In the first part of our ELEAGUE interview series, we take a few moments to talk with commentator extraordinaire Sajam about Street Fighter V, ELEAGUE, and the future of esports. You can check out the audio file below, as well as a transcription below that.
This interview took place during the Street Fighter V ELEAGUE Invitational Finals on July 13, 2018.
Daily Esports: The great thing about ELEAGUE is that we have the best players in the world all assembled, so every match is top-tier competitive level play. Who do you think of all the players here has the best chance?
Sajam: So what is funny about this question is that this question is super hard because of how the bracket looks, but because Daigo and Tokido are now in Winner’s Finals I think my prediction is Daigo winning. Mostly because they have a long, long, long history and historically, Daigo has done very well against Tokido. But you know how it works, this could be the one event where Tokido is just like, “Yeah, I get the victory against Daigo in a big tournament with lots of money on the line,” so you never know. It could go either way, but if you follow the numbers I think the numbers say Daigo.
DES: It is always a coin flip with them.
Sajam: Yeah, it is hard to tell.
DES: Another thing about ELEAGUE is that this is going to be on national television, TBS — a lot of people are going to be watching it — so we are going to be getting a lot of people who may not normally watch FGC events or streams watching this tournament. What do you want to say to those people who may be newer, if not completely new, to the FGC and these kinds of tournaments? What would you say to them about the FGC and how they can get involved?
Sajam: Almost no matter where you live, if you’re interested in fighting games, there are local communities that you can find. And it doesn’t matter how good of a player you are, if you are a Daigo or a Tokido, or anyone else in this tournament — they still play at their local events. So no matter how new, or how old, or how long you have been in the community, your local scene is the most important place to gather and look. So send out a tweet, look at Facebook groups, find out where your local community is and play there — that’s the best place to start.
DES: Where do you think ELEAGUE goes from here? What can they do next year and in the future because they have already assembled this amazing event with all these amazing players. Where do you think they can go from here?
Sajam: That is such a good question. The Street Fighter seasons are really fun and they’re cool. The things I would like that we have done with ELEAGUE too are like the Tekken tournament that was teams; that was really fun. I think another team event would be great; there is always exploring new games. Dragon Ball [FighterZ] would be fun, and I think it would be really cool to do an ELEAGUE event that has multiple games too. We have never done an ELEAGUE event for fighting games that has a lot of different fighting games in it, so I think that would be fun too. Yeah, I like team format stuff. I think that is cool, and honestly, I feel like anything would be good.
DES: So just don’t be afraid to experiment with new formats and new games, and ELEAGUE being as big as it is, that would be a big opportunity for a lesser-known game, or something just not as in the public eye as something like Street Fighter a chance to shine.
Sajam: Yeah, there are a lot of great fighting games out, right? So it is one of those things where there are people who only watch one or two games or whatever they are very interested in, so I think ELEAGUE is interesting in that the audience is kind of a mishmash of a lot of different games all split into one channel. So it might give them that opportunity. Like if they haven’t seen Dragon Ball [FighterZ] before, they might be like “This is the craziest thing I have ever seen,” so it may spark that new interest.
DES: Well thanks a lot for joining us.
Sajam: Yeah, it was a good time.