Squish is a high level Under Night In-Birth player that has been stirring up some major noise at every tournament he goes to recently. He’s now won EVO 2018, Frosty Faustings X, and most recently Socal Regionals 2018 in this game he loves proving his spot at the top of the food chain in it. I was lucky enough to get a great interview with him! Please enjoy!
Q1: You’ve been fairly dominant at every UNIST tournament you go out to. What’s your mental prep like?
Squish: I gotta be honest, I don’t do any mental prep before a tournament. I’ll see my bracket, have an idea of what top 8 will look like and go, “Woah, I’m probably going to die to X or Y” haha. I think ideally one should go into a tournament feeling confident, it helps /a lot/. I always feel much more confident once I’m actually playing in a tournament. Despite being making it to grand finals consistently in a tournament for over… at least a year and a half now? I still get nerves at times.
Q2: Does being such a dominant player bare any weight on you? With such skill does there come any pressure to do well that gets your nerves going?
Squish: For a while, this was never something that would come across my mind; but now after having won EVO in particular, I definitely feel like there’s more pressure on me to do well at events. CEOtaku is one event in particular that I definitely feel a lot of pressure going into because that’s going to be so stacked. There will be international competition (both EU and JP!) and it’ll be the biggest tournament to date! I want to show everyone that I’m strong and that I earned that trophy!
Q3: Did you compete in any games before Under-Night? How did you do in those? Did any skills carry over and help out here?
Squish: The only other fighting game I really tried to delve into was MvC3 when it first launched, but I didn’t compete in it. I really enjoyed playing it when I did! I think some general fighting game fundamentals carried over, at the very least.
Q4: Whenever I watch you play I always see so much patience in your play. What’s going through your mind during times where you’re just waiting it out? Do you look for anything in your opponent during that time?
Squish: I feel very confident in my defense when it comes to fighting games, and one of my favorite aspects of UNI is that it rewards good defense. Depending on the match-up, sometimes I’ll try to look out for something that can potentially let me take my turn; but more often than not I’m totally okay with just sitting there and waiting for my opponent to make a mistake or to try and win vorpal.
Q5: Where did the name Squish come from anyways?
Squish: Ah, the story behind it is nothing too grand. It was a nickname I received in middle school and I decided to use it as my handle online because it sounded cute.
Q6: Everyone knows you as the goat Akatsuki in UNIST but did you play him in Akatsuki Blitzkamph at all?
Squish: I played him a little when I first checked out the game, but I’ve grown to love Murakumo the most in ABK. He’s so cool! I recommend giving that game a try! It’s a lot of fun and fairly simple to pick up and play.
Q7: How do you feel about the growth in the UNIST popularity? Is there anything you’re looking forward to in the scene, game, future events, or community?
Squish: It’s honestly astounding how much the community has grown since UNIST first launched a year ago. I didn’t believe that the entry numbers for CEOtaku in 2017 (154) would’ve been topped and that was as big as UNI was ever going to get; but now we’ve been able to say “This is going to be the biggest UNI tournament to date.” three times in one year! Combo Breaker broke those numbers at 173, followed by EVO at 210, and now CEOtaku 2018 has 270!!!! There are so many fresh faces and some players are really starting to make a name for themselves in the community such as Redblade and JJ. They both got top 8 at Combo Breaker! I look forward to seeing the growth in strength of some of these newer players, some of them are catching up at a really fast pace.
Q8: And finally can we expect an appearance from you at Climax of Night?
Squish: Unfortunately my financial situation isn’t looking so hot, so there’s a chance I might have to pass, which is unfortunate because I’d love to play Clearlamp and Senaru. His Akatsuki was very inspiring to watch, and his Eltnum is fantastic as well. I look forward to seeing Clearlamp at CEOtaku! He’ll be there too!
If you’d like to follow and hear more from Squish you can follow him on Twitter here!
It’s also recommended by Squish himself that if you have any interest in getting into UNIST to check out James Chen’stutorial series over the game as he believes it’s a great starting point for anyone trying to get into the game! You can find that by following the link here!
And finally a plug for the UNIST discord which you can find by following this invite link https://discordapp.com/invite/dyB725K. “The community there is so helpful and dedicated to the game. More or less all of the top players hang there and are willing to answer any questions people may have.”