Infinitii L'Sédria took the time shoot the breeze with me about the things we loved most
Infinitii L'Sédria is a pretty popular name within the NRS community (or is it kommunity?) for her stellar gameplay and her stunning cosplay outfits. She is also a fierce competitor that doesn’t back down as is evident in her 2019 EVO run for Mortal Kombat 11. Also in 2019, she emerged as the winner of the Eleague Showdown for Mortal Kombat 11. Therefore, her presence at the Weplay Dragon Temple was a no-brainer, and getting the chance to interview her was of particular interest to me. Infinitii is a total badass as a gamer but is also incredibly cool in person and our conversation was an absolute delight as I got to ask her various questions regarding the game we both love.
The WePlay Dragon Temple tournament is a huge deal as it not only involves an eye-watering cash prize ($60,000 pot), but is also being held at WePlay’s new battle arena in Kyiv and is set to turn the tournament into a full-scale event with all the fanfare that it deserves. In addition, this is one of just a few offline tournaments to take place this year, and therefore, I am totally hyped for it. From the looks of it, Infinitii is pretty excited too, stating during the conversation, “I think WePlay is doing a great job at bringing something fresh to the FGC for offline play."
“Gaming has been restricted to online play for so long that LAN tournaments feel like a distant but fond memory. I am very thankful and excited to be a part of this.”
The possible impact that the Dragon Temple tournament can have on the FGC is huge! Infinitii talked about what she hopes the competition is able to do for the community in these difficult times, “I know that things will take a long time to get back to normal with all the craziness COVID-19 is unleashing on the world. But, I really hope that this Dragon Temple event gives the FGC a deeper appreciation of the game and a closer sense of community. LAN play is such a wholesome experience, both while competing and outside of the tournament itself.”
Part of the wholesomeness Infinitii is talking about is getting to see friends and fellow competitors. So when I asked if there was anyone she would be looking forward to seeing or meeting, she explained that she had met more or less everyone she wants to, “But, I am honestly excited to see everyone, I miss the interaction of LAN tournaments.”
While competing online has some major advantages which I’ll touch on in a bit, adaptation has been a pretty difficult thing for many players. A great example is Punk who has been on record several times about how playing online is something of an incomplete experience. Infinitii faced a similar problem and when I asked how it felt to be involved in an offline event after having to make do with the online space for the better part of a year, she said: “It was a bit difficult to adapt to online competitive play for me in the beginning because I do most of my practice offline. So for me, competing in a LAN tournament will be a breath of fresh air in the competitive space.”
You can enjoy matches of WePlay Dragon Temple on the official Twitch channel.
Infinitii the FGC member
The reality is that 2020 has been a tough year on so many fronts and the inability to travel or partake in offline events has taken its toll. However, as mentioned earlier, online gaming has its benefits, one of the biggest being the exposure to smaller scenes and less recognized people. This is something that Infinitii is grateful for and feels has made the FGC a tighter unit. “Most of the players that I know, and myself, have been close and traveling together for years.” she said, “But for the newer players that did not get to travel as much back when LAN events were all the rage, I do believe that through forced online communication the community became more familiar with each other. It truly feels like a family.”
I feel what Infinitii is saying as I have felt closer to the FGC now more than ever. Seeing scenes like Australia and China get featured at the CPT has warmed my heart and the interactions I have had online have been pretty fruitful.
Speaking of the family-like nature of the FGC, Infinitii and I discussed the extra emphasis on women in gaming that online gaming has been able to extract. The topic of women-only events is pretty controversial as some people believe that having them is an insult to women as it perpetuates the stereotype that female gamers cannot compete with their male counterparts. However, on the other side, women-only tournaments are a great way to create safe, empowering spaces for women to feel comfortable while gaming. It also creates a mini-community and a support network for women. According to Infinitii, “The main thing that makes all-women tournaments vital for women in gaming is the inspiration it brings to the women who might be interested in competing and would like a safer space to do so."
“Jumping into the open fray for newer competitors can be nerve-racking. All-women events also highlight the women players, which plays a pivotal part in inspiring more women to embrace gaming as a passion! Each year we see more and more ladies join, and I love it. I’m sure moving forward we’ll keep seeing that increase!” I completely agree with her on this point and I believe dipping your toes into a serious competition could be nigh on impossible to do. So, by creating these safe tournaments where you are sure of meeting some really friendly faces, it can encourage more women to get into competitive gaming.
