"Pressure." ⁠— TeamNeonBlack|Ryuga discusses the Rigors of being a College Student and Professional Player

At CEO 2019, I got the chance to have a quick chat with Dacota "Ryuga" James, the current best Ike in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He's been placing pretty well this season. Known for his solid neutral and ability to rattle even the best, he continues to excel.

Credit: Ryuga


Tell me about your mindset when it comes to competing?

Honestly, its pretty much: don’t get in my own head, stay focused, and play my game. Drive the car, don’t let the car drive you; play the game, don’t let the game play you.

How is it being a top-level free agent?

I’m technically on a team called Neon-Black, but not under contract. They help me get to events, and I promote the brand. Most the time you go to your local events, win those, then TO’s fly you to bigger ones. Save a lil cash, and then travel.

How is it being a college student and full-time competitor?

That **** hard bro *laughs* gotta study, attend class, and in the STEM field its pretty tough. No time to mess around ever. Anything you do you gotta have a reason for. Gotta keep my stuff together. It’s pressure.

Credit: @Hotnready

What determines who you use in any given game?

Last ten years I been playing Ike. In Brawl I used Ike because he looked cool. He commanded neutral, but you can force your opponent to do things and take control. Smash 4 and Ultimate I play neutral heavy characters where you get rewarded for outplaying your opponent and getting reads. I like getting out what I put in. Rounded characters. I just wanna compete at the highest level bro, I attend what I can while I stay grounded in school.

What are your expectations for the tournament?

Just go out and compete. I wanna make top 48 at least. I’ve got Mkleo in my bracket and definitely wanna play him. 

What’s your mindset when coming into a tournament?


Just compete. People come in scary or trying to avoid certain players, I fear nobody and wanna play the best.

Credit: xenosmcloud

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