Recently we were given the opportunity to interview Rachel Quirico. Some of you might be wondering who she is and why we are doing an interview with her, but the answer is simple: watch the current season of WCG Ultimate Gamer, and you’ll see her gaming it up. Better known as her gamertag, Seltzer, Rachel is one of the few girls in the house who’s up against some hardcore guy gamers, in the quest of being the Ultimate Gamer.
Last season we saw Prod1gy X lose to Mark, in what could only be described by others as a choke of epic proportions, but hopefully this season things will be different. So far, two episodes have aired, and Rachel is still standing, but with there already being drama, scheming, and the presence of Justin Wong in the house, there is no way to tell how it’s all going to end.
How long have you been a gamer, and what got you into it?
Rachel Quirico: I played games all through my childhood and well into high school before I started playing competitively in the Team Fortress 2 beta on PC. Shortly after, I joined up with PMS Clan, they hooked me up with a bunch of opportunities, and here I am today following in the footsteps of my clan leaders on WCG Ultimate Gamer!
What systems do you own?
RQ: I have a sick computer I built from hardware prizes I’ve won, a Mac Book Pro that’s dual-booted for Windows which I take to LANs, an original PlayStation, a Nintendo 64 and Wii and DS [sic], and my much-loved Xbox 360!
What would you say are your top 5 favorite games of all time?
RQ: 1. Pokemon Blue (Gameboy) – This was the first game to really inspire me with wonder and engage my emotions. I’ve never since experienced an obsession the way I did when fell into Pokemon. When I die, heaven will be Kanto.
2. Team Fortress 2 (PC) – As my first competitive game, it holds a special place in my heart. I have so many great memories hunkering over my laptop past midnight in the student center working with my teammates Bunny and Andrew and the rest.
3. Monster Rancher 2 (PlayStation) – I sunk hours into this game, not just training and battling my pets (and inevitably mourning their tragic deaths), but carefully catologuing [sic] which CDs would produce which monsters when taken to the “Shrine.”
4. Crystal Caves (PC) – This game came on a floppy disk and had to be booted up in DOS. It was a goofy platformer where you played a space miner trying to collect crystals and dodge creepers and I would get so freaked out over it my mom would have to work the controls!
5. Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360) – I knoooooooow this game is baaaaaaaad, but of all the games I have for Xbox, I play it the most because I have the most friends down to play. And the headshot sound is really satisfying.
What are you currently playing?
RQ: Currently, I’m resisting the pressure from my friends to get into StarCraft 2. More likely I’ll try to get something going in Reach with my buddies Goldenboy and Robskii, but for now, I’m all about kicking back with casual matches in Super Street Fighter and Modern Warfare! Also, I qualified to compete in L.A. at WCG Nationals Samsung Mobile Challenge for Asphalt 5.
Are there any games you are looking forward to playing?
RQ: I’m really looking forward to Pokemon Black & White! Hopefully the rumors about its heavy focus on Team Rocket are true, but I’m also hearing some rumors about a “Team Plasma”….yawn!
What made you want to try out for WCG Ultimate Gamer?
RQ: When last season was being cast, I was a fully-PC player busy with Team Fortress 2 playoffs. Once I watched the show though and saw that my clan-mate Chelsea, a fellow PC player, had successfully made the switch, I knew I could do it too! So last summer, I bought an Xbox, started showing up at any console tournament I could find, and got grinding! The hard work definitely paid off too because in May, WCG gave me the call for season 2!
As a female gamer, do you feel like people assume you aren’t as good as your male peers?
RQ: For sure I get the feeling that guys look at me and automatically assume I’m free or someone’s tag-along girlfriend. That makes it my job though to step up and let my gameplay speak for me. Maybe I stomp them, maybe I just put up a good showing, but the point is that I’m there for the same reasons all the other guys are: because I love to play. Usually when people realize we have that in common, we all start getting along.
When you were accepted, how did you react?
RQ: I got a phone call late at night from casting, and they asked, “Did you get the e-mail?” so I opened my inbox and there was a letter that just said “CONGRATULATIONS!” All I could say was “Thank you! Oh geeze, than you so much!” over and over. There were strict rules about keeping it quiet though, so I only celebrated with my close family.
What was it like living with all of the other gamers? Any funny stories?
RQ: I loved living in that loft. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life as I did messing around with everyone! We had no contact with the outside world, not even pens and paper, so we all had to be amusing ourselves. There was a lot of singing behind the scenes (Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” comes to mind) and plenty of story-time. Probably the funniest though were our games of truth or dare! I don’t know what will be used on the show so I won’t say anything just yet, but sooner or later the world will know!
Did you have a favorite in the house?
RQ: It’s hard to pick a favorite since I had different but equally strong relationships with most people in the house. I knew Chosen1 best before the show and there’s a lot of love between us so I was ecstatic to see him next to me on the roof, but I grew to love everyone in the end.
How about a least favorite?
RQ: In the house, there were a few people whose strategies didn’t always mesh with mine, but as people you couldn’t find 11 better.
In the first episode of season 2, we saw that there is some serious drama between Vanessa and Kat. Do you think we might see more of that?
RQ: Kat and Vanessa have a long history stemming from their mutual involvement in the Championship Gaming Series, another competitive show from a few years ago. What you saw between them in episode one definitely wasn’t faked and tension like that doesn’t evaporate, but let’s not forget that at the end of the day, they’re still two reasonable people. I think everyone will have to watch and see how things turn out!
Can you give us some inside scoop? Did things happen that weren’t shown in that episode?
RQ: This isn’t a spoiler but I was surprised it didn’t make it into the episode: When we all lined up on the roof the first night, Hannah slapped us with our first twist…we were already divided into teams for the real life challenge! Everyone to the right of Vanessa was Team Purple and everyone left of Kat was Team Green.
In the first challenge you were all split into two teams, and then a few from each team was hoisted into the air. Was it a lot of fun, or are you like me and terrified of heights?
RQ: I was really excited to get into the air and I didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to show I was there to play, so I volunteered to go first. The harness wasn’t too kind on my legs though and it left me waddling afterwards, but it was totally worth it.
I’m sure everybody has asked you this but what was Justin Wong like? Was he intimidating at first?
RQ: Justin Wong is a lot like I imagine panda bears to be: adorable and cuddly but fully capable of tearing you to pieces.
In my opinion, Rob (Prod1gy X) should’ve won the first season of Ultimate Gamer. Do you feel the same way, or do you think the better gamer won?
RQ: It was hard to watch Rob lose there, but by all accounts it was an epic choke. There’s a chance he had a defective controller and his block button was broken, however I wouldn’t count out the likelihood that Mark was able to cop to Rob’s all-attack strategy, fix his spacing, and start playing at the range his character was intended. Mark’s a great gamer and I would never take away from his achievement. He worked hard and never gave up, even when defeat was only a round away, so I say he deserved to win for sure.
Thank you so much for your time Rachel! Is there anything else you’d like to add or share with our readers?
RQ: Thank you for the interview! I also want to thank my incredible cast-mates, all the gamers I trained with before the show like TorcH, Rivington, Barbosa, and Neha, and the dedicated masterminds behind the scenes at WCG and Ultimate Gamer.
To watch Rachel and the rest of the cast of WCG Ultimate Gamer, be sure to tune in to SyFy every Thursday night at 11 PM! Also, for more information about WCG, the Ultimate Gamer show, or if you’re interested in attending the finals down in Los Angeles, be sure to check out their official website.
– Images courtesy of WCG Ultimate Gamer & Robskii