After a long journey from Brawl until now exclusively focusing on mastering Olimar, AR | Myran has secured a top 3 finish at Frostbite 2019. Esports Heaven was able to chat with him after his fantastic placement to discuss his methods of staying cool mid-set, solo-maining and his career looking forward.
You seem like someone who’s put a lot of time into understanding the nuance of Olimar. Based on conversation in the Smash Twittersphere, many would say that maybe you’re not the best player compared to other current Olimars (e.g. Dabuz, Shuton), but you’re the best at the character. Do you tend to agree with this assessment?
I think it's more complex than that. While I will agree that I have the best understanding of Olimar on a mechanical level and how to apply it all, I do think the three of us excel at different things in terms of player skill.
So whereas I'd give them the edge in some areas, I would give myself the same in others. For example I think I push the advantage state better than those two, but Dabuz is better at putting up this hard to break down wall than I am. Even with all that it fluctuates a lot though; we're always improving so things don't stay set in stone.
How much work do you put into training, and how is it distributed? With how complex it is to play the character to the full potential, I’m sure people are curious how you split up your time between labbing/training mode, sparring with practice partners and perhaps quickplay.
It's changed a lot over the years. I've been playing Olimar since 2013 back with Brawl. But I'll say the bulk of my practice has always been playing vs. other people. I've never really used training mode outside of the rare occasion where I need to see if something I thought of works.
So primarily playing vs people who will challenge you and always being mindful of what went wrong (That's the biggest thing for any
character, but Olimar needs extra awareness). I really only do quickplay when I stream, but it provides alright practice some of the time. As for the amount of time I'd say I play the game a lot, sometimes 8 hours or more a day. That's a bit excessive for most people, but if you're looking to improve at anything you need to make time.
I find hands on experience in the game to be the best teacher, then I can look for case-by-case information as it's needed whenever I lose.
You’re one of the few people who have not only stuck with their main when transitioning across games, but have kept it exclusive. Do you have any regrets on not utilizing secondaries to make some matchups easier, such as Lucina? Do you think this will hurt you more down the line as players become more familiar with matchups?
No, I don't have any regrets. I play Olimar exclusively because he's the most fun and because I want to. I've always been very adamant about my stance on solo maining, so I don't think I'd ever not do it. While I can understand why other players do, it's not for me. I find it easiest to improve if I can focus on where I'm going wrong instead of blaming my character.
Surely you’re feeling great about Frostbite as it’s your highest placement ever at a major tournament. I won’t ask if you’re hungry for more—everyone wants to win—but what’s going to be that extra push you need to hypothetically win a major? Is there anything extra you can squeeze out to get a small advantage on your opponents?
I think I'm pretty solid overall, just need to keep up what I've been doing up to now - a lot of refining my flaws and catching them quicker when I mess up. Also cracking the code that is MkLeo. He's beaten me 4 times now in 3 tournaments so currently he's the biggest obstacle.
I don't think there's any big thing that would suddenly let me win a major. I know it's possible, but it's just a constant sense of refinement that I need to keep sharpening.
Your results have absolutely skyrocketed from now since the start of your career in previous iterations of Smash. Would you attribute this to the increased strength of your character, a change in practice, a bit of all of it? Would you say Ultimate has just “clicked” for you? I mention this because, actually, many consistent top Smash 4 players have taken a hit recently in Ultimate.
I won't lie and say Olimar's buffs haven't been a large majority. I was solid in Smash 4, but not to the point I wanted. Olimar was weaker in that game and I was constantly competing with characters who had far less flaws and got way more reward. Now I'm in that boat so instead of having to pull my punches I can go all out in most matches.
I guess all those years of hard work and learning the character are paying off fully in this game. I think the game engine also tends to help my playstyle. I like to press a lot of buttons and pressure my opponent, and Ultimate allows that to work very well.
Real quickly, what’s your thoughts on streaming (as it’s gotten quite large for Ultimate)? Do you think it comes at the cost of results and potential of a player, chasing after that sweet Twitch cash?
I think it's important for a player trying to make this a career since you're able to build your own brand and sustain yourself without tournament winnings or a team. There's a consistency to it that is nice.
I will say it's hard to find the right balance for it if you do prioritize competing. For example I'm a super small streamer compared to many others, but there's even times where I can't stream because of a weekly tournament or something similar. So while I think it's important for self preservation in the long term, it's not as easy if you wanna do both at the same time.
You seem like an expert on swatting away the salt when it comes to your character choice. While it’s fair for viewers to be entitled to whatever viewing preference they want to have, do you have anything to say towards players who whine about this sort of thing as competitors?
Get over it.
People love to complain about how busted and lame Olimar is, but never complain when Fox or Peach pressure you for free and punish you for being near them. He's a character that's strong and takes a lot of work to play well. If you don't like him, fine, but keep the hypocrisy to yourself.
You’ve had to keep your composure and reassess your playstyle to achieve victory in many sets this tournament— most notably in your set vs. Shuton. Do you have any advice or “secrets” for up and coming Smashers on how they can manage emotional turmoil or frustration mid-set? Is there any certain methods or even exterior lifestyle circumstances that help you with this sort of thing?
I find drinking water and deep breathing to be some of the biggest things to help me through a set. If you watch a lot of my recent sets you'll notice I'm downing entire bottles for a single best-of-5 and will often take a moment after a stock or a match before I get back into it to breathe slowly and reassure myself I got this and think about what I need to do. It's little things like that which let me feel more in control and focus on the game instead of my racing heart or something else.
Are there any other “hobbies” or pursuits you have outside of Smash for the time being? Any kind of work/life balance or are we going all-in on Smash for the time being?
I enjoy gaming in general so I've been playing through Kingdom Hearts 3 recently, as well as watching some shows every week such as One Piece or Young Justice. However, since Ultimate has come out, it's been the primary focus where I've dedicated a large majority of my time.
I leave this final space for you. Feel free to speak on what you haven’t been able to here, say shoutouts, etc, and once again, thank you for the interview.
Pretty much all I wanna say is play the character you enjoy and if it's Olimar then you're awesome. Also shoutouts to my team Armada and Southwest Florida for always supporting me!
Mac n Cheese
FAVORITE SIDE GAME:
Dragon Quest 8
MOST ANNOYING CHARACTER:
Michale 'Drexxin' Lalor is Editor-in-Chief at Esports Heaven. Follow him on Twitter at @ESHDrexxin.
Follow Myran at @MyranSSB.
Cover Image taken from Myran's Twitter.