Ian Walker

Ian is a passionate writer capable of handling both a steady stream of news reporting and regular editorial coverage. His interests range from Beyoncé to Street Fighter, making him a versatile addition to any workforce focused on the entertainment industry.

Freelance pieces for Red Bull eSports, pertaining to the world of competitive Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, Mortal Kombat, and more.

Red Bull eSports

Bonchan Plays Matchmaker for Japan's Street Fighter V Scene

With the spread of netplay, arcade visits have, for better or worse, been largely usurped by online lobbies. That said, nothing can replace the experience of participating in offline events. In order to connect with players who mostly find their competition online, Japanese competitor Masato “Bonchan” Takahashi is currently on an extensive road trip through his native land to meet the regional scenes that make up Japan’s larger fighting game community.
Red Bull eSports

Capcom Cup 2016: A Story of Redemption

Capcom Cup 2016, the most important Street Fighter V tournament thus far, is over and done. We have a new champion and a whole year to ready ourselves for the next event. But while it’s easy to focus on the overall winner of a competition like this, PlayStation Experience hosted the single greatest collection of players since the Evolution Championship Series, and each walked into the tournament with their own goals and aspirations. Capcom Cup was all about the redemption of its participants by overcoming tremendous odds, making up for past disappointments, or simply driving a point home. Every competitor earned the right to be called the best simply by qualifying in the arduous months leading up to the main event, and while many didn't see it at first, the results speak for themselves
Red Bull eSports

Anakin Handicaps Himself En Route to Tekken Glory

But Hoa "Anakin" Luu isn’t your ordinary player. As one of the United States's premier Tekken players, Anakin has the experience and abilities to win just about every tournament he attends. That’s why, when Bandai Namco Entertainment announced their plans to extend spots for the high-profile King of the Iron Fist Tournament to North America, the Atlanta representative was considered a shoe-in for the trip to Japan. No one, however, could have predicted the path he would take to qualifying.
Red Bull eSports

Seth Killian, Mike Ross Team Up at Battle Grounds

Like most pillars of the fighting game community, Killian and Ross have history, and that’s what they bring to every event lucky enough to benefit from their presence. Killian has grown to be perhaps the greatest Street Fighter commentator of all time, combining his vast knowledge of the genre with a background in philosophy to drive home important concepts that even the most amateur enthusiast can understand. Ross, while brilliant in his own right, adds the other part of the equation thanks to his ability to make just about any moment in a match shine with his charming mannerisms. Nowhere was this more apparent than when their separate trajectories crossed at Evo 2016. While the official broadcast occurred, Killian and Ross hosted the tournament’s monumental appearance on ESPN, acting as the emissaries of a community that has rarely been afforded such a stage. To no surprise, they performed admirably, showcasing the best the fighting game community has to offer to an entirely new audience.
Red Bull eSports

Casuals: Persia, the Marvel Advocate

A year later, Persia found herself moving to New York City just as Marvel vs. Capcom 3 arrived on the scene. Much like Street Fighter, she immediately became enthralled with the more action-heavy game, and dedicated her time to learning the ropes. As is often the case, the going wasn’t easy, but she stuck to her guns under the tutelage of Marvel pillar (and future fiancé) Michael "IFC Yipes" Mendoza. Persia’s true calling, however, was discovered by coincidence. After being pulled onto commentary by one of her friends, she regularly found herself on the microphone at local events providing voice-over for the viewers at home. Eric "Big E" Small, a major tournament organizer based in Philadelphia, saw something in Persia’s burgeoning presence, and asked her to start commentating at his events. "After watching me on more casual streams, Big E wanted me to try taking things a little more seriously," she explained. "Thank god for that, because it really did open a door for me that I didn’t know was possible, and it’s something I’ve grown to be incredibly passionate about."
Red Bull eSports

gllty Tests Her Street Fighter V Progress in Asia

There was once a time in the fighting game community when venturing outside your home country to compete was nothing but a pipe dream. But now, with the massive growth the scene has experienced over the past few years, travel is just another part of maintaining your edge. Sure, it’s not viable for most players, but those that do push outside their bubble often return richer than when they left. While many competitors who take this plunge often have the backing of major sponsors to keep them afloat, there are those who do so by other means. Such is the case with Leah "gllty" Hayes, who recently left her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, with the support of her fans to travel Asia and compete in two of the continent’s most prolific tournaments.
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