Major regionals and nationals are great places for players from different geographic locations to face off, but it’s not often that one of a region’s best players relocates to an even more active scene. At the time of this first interview, August 31st, 2016, Peter “Pikmon” Woodworth is Washington state’s #2 player. Pikmon is a remarkably strong player with regularly high placements in every WA tournament he attends and mains Game&Watch. He’ll be moving to a new region for college, and with this somewhat rare occurrence, an interview seemed appropriate. With introductions complete, we began the interview.
Which school will you be attending when you move?
I am going to be attending Santa Clara University.
And that's in NorCal, isn't it?
Yes it is, right next to San Jose.
A little south of the Bay area.
And I assume you've done your research on their PM community? Where will you be playing?
Fortunately for me, the biggest tournaments in Norcal are held right on Santa Clara's campus!
So I won't miss out on much Smashing while in school.
It is going to be nice walking 2 minutes to get to a tournament rather than driving an hour like up in Washington.
(A feeling I am all too familiar with)
And ThundeRzReign frequents the Smash @ SCU tourneys.
Other than that I am told Norcal is "free".
By who? NorCal's Boringman took 1st at The Balcony's weekly just this last week
Norcal themselves call their region free. It's a meme.
And I did see that Boringman won, I was happy to see that
Memes aside, do you think they'll be as free as you're saying?
I never said that they are free!
...as free as you've heard?
I think I will be second on PR right below ThundeRz, at least that's my goal.
It depends on how good Spark is because Boringman, who is 2nd on their PR, won't be there because he has school in Socal.
If Boringman were still there I think he and I would be fighting for #2.
So you feel like you'll be up there pretty quickly? Are there any characters you think you'll struggle with on your way up?
I feel comfortable fighting against the top characters in Norcal, those characters being Sheik, Falcon, Mario, Luigi, ICs, Wolf, Wario, Ganon. I have experience against all those characters, some more than others, but none of them seem troubling for me.
I beat Gallo so I don't think any Marios will be a problem.
Sheik, Wolf, and Ganon are characters I have loads of experience against, somewhat against Wario.
The Falcon there I have played in bracket before and he beat me, however I stepped my game up since then and I learned the matchup more. GnW isn't very nice to Falcon.
Luigi and ICs are the two I would worry about most. I don't have any high level Luigi experience, but I do commonly play against Luigis here so the matchup isn't completely foreign to me.
And ICs I have only played once in bracket before. Big D pulled out his ICs and they gave me a bit of trouble while I had to figure out the MU on the fly.
I do think I will be up there quickly because I believe in myself as a player, and I have to admit that the odds are skewed in my favor because Norcal doesn't have much GnW experience. That will definitely favor me in the beginning.
How I will do against ThundeRzReign, I don't really know. I expect to be destroyed lol but really I could see myself getting close.
Do you suppose we'll be seeing a lot of California-grown salt courtesy of Washington's own premier Game and Watch player?
I don't believe so. NorCal has a strong hatred of Mario already so I think GnW is in the clear.
Interesting. And you feel like you'll be immune to the Mario hatred then?
As in you yourself will not grow to hate him?
I don't think there is any chance of that.
I beat Gallo about a month ago who is considered to be the best Mario and I didn't have a problem with the character.
Plus, I use GnW so I don't have a right to be salty at other characters. (Except Snake)
Nah I only say that because the only character people seem to hate more than GnW is Snake.
I have no problem with Snake, however I have never played a good one so idk.
Alright, so from your perspective, how does a bracket usually play out?
Do you walk in, "everyone's free til semis at least" or do you go hard the whole night?
I definitely don't go as hard earlier in bracket.
I do look at it as "This person is free unless I am proven otherwise".
Then I actually start trying once I get to semis because I can't just autopilot against Aki, Punk Panda, Chevy, etc.
Am I free?
Never played you in bracket.
So free you don't even remember.
That was a joke.
I remember beating you with my Falcon worse than with GnW lol.
To answer your question: yes you are free.
I consider everyone below Zeddy on the PR to be free.
By free I don't mean "oh I could never lose to this person".
