First to Ten superdashes into DBFZ and gets to know KnowKami

This week on First 2 Ten I decided to try a different approach, the community said they wanted it, so here is our first Dragon Ball FighterZ interview!  I had this idea to add to First to Ten because with the NRS community being at a slower time right now with the IPS 2 finals creeping up, we have this lovely community forming with FighterZ.  We see many personalities and players from various sub-communities coming to be in this new one. It’s absolutely amazing to witness this.

I thought it might be good to show somebody who’s caught the eye of the community in the last few months.  KnowKami first got my attention when I was watching the Defend the North stream and saw him destroying people while also using Zamasu.  Ironically this was also the same weekend we saw SonicFox using the same character in Europe to clutch wins. But it was so cool to see Kami’s team synergy shine as he worked his way up at DTN taking 3rd place.

Again, we saw him going through his pools at EVO this year taking win after win getting himself into the top 8 there.  He ended up with 5th place but it was astill phenomenal to see him shine. I personally do not know much about Kami so I also thought that means for a great F2T with him for our first DBFZ edition. Let’s get to it!

Photo by Robert Paul @Tempus Rob http://rmpaul.com/

1.  Hey Kami, thanks for joining us.  We always start this part off with an introduction.  So please, introduce yourself, who you are, where you come from, etc.!

Hey! First off I’d like to say that I am very happy to be apart of this installment of F2T, I am a big fan of the site.

My name is Perry “KnowKami” Vinson and I am a professional fighting game player for Will2Win Gaming. I am from Brooklyn, New York but I now reside in North Carolina. Competition has always been a huge passion of mine, and after I got injured playing college football, I needed another competitive venture to undertake, fighting games are that thing for me and I love them and the many things they have taught me.

2.  So I know you have played anime games before, what fighting games have you played competitively outside of DBFZ and have you had any results with them?

Before playing dbfz I have played Umvc3, SF4, Tekken Tag 2, Kof 13, SFV, and Guilty Gear Xrd.

Guilty Gear Xrd was the first game that I took really seriously enough to travel to a major and I had alot of success in it in a very short time. I top 8th Ceotaku and CEO as well as wins at TFC and the Backyard. I am really happy to have played Guilty Gear and the scene will always have a special place in my heart.

3.  I’m curious, the name, KnowKami, is this a DBZ reference?  How did this name come to be?

While I was thinking of a handle for myself, I really wanted something that was easy to remember, had some part of Japanese culture in it, and would have an impact on me as a player. After thinking for days I came up with “Kami”, and I knew it was a good name for me because it would push me to get strong fast, I mean you can’t be going 0-2 with the name Kami. I really wanted my version to stand out and have something english in it, that brought out the “Kami” part of the name, so after scouring dictionary.com I decided on KnowKami, which is admittedly hands down the coolest name in the FGC. And I really can’t afford the lose with a name like that.

4.  What has been your process with picking your team in FighterZ?  Why 21 and Zamasu?

My thought processes when picking up characters/teams in dbfz is to make sure that my team works as a team first and foremost. Dbfz is different than many other vs 3v3 games in that you cannot switch out character after a successful character down, this means that you must be able to play with all three characters in all three positions at any time, because of this I need all three characters to support the others no matter the position, at all times.

21 is a character that I believe is very unorthodox and has strengths that aren’t apparent immediately, but become very apparent when put on a team that is built around her. She generally excels at everything, and only has one weakness (her lack of meterless sliding knockdown) so if you can cover that you have a very powerful character that not many people are ready for in your hands.

Zamasu is my favorite character in dragonball z/super and when he was released I knew I had to play him. While he is definitely not the strongest character imo, during my preparation for evo I knew that people wouldn’t be ready for him due to him being new and unpopular, so I chose to play him on a team that played to his strengths and saw alot of success with him.

My future as a Zamasu player is kinda up in the air atm,unless you count Goku Black who is also technically Zamasu. 🤔😂

Photo by Robert Paul @Tempus Rob http://rmpaul.com/ 

5.  Are there any specific players you look up to in the scene or who have inspired you to keep getting better with the games you play?

I don’t really have any players that I look up to the traditional sense, I try to forge my own path as a player. That being said I hold a level of respect for anyone I play or learn from.

On the flip side there are players who have influenced me and my thought process in and outside the game and I would say that those players would have to be Daigo Umehara, Kizzie Kay, and Rico Suave.

After listening to an interview Daigo did after his Ft10 with infiltration in Street Fighter 4, I learned the most important lesson in fighting games I have ever learned, and that is accountability. Due to our battles taking place in a video game, and us piloting characters that we ourselves haven’t balanced, we tend to not look for answers, give up on bad mus, and blame our characters for many things we have control over. Daigo explained this flaw in fighting game players in that interview, and helped put me on the right path to becoming stronger.

