BaseLan 30 had all kinds of awesome tournaments during its awesome weekend-long event. While Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive were certainly the stars of this weekend, the console gamers were also there in full force. I had the chance to talk to Jason Lam from Chip Damage to discuss the fighting game community in Winnipeg.
Jason: My name’s Jason Lam. I’m one of the tournament organizers for the Chip Damage fighting game community. We have been around for quite a few years collaborating with AYB and various other conventions and events. We have multiple tournaments throughout the year. Usually every two months.
Nedu: How long has Chip Damage been around? What have you guys been up to?
Jason: I’ve been with Chip Damage myself for about five to six years now, but the group has existed over ten years at this point. It started out as a University of Manitoba student group, and then just branched out from that. I’m not even one of the oldest members. We’ve been around for quite a few years.
Nedu: What fighting games are you guys playing right now? What fighting games are you looking forward to?
Jason: Currently the most popular fighting games are Street Fighter V, Guilty Gear, and BlazBlue. They kinda swap spots occasionally. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is also… it was pretty popular, but its interest is kinda dying down now. But those are the main ones, Street Fighter, Guilty Gear and BlazBlue. Whichever one is newer at the time. There are some new fighting games on the horizon, like Injustice 2 should be coming out in the near future and Tekken 7. Those game should have a fair bit of interest, but it remains to be seen which one has long lasting appeal. Street Fighter seems to be the only one that kinda has that.
Nedu: What do you think of the fighting game community in Winnipeg? Do you think it is growing? It sounds like you guys have already branched out yourselves. What do you see in that?
Jason: The fighting game community is difficult to get new members just because… well one of the main hurdles is people really don’t like losing. In fighting games there is always one winner and one loser. If you are going to get good, you kinda have to really lose a lot. You learn best from your losses. Some people don’t really like the idea of losing a lot or just having to practice things and kinda execute things well. But generally, we are growing bit by bit. It is not huge amounts of growth, but we get new member every year.
Nedu: Any quick tips for people that are interested in getting into fighting games?
Jason: For tips for people interested getting into fighting games, just have fun with it. You are going to end up losing; be okay with the fact that that will happen. The community here is very welcoming. We are mostly here just to try and get better. A lot of members have a self-improvement attitude. If you come in saying you just want to get better, we will help you quite a bit. Some other communities, it is not quite like that. They’re not as welcoming. It’s kinda like that old arcade mentality where it’s like put a quarter in, you lose then get to the back of the line. So it’s pretty nice here. If you do want to get better, just come to a Chip Damage tournament or event. We meet every Friday at the University of Manitoba so you can come to that and meet the community.
Nedu: If you were stranded on a deserted island with one fighting game character, who would it be and why?
Jason: I think it would have to be Superman so he could fly me out of there… because that sounds awful!
Nedu used to play Street Fighter at arcades and was often sent to the back of the line. He is also a content writer at AYBOnline. His views are his own.