A.D. Solo: “I want to give competitors a platform to be able to share their stories.”

Adrienne Solo, known in the Mortal Kombat/Fighting Game Community as A.D. Solo, is a pretty admirable person. Although she was introduced to me as an interviewer, on Twitter she’s been a source of motivation and inspiration. I asked her for an interview because I wanted to know why she became an interviewer as well as why she chose to be a part of the FGC. She made sure to give me a story I’d be proud to relay to you all.

“I got my start in gaming fairly young, at around five or six years old playing with her brother and sister on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES),” Solo says. She gamed with her sibling until 1996, when her brother went away to college. “He took all the consoles with him.. and my parents didn’t have much money at the time so they couldn’t afford to buy another console.” Luckily, the family had a computer with Half-Life and a few other games, which she played quite a bit. Like many others in the FGC, before entering the community, she went on a gaming hiatus, but she returned to gaming towards the end of college. Now she says, “I can’t imagine not having [gaming] be a part of my life.”

The thirty three year old has been an active in the FGC for quite some time. Much like Infinnti, she joined the FGC/Mortal Kombat community, ‘By accident.’ Solo’s boyfriend (at the time) was an avid Mortal Kombat fan, so she decided to try it out for herself. “When MKX came out in 2015, my boyfriend at the time was REALLY hyped to get it,” she began. She continues, “He and his friends used to play MK9 all the time so they were excited that another MK was finally being released. I was mainly just playing League of Legends at that time though. When he bought MKX, we were living together; so I just thought “sure, let me try it out.” Mind you, I hadn’t played an MK game since the 90s. I immediately liked the game and said to myself “I wonder if people stream this on Twitch.”

Twitch was a huge help, because thanks to the platform, she soon learned about tournaments being held for the game. The first tournament she attended was EVO in 2015. “It was…A LOT! But in a good way,” she states. Overall it was, “an incredible experience. It was great to meet the people I had seen/interacted with online.”

After competing for a little bit, she realized there was more she could offer the MK community, which led to her doing interviews. “Once I attended a decent amount of tournaments, learned more about the game and got to know more people, I wanted to somehow bridge the gap between the competitors and fans/viewers watching at home,” she explains. “That’s how I began doing interviews.” Much like other interviews (and casters), she wanted people watching the tournaments to understand what the competitors purpose was. “…these aren’t just characters on a screen. These are people with real lives and real stories. I want to give competitors a platform to be able to share their stories.” Solo wanted to give the viewers an answer to the questions that we were asking, so a better way for her to do that is to interview the player themselves. “In addition, I believe hearing from competitors while at tournaments is something of value that I’d like to see more of. Have you ever watched a set that comes down to Game 5, final round, final hit and your heart is racing the whole time as a viewer? I’m sure many of us have seen that and we ask ourselves questions like “How did they make that read?!” or “I wonder what was going through their mind at that moment.” Well, I decided I can be that person to ask those types of questions.”

Eventually, she’d like to do something along those lines in a live broadcast, but Solo decided to start with just recording interviews not only for people can learn more about the competitors in general, but also hear from them in the middle of the competitive atmosphere.

Solo took a break from interviewing and started a fitness journey, which she’s been keeping a log of on social media. She’d been going through a rough time when she started her journey and she just wanted to be in a better state of mind. But this wasn’t how it began. “My fitness journey began just with me wanting to lose the weight I had gained,” she began. She further explains, “However, I ended up finding that it did WONDERS for my mental health. I lost the weight I wanted to and then just fell in love with wanting to become stronger — both mentally and physically.”

Never did she imagine at 135 lbs, she’d be lifting 260lbs off the floor - especially after just a little over a year of being in the gym. “Lifting makes me feel powerful in so many ways, and I look forward to continuing to get stronger.”

As for the goals set for the next six months, she questions whether or not she wanted to continue being an interviewer or be involved with the FGC. “I distanced myself for a bit but honestly, I don’t think I’m capable of staying away,” she states. She continues, “I developed a connection to this community. It always finds a way to pull me back in. I even get emotional sometimes watching tournaments because I truly miss it.” Although the last interview she has conducted was in 2019, within the next year she wants to continue interviews and improve her interviewing skills. “I will always believe this is a missing element that adds so much value if executed properly. In addition, I may try my hand at doing some sort of hosting. We’ll see!”

As for her advice to a woman (or even a young girl) starting out, she had this to say, “Go for it! With regards to gaming, we know it's still a male-dominated industry. My advice is to simply do your best to not even think about that. Just focus on what it is you're here to do. Focus on your growth and your passion. Do not get distracted by anything negative being said out there. Let your work and your success speak for themselves - no matter what path in gaming you decide to take. Most importantly - have fun! We all love video games and we should never lose sight of the fact that they're supposed to be an enjoyable experience.”

She also added, “There’s probably a lot more I’d want to say. lol But I’ll save it for another time. No matter what your main game is in the FGC, we are all one big community and I’m happy I stumbled upon it almost 6 years ago. I’ve met so many amazing people, and I can’t wait to be able to see everyone again at a tournament!”

It was a pleasure interviewing Adrienne, simply because she is such a positive and inspirational woman. I really hope that she decides to return to interviewing, because we truly need interviewers that not only brighten up the room, but make the interview process more comfortable. It was a pleasure doing this interview and I wish Ms. Solo nothing but the best and I hope she continues to be a positive figure in the FGC.

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Taneisha Jane

Taneisha Jane

I’m Professor Taneisha ‘High Kick’ Jane; a member of the fighting game community (FGC) and founder of the Tekken 7 Ladies Night fight night’s on Twitch tv.