In this interview, we got to know Malcolm better. Turns out he has been playing fighting games for a long time. But video games aren't player's only obsession. He recently has started cosplaying. This week Strickland is going to participate in EVO Japan 2018, one of the biggest fighting tournaments out there. His thoughts on the tournament and plans for 2018 can be read below.
Let's start with some basics. Please introduce yourself.
My name is Malcolm Strickland. I am a cosplayer/streamer who also loves competitive fighting games.
Your nickname is Strickland. Is there a story behind this nickname? Could you please share it?
My nickname is my real name, Malcolm Strickland. I had the name phantom before and just blended in since everyone knows Strickland. In a hit comedy series King of the Hill, there's Buck Strickland, a fictional character that runs Strickland Propane. So I thought my nickname would be more recognizable this way. Also, I have a fun heritage with my name being the name of civil rights activist Malcolm X.
What brought you into fighting games. How long have you been playing them?
I’ve been playing fighting games since 2007, starting with anime games (Guilty Gear, BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena). Then I played King of Fighters on the competitive scene. I moved into Capcom games after the release of SFV(Street Fighter V). I just love competition and games, and I’m very passionate about sharing those experiences and knowledge I’ve racked up over the years. I’ve also gotten to meet some awesome people along the way.
You mentioned you are a streamer and a cosplayer. Mind sharing a link to your stream and is there a way to see your cosplays online?
Have you participated in any cosplay events?
I’ve participated in a couple of cosplay events. I’ve only been doing cosplay since July of last year, but it’s been going super well. I’ve also done cosplay contests at major tournaments.
What got you into SFV? Why did you decide to play competitively?
I have always enjoyed Street Fighter but never had the drive to become really good at it because, at the time, I had a community around me that was super into anime games and King of Fighters. So I played what the locals played. I moved to Boston, which has a really strong Street Fighter scene, and decided it was time to put work in that series. I go where the competitive drive goes but usually dabble in every series that helps me to learn.
You are participating in EVO Japan 2018 this week. How do you feel about it and what are your thoughts on the tournament?
I feel this is a wonderful opportunity for me to grow as a player. Throughout the years, I've always heard that Japan and its players are magical because of the way they approach games. I have experienced it while playing against Tokido and other players throughout my fighting game career. Now it's time for me to truly understand and take my game to the next level. Call it a great pilgrimage of sorts. I'm very excited for this tournament and meeting the strong players that don't get to leave Japan.
What do you think about the future of eSports in general and your title\genre in particular?
I think the future of eSports is very vast and bright due to the many different events an athlete can participate in. Fighting games for eSports is an interesting case. Many events started at a grassroots level. SFV has been awesome thanks to Capcom Pro Tour and having a tournament season and structure that helps give players a pathway to going pro and participate in the greatest events with other like-minded individuals. Experiencing the best competition is everything in fighting games.
What would be the most optimistic course of actions for eSports and your title\genre?
It would be having more tournaments for developing a player. There are a lot of players who have the potential to shine and create awesome personalities and performances.
Do you mind sharing your plans for 2018 with us?
My plans for 2018 are looking pretty solid – WinterBrawl, then ComboBreaker, then CEO, and part of the season with EVO. I want to become a great Street Fighter player and give back to the community with informational streams.
Okay, this looks like a busy year. I wish you the best of luck at EVO Japan and in your future endeavors! is there anything else you would like to share with us? Maybe some shoutouts?
I would love to! Shoutout to the Boston/Kansas City FGC. I wouldn't be as good of a player without their continued support. Guile eSports and our wonderful sponsors for believing in me to represent them in 2018, and KeenGamer for this awesome interview!