Interview with Smash Free Agent Wizzrobe
Tue 15th Jan 2019 - 7:30pm
I sat down with free agent professional Smash player, Justin "Wizzrobe" Hallett. Wizzrobe is a top ten player in both Super Smash Brothers and Super Smash Brothers: Melee and has recently come off a fourth place finish at Smash Summit 7 in November. With his recent release from Excelerate Gaming and Smash Ultimate still being new, now seemed the best time to get his perspective.
You’re a young guy, you just turned 21 years old, and already a top 10 player in Melee and Smash 64. What first got you into competing?
Wizzrobe: What first got me started, which isn't to out of the ordinary, is that I enjoyed playing Smash Brothers. I grew up playing Smash Brothers. I remember when I was little. I would get a new game, I would play that for bit and then I would always go back to Smash and it would be fun all over again. It just never really got that old or if it did get old, I'd take a break and come back and it'd be fun all over again. It's just a game I really enjoyed a lot, I put many hours into the game even against just computers. I always wanted to be good at the game naturally. I started looking up YouTube videos, I saw some people like Ken and Isai play. I saw some advanced techniques and started practicing them. I always wanted to go to a tournament but I never knew how to go about it. I was probably 10-11 years old at the time. Once I was 13, I finally learned how to use Google and then I went to my first tournament in late 2011.
You’ve had different mains throughout your career. Is there any particular reason for this or is it simply you play what you think feels the best?
Wizzrobe: Do you mean through each Smash game?
Yes, from game to game, you've used different characters. Is that because of how they feel or personal preference?
Wizzrobe: In Melee, I always wanted to main Falcon. And in Smash 64, I always wanted to main Yoshi because he's based on the Mario 64 model and I like that. In Brawl, I mained Sonic but I switched to Marth because he's a lot better and I wanted to play well. The one thing I can say is that playing the same character in multiple games, especially if you are going to compete in those multiple games, is extremely difficult. All the Smash games are different, the concept is the same but they all play differently. They have different mechanics, hit stun, etc. Playing the same character in multiple games, though different, can definitely throw you off. The similarities will throw you off and it's hard to transition between games with a character that has the same moveset but different mechanics.
If you had to pick your favorite game in the franchise, what would it be?
Wizzrobe: I don't like this question cause I think they are all equal, though I'd say Smash 4 isn't as equal cause Smash Ultimate is better. I like them all on a pretty similar level. For most people they have their very clear favorite and that's how they go about playing their competitive game. I've always liked them pretty much equally, if I like one more it's only slightly. 64 and Melee are pretty equal, but I'll tell you right now I'm having the most fun with Ultimate. Cause not only is it a good game, it's a new game. Learning all the new match-ups, just playing a new game in general. So my favorite is somewhere between 64, Melee and Ultimate.
Speaking of which, Smash Ultimate has been out for a month now, what are your general impressions of the game so far?
Wizzrobe: It's basically a much better Smash 4. More of a step in the right direction. I think everyone who's played it has liked it. People who like Smash 64 or Melee probably won't switch. But I think everyone who plays those games can agree it's better than Smash 4. Some of the mechanics they added are really good changes. For me, I've always played all the Smash games. I'm not very... picky, I guess is the right word. Everyone's opinion is that it's definitely a good game and it's the best Smash game in a while. I pretty much agree, I like it a lot.
Are there any characters in Smash Ultimate that you’ve gotten a feel on and have enjoyed playing?
Wizzrobe: Yeah, when I first started I was trying to play all the characters and see who I liked. Most games I just pick one or two character and only play those. This time, I wanted to give myself more play time with the whole cast. And I've narrowed it down to Wolf, Chrom, and Inkling. Chrom and Inkling are top tier and lately people are considering Wolf a top tier. I've always wanted to play Wolf the most. I wasn't sure about his potential, but results have being coming in and Wolf is a lot better than people thought. So, I'm excited to play Wolf a lot. I feel his moveset really suits me. I think Chrom is really fun, he's a fast-paced swordsman, kind of like a Melee character.
Are you excited for any future DLC in the game and if you had to choose who would you want to see join the roster?
