In a former gaming life, he was a 2006 Champion of Dead or Alive, but as he revealed in the following interview, Carl "Perfect Legend" White has always believed Mortal Kombat was one of the fundamental building blocks of the fighting game genre and community.

Since winning the 2011 Evo Championship, Perfect Legend has become one of the biggest and most discussed names in the MK tournament community. A rare fixture despite his major win, he was quick to declare interest and gratitude to Major League Gaming for their announced inclusion of Mortal Kombat in the Pro Circuit tour [full story]. Perfect Legend will be one of the marquee names attending MLG's Pro Circuit Winter Championship, with a heavily stacked field chasing a total prize pool of $33.4k -- doubled from the original $16k in a recent announcement!

With the MLG major taking place this weekend from Columbus, Ohio; Mortal Kombat Online talked to Perfect Legend about his expectations for the tournament (or lack thereof), the impact the event will have on the developing scene, and where he feels the franchise sits in the present.

[MKO]: We always like to start simple. Who are you and what brought you to Mortal Kombat and the MK tournament scene?
[Perfect Legend]: My name is Carl White but I’m also known as “Perfect Legend”. My team mate from Empire Arcadia, Bill Menoutis, also known as MK Tom Brady, brought me to the Mortal Kombat tournament scene.

You haven't been to many tournaments since winning Evo. What are your plans for 2012?
Yeah, it's true I haven’t been to as many tournaments that I attended in the past, since my second Evolution World Fighting Game Championship. That decision came from my previous failed attempts at becoming a professional gamer. My first Evo title was Dead or Alive 4 and this was when I first started with the Empire. My first mistake, was not understanding what my true value was. I kind of rushed things and got involved with CGS and CGI and they pretty much brought me down. Then I went to WCG and although they were great, my opportunities at the time were limited.

In 2011 I finally learned that I had already mastered playing the game, but there was another game that I was completely unfamiliar with, and that was "how to become a professional gamer?" I thought for a long time that it was about being the best at competing. I learned from TriForce, who is the founder of Empire Arcadia, that it’s not what you win, but what you do with that win. Now I’ve found a new interest and a new game to play. I’m learning rather quickly about the other things that a gamer can do to be a professional.

My plans for 2012 are to help the further development of the Mortal Kombat community, the MLG Fighting Game Division and my personal portfolio as a growing professional gamer within Empire Arcadia. So far... so good.

You were quick to support MK and MLG. How important do you think Major League Gaming is to the community and MK tournament scene?
Most gamers from the community are not privileged to experience what a "professional" gaming environment is like. They’ve never been in an environment like World Cyber Games, Championships Gaming Series/Invitational, or Major League Gaming. I have been to all three and when I compare that to the community, it comes off like comparing the United States to a third world country. Now that sounds harsh but I’m trying to give you an idea of how I see it. Leagues like MLG bring in the development funding to help improve the "production quality" of the gaming communities to be presentable in a way which works against the stereotypes that plague our culture in gaming.

This is why I have to use this time that I have as the World Champion efficiently. I’m not God, I’m not invincible and I can be beaten. I can’t trust the next champion to look beyond their own ego and greed to help the scene grow. I can only speak for me. What matters is what I can do in the time allotted as champion. I will fight as much as possible to remain relevant and do as much constructive and productive service to both the community and industry that my influence as champion allows. So I support MLG one million percent.

Is there anyone in particular you're looking forward to facing at the Winter Championships? What are some of the obstacles you expect to encounter on the way to the final?
Since I took a break from the scene back in August, I’ve heard of the rise of so many good players with so many new characters. I try not to look at it as who I have to watch out for, because then it’s the guy that I don’t take as a threat that ends [up] putting me in the losers, and then I lose focus and get eliminated. My main goal is to go into this competition facing everyone as the challenge is presented to me.

I do however want to face off against the East Coast young champion CDJr.
I’ve heard and watched a lot of his vids where he is just destroying the competition. In fact... I made a video calling him out at MLG Ohio, this weekend. [below]

CD Jr will be there. Any thoughts about his progress in the Evo series and the prospect of facing him at MLG?
Nope... I don’t really analyze him like that. I take an interest in his performance but realistically I have to focus on me.

Who wins in a 2v2: PerfectLegend & Sawnik Fawx, or Crazy Dominican & CD Jr?
Perfect Legend and Tom Brady.

What have you thought about the Road to Evo so far, in general? How is it shaping up?
My head is now more into the community and business development of competitive gaming. I’ve taken a liking to it since coming to understand the deeper layers to competitive gaming in Empire Arcadia, other than just pressing buttons. I’m 24, and I would like to know that in three or four years from now I can sit on 6 figures working as an executive in gaming like Seth Killian, or Sundance DiGiovanni.

