Interview with Anakin
We had the opportunity to sit down with Radiance Anakin after EVO 2019 to talk about his advice to players looking to get into the fighting game community and his plans in preparation for the TEKKEN World Tour Finals in Bangkok, Thailand December 7th.
Q: What are your plans for upcoming tournaments?
A: I remember after last year in Amsterdam at the Tekken World Tour Finals I wasn't exactly pleased with the way I performed and I made a commitment/promise to myself to step it up because I knew I was capable of better. I think since the beginning of this year, I've been slowly working my way up in the ranks and showing improvement in the game. We still have a lot more time to go. Evo just happened, I took third place. It was the best I've ever done at EVO. I haven't been to that many EVOs but it feels good to represent the United States fairly well. Of course you always want to do better if you didn't win but it was a good time.
Q: Who is your toughest opponent at the moment?
A: Tekken has grown to where there is a spotlight on a lot different communities that we've never got to see before in years past. Not only are we talking about Asia, America, but South America has come into the mix. Europe is representing and Arslan Ash from Pakistan just won [EVO 2019]. The ones that I need to work on to beat are the ones who beat me in tournaments. I would immediately take my result from today, losing to Arslan Ash and Knee and focus in on those matchups. I've been getting beat up by Knee all year and each time, working my way up to a better gameplan against them. It's a battle of wits. At the highest level, the characters play themselves out, but the player versus player mind games are what ultimately allows for someone to beat the other guy. With me, I think I have to work on a better game plan against specifically Arslan Ash and Knee. I was able to overcome a lot of obstacles and players that defeated me last year. Up until this point, I've been on a revenge tour against all the guys that got me last time. There's only two more names to cross off on that list and definitely looking forward to Thailand to finish that job.
Q: What do you think of the new Season Pass?
A: I'm super excited that we get Season 3. I know a lot of people were unsure of what's to come for Tekken 7. I think we're in the fifth year of the game being out and that' a really long time in fighting game years. By now, we'd probably hear about some updates, but since Tekken 7 has taken off and blown up, there's been a lot of support from the developers. I'm really just happy to see a new rollout of Season 3: new characters, new features, new stages, and the game is going to get an update in terms of balance patching and characters. Anytime I see any new content from Tekken, it gets me amped up and ready to play. I'm not one who's picky on what we get, I've been playing for so long that I enjoy the time with the game no matter what. When I saw these new characters, returning characters, brand new character Leroy Smith, it definitely felt like I was a little kid again, watching a new Tekken video for the first time.
Q: Do you prefer an arsenal of characters or perfecting just one?
A: Even though you always see me pick Jack-7 exclusively in tournaments, that does not necessarily mean that I play him exclusively outside of tournaments or that I've never considered a character change when I am in tournaments. At the highest level, you want to think your decisions more carefully. I've had over 10 years of experience with Jack-7. He's pretty much won all the tournaments — had the big moments for me. It's gonna take a lot more than a couple of bad performances to convince me to switch off. When I think about it, I've used others characters in the past and those were a bit more experimental opportunities to see how I do when I'm not using [Jack-7] but all in all, if I was to be honest with myself, I think he's my best character and he's my best shot at winning tournaments. I gotta go with my gut. Until I feel differently, I'm going to continue using Jack-7. Outside of the game, I'm constantly practicing pretty much every other character except Jack-7 so I can create a character experience for myself. It's like multiplying yourself over and over again and using all these different characters to combine back into one and gain all that experience. There are a lot of ways to practice the game, just gotta make sure I'm ready.
Q: What is some advice you can give for new players trying out Tekken?
A: This doesn't even necessarily apply to 'gaming advice' but life in general, if you don't like something, don't force yourself to do it. With fighting games, there's a lot to love but it's hard and it's a grind. If you get into the right mindset of learning something challenging and difficult, you're on the right path but if you're playing and getting angry, you have the wrong mindset. That's is the most important thing, have a good mindset, have a good time, and if you don't want to play, don't worry about it. Don't let it affect you too much because at the end of the day, we're playing a game. The reason why I play Tekken is because I love Tekken. That's the main thing. You play it because you like it and if you're a new player that wants to learn Tekken, it's never too late. I would say get in there, find a character that you like, and have a good time with it — the rest may fall.
Q: How will you prepare for Tekken World Finals?
A: Feeling bittersweet with my third place at EVO. I don't think I can be upset or happy. I don't think it'd be right if I felt any other way. I'm so passionate about this. To be honest with you, I'm more motivated than I was at the end of the last year when I got my butt kicked. These are the type of moments that make or break someone. I always consider myself to be mentally strong and always focused. Third place at EVO feels good, but that just means there's more work to do. I'm really looking forward to Thailand. I know for sure I'm capable of more and instead of talking about it, I'd rather show it.
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