does that make you feel especially with KI being one of the games part of the vote/donation challenge for EVO they’re having?
Bass: I don’t think KI is dying. The scene has steadily grown. However, many of the pros aren’t fans of this season, along with some of the casuals as well. It was a shame to see favorites like MyGod, Rico, PaulB, Maciaga, SeaDragon, and others lose drive for the game due to the season’s competitive meta. Obviously, our community is small, but it definitely needs work. I wasn’t surprised to not see KI in the main lineup. I was surprised, however, about the second chance thing. I would personally love to see KI at the Mandalay Bay, but if the community doesn’t feel like supporting it, I mean, what can we do right? We’ve done our part here, we can’t do it all, on our own. The community has to step things up. I believe, and all I can do is hope at this point (for Evo, that is). We still have the rest of the Ultra Tour and 2 new characters coming.
strongShadowjin: This is very true. I believe moments like these are when the community should really look at the bigger picture and see how much exposure, and just awesome it would be to have KI up on the big screen on that Sunday.
Bass: As much as the World Cup is super big for the community, Evo is where the entire FGC from around the world unites to the grand stage and it’s probably the best place our game can shine. You’ll have people from all over the world, from different games, watching the game we all love and play. Exposure at its best. Btw, Ultimates during the Top 8 Evo Finals? Cmon now.
Shadowjin: I can see it easily being one of the hyped games in the Sunday line up with no problem. So you’re sponsored, you’ve had many great accomplishments and went to Japan to play a game you love. What can we look forward to seeing from Bass?
Bass: Other than new Rough Sets once I get settled, I will be playing more Street Fighter V. I’m one of the few that actually likes Season 2 for that game. I’ve done my part for this community and will continue to do so. 2016’s goal was to become more than just a Killer Instinct player, or just a player in general. I made an impact on the Fighting Game Community altogether. 2017 just started and I’m just taking one day at a time.
Shadowjin: Bass I just wanna say it’s a pleasure knowing you and seeing you unfold over time into not just as a great player but, as a person who has made it through the struggles and still holds that humbleness. It was an honor to have this interview with you, my friend. I can’t wait to see what you do this year in the FGC. Is there anyone you wanna give a shout out to there that may be reading this?
Bass: Obviously to everyone that’s ever supported me, the good people at Ultra Arcade and Ultimate Source. I love Brandon, Roger, and David more than they’ll ever know. The “Chicanos” of people I train with, and the remainder of my family that keeps me close. Way too many people to mention, but know that you are in my heart, at all times. Thank you for having me, old friend.
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