The latest in a recent trend of acquiring fighting game players, Immortals has added its first Smash player, Jason "Anti" Bates, to its growing esports team.
"It's an incredibly thrilling feeling being sponsored by a team that stresses success in and out of tournaments and only chooses the best of the best," he said.
Venture-capitalist-funded Immortals owns League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch teams. "I have two main goals with Immortals. The first goal is to bring as many eyes as possible to our brand, which will make us grow," Anti said. "And my second goal is to bring a premier championship to the Immortals house."
In the earlier days of Smash for Wii U and Brawl, Anti relied on his strong intuition and talent to carry him. As Smash continues to grow, he's invested more heavily into refining his craft by attending more events and practicing more rigorously. His hard work paid off in the summer where he won Community Effort Orlando 2016, surprising the audience with his charismatic top-8 entrance and equally impressive Mario and Cloud.
Even with the win, there is no break for Anti as his competition continues to improve. The metagame is still progressing rapidly as players continue to discover new techniques and optimize character matchups. Fortunately, Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios, the best player on the Panda Global Rankings, has moved to the East Coast.
"Having ZeRo only live one hour away from me is extremely beneficial to my Wii U career," Anti said. "We often find a day every week to just have an extended sit-down session and play for over seven hours at a time. That may not be good for our health, but we're dedicated to performing at our peak."
Between practice and tournaments, Anti is also known for his social media presence. Recently, he joked about preparing Diddy Kong as a character against Yuta "Abadango" Kawamura, poking fun at the player's poor history against the character. In another infamous moment, he had a dispute with Dalauan "LOWTI3RGOD" Sparrow on Twitter. LOWTI3RGOD stated that no Smash player would ever be able to defeat him in Street Fighter V. Anti responded to the challenge and ended up playing some matches with him online. Even though Anti only played Street Fighter on the side, he defeated LOWTI3RGOD in a series of matches, including a perfect round.
Anti even popularized the use of the word "jim," a somewhat derogatory term for socially oblivious fans. After asking whether or not Immortals would be OK with his social media banter, Anti said, "[Our CEO] actually appreciates the fact that I am very active on social media, so long as I keep it esports and continue to produce entertaining tweets, then everything is okay."
As a closing thought, Anti said, "Although I may express anger towards jims at times, I know they deep down mean no harm! Shoutout to the jims!"