Vancouver TO talks Red Bull Proving Grounds: “West, East, we’re out to show we’re a cut above everyone”

By on March 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm
Red Bull Proving Grounds

We’re continuing where we left off, interviewing all of the Tournament Organizers involved with the upcoming Regional Rivalries event. We talked to Houston last time, hearing how the Lone Star State’s ambitions seem to match their pride. This time we hear from Vancouver, the West Coast Canadians hungry for a shot at proving themselves on the biggest stages. Read below to get a look into the organizer of British Columbia’s Versus Colosseum, and what he thinks about their chances coming up.

John “Zidiane” Silvia: Can you introduce yourself for people who may not know you?

Clinton Bui: My name is Clinton Bui and I’m one of the main tournament organizers for Vancouver Street Battle. I am also the host and coordinator for their events both within our venue and when we run projects for other sponsors. I have been organizing events for over a year now, and have delved into both the FGC and Smash in Vancouver.

Zidiane: What games do they play up there in Vancouver?

Clinton: We have a pretty diverse crowd in British Columbia; in addition to Super Smash Bros Melee and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, we run Street Fighter V, but we also have some excellent players for BlazBlue, Guilty Gear, Under Night In-Birth, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and King of Fighters. We also ran Pokkén Tournament events when it was released, and are looking to add Tekken 7: Fated Retribution once the game drops.

Zidiane: So Smash, Capcom, and a bit of anime. Sounds standard enough. What’s the player pool like? Any stand outs, or players that come from outside of just your immediate area?

Clinton: We have a huge crowd for Smash for Wii U since we were the first venues to consistently support the game with tournaments. Melee is quite large in BC as well, with upwards of 200+ players. As for Street Fighter, I would have to say Air is definitely a notable name, being one of the best players in Canada during Street Fighter IV. But we have some up and comers for Street Fighter V such as Ceroblast, dvd, Geki, Noodle and Patrick.

Zidiane: So, yours is going to be one of the 11 cities on the Red Bull Proving Grounds events, and you’ll of course be part of the West Coast team. How did that come about?

Clinton: I would say it’s thanks to the hard work of everyone in the community. Air, the founder of Vancouver Street Battle, has been running events for over 6 years at this point. It’s thanks to those grassroot tournaments that we managed to establish a player base that could support this hunger for competition. I would also say it’s thanks to the support of Canadian Joysticks, Jackson Dang, and Vancouver Street Battle’s Long Tran for the amazing stream quality to give visibility to the events and local players.

Without a doubt, it’s also thanks to Red Bull for recognizing the community that we built. It wouldn’t be possible without the contribution and dedication of all the players. We’ve even had some high profile tournaments like Canada Cup, with big name players stopping by to compete, so Vancouver is definitely a city to keep an eye out for.

Zidiane: Sounds like it. Was everyone surprised when they ended up announcing your inclusion in the event?

Clinton: Of course! We immediately noticed a buzz in the community when Red Bull Proving Grounds was announced. This is an opportunity for Vancouver to shine on the world stage, and I can definitely see our players being able to be the driving force to make it happen. We’re lucky to have the spotlight on our city, and we’re looking forward to rising up to the occasion.

Zidiane: I see. Now, when US players think West Coast, they usually don’t think Canada. It seems like many of the East Coast vs. West Coast players consider Canada its own separate thing. Do you feel like that’s the case, or do you feel that same allegiance to “Best Coast”?

Clinton: I feel as though Canada has always represented itself as a single entity rather than by coasts. With that said, I still feel like there are provincial rivalries that exist within the scenes in Canada. When we compete on the world stage, we’re out to make a statement.

Zidiane: Seems like it creates an interesting dynamic. While you’re Team West Coast, you’re also Team Canada, but at the same time the only other Canadians are on Team East Coast. Speaking of, it’s kind of interesting that Team East Coast has two Canada regions, while West Coast only has one. Does that mean your region will be bringing twice the heat, or do you think Team East Coast just was genuinely short on players?

Clinton: We’re definitely in need of more players, but I feel as though that there is no time better than Red Bull Proving Grounds to scope for talent within our cities. With the support of Red Bull, we’re looking to bring the best of the best out to compete for Vancouver.

Zidiane: You’re saying you guys just don’t have enough players?

Clinton: I believe in the players, since we have set up the perfect training grounds for them at Vancouver Street Battle. I would say that you can never have enough players, and as numbers increase we will see improvements in all the players. We’ll show our skill to the other cities once the battle begins.

Zidiane: So this is more of a chance for you guys to finally step up and get noticed?

Clinton: We’re not looking to just get noticed, we’re in it to win.

Zidiane: Speaking of winning, I’m not sure everyone is familiar with your players. For those looking to keep up, which 3 players would you say are most likely to make it out as Team West Canada?

Clinton: I would put my money on Air, Ceroblast and dvd as our current top contenders.

Zidiane: Who are they?

Clinton: Air is our number 1 Street Fighter IV player, and he is transitioning into Street Fighter V as a Kolin main. Ceroblast is a relatively new player that came from professional League of Legends, of all things. He’s been competing at local events with a keyboard at tournaments up until recently. dvd is a player that found Street Fighter V as a game that suited his playstyle, and has been dominating our local scene up until recently. We’re always looking forward to seeing how he will progress as the season continues.

Zidiane: Alright. So, after Team West Canada makes it to the final stages, are there any specific regions you’re gonna be looking out for?

Clinton: Everyone is bringing their A game, so we’re not counting anyone out. All regions are a threat.

Zidiane: All you can really do is prepare for everything, but you don’t have any opinion on the other contenders? You’ll have to fight everyone on West Coast in that Round Robin, but you’ll be going up against just one East Coast team if you win. Anyone you’re familiar with, feel confident you can beat, are afraid of?

Clinton: Gonna need to consult for that one [laughs]. Ready regardless of whoever steps up against us. West, East, we’re out to show we’re a cut above everyone.

Zidiane: Fair enough, I suppose. Well, that’s just about it for questions. Did you have any words you wanted to get out there before we’re done?

Clinton: I just wanted to give a shout outs to Red Bull for providing us with this opportunity, and I would like to encourage players in and out of Vancouver to go and play at your local venues. Follow Vancouver Street Battle for the latest local tournaments on facebook, Canadian Joysticks for your fight sticks, and Akshon esports for local esports news coverage! We have much more to come this year, and I hope the players can look forward to it!

John "Zidiane" Silvia is a big fan of classic fighters. Most well known for his efforts in the Skullgirls community, he spends his focus on approaching articles with fresh and unique perspectives. He prides himself on his passion and attention to detail on issues others rarely talk on.