I am sure most of you know Valhanya already. She is dedicated streamer, competitor and comentator, she covered the ETL here on Portal and her classy laugh is impossible to mistake for anything else. And today, we all have a chance to learn even more about her.
If you had to introduce yourself in three sentences to some SoulCalibur player who didn’t know you, what would you say?
Bonjour ! My name is Valhanya, Dark Queen of the Dark Love Kingdom and Captain of the french wolves team, les Lupin. I play Soul Calibur since Soul Calibur 2 on GameCube but only started to play it in a competitive way with Soul Calibur 6. I’m a streamer and I also commentate tournaments and FT with my very sophisticated french accent.
What is the origin or meaning of your nickname?
Well, when I was in high school, I had this friend who called me “Vlan” (don’t ask me why I don’t remember) so it was my nickname. Then, Skyrim came out and I created my character and wanted to name her Vlan but it didn’t suit her and the game environnement. So I “fantasized” my name and it became Valhanya. I thought it was very pretty so I kept it !
One of Valhanya’s biggest upset against Aarpia during ETL Season 3 (sorry bro)
How did it happen that you ended up playing fighting games?
I play video games since I’m 7 years old. My older brothers had the Playstation in their bedroom and I loved watching them play. One day, I played Tekken 3 with them (I was playing Nina and then Xiaoyu) and this is how I found out my passion for video games. My brothers don’t play video games anymore today but they are very proud of me and happy of what I’m doing and achieving now.
Who do you main in SC6 and why?
In the previous SoulCalibur game, I was a main Talim and then Sophitia. When the 6 came out, I naturally started to play her. I wanted to try others characters and I remembered I liked Xianghua in the previous opus so I played her. And it was a revelation. I feel connected to her, her creative gamestyle suits instinct player like me. With her aGI, mixups and stances, she is a real artist. Plus, she is “la plus belle” especially when she throws her i12 CE fufufu.
What is your opinion regarding SC6?
I can’t compare SC6 in a technical way to the previous ones since it’s my very first competitive game but I really love it. I learnt a new way to play fighting games, lived the thrills of tournaments, found out a new passion with the commentary and met awesome people.
If I have to talk about the technical aspect, I think a new balanced patch with some characters nerfs (Amy * cough* Nightmare *cough cough*) and a season 3 would be awesome (and more creations parts, then I can create more idol cosplay for my girl fufufu).
If you could change one single thing about SC6 what would that be?
I think I’d remove the Reversal Edge. I never use this mechanic because I really don’t like it (and always lose hahaha) and don’t understand how we can put a system based on “rock, paper, scissors” in a fighting game. (But please, keep using it then I can LH you with PXS A+B fufufu).
What do you consider to be your greatest SC6 achievement and why?
With no doubts, my greatest achievement is my very first tournament, la Gamer Assembly in april 2019. I went there because I was curious and always wanted to participate to a tournament but never dared. I was a random girl who played casuals during all her life, didn’t know about players and frames, learnt Xianghua’s combos by watching Youtube’s vidéo (especially Aopai, a japanese player, his Xianghua still inspired me today) and applied them in ranked. Aaaand I made top 2 fufufu.
This is where my SoulCalibur journey begun too because I met 1TLAU – a french speedrunner – who introduced me to the french community and from there, I made my way. I met awesome people through Europe and some of them are dear friends to me today, learnt how to play the game properly, participated and commentated some very cool events.
Please answer a single question that you were not asked but you would like to answer!
How is it to be a woman in the FGC?
Well, for me, the FGC is the SoulCalibur community. I don’t know if I am lucky or if it’s because the mentality here is different but honestly, I’ve never had issues about that. When I went to the Gamer Assembly, or when I was introduced to the french and european community, everyone welcomed me so well. Even on my stream, it’s quite rare that I have inappropriate comments (and if there are, my mods master the i12 hammerban so I’m safe). And when I had issues with players, they never involved the fact that I’m a woman.
However, that doesn’t mean I won’t be a target someday (or maybe there actually were inappropriate things said about me but I’m not aware) or that women discrimination in FGC or video games in general doesn’t exist.
I see everyday on Twitter or Twitch inappropriates behaviours towards women that make me losing faith in men. This, has to cease. Ignoring and/or blocking people is not the solution that will resolve everything. We – women and men with brain cells – have to fight these wild behaviours and make them understand that we, women are equals human beings and not objects or pieces of meat, that we do whatever we want with our body and that we have our place in an environnement such as the video games one. Sometimes, we feel like we have to “prove” our place and our skills more than men because we are women. We shouldn’t feel that way and more than that, we shouldn’t do that. Our skills and talents are equals to men.
In the SoulCalibur community in Europe, we are a little group of women (Sekirei, Rosa, Taokaka, Darxy for the most active ones) and we support each other. Even if we don’t talk to each other everyday, we know that we got our back and if someday, one of the girls has an issue, she can rely on us. Even if I’m more comfortable with men in general, having these girls with me is very refreshing and reassuring. I love them, and I hope we will keep playing together for a long time. <3
Thank you for the interview!