The Marvel vs. Capcom community is riding high right now. Yesterday, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was announced as the unofficial winner in the EVO Player's Choice race. Now that the dust has settled, we thought this would be a good time to catch up with Armando "Angelic' Mejia.
Angelic is one of the many supporters in the scene who played a role in helping Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 secure its slot. Aside from being a talented Marvel competitor and having deep ties to the series, Angelic also operates as a tournament organizer.
Last weekend, he hosted Undefeated 2017, ultimately motivating more gamers to come forward to support the game.
What does Marvel’s inclusion in this year’s EVO lineup personally mean to you?
Marvel's inclusion to me means the end of a chapter in my life. I played the game when it leaked three days before the release and since then I've bought eight different versions and copies of UMvC3. With Evo, we now have the final installment of competition to give all our hard work a finality. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 did it.
We banded together as a scene, community, and family, and worked hard to earn the spot. Besides the end of a legacy, it's the unity that also means so much to me. Evo at Marvel brought us together and I'm so excited to see how it turns out.
For those unfamiliar with the series' history, can you explain why yesterday’s achievement was so important?
Marvel (or a Vs. game that's including Marvel) has been at Evo well before I joined the FGC. Marvel 2 was replaced with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. And now it's being replaced with Marvel 4 (aka Infinite).
The legacy of Marvel at Evo has been a constant 10+ years. While I'm not that old as an FGC member, it's easy to feel the full weight of the history of Marvel when you stand on that main stage. Marvel will continue to keep its streak for years to come, and I hope forever.
I truly feel that Evo would never be the same if it didn't have a Versus game [in the lineup].
Evo is Marvel.
Pokkén Tournament’s community proved to be just as hungry and motivated to secure the final EVO spot. What were your thoughts on seeing both games on this year’s race?
I'm pretty biased when it comes to fighting games in a sense. I play what I like, and what doesn't appeal to me really doesn't appeal to me.
To me, Pokkén Tournament was just a game that came out in force to challenge Marvel for the Evo spot.
I never had any particular feelings against the game, and even now, I still don't hold any ill will towards them, even if they would have won. It was a race, and they were a top contender. So hats off to them. I am certainly impressed by just how far they pushed during the race. I really hope Evo puts them on Saturday. But I also hope they never ever do anything like the donation drive again.
Pokkén fought hard, and it was never guaranteed for Marvel in the charity race.
What keeps you committed to supporting the legacy of Marvel?
Marvel has always been a personal game.
It was one of the first games my dad bought me even though it was impossible to find. It was also the first game I started to really invest in, and see results. I'll never forget my first win-loss [followed by] upsets and chokes in Marvel.
It's all so emotional to me, and no other game makes me feel the same way.
I support the scene because I want to give back, and make sure that others experience the same hype that I do when I play this amazing game. I may not be the perfect TO or community figure but I feel as long as somebody says "man, I really enjoyed Marvel," then I would be pretty happy.
The game is so personal, and I want others to see how it can be for them if they played it too. I truly want 10 more years, and then a new game for another 10!
What was the experience like for you, creating the fundraiser at Undefeated 2017, followed by the final hours of the contest?
The experience was very fortunate. I felt like I just coincidentally had a massive opportunity with the fundraiser landing right during Undefeated weekend. I felt like Undefeated was the perfect event with the right people, tools and experience to really get the job done. So as soon as I heard about the drive, I got right to work. I scrapped the pot bonuses for the event and opted for donations to the drive instead. Then I came up as and drafted about 10 ideas to raise funds and incorporated the best ones. It was a lot of last-minute work involved, and thankfully it all paid off.
The final minutes of the drive were stressful.
Was it all worth it ? Did we do it?
Will Marvel end its legacy too soon? I took a break from my office and went outside to lay on some gravel and just look up at the sky. So [when I heard we won], a lot of emotions came out. We definitely did it, and we're definitely going into our last Evo closing things out right.
What inspired you to become a tournament organizer? And how has that role developed your influence in the community?
