In a matter of a couple years, BrokenTier’s Samantha “IFC Persia” Hancock has become one of the premier commentators of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. With herself and her boyfriend, Michael “IFC Yipes” Mendoza, traveling across the nation for the Curleh Mustache exhibitions in the final year of UMvC3 before the release of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, she has become one of the biggest names helping to keep Marvel in the limelight over this last year on the circuit.
While at Naptown Clutch, I was able to sit and chat with her about her role in the Marvel community, as well as her take on the impending release of MvCI.
Corey “Missing Person” Lanier: Persia, how did you feel the Naptown Clutch Marvel tournament—as well as the invitational Curleh Mustache Midwest event—turned out?
Samantha “IFC Persia” Hancock: I loved the way that they represented their region here. Every time I see them play, they come back better than ever. They still have pride amongst themselves when they play against each other. As long as they continually support each other and continue to show up to these events, that’s all that you can really ask for.
Missing Person: As the First Lady of Marvel, do you feel like the series has an opportunity to draw in more women toward a predominantly man’s series?
IFC Persia: I feel like it’s possible, especially when you factor in the coming release of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. Since the announcement, I’ve seen other women from other communities starting to show an interest in Marvel. I think the donation drive also helped that. I’ve taken it upon myself to lend a hand and show them stuff within the game. The more people we have on board in Marvel, the better, and if that includes more women, then I’m completely on board with that.
Missing Person: What drove you to get started in Marvel?
IFC Persia: I started in Super Street Fighter IV. I noticed the main difference between Street Fighter and Marvel was the pace, as well as the freedom and creativity that Marvel had to offer. You could choose all these different types of characters and team archetypes which made it infinitely more interesting to me. I loved having more freedom compared to Street Fighter, which was more rigid.
Missing Person: Fighting games in general have always been kind of a man’s world, but doubly so with Marvel, where you see far fewer females involved. Did you find any difficulties getting involved with the Marvel scene?
IFC Persia: I never really paid attention to any of that. The reason I started playing was because I had grown to love fighting games. I liked the 1-on-1 competitive aspect coming from playing first-person shooters, where you rely on a team. You don’t have to worry about that in fighting games. It’s a different style of competition. Being a female never really crosses my mind when I’m playing.
Missing Person: What are your thoughts so far on Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite?
IFC Persia: I personally cannot wait for it to come out. I feel like it’s going to be a takeover, where everyone is going to be playing it. Everyone is going to be excited to see where we—the Marvel community—has come from through all the worry of how healthy the game will be in a few years. Everyone’s excited, and everyone’s going to be showing up. I feel like it will be a revival of the Marvel scene, and everyone is going to want to be involved with it.
Missing Person: Do you feel that Marvel: Infinite could propel the series to the same status Street Fighter V has enjoyed in the esports market?
IFC Persia: I definite do. I absolutely believe that Marvel could become bigger than Street Fighter. The Marvel brand is very strong, and have a loyal fanbase on their own, even branching off from their comics and solely being involved in the cinematic universe. With all the hype surrounding Marvel 3 since the re-release and the donation drive, factored in with the fact that they are making Infinite 2-on-2, it will be more appealing and less daunting to the new players. Before, you had to pick up three characters and become strong with them. Knocking it down to two characters, while still making it fresh, in the age of esports leads me to believe it’s going to be huge.
Missing Person: What is your personal wishlist for Infinite?
IFC Persia: I would like to see Black Panther, and of course, Rocket Raccoon. I also really want to see Groot. I would be curious to see if they make Groot like Phoenix, where he starts off as normal Groot, but could turn into baby Groot. That would be something creative and fun. I’m really interested to see how creative they get with the game.
In her time away from the commentator’s table, you can still find Persia hosting the Marvel Lives podcast. We can’t wait to see if some of her interesting character choices for MvCI come true.
[Feature image by Corey Lanier]