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“I’ve proven that I can hang with the best”: an interview with MKX Pro League player Red Raptor

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Ryan DeDomenico
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RedRaptor, a loyal Takeda player, has taken Season 3 of the MKX Pro League by storm with two consecutive top eight placements. RedRaptor has made it well known that he can stand among the fiercest competitors in the league.

ESL: I’d like to thank you for taking the time to talk with me, RedRaptor. To kick things off, can you tell everyone your name?
Red Raptor: My full name is Weiminh Lam (my first name is pronounced as way-mee) and the tag that I go by is Red Raptor.

ESL: How long have you been competitively playing fighting games, and what was the inspiration behind taking your skills into the tournament scene?
Red Raptor: I’ve been playing fighting games for about five years, starting with Mortal Kombat 9 in 2011. I started out as a casual on GameFAQs until I came across Test Your Might where I learned more about the game and the scene. I remember watching Power Up 2011 with Tom Brady and Perfect Legend in the Grand Finals, and just watching that high-level play got me interested in the tournament scene. I mainly played online at the time, but people always told me that I was good and that I should travel to tournaments. Watching guys like Forever King, HoneyBee, and Biohazard go from being online warriors to being top players offline made me want to prove that I could be just like those guys. It wasn’t until Injustice when I went to my first tournament, UFGTX. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it out of pools, but I did learn a lot about the tournament scene. When Mortal Kombat X came out, I attended Combo Breaker 2015 and placed 5th. I then went on to place 7th at KIT 2016. In ESL Season 3, I’ve placed 33-64 in Week 1 and placed 3-4 in Weeks 2 and 3.

ESL: In your opinion, what do you find is the best part about competing in tournaments, and what do placing in these tournaments mean to you?
Red Raptor: To me, the best part about competing in tournaments is being able to play all of these different players while putting your skills to the test. I think it’s great that everyone gets a chance to show just how good they are at the game. Placing in these tournaments means a lot to me because it shows that I’ve proven myself as a fighting game player and that I can hang with the best.

ESL: Every passing week of Season 3 is accompanied by new challenges. What would you say has been the biggest challenge you've faced so far?
Red Raptor: My biggest challenge has definitely been SonicFox. He’s undoubtedly the best MKX player and the fact that he can pick up just about any character and still win shows how much talent he has. When I played Sonic, I wasn’t expecting him to pick Shotgun Jacqui on me, so that caught me off guard. Even though I didn’t take a game off him, it was still pretty awesome to play against his Jacqui and to see it in action. Other than Sonic, I would say Scar was my next hardest opponent.

ESL: You have been doing extremely well in this season of the MKX Pro League. Out of the hundreds of players competing each week, you have placed among the top eight for two weeks in a row now. What has been your preparation for producing such outstanding results?
Red Raptor: When I’m not busy with school, I play MKX almost every day. I mainly play online with other good players and play for long sets at a time. Every now and then I’ll travel to my local scene in St. Louis and play the game offline there with guys like MajinBerserker and Slips, who is a fighting game veteran and who is also my mentor, which is pretty cool since he plays Scorpion, who is the mentor of my character, Takeda. Playing with all of these guys, both online and offline, has really helped me improve as a player.

ESL: As you may know, with each placement of top 32 or higher, you are awarded ranking points that are needed in order to qualify for the Season 3 Finals in Burbank, California. What would qualifying to compete in the finals mean to you?
Red Raptor: It would be awesome if I made Season 3 Finals because I typically don’t get to travel offline very often. Burbank, California would be the farthest I’ve ever travelled for a fighting game tournament, but I’m determined to make it there and compete for thousands of dollars.

ESL: Are there any words of wisdom that you would like to send to the others that are competing, or are considering competing, in the MKX Pro League?
Red Raptor: I know there are a lot of players who feel like they won’t be able to make Season 3 Finals with how many points they have. I just want to say don’t give up because there are still many weeks left in the season. If you play well, and with the right bracket, you might just make Top 8 and earn yourself enough points to make it to the finals. For those who haven’t competed yet, you should at least give the MKX Pro League a try. The tournaments are completely free and if you do well, you’ll earn a good amount of cash and points for the finals.

ESL: Lastly, would you like to give any shout-outs to other players?
Red Raptor: I’d like to give shout-outs to all of my fans and supporters, the St. Louis scene, and everyone who has helped me get to where I am today. You guys are awesome.

There are still five weeks remaining in Season 3 of the #MKXProLeague. Who will be next to rise to the top? Don't miss tonight's broadcast at 5PM PDT on the NetherRealm Twitch channel to find out!

For all the latest information about the ESL Mortal Kombat X Pro League, be sure to follow ESL Mortal Kombat on Facebook and Twitter, as well as the official Pro League and Challenger Cup websites.