Chillin on his return to competitive Melee: "The mental game is what held me back"


Did you know that Kashan "Chillindude" Khan is planning on competing again? Probably not because Chillin has been so quiet about it. But the veteran Fox player is doing a slow return to the competitive side of Super Smash Bros. Melee after being a well-known commentator in the scene. Inven Global sat with Chillin at Mainstage to learn more about his decision to take back his colors. 

When did you switch to commentating?


Mid 2017 or so was when I started doing it more full time and focusing on it as opposed to being more of a competitor. I had started in 2015, I believe, and in 2017 I shifted my focus more to it. 


At the time I was stressed out by competing. I wasn’t really enjoying events as much. I wanted to shift my focus to get back in the groove of enjoying events. I wanted to re-evaluate my mentality towards competing in general.


I still do plan on competing but I have taken my time to try and reset my mentality. I always felt that the mental game is what held me back from reaching my potential. 



When do you plan on coming back to the competitive side?


I do miss it. I did enter this event to sort of get a feel for it again. It definitely got the juices flowing. I'm very much looking forward to it but I want to ease my way back into it instead of practicing really hard for many hours a day and potentially having a disappointing performance. That's part of what caused the issue before. I'm taking a different approach where I ramp up practice as I enter more and more and hopefully ease my way back in that way.


What has been your favorite moment to commentate so far? 


I would probably say Genesis 2020. It was Zain's first big win and it was also just my first time commenting on such a big stage. It felt good to be able to bring that action to everyone at home for such a significant event. It was a turning point for Zain where he became one of the best players in the world.



Does it help your commentating having been a pro player? 


I definitely think so. As far as game knowledge that helps a lot. But it's being able to feel what the players are feeling. The pressure they are feeling. The preparation that goes into events.


For people who haven't competed at a high level, they don't realize how difficult it can actually be to keep yourself composed and ready at tourneys. I can really relate to the players during matches I can commentate.


How do you feel about LAN events coming back? Do you prefer commentating in person?


Yeah, I do. I think it's a lot easier to match the energy of the venue and the crowd. You can feel how hype everything is. I'm really happy LAN events are back. It's a long time coming. It's not quite the same because of the masks. It's harder to recognize people from a distance. It's a little tougher to see your friend from across the venue and say hi.


But it's necessary given the current situation and I'm glad they can at least come back to some extent even if it's not quite the same as before. Even if this is the new norm, it's better than only online events.



How has Mainstage been for you? 


It's been great. It's been really well run. I did compete and got the feel for it again. It's been so long since I competed at an IRL major. I forgot how thrilling it is. It's really fun to put yourself out there like that. It's definitely motivating me for future events as well.


What has been your favorite Mainstage moment so far?


The end of the doubles bracket where SJT ended up 6-0 IBDW and Fiction after beating them in winners. It was just really cool to see the team together for so long, kept it together, first big major back for doubles back and they managed to win it pretty dominantly.


And you're still making music, I hear! 


I recently put out a Nintendo diss track. They've just treated the Smash community horribly from Day 1. It's just gotten worse and worse. It's not even that we want their support. We just want to be left alone and let us do our own thing. But they are still shutting down events.


It's odd that a company would choose to not help their fans out and go out of their way to hurt the competitive scene. It doesn't seem to affect them. If anything it helps them. It gets more people interested.



NOTE: This answer was given before Panda Esports' Nintendo partnership announcement. Nintendo probably decided to get involved due to this song alone. 


What do you like about writing diss tracks?


It's a fun side activity. I never take rapping that seriously but it's fun coming up with clever bars and funny punch lines. I like seeing people's reactions when they first hear a track.

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