Podcast topics and timestamps:
1:54 - What's the deal with Red Bull Conquest?
10:45 - Where are we with Dragon Ball FighterZ right now?
13:05 - How important was the early rivalry between SonicFox and GO1?
19:25 - Thoughts on the side switch during the EVO finals?
26:15 - What are all of these Marvel 4 rumors?
28:45 - What would you want in a fourth Marvel?
32:45 - What do you think about what's going on with Echo Fox?
Michael "Yipes" Mendoza is a legendary caster and competitor in the fighting game community. In addition to coining some of the FGC's most infamous slang, he is a former Marvel vs. Capcom 2 champion who, mostly recently, has been lending his voice to Dragon Ball FighterZ and Street Fighter V.
Yipes joined theScore esports Podcast to discuss Red Bull Conquest, the popularity of Dragon Ball FighterZ, rumors of a fourth Marvel vs. Capcom and Echo Fox's sudden decision to drop several fighting game players.
Entering the professional scene in 2003, Yipes came up in an era of the FGC that was less defined by pro tours and international events than it was by local competition — and the regional rivalries that came with it.
For Yipes, Red Bull Conquest 2018, the latest in Red Bull's series of yearly tournament circuit, has done a lot to re-ignite those regional rivalries.
"It's pretty cool seeing [Conquest] come to fruition," Yipes said. "Because now you get to see all the people that are trying to get involved into this thing that we love called the FGC. I feel like its healthy because it actually promotes rivalries, and it actually gives people more reasons to step up to the plate and rep their 'hood, their scene, whatever you want to call it.
"Without rivalries, I think there's no growth. It's a beautiful thing to see right now, especially given the state of the game, where everything's getting monetized. But everybody's still having that fun to just come out and compete and play those games."
One of the most popular games in the FGC right now is Dragon Ball FighterZ. Given that many members of the community expressed disappointment with Street Fighter V, FighterZ seems to have taken the role of a substitute, even going so far as to surpass Street Fighter's entrance numbers at this year's EVO.
RELATED: Best of EVO 2018
"The game is great for what it is," he said. "It's a different fighting game from a lot of the other ones that are out, so that's what makes it pretty interesting. Your awareness needs to be on 10 when it comes to that game.
"In terms of the FGC right now with the game I'm pretty sure it's healthy. It's getting to the point where it's so high-level that the games actually get drawn out. Early on, it was just blow-ups, everybody was just dying so quick. But now because everybody is getting good to that point, the games actually drag out longer. I feel like it's pretty healthy because there are just so many layers."
In addition to being one of the FGC's most recognizable commentators, Yipes is also known for the days he spent as a Marvel vs. Capcom competitor, and even won Marvel vs. Capcom 2 at Evo 2007. It should come as no surprise then that Yipes had something to say about the recent rumors regarding a fifth iteration of the franchise.
"Obviously, it just started from a rumor," he said. "Everybody just has that wishful thinking, they just want to just put it into the universe: 'We want a Marvel 4.'"
Given how many fans expressed disappointment at the series' most recent release, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, a true successor to the classic fighting game franchise couldn't come at a better time, particularly given the way Capcom handled the game's official competitive circuit.
"Everybody wants this because MvCI was pretty incomplete," he said. "I mean, let's not lie here. The thing that upset me when it came to that game was the fact that it got dookied on so early.
"You had people over at Marvel and Capcom telling me 'This is going to be a big thing,' and I'm happy because, in the back of my mind I'm like 'Man, this is great because when we were playing Marvel 2 we didn't have it like this, there was no structure where people would do like a circuit or a tour, and give people an opportunity to show their talent, to actually get sponsored, to get supported to do what they love and that is to play Marvel. And, all of a sudden, they just pull the plug and we're just stuck in the air, just in the wind, going like 'What the hell is going on?'"
The blow that MvCi dealt to the Marvel community was severe, said Yipes, but he remains hopeful about the prospect of a fully-featured Marvel 4.
"I was pretty disappointed about it," he said. "I was so mad to the point where I didn't want to talk about it in public. This is the most I've actually spoken about it ever, actually. I feel like it was a slap to the face of the Marvel community, for sure.
"Hopefully [Marvel 4] does happen. And, if it does happen, hopefully the developers will listen to the people that were actually around for so long just to have some input. You don't have to agree with us all the time but, man, at least have an ear out there and just listen to us."
A few weeks ago, Echo Fox decided to release a significant number of their fighting game competitors. Many have chimed in regarding the drops, interpreting them as spelling doom for the FGC. As for Yipes, drops such as these are simply unfortunate side effects of esports' continued commercialization.
"At the end of the day, when it comes to big companies that are sponsoring, like Echo Fox, I think they're just looking for more than just the player aspect," he said. "You can win a thousand tournaments but if you're not going to be out there being socially active, talking to the people or just putting content out there, they'll probably feel a certain way about it.
"When they want you to represent the brand, they really want you to represent the brand. In terms of the fighting side of things, they were, but maybe they were just lacking in other areas, so Echo Fox was like 'We're spending so much money on these guys.' Especially the internationals, they're getting flown out from Korea, Japan all the way to America. I'm pretty sure that's a big grip on those guys."
Dimitri Pascaluta is a content creator for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.