What a difference one year can make. In 2015, Darnell Waller, aka HollywoodSleep ended his EVO journey in 3rd Place. For most people, this would be all the validation you need to be considered one of the best. But not Sleep. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and well, you already know the outcome. Sleep claimed his title of EVO Champion in Killer Instinct! We caught up with Sleep to see how his EVO experience has been for him and more importantly, what’s to come!
Colt Yohman – Is KI your first Competitive fighting game?
Darnell Waller – No, Marvel vs Capcom 3 was the very first competitive fighting game for me.
CY – What do you enjoy about competing in KI?
DW – Probably the competitor aspect of it. Also love the crowd when I’m on the stage competing. The crowd rooting for, or against me to win, that feeling is amazing!
CY – You been known for playing Glacius in Season 1, then Kan-Ra/Aria in Season 2, and now Arbiter/Gargos in Season 3. All these characters have wildly differently play styles from one another. What is it about each of these characters that drew you to them or what has been the common attraction you found between all of them?
DW – Well this is an easy question. I’m attracted to characters that play keep away, or that can trap you, and put you in blender. I’m all about consistent setups most zoners normally have this in common. Now Gargos is something else.. He’s just EXTREMELY FUN!
CY – Finishing 3rd at EVO 2015. While being an accomplishment, must have been slightly disappointing in that you were so close to coming in 1st place. What was your mentality after that event and as you moved forward in playing Killer Instinct?
DW – My whole mentality changed after EVO, but for greater good of course. After getting picked up my F3 “Flipside Tactics” in August of 2015 I had a different approach on the FGC, and life. These guy help me improve my game far beyond of what I thought could do. These guys invested in me so, I had to dish out my part of deal, which was win EVO. Now it’s time to win Killer Instinct World Cup in March. Shout out to Brandon Alexander for his hard work on putting that together also.
CY – And finally we are back at EVO 2016, only a few weeks ago now. Walk us through what that weekend was like for you? Nervous? Excited? You played mostly Arbiter and Gargos, why those characters and not others you used in the past?
DW – Going into EVO I knew i was going win honestly I spoke with my two fathers above and they promised me success! So there was no nerves just me patiently waiting for Grand Finals so I can wrap this up. It was finally my moment and god painted these road for me. Well actually it was god, and hard work honestly. #blessings #HardWorkPaysOff
And to answer the last question I used Arbiter mainly throughout the tournament because I was more comfortable with maining him because I knew he could take me there.
CY – Also, you seemed really successful with Gargos the times that you used him in the Top 8. Why not play him more often than you did?
DW – Well Gargos is a fun character but not really a great character on paper. The only reason why I picked him versus UA|Bass. Hmm I just knew it would be a easy win! And that’s simply because I knew Bass didn’t know the match up completely.
Grand Final EVO 2016 Hollywood Sleep vs UA Bass
CY – 1st Place at EVO. That’s quite an accomplishment! What’s next for you with Killer Instinct?
DW – My next big goal is winning KIWC “Killer Instinct World Cup in March of 2017!!
CY – Anything else you’d like to tell your fans or give thanks to anyone?
DW – Big shout out to Christian Finch GT: FinchOMatic without this man I probably wouldn’t be talking to you today.
Next person would be F3 Flipside Tactics!! Amazing organization that believed in me and continues to support me in my career.
Also shout out to Hollywood!!! “Hollywood” is my small training circle of amazing players such as Truth Ns,Ill Hernandez U,Mackmanie Aka Coach, RayRay Monkey, ill than u (best Wolf), ToneriXSkate NS (broke Omen), and my brother WulfGangMello (best Riptor/Rash) love you guys and you all was a huge part in my success…
Shout out to Michigan/Midwest I did it for you guys now its time for yaw to help me keep the ring in Michigan!!!
If you guys want to be successful and you are not naturally talented in something you have to put in more then 100% your goal is 115% aim for higher never lower or Top 8. Tell yourself I will make Top 3 or win never second guess yourself if you put in the time and the work. Because if you do that there’s only great results from now on. Trust me