If you are watching Heaven’s Battles streams you know him by voice (and humor); but his impact and legacy have much deeper roots then just this! Meet one of the cornerstones of Singapore community – ShenOu!
Birth Year: October 4th, 1986
If you had to introduce yourself in three sentences to some SoulCalibur player who didn’t know you, what would you say?
I’m Samuel aka ShenOu, I’ve been organizing playing SoulCalibur since 2003 (SC2) and had a hand in running tournaments since then. With the launch of SC6 I lost the passion to compete in the game and burned out on running tournaments but I still loved talking about the game and more importantly the players. So I started commentating!
What is the origin or meaning of your nickname?
It’s a bit of a silly story that requires some colloquial context so it’s a bit hard to put into text. But essentially a group of Singaporean players wanted to give ourselves a team name to head to France together for an event called World Game Cup 2010. We ended up calling ourselves “Team Shen” after the chinese character “神” which meant God, followed by our actual Chinese names, to make up like really cocky nicknames that sounded like proper Chinese names. My actual last name is “王” which means “King”. So I made myself 神王 because “God King” is the humblest name one could have. Out of the original 5, 4 of us are still active that you guys have probably heard about, Shen Chan, Shen Yuan and Myself are usually the ones you hear about.
But there’s one more, Shen Yu, who people know better by his original name Farpenoodle. He is a Hero Streamer that has run a lot of FG streams not exclusive to SoulCalibur, including Evo and TWT and is the literal backbone to the Singapore FGC. He’s currently hosting the Heaven’s Battle series of online events for South East Asia.
How did it happen that you ended up playing fighting games?
Like most in my generation, I started in the arcades. I’d go to my local arcade and mash on all the different versions of King of Fighters growing up.
One day I found this shiny new title that most people in the arcade ignored and fell in love with it and how different it was from everything else there. It was SC2. Shortly after I met up with the online community for the game and got addicted to it. Then a year after the console launch of the game there was an event called World Game Cup 2004 in France which a local arcade sponsored a team of 5 to attend. And since then I made it my personal goal to make it to that event at some point in my life (Which – as explained in the nickname question – happened 6 years later!)
Who do you main in SC6 and why?
Kilik, with a dash of Amy. These were always my go to characters in the series so I fell back on who I was comfortable with.
What is your opinion regarding SC6?
I think it’s brilliant. The SC series has always excelled in being a high tempo game, where “turn taking” is done very spontaneously and the game does a good job of maintaining that while introducing mechanics to the series that help highlight when a player makes a big play to shift the tempo in things. (Soul Charges and Lethal hits pausing the game for a second, Reversal Edge, being a risky move, is done in a cinematic fashion etc). Most of the issues I’ve had during launch have been ironed out so I’m very happy with it.
If you could change one single thing about SC6 what would that be?
What do you consider to be your greatest SC6 achievement and why?
SEA Major 2019. We got to meet and host players from USA, France, all over Asia and bring them around, feed them, organize game sessions. I got to commentate an incredible tournament, which is a full circle/bucket list moment for me: Some of the French players in particular, Kayane and Saitoh, being in Singapore was a huge deal for me. As they were also at the event in World Game Cup 2004 that really solidified my passion for this game, and they were in my country for a major!
Please answer a single question that you were not asked but you would like to answer!
I feel like I’ve been asked this a few times so I’d add this here “What would I want to see from a Season 3?”
Answer: I actually really hope they do not come up with a Season 3. With the uncertainty of the world as it is right now, releasing a Season 3 to lacklustre hype will only damage the series Legacy/Reputation. Would rather see the team work on SC7 instead.
Thank you for the interview!