Interview: Empire Arcadia’s Adam “Armada” Lindgren on Evo 2013, Apex 2014, and His Future with Super Smash Bros.

By on December 20, 2013 at 11:31 am

With the end of 2013 approaching, a new year of tournaments will soon be kicking off with Apex 2014, a major taking place in Somerset, New Jersey on January 17-19. Originally centered around Super Smash Bros., the Apex series has grown in recent years by including a variety of other fighting games, becoming one of the larger regional events on the East Coast.

I recently contacted the Apex 2013 Super Smash Bros. Melee champion Adam “Armada” Lindgren in preparation for next year’s installment. One of the greatest Melee players of all time, the “Beast from Sweden” has been an extremely dominant force both in Europe and around the world. With his stellar Peach play, he seemed nearly unbeatable in the last few years until his 4th place finish at Evolution 2013.

In the following interview, Armada shares his thoughts on this year’s Evo, his new sponsorship with Empire Arcadia, his plans for Apex 2014, and his future with the game.

Armada (right) squares off with CT|EMP|Mew2King at Evo 2013.
Armada (right) squares off with CT.EMP|Mew2King at Evo 2013.

King Funk: What were your thoughts on Evo 2013 (the event itself, Melee being represented at the biggest fighting game gathering in the world and your performance)?

Armada: Evo 2013 was a great event for Melee itself and E-sports in general. Melee was treated well at Evo and it felt like the rest of the FGC players enjoyed that we were there and the Evo organizers had very good things to say to the players and our community so overall it was a great experience.

I think my performance was alright. In teams I ended up 4th with my brother Android. We lost a very close set vs PewPewU and SFAT but it was overall a great set even though we were dissapointed we lost.

In singles I also placed 4th, but taking the fact that I had not played with Peach in six months except for some friendlies with Mango when he came to Sweden, I think I did alright. I used to play close to everyday and a 6 month gap was very huge for me. Because of that I felt like I could not come up to the level I had before I decided to retire.

KF: You decided to make Evo 2013 your last tournament as a competitor, at least in singles. What were the reasons for you to do so?

AR: My plan was to quit with singles for real after Apex 2013 in January this year. However after I stopped playing for 6 months, Prog kinda convinced me, since he was so positive the community would help me/Android out. To be honest, I went to Evo because I wanted to give my younger brother Android the chance to experience at least some of the stuff I had the luck to do when I was younger. As a brother, you need to take care of your siblings. Until the day I die I will never regret having had an awesome trip to America with my brother and the chance to see everyone again. It was a great step for our game and community.

KF: You dominated Melee singles at international tournaments for the last 2 years until your retirement. Evo 2013 wasn’t that 1st place finish we were all used to seeing. Any possibility you might come back to attempt taking the top spot again?

AR: As I stated in the previous question I don’t have any regrets. Life is much more than just playing a game. I fulfilled the goal I set up as a kid. I wasn’t even 12 years old when I first entered a tournament and did not make it out of pools. I wanted to become the best in the world after that tournament and now almost 9 years later I can look back at my time as a professional smasher and be proud of myself.

For Melee singles I have still no plans to make any real comeback. However I plan to keep playing Melee teams and also Project Melee/Smash 4. I will admit that playing with a huge crowd, even though it basically never wanted me to win (as a whole) is something I do miss because it was fun to see people care so much. The fact that I do have to spend so much time to keep up with the best players and play with CPUs for so long is not something I feel motivated to do again.

KF: It seems that Melee has had a second revival after its success at Evo 2013 and the Smash Brothers documentary. Many regions around the world have experienced an increase in players and interest for the game ever since. Have you noticed similar growth in Sweden?

AR: To be honest we have not had any real tournaments in Sweden for quite a while, I guess I’m one of the ones to blame for that. But we had a lot more people joining our Facebook group and kinda many new players in Gothenburg at least. However Beast 4 is coming up in February and I do have BIG plans for Melee in Europe that I hopefully can announce in maybe a month or two. I would not be surprised if we had a much bigger community in Sweden in the near future.

KF: As it turns out, you are traveling to Apex 2014 this January. Did that happen through your new sponsorship with Empire Arcadia? How did that work out for you?

AR: Yes, I will be traveling to Apex 2014. And as you have already predicted it’s happening thanks to EMP being my sponsor! Basically EMP contacted me and asked me about my plans and Mew2King, who is also in EMP, recommended me. They saw potential in bringing me in and I think they have a lot of great knowledge and experience and we both saw it as a great deal, so we decided to settle it.

However, more details on what I get from them and plans they have for me stays between me and EMP.

EMP|Armada (right) will be joining forces with Ice (left) for the Apex 2014 Melee doubles tournament.
Armada will be joining forces with Ice (left) for the Apex 2014 Melee doubles tournament.

KF: This is the 9th international tournament in the United States you’re attending. But this time, you are not participating in Melee singles. Instead, you’ve expressed motivation in focusing on doubles. Who are you teaming with and how strong do you think your chances are at taking the tournament?

AR: My teammate for this tournament will be Ice, who is currently the best player in Europe. For me doubles is way more fun and even though I’m not as strong in Melee as I once was, I believe myself and Ice have a great chance to take the tournament. We did play versus several good teams at Evo and had a positive score against every team we played in friendlies. Friendlies is not a great way of making up your mind, but the way we play together I’m confident we will win, even though I respect tons of teams at Apex 2014. I know it will be a hard tournament.

I know the fact that my synergy with Ice as a team being very strong now is a key factor for us, which I hope the crowd will like to see and be entertained by.

KF: Are there any other events you are participating in? Project M perhaps?

AR: Yes, I will participate in Project M singles/teams and maybe Smash 64, even though I’m not entirely sure about Smash 64 at the moment. Project Melee is something kinda new and fresh, so I would like to try it out with tons of great players. Of course I am confident, but I know it will be hard since there are many new characters and a lot of players have very limited matchup experience versus a big part of the cast. I need to use my general Smash knowledge and I hope that gives me an edge versus the competition.

KF: Any shoutouts you’d like to make?

AR: I would like to make a big shoutout to my brothers Aniolas and Android for always being awesome and supportive to me when it comes to all aspects of life. I also wanna give a shoutout to EMP and Mew2King, who has helped me a lot over the years and will also be my teammate in so many tournaments in the future.

I also wanna give a big shoutout to Ice for once again proving himself in Europe. I look forward to playing teams with him in America.

Last shoutout is to the Swedish Smash community that has been such a big part of my life for so many years.

[Photos courtesy of Kara “Karaface” Leung and Wynton “Prog” Smith]