Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you know by now of the Cinderella story that emerged from the controversial Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite bracket at Canada Cup 2017. 20-year-old Kitchener, Ontario native Luis “Teemo” Gomez shocked the world with his Nova/Dormammu combination to take out three entrants in the Battle of the Stones finale to find his way into the event himself, capturing the Mind Stone along the way. He is the first Canadian in a number of years to take a Canada Cup event, and left the whole venue in a collective euphoria with his victory.
After the trophy ceremony, I spoke with Teemo about his big win.
Corey “Missing Person” Lanier: Congratulations on your win. Having just happened, have you had any time to process the win? How are you feeling right now?
Luis “Teemo” Gomez: I still can’t believe it. I just tried to make sure not to think about it [while I was playing]. I didn’t want to think about if I would win, or anything about the future. I just took it one game at a time, and that was it. I won. I haven’t been able to process it, to be honest. [laughs]
Missing Person: You came on strong in this tournament, beating the likes of Justin Wong and NYChrisG on the way to the finals. When in all of this did you start thinking victory was a legitimate possibility?
Teemo: Going into the tournament, I did feel pretty good overall. I felt like I could beat almost anyone. After beating Chris, I felt pretty good. Going into the Justin Wong match — seeing his team, I knew that I could beat him with mine. After beating him and playing Richard Nguyen, I choked on a lot of things. I couldn’t be mad about that — it was completely my fault, and he capitalized on all of my mistakes. But I knew I could beat him. Seeing how the loser’s bracket progressed — and Justin beating Filipino Champ — I knew I could beat both him and Richard, and that winning was a possibility.
Missing Person: You had a lot of mental toughness. When I watched you, you were completely stone-faced. How were you able to maintain your composure?
Teemo: I just did my best to try and play the way I play at home. If I make a mistake, I just laugh at myself, or tell myself it’s alright, that I’ll do better next time. In previous tournaments I choked a lot. There’s something about this game that I just understand. Even though it’s crazy and a lot of crazy things can happen, I just try to keep a good mentality that I just need to not mistakes and outplay my opponents.
Missing Person: With your team of Dormammu and Nova, how long have you been in the lab? How much are you grinding it out right now?
Teemo: When I do play, it’s at least 3-4 hours per day, which is a combination of training mode and ranked. Some days, I won’t do ranked and just stay in training mode, trying to find something. Sometimes I’ll play a lot of ranked just to play as many players as I can. It’s full of good players, like Noel Brown, Fchamp, Justin, and RyanLV. Some days I’ll also take breaks, and tell myself not to play. At most, I’ll think about the game and clear my head, especially if it’s after a day where I lost a lot.
Missing Person: Toronto has a strong community for the game; including yourself, there’s also SJ, and Broshadian here. How do you feel the local community has helped you?
Teemo: SJ and I were friendly rivals in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. We’ve always played with each other. I’d go to his house to play even though I’m from Kitchener, which is kind of far from Toronto. He’s an amazing training partner. He’s a player who is so strong, and has had success in anime titles, Marvel, and Street Fighter. He’s also super strong in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. He got second place at our monthly to me. It’s a community that supports each other so much, especially at majors. They just love to cheer each other on. They stick together in losses and wins. I love playing with these guys. Even if there’s a tournament where I know I won’t be competing, I will still show up to support them.
Missing Person: This is the first time — since Bee Ball won a number of years ago — that a Canadian has won a Canada Cup title. How does that feel?
Teemo: I do feel really good about that, because all the killers were here. No pool was free. Everyone struggled just to get out of their pools. I am just proud that I was able to represent Canada and win. I was even happy that NickCam was able to get fifth and do so well.
Missing Person: Heading into Battle for the Stones, how excited are you to head to California to try and repeat your success here?
Teemo: I haven’t even thought about that. Even going into top 8, I told myself to not even think of the stone, to just play each game and not even think about what comes next. But now, I’m excited. It’s going to be a great tournament and a great experience, and I can’t wait to represent Canada there.
Missing Person: You don’t have to tell me specifics — but have you given any thoughts as to what team you’d force your opponent to use with the Mind Stone?
Teemo: I have some ideas, but I still want to see what I can pick that will really mess with the opponent. I want it to be something that even if they play basic, they can’t do anything.
Missing Person: Are there any shout-outs you’d like to give?
Teemo: Shout-outs to the Toronto community and NickCam for making top 8 and playing amazing. Shout-outs to SJ for being such an amazing training partner and such a good friend, always supporting me in tournaments and training. Shout-outs to all the Americans that came; it made this tournament really amazing to watch and play in. I was happy that even though teams were super early on Friday, they still joined and had a great time playing. I also want to give one last shout-out to Bison’s Auto Shop. It was a place where I lived that used to have weeklies, but unfortunately they can’t do it anymore. The people that I met there even when I was young as 12 learning to play Street Fighter IV have all been so important to my growth as a player.