It’s frustrating being a Kurtis "moky" Pratt fan.
On one hand, he is one of the most exciting Fox players in the game, has an entertaining stream, and is signed to one of the most interesting and mysterious organizations in esports. On the other hand, we don’t get to see him compete enough. Because of travel restrictions with the pandemic, moky has been prevented from enjoying the top-level experience some of his peers might. In spite of this, he still trudges on, even recently winning Pinnacle 2021.
You just recently won Pinnacle, which I would say has been one of your most significant achievements. Walk me through how that tournament was for you. Did it go the way you expected?
I wasn't really sure. I tried to not have too much pressure on myself especially because the new kid Nickelodeon game came out. So I played that a bit like a few days beforehand, but I grinded [Melee] quite a bit before that came out. So I was just hoping that I was able to perform up to par, and I was thankfully able to.
I've done that kind of stuff before too—I've won tournaments like that with the same people (because it was like a Canadian tournament). But it felt really good to do right now, because... I don't know, I've been struggling a bit the last couple of months with the tournaments. I haven't been doing as well as I was at the start of the year so it feels good to kind of kick back into gear.
You said something interesting recently, where you stated Zain could be #1 on any of the main characters. I was hoping you would elaborate on that idea. Is it just his fundamentals and work ethic, or what makes you say that about Zain?
I just I feel like he's very hard working. Him and iBDW are probably the most hard-working people in the game right now. They live and breathe Melee. If Zain was playing another character, and he decided to put the same amount of effort in as he did with Marth, I have no doubt that you'd be able to get really, really, really good just because he puts a lot of effort in.
Zain is someone that obviously seems to have the Fox matchup solved. You already have experience in the Captain Falcon matchup. Do you think you would ever consider maybe trying that against Marths?
I've thought about it a lot before. I go back and forth on it. Because I did used to play Falcon. I don't really like that match up personally. I think it's very defensive, and I have to play it in a way that I don't think I'm very good at playing Falcon. But I've thought about other stuff as well.
I do think that Marth-Fox is hard, but I've been enjoying it at least. Even if I get frustrated with it sometimes, it's very fun to try to work out the problems in it and try to just improve at it. So right now I'm not currently thinking of it, but I'm open to it down the line if I am having a lot of trouble cracking it.
And I've thought about like Falco, Falcon, or even like the ditto. Or Sheik. I don't know, I play a lot of characters myself pretty decently, so I think if I actually put a lot of effort into trying to pick one up for a matchup I could get pretty good with it. At the moment I'm not.
What are your thoughts of Canada in general. I know recently you’ve been frustrated because you aren’t able to get top practice as much. Do you think Canada’s growth has stalled?
I think right now Canada is one of the strongest regions. Canada's very, very good. Because at the top it's me and n0ne, and then Soonsay is very good and he's made waves. Zuppy is getting extremely good. Even Ontario—a lot of our good players don't come out as often, but we have a lot of good people in Ontario. And if they ever decided to start coming out more then we have those guys as well. At Pinnacle I played a lot of the people from West Coast Canada that were really good.
I think the thing with Canada is everyone plays very unique, which is I feel a very crucial part of getting good and pushing past the next level. Because everyone I play—they do some weird stuff. Everyone has their own playstyle in Canada. I think especially in the last couple years Canada has improved a lot. I feel like there's a lot of promise.
Besides size, what is the main thing holding Canada back?
I think for Canada as a whole, it's just hard for everyone to travel and get a lot of practice and stuff. I think especially the people who are in the Praries or West Coast or the middle of Canada—it can be very hard to get to tournaments.
And sometimes Canadian internet is just bad, so it can be hard to grind online sometimes as well. I think that's probably just the main thing: It's very hard to get exposure and get the opportunity to do it. And then get the practice and whatever, just because it's hard to travel in those places. Ontario's a very very popular place very populated—it's the less populated places.
You have a really entertaining stream, but the majority of your stream is obviously Melee-focused. Do you have plans to expand more seriously into other games?
My end goal is to actually branch out and become a streamer. I need to do stuff I need to get better at for streaming, but that's kind of my end goal. I do want to start doing more variety stuff and branch out more and just try out to do more stuff. Because I really enjoy doing that. I think when I have a very good stream, oftentimes it feels better than having a good tournament run. If I have a good stream, I feel like I'm being funny and on point, and everyone seems to be having a good time, I feel really good about it. That's what I really enjoy doing at the moment.
The stuff I need to get better at—to get more consistent at hitting that kind of Zen mode while I'm like streaming. But yeah, I really want to try out more stuff. I've been branching out a little bit more here and there on stream, especially the last few months.
But it’s just scary to Melee players. Because Melee is what you're known for. But that's kind of in the plans. I want to try to do more stuff.
You were recently signed by Moist Esports, which has been one of the most enigmatic organizations in the scene. What was the process like signing with them?
Okay, so every time I'd stream—when I was a free agent—my chat would just spam me, "Oh, you should hit up Charlie. Hit up Charlie". And I was like, "Maybe I will." And they were doing the same thing to Charlie. "Oh, you should get Moky!"
