For me, being a competitor is like living through all the character progression and cool moments in anime I watched as a kid. When Ichigo fights through the entirety of Soul society, going from fresh shinigami to battling with Kenpachi, a man said to be impossible to kill. It's a journey of personal growth. Competing in the FGC is my Hollow Ichigo, an inner conflict that I will never tire of battling with. It's the most rewarding and fun experience I've ever had with a hobby, and probably will ever have going forward.
The FGC has to be the most welcoming community I have ever been in. I grew up playing games in an arcade, where community was all we had keeping the scene alive. The people in that arcade saw this little kid trying to play 3rd Strike for the first time, and they looked at me and said, "Let me teach you how to Parry." Fast forward to COVID where all I had was the online scene, and was learning Xrd rev 2 for the first time. I hopped into a discord and asked for games and ended up making some great friends in the process. Even at Full Combo Fights, being a new player to the local, the people around me were quick to comfort me for my losses and congratulate me for my wins. The FGC feels like a home, a place I can seek solace in no matter what's going on in my life, and I will always be grateful for the people in my hometown arcade who looked at me and said, "Let's teach this kid a f***ing infinite."
FCF has been incredible so far! As I said before, the Players and TO's have been super welcoming so far. The first time I came to the Fresno local, Dani himself told me "I was looking forward to you playing, man!" That was a huge motivator for me. Life was kicking me around and I was struggling to find my motivation to compete, but coming to FCF really kicked me back into (Guilty) Gear (Strive). Going forward, I'll be FCF's resident Sol Up-Player, so get ready to see more Rockin' Blue Sol on the cabs!