Git gud at games and Nintendo might fly you to America!
Last month, Splatoon legends the Blue Ringed Octolings repped Australia in LA for the World Inkling Invitational, where they showed how good Aussie girls (and one guy) can be at spraying brightly coloured ink and turning into squids (you can see some footage here). We rang one of the team, Latias, to ask her how it all went.
You’re the only team with female players who took part in the E3 competition. Was that a factor on the day?
It doesn’t matter much to me what gender we are. Everyone proved themselves equally capable by getting to E3 in the first place. However, it does mean a lot to the gaming community as girls are often seen as inferior to guys in gaming and by us being at the Inkling Invitational, it proved we are just as capable of being star players.
Have you personally had any bad reactions online?
I haven’t. I’ve heard girls in general get teased about it, especially on the things like Twitch, but then again Twitch Chat is always a bit… Yeah, it’s more of a family-friendly game, so therefore more girls would play it, I suppose.
What was your path to the Invitational?
So, there was a tournament called the AUNZ 2017 Splatoon Cup. It had 21 teams, so it was a sort of small tournament compared to the ones that the US and the European teams had, but it was still quite difficult. The first heat lowered the teams down from twenty-something to eight and then the second heat determined who would go on to play in the grand finals, which were in Melbourne.
And BRO smashed everyone?
We managed to make it through to the grand finals and then we won in a locally played Melbourne against a team called ScarthAce. We barely won because it was best of nine, and went 4-2 in ScarthAce’s favour – we just managed to claw our way back. No one thought we’d win because we played ScarthAce in the second heat and lost to them quite badly. So we were definitely the underdogs.
So Nintendo paid for your trip?
Yeah, Nintendo paid for us to go to both the Melbourne tournament and the LA tournament. So they paid for hotels, they paid for the plane trips there, and they paid for our passes to get into E3.
ScarthAce must really hate you!
Yeah! Apart from- we were allowed to sub, so we pulled one of the guys from ScarthAce and he came along as well. So he wasn’t that salty.
What’s it like at E3?
It was really hectic. There were so many people there because they opened it to the public for the first time and the crowd for the tournament was just insane. It took up the entire Nintendo area and it was crowded. There was nowhere to sit down. Everyone was standing up and watching us, so they have to have a lot of perseverance to watch it all the way through. We had headphones on, which took away most of the crowd sound, and we had voice-com so we could hear ourselves over the crowd. It wasn’t that distracting. I mean, when we got out there we were kind of nervous at first, but as we continued to play, we just played like we would at home and had fun.
How’s life as an eSports legend?
I don’t know really. I think it’s nice that people recognise me for my skill now. Before I was considered a meme by Splatoon players, if they knew me at all, but I think it’s just nice that people know me for who I am.