By free I mean I don't have to work as hard to win because usually I can just do GnW things and win because they fall for dumb GnW stuff that I shouldn't be getting away with.
Like? For all of those G&W haters out there?
What advice and anti-G&W techniques can I spread?
My stuff is not safe on shield.
Like against lower level players I get hits with the landing hitboxes of dair and bair after they shield the aerial. That shouldn't really ever happen, those moves are very unsafe on shield.
Also not DI’ing my combos gives me really really easy combos
Why do you play G&W anyway?
Uhh, before I started entering tournaments I played friendlies with a friend every Friday for a few hours, and I would constantly shift mains. In 3.0, I was an Olimar, then Pit or Samus. There were some other mains I had, but Pit and Samus lasted the longest.
It's just that when I was playing 3.5 friendlies, I played a lot of GnW and decided he was my main.
So when I started entering tournaments, GnW was just the main I had at the time, so I stuck with him. I'm GnW because he happened to be my main at the time I started going to tournaments.
I don't remember why I picked him as my main in the first place, he was probably just fun to play or something idk.
Best way to choose a main in a children's party game I suppose.
While we're on the subject of other characters, what other characters do you like?
I know your Meta Knight is pretty solid.
I enjoy ZSS a lot.
What was the word you used to describe your ZSS?
I also enjoy DK, Ganon, and Bowser.
Meta Knight is probably my best secondary though.
Alright, what are you going to miss most back here in WA?
Smash related: The ePG tournaments. The TOs are amazing and the atmosphere at ePG is always really fun.
Non Smash related: My mom's cooking
You're not packing your mom in with your things when you go away to college? What the hell?
I wish I could man.
Is there anything you're glad to leave behind when you go?
I am going to love not having to drive 20 minutes to get anywhere.
The classic Washingtonian non-Seattleite struggle.
Every drive I have is 20+ minutes and I hate it.
At SCU I won't have to drive for anything.
Currently I only drive for 3 things:
Smash, friends, and the gym, and all of those will be located on SCU campus.
The gym? You looking to be the swolest G&W player around?
I probably already am lol.
Not saying I'm super swole, but for gamers I probably am.
I dunno man, Mr. Lz...
Nvm we are all completely flat, literally 2D, impossible to be swole.
So what kind of stuff do you do with your friends outside of smash?
With one of my friends we play a ton of different video games, the notable ones being Mario Strikers Charged, Pokemon Showdown, and Pikmin 3 Bingo Battle.
Those are the ones we sink the most time into.
With most other friends we like to play pickle ball, go to the gym, chill on the couch, watch football, talk about girls, etc.
I have a group of friends where we all order pizza and play poker.
Talk about girls you say? Is there a Mrs. Game and Watch in the picture?
And how is your poker face?
If we have girlfriends we don't talk about them lol.
And my poker face is lacking but I still play smarter than most people so I win a lot anyway lol.
Alright, I’m almost out of questions now.
Are you going to be coming home during the summers?
Of course! And during breaks as well.
Now who would you say is on the come up here in WA?
Punk Panda isn't a name people outside our region know. People generally know Bladewise, Silent Wolf, Aki, me, Chevy, and sometimes Hungry Headcrab. But for some reason, Punk Panda is left out of the mix.
Punk Panda has gradually stepped up his game the past two PR seasons rising all the way to 4th on our PR.
I believe he will one day get to the point where he can consistently beat me if he continues to play and I also believe he will start to take sets off Bladewise.
Another player I want to mention is Zygo.
He appeared out of nowhere last PR season and got 7th on PR.
He finally took a set off me just yesterday.
I knew about him because he used to show up to ESS and I thought he was just a scrubby Olimar main, but when he started going to ePG he completely proved me wrong and consistently took sets off PR people, and he forced me to have to work really hard to win against him. He does take a while to adapt and he gets emotional when he plays, but he has the drive to get better so I think he will continue to rise in WA rankings.
What do you think about some non-PR players? I've heard people talking about how Mocha's really been leveling up, and DBSammy does fairly well most of the time too.
Is there anybody you think will be sliding into those open spots on the PR this season or next season?
