2018 Retrospective Interview with Lucky & HugS
Mon 3rd Dec 2018 - 7:07pm
We've reached December, the final month of 2018! It's been a wild year for tournaments! Competitors all across the globe have poured their hearts into the game this year which leaves spectators with so many spectacular events to watch. With more up-and-comers and more tournaments announced for next year, 2019 is looking to be just as interesting. To close out the year, Joey 'Lucky' Aldama and Hugo 'HugS' Gonzalez give their thoughts on their own performances and what they look to do differently next year.
We’re finally coming to the end of the year! It’s been a really successful year for you both. You’ve both had some crazy sets as the year has played out. Which set stood out to you the most this year and why?
Lucky: Recently at The Mango, I had a really close set with Captain Faceroll from SoCal and this set really stood out for a couple of reasons. It was one of the first tournaments since the brand refresh, it was my birthday weekend, the tournament was in my hometown, the match was in the top 8 and it was the first time my mom ever saw me play live. She had a front row seat to see me clutch out the win from being down 0-2 and pop off with the venue popping off with me.
HugS: The set that stood out for me the most this year, and probably the best set of my life, was against aMSa at Genesis 5. The fact that it was game 5 as my brother watched live and the clock struck midnight into my birthday to top 8 at a super major at my debut tournament with Dignitas - it was a perfect moment for me.
This year’s tournaments are spread from coast to coast; each very different. From water parks to casinos, super majors to small regionals, what has been your favourite tournament this year?
Lucky: Genesis was easily my favorite tournament of the year. The tournament series itself always has so much prestige with the name and almost every top player in attendance. Making top 8 there and being freshly signed by Dignitas might have a little to do with my decision, but I really do love the event.
HugS: There were so many great events this year. As Lucky mentioned, Genesis was amazing. I also loved the hospitality at the first EGLX of the year, and Smash Summit 6 was one of the best experiences I had at a tournament for sure. Too many to choose from for me.
Which tournaments would you be happy to give your time to next year? Do you have any plans to revisit certain tournaments because of how well they were run or how fun they may have been?
Lucky: Aside from all the super majors, Full Bloom and EGLX probably stood out to me. I'll definitely make an effort to come back to those next year!
HugS: Funny enough, Lucky's choices are two of my must-go events this year. CEO in Daytona Beach was also an excellent time this year, so I plan on returning.
With greatness sometimes comes a few low points. What has been your worst placing, moment and set of the year and how will you look to avoid it in the next coming year?
HugS: My worst placing of the year was at The Mango: Homecoming. I was looking to take it as a non-competitive, relaxing weekend with friends, but me being me, I decided to enter anyway. Once I lost my first set, I realized I had no business competing if I wasn't in a competitive mindset, and just enjoyed the rest of the weekend with friends.
Lucky: I went through a rough patch with Ice Climber players really stepping up their game this year. Although, I already put in a lot of work in this match up and it's even becoming a favorite at this point. I'd say the same kinda happened with Peach recently, but I've been taking extra measures to step up my knowledge and performance in the match-up as well.
January will be a fresh start on the rankings! What’s a reasonable rank for you both to aim for in 2019 and how will you look to achieve this level of improvement?
Lucky: Honestly at this point in time I feel like top 20 is my floor and I want nothing more than to raise that floor. So for the most part I think I will mostly focus on consistency, tech skill, and mentality to solidify that floor even more, which will naturally raise it. I also plan on working on other things to raise my peak play as well.
HugS: It's tough to say. I think this year I firmly established my ability to be a mainstay in the top 20. Like Lucky, I want to raise my peak play so that I can be an honest contender for a top 10 ranking. That being said, I will also be dedicating some initial time into Smash Ultimate to see how much I enjoy that game. It's going to be an exciting year for sure.
What has motivated you to keep ahead of the other competitors this year?
HugS: My inspiration comes from a desire to prove that I can compete after all these years with every newcomer who wants to be the best. I love that players constantly challenge me. They prevent me from becoming stagnant. I also love knowing that no matter how good people are getting, I'm always a big threat after all this time.
Lucky: Yeah, I think other players getting much better outside of the top 20 has inspired me more than anything. Seeing the work these guys put in to up their game has really pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and work on new things myself.
Aside from being picked up by Dignitas, what have been your top three moments of the year?
Lucky: Top 8 at Genesis, playing Smash Ultimate at the E3 Invitational, and making top 8 at The Mango. Special mention goes out to attending the Mountain Dew Pro Tour with Dignitas and meeting Bam Margera.
HugS: Top 8 at Genesis for me, too. Making it into the top 15 summer rankings and reaching 1,000+ subs on Twitch were my other favorite moments of the year.
By next year, the widely anticipated Smash Bros Ultimate will be released. Will you both be looking to enter that bracket alongside your Melee bracket or are you fully focusing on Melee?
Lucky: I'll definitely be streaming it and messing around with it to see how it feels for me. If it's a game I really enjoy, then I can easily see myself competing in both.
HugS: I plan on opting in and making it into both the Smash Ultimate and Smash Melee Summits this spring. So, I plan on streaming Ultimate heavily and investing time into getting better in order to make that happen.
If you had advice to give to each other for next year, what would it be?
Lucky: Stay motivated and focused. Your potential is limitless when you focus on what you want and you've shown it from focusing either 100% on competing or 100% on streaming. No matter what you do, just keep that drive and stay hungry.
HugS: Now that you've taken the early winter to dabble in other things you love, try to re-focus your energy back into a few things you can begin to greatly excel at.
You’re both very popular in the community. You’ve both got some die-hard supporters out there! Are there any people within the community or outside of it that you’d like to thank?
Lucky: I'd like to thank every single one of my fans. Honestly, I love competing and that's never going to change, but the fans and supporters really make the whole thing feel so much more special to me. I'd also like to give a huge thank you to Dignitas for everything they've done for me this past year. Special thank you to my girlfriend, Cathy, and my friend, Deikumi, for being the two best supporters I could ever have.
HugS: As always, I thank Dignitas and the Sub Pub (my stream community) every day for allowing me to do the things that I love for a living. Without them, I wouldn't be as happy with life as I have been this past year. I'm truly grateful for everything!
You can follow Lucky on Twitter and Twitch to follow all his ventures in his Smash career. Not only does Lucky play Smash on his stream but has a variety of new and old games lined up for your entertainment. You can also follw HugS on Twitter and Twitch where you can follow his daily updates on life and Smash and his topical interactive conversations with chat.