Amsah talks streaming, Syndicate and what’s coming.
Thanks for taking the time to sit down with me the day before you leave for America.
Hey, no problem and thanks for having me!
You just started streaming, why did you decide to start streaming and how are you enjoying it thus far?
The first taste I got of the streaming life was when I was staying over at Armada for Dreamhack. I enjoyed that a lot and wanted to try it myself.
Once I started I noticed that it’s actually way more fun than I thought it’d be. I expected, or well I hoped, to have at least one person watching, but to my surprise I had a lot more. Every session I have at least 20 to 50 static viewers; at my very first stream I actually had over one hundred!
Thanks partially to streaming you are able to focus completely on Smash, was that always a goal or a dream, even?
I started Melee in 2005 when there were absolutely no opportunities to only play Smash. You simply couldn’t live off Smash and it was nowhere near as big as it is now. So the fact we are able to do this today and get this level of attention regarding our scene is amazing.
When someone gets to do what they enjoy and be able to make money with that, that’s always the dream. It’s what I always expected to happen at some point within e-sports but it wasn’t a realistic dream to work towards back then. So being able to do that now is amazing.
Streaming while also having your career as a competitor must be exhausting. How do you go about juggling those two?
Where I can, I will combine streaming and practice. I’m lucky enough to be able to do both most of the time. If anything the fact that I’m streaming now has opened up the ability to play with all kinds of people, like Leffen right before Syndicate. I would say it made things easier. On top of that I feel like practicing while streaming pushes me to play better because I care about the quality of my stream!
When I practice offline I tend to lose focus and goof around every now and then. But while streaming I push myself to play my best as much as I possibly can for the sake of my viewers and that in turn helps me be able to flick that switch in tournament and perform better.
It simulates how I feel in tournament where I get a form of adrenaline that pushes me to try and win.
Let’s talk about your most recent major, Syndicate. How do you feel about the tournament and your result?
At the start of the tournament everyone assesses their opponents and gauges the chance they have based on that in regards to winning, their highest possible placement and their worst case scenario. I feel I landed somewhere smack in the middle. I figured that I could potentially get 4th or 3rd, or even 2nd if someone gets upset like Chu’Dat. But it was also possible for me to get upset and not even get top 8. I feel like I landed in the middle of those two scenarios.
I’m not happy I got 5th but I’m not upset either. That being said, I would’ve loved to have done better obviously! If anything, it’s motivating me right now to do better at GTX. I’m not upset about my placement.
Was there anything specific you were able to take away from Syndicate that will help you in the future?
When I played Chu’dat, I had a tactic I tried to implement, and if you watched the set you know that it definitely didn’t work. So I’m glad I got to see that. If I met up with an IC’s player at the two upcoming majors and applied this strategy it would’ve been a lot worse to find out it didn’t work and get exposed at Big House for example.
How do you feel you did in comparison to Heir looking back at that?
I feel like I did get better, but it didn’t get reflected in the actual results because I still lost to Trif. But in terms of personal growth I feel I made some steps in the right direction. For example: I had a habit of going really slow at the start of a set. I noticed this at Heir and I’m glad to see I was able to avoid that at Syndicate.
Overall I’m not too frustrated with my performance as I learned things from the tournament. I guess it’s also my general attitude to try and always look at the positive.
Coming up next for you is your return to America for two Majors, GT-X and Big House. Big House has been part of this year’s plan for a while now but why have you decided to also attend GT-X?
GT-X is a new tournament series, at least as far I’m aware. They are definitely new in Smash. When a new major tournament shows up that wants to be a part of our community, I feel it’s important to support that. Especially with Beast and Apex disappearing we really needed some new majors.
Since I was already going to big house, I figured I could attend both in one go. The fact the prize pot is so good means almost all the top players are coming and with an overall lower attendance, I get to have more quality game time with players of a high calibre. As a competitor looking to improve, it’s an ideal environment.
Do you have any specific goals going into GT-X?
My competitive mentality is obviously that I want to win but realistically with Armada, Hungrybox and most of the top players showing up, it’s unlikely that I will. I’m looking to upset a few players that people wouldn’t expect me to beat. My goal is to get to top 8, or at least close enough for people to notice that I’m improving. Last time I was in the US I wasn’t able to achieve this so I hope this time around I am able to.
My main goal is to always improve.
I’d like to take a moment to talk about another phenomenon in the Smash scene, Summit. Do you plan to opt in?
Summit is obviously a giant opportunity for anyone looking to improve. You are stuck in a house with the best players in the world to help craft your own skills. In Melee, iron sharpens iron, to get good you need to play better players. There is no better place to do that then at Summit.
Due to this naturally everyone kind of wants to opt in, me included. The problem we run into as Europeans is that Summit is a bit of a popularity contest, and our scene is way smaller. Due to this me, Trif, Armada, Prof and a bunch of other top players talked to each other and agreed to only send one person in to increase our chances for at least one European to participate. We came to the conclusion that it’s a better choice to send Trif in. Not because they don’t like me (laughs), but Trif has had the most growth this year and we want to give him the opportunity to see how well he can perform at Summit.
How do you feel about that decision?
I’m ok with it, we are obviously rivals and beat each other in tournaments, but outside of that we are also friends. So if Trif could get into Summit I would be happy for him as a friend, and if he improves a lot I will get better from that. All of Europe gets to grow due to this. If we both opted in, it’s likely neither of us would get to go.
If there is another summit, I will 100% go for it that time around.
One final question. If you had to give one piece of advice that applies to anyone, whether you are a long term player or just started and looking to improve. What would it be?
I would say, when you are playing friendlies with anyone. No matter who, play to learn and keep your eyes open. The one mistake I feel everyone makes is that when they play people who are worse then them, they don’t try to learn and take things away from it. You can learn from everyone, better or worse.
Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming two American Majors. Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
Watch my stream, Sub hype! Follow me at GT-X/Big House and Twitter. And if you are a fan or not and just want to say hi, please do so! Hopefully see you guys soon. I especially want to thank my sponsor Asterion for making all of this possible!