Interview With Mayb: New Jersey's #1 Melee Player
Mon 12th Feb 2018 - 8:57pm
Kilmer "Mayb" Varela is the best Melee player in New Jersey and a top 100 contender in 2017. His extremely strong Peach has netted him wins over Abate and some of Tri-state's best last year. We got the chance to speak to him about the improvement he underwent since starting the game not too long ago, and some of the stand-out moments in his career thus far.
Coming off of Genesis 5 a few weeks ago, how did it feel getting up to winner's side top 64? And how did you find the tournament experience overall?
Mayb: Going into it, I knew I had a really good bracket, so I thought I had a good chance of making top 64 winner's and I honestly wasn’t too surprised. I had to play ARMY into bunk to get in. In top 64 winner's, I had to play axe. I took game 1, and the next two games I lost kind of bad. In game 4, I was up. He was at 160%, I was at 0%, and I got gimped by the tail spike last stock. I had a really good chance of taking that to game 5.
To start off the more formal questions, how did you find out competitive Melee and why did you decide to get into it?
Mayb: In my senior year of high school, I had a couple of friends who played it not too seriously, but they had watched the documentary. So I played with them a little bit and watched the doc, and that’s just how it started.
What made you choose Peach?
Mayb: Well, I originally started as Young Link. Armada was always my favorite player from the start, so I picked up Young Link because I saw the Hbox/Armada sets where he went Young Link versus his Puff. But after a while I realized that I really didn’t like that character, so I picked Armada’s main instead. She was always a lot of fun.
What do you think was the reason behind your extremely rapid improvement?
Mayb: I think my main improvement was through netplay. I played 8-10 hours a day the first couple of months. Within my first 3-4 months, I was already what would be a PR level player in New Jersey, in my opinion. I just didn’t really go to tournaments till 6 months in.
Mayb: Probably me versus Abate at Big House 7.
Since there aren’t many Luigis in Tri-State, what do you think gave you the edge in the set?
Mayb: I’ve only ever played against like 1 or 2 Luigis before and I really was not ready to play Abate. I just kind of banked on Peach’s amazing aerials. I did a lot of stuff that not many other people would do, like go for full hop fair reads and stuff like that, and I think that’s what really helped me in the end in that set.
How do you feel about NJ/NY Melee? Any players in there that really pushed you to grind harder?
Mayb: So there’s some other players in Tri-State that started around a similar time as me on netplay, like IBDW and 2Saint. We all started going to tournaments at around the same time too. I think that that was the biggest thing, we all got better together.
What’s your current Melee related goal you want to achieve by the end of the year?
Mayb: I definitely want to get top 32 at an upcoming major. That alongside being on the top 100.
Besides Melee, are there any other games you play competitively or have any interest to?
Mayb: I don’t really play any other game very seriously. Melee has been the only one I’ve taken super seriously, but I play PUBG on the side and that’s about it. I don’t really play any other games honestly.
Favorite player to watch?
Mayb: Honestly, Armada’s Peach is just so crazy to me. I can watch him against anyone and be so impressed with the stuff he does.
What was your favorite tournament to watch and attend as a spectator, not as a competitor?
Mayb: For my favorite tournament experience, I think Royal Flush was easily the best viewer experience ever for me. It was one of the craziest, Game 15, Armada versus Mango. Those sets are always amazing.
Thanks for answering us! Any shoutouts?
Mayb: Shoutouts to NJ Melee, they’re all the homies. Love that region dude.
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