Hyuga (right) shaking hands with FOW at Genesis 3
One of the most exciting things in the Smash 4 community right now is its new challengers approaching. While some are still well-known from their days in Brawl, there are many players just beginning to make a splash on the scene. While many have had their moments to shine, few can say they did so by taking down Nairo at one of the most stacked Smash 4 events of all time and almost breaking into the top 8. The one who can is Hyuga.
Twenty-two-year-old Cristian "Hyuga" Medina comes form Nezahualcoyotl, México and was not expected to achieve as much as he did at the event. When it was learned that MKLeo, the Mexican Meta Knight that took down Mr. R and arguably popularized the character, wouldn't be attending, many assumed that México wouldn't be making waves. Even the trailer for México at Genesis 3 showed a haunting image of Meta Knight's mask and a singular message: "For you Leo."
This common behavior of overlooking his skills and instead focusing on MKLeo did not discourage him in the least: "That never affects me," he said. "I showed what I am capable of, and I want more!" he told us. "My hardest challenge has been always to defeat Leo, I could only win the very first time we played. I have been trying and I hope I will do it soon and claim back the title of best player of México."
He already showed he doesn't bend under pressure after a tense set against Nairo: "I was so determined, I knew we would have to play," he said. "I hadn't studied him or anything, that's not my style. I just thought about winning, but in our first set I was losing really badly." Despite this, he refused to be shaken: "I thought he was on another level, but I remembered all my training and started to focus. When I won the first set I was at my 100% and I told myself: 'It is impossible, I cannot lose!'"
He would continue to fight on in the tournament, but would be sent to losers by FOW (who placed 5th) and eventually be eliminated by Marss. It was hard on him to miss out on the top eight, but he remains optimistic: "I was doing a great job, I could have gotten very far. As this is my first USA tournament it's still good. I learned a lot!"
He describes his experience at Genesis 3 as the best experience in his entire Smash career: "Genesis 3 was amazing! I had always wanted travel to play in a tournament with the best players in the world. It was like a Mexican Smasher's dream."
This feat of skill is made all the more impressive by it being his first time in the United States. Thanks to people like Panda Global's Bear, many of the players from México were able to obtain a visa, something that can be very difficult. "I was lucky, I got my Visa and could travel with it. In México it is very complicated to travel with problems with visas, money, etc. Not everyone can do it."
Some of his ease in finding a visa came from his studies at the National Autonomous University of México, UNAM, which is widely considered one of the best universities in México. He is in his 4th semester studying Chemical Engineering there. He does so as his father has a career doing the same, and Hyuga hopes it will allow him to safely have work in the future.
Fortunately, his only real focus outside of school is Smash, as he has a hard time juggling both as it is. "I can't play all days, but when I have time, I play Smash." School is his top priority, even going so far to say he would focus on it even if Smash could be his full time career: "Smash for me isn't a job, it's a game, a passion. I can't drop my school for Smash. School for me is my top priority."
One of the more interesting things about Hyuga is his choice of character in Toon Link, who he truly thinks is among the best characters in the game: "Toon Link has good kill confirms and a good recovery. He is so strong, he can kill every opponent from 80-120%. Plus he has a good weight, he doesn't die early. And he has green clothes!"
Hyuga is hoping to attend as many majors as he can in the United States in the coming year in order to achieve his new goal: "Before, I just wanted to be the best Toon Link player in the world. Now I want to be the best player in the world who happens to use Toon Link."
He also has high hopes that more people will come to México to compete: "Here, the tournaments are growing. SmashFactor for example, is getting more and better prizes, as well as more people attending. SmashFactor 5 will be amazing! I hope the United States community is thinking about going. It's a great party for Smash!"
He ended the interview with these words of wisdom to any who strives for greatness like he does: "To do your best, practice a lot and do not give up. You will not always have good results. Those moments and the way you handle them will be the most important thing in your career in Smash."
A special thank you to Hyuga for participating in this article. To keep up with his future adventures in Smash, follow him on Twitter @iThMedina. To continue following the ever-expanding story of Smash 4, be sure to stay tuned to Smashboards: there is so much more to come.