Interview with Sole American Guilty Gear EVO Finalist: Lost Soul

Lost Soul is a high-level Guilty Gear Xrd player and is known around the world for his amazing Elphelt play and is one of the most inspirational faces I’ve met in the fighting game community.

Lost Soul Evo 2018

Photo Credit to @ArcSystemWorksU

This year at the largest world tournament for fighting games, EVO (Evolution 2018) he made a very impressive run which ended at 3rd place in a 629 player bracket. After the event I got the chance to talk to and interview Lost Soul and the answers were nothing short of inspiring. Here’s the interview!

I will be referring to Lost Soul as LS throughout the interview. Enjoy!

Q1: How did you mentally prepare for EVO? Was the prep any different from your usual tourney prep?

LS:  I mentally prepped myself by thinking that ‘I got the tourney in the bag’. I don’t question myself and leave ifs or buts in the air. Similar to thinking like “Hopefully I got this” or “I’ll try my best to beat this opponent”. No, “I DO got this”, and “this tournament is mine!” are thoughts I have now. Thoughts that can help my confidence levels even if I’m playing sloppy that day, can mean a lot when you actually go into the match, or at least to me it does haha.

I started to adopt this mindset back at the Redbull Conquest in NY last month at 7/7/2018. Before that, the last two recent events, Combo Breaker and CEO, I placed 9th at both of them, both with the mindset of having the possibility of losing and not having faith in myself. After those events, it really bothered me that I let it happened and affect my play like that, so I wanted to test out the next event by having no doubts in myself and see what happens, and that was the Redbull event.

With the mindset in my head, I completely dominated the event without taking a loss in it and qualified for the Guilty Gear team for the Redbull Finals. Then I decided to keep that mindset at EVO and see how I can do with it, and it brought me very far at 3rd place!

Q2: Were you expecting to make it as far as you did?

LS: Truth be told, I didn’t think I’d make it that far, but with my mindset of clearing any doubts that I had in my mind I felt like at the same time that I got this tourney and able to reach 1st place. And I was so close in reaching that goal!

Q3: How did Justin Wong come to sponsor you? Did he just see you play and believe in you or something else?

LS: Justin Wong came to sponsor me because of the voices of my fans actually!

It all started last year when Justin tweeted out that he is looking to make someone’s dream come true, and that is going to EVO. All Justin needed was a name and a reason I believe. One fan came out and said my handle, @Lost_Relic, because I never went to EVO and he would love to see me there.

That one fan turned into 10, then turned into 100 of them saying the same thing, and that is when Justin talked to me and said I’m pretty popular haha

Justin then said he is willing to fly me out to my very first EVO! I made 16th place at that EVO, which I thought was very good placing at that time, especially since I came back into gaming from an 8-9 month hiatus.

Q4: Are you still balancing playing Gear and DBFZ? If so how difficult is it to compete in multiple games/would you recommend playing 2 games at once to a newcomer trying to get top level?

LS: I used to play multiple games at a time when I just started out playing competitively, like Blazblue, Skullgirls, Persona 4 Arena, Marvel vs Capcom 3 and such, but at top level it was kinda hard trying two games and be top level at both of them. I say that ’cause, while I was getting better in DBFZ, I felt like I was declining in Guilty Gear, and that kinda got me upset since that is personally my favorite game. When it came to the Redbull event and EVO, I had to stop practicing DBFZ and start focusing on Guilty Gear again, and then I placed very well on both of them.

Now that EVO is over and a patch came out for DBFZ, as well as new characters, I might start practicing DBFZ again.

Q5: How was your life before coming into the fgc light? Did it change it for the better?

LS:  My life was very rough, coming from a very poverty background, I couldn’t afford to eat at times, or not eat at all that day. It was very hard just to obtain a Metrocard just so I can travel to my locals, never mind paying the venue and the games to enter after that haha. The situation of getting to my locals got better as somebody paid my Metro, venue and enter the game as someone really wanted to see me play at a big Team Stickbug (TSB) event. I soon won that event and I saved money for food and the next local event that happened, and I won that one and then the cycle continued for some time.

