[Editor’s note: Updated with details for fundraiser tournament.]
Long-time Atlanta fighting game community member and Tekken/Soul Calibur veteran Richard “WingZero” Warren passed away on the morning of September 19 due to natural causes, according to Final Round organizer Larry “ShinBlanka” Dixon. Warren was 27.
Here’s what Dixon had to say:
The FGC is in mourning of a great player and even better person, as Richard Warren “WingZero” has passed away today due to natural causes. He was a part of the Elite Tekken and Soul Calibur crew in Atlanta (East Point Dojo/crib), and was for years known as the best Nina (Tekken 4, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, Tekken 6, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2) in America as well as one of the top Soul Calibur players in the world.
Richard was such a humble person, to be so good at his craft, and he was willing to help anyone that was willing to learn the games he mastered. He good nature and positive outlook on gaming was a breath of fresh air. His presence as a gamer, but more importantly as a person, will be missed in the Georgia FGC. A moment of silence for my dude Richard Warren AKA “WingZero”. God bless your family as our thoughts and prayers will be with you and those you love. We’ll see you in that East Point dojo in the sky!
John “JTO” Goodson:
Rich captured me at a young age. Rich was diff from my high school friends. He was real, blunt but humble, easy to kick it with. Me and him could just sit before a tournament and not play a single game and just talk stratz..he fully understood me as I did him. He would even come to me bout playing ppls in tekken for advice a lot because we were so connected and use my advice like right then and there..and wen everyone would b sleep at ep we’d b up til like 7am sometimes with bigboi if he could stay up just talking about life.
Aaron “FR RoachKing” Chestnut:
I used to get really disheartened trying to get better at Marvel— it was my first fighting game and I was pretty nooby. Richard always kept my hopes up and ALWAYS told me to stick with it. He really helped me want to stick with the game and was always talking with me about how to keep a solid mind in tournament.
Today I consider that my greatest attribute, and I owe it to him. My mind never falters and its because of the way Richard taught me to think. I would have never really gotten there mentally if I hadn’t had late night facebook chats with Richard. He’d always randomly message me and ask me how Marvel was going and want to know my thinking process just to really talk to me on a philosophical level of the game.
I was thinking about this earlier on the way to a marvel session and it made me cry…
I remember one time back in 2012 when I was living in ATL me Cardell, Big boi, Joel, and Will were at Big Boi’s house & they were grinding SCV out, me & Joel were just observers but when me & Richard spoke I felt the aura & presence of not only a very smart individual but someone who was finding his way in this crazy world, not to mention one of the coolest & smart people I’ve ever met in my life. I’ll miss you dude, I’ma shed some tears for you because you deserve that much at least. I wish I lived in ATL longer so we could have talked more than we did but I cherish the times we did though because I never ever felt like you wasted my time & I always learned something from you.
Rashid “ShinKuuR” Reddy:
I remember when we used to play DRO together back in the day, I didn’t even know him then and even though he was beating my ass, he told me that he and ATL respected my gameplay, which meant ALOT. After we met he was always hospitable and humble, and after we played tekken or sf we always traded perspectives and thought processes in our gameplay. He was just always hungry to learn and share and encourage…
We are all lessened by his passing. I’m glad to have known him.
Richard taught me a ton about fighting games, back when me and Raph used to come to ATL tournaments or go to Eastpoint to just play all day roughly twice a month. He always answered a ton of my questions about sf4 and fighting games in general. I learned a ton by watching him play and playing him in long sets. I remember I was really proud much much later at a tournament that he came and asked me questions about how to play Ryu in mvc3, that meant a lot to me that someone that taught me that much was asking me questions about a fighting game. I always thought very highly of his opinion, his gameplay, and him as a person too.
Somehow we always put off playing Tekken because of the other games we were playing at whichever time. We both always said “Oh, it’s ok, we’ll play next time”, and now…. I never played him in Tekken but I still learned a good bit about the game from him just by talking to him.
Derek “DR EEK” Wiley:
I’m tearing up reading this thread. I was always floored playing/watching his Ryu. The fact that he was primarily at 3D player and was able to perform so well in SF was so impressive to me. Just great fundamentals all around. I also have great memories cheering him on in SC5 whenever he was on stage.
I think what I remember the most, though, is that if we were ever at the same tournament or gathering or whatever, he would always make sure to go out of his way to come up to me and say hey, say whatsup, and just chit-chat. Since I considered him such an upper-level player, that always made me feel good that he would go out of his way to come talk to me. More than being a good player, he was 100% just a good person.
Joseph “DBJoseph” Crawford:
I remember first hearing about Richard a little over 2 years ago. It was just EP people saying that he wanted to play me. So at one Revival, he showed up and we finally played a nice long set. Then the next set I remember us playing was at a Battle and Brew, and he did a bit better against me. And after that, he said that he had the cheat codes on me. RIP friend.
Our thoughts are with Warren’s friends and family as well. We’ll be updating this post with more information as it comes in; if you have stories or memories you’d like to share, or well-wishes for the people Warren left behind, please share them in the comments.
Update: Dixon announced on Facebook that he’ll be organizing a fundraiser tournament to help Warren’s family pay for the funeral. Details below:
Due to the sudden passing of Rich me, Tray, Ricky Pokchop Walker Jr., JTO wanted to host a fundraiser tournament to help Rich mom Val to pay for his funeral. So I’ve been out all day looking for a venue on such short notice and I found one.
FINAL ROUND LLC and the friends of Richard Warren aka WingZero are proud to host the Richard Warren Fundraiser tournament!
September 21, 2013
Location: Jefferson Park Recreation Center
1431 Norman Berry Drive
East Point, GA
The event will start promptly at 12 noon and last until 5pm. It will be $20 entry at the door and $10 per game. The games to be played are as followed;
ALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TOWARDS THE FAMILY FUNERAL SERVICES! (that means door entry and game entry) Our goal is $6000 and we may not reach that at the event, but every little bit helps. We will also open an paypal account in Richards name to collect donations from those that can not attend the event live. I know you guys love looking at the pictures of the food my wife cooks for dinner so we will also be selling $5 Dixon plate of food that will also go 100% towards the fundraiser.
$5 plate = 1 bake chicken leg, Cornbread, Turnip greens, homemade mac & cheese, and banana pudding with spring water to wash it down!
Of course we’ll have FunkyP streaming the event and he’ll have the link to the paypal on his stream. I hope we can reach our goal so Richard can have a proper burial. Such a great person deserves at least that much. Any donation is welcome. Big or small all will be accepted and appreciated by the family. Thank you for your support and god bless.
You can find more information about the tournament and donation details here.