Between the suit of fur, the generational talent, and the seemingly endless accolates that span multiple games in multiple scenes, just about everyone has a different way to describe Dominique "SonicFox" McLean. However, throughout all of the award shows, championships, and everything in between, SonicFox has only strived towards being one thing: themselves.
SonicFox joined Inven Global's Lara Lunardi ahead of the 2019 Esports Awards to talk about their competitive success in 2019, growing up LGBTQ, and what they try to impart to their fans.
I'm here with SonicFox at the Esports Awards. How have you been?
I'm doing well! I'm having a blast; a lot of people are really nice here. I can't wait to go out and present an award, and I'm also a nominee, so let's see if I'll win!
You've won awards before; what does it mean to you at this point to win an award as a professional player?
At this point, I don't even know how high to look in regards to them, because they keep happening. So I'm just kind of like, 'That's pretty cool! I have an award now that I have to add to my billion other awards.' *laughs*
Is your house just decked out with awards now?
Yeah *laughs* my roommates yell at me about leaving my awards and trophies everywhere, and I'm
like 'Sorry that I'm godlike!' *laughs*
I want to go back a ways to little SonicFox. What was it like growing up for you?
It was pretty difficult, but as I matured and more and more about myself, I realized that I had started to become an influencer for a bunch of other people who were trying to be themselves. When I realized I was getting to that point, it really made me feel comfortable with myself, which is why I felt comfortable coming out recently as non-binary. That inspired a lot of people to come out to their parents.
Even before I came out as NB, me telling people that I was gay and things like that ended up being so inspirational to people. Growing up, I never had the luxury of expressing myself. It was depressing growing up as an LGBTQ child in the time I was growing up because it wasn't as welcomed as it is nowadays. That made me stronger, and made who I am today.
I want to make sure no one ever experiences what I had to, so me being me inspires other people to be themselves, and I'm very happy about that.
You are so lovely! When it comes to other youth that seek your guidance and influence, what do you think you put out for them?
Honestly, it's simply that you shouldn't let people stop you from being who you are, right? A lot of people get bullied a lot when they are growing up and don't get to enjoy the things you really like because of other people, and honestly, I'm just like, 'f**k them. Do what you like, be yourself, and find the group of people who like you for you. Nothing else will matter.' *laughs*
It's clear that you stay true to who you really are, but unfortunately, not everyone is able to live life the way that you live life. What was the turning point in your life when you were growing up when you just said '**** it'?
Honestly, it was when I realized that I had my four closest friends who really accepted me for me. The more and more they accepted me, the more other people started to accept me as well. I thought, 'This is who I am. Why should I care at all what anyone else has to say about me? I already have the people I care the most about right here, and I can be content just living with them for the rest of my life, so why do I have to care about what some a******e across the world has to say about me?'
Even at school, I was like, 'why do I have to care about what some bully has to say to me?' I am going to be me, and nobody is going to stop me.
What has your past year of life as a professional gamer been like?
It's been exciting. I was really excited for Mortal Kombat 11 to come out, and I've been dominating tournaments ever since. Currently, my lowest placing in the entirety of competitive MK11 is 2nd place, so... *laughs* I've been in Grand Finals of every MK11 event I've attended, which is really sick.
It's just been fun. I was the MK11Champion at EVO 2019, and I just recently beat Goichi "GO1" Kishida last week at Red Bull Saga Madrida in DragonBallFighterZ after finishing 2nd to him in DBFZ at EVO as well. GO1 has won every single tournament he's entered for DBFZ this year — literally, he's won like ten of them straight — and he just now finally lost his first tournament to me, and I was like "YYYYYESSSSS!!!" *laughs*
I'm having mad fun; I think this has definitely been one of my more productive years, but I'm just having mad fun.
When you talk about having 'mad fun' what is a word of advice that you have fans who are also seeking 'mad fun'?
Go out and compete. You don't even have to be good. If you compete, the thrill to want to get better will be there, and you'll know. Even if you don't want to get better, just being a spectator and playing games in a community with a bunch of other like-minded people that really enjoy the shared atmosphere is just...unmatched.
Do you have any last words to your fans?