The #LongGrass :: Week 7
Hello and welcome to the seventh addition of Enter the #LongGrass brought to you by 8-12Hz.
UK Smash is growing, and VwS have been a part of that for a while. With Smash 4 on the rise, we knew there could only be one man to mobilise the UK scene and get great tournaments running on a regular basis, VwS Smash manager Tom ‘G~P’ Scott. We caught up with him between events so he could introduce himself to the fans.
Hi there Tom, we’ll start off just by asking you to introduce yourself. Who are you, where are you from?
Hi Tim, glad to be able to sit down and do this before planning my next tournament. My name is Tom Scott. More commonly – and preferably – known as G~P. I’ve been running tournament in the UK for quite a long time now and I’m also a reasonably good competitor alongside that. I currently go to university and live in Cambridge, I’m just about to go into my last year of Game Design & Programming. I also work at Starbucks to fund living in such an expensive city (Riveting, I know).
How long have you been playing fighters in general, and Smash 4 in particular?
I’ve been playing fighters since like 2009. Although it’s pretty much always been primarily Brawl up until summer last year. I’ve dabbled in lots of others though. MvC3, SF4, SFxT, Blazblue, Tekken, and of course the other Smash games, Melee & P:M. I got quite good at P:M at one point actually!
As for Smash4, I’ve been playing since before it came out. I paid a good sum of money to get into Hyper Japan (A convention in London) in order to play the E3-build. I spent 3 entire days just queueing and playing! I vividly remember the day it came out over here though. I woke up with an awful illness (hangover) and made the trek to the city centre to grab my copy of the game. It was an emotional journey.
How long have you been running tournaments? Do you have any special memories from a TO point of view, like your first event or a disastrous weekend?
I’ve been running tournaments for just over 2 years, although the span of time between my first and my second one was forever.
As for special memories, how long have you got? I mean for the most part my tournaments run without any problems. But there have been a good amount of mistakes on my journey to being a decent TO. My VERY first tournament is a good example, so I’ll share that for you. The tournament was mostly okay for the participants, but really not good for me. The key error I made (and I encourage all new TO’s to take this on board) was guessing how many attendees I would get way too generously. I booked my venue needing 40 attendees to break even….I got 22. The big issue was that I booked a venue in the middle of Norfolk which is by far the LEAST accessible place in the country. The travel links were awful and it was all around a huge loss for me money-wise. The players had fun though, so I guess there’s that?
What do you do for fun when you aren’t playing/running tournaments?
To be honest, I don’t have many other hobbies. I used to play a bunch of different games and when I discovered Smash I got hooked and haven’t moved on yet. 6 years now! I play Splatoon as well and run an online group for that. I also enjoy Pro wrestling and did a bit of that for a while, although it’s on the back burner at the moment.
Other than that, it’s just smash and socialising! Spending time with my wonderful girlfriend too! (She’s sat beside me playing Splatoon as I type this)
What got you into competitive gaming? Did you have any heroes or inspirations?
To be honest, I discovered competitive smash by watching this video on newgrounds called ‘Brawl Taunts’. I played Smash borderline obsessively (I never had a Smash game before Brawl) and when I heard there was an online community I couldn’t wait to come in a destroy everyone! Of course, that’s not how it works and I got destroyed repeatedly. These were just online tournaments, so early on I was just searching for an offline scene where I could play and get better. I didn’t really look up to anyone when I played, and I just wanted to get better .
What do you want to achieve in Smash, aside from running events and winning matches?
Really? I just want to perfect the craft of running events. It doesn’t really feel like there’s anyone in the UK Smash scene (myself included) who is at a level good enough to run huge events. I want to become that in all honesty. As for gameplay I just want the UK scene to be good. It’s looking really healthy at the moment (for Smash4 at least) and I want to keep nurturing it.
As a former lover of Brawl, what are your thoughts on the comparisons with Smash 4, and where does the new game improve upon its predecessor?
In all honesty Brawl was a terrible game for competitive play. Defensive options are too strong, the balancing is truly awful, the games mechanics actively TRY and stop it from being competitive, all sorts of things like that. Smash4 is an improvement in all areas on brawl, and I’m very happy for it. The fact that are semi-regular balance patches are good too. It stops any character from being overpowered.
What’s on the horizon for you in terms of events? Anything big coming up you want to mention?
I haven’t yet made an official announcement for it…But sure, we can do it here! Dat Super Smash is coming up on September 19th. It’s a 128-man capped tournament that’s a part of the SmashEurope circuit. It’s not TOO big but it’s a start. In the near future me and DAT team (Oh yeah, we have a TO team now) will be organising much bigger tournaments!
Finally, where can the fans find you, and hear about upcoming events?
Well, I can be found in a number of places. I’m the owner of SmashUK https://www.facebook.com/groups/SmashUK/ and SplatoonUK https://www.facebook.com/groups/SplatoonUK/ so I’m easily contacted through one of those. I’m also on twitter @VwS_GP. I’m normally quite inactive on there, but I just got a hoard of new followers (Thanks guys) so I guess I’ll post more often!
Thanks for the interview Tim!