The Pride Icebreaker: Who's your partner?

June 30 2019

Once again, it’s the most fabulous time of the year! Pride has rolled around again and as a writer for Team Liquid, I wanted to celebrate it. However, figuring out a way to do it tastefully can be kind of tricky. Nearly everyone who has been in the LGBT+ community for a while knows how quickly Pride and all the identities within it can get exploited for their pink dollars. It’s a hot topic every time June rolls around and with good reason.

After talking about it in the writer’s room, all of us on the content team decided to go in a direction that could give our LGBTQ+ staff a voice during Pride. At the same time, we didn’t want to go over the heavy topics lots of LGBT+ are tired of explaining and clarifying. We wanted to have a bit of fun with it.

In the end, it all came down to one question: Out of all of the games TL is in, which character do you think would make the best partner? I got to ask this Pride icebreaker to a bunch of the LGBT+ folk in Team Liquid and boy was it fun!

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When I started this project, I was sure to reach out to Vivian first. We both write for TL and have collaborated on some cool stuff, including a new entry into Vivian’s Liquid Beauty lineup (coming soon). When Pride came around, we were both excited to jump right in and write something that would fit the month.

“Asuka Kazama would probably be a super awesome partner because she's not afraid to fight for herself or for her family. Her story is that someone roughed up her dad and sent him to the hospital, and she wanted to find the perpetrator. The person ended up competing in the King of Iron Fist Tournament, so she signed up too and found the culprit, Feng Wei. Needless to say she took care of him, and in the most elegant way possible too. XD She literally doesn't take shit from anyone, and her Kazama Style Martial Arts is one of the most versatile fighting styles I've ever seen. She's always been my main and even though I haven't played for a while and am probably trash at this point, I still love her and I love the game.”

Boy do I get that. I picked from Smash Bros. Ultimate, a game where I can barely short hop consistently. Vivian got pretty lucky to pick a Tekken character at all. Fortunately, we picked up Gen just before June and so the Tekken gates have opened. Curious about how she found her pick, I asked if her opinion came from Asuka’s story or the way she played in-game.

“It was a combination of both. It started with a great moveset. It wasn't as complex or fluid as Xiaoyu, not super dependent on one particular body part (e.g. Christie and Eddy with their Capoeira), but not super slow/heavy like King or Marduk. However, when I progressed in to her story mode, I fell in love with her character — someone with a good balance of strength and femininity.”

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When you ask a question like this, sometimes brevity is a blessing. Sarah, our NA Discord Community Manager, got straight to it.

“I’d make Lifeline my wifey. She’s dedicated her life to helping others, she’d be there to support me, and knows that giving a little care package to treat someone makes their day.”

Elegance in simplicity. When you’ve got a support character named Lifeline, you already know they belong in the S-tier of romantic options.

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When I unleashed this question on my unsuspecting coworkers, I was ready to give them time to think of an answer. We’re involved in over 10 different games now and some of them have over 50 characters! It’s a big choice to be made from a bigger pool.

Most of them needed that time. Most of them, but not Tiffany. In less than a minute, she sent me a message back that read, “kirby.”

Kirby indeed.
Okay, as much as I was tempted to leave it at that, I followed up with some questions and the conversation went as follows:

Me: Lol, is that your final answer?
Tiffany: Actually he’d be a terrible partner but I love him anyway — succ the troubles away.
Me: Yeah, you know he couldn't help with the bills or complex emotional struggles, but he'd definitely be there for you.
Tiffany: Exactly. A more serious answer is that there's too much to really choose from and I have no real desire for most of them because I don't really 'know' them very well. I have to know them to really see them as a partner. Evelynn? Hot. As a partner? Highly questionable.
Me: Oh for sure, it's tough because you have to be careful not to tunnel on looks. You would definitely just die if you had Evelynn as a partner. I also think there are two approaches to the question, which is "They join my world" or "I join their world" and if it were the case that you became a Kirby creature and chilled in Dreamland, not gonna lie, that'd be a sweet gig!
Tiffany: Yes. It’s me, the new waddle doo friend!

By the end, I was pretty convinced! Kirby might be low tier in Ultimate but he’s high tier in the world of romance. Rest assured, this character can be your rock. Don’t worry, this character’s ability to empathize is off the charts. Have no fear, this character will always be there because I’m pretty sure he is beyond death.

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Last but not least is me! I’m a writer for Team Liquid and I specialize in writing beautiful nonsense like this article. Naturally, I’ve thought about this question way too hard — like harder than I’ve thought about actually dating real people. I came to the conclusion that my partner needs to be more than just attractive but caring, kind, and that little bit goofy too.

Since I’m a Fire Emblem fan and Nintendo is gradually turning the franchise into a dating simulator anyways, I went with Chrom. Marth is canonically oblivious to his love interests and I’m way too awkward and busy to try and chase him down. While Roy is my main in Ultimate, I don’t think I’d see him much since he’s a king and frankly a royal affair is way too stressful for this queen. In my mind the top tier husbando is truly Chrom. Simply put, this man is the full package. He’s a good dad and a good spouse in his own game, he takes his role in life seriously but not so seriously that he can’t be a little goofy, and he’s there for his crew. This is a guy that will hold you up during the bad times and laugh with you during the good.

Plus he’s a looker. It’s not just the well-styled blue hair or firm biceps either, Chrom has the fashion. Forget the chunky fantasy pauldrons, throw out the plain medieval armor, Chrom has a bold, Prince-esque outfit that highlights his form in an ostentatious way. Man knows how to look good on the battlefield. Plus, the dude moves like he’s in melee and I’m sure that’s good for something. I’d just hope he doesn’t scream, “HOW ABOUT THIS!!” in bed.

Well, that’s it for us at Team Liquid — at least for this year! I hope that you’ve had as much fun reading this as we did talking about it. At the very least, now you’ve got a new icebreaker for when you land that Tinder date! In the meantime, you can let us know what you think. Who’s the best partner for you? Who’s the worst? And from all of us at Team Liquid, we hope you take pride in who you are.

Writer // Austin Ryan

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