Shoryuken interview: More details on RED BULL CONQUEST from Jimmy Nguyen, the National Tournament Director

By on March 9, 2018 at 4:00 pm
red bull conquest trailer logo

Are you ready to RISE, RALLY, & CONQUER?

Red Bull esports kicked off March with the reveal of their new US-based competitive circuit for 2018: Red Bull Conquest. Featuring competition in three titles — Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Tekken 7, and Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 — in 15 qualifying events across the USA, this will be a fight to remember!

You can catch more details about the circuit in the announcement post here. To delve deeper into the details of this new circuit, we grabbed a chance to pose some questions to Jimmy Nguyen, National Tournament Director for Red Bull Conquest. See what they had to say below!

Replies have been edited for clarity.

Zavian “mushin_Z” Sildra: How does this new circuit fit into the overall plans for Red Bull events this year, particularly in relation to Red Bull Proving Grounds? Is this a replacement, or a parallel series?

Jimmy Nguyen (National Tournament Director for Red Bull Conquest): Red Bull Conquest is the evolution of Proving Grounds and Battle Grounds, and it continues our plans to cultivate the FGC. If you recall, in year one, we focused on individual growth. In year two, we focused on team growth. This year, we are focused on regional growth. Each year is a progressive step in learning, goal-setting, and working with the FGC to figure out how to best support this incredible community.

mushin_Z: What prompted the decision to feature competition in TEKKEN 7 and GUILTY GEAR Xrd REV 2, in addition to STREET FIGHTER V?

Jimmy Nguyen: The fighting game community is so much more than a single fighting game. With many games spanning multiple genres, what we wanted to do this year with Conquest is start with games that have a long history and are deeply rooted in each of the fighting game genres: 2D, 3D, and anime. This allows us to highlight players and their passions throughout the country across all genres.

The communities of these genres are sometimes perceived to be siloed, which isn’t exactly the case. In fact, there is a lot of cross-pollination between the communities, and that is why we chose to introduce a multi-genre team tournament finals. What we wanted to do is squash those perceptions, and give the players the opportunity to show and grow the teamwork and comradery that is prevalent across the genres in all of the FGC.

mushin_Z: How were the qualifying stop locations decided?

Jimmy Nguyen: The list of qualifying stops is a combination of last year’s US stops mixed with some new ones. While the previous two years focused on attracting and developing new players within some of the larger and concentrated regions in the FGC, this year, we’re continuing to do the same but in addition, we are looking to cultivate and grow smaller regions that have been looking for an opportunity to do just that.

We looked at many regions and evaluated community history, needs, population, and drive. Even though we couldn’t include all of the regions we looked at, there is a very good chance they can be included in future circuits.

mushin_Z: Was the scope of this circuit always intended to be USA-only, or were stops considered for Canadian cities, or internationally?

Jimmy Nguyen: Red Bull is established in many countries in the world, and each has its own esports initiatives. Conquest is a Red Bull US initiative, and will begin its maturation starting in the US. As Conquest continues to grow, there will be potential of the circuit being adopted in other countries.

mushin_Z: Please tell us a bit more about the RISE/RALLY/CONQUER theme, and how it came about.

Jimmy Nguyen: You may not have known, but the principal of RISE, RALLY, and CONQUER has been a part of our lives since, well, forever. It just hasn’t yet been explicitly used in the same context we are establishing.

Every trial and journey we go through in life, it requires us to RISE up to the challenge, gather ourselves (RALLY), and learn to acquire knowledge and experience (CONQUER).
When applying this principal to the FGC and Conquest, what we are communicating to everyone is:

RISE within your communities and take a stand.

RALLY together to grow, learn, help each other, and determine who will represent your region.

CONQUER all others and claim the title of best fighting game region in the nation.

mushin_Z: Are there any more circuit surprises we can look forward to from Red Bull in 2018?

Jimmy Nguyen: If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore! However, stay tuned for more details and announcements about the Conquest Finals in Washington, D.C. I think everyone will be super hyped when they hear what we have to announce.

The only other surprise I have to tell you is to keep an eye out for the rising stars that develop during Conquest throughout the year. Every year, we have had a handful of players make a name for themselves. Expect the same for this year.


Additional source: High Score eSports Editor-in-Chief. Street Fighterin' since there was only a "II" in the title.