Sup peeps! Welcome to my only interview as head of content. We currently don't have any interviewers, so if you're interested in doing this kinda stuff feel free to contact me! (Milky).
Anyway; let's get this interview started.
Milky: Hello JV, let’s start off with a little introduction, shall we? Tell us a little bit about yourself, and what role do you play on this site?
JV_: Introduction. Well as mentioned I go by JV online (actually my intials in real life. so I dont claim to be all that creative). I started allisbrawl roughly 8 years ago with Nealdt after meeting him on the MLG Smash Grassroots Series. Of which I was put in charge of selecting a few community events throughout the US and overseeing them on MLGs (Major League Gaming) behalf.
The closest name for my current site role would probably be general manager. No one focus but involved in most things and the sites general direction
Milky: You and Nealdt done some amazing work. We don’t always show our appreciation, so thank you for everything you’ve done for the site so far. It’s been 8 years and you’re still going! You’re Godlike. Based on the site, you obviously care about the smasher community. Speaking of Smash, what is your favorite game out of the series?
JV_: Thanks. I've put a lot of time into both the site and network. Hindsight being 20/20 theres things we could have done better throughout the years. But almost all of the current top smash 4 players (Nario, Dabuz, ZeRo, Ally, 6WX) got their start on allisbrawl. So that's something I will always be proud of. I think the first dollar Zero ever won playing smash was on the AllisBrawl Ladders.
Honestly, it's Melee. And it's not even close. Part of the reason probably being once I started the site I never had the time to play as seriously as I did for several years of Melee's life. So I don't think I will ever play a game that much again in my life. So it's tough to displace it given the situation.
Milky: Melee holds a special place in all of our hearts. Who do you main in Melee and all of the other Smash games?
JV_: Melee when I was good I played Fox and Sheik depending on matchup and stage counterpicks. But as I stopped playing competitively I started playing everyone. Later in the playing days I rocked ice climbers and Yoshi. Did it for the lolz. Yoshi can pull some crazy stuff. Didn't really consider him competitive till I saw amsa at Apex.
Smash 4 I honestly like Little Mac. A lot of move priority and I can utilize old school spacing. Unfortunately he has the kind of recovery that makes you want to smash your tv. But I dig punch-out, used to box/do mma, and like everything else about the guy.
Milky: Interesting. You said you don’t really play the game seriously anymore, just for fun. Does this mean you don’t place in tournaments anymore?
JV_: Worse than not placing, I'm not even entered. I’ve been to tournaments here or there. Events I have friends at or I'm in the area for. Even then I don't enter cause I normally dont have the whole weekend free. But it's been a couple years since I've been to a big smash event. I was going to go to big house this year. But I'll be in Japan so this thing called the pacific ocean is in my way. Event looks great though. Ran by a good TO in jungleguy. At my home state. And a lot of old school Melee players (on top of all the new guys) will be there. Like I said if it wasn't for the dumb ocean, I'd be there. Although still not sure if I'd actually enter.
Milky: Aw man, there will surely be other events, so maybe next time. You mentioned you’re in Japan, and something about this ocean? Care to tell us a little more about that?
JV_: Yeah, I mean the smash community (both Melee and Wii U) continue to grow. So sure there will be more big events in the coming months and years. I'll turn up at one or two of them
Happy to explain. So oceans are these big blue things comprised of water and sodium chloride (gives it that salt affect - aka salt water). I'm not sure why this one is called the pacific ocean. But it seems like a dumb name. So I'm guessing the person who named it wasn't very intelligent
Milky: Haha, great answer. Anyway, let’s just jump right into the juicy questions. There’s been rumors that you’re considering a name change for the site URL. Is this true? Or should we just wait and find out? (I know you don’t like this question but there’s been polls and whatnot and I myself am curious). Heh.
JV_: Ha, so the polls are giving me away huh? It is true. At the end of the day, I think a names just a name. The experience of your site and community matter far more than the text letters in your url. Likewise, things such as search optimization and other factors play a big role in a given sites success. Theres a lot of sites that have awful names (at least in my estimation) but are wildly successful. Amazon.com (a shopping site named after the jungle, doh), facebook.com (literally doesn't have one hint of the social connectivity that is the sites foundation), and apple.com (tech = apples... huh). Yet all of them are fortune 500 companies cause in spite of a name most people would never choose for them they do countless other things right as a site and company. But I'm going off on a tangent here. The short answer is yes. I am considering it. A lot of people have found memories of the AllisBrawl days and we have failed to really capitalize on any other Nintendo properties but Smash. So I am open to any change that puts the site in a better place.
Milky: Nice example. The site was also in its prime days back when it was AllisBrawl. I think it’s pretty cool that you’re listening to the community and giving them what they want. You’re even going as far as changing the site URL. What about the plans for the overall future of this site?
JV_: Listening to people is always a tricky thing. This site is, and always has been, for the community. Neal and I just laid the foundation. But it was every blog, article, match played, badge collected, card traded, shoutout that gave it life. Every part of something a user contributed or did be it past or present is what built the site. So I always want what is best for the users and try to take any personal bias I might have out of any decision making. But theres this internet effect I like to call the "vocal minority". Meaning a small percentage of a overall community doesnt like something but they are the most vocal about it. People that are ok with something or don't mind it rarely speak up. Even people that like something only speak up a small percentage of the time. But when people don't agree or don't like something they are most vocal about it. So you need to take into account what people say and consider it. But you cant always listen or you will be constantly reacting in accord to people that are the loudest but do not always represent the majority or, at times, are just giving an opinion that is not thoroughly researched.
Anyway, rocking another tangent here haha. In terms of future development. The three big ones I can mention are we have a new and exciting season ladder structure to roll out with the second part of our match making (or perhaps before its completely finished),we are doing a site redesign to get the look of the site to feel more modern, and have an official tier list created by some of the very top smash wii u players in Nario, Dabuz, and 6WX. Past that it’s clear with twitter, twitch, and facebook the internet is shifting and some of the features of the site haven't adapted to account for this change. So we may need to re-invent ourselves a bit in the coming months ;)
Milky: Hype! Very exciting. Now, before I end this interview, I’d like to give you the opportunity to say anything you may feel be relevant, or if you just want to give some shoutouts, here’s your chance!
JV_: Personally hate shoutouts. How they do them at the end of every esports interview now a days. So screw all you people in my life that deserve a shoutout. You don't get one.
Relevant stuff wise, I will say, we are always looking to get people involved in the sites staff or one of our various official groups. If you care about making a positive contribution by all means reach out. Development is the single biggest thing we need currently but writers, moderators, social media team members, marketing team, graphic artists, event hosts, streamers, cool dudes that want to be friendly and welcome new people to the site, it all helps. Feedback too, let us know what you think and what we can do better.
Milky: Hehe… Thank you for letting me interview you JV! It’s been a pleasure, and I’m looking forward to the future of this site!
JV_: Honor was all mine Milky. You're "SS" tier on the official staff tier list afterall. Not often I get to have a convo with that high tier of a staff member
Milky: Heh, I try.. And that’s a wrap!
And that's that guys. We've learned a few new things today, about JV, and the site. We got some top secret info that the staff didn't even know about! Hope you all enjoyed the interview, until next time!