Q&A: Marvel casters Yipes and Persia talk EVO, Mandalay Bay and Pokemon


When you think of commentators and shoutcasters, you kind of think of them in pairs. Monte and DoA. Rivington and Phreak. Joe Miller and Deman. Well, when it comes to Marvel there is no better casting duo than the power couple of IFC Yipes and BT.Persia. Yipes brings the hype, with his quick puns and memorable onomatopoeia, and Persia brings the calculated and friendly play by play. Any Marvel tournament is a treat with those two breaking down the fast-paced action.

At EVO 2016, Slingshot’s Amanda “SageGnosis” Stevens chatted with them about ChrisG’s win, EVO being at the Mandalay Bay, and Pokemon.

Amanda “SageGnosis” Stevens: How has EVO 2016 for the both of you?

Michael “IFC Yipes” Mendoza: You know, it’s been great. I’ve been to a couple of EVOs, but never to this magnitude. I never expected it to get this far with that many people. Especially at a grand stage like the Mandalay Bay. So, it’s definitely an awing experience.

Samantha “BT.Persia” Hancock: I love it. Seeing it at this stage is amazing. Seeing where it’s come from and to where it is now is mind blowing. And it really makes me look forward to next year, too.

AS: Did you guys ever think the FGC would get to a point where it would be at the Westgate Convention Center and then having Top 8 at the Mandalay Bay?

MM: Well, it’s always had them at the convention center. This is like my 11th EVO. So, I’ve actually seen it grow from grassroots to what is now. I mean, it’s still grassroots, but we’re getting to that esports level. But we always had convention centers. It’s just more so, to have it in the finals in that stage is something else. So that’s the biggest pick me up right now.

AS: When the Marvel finals finished. Christopher “NYChrisG” Gonzalez finally won. How does it feel to see ChrisG finally take the Marvel EVO title? 

MM: He is probably the hungriest out of everybody. To see him struggle for so long, for the existence of Marvel 3 in EVO. To finally get at that grand stage, it’s poetic for ChrisG. So, I’m very happy for him.

SH: Yeah. He’s won so many tournaments and EVO was just the last one he did not have on his resume. And he clutched it out and made it happen. He grinded through Losers. He deserves it. And I also think it’s pretty hilarious how ChrisG went through the phase that everyone hated watching his team. Everyone hated seeing him win. Yet when he won this time the entire arena was behind him, so it was great.

AS: Speaking of teams; I saw a pretty diverse amount of compositions this time around compared to usually seeing a bunch of Vergils, a bunch of Dooms. So, I guess it’s not a dying game anymore?

MM: It was never a dying game, and I don’t know who it is who started the fire on that. But it’s just the haters who started it and it caught on like wildfire. The game is fine; it’s not going anywhere. Marvel 2 lasted for 11 years; we’re only on our sixth year for Marvel 3. So as long as the community is still supporting it, it ain’t going no where.

AS: Did you cast any other games this weekend, Yipes? 

MM: Nah, nah. I was actually busy competing. I actually finished Top 64 and Top 32 for Marvel and Street Fighter. So, I didn’t really have time. Even though I was scheduled to commentate, I didn’t really have time to commentate due to just competing. But I actually caught the end of Top 32 of Marvel with Persia so that was my commentating.

AS: Persia, you actually got to commentate Pokken. What do you think of that game?

SH: I think the game is great. It’s really really fun. Obviously there’s a lot of Pokemon hype going around; Pokemon fans out there should definitely be picking up this game. It’s new, it’s fresh. It’s basically a mix of all the fighting games out right now. It’s got 2D elements, 3D elements, support characters. Really interesting and a lot of room to grow, and since it’s just starting out, it’s the perfect time for people to pick it up.

AS: Speaking of the Pokemon hype, do either of you play Pokemon Go?

MM: I’m a big Pokemon enthusiast for people who know me in the past and who watch my streams. The only reason I haven’t picked up is because I know what it will do to my life. So, I am going to sit back and relax and wait it out until something really catches my eye with the game for me to get into it. But right now I’m just being safe with it.

SH: My phone is actually not compatible with Pokemon Go.

AS: Are you serious? You’re like part of the 1 percent.

SH: I don’t know what is. It’s like some Intel chip or something in my phone that is not compatible. I did sign the Change.org petition; let’s see what happens. But, nah, I’m not playing Pokemon Go.

AS: When you guys aren’t doing fighting games, what are you both doing? 

MM: Free time? Most of the time I’m just with her [BT.Persia]. We watch movies, Netflix, the whole nine. That’s how I do, that’s how I do. My baby.

AS: Anything to say to your fans?

MM: Shoutout to the Marvel community, the whole world, the FGC as a whole. Thank you for the support and if we keep it going, we’re gonna keep it going.

SH: Shoutouts to BrokenTier, my sponsor, always being supportive. And of course shoutouts to the love of my life, IFC Yipes, being by my side on through this awesome journey awesome experience. And the Marvel community just keeping us alive.

Cover photo: Robert Paul, rmpaul.com, @tempusrob