That was me talking about Mocha, actually.
The last few times I played him, he really made me work for the win, and he even won amateur bracket at last month’s ESS monthly. He won over Shockbound who is another non-PR player I have to worry about.
Sammy does well but doesn't have many wins over pr players
And I think Helix has a shot of making PR next season with the wins he has accumulated this season.
I would need to look at the data to be sure but I'm pretty sure Helix has the wins to be on PR currently. (This was correct, Helix currently sits at the #10 slot on Western WA PR)
Oh, and if Kick actually comes to more stuff he will for sure make it on PR.
[Pools last ESS was not] the first set Kick has taken off me.
Everyone knows you're a bit of a Radiohead fan, so… Best album? Best song?
Man I didn't want to write an essay.
If I have to choose one album, it’s In Rainbows.
Their new album A Moon Shaped Pool may take the top spot though, it still needs more time.
My all time favorite song by Radiohead is “There, There” by a mile. “There, There” has never been my absolute favorite song because my absolute favorite song always changes. “There, There” has never held the top spot, but it has always been in the top 3 ever since I first heard it. Currently it is #3 behind “Bloom” and “Present Tense.”
Actually, “Bloom” is only my favorite song if it’s the live version. Seeing “Bloom” live was the single best experience listening to music I have ever had in my life, so currently that’s my favorite song.
That’s pretty cool, when did you do that?
I saw them [in July] while in New York. My family went there just to see Radiohead.
I have 4 more questions for you. At the request of Atlas:
"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"
I see myself getting my masters in computer science and engineering through the 5 year master's program at SCU.
Hopefully I will have gotten a job.
My friend is starting a business, if it takes off I would love to work with him.
Best of luck!
And I will still be playing PM if it is alive.
If not, I will be playing Melee.
"What about PM?" was the next question.
Like its future?
Sure. However you interpret the question, I guess.
I'm not Atlas ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If TOs keep TO’ing and we continue the Circuit then I believe PM will live, I think the Circuit really helped keep PM alive, huge thanks to Atlas and the others who put the Circuit on.
I only went to one circuit event (LTC4) and it was great to see PM doing so well.
How did you place?
My goal was top 16.
I tied for 17th.
I lost in a last stock game 3 situation to Hero of Time who has a ton of GnW experience with Mr. Lz.
And Link is a really bad matchup for GnW, so I was surprised to be that close to beating HoT.
It's funny, in game 3 both of us killed ourselves at the exact same time on our third stock, so we were both on the respawn platform on our last stocks of the tournament at the same time.
But he got the kill.
Two questions left now.
Don't worry though because they're Atlas' questions, they're meme questions.
"Would you rather fight 1 Chevy-sized duck or 100 duck-sized Chevys?" He wouldn't specify if he meant duck like quack quack or duck like the Melee Samus main. Now that I think about it he didn't technically specify Chevy like our Chevy or Chevy like Chevrolet either, so you could be fighting 100 Asian-sized trucks.
He could be talking about Chevy Chase too.
It just goes deeper. You still have to answer though.
If I had to fight 100 duck sized Chevys they would all just yell at me at the same time about how dumb GnW is and how I have no fundamentals.
I would be overcome by the salt that piles up on top of me.
I would literally drown in salt.
I would much rather fight a Chevy sized duck.
Actually I watched the vod for our stream set where you went Falcon, and he said something along the lines of "Pikmon trying to show us that he does have fundamentals by playing a different character.”
Oh yeah Chevy said I was trying to prove I have fundamentals lol.
And the final question...
Can you guess it? I bet you can.
Favorite pr0n star.
I don't want to discuss porn with you because you are underage and it is illegal for you to view porn, but I will answer it anyway.
My favorite pornstar is:
Thanks much, Pikmon!
Now I'm going to take my underage self and go see what porn is.
I'll start by looking up this "ThundeRzReiGN" character on Twitter.
I hope they like PM in jail, you’ve just corrupted my minor brain.