And then I got sent clips of him saying that he's interested if I'm interested. And then like eventually I was like, "You know what? Just screw it." And I sent a degenerate tweet to him that said, "Do you want to grab Melee by the balls together?" The next day I was on Moist. [laughs]
You’re one of the fastest players in the game. I imagine you could have signed with a lot more established teams. What made Moist the most appealing to you?
After talking to Charlie about it, his plans for where he wants to take the org—because he's focused on a lot of fun stuff, and like content stuff. Like I said, I want to try to branch more into streaming in the future. So it's just a very good opportunity for me in terms of that, because I get to learn a lot.
I could probably just talk to Charlie about stuff, and if he's trying to make content with us or whatever down the line. It's just a very good opportunity for that. And I feel like it kind of pushes me on that path. It helps me pursue Melee, while also getting better and getting more opportunities for that kind of stuff, which is long-term what I want. So it just seemed like a no-brainer. It was very in line with what I wanted.
Is Charlie pretty hands-on with helping his players?
Oh, he's sick. Yeah, he's really really sick. Like if you ever need to hit him up for something, you just hit him up and he gets back to you fast. And you know, he's the boy. I love Charlie.
I wanted your perspective on Captain Falcon. Looking at results recently, it doesn’t seem like At Pinnacle and Low Tide, S2J and n0ne haven’t been performing the strongest. Same with Wizzrobe to be honest. Falcon is still strong, but it’s not like before where he was winning majors. Do you think this is just the meta, or a coincidence? What’s your perspective?
Honestly, I feel like it is a coincidence kind of. Because obviously Johnny, Wizzy, and Ed are all really, really good. I just feel they might be...I don't know, every player goes through highs and lows. And I feel like they might just be kind of in a patch where it's like not as high as they all could be.
But I feel like they're all probably gonna shoot up and have some insane results. Because even Wizzy not that long ago—he had that SEO where he beat Mango and Zain, right? And overall for the first while in the year Johnny was doing extremely well. It may honestly just be the transition is hard for them to go from online to go into actual tournaments or whatever. Yeah, I don't know. There's a bunch of little factors at work. To truly know we'll probably have to wait until offline tournaments are a bit more established.
If you're able to practice more with strong opponents, where do you think you'll be ranked six months to a year from now?
It depends. Because when I got into the game, I always thought I could be number one and that was my goal. And I do think my goals have fluctuated a little bit. And I go in little modes, where I care a lot about my stream, and I'm trying to improve that and I try to just work on my skills that make me a better streamer. And then I go through modes where I'm like, "Okay, I'm entering tournaments. At night I need to grind a lot and do everything."
So it just depends on where my motivations lie, I guess, in the next few months. because it kind of shifts around a lot. But I think right now I'm feeling pretty good after my win at Pinnacle. And if I have stuff confirmed—because I think that's the big thing right now is just with COVID and the border being kind of weird—I don't have a lot of stuff actually properly confirmed that I'm trying to go to—I'm trying to keep it very open, just in case stuff comes up.
And I think once I do have stuff confirmed, then I'm going to have a lot more motivation to properly grind, and if I am properly able to grind...I don't really know. I think I could be top five or top three. I think I could just start winning stuff if I put in enough effort.
You’re a Radiohead fan like me, give your best argument for why you think Kid A can in any way be better than OK Computer?
Okay, so I think OK Computer in terms of singles, they're probably better listened alone. You know what I mean? You can sit there and just put on one of those songs, and it works better than probably the Kid A songs. But when I first listened to Kid A, I remembered my exact experience. I was going to my friend's house, and I was on a bus. And I was just listening to it. And song after song, I feel like it's a good album experience. Because it takes you on a trip. Every song is kind of out there and kind of insane. But it works together.
And there's a bunch of weird stuff, one after the other after the other. And I just remember my jaw was on the floor the whole time. It was the first album that ever made me just be like, "Wow. This is an album." And not just a collection of songs. And that's kind of where I come from. I don't know. It feels like a super album. You don't get the full experience once you listen to the album, if that makes sense.
I know things still aren’t perfect for you but the fact you’ve done what you’ve done in spite of all the challenges you’ve gone through is amazing. What advice would you give to other people in similar situations that you think could be of benefit?
If you're in a situation where you're going through really hard stuff, there has to be some kind of thing that gives you happiness, right? There has to be some kind of thing that you just enjoy a lot. It makes you very happy. It can take you away from the stuff that's going very poorly. If you know what it is, you just kind of have to...I don't want to say rely on it. That's not necessarily the play. But you just have to pursue it a bit more.
If you have that thing, you just have to keep going for it. For me, I doubted Melee a lot, growing up in my kind of position. I would doubt Melee a lot. But in the end, what am I doing right now? I'm playing Melee. And obviously, I'm not saying to throw away everything you have to pursue the thing that makes you super happy, because obviously, you have to be smart about it. I wouldn't be happy unless I tried really hard on the thing that makes me happy. And I think that's all I can say on it.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.