"A New Reality." @BigD_FGC featured in article by @PlayersLobby
Today, @PlayersLobby released an in-depth article that dives into the mind of Ryan "BigD" DeDomenico, a longtime veteran of the Netherrealm Studios community since the Mortal Kombat reboot back in 2011.
As a gamer since childhood, Big D harbored an infatuation with the Mortal Kombat series since the days of Midway, the original incarnation of the company now known as NRS. However, it was not until his entrance into his freshman year of college that he would discover a new world inspired by something that was once viewed as merely a hobby: the fighting game community.
Shortly after Mortal Kombat 9's release, Big D relocated to Orlando alongside his brother. Once there, he was encouraged to enter his first local tournament at a Rooster's Bar and Grill, where a CEO monthly event would be held. Uncertain as to where his skill level stood, Big D eventually caved and entered the event, where he procured a solid third place finish.
From there, the spark erupted into an inferno reminiscent of the fires of Mordor. Every hour, every minute, every second was spent studying the many corners of MK9's developing meta. In March 2012, he traveled to Atlanta to participate in MK9's first display at an annual major event called Final Round, organized by ShinBlanka. Naturally, the FR bracket was bustling with a collection of titans from the NRS scene, but Big D proceeded to finish in fifth place, surpassing even his own expectations.
After taking a temporary hiatus, Big D made his return for the next installment of the Mortal Kombat series: Mortal Kombat X, which would later be relabeled XL. ESL introduced its first season of the Mortal Kombat X Pro League shortly after the release of the game, and so players competed online to be among the sixteen traveling to Burbank CA for their shot at a $100,000 prize pool. Big D was among those who qualified, and he proceeded to take a 5th place finish at Burbank, just one spot short of the Top 4.
He did not return for ESL Season 2, but his competitive efforts in Mortal Kombat X had taken him elsewhere. After the release of the XL balance patch in early 2016, NRS began contributing prize pools to various events on behalf of their game. One of these events was Combo Breaker, which took place right in their own hometown (the NRS studio is based primarily in Chicago). Out of approximately 200 hundred players, Big D fought his way to the Top 8 finals where he finished in 7th.
But his greatest achievement had yet to come, and it would unfold at Evolution 2016. It was then that EVO would officially relocate to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino to host the Sunday finals for a selection of their lineup. As MKX was among those selected for the Sunday finals two years ago, the eight finalists would finish off their bracket runs atop a majestic stage shaped after the EVO logo, with images of the characters played flashing across the floor and rows upon rows of seats towering around the stage.
After taking on a gauntlet like no other, Big D toppled Forever King to earn a well-deserved slot in the MKX World Finals. The second he struck the winning blow, all of his innate fears evaporated. Years upon years of tireless commitment to a passion born from a hobby had guided him to a setting that he'd envisioned himself in for years.
But of course, why stop there? He expanded upon his victories in the EVO finals, taking out Yomi Gaming's Michaelangelo and Orbit Hayatei (who now represents Panda Global) to upgrade from Top 8 status to Top 4. However, PG Scar, now representing Echo Fox, stood in his way in Loser's Semifinals, and despite a valiant effort from Big D, his road to the top came to an unfortunate end.
But in spite of not being crowned the champion, Big D considers his EVO 2016 run his greatest accomplishment yet, as it led to his acquisition of a highly cherished Evolution medal.
Along the road to glory, Big D's interests eventually altered from competing to providing commentary for FGC brackets. In fact, he temporarily appeared as a co-commentator for Season 2 of our Kombat Cup circuit back in early 2017, shortly before the release of Injustice 2. He also mentions taking lessons to improve upon his commentary, as he intends to move over to full-time casting in the future.
In his article, seen here and via the Twitter post below, readers will be able to explore the corners of Big D's mind as he recounts his journey as an NRS competitor. He also makes public his thoughts on where the Netherrealm Studios community stands today, and how the challenges it faces today affects him.
Below is a quick preview of what Big D has shared with his readers today:
"I was just a freshman in college looking for a hobby. I never imagined how much my life would change from just a hobby.
"I always played video games growing up, a lot of them, but my favourite of all time was Mortal Kombat. It was one of the first games I ever played. So when I heard Midway, the developer of the game, went bankrupt it killed me. I thought the franchise I loved was over.
"When Netherealm Studios was created and they announced the Mortal Kombat reboot in 2011, I was all-in. I followed every little detail until release and got the game at midnight. I played it in my dorm every single day.
"I was never the best at fighting games, I just knew I loved them. I had to teach myself a lot.
"I eventually moved to Orlando with my brother. He told me they were having a tournament at a place called Rooster’s Bar and Grill. I didn’t even know they had tournaments for Mortal Kombat.
"I wasn’t sure I wanted to compete. I didn’t know if I was any good, but he insisted on me playing."
(continue reading here)
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