Wizzrobe: I'm definitely excited for the DLC. Coming from Smash games where there are no patches, it's kind of nice to have a mix up. People are dreading patches, but even if it might add difficulty, I think it's fun. It's just something new and it gives you something new to learn. Adding new things to learn, adding new characters, I think I'm going to enjoy it a lot. And about the roster, I'm not really someone who's like, "I want this guy". The characters I wanted are already in the game. The character I wanted to come to the game the most was King K. Rool and he's in. The only other character, I could think to want, is another F-Zero character. I think a second F-Zero representative would be cool because it's the only OG Smash character to have only the main character representing the franchise.
So you're not in the Sora or Geno camp?
Wizzrobe: Oh, I do think Geno is cool. That would be the character I would be down for the most. But I'm not necessarily like, "Oh, I want this so bad." I'll be okay if he's not in but I do think it would be cool for Geno to be in.
You were recently released from Excelerate Gaming and was a part of the team for around 3 months. You wrote on Twitter that you were caught off-guard by the release. Were you contacted prior to the announcement?
Wizzrobe: I was, but the original release was a bit unprofessional. I'm just going to be honest, it was a little unprofessional because they released me, a guy messaged me who I never spoke to before, but apparently he was the new GM. And then the owner went on vacation the day I got released. Eventually I did get in contact with him and he explained the whole situation. It unfolded fine toward the end but at first it was a bit sketch and a weird way to go about it. So basically, they bought out my contract and they decided they didn't want to keep doing Smash. It seemed random, they seemed to like me a lot and I was doing a good job. But for whatever reason they decided they didn't want Smash anymore.
Did you feel frustrated? Did you feel weird about being let go so soon after joining the team?
Wizzrobe: I don't know if I was frustrated necessarily, but it definitely felt like BS. I'm kind of used to this feeling of being a free agent. It's happened over long periods of time. Hopefully I will get a new team. It's definitely an issue, I'm not trying to downplay it or anything. I'm just not kicking myself in the butt, you know?
I would think you are one of the hottest free agents in professional Smash. You don’t have to tell me about any conversations you may or may not have had. But are there any teams you’re singling out and looking to join?
Wizzrobe: It's hard to single out a specific team. There are a lot of big teams out there, but most will be like, "we might pick up a player soon but not right now". All I got to say is if anyone is interested, just DM me on twitter. I'll pretty much talk to any team who wants to give a reasonable offer and have a reasonable discussion. I'm pretty much open to talk to teams. I'm giving a lot of people a chance to explain what they can do for me and what I can do for them.
If there was a team you could join, maybe you have friends there or it's an organization you like a lot, is there a team you would definitely like to join?
Wizzrobe: OpTic or FaZe, those would be my top two.
And for any teams looking to sign you what would you like to tell them about yourself?
Wizzrobe: I'm a top 10 player in Melee and top ten in Smash 64. I also won a Smash Masters title at SmashCon. That's basically a competition where a bunch of other top players play multiple games. We enter this competition to determine the best overall Smash player. It might not be the best way to determine overall skill but basically everyone who's won is either me or Mew2King. And we're basically considered the two best overall Smash players. My point is, I have the skill to be good at any Smash game. I feel I've proven that. I have really good resources around me. Like I have some of the best players really close by. We're going to be playing Ultimate a lot, so I'm going to be getting really good at that game. I also have my YouTube channel, I also stream on Twitch as well. For any teams looking at me I have a lot of skill, a pretty big channel and I'm working on very hard on my streams.
Lastly is there anyone you’d like to give a shout out to?
Wizzrobe: My fans but also my subscribers and the people in my Discord server. I feel like they've helped me a ridiculous amount. They help with donation goals and help me get to tournaments as a free agent. They are a really big part of my continuing to grow and just they help me in general. I think they deserve the biggest shout out.
That concludes this interview, I'd like to thank Wizzrobe for taking time out of his day to answer some questions and if you would like to stay up to date with Wizzrobe you can follow him on social media.
Be sure to follow Dignitas on Twitter as well.
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