This is my interview for Brian King
Ok i think i’ll start the interview with some basics
Q1) What is your name/handle? Where are you from? And how long have you been playing fighting games?
Hi I’m Dan Smith but my friends call me Darko. quick side track on the name it was something I gained in college mainly because my xbox live gamer tag is Darko I, but also there were three Daniel’s in the class me, Daniel Byrne and Danny Riley which to stop the mix up we all got nick names I became Darko, Byrne became Purge and Riley Became Jester the there of us becoming the legendary Danin (its a sad Naruto reference). Anyway right where am I from well little bit of everywhere really I was born in Warrington until my first year of high school in which my family moved to Runcorn then for uni I moved to Southampton and despite uni not working out I ended up living there for three years (crazy days) until moving back to Runcorn! As for how long have I’ve been playing fighting games well I’ve been a gamer nearly all my life with the sega mega drive being my first console but it would’nt be till the playstation that i would get my hands on a real fighter which was (drum role) TEKKEN! Yes I was raised on tekken but all I knew was button mashing it would of been tekken 3 that I learned how to combo and what not but my brothers always beat me and make me cry which meant after x men mutant academy 2 (which I loved, Toad FTW) I just stopped playing fighting games sad I know so apart playing soulcalibur and mavel vs capcom once on the dreamcast and that hidden fighting game in star wars episode III on the PS2 that you unlock by completing the main game which was badass i loved rocking out as Darth Vader but even then it was only like 3-4 times I played it and that one time i played mortal kombat deadly alliance. No it was Soulcalibur 4 on the xbox 360 that got me back into fighters, nearly every night after buying it me and Jester fighting to the death with challenges from Craig Williams later to be know as Death or formaly DeathMilkGun but even then I was exactly sold on fighters as a genre. Then Feb, 2009 STREET FIGHTER 4 I had now knowledge of street fighter who was Ryu, who was Ken and who the hell was the chick with the hulk thighs but I did not matter Craig said it was good, Craig said it was the best and Craig said buy this goddam game so I did and it t’was good and soon after learning how to hadoken then shyruken then ultra and super I was sold! With the hunger for battle was born in me with friend now rivals whether i could beat my opponent or not it did-ney-matter it was the fight its self 3 rounds 99 seconds each anything could happen and its been like that for the past 5 years be it buying my first Madcatz TE arcade stick or buy every fighting game that came out or having a mini tourney for my 20th complete with akuma cake, watching my first EVO live stream as well as Cross Counter tv, having 2 money match’s with a random black dude called BIGs and going to proving grounds last year its been a wild ride and even when I lost my way fighting games have been at my heart and this year I really want to up my game take it to the next level as it were but not just me! anyone in my area or beyond!
Q2) You recently started the War for the North group talk to me about it what is it and what is your aim with the group?
War for the North is an idea I had while at a Craigs (DeathMilkGun) BBQ in which we had a SSF4: AE tourney from the very first bout it was hype even though the skill level was every where ranging from people who’ve either never played it or those who have but only know how to pull off basic moves to people who was the best out their friends and family or even a guy who had been to a few tournaments but hasn’t played in years but still it was hype people had fun we even had a double KO and then I thought “this is what I wanna do with my life” be an event manger, host events bring as many people together as possible to get Hyped and play video games! The aim of this group is to raise a local gaming community from nothing bring people who either wanna take their game to the next level or just have fun playing game and meeting new people! We are currently holding at 89 members but while that a good start most of them probably won’t show we need more competitors from both inside and outside the local area!
Q3) So you are setting up a local scene in your area, Has this been a long standing ambition for yourself or is it something thats come out of the blue?
The hole idea probably started in my last year of college back when it was just me, Craig and Jester. In uni our group grew a little, at first with Sam Farrer (Justfarrer) who had been playing for years then with Becca, Ambear, Derek and Irish as well as class room fighter Christian Brindley and tournament vet Adrian but apart from the odd mini-tourney we couldn’t get anything going really. Then when me and Craig were back in the northwest we started posting on NeoEmpire to gather some local players no such luck and so Craig went to proving grounds then I went with him to the following one NeoEmpire was taken down and the hole plan died on its ass and we had a BBQ then on Sunday 28th April 2013 at 23:15 I created War for the North the facebook group and @warforthenorth on twitter!
Q4) So how do you plan on advertising for members?
Well so far its been facebooking friends and people I know, setting up a twitter and post forums such as SRK and Topix as well as doing this interview future plans maybe flyers in the Runcorn and Widnes area maybe if we get the numbers we could get Halton Community Radio to do a shout out and again if we get the numbers maybe even spark some interest with the local paper the Runcorn and Widnes World and hope we get more chances to promote the scene
Q5) What about a venue have you got one in mind or is it dependent on numbers?
While at first it will be dependent on numbers we have got a venue in mind that will think will be perfect for regular tournaments,Widnes conference room hire at The Moorfield here’s the blurb
Conference Room Hire Widnes
With a maximum capacity of 140 people, air conditioning, bar and kitchen, sound system and raised stage area, the possible uses for this excellent space are almost limitless.
Weddings, works do’s, shows, parties and conferences are all welcome, plus we have free wi-fi and free parking as well.
Craig (DeathMilkGun) also informs me that its near the Widnes train station which will be handy for non-locals but again this is only if we get the numbers
Q6) you mentioned earlier this started with an impromptu bbq that turned into a Street Fighter 4 tourney, did you see anyone there that was head and sholders above the rest in terms of skill level?
I should start by was Craig’s(DeathMilkGun) BBQ and its his idea to turn it into a tournament as for the tourney its self it was you basic affair best out of three games but we didn’t have a losers bracket so the pressure was on but me and Craig (DeathMilkGun) where banned for playing to keep things fare anyway on to the winner of the show and most skilled fighter was Craig Hall he had been to a few tourneys in the past but he hadn’t played in years played a little cheep but again for someone who hadn’t played in years he was pretty good and my second top pick Matt James Campbell a Chun Li player from the days of old again hadn’t played in years but did let him self down when he switched to Sagat he came third and finally Bethany Williams, Deaths sister could have won it but just couldn’t over come Craig Halls attacks. Lastly two honorable mentions Liam Guilfoyle for the bloody amazing double KO and Daniel Byrne (purgeyo) for making it to the forth round of the tourney despite A) being completely out matched and B) being completely unable to use a fightstick and finaly C) Always going random.
Q7) Where do you hope your scene will be in a years time?
I really hope we have a regular tournament going by then with again hope 50 regulars both local and around the uk maybe even a stream and to have a more proactive community!
So if you like what you’v heard and are local or willing to make the trip join us at War for the North on facebook and/or follow us on twitter @warforthenorth or if you’d like to do more than just play at the tournament and would like to get more involved by either promoting our scene, providing hardware, being tech support, help stream our tourneys or anything helpful drop me an email at email@example.com add you can always add me (Darko I) or Craig (DeathMilkGun) on Xbox Live
Thanks for the interview