#FirstToTen Interview with @TheHadou by @RomanovaNRS

Last Friday, @RomanovaNRS shared with us another interview for her First-to-Ten blog series. This one features the man responsible for bringing us Combo Breaker, the biggest FGC event to grace the Midwestern USA, in partnership with Gaming Generations.

That man is Rick "@TheHadou" Thiher, who found his FGC roots within the NetherRealm Studios player community since the days of Mortal Kombat 9. For years he has been involved in operating a growing collection of FGC events, but Combo Breaker has come to receive the majority of his attention. As a longtime NRS community member, he is largely responsible for ensuring that their titles get a sizable spotlight at his events. In fact, the game that brought him into the community in the first place will be making its return via Combo Breaker's lineup this year.

Tread cautiously, or you might be greeted with Noob Saibot's shadow clones. (yes, Rick plays Noob)

All kidding aside, he's been at the forefront of Combo Breaker's progression as a brand since its creation in 2015. So one has to wonder what goes through his mind when he takes a look at what the event has become today, particularly since it's begun to receive media attention from various news networks since 2017.

Well, we're about to find out. See below for an excerpt from The Hadou's interview with RomanovaNRS!

FirstToTen: Thank you for joining us Rick! We’re excited to have you on F2T! Can you tell everyone a bit about yourself, where you’re from, and what you do (for those who may not already know much)?

TheHadou: I’m a zoner and grappler favoring player from Minneapolis, Minnesota currently living and working out of San Francisco, California. I’m mostly known for being the Event Director of COMBO BREAKER, and a behind-the-scenes design and TO figure for tournaments and competitive gaming projects. I worked freelance design prior to accepting my current role at Twitch; which means I didn’t sleep a lot and worked on too much at once frequently.

FirstToTen: How long have you been involved in the fighting game community and what initially got you started?

TheHadou: I’m an 09’er. I got started the classic way, by seeking out a local touney to win and getting bodied. My love of fighting games came from a childhood friend getting Mortal Kombat via the Sega Channel. We didn’t have regular access to an arcade, so MK piping in through a coaxial cable was how we fell in love with the genre.

FirstToTen: How long does it normally take you to plan for a tournament? What would you say is the first thing you go about doing every year?

TheHadou: It takes 7-to-9 months for our teams to build out and promote a large event. Every event starts the same though, gotta find partners/staff and secure a good venue.

FirstToTen: Why the love for NRS games? Why do you feel it is important to always be inclusive of our community? (Also for bonus what is your favorite NRS game?)

TheHadou: Mortal Kombat is where fighting games got competitive for me. Everything before it was AI battles or playing matches with my brother. MK was the game my friends were interested in playing, and having sets with pride on the line changed how I experienced the genre.

Long after that, Mortal Kombat 9 was a key part of my becoming an organizer. It’s still the only game I think I’ve devoted practice time to while at events. I don’t have a clear explanation of why MK9 clicked for me, but it produced some of my fondest FGC memories.

Inclusivity matters because we never know where the next driving force in the community is going to come from.

Bonus: MK9, no question.

To see their discussion in its entirety, please head over to this page. Also, follow Romanova on Twitter for more FirstToTen interviews!

If you'll be in Illinois on the weekend of May 25-27, or you are considering plans to go at that time, we highly recommend registering for Combo Breaker while there's still time! Visit smash.gg/combo-breaker-2018 to sign up! We advise being quick to do so, however, because once today comes to an end, the registration fee will increase.

For more updates on Combo Breaker, follow @ComboBreakerFGC.

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