December is already flying by!
Right now, is a good time to be an Injustice player. There is still a lot going on weekly to do. If you’re not in the War of the Gods tournament you can now also compete in the Winter Clash online as well. We also have NEC coming up on the 15th and I hope to see many of you there. Unfortunately for us (but fortunate for them) we will be missing some of our favorite Canadian players at NEC due to a big tournament in Canada the same weekend. One of those players competing for the grand prize at Northern Arena is this week’s guest on First to Ten.
Matthew Commandeur aka Biohazard, was one of my first friends I made in the FGC. His kindness is unforgettable. At the MKX Pro League Season 2 finals he was one of the people who were instantly nice that I met. It was nice to get to chit chat and I’ll never forget the moment during that tournament where he brutalitied Sonic with Ferra/Torr. Bio was kind enough to reach out to me about a tournament called WinterBrawl that happened maybe a month after the pro league finals. When I mapped it, I realized it was only a 25-min drive away. I had been living in Delaware at the time. I was down to come out, but this was my first like actual tournament, so I had no idea what to expect. I brought my cosplay though because I realized on the website they had a contest. When I got there, I met up with Bio and instantly saw other familiar faces from pro league like Sonic and Honeybee. After that I just kept going to more and more tournaments and becoming more involved. I would’ve never known about WinterBrawl if it wasn’t for Bio because I was a brand-new baby to the FGC. He’s also never been “too cool” to play against someone. He was always down to sit down at casual stations to help me practice.
One of the big reasons I wanted Bio on F2T is because he’s truly someone with a good heart and determination to keep leveling up in the game. He was also for a long time not sponsored despite making many Top 8’s in Injustice 2 and placing additionally well in MKX.
Without further ado, let’s get to it:
1. Thanks for joining us today Matt. Please for the first question tell everyone about where you’re from and how you got started playing fighting games.
Hey Amanda, thanks for having me on F2T! I’m from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’ve lived here my entire life so naturally I enjoy representing my roots whenever and wherever I am. My first memory of playing a fighting game is probably when I was 6 or 7 and I saw a Marvel vs Capcom 2 cabinet at a Chinese Buffet. I grew up playing video games so whatever the game was I was always eager to play. After that I got into playing Street Fighter 4 in high school because I had a lot of friends who also enjoyed fighting games and we were rather competitive within our small circle. Since then I casually dabbled in many fighting game titles such as Ultimate/Marvel vs Capcom 3, Persona 4 Arena, Blazblue: Calamity Trigger, and Tekken 6 which would eventually lead me to try another fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us.
2. Now you’ve told me before Injustice: Gods Among Us was your first competitive fighting game. What was it like competing for your first time and did you always main Bane?
Competing for my first time was an interesting experience. I’d played so many other fighters, but not once had I thought about playing them competitively. It wasn’t until I introduced my brother Tim (HoneyBee) to Injustice and to try it out that he wanted to see how we’d do at a local, so we found one downtown, and got totally mopped. I’m pretty sure I went 0-2 at my first local and I just thought, wow, these guys are so much better than me, but I had fun! I met a lot of new people from the Toronto scene, the TO (NeoRussell) was very welcoming and we both wanted to go back, try again, and get better.
Competing for the first time in the US was a different story entirely. I was so used to seeing top Injustice players on streams from locals like GGA in Chicago and the Break in New Jersey. The first time I was in a room with guys like Darth Arma, Zyphox and Jupiter at ECT I remember being star struck, it was such a strange feeling, but eventually I just became one of the guys after attending multiple tournaments.
I didn’t always main Bane in IGAU, I started off with Bane, but he was really bad in the beginning, so I had to use another character while I was competing at my locals. I decided to use Harley because she was a bit better than Bane, I loved her character and I had fun using her. By the time I was travelling to the states for the second year of Injustice, Bane had received the Bane treatment and I was basically all Bane in tournament except for a few sprinkles of Harley, Doomsday and Nightwing here and there towards the end of the game’s life.
3. You and your brother are always going to tournaments together. What is it like having a brother who also is known for playing the game so extremely well? Has there ever been any insane matches in tournament where you had to play each other to eliminate that you recall?
During Injustice and MKX it was fantastic, I was living with my training partner who also happened to be a top player in both games. We would spend hours just grinding games and while I would be playing a few different characters to give him MU exp, I only got Flash in return. I’m pretty sure I’ve had one or two nightmares about the Flash haha. Nevertheless, even though I mainly got Flash experience from him, it helped immensely to sharpen my fundamentals and I was able to get a decent amount of MU experience from my locals as well as online, when it ran smoothly. It’s difficult to remember a lot of insane matches that happened involving my brother, we rarely ever if at all played each other in US tournaments. I remember winning a local one time and popping off though since he dominated our Injustice local scene. We also had a great set at Toryuken for Injustice 2 days after the game released.
4. What was it like not having a sponsor while still doing very well? Did it affect what tournaments you were able to go to? How has it been since becoming sponsored by Eanix?
