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Problem X talks life as an EVO champion, Capcom Pro Tour point gripes and beating Tokido

by Colin McNeil, Daniel Rosen, Josh Bury 2 months ago

2:11 - Does life feel different now that you’ve won EVO?
10:35 - What was it like when Tokido reset the bracket on you?
24:52 - What would you have said if they gave you the mic after winning EVO?
41:15 - The FGC vs esports
48:53 - The time Daigo got drunk at the hotel bar and gave Problem X advice

Benjamin "Problem X" Simon made history at EVO this year by becoming the first UK Street Fighter champion in the tournament's history and giving Europe their first Street Fighter V EVO championship.

RELATED: Best of EVO 2018: Comebacks, Upsets, Pop-offs and more

A few weeks after his historic win, Problem X sat down with theScore esports Podcast to talk about how it feels to be an EVO champion, what he would have said to the crowd if he had a chance, and how he feels about the current state of the Capcom Pro Tour.

Find theScore esports Podcast on iTunes.

Problem X said he's proud to finally bring the EVO championship to the UK, particularly after Europe's strength was downplayed for much of this season. But for Problem himself, that title of EVO champion is one that's still taking some getting used to.

"It's still sinking in because, you know, it's EVO. I've been watching EVO for years, and I've been going there for about three, four years, last year I came 193rd. So it's definitely still sinking in," he said.

"I was asked for a few pictures here and there and a few signatures prior to winning EVO, but now it's kind of insane. Everyone, even people I haven't even seen at events before, in quite a few numbers asking for pictures and saying congratulations, I'm still receiving a lot from it."

Shortly after Problem X's EVO win, fans noticed he hadn't been given an opportunity to address the crowd and the stream with a microphone. It was the first time in two years the winner had not been given the mic. Both Lee "Infiltration" Seonwoo and Hajime "Tokido" Taniguchi made memorable post-game comments in years past, and fans couldn't help but feel that Problem was slighted.

"I think they should allow them to do that, even if it's not ESPN," he told theScore esports. "It gives something to the people that are there physically and who took the time to come out and paid to be at the event, it gives them something as well. You've just won the biggest tournament of the year, you should be able to say something, at least, I think so."

Of course, even Problem admits that he isn't sure what he'd say if given the chance.

"I don't know, I feel it's one of those moments where stuff just comes out based on... whatever comes out will come out. It's a natural moment. But I definitely would have thrown out — my first three sentences wouldn't have made sense."

Despite winning the most prestigious tournament in fighting games, Problem X said he's still hungry. His goal now is to set the record for most Capcom Pro Tour points earned in a single season, but he's doing it in a system many have criticized for being too difficult for unsponsored players to break into.

Problem X, like everyone in the fighting game community, started out paying for his own travel, even making it to Capcom Cup on his own money. But he doesn't see as much of an issue with the current system, though he would like to see Capcom add more points to ranking tournaments

"I feel like the points system rewards winning events more than placing consistently. At least in terms of ranking. If you go to like six, seven premiers and place Top 8, at least at the moment, it looks like you'll be in Capcom Cup doing that. The ranking events though, if you come seventh, it's basically thanks for playing," he said.

"They've definitely catered in some ways to both tiers, I would say. What this tour does do though, even as a pro player, it ensures you have to go to a lot of events, and people have to remember that Capcom Pro Tour, these things are all a business, so they have to make it sustainable. Otherwise, you can moan all you want, but then you just won't have a tour."

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

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