This follow-up interview was conducted during Peter’s visit from NorCal for winter break, December 20, 2016. A few things have happened since the interview was conducted. Boringman came up for a visit, lost to Pikmon in winner’s, but got the runback in grands to take first at a Washington weekly. Pikmon has since played ThundeRzReiGN twice, and lost both sets. Punk Panda has overcome his Chevy slump, and just a few days ago beat him to place 3rd at a local weekly. Lastly, I am no longer a minor, so Pikmon could be let out of jail at my request.
How have you been? How is SCU?
SCU is great, I love being in NorCal.
The weather is much warmer, the memes are spicier, the girls are hotter, and college is just fun.
Sign me up.
Now what’s it like being back in Washington?
It’s really cold. But, I’ve missed my old friends, and my mom’s food. I quickly grew sick of cafeteria food. Also it’s pretty boring up here not being in school.
So what do you do to kill time then?
I’m on Discord a lot, I’ve been playing Pokemon Sun, winning my fantasy football league, and watching TV. Top notch stuff like Adventure time and Black Mirror. Only lasted me a few days though.
I’m already ready to go back to SCU.
And why’s that? You just get antsy?
I just feel lazy, and I don’t like feeling lazy so I go do something productive/social
I might need a job...
That’s a good way to use your free time and make you wish you had more of it like you do right now.
Another good way is to be in a relationship. Anybody catching your eye down in NorCal?
Ah yes, what’s it like to meet your favorite pornstar in bracket?
We’ve gone to game 5 every time we’ve played. 3-1 his favor though.
Also I’ve never played against his DK. DK would probably destroy me.
Did he just use Falcon then?
The first time we played he used Falco and I lost. All the other times were Falcon. His Falcon is pretty good.
I mean yeah, 3-0’d Sosa.
Watching him 3-0 Sosa in Grands with Falcon at a national made me not feel bad about losing to his Falcon.
Speaking of bracket performance, what’s your highest placement so far?
I beat Luck in winners and grands to take a first place win, that was one of my best performances. Also, the regional BOSS 3 featured some of SoCal coming up. I beat Boringman and Jose V. Then I got reverse 3-0’d by Machiavelli in Semis and Boringman got the runback, so I got 5th at a regional. The meme is that I’m 5th in NorCal because I’ve gotten 5th at every tournament for such a long time. I started off here pretty sloppy, but at the end I really picked up.
So you took down Jose V. Did your extensive experience with Aki help you do that?
Yes, a million times yes. My two 9’s also helped.
Aki’s experience with me also recently allowed him to handily beat Marshall last weekend. I’ve seen so much Ness/GnW in the past 6 months.
Would you say that Aki and Jose play similarly and that’s why it helped so much?
Not at all. Aki’s punishes are a lot better than Jose V’s, but Jose V is much more aggressive in neutral than Aki. Aki is one of the most patient players I’ve ever played. Before Jose V and I played in bracket, we played a ton of friendlies, and we went about even. I could tell Jose knew the matchup too, he didn’t do the stupid crap a lot of people do against GnW, so it was interesting playing against a top player that I had never played before, but who still knew the MU really well. I think if we were to play again, I would win. He throws out PK Fire much more than Aki, so if I can get the download… Also he DJC Fairs a ton in neutral, and I can just CC that.
I seem to recall you telling Shockbound that a difference in playstyle can end up forcing you to relearn the matchup, so it’s interesting that this didn’t apply to Jose V and Aki.
When I mentioned that, I was taking that from my experience with Ivayne and Punk Panda. They play completely different breeds of Wolf.
Like a new character you said.
But some characters like Ness and GnW you don’t really have to learn the matchup again, just different habits of the players. Ivayne used tools I was not familiar with defending against. He uses laser much more than Punk Panda and he is absolutely insane at getting all his moves to combo into flash.
Would you say that he does it better than Punk Panda then? Or does he do some things differently that make a huge difference?
I dunno. Ivayne is weird. Against characters that deal with lasers easily or don’t get combo’d much, Ivayne kind of has trouble, which can lead to some pretty weird upsets against him. But he does much better against me than Punk Panda. I think Ivayne is better, but not by too much.
