By: Zachary Lange
After making one of the longest losers bracket runs in Smash history at Smash Conference United on Jan. 5-6, Ezra “Samsora” Morris made the short drive back from Port St. Lucie, Fla. to his home in South Florida.
He described himself as “mentally and physically exhausted” on Twitter the same night after the event. It’s what happens when somebody, who is set on a mission to become the best, finishes just short of their goal in second place.
The next morning, it was off to school at a local state college to register for classes on the first day of the spring semester. Between balancing school, streaming and practicing for upcoming events across the country, the 20-year-old has a loaded schedule. Add in that he lives in, arguably, the best region in terms of skill for Smash players in North America and competes in smaller, local tournament regularly.
I sat down with him briefly to discuss Princess Peach, his relationship with his mom and what to expect at upcoming events.
Zachary Lange: A lot of people would categorize you as young and emerging. Is that fair? How would you describe yourself as a player?
Samsora: I would describe myself as an experienced player. I’m young but experienced because I’ve been competing since Brawl (2008). Even though I’m super young, I’m only 20 years old, I’ve been competing for quite a bit.
To describe myself as a player, as in, like what?
ZL: However you want, really.
S: I am a read based player and reactionary based player. As in, I react or try to punish a lot of things based on how fast my reactions are. And I try to put on a lot of pressure.
I like to play to where people who are watching me are having fun watching me.
ZL: For those who may not know, briefly describe your background in Smash?
S: I got started through my uncle. He had brought the game to me and we started playing a lot. He’s the one who first started competing locally for a little bit.
And then after that, I started to compete. Took a break between 2010 to 2013 and then that’s where I really started going to more locals, start playing more online in Brawl, start playing (locally)…I actually won my first local. Which is interesting. I won my first Brawl local. My first Smash 4 local and my first Ultimate local. Which is funny to me.
That just naturally transgressed to me competing (at events across the country) in Smash 4 and now Ultimate.
ZL: Talk about Peach as your main character in Smash Ultimate. Why her?
S: I love Peach because I love the fact that I can kick butt with a princess and not feel bad about it. Peach is one of my favorite characters from all the Mario franchise. I always used her in Mario Party, Mario Kart, Mario Golf…any type of Mario game.
I like how technical she is. The level of play that you have use her at, or that I have to display is very intriguing to me. Not anyone can pick her up, and I like the high skill barrier that she demands.
ZL: Many people described your losers bracket run at Smash Conference United as one of the more historic runs in all of Smash. What was working that day for you?
S: I really didn’t want to get announced by my sponsor (eUnited) the day before and place really low. That was my main motivation. And I knew it, as a player, that I could possibly take the tournament or go really far.
And so throughout my matches I was actually really mad at myself that I had lost so early. I hadn’t lost in pools over eight, nine months. It’s been a while, so I wanted to prove to myself that I’m not an overhyped player, I can actually still compete with the best. That I’m still a top-8 contender.
ZL: I noticed that, almost like a switch was flipped. There was just that competitive edge to you. You were mean mugging man! You were angry, and I could tell you…
S: (Laughs) I was just mad!
ZL: You were pissed! When you get to that point. Does your game elevate to the next level for you?
S: It does elevate to the next level. I was watching myself play and I never played that like before. Just…straight confidence. I was just so confident in all my reads and hopefully I can use that at multiple tournaments.
Or maybe it’s just a losers run thing? Because when I go to losers I actually feel threatened that, “Oh, I don’t know how many more chances, I could actually get out the tournament.” That’s why I feel like losers is where I just best play at.
ZL: Your relationship with your mom is something that is really unique. You recently streamed with her and plan to make it a weekly event. What has she meant to your career?
S: She does everything for me. I would not be where I’m at. She books my flights. She reminds of everything I have to do. She is like my manager and I would not be where I am if it’s not for her.
She’s also very supportive, as in she always supports my stream and my gaming career. She always supports me at tournaments, always watching me there. Just sitting in my room watching me practice because she knows and understands how important it is.
I’m really appreciative of her.
.@Samsora_ finishes in second place at @SmashConference after an amazing run through the lower bracket!— eUnited (@eUnitedgg) January 7, 2019
The future is looking bright for Sam after his performance today! #StandUnited pic.twitter.com/bj16M9oZGA
ZL: You can play a game of Smash with three other people (or things) of your choosing, dead or alive, fake or fiction. Who are you choosing, and why?
S: First I’m choosing Jennifer Lawrence because she’s my ultimate wife in life.
And then, do they have to be real people?
ZL: They can be real people or fictional characters. Really, it’s open.
Samsora initially listed the character Ahri from League of Legends, but scratched that choice for two others.
S: Oh! I would choose Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse is another one of my favorite fictional characters. There’s just something about me and Mickey Mouse and we just click together. I have so much merchandise it’s just amazing.
I would choose Princess Peach. I don’t think I need any explanation for that, she’s just everything.
ZL: You can add one special ability to Peach’s repertoire in Smash, but you have to give up one of her pre-existing moves. What would you come up with?
S: I would get rid of her (thinks for a moment), have you ever played Super Princess Peach? I think it would be such a great idea if they made her parasol into her kit.
She had a magic parasol in that game and it had a bunch of different powers, so I would replace her up B with the parasol and have it do different effects.
Maybe I’m at high HP (damage), and the parasol will do more damage. Or maybe I’m at mid percent (damage) and the parasol would go further. I think that would be a good change.
I also just love Super Princess Peach. It’s my favorite game.
ZL: Finally, you’re attending Genesis 6 and Frostbite 2019 in the upcoming weeks, what are your expectations and what do you look forward to most?
S: I really want one title, and I think I can do it with Peach in this game because she’s really good. My expectation is top-5 or 4, but even then, I still want to be in grand finals. Grand finals is a good feeling that I barely got in Smash 4.
ZL: Would you say a rematch with MKLeo is something you’d really want?
S: Yes, I really want a rematch with him. I know what I did wrong, I think I could probably take it next time.