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Team Liquid Nemo & John Takeuchi's interview at Japan

EVO2018 NEMO interview

Jul 262018

The world’s largest fighting game festival is Evolution Championship Series (EVO).

What Nemo, who belongs to Team Liquid from this spring, says is very different from others regarding the EVO in which any fighting gamers aim and dream to win.

“It is crucial how much you can increase the added value when winning. Although I have won a match which you could call "a world title" before, the victory at the EVO is the world's best victory that everyone in the community admits. That is why there should be a lot of things that can be done. Holding an event to interact with fans, having a celebration party and so on.

They work for the game community as well as work as providing positive feedback to the sponsors that support the existence of professional game players. By doing so to raise the value, I would like to show how good things you would have once you become a professional player.

The reason I myself chose to be a part time professional player is that I was worried about relying only on just being a professional game player. I think that it is my job to raise the value of the world of professional gamer, so that no one should feel too unsafe to choose this career any more.

“Finally, I could be a professional gamer, and I cannot easily name a bigger team than this. So, I would like to work on what I can do only because I am in this team and in this excellent environment from now on. I think that I can take the advantage of experiencing being a working person.”

Nemo, born in 1985, is one of the veterans of the professional gamers for Street Fighter.

While working as a company employee since 2008, he has had various titles in many games. He said that he was going to retire the career many times, but it was also the experience at the EVO that led him to be a professional video game player.

“The tournament in 2013 was my first EVO. Also, EVO was also my first experience to participate in a competition held abroad. At that time, I was a player of "MARVEL vs. CAPCOM". Since the competition back then had become a hot topic around the world, I received more invitation to various major competitions. Without that opportunity, I would not have become a professional game player.”

After that, Nemo transferred his main battlefield to the Street Fighter series soon and became one of the top-class players.


“EVO in 2015 was particularly impressive. I lost once around the 3rd round, but afterwards I got 17 consecutive wins in the atmosphere, ‘this is soon the end’. As a result, I could say I was one of the Top 8 players who had the chance to fight in the final match. At that time, I had no sense of time at all. I was just fighting against one after another as being told to do so, and I finally realized that I had unexpectedly survived and got 4th place. It was just my first experience like that.

The next match in 2016 was my first event after becoming a professional gamer. After being declined by many companies, I could finally get sponsored by one company. However, the character I was using was Balrog, which is never strong enough. Actually, I was relieved that I was able to stay in the Top 8 players under that situation, and at the same time I could get confident as a professional game player.”

“Frankly speaking, it is hard for me to win now. I will use Urien at EVO, but I have started my practice with keeping a character change in mind. I am afraid it would be tough unless I can use multiple characters in Street Fighter V.”

At last year’s EVO, Tokido defeated Punk who boasted invincibility at that time and he won a dramatic victory. The phrase "I have Mago." also became popular globally in the world. As a matter of fact, the world of Japanese professional gamers has been opened up by winning a victory.

"This year, due to the influence of adjustments, overseas game players are strong. But, after all, I believe that Japan should be ranked at the highest level. And, after all it is important that Japanese players win. If they win, the value of a professional gamer in Japan will be raised and it can be said that we are practicing jointly for that purpose partially. We are all rivals and at the same time I think we are sharing a sense of connectedness just like “we have to win anyway.”

So, I was really happy when Tokido won last year and Momochi won in 2015 at the EVO. But when I see them fighting on a big stage, to be honest, I cannot help wondering why I am not there with them. This is not envy but it is close to frustration. So, I would like to get the first prize of EVO this year.”

The opening date of the EVO 2018 is August 4th, US time. Fighting gamers from all over the world will gather in Las Vegas this year and the big stage is waiting for Nemo.