Catching up with Wazminator

With #BAM9 on the horizon, the Dark Sided players have been working hard to prepare for one of the biggest events on the Australian fighting game calendar. We took the time to catch up with Mortal Kombat X juggernaut and streamer Tasman 'Wazminator' Stephenson.

Dark Sided Fighting Game Player Wazminator

Steve: Hey Waz, what have you been up to? how are your preparations for Battle Arena Melbourne 9 going?

Wazminator: I've been focusing a lot on building my stream audience and preparing for BAM 9 mostly just by playing at YSB every month and online throughout the week.

Dark Sided at Battle Arena Melbourne 9

Steve: As a player, which do you feel you benefit the most from offline training mode grinding combos/setups/tech or playing online and fighting a live opponent?

Wazminator: I feel that you will benefit from playing offline more than anything, training mode for execution, setups, tech etc will only take you so far. From my experience a good balance of both is one of the most practical ways to become a better player.

Steve: So playing online is like a necessary evil! If you were to describe your playstyle what would it be?

Wazminator: I would say my playstyle is a good mix of everything, for the most part I like to play a strong neutral but once I get a knockdown I'll play my frame trap/throw game, depending on the situation I feel like I'm able to play however I need to for that situation, defensive, offensive, patient, etc.

Steve: I guess that would make you something like a pretty good all-rounder in your eyes. Alright before we continue, something a little off topic but something the people absolutely need to know. If you had to choose, would you rather anchovies on a pizza or pineapple on a pizza?

Wazminator: To be honest, I hate both, give me a meatlovers pizza and I'm good.

Steve: You recently hit Platinum rank on CFN in Street Fighter V, how are you finding the game? Is there a big difference for you trying to play a Capcom style of fighter coming from a NRS background? Mentally different or executionally different?

Wazminator: I've been back and forth with Street Fighter V since the release, I've tried a few characters but never really felt at home until I started playing Balrog. Coming from NRS to Capcom has helped me tremendously in the learning process, they are completely different games but taking my fundamentals that I learnt from MKX to SFV definitely helped.

Dark Sided - Street Fighter V

Steve: Lets talk some more about Mortal Kombat X, you've seen quite a bit of tournament success recently winning York Street Battle #49 in March and also winning the first ever Gamestah MKX online tournament. Is it easier winning at home in front of your ViewSonic VX2457 monitor or are you a player that thrives up on the big stage?

Wazminator: Okay so, at the moment in MKX I am super confident in my play so be it online or offline, it doesn't make much of a difference to me anymore. However I would like to mention that taking out the Gamestah MKX tournament on my Viewsonic Monitor this weekend was a blast!

Steve: No doubt you fought some familiar faces in both tournaments, do you have any rivals within the Aus MKX community? Are there players that help you improve your own game by training together, sharing tech or is there maybe a more sinister rival that you just can't let them get ahead of you?

Wazminator: I feel like I have no true rival throughout the MKX community, although I would say throughout most of MKX I trained with Castiel, one of the strongest players in our scene and we were always trying to better one another. As for the threats, recently I'd say Gilbagz is my biggest threat, he has taught me so much and knows my gameplan in and out so he is always a huge threat.

Steve: Gilbagz was the man that put you into losers for the Gamestah MKX tournament but ultimately you came back to beat him in the Grand Finals. Interesting... Lets talk Injustice 2, it's coming out pretty soon, Excited for this game? Any characters you have your eye on? Sticking to your original Injustice pick or playing something new?

Wazminator: YES! I am so excited for Injustice 2, so far I'm interested in Poison Ivy and Swamp Thing, I did play some Atrocitus in the beta so if he stays the same as he was I would definitely be keeping him in my pocket.

Steve: How does Mortal Kombat X perform when Injustice 2 comes out, is it like Capcom where you play the leading title and nothing else?

Wazminator: The way NRS works is similar to Capcom, everyone will go to Injustice 2 but the people who really enjoyed MKX and want to see it live will still continue to play it alongside Injustice 2.

Steve: I hope MKX continues well after Injustice 2 drops.

Moving on, I'd be surprised if people didn't know this but you're quite a keen streamer, I see you bonding with the rest of the Dark Sided team over some Player Unknown's Battlegrounds in your ZQRacing chair. Hows that been going? Is it something you enjoyed from the beginning or did you have to find your stride with it?

Wazminator: Streaming has been a really fun time since I began in August last year, I never thought it would give me some of the opportunities it has so far. I always have enjoyed it and still do just as much as I did from the beginning, seeing all the wazHype emotes in chat is definitely a highlight every stream, always makes me laugh seeing my own face as an emote.

Steve: I'm actually a fan of wazFail more than wazHype, one of my favourite emotes in our Dark Sided Discord.

Finally, be honest with me, who's going to win Mortal Kombat X at BAM 9?

Wazminator: I can personally guarantee you that I will be taking BAM 9 MKX, my past 5 tournaments that I have entered I have won and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon.

Be sure to catch Wazminator on Twitter and on TwitchTV also you can come down and cheer for Wazminator at Battle Arena Melbourne 9! 13-14th of May at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.