You may have heard of Rainey Ovalle before and his trending social media content. His hilarious tweets and sometimes thoughtful social commentary might be what he's known for the most. Well, now you'll be glad to know that this charismatic Bronx native is now the founder of a new Esports organization and collective based out of NY. They call themselves Hearse Boys, and I was lucky enough to catch up with them for an interview in their early beginners before they take off and influence the whole FGC.
Him - Hey bro, how's it going?
Rainey Ovalle - Doin' alright! Thanks for asking.
Him - Congrats on the new Esports team and venture. Formally, how new would you say your team is to the scene?
Rainey Ovalle - Thank you so much! We've been on the scene just about 2 months now, but we're showing up at majors, putting in work at locals, and getting our name up on socials.
Him - Based out of the Bronx, right?
Rainey Ovalle - Yes, indeed. 9 out of 10 of us are from the Bronx. Will is from Queens. His mom said we had to let him play with us.
Him - Tell us what makes your clique unique? What do you bring to the Esports scene that maybe we aren't getting enough of?
Rainey Ovalle - I think we command certain respect when we enter a room. I'm very big on coordination, and when we're in uniform, I always make sure we move as a unit. We have that look about us when we're all decked out and stanced up. I think, being from the Bronx hardens you in a way that not many other places can.
And as far as what we bring? I think it's more about what we don't because there is a lot of pomp and pretense in the FGC in particular. We're not about all that. Hearse Boys, much like your favorite pro players, are fueled by the people. It's ridiculous to think we stand above anybody since we didn't make the FGC; the FGC made us. I think a lot of pro players lose sight of that. That's something we cannot afford.
Him - What games do Hearse Boys play?
Rainey Ovalle - Fighting games, mostly. Tekken, Street Fighter, and Super Smash Bros. more than anything. But we dabble in other games like Virtua Fighter, King of Fighters, UNIST, Persona ULTIMAX - and the lot.
Him - What do you think about the current state of the industry right now? It seems to be growing at a rapid rate.
Rainey Ovalle - Esports is definitely going Olympic within the next 5 to 10 years. I believe capitalizing on that sooner than later would benefit us in the long run. But I also think there's a distinction to be made between the Fighting Game Community (FGC), and Esports - on the surface they seem synonymous, but it's the intricacies that set one apart from the other.
As for the current state of Esports; I believe it's always been about putting on a show for the audience/consumer. That's what Esports is: an industry. The FGC is - as the name suggests - a community. And as I touched on in a previous answer, I think certain negative aspects of Esports mentality is bleeding into the FGC, and we have to nip that in the bud.
Him - Can we expect any big plans from the team this year? Who's on the roster?
Rainey Ovalle - If I'm being honest, no. I started this with big dreams and a small budget. A very small budget. Like a "less than 5k" budget. So the rest of this year is all about local tourney presence, building social media capital, and getting better at the games we love - all while putting our city at the forefront. The roster in its entirety is in the @HearseBoys Twitter pinned tweet.
Him - Favorite game of all time?
Rainey Ovalle - Mega Man X.
Him - I know you're a very creative guy, and you're always bringing joy to your followers. How does personally issuing social media differentiate for the Esports brand? Will they be more in alignment in the future?
Rainey Ovalle - I can get very political on my personal account, and I think I tend to scare people away with it sometimes, but some stuff you can't be quiet about. Certain things require taking a stand and taking it publicly, so people know what you're about. That's a very Bronx mentality to have, I believe. And that's what makes HB work so well.
We're all like-minded left-leaning individuals who love and support each other and everyone else regardless of how they identify or who they love. But as far as the accounts themselves, I want the HB account to stay focused on HB and FGC related content. It's hard to say whether or not they'll intersect more in the future, but I wouldn't be opposed to it.
Him - What are the long term goals for Hearse Boys?
Rainey Ovalle - Getting the Bronx the recognition and respect it deserves. I, personally, want HB to be a pillar in the FGC, much like @bum163 or @IFCYipeS. I want our name to be synonymous with the Bronx and the community as a whole. I want our name to hold weight. I want people to shudder at the sight of our jerseys at tournaments and spectators to love us.
Him - Any other players or people in Esports you want to shoutout?
Him - How can we keep in touch with what's next for you guys?
Rainey Ovalle - Twitter is the best way, right now. @HearseBoys is our account, and the pinned tweet is where you can keep up with all our members individually. We're working on streaming but that's definitely gonna take a while before we perfect it. But I'd say Twitter is the best way to reach us, as we're not exactly active on any other socials.
Him - Thanks for your time, man.