Interview with McMeghan

Interview and flavor by Oglemi. Art by Bummer.
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I awake in a daze to the smell of waffles and a faint hint of chocolate. After some investigation of the hotel room, I realize I'm in Belgium. On the bedside table, I find a note with an address and time for later in the day. I arrive at the time and place to an extremely quaint little abode in a quiet suburban area with a small garden and picket fence out front. "This is like some Stepford Wives shit," I think to myself as I walk up to the front door.

"Helloooooo," I hear a motherly voice with a French accent call from inside when I ring the doorbell. "Oh, you must be here for the interviewwwww. Come in, come in." I'm rushed inside and down a hallway where family pictures and various medals, trophies, and awards are hung on the walls. "He's right in there," she says as we arrive to the door at the end of the hall. The door is covered in Internet memes and a ton of French quotes that I can't quite make out. I knock, and the door opens to reveal an extremely dark room. After my eyes adjust, I find myself on a beanbag chair across from my interviewee.

So just start off by telling us who you are in real life, what do you do for a living, where you live, etc.

So, I am 22 and I live in the French part of Belgium. I followed sciences teaching and computer science classes in the past. I'm taking a different path once again, and I'm now in the final year of my secretary classes. While I do what I have to for school, I spend a lot more time getting involved with my passions, which include reading, video games, listening to/discovering music, and other stuff.

What do you want to do when you finish school, like what is your ideal career?

I'll be mainly looking for a job that enables me to dedicate enough time to my passions and acquaintances. If I could use my English skills on a daily basis, that'd be amazing, but I'll take what I'll find, be it in the translation or communication domain.

How did you come to learn English so well? Just through gaming, or did you take dedicated classes?

I had the mandatory English classes when I was in school. I always liked it, but I didn't practice it all. I got a ton better when I became active here on Smogon, especially thanks to IRC. I sometimes read old logs of discussions where I was involved, and while I wouldn't call myself a great English speaker now (far from it), I notice I've progressed a ton since then.

Just then, McMeghan receives a call on Skype, and he shouts something incoherent in French to the people on the other side, but I catch something like, "No I'm not paying for sex Ojama!"

So, let's talk about Smogon a bit. What brought you to the forums, and where did you start?

Smogon Tour for both questions. I hopped on Shoddy once, and my French friends told me they were gonna play in one of them. They explained the concept and it sounded pretty cool, and that's when I made my account. I didn't last long, but when I came back one year later, it was time again to play some Smogon Tour. I was also really interested in the WCoP and the suspect testing.

You're now commonly called one of the best players in Smogon history; why do you think that is, and what advice would you give newer players looking to become the next greatest rising star?

I can hear some snickering coming from the computer, but McMeghan ignores it and continues.

Being consistent and winning a lot I guess. I also think I have a good grasp on the game in general, so I don't have much problem picking up a tier and putting up a fight there. I answered the second question in my PoTW thread I think, but I'll reiterate: try to learn from both your victories and especially your defeats; gradually set yourself some objectives; be hungry to win, and focus on how to get better instead of complaining.

Tell me a bit about being a Tournament Director. What's it like being one of the people that have to make the tough calls in the tournament scene, and what tournament(s) do you find most enjoyable to play in and run?

It's cool because I get to shape a lil' bit in what is, in my opinion, the best area of Smogon. I like to play a lot, which is easily noticeable considering I join a lot of tournaments.

The number of times I've seen [Won by McMeghan] on threads flashes through my mind.

My favorite tournament to play in is definitely the Smogon Tour for its live aspect and its prestige, followed by SPL for its team aspect. I like "running" Tour (Bloo's the main host, I just help him) because the ranking makes it really exciting; it changes every week, and we get to see some players going through a hot streak and sometimes resurrecting from the depths and ending at a great spot. Running SPL is both fun and infuriating. A ton of people act shady on purpose or because they get asked to, and while it's annoying in the moment, it makes for the best stories later (the same could be said for WCoP too, but I feel like SPL mobilizes a greater part of the tournament community, and it's a less-flawed tournament due to its very nature).

Speaking of SPL, what made you decide to not manage this year, and what advice would you give to new managers for this year?

Managing was a good experience, but I missed playing. I just wanted to play, as simple as that I guess. Considering my team didn't reach playoffs last year (even though I'd argue luck played a big factor), I don't really feel like I'm in the position to give any advice, but I'd say: be as active as possible and try to control everything with the help of your assistant. Don't wait for things to get done/be ready; take the lead and be proactive with your players testing, scheduling, building, etc. Stay updated and take the initiative.

Is there any team in particular you want to be on this year? Any team you think that has the best shot at winning it all?

Uh, I think it's really too early to predict this kind of stuff, especially considering we only know the managers so far. :x If anything, I genuinely hope the Ruiners will do well/win. I expect Sharks and Wolfpack to do well because of their solid and experienced staff, as well as their (somewhat recent for the Wolfpack) history of doing well under said staff.

Any players we should keep an eye on this year?

Hmmm, ben gay is a given, but everyone kinda knows him now. I hope him and Reymedy blow up for good with this tournament considering they've already both shown good reasons to expect good things from them. One player I hope will be picked and do well is Henry. Not much information is known about him yet, but I hope that'll change. Also would love to see some former ladder players starting to get their feet wet in the tourney scene and succeeding like TheEnder, providing a team pick them up.

OK, well this interview was short and sweet, let's end with: What's your favorite Pokémon?

It's so hard to pick one... I'm a Charizard fanboy at heart, but I love just as much Articuno. Zapdos, Gardevoir, Milotic are close contenders...

I notice his eyes get saddened at the mention of Milotic, and I remember his dreams of Mega Milotic being crushed as the new ORAS Megas were being revealed.

Well, thank you for your time, I'm off to another!

And with that I'm off and out the front door, but not before stopping in the kitchen for some delicious Belgian chocolate chip cookies.

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