With the WCG United States Final quickly approaching, we at DualShockers thought it would be fitting to give our readers out there the opportunity to get some insight into the mind of a competitive gamer. Through the art of annoyance and persuasion we’ve managed to get some time with one of the most elite Virtua Fighter 5 players around. Dennis Sockwell A.K.A. “Switch Nation” (we’ll get into that in a bit) is considered to be one of the WCG favorites entering the tournament this weekend. With good reason as he’s well known throughout the community and has been in the semi-finals time and time again. What I found to be the coolest part about it is that he’s a local guy from Queens NY, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from DualShockers also in NYC. Dennis (25) is not just a gamer, he’s also a student majoring in computer engineering and he helps out part-time in a local grocery store. Check out the interview below as I try my best to pick the brain of this Virtua Fighter guru.
How long have you been involved with competitive gaming?
“I’ve only been gaming competitively, like in touraments, for 4 years I would say.”
What’s the work ethic or practice like?
“I know most people wont believe this but I only practice like 2 hours a week, I’m not too much into practice. Right now I’m the dominant player, there was this guy named Adam Yuki who was the best, but he’s moved away to Japan so I’m the guy to beat.”
How long have you been playing Virtua Fighter?
“I started way back in like ’94 with Virtua Fighter 2, and to be quite honest I never really played games before that.”
Do you switch up characters? or do you have one dedicated fighter? If so which one and why?
“It’s actually funny (laughs), I’m hated in the Virta Fighter community for switching characters. They all like to call me ‘Switch Nation’. I don’t use all the character in tournament play but I can say that I’m confident in about 6, so yea 6 of them are tournament ready.”
Is (VF) your favorite game?
“Well, that’s tricky because VF5, which is the version they use in tournaments isn’t really my favorite. I actually prefer Tekken. Go Figure. (laughs)”
If you could pick any other gameto be a part of the WCG tournament which one would it be?
“I’d probably have to say Pac-Man, I mean come on, even old people know how to play Pac-Man, other than that I would have to say Tekken.”
What advice would you have for people who want to get involved with competitive gaming?
Well anyone can get into competitive gaming, but to be successful, there needs to be a desire to be the best. Knowing your the best and thinking your the best are key. Because when you carry yourself like that, it puts it into your opponents mind that they already lost before they’ve touched the controller. To give you an example of this you can look at Justin Wong (the Street Fighter IV) champion, when dudes here he is going to be at an event, they don’t bother participating. You need to carry yourself as if you were him.
Why are you the guy to beat this weekend at the WCG US Final?
Well, I’m not a betting man but if I were, I’d say put your money on me! I’m the guy to beat because I’m the best. You’ll see when it’s all said and done, I’ll be holding that trophy in the end.
Well there you have it folks. Stay tuned all weekend long as we’ll be providing coverage of the 2009 World Cyber Games US Final in New York City. We’ll see if Dennis will make good on his bold prediction!