In this special EVO 2022 installment of Spawn On Me, host Kahlief Adams chats with one of his favorite commentators and competitors in the Mortal Kombat scene, Mr. Aquaman. They discuss the future of the NetherRealm fighting game scene, which players to watch out for, and how he got into professional Mortal Kombat.
Spawn On Me 08/12/22 WE RELEASE THE KRAKEN WITH MK’S OWN MR. AQUAMAN AT EVO 2022 Podcast Transcript
Transcribed by E. Powers
Kahlief: Hey, everybody. This is Kahlief here. We have another dope interview for all of you at home. I am a huge Mortal Kombat fan, and if you are anyone who’s been paying attention to the Mortal Kombat scene for a while, you know who this person is in Mr. Aquaman. One of my favorite commentators, one of my favorite players. You know, “Praise the sun” has become things that have been within the MK space for a long time, and he was the person I think who actually put that phrasing into the world in a real way.
So it was great to be able to snag him for a couple of minutes and talk about, you know, how he’s looking at the MK scene, which has grown and has gotten younger and has gotten really interesting, especially with the game now being towards the end of its life and everyone kind of waiting for the next NRS game to be in this space. I had a blast talking to Aquaman, one of the dopest cats in the scene, super kind, really generous with his time, and it was great to be able to talk to him. Here is our conversation with Mr. Aquaman.
Kahlief: What up, everybody? We are here at EVO 2022. I am rocking with one of my favorite folks in the FGC, the man that brings the hype like no other, the man with the golden shades, Mr. Aquaman. What the deal be, Mr. Aquaman? How’s things? How’s things?
Mr. Aquaman: What’s going on, guys? First off, I’m naked. I do apologize. I don’t have my shades right now. [Kahlief laughs] I just got off commentary. I dropped it all off in the room, so you’re catching me a little off guard here. My bad. You’re all gonna see my eyes. If you get turned to stone or if you get pregnant, that’s my bad.
Kahlief: I mean, look, it is easy to make people fall in love. It’s easy. It’s easy when you do it like this.
Mr. Aquaman: It is. But guys, it’s been a wonderful Evolution so far. I got to do MK here. It was awesome, to say the least. I mean, you were out here. The energy was incredible so far. We’re on day two. It’s been awesome here, man.
Kahlief: I mean, this is…what EVO is this for you at this point? Yeah. Yeah.
Mr. Aquaman: I think it’s my fifth or fourth.
Kahlief: Is it?
Mr. Aquaman: Yeah.
Kahlief: Okay. This is my first EVO.
Mr. Aquaman: Well, welcome.
Kahlief: So this is nuts. This is madness. I mean, getting a chance to see you do your thing is always cool from afar, but getting a chance to be in the room and seeing it happen here. How different is that energy that kind of moves through the work that you get a chance to do, while being in this space, having so many folks reacting to that as well?
Mr. Aquaman: Yeah.
Kahlief: How has that been?
Mr. Aquaman: So there’s two things. There’s the energy that you feed off of.
Mr. Aquaman: And then there’s the energy that you actually have. And so, for here offline, I mean, we’ve been through COVID for the past three years.
Mr. Aquaman: I’ve been casting from my apartment, where if I yell too loudly, I’m screwed. [laughter] So coming here to offline, it’s…I can be more energetic. I can scream at the top of my lungs and not get a noise complaint. That’s a huge difference for me. [laughter] And then there’s, of course, the energy that you’re feeding off on the audience, and boy, did they bring it today. And it was just a match made in heaven.
Kahlief: Yeah. It was a magical day today. I feel like a lot of folks don’t understand just how much this scene has grown. Especially the MK scene has been just wild in terms of how it’s gotten bigger. And then we see with today, you know, with folks from Chile coming through.
Mr. Aquaman: New blood, new players, international. It’s getting global.
Mr. Aquaman: And it’s organic. It’s not in a time where it’s fully supported by its developer.
Mr. Aquaman: There’s no big money involved. It’s just people wanting to play Mortal Kombat.
Mr. Aquaman: Which is what it should be.
Mr. Aquaman: And it’s the most beautiful thing.
Kahlief: I mean, how’s that kind of changed your outlook—or has it changed your outlook at all—kind of on at least specifically this game, you know? ’cause I know this one is kind of near and dear to your heart. Has that changed the way you kind of thought about MK or, you know, how that scene has kind of grown in that way, seeing so many new faces and new energy kind of come to it?
Mr. Aquaman: It’s been great, to say the least, because it was looking grim.
