Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Brian Morris, who currently is displayed on card 4084, from the Superstars of 2022 Collection. Coach Brian is Esports coach for Canute schools in Canute, Oklahoma. Brian has coached gamers who have won championships in Paladins, Madden Football, CS:GO, and WWE2K.  Brian is also the founder and executive director of Oklahoma Scholastic Esports. His goal is to expand all the schools in Oklahoma to an Esports scholastic sport, with as many students as possible.

What does it take to be an Esports Champion?

This question is one I feel like could be answered many ways and so for me, I feel as though to be an esports champion, you’ve got to take the time to put into the craft. If you want to be a champion you have to maintain a positive outlook/attitude, you’ve got to put in time into your game(s), you’ve got to take time for yourself and stay healthy, and last but not least you’ve got to analyze your competitors and make moves that strategically could give you an advantage. Never give up, never quit, and always work to be better.

Do you remember your first tournament you coached and what do you remember about it?

The first tournament I coached was the 2021-2022 season in Oklahoma Scholastic Esports. It was with my Paladins team and we were in the State Championship in person at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford Oklahoma. I’ll never forget the adrenaline rush I got after we won and how my kids all wore business suits and had bananas inside their jacket pockets that they had kept from their sack lunches that day.

What are your opinions about today’s generation of Esports players? How do you compare them to players 10 years ago?

Today’s generation of esports players are amazing, don’t get me wrong 10 years ago the players were amazing too, but this generation is really re-defining some of the stereotypes given to esports players.

When did you first coach Esports players? And what caught your interest?

2019 was the first time I ever coached esports players here in Oklahoma, it was absolutely wild. Our first year we had 3 state qualifiers for playoffs, and we had 2 that made the State Championship. I had 1 bring home a State Championship in Madden. What caught my interest is the fact that here’s this group of kids that really didn’t want to be at school or care about school and I brought them together and now they want to be at school, their grades are good, and they have a better path to success and graduation.

Which gaming console is your and why?

Gaming console that is my favorite has to be the Sega Dreamcast. I know, I know. I could have said Sony Playstation or Xbox or Nintendo Gamecube/N64 but, for me it was the Dreamcast. I loved that thing, it was way too advanced for its time and unfortunately Sega fumbled such a great console because my best friend and I had one and played Power Stone, Sonic Adventures, and Blue Stinger until the sun came up several times!

Do you remember your first video game you played and what do you remember about it?

The very first video game I ever played was Galaga. I loved this game because of the colors, sounds, and general overall challenge of the game. It didn’t seem hard but there were strategic points you had to do like sacrificing a ship in order to be able to double up and take out the enemies.

What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?

Honestly, I play a ton of different genres but some of my favorite games of all time has to be Halo (Infinite & Master Chief Collection unless we are talking about OG Halo then it’s Reach/3/2) the Civilization Series, NCAA Football 14 until 25 comes out, and I love Super Mario RPG that just was remastered for Nintendo Switch.

Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?

I do not, feel as though video games lead to violence in America. I feel as though there are many other factors that are not taken into account and video games get the automatic blame. If Video Games are the blaming factor, then why after Mortal Kombat was originally released did we not see people ripping other people’s hearts and/or spines out of their bodies? People want to blame things instead of individuals and it’s unfortunate because it is leading to organizations not being able to offer games for esports that colleges play on a scholarship level.

Do you prefer playing video games alone or against friends and why?

I enjoy occasionally playing alone as long as it has a good story (Fable) or it’s a sports game. I don’t mind multiplayer games but the one thing I absolutely miss is couch-co-op games like a true Mario Party style game.

Did you ever think one day you would be on a video game trading card?

Honestly, I did not think I would be this involved with video games and esports. I grew up in an arcade and so I thought my days of just playing for fun is all that it would end up being, just for fun. Instead, I’ve created Oklahoma Scholastic Esports, the largest 4th-12th esports non-profit organization in Oklahoma.

When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?

Honestly, I believe the first time I ever saw Walter Day was in the 2008 Guinness World Records – Gamers Edition book. I had no idea who he was until then and now that I know it is absolutely amazing what he has done and been a part of!

If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?

Pioneer, he deserves that title because he really has set himself apart from the industry in terms of how he did what he did. He didn’t set out from day 1 to be highly involved in the video game industry but he became involved in his own way and his own path which in itself is amazing.

What are some of your most proud tournament wins and why?

I think one of my most proud tournament wins was at a random smash tournament in Altus Oklahoma. I had taken my esports students to this event so they could compete, well the organizer was needing some more people in the pool and so I entered, and I actually ended up beating the #5 Diddy Kong in the state in Smash, and I’ll be honest, I’m not great!

What was your first impression of a fighting games and why did it appeal to you?

I am a huge fighting game fan, for me my very first fighter was Mortal Kombat, and I loved it but the one that really took me to the next level and even got me deeply involved with fighters was Sega’s Virtua Fighter. I just loved the graphics and the fighting styles at the time.

What is your favorite arcade game of all time?

It has to be Street Fighter! Loved that game as a kid and still love the Series to this day!

If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?

Oh, great question, I actually had a script a buddy and me made while in High School, but it’s been lost throughout the years but basically it was like if you took Earthbound and added elements from Fable. Our main character would have been a girl by the name of Holly who had to defeat the evil Markimus Prime, a devil from the Underworld.

How do you see competitive Super Smash Bros. and fighting games in the next 10 years?

I think the FGC is going to continue to explode and it might actually hold up the esports realm while it rebuilds. I believe we are going to go through a phase of games that colleges and pros will have to make a decision do we keep supporting this or do we start down this track. I just hope we get a new smash with even more characters to unlock and battle with!

 

 

Todd Friedman Todd Friedman (390 Posts)

Todd Friedman is heavily involved in the retro gaming community and has co-promoted the Video Game Summit in Chicago, IL for the past 16 years. He also has published 2 books and written for various different gaming magazines including Old School Gamer.