We felt it was the perfect time for a head-to-head with another one of New Eden’s finest pilots, having previously grilled General Stargazer and Rot about their gaming experiences. This time the pilot is Wan5 (he's second from the right in the picture above), an extremely active member of the EVE: Valkyrie community and a pilot whose record in the cockpit is mightily impressive. He has racked up several tournament wins including the Tournament of Champions at EVE Vegas just this last weekend (October 30). But where does all this talent and determination come from? Which games from his dim and distant past set him on course to be a Valkyrie champion?
It’s probably best if we just ask him.
So, Wan5, we hear you're pretty good at fighting in space. But just how good are you?
I’m a level 50 pilot and I am ranked number one globally.
Wow! Consider us suitably impressed. Any achievements you’re particularly proud of?
I’ve had the pleasure of competing in two official Valkyrie tournaments. The first took place in Iceland at this year’s EVE Fanfest and our team Invaders came out on top. Recently we also won the Tournament of Champions at the EVE Vegas 2016 event. I’ve also taken part in player-organized events such as the NA Vs EU Battle. I’ve always been fortunate enough to be part of the winning teams!
Valkyrie credentials well and truly established, then. Are you a gamer in the wider sense?
I've always been a gamer for as long as I can remember and a rabid consumer of technology for almost as long as that. When it comes to Valkyrie you will often find me lurking the Valkyrie forums and other community channels trying to encourage new users, giving feedback, organizing player events and generally just goofing around.
Goofing is good. We thoroughly approve of goofing. What was the first game you ever played buddy?
It was Scramble on the Vectrex (I’m an 80's child, remember).
We loved the Vectrex. And Scramble. Interesting to see you started off with a shooter, too. But what of your favorite games of all time? No doubt more space-based shooting.
My favorite game of all time? Thats a tuff one... It would be a toss-up between Halo 2 and Ridge Racer. Although Halo 2 was my first, real online shooter, I still have a deep love for the simplicity that is Ridge Racer. Fast paced arcade style gameplay is my favorite. Games that can be enjoyed in short bursts, easy to pick up and play, but also enough depth to keep coming back to it to improve your playstyle.
Yup. Valkyrie fits that bill, for sure. Getting back into the cockpit for the moment, describe the first time you first launched into the Valkyrie space.
Mind was blown! I remember clearly leaning back in my chair for the first launch and then noticing the silence of space as soon as the ship reached the end of the tube. Although I was not new to VR at the time, Valkyrie was ticking all the boxes for the classic experience that shapes a genre at the launch of a new technology. I still get giddy during the full launch sequence in survival mode! First time was filled with excitement and I’m pleased to say it’s just as fun now several months later.
You’re clearly someone who likes to share the Valkyrie experience with other players. Now that the PlayStation VR pilots are out there, and VIVE owners are about to join the ranks within weeks, is there anything you’d like to pass on to prospective rookies?
The Valkyrie community is one of the most nurturing communities for new players. Please come and take advantage of it!
In closing, we’re tempted to say ease up and give some other pilots a chance to take home the trophies, but that’s not really the point, is it? Instead, we wish you luck in any future tournaments you take part in.
Fly safe Wan5!