By Kevin “PPMD” Nanney of Evil Geniuses
Not so long ago, tournaments were pretty difficult to get to for me. I would be asked by many helpful people to attend wonderful events. Some people might even offer a good timeframe for me. However, the problem always remained that money was one of the biggest obstacles preventing me from freely attending events, leveling up, and enjoying myself. I would watch other players in better locations or better monetary positions than myself attend far more tournaments than I felt I could, and this always irked me. This is not to say I was broke, because I wasn’t, but I always had the big worry about money hanging over my head which discouraged me from travelling to compete. When money concerns interfere with something you love to do, it can make it harder to focus on that thing or enjoy it as much. I sometimes preferred to simply hone my abilities in North Carolina and wait for bigger events, despite this upsetting many people.
Furthermore, I always felt a bit unsure of how I was doing in the professional gamer scene. How did I compare to the success of other good fighting game players or eSports professionals? I never knew if I was quite as skilled as I thought I was because of the size of the Melee community. It is quite confusing to be told you are great or not great depending on the most recent major by the majority of people and not have much else to benchmark your own progress with outside of a YouTube video. How good was I?
Though it was nice to sometimes be told by friends and fans that I was good, I felt I was always a bit alienated from other people because I was one of the few “gods” of SSBM as we are called. It’s awfully hard to connect with people who don’t see you as a person sometimes. I wanted a group to belong to in order to feel more comfortable competing and also to feel accepted.
These things can finally change now that I have joined team EG! Thanks to the generosity of EG, I can now attend more events while focusing on simply performing well. This allows me to stay in touch and in love with my favorite game at every tournament, allowing me to perform better and enjoy myself far more. By giving me an organization to call home, EG gave me the chance to benchmark my own abilities. I WAS worth picking up by a major organization after all. I was capable of performing at an elite level in something if I put the effort towards the activity. I felt like I had made it to the level I had strived to attain since my early competing days. Finally, I found a group of people like myself in EG. They appreciated talent and were all very talented at what they did in their own respective pursuits. Not only that, but they showed me a great deal of support I highly value in people whom I can mutually respect. This enjoyment, heightened performance, and sense of home and achievement will be my own way of giving back to the company that allowed me to overcome hurdles that have been difficult for years. I am very thankful for this opportunity and cannot wait to represent EG as positively and successfully as I can!