Infinitii the writer
Over the years, I have dabbled in fiction and I even wrote a book once (well, actually it’s a manuscript and it’s gathering dust somewhere) so when I discovered that Infinitii is a fellow storyteller, I was super enthused.
She has even written a fan-fic surrounding Mortal Kombat called Mileena’s fate which is pretty awesome, but also something I do not know if I can do. This is because, in fan-fiction, you carry the extra burden of writing about characters that already exist and have their own backstories. Keeping this in mind while also adding your own view and interpretation of the characters can be pretty difficult. When I mention this to Infinitii, she let me in on a little secret: being a fan-fiction writer used to be a fact she hid for a while! However, she sayd on the topic of the burden of dealing with established characters, “For my Mileena fan-fiction, I did feel slightly compelled to stay true to her core character for most of the story. But, I made it a point to also add a few of my own unique twists. I believe adding my own touch to an established story engages the reader in the character/story that they already love, while also expressing my love for the story.”
She added, “In fact, writing Mortal Kombat fan-fiction is what made me realize I love writing, and now I am working towards becoming an author!”
Her mention of a Mileena fan-fiction reminded me of how hyped she was about the character reveal. As someone who up until now generally mained Sonya Blade, I was interested in her love for Mileena and what drew her to the character.
“Mileena was the first character I ever played in Mortal Kombat. I first fell in love with her playstyle. She’s so fun, wild, and sexy with everything she does, it’s amazing,” - she noted.
“Once I got into the lore, I loved her even more. She is a survivor in a world that casts her aside just for existing. Yet, she still carries on so carefree. Because of that, I feel I relate to her on a deep level. In the more recent interpretations, she is bisexual, which made me relate to her/love her even more all over again - something that seemed impossible. In short, I see myself in her in almost every way.”
Still, on the topic of writing and stories, we got into the emergence of video games as an effective storytelling tool. One only needs to think of how much the Last of Us changed the gaming landscape ( I cried, I’m not even ashamed to admit it) and how the story of the sequel divided opinion so much to see how much people care about storytelling in video games.
I pointed out that fighting games didn’t always have the best storylines but this seems to be changing and Mortal Kombat is one of the best examples of this. While the first two Mortal Kombat games barely had a story that people could enjoy, the ensuing years provided us with a compelling story about a group of individuals that we all have come to care about. Infinitii agreed and suggested that fighting game storytelling can be further improved by giving us relatable characters, who will, in turn, create a deeper connection between the game and the gamers that play it. “Finding a character that you both love playing and can relate to is a really good feeling. Mortal Kombat does an excellent job at making you really feel for its characters outside of their gameplay.” she said.
Infinitii the Cosplayer
If you’ve followed Infinitii for any length of time, you’ll know she is a serious cosplayer. She has dressed as Sonya Blade (duh), Catwoman, Harlequin, and so many others. We had a little discussion about how the new additions to the game have made her feel (spoiler alert, she loves them!) “The new additions to the game are very satisfying.” She started. “I love the new poke system and the new characters are amazing! Mileena especially - she is my everything and NetherRealm made her perfect.”
Speaking about Mileena (we talk about her a lot!) I asked if she had any plans to cosplay as the purple-clad badass, “I do actually have plans to cosplay Mileena. I made my teeth by hand and sharpened my sais! I am commissioning the lovely Evgeniya Rukavitsina to make the outfit, who makes most of my cosplays for me by hand. She is amazing! She made my Skarlet and klassic Sonya as well!”
As any cosplayer will tell you, some characters are easier to pull off than others. On the question of what cosplay does she think will be the most difficult to pull off, she said, “I think the hardest cosplay to pull off now is Kronika. I want to cosplay her so bad but I want to make sure I do her justice. She has a lot going on between her being bald, glowing arms and legs, etc. The dress and heels are intricate as well. But, she would be awesome to do!”
I wanted to ask more questions, but there was only so much time. But, you can be sure you will be seeing Infinitii in a lot more stuff going forward, and I, for one, really hope she tries out the Kronika cosplay… that would be golden.
We also invite you to look through the list of WePlay Dragon Temple participants and check out our interviews with some of them, like Asodimazze from Sicily (Italy), Dubasik from Russia, Grr from USA, Konqueror249 from Brazil, and AVIRK13 from Canada.
Live broadcast of the WePlay Dragon Temple tournament directly from WePlay Esport Arena Kyiv will be available on Twitch here.
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