Kizzie Kay has always managed to inspire me as a player because of his determination, a couple of years ago, nobody really knew who he was (or me) and he was a player who people wouldn’t consider top level (he now is) Kizzie Kay changed that, how? Through incredible hard work and perseverance, talking to him and watching him grind really left an impact on me because it always reminds me that hard work does pay off, and that it is always possible, it just depends on how much you are willing to put into it.

Rico Suave is a player that I have always known about, but became better acquainted with this year as a competitor this year, and I can say his influence has also been pretty astronomical on my play.

Before talking to Rico, I had began to believe that only my way of thinking and approaching fighting games was correct which is a pretty ignorant thing to believe looking back on it. Through theorycrafting and playing Rico Suave helped open my mind to other ways of thinking that I hadn’t considered, and added even more substance to my game and mindset, being able to see things with a wider is and will imperative to any success I see in the future, and learning that from him has influenced my way of thinking a ton.

6.  What was your first FGC event and what games did you enter there?

The first fgc event that I ever entered was a small Street Fighter 4 tournament at my high school. During half days, the video game club would sometimes schedule tournaments and many times football practice wouldn’t start until ltr in the day, so I generally had 3 or so hours on those days to do anything. So on one of those days I entered the tournament and proceeded to get WASHED by a Yun player, it was a really fun experience though and I’m glad I was able to experience SF4 with some of my peers.

7.  What is your local scene like?  Do you often attend your weekly or monthlies there?

Well because I live in a pretty small town, I actually don’t have a “local scene”. I do have monthly (tireless heroes) that I travel to when I can, but since it’s three hours away from me, I can’t always make it, that being said the players and tos there are really focused on getting better and bettering the tournament scene and experience in our state, so I try to support as often as possible. Shout outs to CommonSense and James Garcia for being huge parts of the NC scene.

8.  When you got up on the stage for EVO top 8, what kind of thoughts went through your mind?  How do you keep yourself from getting in your own head and focus on winning in a high tension situation like that with everyone watching?

Throughout my tenure at Evo, I kept the relaying the same word back to myself, “execute”. While I know I had the skill to get there, it can be hard to focus and sometimes you can doubt your skills. When that time came and I felt any way out of my normal thought process, I had to remember all my training, footage reviewing, and matches that I’ve played to prepare myself for those high pressure moments. I really feel like you have to tune out excess thoughts (especially those that aren’t positive or add to the stress) and remember to just execute. While the stage was large and foreign to me, the characters and situations were not, so I just kept thinking “you’ve been here before, big stage or not, just do what you always do and execute.”

Perry in the top 8 at EVO for DBFZ //  Photo by Robert Paul @Tempus Rob http://rmpaul.com/

9.  What hobbies do you have outside of fighting games?

My hobbies outside of fighting games are all pretty different but I really feel like they add a ton to my life and my game.  One of the places I spend the most time at during the day is my local gym. Since I played sports for a very long time, the gym and the sports venues (basketball gym, football field, etc) became like second homes to me and I was introduced to them at a very early age and became a lifestyle for me. I really love pushing myself past towards new heights and far ahead of any limits I believe I have, and I’m able to constantly do that at my gym (kinda like a Saiyan haha).

Some of the other things that I really enjoy to do are writing and producing music, and volunteering at my local hospital. Also while it probably isn’t a surprise, I like playing games in general, jrpgs like Final Fantasy (6 and 10 are my favorites) and Xenoblade Chronicles, as well Fps like Doom are incredibly fun to play for me, and sometimes take over my training room time haha. 

10.  What is one piece of advice you wish somebody had given to you when starting out in the FGC?  What kind of advice do you have for people looking to get better?

The one piece of advice that I wish I would have had is to study yourself, almost every fighting game gives us access to replays of our matches seconds after they are completed, meaning that we can go back and review our mistakes, and work to eliminate them from subsequent matches, why continue to make the same mistakes? For years I never saw the merit in this, until one of my coaches in high school explained how stupid (his words) it was for me to not watch film on the opposing teams before games, “why go in without an advantage”, he said. After thinking long and hard on my losses one day, I decided to apply this to myself in fighting games and it has helped me ever since

The single most important piece of advice and thing that I have learned while playing fighting games is to hold yourself accountable for your losses. Fighting games are not genetic, we all have access to the same tools, characters, and system mechanics as everyone else, blaming character strength or weakness for our losses gets us nowhere, when you think in that matter, you leave the keys to your success in the developers hands, and not your own. You are the pilot, despite whatever your opponent is doing or your character isn’t, don’t get trapped into believing that there is nothing more you can do, because there is always something. There is no mathematical equation to succeeding in a fighting games, while understanding risk return and probability is a huge part, in the end it is you the player and your character Vs your opponent and theirs, never believe that you are done learning or are tapped out mentally. By holding yourself accountable no person or character can stop you from getting stronger, because in the end it’s on you, to fail and to succeed.

 

 

You can keep up with Kami at the following:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KnowKami
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/knowkami

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