Interview with Mr. Universe

Jacob Nash

Multiversus is a platform fighting game that launched earlier this year, gaining massive popularity over the past few months. What sets it apart from other platform fighting games, such as the genre-defining Super Smash Bros. series, is its focus on two-on-two team battles. It also boasts an ever-expanding roster of Warner Bros. characters. Video game tournaments were quick to feature Multiversus, and many professional gamers have stepped up in an attempt to win generous cash prizes. One such player is Josh Dedios, better known online as LightWhisp, who is considered to be the best Steven Universe player in the world. He is currently a freshman at Worcester State, and I got the opportunity to ask him some questions. Here is the transcription of my interview with Josh.

Interviewer: “Alright, let’s begin the interview. How are you today, Josh?”

Josh: “Doing good, how are you?”

Interviewer: “I’m good as well. So, you’re one of the top Multiversus players?”

Josh: “Yeah, I’m the best Steven [player] in the world right now, and I’m one of the top players in the world.”

Interviewer: “That’s pretty cool. When did you get into professional gaming?”

Josh: “I’ve always liked the idea ever since 8th grade. I thought it would be cool to be on a professional stage; I get to do what I like and I get to do it for money. I was always interested, but I never got into it until this summer.”

Interviewer: “Was Multiversus the first game you wanted to go pro with?”

Josh: “I had wanted to compete in other games, but this is the first game I was realistically good enough to try at a professional level.”

Interviewer: “What made you want to play this game? Was there anything that immediately grabbed you?”

Josh: “I like the 2 versus 2 format, and since it’s Warner Bros. there are a lot of iconic characters to play.”

Interviewer: “Which characters do you like to play as?”

Josh: “If it’s not Steven, I won’t play it.”

Interviewer: “He’s the only character you’ll play.”

Josh: “Yeah, the only character.”

Interviewer: “What do you like about playing as Steven?”

Josh: “I started playing him because I was a big fan of the show growing up. I think it’s really fun to throw his shield and create space between my team and the other team. You can control the pace of the game if you know what you’re doing. He’s one of the hardest characters to master, and I like that about him.”

Interviewer: “Which characters would you say synergize well with Steven?”

Josh: “I would say most characters, but the best partners are Wonder Woman, Arya Stark, Batman, really anyone who works well in the air. Anyone who can score knockouts off the top of the stage.”

Interviewer: “I see. What do you like about the 2 versus 2 format?”

Josh: “I like how fast it can be. And with the way 2v2 works, it’s really cool to see characters synergize and do things you’d never expect in a fighting game.”

Interviewer: “There have been many comparisons between Mutliversus and Super Smash Bros. Which game do you prefer?”

Josh: “I’d say I probably prefer Multiversus. Smash Bros. is more refined, but that series has had decades of refinement, and I think Multiversus is more ambitious.”

Interviewer: “Are there any characters you’d like to see added to Multiversus down the line?”

Josh: “I know Samurai Jack would be a popular addition. Walter White’s pretty popular as well. Personally, I’d like to see Spinel [from the Steven Universe movie] added in. She has a scythe, and I think it would be cool to see a scythe user in Multiversus.”

Interviewer: “Yeah, I’ve seen plenty of scythe users in traditional fighting games, but not really any platform fighting games.”

Josh: “I know Brawlhalla has a scythe user, since that platform fighter is more focused on weapons. I think something akin to a Brawlhalla character in Multiversus would be really unique.”

Interviewer: “Do you play Brawlhalla or any other platform fighters regularly?”

Josh: “I used to play Smash Bros. a lot. I’ve been playing Brawlhalla a bit, just to test the waters and see if it would be realistic to go pro in that game too. But right now it’s mainly Multiversus.”

Interviewer: “Is there anything you’d like to see improved in Multiversus?”

Josh: “The stability of the online servers could be improved. Players are dropping the game because it’s really hard to have a stable connection. You really can’t do East to West online tournaments or anything coast to coast. Fixing the online would be a great place to start.”

Interviewer: “Are there any characters you don’t like playing against?”

