Western Wolves' Femi “F-Word” Adeboye is one of the biggest talents in Europe, whether it's time to grab a stick and earn those 5 golden letters or to grab the mic and break down the action for the stream monsters back home. We got a chance to sit down with Fword to talk about commentary, fighting games and competitive gaming.
Western Wolves: Hey F-word, you're well known for your play with Ibuki in Super Street Fighter IV. She's a character that many would say focuses on pressure and mix-ups. Is that how you play her and is that how you would describe your playstyle in general in fighting games?
Femi “F-Word” Adeboye: Hey Martijn. I've gotto be honest here… Ibuki is definitely the character you described, but where I love to apply the pressure, I feel I don't enjoy the mix up side of her game enough to really take full advantage of it. I focus more on making the most of her ground game which is average at best. I think this makes me a little bit silly for picking her, because surely learning all of the broken mix-ups is what should matter. But I just go with the flow. I'll always love 3rd Strike Ibuki more than this one. I mean, yeah she's good, but she's a poor representation of what she should have been. However, my undying love for the character keeps me loyal. And I do really enjoy playing her. Just not as much as I enjoyed playing the original Ibuki.
I think my success rate would go up a lot more if I really mastered her mix-up game. Let's f'ing do it!
WW: We've seen you step up and entertain the fine folks watching from home at several events, among which several of the DreamHack events. It could be said that commentary is part knowledge and part character. Do you practice commentary? Is there things you work at to be a better commentator? Or are you improving yourself primarily based on experience?
F-Word: I've got to admit… I don't practice at all. My favourite FGC commentators include the likes of Yipes, Zhi (when he's not being too pervy), Chris Hu in his prime, and definitely Ken Bogard. These guys all just go with the flow and let their personalities do the entertaining. I enjoy listening to them so much. It's vital you know what you're talking about when commentating but at the same time you really want to enhance the intensity of what's going on. I try to apply a good balance of both but for the most part I'm just having a good time and enjoying what I'm watching like the viewers are.
I do believe I've maybe been a bit too comfortable at times. looooool… with the London slang often shooting out of my mouth without thinking. Such as “RRRRRAAAAGOOOO” and ” DON'T BACK DASH BLAD”!! And who can forget “OOOOHH MYY DAAYYZ”! But having watched a stream all the way in Brazil just the other day, I believe a lot of this lingo is catching on. I even heard a Brazillian say “oh my days” during an epic match switching randomly from Portuguese to English.
I think experience is the greatest teacher so I'd love to get on the Mic with some of my favourite commentators and see how well I jell with them. Landing some more multi-national events wouldn't do my experience much harm either but hey, we'll have to wait and see
WW: You're on a multi-game eSports team, Western Wolves. Traditionally, eSports and the fighting game community are like oil and water, they don't mix unless you add in a little soap. Primarily since Street Fighter IV originally came out, slowly more eSports teams have taken an interest in fighting games. Some blends being more successful than others. How would you describe your experiences mixing fighting games with eSports teams and events?
F-Word: This is a topic that has been very much in the spot light for us all in the FGC of late. Particularly after Xian won Evo, the largest fighting game tournament in the world, only to be rewarded something like £3,000. It was a harsh reality check for all of us in the FGC. But I am inclined to highlight the many many positives. Prior to this, fighting games have grown more in popularity and participation than ever before. Stream views aren't anywhere near the StarCraft level just yet (miles away to be honest) but there records are being broken on a monthly basis. Fighting games now have a regular place at a few of the most recognised E-sports events in the world. DreamHack, MCM and a few others I believe. When I first started attending tournaments, I was very much used to just seeing players and a few organisers and if you're lucky, you'll get a few sponsors at your event. But these days, sponsorships are a given. There are now live streams covering 90% of the competitive FGC tournaments in the world and viewings have been phenomenal.
At DreamHack Winter 2012 I found myself in conversation with FIFA, League of Legends, and StarCraft players alike. And just as I was intrigued by their field, they too were also intrigued by mine. Fighting games don't feel out of place among e-sports. They more than fit in. In fact, the short and exciting two out of 3 rounds format often adopted by SSFIVAE tournaments organisers has made for a more spectator friendly experience than some of the more well known and celebrated E-Sports titles of today.
We've still a way to go before we can truly be cemented in the league of the superiors but the potential is out of this world. And I for one feel ridiculously lucky to have come into my gaming prime during this extremely positive growth and development. But I am soooooooooo jealous of the guys who will be at the forefront a few years from now (or months. who knows) when fighting games truly reach their full potential both on a spectator and participatory level!
If I'm not playing any longer come that time, I sure do hope I won't be too old to say “Jos Gimmeee Dee Myyyyyyyykk” to a happy go lucky 1 million viewers at that years Evolution Championships with a $500,000 prize purse up for grabs
WW: Everyone is talking about Ultra Street Fighter IV. Which changes will we find on your Christmas list for when it comes out in 2014?
F-Word: Oh don't get me started Martijn. A complete revamp of Ibuki would be the initial desire. Moving her away from the slow normal and terrible jump arc combined with even slower air normals for something more “surprise attack” based. Not boringly safe, but often ineffective at high level, vortex. But instead, a high risk high reward reset game like we saw in 3rd Strike. Ambiguous command dash resets and rapid normals allowing her to play a more reactive game in oppose to this boring brain dead preactive game I see both myself and sooooooo many so called Ibuki experts apply.
Other than that unrealistic demand, I would love to see Dee Jay given a bit more of a fighting chance, T. Hawk not buffed at all (goodness what an annoying character. Nerf his health please), Hakan given enough tools to win Evo 2014, Yun nerfed to donkey ballz, Yang not buffed too much though I fear it's too late, Ken back at the top where he belongs, Chun-Li's thighs thickened a bit more whoop whoop, Cammy toned down a tiny bit and Akuma's Sweep -11 on block and non cancellable as well as more recovery on air fireball. lol That isn't too much to ask santa now is it? C'maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!
WW: EVO or SBO?
F-Word: Erm SBO? NFW dude! Evo took top spot about half a decade ago. Evo all the way!
WW: Batman or Iron Man?
F-Word: I've always been a sucker for Iron Man. Though the recent batman movies are so much better than the Ironman ones!
WW: Jason Bourne or James Bond?
F-Word: Jason is just too sick. Man don't even know who he is blad but he'll still bruck James up one time with a blindfold on. I should say jolly James as i'm British but naahhhhh… Jason's gat dis mayn!
WW: Anything you'd like to add?
F-Word: Yeah… a big fat **** you to all the rage quitters on Street Fighter IV Volt for iPad and iPhone. I've recently become a bit of an expert, but the rage quitting is driving me insane! Crickey take a loss like a man you big fat *******!
Oh and a big shout out to my team. Western Woo Woo Woooooooooooooooolves and of course Mad Catz. You guys absolutely rock! Thanks to all the fans carrying that British commentary slang across the globe. Sorry to all the fans who keep dissing my Ibuki's execution. Pfffff jeez… if you can't get it 9 out of 10 times like Sako, I say take the guaranteed damage blad and done. RRRRRAAAGGGOOOO!!!!!!
A big shout out and thanks to Sapphire and AMD also. Yo Sapphire hit me up yo. Samples for the F-Word stream innit. Shhhhhh… a lil something I may be working on Fam. Keep it on a D-low!
Yo F's signing out. Super fun times chatting with ya Martijn. Until next time Peace!