Lets fast forward to my 8-9 months hiatus that I mentioned earlier; My family was kicked out of the house due to a rent issue, so we lived with my Grandma’s house, and then moved to my older sister’s house. We were like that for 2-3 months. A dear friend of mine heard my situation from Twitter and then made a GoFundMe so my family can live in our apartment again. The money we needed was around 1.5k, but due to the GoFundMe, which was only announced at twitter in 12am, managed to collect about ~2k in just a 2 hour span.

It’s thanks to that dear friend and my fans/friends alike is how we got the apartment back and still living in it today thanks to them. Now, even after getting the house back, I promised myself to not touch any games until I got a job so I can secure this apartment so it won’t happened again. It took a long 5-6 months to find a job but I managed to get one and start playing Guilty Gear again.

My life changed for the better due to the FGC and I will never forget what they done to me, and I am forever grateful to them.

Q6: What do you think about the ARCrevo Tour? Do you think it will bring more players to these anime games/breathe new life into games like Xrd?

LS:  I think Guilty Gear finally having a tour is a wonderful thing. The tour gives the game exposure, which I think it needed, and brings it light to the people and have them start playing it. It can bring in more players, make bigger scenes, have more resources for people that want help, and can bring in the younger generation so the game can flourish. BBTag is pretty popular with the people, and Blazblue is pretty liked as well, so the ARCrevo tour giving these games the light they deserve is what makes me happy.

Q7: Have you tried the new DBFZ patch? What do you think/any chance you’ll change your team?

LS:  I actually haven’t tried the patch yet so I can’t give any thoughts about that matter, but I was thinking of changing my team around and putting in one of the new characters in as well as messing with them to see if my team can work with them. I’m thinking of keeping in Android 21 and Android 16, and throwing out Cell, but lets see what happens when I get my hands on the game again.

Q8: With a new Gear in the works what changes if any would you like changed from Xrd?

LS:  I like what we got in its current form so I don’t have an idea that I like to see change in the new game. If I got to choose one, then maybe the invincibility frames that characters get from forward teching in the air would be one. It can get pretty annoying for me (and my opponent when I do it to them) when you make a read on their air tech patterns, but you then get swapped away cause your move went through them due to said invincibility frames.

But I am looking forward to any new changes they bring to the table!

Q9: Have you always popped off so hard? I love the personality you bring to the table when you play, have you always been so expressive?

LS:  I actually haven’t been so expressive before haha. I was like the Japanese when they win, being emotionless on victories, especially since I was winning a lot so I wasn’t feeling all the excitement when you win a tourney. But then, I was thinking if I should try something new on my victories, and bring the viewers some excitement from that, and then I started experimenting with it. I started by doing poses with people after my wins, especially after I do an instant kill on them (I even posed one with Dogura when he was playing Guilty Gear) After that, I begun interacting with the camera before, mid game, and after my matches. I feel like even is so focus on the game, which is understandable since its a tournament, but at the same time, you should have fun with it as well. If you have fun with it, then you can also loosen up the nerves and do well at your match.

I’m having fun with what I’m doing, so right now I’m having a conversion with the camera and I am fully aware that the viewers can’t hear me, but it’s more for me to hype myself up than them hearing me. I got the idea from wrestling where you see superstars talking at their entrance but you can’t hear a damn word they are saying, but they are very hyped up before the match, and I kinda like that so I went with it. I’m kinda continuously experimenting around with my popoffs but I feel it brings me personality when you see me sit down on stream, and I will keep doing it whether people like it or not. I’m also glad to hear that you like it though haha.

Q10: And finally what are you looking forward to in the future?

LS: After this EVO, I’m currently trying out the Esports life and see how that goes for me. Regardless if I get picked up or not, I’m interested in gaining the perspective on how Pro-players live like, and it will force me to start streaming so my fans can watch my progress in the game. I’m looking forward the progress of myself as a player and see if I can become successful at it, whether it’s streaming, making a name for myself, or build my own brand and become my own entity, so I am looking forward to my own future and see what awaits for me.

I can also see how Guilty Gear is gonna evolve with this world tour and how the new game is gonna turn out!

And that concludes the interview. If you would like to continue Lost Soul as his journey continues you can by following that link to his twitter. I wish him nothing but the best in the future of his FGC career. If I wasn’t a fan before I definitely am now. And for the love of god, someone picks this man up and sponsor him soon.

About The Author

De'Angelo Epps

Deangelo is a university student, writer, and fighting game competitor that loves to play and write about fighting games of course. Find him on Twitter @assist_ok