Justin ‘KingJae’ Nelson shares with TekkenGamer what UK Tekken scene desperately needs
Justin ‘KingJae’ Nelson is a passionate fighting game and Tekken fan, and is fast becoming a well known voice amongst the UK scene. In a recent video Justin discusses the issues and concerns he had over Tekken’s exposure in the UK, and how he thinks this could be changed. Justin recently attended EGX where he took part in the well-received Tekken 7 tournament and showed off some impressive Gigas and Kazuya skills, which resulted in him winning the day 4 title. We got to chat to him while at the event where he told us his thoughts on the local Tekken community and what improvements could be made.
A longtime Tekken fan, Justin told us that his first experience with Tekken was in the 90s when his Dad bought him a PlayStation One. Marshall Law was the first character to grab his attention and this was mainly down to the strong Bruce Lee reference, a reason which resonates with many old school players. From that point forward Justin has been a passionate fan, and has traveled from the realm of casual player into the world of competitive play.
While talking to Justin, it was clear that he feels strongly about the Tekken scene over in the UK, and stressed that things need to change or at least be improved. We asked Justin what he wants to see in the UK, and his thoughts on the possibility of a UK Tekken Tour. “There’s already a strong community in the UK, but we are misfortunate, we don’t have any of these things (Tekken Tour), and it feels like we have to do it by ourselves. We create our own tournaments such as LionZ Den, Snakepit, MBA, and while they might have some support from Bandai Namco, it’s not enough, there could be a lot more.”
In Justin’s recent video addressed to Bandai Namco and Katsuhiro Harada, he talks about how there’s not enough being done for both the casual and competitive market over in the UK. At the Legends of Gaming event (which inspired his video) only the popular YouTubers in attendance were given the opportunity to play Tekken 7 in a tournament setting for the audience, however these were not experienced players, nor did they seem to know much about the game. Although Tekken is for everyone to enjoy, when it comes to events and promoting the game, things need to change; why not include competitive players who dedicate their time to playing Tekken? This could give fans the opportunity to learn more about Tekken and its competitive scene in the UK, as many don’t seem to know or understand much about it.
Justin tells us, “It’s crazy, everyone is so excited for Tekken which is great, but they aren’t aware of the competitive scene and that needs to change. I want Tekken to grow, I try push it through my own channels and streaming, and like what you guys are doing with TekkenGamer, but as you know, it can be hard doing it on your own. The community is great, but there’s room for growth. There’s a massive casual audience here at EGX, which is amazing to see, but this side of the community needs the opportunity to learn about the competitive side.” He continues “There are a lot of people playing and participating in the tournament, but these people don’t know much about the UK competitive scene, and with players like myself and Rookang attending, they can learn from us and we can help them. We should all come together and grow together as a community.”
Justin is right, there’s definitely room for improvement within the UK Tekken scene, and it does feel like individuals are going it alone, be it via streaming, setting up their own tournaments, or websites of their own. If all these sectors of the community who are passionate about the game come together, then things could be huge for the UK community. We asked Justin what he thought of the event at EGX and he told us, “Bandai Namco are doing a great job here at EGX, but again, why not everyone come together and make something huge?”
With the success of the North American Tekken Tour, and the recently announced Nordics Tekken Tour, the UK fans are eagerly awaiting their turn. As Justin mentioned, the UK scene is a strong one, but things need to change in order for fans over here to fully grasp the competitive side of the game. While I was at EGX I spoke to members of the community who mirrored Justin’s thoughts and ideas; they want to see more of Tekken, and they feel that the community over here is a strong one. One thing that I seen that stuck out to me was that more experienced players were helping out casual fans who don’t really understand the game, or who are returning to the game after a long absence, and I think that’s great. The experienced players are wanting to show the ropes to the newcomers, and these less experienced players are eager and willing to learn. This shows clear dedication and passion from both sides of the community, and one that has the true potential to grow to something much bigger.
What are your thoughts on this – Do you agree that the UK scene has room for improvement? What do you think could be done to help develop the community over here?