Hi guys, Spider Muttons Productions © 2010 are back with a monster of an episode. Our guest is one of the founders of Ozhadou and OHN, and has been a pillar of the Sydney fighting game community for more than ten years. We’re talking of course about Andrew Ziogas, otherwise known as Ziggy!
Igor and I have wanted to do this interview for a very long time, and we just missed out on snagging Ziggy at OHNX. (The TO’s eternal curse: a severe shortage of free time.) We have wanted to pick his brain about his decade’s experience as Sydney’s primary tournament organiser for quite a while now. We talk about the history of the Sydney scene, the emergence of the OHN series, the founding of Ozhadou, the rise of the new Ozhadou, the OG players, York Street Battle, his tournament organisation article series Bracketed, BAM, Shadowloo Showdown, Daigo and Justin Wong, SFxTekken, esports and much, much more
So I made my way down to Geelong to Studio 69, otherwise known as Igor’s house, and we did the interview over Skype. Ziggy didn’t disappoint, providing a very comprehensive history and breakdown on the tournament scene in Sydney and Australia since the inception of Ozhadou with Final Atomic Buster. He was very open in our conversation, and it was clear to me that a lot of what drives Ziggy is the pain of seeing his mistakes repeated unnecessarily in the actions of others as they go down the same path he has.
I’ve personally learnt so much about the history of the Sydney and Australian fighting game community from this interview and we thank Ziggy very much for taking the time to sit down with us.
You can find Ziggy by PMing him on Ozhadou.
And be sure to check out his series of blog articles on tournament organisation:
Big thanks to Hebretto aka Yang for directing me to his marvelous archive of pictures, which I drew upon extensively for this article. If you click on any of the pictures you will be directed to his archive. It was quite amazing going through the annals of history and seeing shocking things like Young Johnny and Teenage Toxy!
As always, you can listen to the podcast below or read the transcript of the entire thing if you prefer. We hope you enjoy the interview guys, we certainly enjoyed doing it.
For Direct Download, right click this link and “save as”
Don’t be a Scrub Podcast Episode 20: Ziggy
Muttonhead: Do you wanna start?
1- Spidercarnage: What were we talking about…Yeah. The current [Australian tournament schedule].
Ziggy: Ah yeah yeah, so. I think it’s much better this year than what it was last year by far, hands down. Everybody’s not on top of each other. Everyone’s talking, everyone’s sort of planning. There’s still a little bit of um, SS (Shadowloo Showdown) being the monster that it is, it kinda had to whack its flag into the ground and say; this is where we are. And everybody else could build around it. But there’s nothing wrong with that I mean. That’s a perfectly sensible way of doing things.
And it worked out well because the timing of EVO this year- if we had gone with our original plans to be post-SS, the EVO tie-ins would’ve fallen to pieces. So by having to pull back to the summer it actually worked out better for EVO tie-backs.
We don’t really know what’s happening in the later part of the year. We know roughly when BAM is gonna be.
M: Around the same time in October…
Z: We still don’t know what Queensland’s doing, we don’t quite know what ACL is doing this year but they’ve got plans on the table. But it’s way better this year.
If there are any concerns about certain people not turning up at SS, I wouldn’t put it down to the timing. In terms of relative closeness of tournaments. It’d be other factors, like external things getting in the way and stuff like that? Stuff that’s out of everybody’s control, pretty much.
M: Well to clarify, because we left out the start of the question, I was asking Ziggy if he was coming down to SS, and he said that he’s not coming down to SS and a bunch of other people aren’t coming down. And I was asking whether that had anything to do with…even though we’ve kind of spread these events a bit more this year, but it kind of feels that even two or three months isn’t enough time for people to kinda recover financially…
M: And kind of from the work that they put into their events. But I guess you feel that isn’t a factor.
Z: No, not especially.
Like I mean, myself I was pretty dead after OHN as you would expect. But now…it takes about a month for me to kind of get over it and feel like I wanna do stuff again. Having said that, I’ve got nothing on the cards at the moment so I’m kind of climbing the walls with not much to do, but that’s alright.
The…I think the thing is more now; I don’t know what the hype factor is towards even like EVO. I’m not feeling…a lot of hype at the moment. I think it’s just a function of the games that are out at the moment. And where people are with relation to the games.
I mean, ultimately the scene is a function of the games. So if the games aren’t popping, then the scene’s not popping sort of thing.
I feel like SFxTekken has landed with a whimper rather than a crash. And with Street Fighter 4 kind of petering out and Marvel sort of sitting in the middle, in limbo at the moment. It’s popped a bit but it’s not, if you know what I mean?
M: Yes I do.
And over here in Victoria for our events, our xTekken registration for tournaments have kind of…dropped a cliff kind of, recently. So what’s it like in Sydney for you guys?