How does [what Ivayne struggles against] differ from Punk Panda? He regularly struggles against Chevy’s Samus, which Ivayne was able to beat (albeit in an extremely tight set).
Punk Panda doesn’t struggle that much against Chevy’s Samus. Chevy certainly has the upper hand, but that doesn’t mean it is that bad for [Punk Panda]. I really do have to give Ivayne props for that win though, as far as I know, he doesn’t have Samus experience. But that set could also be the same syndrome as me, where I was expecting Punk Panda and got something completely different.
I think what really swung him the set was exactly something you commented on: Regularly going for early flashes and always trying to combo into them caught Chevy off guard a lot.
I barely remember the set… I was so hyped up when watching it I could barely analyze the match at all, so I have no comment on the set, but I think that Ivayne and Punk Panda are both incredibly underrated in the national sense. No one knows who they are and that makes me sad. They are both so good at the game. I know some people have said that Ivayne was harder to deal with than Switch. I mean, I’ve never played Switch so I can’t comment on that, but it’s what I’ve heard.
Were there any more instances aside from Ivayne-Punk Panda where you felt like you had to relearn a matchup?
Thinking about it a little, no. I did learn my lesson though, and I won’t ever rule out that possibility again.
Which of your predictions from the last interview turned out to be accurate? Will you make #2 PR? Which players have made a showing against you?
Ivayne definitely made a showing, our set count is 4-1 in his favor right now. But he did also step up against the rest of the region, he’ll be above me on PR. And if Boringman makes it on PR he’ll be above me also. So I was right with the exception of Ivayne making a huge surprise. Also I said I would be #2 if I knew Parker wouldn’t count, but he’s probably gonna count. Also, for some reason I do better against SoCal’s PR than NorCal’s non-PR. I am 0-2 against a Lucas named Scraket, but he’s former PR, so whatever I guess. He’s my worst loss, and IMO that’s not a bad one. I was wrong about NorCal not having GnW experience. Sugydye is a legit GnW.
NorCal is still free though. They buster out whenever they play against out of region people, except me, Boringman, and ThundeRz. But I’m WA and both ThundeRz and Boringman are SoCal /meme.
So NorCal still sucks out of region.
So your predictions were all a little off, but how do you think you’re doing overall? Set to be 4th on PR?
My out-of-region wins are much stronger than Ivayne’s, but for some reason NorCal has my number and I don’t really do that well in-region.
Why do you suppose that is? How does NorCal compare to WA?
NorCal is free, so when I went to NorCal, I absorbed some of their freeness. But for real, NorCal plays defensively and has better punishes than WA, probably because that’s how ThundeRz plays. “He just camps for 0-deaths.” I think WA players have better neutral though.
In what way?
There’s not really anything too different between the regions’ neutrals, it’s just that Chevy, Bladewise, and Aki are all better in neutral than anyone in NorCal not named ThundeRz. I’m not including Boringman in these statements because he hasn’t been in region since I’ve been there. Also, NorCal is much better at getting out of my GnW crap.
If Aki went to NorCal, where would he place?
If Aki went to NorCal, he would be in the 2-4 range. He wouldn’t have as much trouble with Ivayne as I did, but I think [Boringman] would beat Aki.
Would you beat [Boringman]?
I’m 1-1 with him, so yes/no.
How strong is Mario fair?
And what is the best projectile in the game?
Are there any Northern Californian hidden bosses?
I dunno, I haven’t been there long enough to be able to say. There’s a guy from CenCal who goes by Dr. and he did really well at the events I saw him at. He beat Ivayne and Aion. But that’s not really NorCal.
You said everyone below Zeddy is free, is that true?
I said that when Zeddy was #9.
Right, but now he’s high on the PR, so everyone is free now, right?
I mean, I did beat Aki 6-0, so I can agree with that.
Any changes in your list of favorite Radiohead songs/albums? Is the order still:
Bloom > Present Tense > There There?
I think A Moon Shaped Pool has had enough time to digest, so it’s my favorite, and Present Tense took the top spot.
Well, thanks! It’s good to see how your predictions turned out and how NorCal has humbled you.
Yeah, it really hasn’t.