After Combo Breaker, after I got 5th place in Injustice 2, I decided that I wanted to see what other opportunities there were for sponsorship for a guy in my position. Critical Reaction had been a great sponsor for the time that I was with them but with the expenses that travelling, and tournaments come with I was wondering if I could find an org that could help me out with covering more of that. I decided to go solo for a while as I searched for another sponsor. As I was doing well, I would get offers here and there, some good, some not so good and sometimes things just wouldn’t work out during the contract phase, but I stayed patient. I knew that eventually I would find a good sponsor and that things would work out so I didn’t sweat it too much, for the time being.
Not having a sponsor didn’t really affect what tournaments I was able to go to or not go to, I made some good decision making and saved a lot from my previous job which allowed me to go to places like Vienna/England and Australia. It was a huge risk but I felt like the odds of me doing well were high and that I’d be able to make a good profit.
Currently I am no longer sponsored by Eanix but my time with them was great. I was able to go to a lot of tournaments that rounded out the end of the Injustice Pro Series and now I’m back to searching and patiently waiting until I find another org that gels with me.
5. Have you ever struggled during your time in the FGC? How did you overcome that?
I think anyone that has followed me since I came into the scene knows all about my ups and downs, MKX probably contributing to most of them. In MKX I had a good amount of decent results, a couple of top 8’s here and there, but also a lot of bubble boy moments, meaning I would get eliminated right before the money. I think a lot of those struggles stemmed from being a character loyalist to a character that wasn’t top tier and couldn’t handle a vast majority of bad match ups on their own. This is something I decided to change with Injustice 2, clearly, as I’m using upwards of 5 characters now. I knew that my issue in MKX wasn’t a problem with me not being skilled enough, it was one of poor decision making, and it was a lesson well learned. In the end you have to believe in yourself, it helped a lot also having people like my brother and my friends in the FGC who believed in me.
6. A lot of people would probably say you love big bodies but then you also play Harley. What makes you love a character enough to play them?
I’m a DC fan at heart, I love reading the Suicide Squad, Injustice and Gotham City Sirens comics so already I’m interested in characters before I know what they play like in the game. I do love the big body archetype but it’s also the tools and playstyle that a character possesses that really draws me to them and gets me attached. I’ve found that I enjoy multiple playstyles, Grappling, Zoning and everything in between so I play characters that allow me to enjoy all of those playstyles and add my own style to them.
7. When you made the MKX Pro League, was this your first time getting to do something that big? How did it feel getting to do that?
When I made it to Season 2 of the MKX Pro League it was my first time doing anything as big as that. That has a lot to do with the whole Chasing the Cup series that also documented a select group of players, (me, HoneyBee, SonicFox, Pig of the Hut and Perfect Legend) and had us doing filming in our hometowns, Vegas and California. I also made a really deep run in the tournament and even though I didn’t place as well as I wanted at the finals, It was a fantastic experience and one that I will never forget.
8. What’s it been like competing in Northern Arena? What has been your favorite major to date and why?
The Northern Arena online qualifiers started off a little shaky, but they were able to smooth everything out after the first week. It’s great seeing who is able to come out on top each week in Canada, there’s a lot of talented guys here and some that I didn’t know about until this tournament. I can’t wait for next weekend where the finals will be held in Montreal!
There’s been so many great tournaments that I’ve been to over the years, it’s hard to pick just one. Viennality had an amazing venue and all the guys involved really worked so hard to pull off a memorable tournament. CEO is another tournament that I enjoy going to so much each year. The location, weather and wrestling themed tournament is a fantastic production that is just eye candy to a wrestling fan. I have to say that this year’s Combo Breaker was probably my favourite tournament though. I really dug the venue and stage that they had for us, getting interviewed with the top 8 after we finished on Sunday was really awesome and Chicago Deep Dish is just sublime!
9. What are you currently studying to do as a career? Do you think it’s important for professional players to have a career outside playing?
Currently I am studying to work in IT, I have a diploma in early childhood education, but it wasn’t a field that I could see myself working in, so I decided to go back to school. I think it’s super important for professional players to have a career outside of playing. With competitive gaming you never know how you’ll do at a tournament, it’s a huge gamble to try to make a living off that and attempt to support yourself, let alone a family. That’s why I respect SonicFox so much, even though he has won a huge amount of money from winning tournaments, he still has his priorities straight and wants to have a stable career after he finishes college.
10. What tournaments can we see you at in 2018? Will we see more characters in your arsenal for 2018?
You’ll definitely see me at Combo Breaker, CEO and EVO in 2018. Since I am in school, I want to focus on that and being currently unsponsored I’ll have to pick my tournaments wisely. Although if an IPS season 2 is announced, I may throw those plans out the door and just go ham. We’ll see.
Right now, I’m currently using Bane, Harley, Manta, Swampy and Starfire, oh and Deadshot just for fun, RIP Floyd. I’d definitely see myself expanding my roster in 2018 and I have my eye on trying out Enchantress when she drops.
If you’d like to keep up with Bio you can follow him on social media:
Thanks again everyone and to Matt for taking the time out to do this for us all. This weekend I will be traveling to NEC in PA so I hope to see as many of you there as possible. I will be catching up with Meryluna the fierce Kahnum herself for a special interview on her time in the FGC. Sadly it will no longer be in person but I’m so excited to have her on here. Hope to see you all tuning in again then!