Famitsu, Japan’s most popular weekly gaming magazine, sits down with Team Mad Catz’ founding member, Daigo “The Beast” Umehara and talks to him about his recently released book, his pro gaming lifestyle, and more.
Beast Note translated some key points from Daigo’s latest Famitsu interview:
- He thought about releasing a book before, though this is actually the right timing.
- Some stories in his book he never told anyone, even persons who are really close to him.
- There’s no childhood episode at first, but it’s needed to tell readers why he’s obsessed about games. This unseen part of his life allows him to tell what he kept in mind. To be able to show what you want to show is what makes originality of such a book.
- The book tells the stories of people in gaming world to the society, and also tells [the gamers who received bad treatments from society] that they’re not alone.
- On reactions from his family after reading his book: “So this is what Daigo really thought.” Although he and his family always have conversations, they never realized the feeling toward his older sister or some of his father’s actions.
- He gets along well with his older sister. He said she’s not only good at studying, but also singing and drawing.
- He still insists that he goes to game center 363 days a year. He takes 2 days off at the New Year.
- They talked about how Umehara became the boss of the class when he was a kid. That time, he was a transfer student and got into a fight about soccer’s rule with the class leader. Umehara beat him, although he was wrong. Umehara believed that a goal doesn’t count until the ball actually hit the net, even it crossed the line. He thought so from reading Captain Tsubasa manga. (Beast Note: The characters in the manga tend to score beautiful goals.)
- He hates losing, it makes him very patient. He doesn’t cry in public since he was a kid. He still remembers when he was 5 years old and had chickenpox. The treatment at the hospital hurt so much but he didn’t cry.
- When he was a 5th grader, he lost 30 times in a row to an old man’s Blanka. He tried to win and he spent all his money. He had to walk back home because he has no money for a bus ride.
- He discovered that playing 6 hours a day is enough for him. You need time to think, not just playing aimlessly. He used to play more than 10 hours a day in the first year of being a pro.
- After becoming a pro, he actually wrote down what he discovered, whether it’s gaming related or player’s habit related.
- They talked about the differences between “objective and “purpose.” He said if you just want to win, you probably stop training after a tournament or underestimate an opponent since your “objective” is to win. But “purpose” will keep you playing for years.
- He does have a small objective like how to improve winning rate against a certain player.
- They talked about when he tried really hard to win 4 of Capcom’s official national tournaments (individual) in a row (1998, 2000, 2000, 2002). He only finished in top 8 in the Capcom vs. SNK 2 tournament in 2002. He was so disappointed he ate nothing but udon (plain noodle), lost 5 kilograms of weight, and didn’t go to the game center for half a year.
- His top 3 most nervous moments: The tournament above (2002), EVO 2006 (he didn’t prepare himself), Guilty Gear team tournament in Tougeki 2004
- He doesn’t get extreme nervous in a tournament like that anymore. But he still feels nervous in an interview on mainstream media, and especially in a live show.
- It’s said that he’s a skilled Mahjong player. But he won’t go back to Mahjong world because it’s hard to apply his abilities, and it’ll only make a news topic.
- One time, he used to learn Mahjong by standing behind and watch a skilled Mahjong player play for 10 hours.
- On being an ideal pro gamer: In short, “have pride.” Umehara said pro gamer should feel angry inside when someone said “You’re weak.”
- He doesn’t play new games just because he’s a pro. If he thinks it’s not fun then he won’t play.
- He will participate just Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, 2012 tournament in EVO 2012 “for now” (it means he probably play other games, too.)
- He will use Ryu in EVO 2012. He said he tried Yun and Akuma, but he finally chose Ryu.
- He said year 2012 is about Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, and Gunslinger Stratos for him.
- When asked about doing something new outside gaming: He has no plan right now. But it’s probably a good idea if [the community] is fine without me” time comes. He thinks age doesn’t matter to experience new things. (He added that his father also likes to try new things. He said that his father wants to live another 100 years – jokingly).
- Without games: When he was a kid, he liked something big like dinosaurs so he wanted to be a space researcher. (Universe is big)
- He eats ramen (noodle) really fast. The trick is he’s good at eating hot food so he’s faster at eating hot soup. (He said probably 4 times faster than women.)