Josh: “Yeah, I can think of a couple. Jake the Dog is annoying because he has a lot of high-ranged attacks that can stuff you out. He’s generally pretty annoying to play against. Stripe is absolutely the most annoying character to play against. He has the capability to knock you out with one move if you’re not careful. He’s also really fast and really hard to hit. And then there’s Morty. Morty can fill any role, like attacker, defender, ranged, or support, without any downsides.”

Interviewer: “So you’d say Morty is like a jack of all trades?”

Josh: “Yeah, he’s really good at every role in the game.”

Interviewer: “I see. Besides video games, do you have any other hobbies or things you’re interested in?”

Josh: “Yeah! I love to do graphic design, video editing, I like to make things. Anything that involves making something out of nothing really appeals to me. The arts as a whole really appeal to me.”

Interviewer: “Did that influence your decision to go to Worcester State?”

Josh: “Nah, I came here mainly for psychology. I live in California, so I was also curious to see what it was like to live in the East.”

Interviewer: “Do you think Worcester State was a good choice over other colleges in New England?”

Josh: “It’s really expensive to go anywhere out of state. So when it came down to it, other options either didn’t fit what I wanted or were just way too expensive.”

Interviewer: “Understandable. Regardless, you’ve enjoyed your stay here?”

Josh: “Yeah, I like it here. It’s really homey, and everyone I’ve met is really welcoming, especially on my floor. It’s kinda surprising how nice everyone is around here.”

Interviewer: “Us ‘Massholes’ have a bit of a reputation, don’t we? Mainly when it comes to sports.”

Josh: *laughs* “Yeah. There are some things that surprise me about living in the Northeast. I mean, I should have expected sports to be a big deal here. I was reminded of how big sports are in Massachusetts when I saw our college football team. Coming from California, where it’s all business and tech, it’s kinda refreshing to have a new perspective, I guess.”

Interviewer: “That makes sense. Your online tag is LightWhisp, right? How’d you come up with that?”

Josh: *laughs* “When I was a kid, my name used to be SuperSonicJosh online. So that’s really corny, and I definitely don’t want to do that anymore, but I want to at least have a callback to it. So there are these things in Sonic games called Wisps.”

Interviewer: “Yeah, from Sonic Colors.”

Josh: “Right. I added an h to the name to make LightWhisp, so it’s not obvious where it’s from. But I still know where it’s from.”

Interviewer: “Which tournaments have you won?”

Josh: “I’ve won a few tournaments, the most notable one being LTC [Lost Tech City] in Texas. It was the second biggest tournament that the game ever held. I wasn’t able to go to the biggest one, but I went to LTC with Sandstorm, who is debatably the best Brawlhalla player.”

Interviewer: “Who did Sandstorm play as?”

Josh: “He was playing Wonder Woman. We went together, and we won the whole tournament.”

Interviewer: “Has it been fun going to tournaments?”

Josh: “It has. I love competing at tournaments so much, and I really like the travel aspect. It’s hard to make it work with school, though. When I went to LTC, I had to miss some classes. It’s been hard trying to maintain a 4.0 GPA. Thankfully I’ve been able to do so, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t come with a lot of stress.”

Interviewer: “Yeah, it sounds tricky to have to balance everything at once.”

Josh: “You just gotta figure out a balance. I just hope I can keep a stride going and keep winning at tournaments.”

Interviewer: “Have you received any notoriety at tournaments?”

Josh: “Yes, I have. Anytime you think of Multiversus and Steven, my name will probably show up in the conversation.”

Interviewer: “I suppose that makes you ‘Mr. Universe’ in a sense?”

Josh: *laughs* “Yeah, it’s a nickname my friends have given me. They call me Mr. Universe whenever they want to poke fun at me.”

Interviewer: “Well, Josh, it seems like we really got to know you.”

Josh: “Yeah, it was fun.”

Interviewer: “Same here. Thank you for giving me some of your time for this interview.”

Josh: “Of course! And thank you, I appreciate it.”

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