I was inspired to try running events simply because I was always willing to help TOs run their events. Mainly locals, nothing too big but I was always willing to lend a hand and eventually started running our Marvel locals with some help. Undefeated was the first big event I ran and I mainly focus on promos, with my right hand man Steve "Nitrofrost" Gannon doing the heavy tournament organizing.
Since then, we've continued our partnership into our fourth Undefeated event and have only the best future for things to come as a tournament organizer.
I didn't really go into it for anything more than just to make sure we get some Marvel action going. As far as influence, I think the biggest thing I helped with was really promote Marvel on PlayStation 4. It isn't perfect, but from an organizer's perspective, it's way better than 360. As a competitor, I can attest that it doesn't have as many problems as people say it does. I really want to continue to run more Marvel events and eventually expand to help others run their Marvel events too.
Looking back on your tournament career, what are some of your proudest moments?
I've had so so many moments, thankfully, that make me feel insanely proud. While I can go forever, I'll specifically say my first Evo Top 8 in 2013 when I got third place.
It was such a swell of emotions that made me feel so accomplished. All my hard work honored by an awesome medal and the rising star awesome award (not sure if they still give those out), was an insanely humbling and proud moment. I still have all the Youtube videos of the crowd chanting "Shuma!" after I defeated Cloud805 in a clutch comeback.
It was nuts and a source of strength sometimes whenever I doubt myself in the FGC. Fighting games can truly be powerful memories.
So what other games do you play? And is there any chance you’ll consider competing in other fighters?
I am strictly a Marvel player and will continue to play Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and eventually Infinite. With that said, I'm toying with the idea of giving Guilty Gear [another] chance as my secondary game. While I did play a ton of Ultra Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter V does not appeal to me unfortunately and will not be anything that I'l ever take serious.
I look for high impact mobility mixups and anime fighters seem closer to that than Street Fighter.
Here’s a fun question: if you had a chance to spend a day with any Marvel character, who would you pick? And why?
[Laughs] I'm sure it's no surprise, but I'd spend it with my squid boy Shuma Gorath, of course! No real reason, except to ask him just how many people I've sent to the chaos dimension.
Marvel vs Capcom Infinite is set to debut later this year. What does it need to guarantee it will become a successful esport title?
To be honest, Infinite is really set to become successful right off the bat. You have a great cast, great publicity, a great company roster behind it, and the financial backing of some of the heaviest hitters in the the world, not just FGC.
I predict there will be a full Pro Tour of some sort, insane coverage on ESPN, and for it to eventually overtake Street Fighter V. I simply don't really see them putting Street Fighter V over Infinite with how much money, power, and time they have going into it.
Of course, if the game is bad, it's bad. But it's not like people don't already play bad games right now (see: Street Fighter V).
Only a handful of characters have been confirmed so far. Which characters would you like to see?
I'd love to see some unfamiliar favorites return like Jin Saetome, Omega Red, Hayato and Venom. I know a lot of people want new characters, and I'm fine with that. But I've fallen in love with the old favorites and just hope they get a chance to shine.
Do you feel the game will become a more successful entry in Capcom’s Pro circuit? Why?
Absolutely. And as I mentioned, when you factor in just how much time, money, effort, [exposure] and the raw power that's behind the game, you can't help but feel like this is going to be game changing. I'd be willing to bet that it's going to be the biggest esports FGC title we've ever seen. I really hope and bank on that.
You’ve been a top 8 EVO finalist and evolved into a valued figurehead in the Marvel community. What are your goals for this year and beyond?
I am glad I've been able to make an impact on our scene both as a player and as a community figure. I really wanna keep pushing that and keep bringing more hype moments and events to the scene. My immediate goals are to plan the Evo Salty Suite for Marvel to give it the finish and production it deserves. And also, of course, as a player to make another Top 8.
The only thing better than earning 2 medals is [getting three]. Better than that, how about I finally win the thing instead of just Top 3? I want to win Evo!
Make sure and check out the PVP Live YouTube channel to see how excited WE are to see some Marvel vs. Capcom action this year: