A very unique and different sponsor has come into the Smash scene. Recently Canadian player Coastward was sponsored by FAK**, the largest English speaking hentai community in the world. For those who do not know, hentai is a subgenre of the Japanese genres of manga and anime, characterized by overtly sexualized characters and sexually explicit images and plots. FAK** is by far a website not safe for work and those interested in learning more about the company should take care and follow all pertinent laws involving the viewing of adult related materials.
The nature of this new sponsor has had many people talking within the community, so I reached out to Coastward for an interview so he could talk a bit more on the subject and he graciously agreed.
SmashCapps: Well first, thanks again for the interview, I know you've got a life and have probably been busy with all the attention since the announcement so this means a lot to me.
Coastward: No problem, I love Smashboards to death so I'll do anything for you guys.
SC: A lot of people may not have heard the name Coastward before, so for those who don't know about you, tell them a bit about yourself and what you do in Smash.
Cw: Alright, so hi, I'm Coastward. My real name is Adam Hermosa and I'm a Ganondorf main in Toronto, Canada. I'm mostly known for my Co-Host position on Japan Time, but others may recognize me for playing Ganon or being left hanging at McSmashter 4. I'm also apart of Even Matchup Gaming; I do a lot of the technical work which includes running the stream and handling the visual media.
SC: Excellent, so now that everyone knows you a bit better, let's get into what has everyone looking your way. You recently acquired a very unique sponsorship from FAK**, one of the largest hentai websites in the world. How did this whole sponsorship come to be?
Cw: So this story is pretty interesting. A few months ago, myself and a few friends were in a late night Skype call. We were pretty bored so I just decided to start randomly tweet accounts on Twitter to "sponsor me" as a joke. One of my friends told me to hit up FAKKU and I paid no mind to it. They ended up favouriting it and I thought, "maybe i can actually make something of this". So from time to time I would just keep tweeting them as a little joke, and it slowly became a thing among my twitter followers. They never really gave me a response, so last week I just tweeted that I wasn't gonna tweet them anymore. Then out of nowhere Jacob, the owner of FAKKU, tweets me saying to "not give up". Instantly I thought that he was actually interested. And the rest is now lewd history.
SC: So you're now the first Smasher that has been sponsored by the sector of the adult industry which is a unique distinction for sure. Can you talk a bit about the contract or agreement you came to with Fakku?
Cw: So the sponsorship may seem really huge since a company like FAKKU is sponsoring a smash player, but it's nothing compared to the likes of C9 or Team Liquid. I won't go into full detail about the agreement but I can provide some information since some people are still curious. Basically, FAKKU will be sending me some merch which I can decide what to do with, as well as promotion for any of my projects or events. Jacob really just wants to support me as a player and I don't expect too much in return from him since sponsoring me has already been enough. There are more things in the works, including a possible FAKKU jersey, but that will be announced later in the future.
SC: So with the potential of a FAKKU jersey, is there any other kind of promotion for FAKKU or its products you expect to do in tournaments or while producing Smash related content?
Cw: I'm definitely going to try my best in promoting FAKKU, but only when it's suitable. I know there are a lot of players in the Smash community that are young so I don't want to be taboo, although I know it will be hard to accomplish that. I'm planning on going back to streaming very soon so I'll be promoting them on on my channel a bunch, as well on my YouTube page where I'm going to be posting content from time to time. Tournaments may be risky due to the worry of age I already mentioned, but if people are comfortable with it then I'm willing to be more open about it too.
SC: It's good to see you are going to be responsible with this since it is a delicate thing. Are you worried some Smash events might be reluctant to let you play or be streamed due to the sponsorship?
Cw: Not so much. A company is supporting me in my endeavors to succeeding in a video game, so If I end up getting censored for that then it's just extremely unfortunate. I don't think I should be stripped of those kinds of opportinuties just because of an affiliation I have.
SC: So if that isn't much of a worry, how do you think this will impact the Smash scene in general?
Cw: I think this just shows that more companies will be open to the idea of supporting eSports, no matter what the company is involved in. With news like this, it just shines more light onto the smash community and opens more eyes to the scene.
SC: How does it feel to be treading new waters?
Cw: It's definitely interesting at the least! To know that I was able to be sponsored by a company that no one would even think would be involved in gaming? That's astounding. I hope that my tenacity proves to be worthwhile and can bring more organizations and sponsors into the scene.
SC: I do hope this does bring some other companies who may have never considered to get into Esports, especially Smash even if it is an unusual situation. Aside from the scene itself, how do you feel about the general public's reaction to the whole affair? I've seen many memes around like 20XXX after all.
Cw: The reaction I've gotten from people have been amazing, save for a few. A lot of people have been making cute jokes about it, which to me just shows they're comfortable with it. A few have thrown around some nasty words but it's all good.
SC: I was also wondering how you felt about the public's possible new perception of you after the announcement, will it bother you at all to be known as "that Smash guy sponsored by hentai"?
Cw: My identity in the scene has shifted many times, so I'm used to it. With the event that happened at McSmashter 4 and with running memes that happen on Twitter and Youtube, I just try to make the most out of it. A lot of my fans just bring smiles to my face when they say their jokes so I'm all for being known as "that Smash guy sponsored by hentai".
SC: Well I think that's all for the questions I have, thanks again for being awesome and doing this interview, do you have any final words, want to promote something, or say anything else for all of Smashboards to see?
Cw: Thank YOU Capps, this was a lot of fun! Just a quick plug to FAKKU of course! Also, check me out on Twitter, Twitch and Youtube I'm going to be posting a lot of content specifically on Youtube, and I'm going to be having a special FAKKU giveaway on there soon so be sure to check it out.
It was a pleasure to interview Coastward and I hope he has the best of luck with his new sponsorship. This is certainly an interesting turn of events for the Smash scene, and only time can tell where it will lead. To follow my own adventures or to suggest other players I should interview, tell me by following me on Twitter.