In the meantime, though, I guess MK has gotten the resurgence that it deserves. A lot of people think "Street Fighter and Tekken" are the #1 franchises that made fighting games what they are. The truth is, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat are the #1 franchises. Back in the day you played MK or ST. Don’t get me wrong, people played Tekken, but it just wasn’t the same. With MLG putting up this money, the players are going to come out. The competition is going to get thicker and harder, only to make EVO that much more godlike.

Who do you think will be a major contender at the 2012 Evo Championships?
I haven’t played anyone other than Tom Brady to know who’s a threat for sure. In fact, because of MLG... this 33k is going to not only bring out the killers internationally, but it’s going to breed a whole new generation of killers. Evo is going to be ridiculous. Then when you think about it, imagine MLG puts up 70k for top 16 to be paid out at the final MLG of the year. It’s already at 33K for its normal circuit so I figure that the Nationals will be ridiculous. Oh man... This is going to be a dangerous year for me.

Do you expect any dark horse contenders to emerge before July?

How much do you think the game has changed since Evo 2011? How much has your style been changed by patches and developments?
I don’t think it has changed that much besides characters moving up and down on the tier list. My play style has changed significantly because I have to adjust to what my character no longer has. It has also forced me to pick up [second] and [third] options to make up for the lack of tools I no longer have in Kung Lao.

Do you think Evo 2012 will be radically different to last year because of patches and developing experience?
In my honest opinion, I really don’t know what to expect from Evo in terms of experience, outside of the players.

How do you rate your chances for a second consecutive win at Evo 2012?
Well I’ve been to three Evo’s so far: 2006, 2010 and 2011.
Out of the three, I have two world championships. It’s 80 – 20 in my favor to win it again.

As it stands, where do you think the top tier characters are coming from? Which characters are best in your opinion? Which character has untapped potential?
The top tier characters are coming from the knowledge of those that can break the game and create as much advanced technology which gives them advantage over their opponents. This is why the tier list keeps changing.

Right now, the best characters in the game are Jax and Kabal. Now, you may ask, why don’t I play those characters, and to be honest, they just don’t fit my play style. The character with the most untapped potential is Nightwolf. I’ll keep the reason why to myself, though.

Do you think the game is as balanced as it can be?
No. Some characters are trash compared to the rest of the cast.
Then you have guys like Jax and Cyrax, who still have 100% combos versus the other 95% that do not have it. They still have a long way to go to balance the game. Thank goodness we are in a better age of technology where patches takes care of that problem.

How do you see the MK tournament scene evolving? What's the next major step?
Of course I see the Mortal Kombat scene evolving. When Tom Brady first introduced me to the MK scene, he told me about North East Championships 12, they were playing Ultimate MK, MK 2 and MK vs DC , and they were all shacked up in a room with less than sixty, from what I can estimate. Now... man. Final Round had over one hundred and twenty-eight. Now the game is in MLG and went from 16k to 33k in less than a month. This shouldn’t even be a question.

If there's a new MK game tomorrow, what will it need to keep? What could it add?
Keep the breaker. Fix some of the hit boxes of the characters that can duck jumping punch. Outside of that it’s really up to the programmers to decide what could be added.

Any shoutouts, plugs, or messages?
First and foremost, I would like to thank my Dad. A lot of gamers do not thank their parents for putting up with us playing video games. My Father always encouraged me and supported me in gaming and he is my #1 inspiration and driving force above all. I love you Dad.

I like to mention a couple of supporters that have been there for me even during the dark ages. I like to thank Empire Arcadia specifically Bill and TriForce for believing in me when I was trying to figure out what to do. They really tolerated a lot of the mistakes I made and I just want to put that out there. EMP for life.

I like to also thank the fans out there in the MK scene that support me and the direction that going community wise and to achieve my dream to become a successful professional gamer. I like to thank the online networking communities like Test Your Might, MK United, MK Online etc. and the hard working people like You, Mace Wynd, 9.95 Phil and even Arturo, who is adding drama to "ESPORTS!" one day at a time. I’d like to also thank my rivals, haters and trolls who work every day to bring me down. You are why I became strong enough to be the MK champ.

Finally I like to give thanks to MLG, Nether Realm Studios, Warner Bros. and Ed Boon. When I was younger I use to only see this from a gamers point of view. I’m still young but a lot more mature in understanding that you guys really do work hard to give us the best experience in gaming and competitive gaming world wide. I have a whole new respect for you guys. Thank you.

The Pro Circuit Winter Championships take place March 23-25, eminating from the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio. Mortal Kombat Online will be following the event with results update(s). Join the competitive scene discussion on the forums, where you can discuss the MLG event live. For direct updates follow @MK_Online and like us on Facebook. Thanks go out to @PerfectLegend for his time and thoughts!