Mr. Aquaman: For a little while, you know, people were really jumping off of the MK11 wagon. Once NetherRealm said they’re no longer supporting it, a lot of people jumped ship, and so it was tough to like keep people playing MK11.
Mr. Aquaman: And so for someone like me and a lot of other community members, the duty really fell on us to try to create the opportunities to create the motivation needed for these people to keep playing, and I think that the community has done a great job of doing that, and that’s what resulted in what we saw today.
Kahlief: I mean, the energy that you’ve been doing and putting into the space with, you know, your commentary, and we gotta give you props for the Coliseum.
Mr. Aquaman: Thank you.
Kahlief: Coliseum has been just an amazing time every time I get a chance to see you do your thing and have so many top players come to it. How has it been to kind of run your own tournament in that way too, to have a space that is building up all that good energy around MK?
Mr. Aquaman: It’s fantastic.
Mr. Aquaman: Little bit lucky, little bit of everything, but it’s been an absolute joy, because, you know, there’s a certain freedom that comes with me doing it versus the official team doing it.
Mr. Aquaman: And you know, there’s a lot of freedom. There’s no pressure. It’s just if you want to play some MK, show up and play, and that’s where I think that the success has come from. That with some very generous people have kept prize pools really high for the game.
Mr. Aquaman: And that’s also kept people interested, and it’s just been a really fortunate situation, but I’m glad that I’m in a position to be able to do so, because it helps. I think it helps.
Kahlief: And I’m also a little bit sad, because Kraken has not sponsored you yet.
Mr. Aquaman: Come on!
Kahlief: This is ridiculous that this has not happened.
Mr. Aquaman: Do you know how many people tell me that they know about Kraken because of me?
Kahlief: I’m just saying.
Mr. Aquaman: I think almost everyone.
Kahlief: I’m just saying, I mean, I’ve shared a shot.
Mr. Aquaman: If you’re watching this, Kraken Rum…
Kahlief: We gotta make that happen.
Mr. Aquaman: Sponsor to your boy.
Kahlief: Sponsor your man right here.
Mr. Aquaman: My blood is 30% Kraken.
Kahlief: [laughs] And it’s Kraken every time he’s on stream, so it’s dope.
Mr. Aquaman: I stream a lot.
Kahlief: It makes that happen all the time. I know we’re almost out of time, ’cause we’re running fast, but you know, new game is potentially gonna come out hopefully soon. We’ll hopefully get something very, very soon. What are your thoughts? You think we’re gonna get an Injustice game? Think we’re gonna get an MK12? What are your thoughts?
Mr. Aquaman: Man, that’s the ultimate mix up here.
Mr. Aquaman: I’m hoping that we maybe get something new. You know, so much has been teased and trolled and fake leaked and leaked and all this other information that I’m going into this one with a much less, like…I’m trying to go in with no expectations.
Mr. Aquaman: Just trying to enjoy what we got with MK11, and whatever happens happens. Am I hopeful for another Injustice? Absolutely, just ’cause DC’s near and dear to my heart. I love all the heroes. I’m named Aquaman, for God’s sake.
Mr. Aquaman: Give me Aquaman in Injustice 3. [Kahlief laughs] But, you know, I’d be super excited if it was Injustice. I’d be super excited if it was MK. No matter what they do, I feel I’ll be excited. I’m hoping that WB comes through and they’re like, “We got this IP called Middle-earth,” do a Middle-earth fighting game. A man can dream.
Kahlief: I mean, and also we’ve seen them put a good chunk of money into Multiversus too.
Mr. Aquaman: Yes. So maybe they can spread their wealth around a little bit for some more MK action in that space too.
Mr. Aquaman: That prize for Multi was big this year, wasn’t it?
Kahlief: Nuts. It was wild stuff. I was like, okay! They coming through with some real dough. Aquaman, thank you so much for rocking with me.
Mr. Aquaman: Thank you.
Kahlief: Again, one of my favorite folks in the space, always bringing the fire, always bringing the fun, and bringing the Kraken and the rum. Ooh, that rhymed, haha! Anyway, mad love to you, fam. I got that man to leave! [laughs] Appreciate you, brother.
Mr. Aquaman: Absolutely, Kahlief. Thank you so much.
Kahlief: Thank you so much. Thank you, brother.
Mr. Aquaman: Thank you guys.
Kahlief: Much love. We’ll see you all with more dope stuff from EVO 2022 in a little bit. Peace. [laughs]