Interviewed by: Jon Scarr
Earlier this year, Canadian based eSports organization SetToDestroyX made their first venture into the Pokkén Tournament scene with their acquisition of Allister “ALLISTER” Singh. With Nintendo showing more and more an interest in the eSports arena, it was a perfect time for the global leader of the Pokkén community, ALLISTER to join the StDx team and destroy the competition.
I recently had a chance to talk with Allister to find out a little bit more about himself, what he loves about Pokkén Tournament, and his thoughts on Nintendo in the eSports arena.
WorldGaming: Hi Allister, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me today. For those that don’t know, could you tell us a little be about yourself?
Allister: What’s up! My name is Allister Singh and I am a professional Pokkén Tournament DX player for SetToDestroyX. I am from San Jose, California and enjoy fighting games and anything Nintendo.
WorldGaming: Can you tell us what was the first game that you played which caught your interest?
Allister: The first game that I played was Virtua Fighter 1+2 for the Sega Saturn. I always watched my father play it when I was young and he would let me play it sometimes. It was just mind-blowing to me that you could control a guy to fight another guy and beat each other up!
WorldGaming: That’s great! I love Virtua Fighter on the Sega Saturn as well and spent countless hours with my friends playing it. What was the first game that got you into the competitive scene?
Allister: The first game that got me into the competitive gaming scene was Super Smash Bros. Melee. My best friend from middle school would always invite me over after class and we would research, grind, and enter local tournaments. This game really ignited my competitive spirit and taught me about effort, results, progress, and discipline.
WorldGaming: Why did you choose to play competitively in Pokkén Tournament over other fighting games?
Allister: I initially chose to play Pokkén over other fighting games simply because of the IP. I’ve been a fan of Pokémon my entire life, and just hearing that Pokkén was a Pokémon fighting game, it immediately hooked me in!
WorldGaming: What do you think sets Pokkén Tournament apart from other from other fighting games on the market today?
Allister: What makes Pokkén Tournament different from other fighting games on the market today is how unique it is. It’s a game that is extremely easy to pick up, yet very difficult to master and stay consistent with. Also, Pokkén Tournament is the first fighting game to introduce “Phase Shifts” which consists of playing back and forth between a traditional 2-D perspective and a fresh 3-D perspective.
WorldGaming: I know that you played Pokkén Tournament on the Wii U competitively prior to the game being released on the Switch. Can you tell us any types of challenges that you faced, if any?
Allister: The biggest challenge I had to face with Pokkén Tournament on the Wii U had to be the console itself. Because of Pokkén’s unique Field Phase mechanic and both players needing their character’s perspective, tournament play required two systems, two monitors, two copies of the game, two LAN adapters, and a crossover cable. Lugging those around for local tournaments was quite troublesome!
WorldGaming: Wow! It seems like it was quite a chore playing before the Switch version of Pokkén Tournament came around. Have you ever gotten any flack from people who think Pokkén Tournament is just a kid’s game and doesn’t require any type of skill?
Allister: Of course. With every fighting game, there will always be that crowd who look at a game and assume they know the ins and outs. The Pokkén community takes it very well though, they just brush off the criticism and continue to enjoy the game, it’s great.
WorldGaming: Now that Pokkén is out on the Switch, are there any changes to Pokkén Tournament DX that you would like to see?
Allister: My largest gripe about Pokkén on the Wii U and the initial DX release was that there was no record function in training mode. It made it quite frustrating to lab out and practice things in the game when we can’t get the training dummy to do exactly what we want. Luckily, they just announced recently that they were adding that feature to the next upcoming patch, so I am super ecstatic!
WorldGaming: Do you feel that Nintendo is starting to take notice of the eSports scene and embracing it more?
Allister: Absolutely. With the Nintendo Switch and its competitive titles such as ARMS, Splatoon 2, and Pokkén Tournament DX, it’s quite hard to ignore it! They greatly acknowledged it by dipping their toes into the water with E3. They had an invitational for all three games that involved pros and even the developers! Especially with the creation of the new Twitter account @NintendoVS, we’re bound to see more of Nintendo embracing eSports!
WorldGaming: How do you prepare for a competition?
Allister: Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst. I’ll always have a positive attitude when a big tournament approaches, but I will always prioritize working on my flaws and weaknesses. I will usually contact players who use characters that I am weak against, and play endless friendlies with them. I will also sometimes learn the character that gives me a hard time, so I can understand the match-up better!
WorldGaming: Do you have any advice for those looking to get into the competitive scene?
Allister: If you want to get into the competitive Pokkén Tournament DX scene, I highly suggest you take a look at Pokkenarena.com (a fantastic forum that has loads of information about the game) and check out discord.gg/Pokken (a chat service where the Pokkén community hangs out. Everyone is super welcoming and helpful!). Also, everyone knows they are always free to hit me up on Twitter (@StDxALLISTER), I always take the time to help others / point you in the right direction. Don’t hesitate!
WorldGaming: Do you have any upcoming competitions that you would like to tell us about?
Allister: Since Pokkén Tournament DX has released, I have won the first two majors and placed in top 8 in the recent “Final Boss” which happened to be the most stacked Pokkén major in history. I’ve been doing pretty well and have my sights on Frosty Faustings, which takes place in January at Illinois. Make sure to tune in!
Based in Toronto, Jon is a proud Canadian who loves all things gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been in love with technology and gaming for over 20 years. Come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Twitter.