16-year-old Smash Ultimate prodigy Edgar ‘Spag0’ Valdez has blossomed into one of the best players alive. Dexerto spoke to Mexico’s main Cloud team to talk about his journey from quarantine wifi hell to signing with FaZe and realizing his childhood dream.
Sparg0 first burst onto the Smash Ultimate scene during the quarantine period, with offline events canceled and tournaments limited to Smash’s lackluster online play.
While many top talents retired during this period, Sparg0 saw an opportunity to shine as the youngster competed in many tournaments and emerged as a breakout star.
It was this success as a wireless warrior that gave him the opportunity to bring his talents to the LANs upon their return, using the money he earned in wireless competition to fund his free agent activities.
“I saved all the money I won playing wifi tournaments so I could travel to majors when they came back because before the pandemic I didn’t have many opportunities to travel to majors because money was a big issue” , explained Valdez.
For Sparg0, the quarantine was a blessing in disguise. As the world slowed, he stayed grounded and, through the fires of online gaming, grew into the star we know today.
“I honestly think the quarantine was the reason I was able to become a top player,” he said.
“I didn’t have many opportunities to attend majors back then and it probably would have stayed that way if the pandemic hadn’t struck. When the quarantine started, there were a lot of big WiFi tournaments open to everyone, so I could get the experience against top players I needed to improve.”
Make FaZe History
The return of offline events saw Sparg0 go from being one of Mexico’s hidden bosses to a menace at every major event in 2022.
He emerged victorious from Smash Ultimate Summit 4, where he defeated rivals Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez, Santiago “Chag” Pérez Checchi, and Paris “Light” Ramirez of T1 in back-to-back sets.
He then took first place again at Collision, where he defeated TSM’s Gavin ‘Tweek’ Dempsey to win his first open major.
With all eyes on the prodigy, many eSports organizations knocked on his door, but he turned down their offers because he knew the best option was yet to come.
“There have been many other Tier 1 companies that have reached out to me, but of course I knew FaZe Clan was the best option out there and I am so happy to be among all of these sponsors for FaZe decided,” he explained.
READY TO FIGHT
— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) April 17, 2022
On the final day of Genesis 8, the biggest tournament since going offline, Sparg0 announced he had signed with FaZe – something the young pro admits still feels like a dream.
“I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say it still doesn’t feel real…I was shocked when they first contacted me as no one would have expected a team like FaZe to get into the Smash.” scene,” he dubbed.
Though he was able to defeat Salvatore ‘Zomba’ DeSena, the tournament’s only remaining non-signed player, it wasn’t an easy feat as the set went the distance. When asked about the pressure of competing in the last 8 as a member of FaZe, Sparg0 admitted it was quite a struggle.
“I felt like millions of people were watching me and felt pressured to perform well in my sets, which made me more nervous than usual. I got it on my first set but I was more nervous than ever because if I lost my first match right after the announcement it would have been pretty awkward.”
On the hunt for MKLeo for GOAT status
While Sparg0’s run at Genesis ended after losses to MKLeo and William ‘Glutonny’ Belaid, his set against the T1 star holds a special place in his heart.
“Even though I lost, it was the most fun set I’ve played in a long time and it reminded me why I love playing Smash,” the cloud captain said. “Playing against him is usually always a lot of fun, so I think all my favorite sets are against him.”
MKLeo, who is still considered the best in the world, is also Sparg0, who sees his biggest rival even more than Light.
“I would say my only rival is MKLeo because he has always been the player to beat, not just for me but for pretty much everyone. So being so close to him in sets and games really motivates me.”
This rivalry is productive, however, and Sparg0 is grateful to have a mentor in his fellow Mexican.
“He’s always been a huge inspiration and support to me, so I believe being rivals and friends is a healthy and competitive relationship,” he said.
FaZe Up at Low Tide City
After his loss at Genesis, the cloud phenom didn’t have to wait long to win his first tournament as a member of FaZe, defeating Low Tide City on an impressive losing streak.
Along the way, he switched off his cloud to run Pyra/Mythra, something he’s added to his repertoire.
“Some encounters are just really difficult or annoying as Cloud, so I have to go with Pyra/Mythra,” he explained. “For example, the Palu match as Cloud is a bit annoying, but it’s actually a really easy matchup as Pythra, which I showed when playing Lui$. The same goes for Zomba.”
His win at Low Tide City also took a load off his shoulders, suggesting the pressure is now off and he can play without added stress.
“It felt so relieving as I honestly felt pressured to perform well as it was my first tournament I’ve entered under FaZe (not counting Genesis) but I’m really happy that I could win.”
Sparg0 on the future of Smash
Although Smash Ultimate is finished as a game and Sora is the last DLC fighter like many others, Sparg0 hopes that Nintendo will choose to continue adding content and keep Ultimate successful rather than opting for another title.
“I’d rather have new patches and more fighters than a new Smash game,” Valdez said. “I really like the mechanics and gameplay of this game, and I believe the game’s metagame still needs to develop, so more patches or fighters would make the game more interesting.”
Though he wants new fighters, he’s not sure who he would add from the plethora of candidates for games since he’s already gotten his most requested character.
“The only character I ever wanted in Smash was Steve, and he came in, so I don’t think I want any particular character in Smash right now, haha,” he said, laughing.
Feature wise Sparg0 is happy with what Ultimate has to offer, but if there was one addition he would like it would be the return of the perfect pivot, something he believes is good for the meta would.
With more big tournaments to come and the Smash World Tour, Sparg0 has a chance to become the best player in the world. While many Smash fans have horrifying memories of their time online, it has led to the rise of Sparg0 and other elite talent.
https://www.dexerto.com/smash/faze-sparg0-interview-from-wifi-warrior-to-smash-ultimate-superstar-1821961/ Interview with FaZe Sparg0: From Wifi Warrior to Smash Ultimate Superstar