The 2013 Evo Championship is upon us! The internationally renowned tournament event brings together some of the world's biggest names in competitive gaming! In anticipation of Mortal Kombat's third straight year at the major -- and Injustice: Gods Among Us' first run -- we reached out to one of the favourites to challenge Perfect Legend and his perfect Evo record.

He's perhaps best known as 'The King of Kitana' , but Steve Brownback's fandom within the competitive scene goes much further than playing favourites! He was the 2011 SoCal Champion and a regular fixture of Mortal Kombat's brief 2012 run with Major League Gaming. He's been host of The Kombat Tomb podcast, a patron of the Galloping Ghost Arcade, and recently graduated to game tester for NetherRealm Studios' DC fighter: Injustice: Gods Among Us.

While he travelled to Las Vegas for the Evo tournament by plane, 16bit talked to us about the controversy surrounding the game tester issue, his preparations for Evo 2013 & and what he expects for the tournament.

[MKO]: Yo!
[Osu16bit]: Hello and thanks for the opportunity to hype up EVO! I'm literally doing this interview on the plane to Vegas.

What have you done to prepare for Evo 2013?
My preparation has been the same as always: lots and lots of play at [Galloping Ghost Aracde, Chicago]. Every session we have a bunch of setups with both MK and Injustice. The interesting thing about EVO is how they release the brackets early, so we've known our likely opponents and can practice those match ups.

Which character(s) do you expect to play?
In MK I'll be using Kitana as always. She's served me well for two years [and] I haven't changed my play style, either. I would say I maxed out my gameplay for the most part around late 2012. It'll just come down to if I play well.

In IGAU I'll be using Killer Frost. Unlike MK, I'm not 100% loyal to my character. I also love Catwoman, Batgirl and Hawkgirl. For now I've been practicing KF the most and she will be my only tournament character.

Who do you think the major threats will be in this years Championship?
For MK it's all about Perfect Legend. Carl vs the World is the major storyline going into this tournament. I've beaten PL the last two times we've played, but EVO PL is a different animal.

In IGAU I'm most worried about Black Adam, especially Godspeed and Rico Sauve. I'm also concerned about the unknown. This early in a game's life, anyone can be good with any character. I expect a lot of upsets and maybe 1 or 2 unknowns to place top 7. If you all remember in 2011, no one predicted myself or DJT to place top 8. I think the same thing will happen. Some crazy Grundy or something might come out of the woodwork and surprise us all.

How do you like your chances for winning this year's title?
I am confident I can place top 8 in MK. Winning is another story. Except for SCR I haven't been a major winner. Too many good players out there and because I only use Kitana, there's guys like Pig of the Hut I simply never beat. I'm cool with that, though. I just hope for Top 8 and for my GGA friends to do well, too. Personally I think it'll come down to GGA Dizzy and PL!

In IGAU I am less confident. For whatever reason my Killer Frost hasn't delivered in tournament yet. I've been placing 9th. I feel like my instincts and 2/3 tournament set game plan just isn't there yet. I seem to play sloppy and desperate. If I can overcome that and have some luck on my side I might be able to do well. We'll see.

If you win the tournament - what is your arcade ending scene?
If I did win my ending scene would be a huge pop off where I'm screaming and pounding my chest so hard the hotel staff shuts the tournament down. I then use the prize money to buy pizza for all of team GGA.

How do you feel about game testers entering the Injustice tournament? Is there an issue?
I do not think it's an issue. I can tell you from working on the game that it changed very much in development and the game the testers played for a couple weeks in early 2013 is very different from what we are playing now. With improved online and training mode I think everyone has caught up. The guys winning that were testers are winning because they are gifted fighting game players. You know, a guy like Chris G was invited to test the game because he's good. He's not good because he tested. I would say for myself that I've become much better since the game has been out and that's from playing with my training partners.

Before I go I just want to say I hope everyone tunes in Friday for MK. Despite being two years old I still love the game and I know EVO will have super hype, high quality matches. Props to everyone that still watches the streams and follows the scene. We may be smaller now with IGAU releases but it's still fun to me. Peace MKO!

Mortal Kombat Online must send sincere thanks to Osu16bit for taking part in this last minute Q&A! We wish he and Team GGA the best of luck in Las Vegas!

Perfect Legend has been the man to beat for two years! Relive his successful title defense in our archived result of the 2012 Evo Mortal Kombat Championship! The 2012 event has been the feature of a special four-part featurette series called The Road to Evo. You can watch it now to relive the journey of top players from New York City & the United Kingdom!

Read more interviews in the Interview Archive, including discussions with 2-time Evo World Champion Perfect Legend, Osu16bit & more! Share your Evo 2013 experience with us on the forums!