Behind the Scenes with Feardragon: Breaking Out
Many could say the NA scene, compared to Europe and Korea, is one of the most difficult scenes to get recognition in. I recently got the chance to interview Feardragon, the creator and host of The Breaking Out series, where up and coming North American SC2 players get to showcase their skills and their personality aside from competitive gaming.
credits to MinnyMaus
Hi, Ravi! For those who haven't heard of you yet, please introduce yourself!
My name's Ravi, or feardragon. I'm an aspiring commentator who started the show Breaking Out back in the Fall of 2013. The show focuses on highlighting up & coming talent in the North American Starcraft 2 scene. Besides that, I've been an avid eSports fan since 2007!
You are mainly known for your “Breaking Out” series featuring a lot of up and coming North American players. Why did you start it?
I've been casting for a lot of Starcraft 2 now(winter 2010 for my CSL team, go Purdue!) and I've always been looking for more stuff I can do. The other thing that made me want to start the show was seeing how hard it was from up & coming players in the scene to get recognized. I cannot count the number of times I've seen some crazy upset in the early rounds of a qualifier. A decently well known Korean getting knocked out by a no name NA player that 95% of people have never heard of.
Who do you think was the most entertaining player to feature?
I would have to go with SaroVati. He's just so damn smart and creative. I almost had to stop the recording to think when he told me about some of the strategies he does. Hiding a nexus and recalling the probes to it so it doesn't get scouted? Opening voidrays in PvT back in wings of liberty to force out marines while you fast tech to colossus? And to top it all off, he taught me a sweet dance move on the show. How can you not love a guy who's basically wingman'ing you at the club?
Are there any memorable moments during the Breaking Out series?
I actually don't have any really specific moments that were especially memorable. I do get really invested in the players once I actually get to talk with them and hear their life story. The feeling when a player becomes more than just some guy behind a keyboard is a lot of what I'm trying to accomplish with the show. So when it happens for me each week, I think that's probably my favorite moment of the show.
I want to get your perspective on North American scene. As some people may consider that the NA scene is one of the "weakest" scenes compared to the flourishing EU and KR region. I'm curious on your end, do you agree with this notion?
I definitely agree NA is the "weakest" region for Starcraft in some senses. There's always talk about Europe being stronger than North America in terms of player skill(let's not even go into Korea/Asia). Europe also has a lot more tournaments and events going on all the time that players can participate in. However, I think the only assumption I feel people wrongly make about North America is that we just lack the talent. I feel it's just not being tapped into properly because we're a bit behind in the driving factors for players. We need more events to encourage players.
So you believe that they perhaps lack the motivation, but the potential is there?
I think that's one aspect of it. Being motivated to get better is really important in getting better. If the only thing you have to practice for are those really big events every few months, it can get tedious to grind out games and get better. It's nice to have more opportunities to play in a tournament environment every so often. It gives you some feedback to say, you're on the right track when you do well. Positive reinforcement if you will.
Speaking of tournaments, NASL just recently dropped SC2/WCS off its production line. This has really shocked a lot of people, especially in the NA community. Any thoughts?
I was really suprised by that....and a little bit depressed. People may have had their qualms about NASL but they were creating great content with their own spin on it.
Aside from SC2, is there anything you enjoy doing? Any hobbies?
I'm actually a software developer! I recently accepted a job at Amazon and I should be starting over there in about 2 months. Between that and Starcraft, most of my time is taken up. I have actually been doing martial arts for almost 12 or 13 years now though. Besides that, I enjoy sucking at DotA with some of my college friends.
Awesome! Let's wrap it up here, any thank yous or shoutouts?
I want to give an enourmous shoutout to Noobity, MinnyMausGG and Sybert for doing so much for me in terms of art assets. All three of these guys approached me and offered completely for free to help out with the show. I am amazed with the work they do and love them for it! I also want to thank the other people who help out with the show like NanMan, Temp0, Boisterous, Rifkin, etc.
Biggest shoutout goes to the players in North America who aren't giving up on working hard to break out though. It's not easy to be an up & coming player in NA right now, but know that you have people rooting for you even when it doesn't feel like it. You'll at least have me rooting for you!
I want to thank Feardragon for the interview! Dont forget to check out his "Breaking Out" series !