Today makes exactly 60 days before Tekken 7 releases worldwide on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The game is greatly anticipated and the excitement surrounding it is through the roof. Along with that it is certainly clear that Tekken developers Katsuhiro Harada and Michael Murray are trying to appeal to a much wider audience this go around, and not just die-hard Tekken fans. The addition of Street Fighter’s Akuma is one piece of evidence of this, and quite possibly the next two guest characters will be included for some of the same reasons. Newly introduced mechanics such as rage drives, rage arts, and slow motion attacks are as well. And the fact that that Bandai Namco wants to usher Tekken 7 into the esports arena also lets us know that their own personal expectations are high for the game. That’s a great thing.
When something is your favorite game, you tend to become a bit bias, and rightfully so in most cases. Who doesn’t love their own game and want it to do great? But, what do others think about Tekken 7? For instance, what about the Street Fighter community? Are they drawn to the game? Will they play it? Since they have grabbed esports by the horns and ran with, as you can certainly see with the recent Eleague invitational, how do they think Tekken 7 will fair? I was interested to know, so what better way to find out than to ask some of those closely related to the game?
I connected with five very prominent names in the Street Fighter community and asked them the exact same five questions related to Tekken 7. They took the task very serious, giving great insight, feedback and even great praise. Here are the five:
- Justin “JWong” Wong – Pro SF player for Echo Fox; recently on TBS’s Eleague SFV Invitational
- Joe “LI Joe” Ciaramelli – Pro SF player; recently on TBS’s Eleague SFV Invitational
- Stephen “Sajam” Lyon – Co-host of TBS’s Eleague SFV Invitational and UltraChen TV
- Ari “fLoE” Weintraub – Pro SF player (formerly of Evil Geniuses); Popular esports commentator & personality
- Long Phi “LPN” Nyguen – Pro SF player for Circa Esports; recently on TBS’s Eleague SFV Invitational
1. What are your thoughts on what you’ve seen of Tekken 7 so far? And have you had a chance to play it?
JWong: I have always been a fan of Tekken. Tekken 7 looks really good for me just because of the new mechanics with rage arts. I love how the supers look. My favorite super right now is probably Dragunov’s.
LI Joe: I think Tekken 7 is shaping up to be really great. It holds that Tekken quality in all aspects. Music, gameplay and look. I am a huge fan!
Sajam: I think Tekken 7 is the best looking and most spectator friendly fighting game out there. The slow-mo combined with the zoom on certain counter hits, other properties make the impact of every hit feel so real. It’s a super big step up from other Tekken titles and some of the most fun I have watching any fighting game.
fLoE: I love how Tekken 7 is looking aesthetically and gameplay-wise. It looked a little scary when I saw Akuma doing 100% combos but I’m sure those will be super hype to watch when they actually happen!
LPN: From what I’ve seen and have played so far of Tekken 7, I am really excited for it to officially release in the states. The game looks amazing, and plays really well!
2. Do you think you’ll play Tekken 7 casually and/or competitively once it comes out?
JWong: I will definitely be playing the game when it comes out. I will probably stream it and learn the combos and the game mechanics but I don’t know how serious I will be in the game.
LI Joe: I am 100% buying the game. I played Tekken competitively around Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken 4 and Tekken 5, but dropped off after that. I will at least attempt to play it at that level but its hard to compete with the Tekken experts while also trying to maintain a good status in Street Fighter V.
Sajam: I’m for sure planning to stream and play the game a lot. I started learning the game with Akuma through the Tekken Tour, but I’m not planning on playing him when the game drops. I’m looking to try Law and Feng.
fLoE: I will absolutely play Tekken 7 when it comes out. It’s probably my most anticipated game currently in the near future so I am super super excited to play it. As far as competitively, well I guess that depends on if I travel again. (haha)
LPN: I’ve always been a fan of the Tekken series but never really took it into the competitive scene. Once it comes out, I want to finally add it into my rotation of competitive play for the tournament season.
3. What do you find to be the differences between the Tekken and Street Fighter communities?
JWong: Hmm, thats a tough one because it’s very hard to see a person be really good at both. Tekken players have problems with the defensive options of Street Fighter, while Street Fighter players will always crouch block in Tekken. Thats what it looks to me.
LI Joe: I actually don’t see too much difference in community besides the size? I could be wrong since this is from a more outsider perception of the Tekken community.
Sajam: To me the biggest difference seems to be how much legacy skills are important in Tekken. There are so many players who despite not being able to play the game actively, can compete at a high level just because of all the legacy skill that remains in the game. The Tekken community has been super welcoming and friendly to me so I have to thank them for that!
fLoE: The biggest difference between the communities in my opinion is that Street Fighter is made up of a lot of new faces and the Tekken community is a ton of seasoned veterans, since the game has generally been a pretty hard game for new players to grasp.
LPN: I feel the difference between the Tekken and Street Fighter communities comes down to being transparent and the level of communication. A lot of forum based communication on how to play match ups and how to punish strings, or which strings are best used to reapply pressure and, etc. On the Street Fighter end, it’s more so of just showing off combo videos and I would say lacking of match-up knowledge for sharing. The level of technicality between the two games is really what creates the split, or should I say the individuality for the skill gap. Tekken is very frame data heavy and I feel the attention to detail is extremely important versus in Street Fighter where it’s less on that and more on instinct and feel.
4. Akuma is in Tekken 7, and it was just announced that two other guest characters will be coming with its Season Pass DLC. If you could pick any two characters to be included in the game, who would you like to see?
JWong: Akuma is awesome in Tekken 7. He is my favorite character to play whenever I have a chance to play him. Hmm, if I could pick two characters that can fit well in Tekken 7, I would choose Jacky from Virtua Fighter and Taki from Soul Calibur series.
LI Joe: Wow, any two characters? Hmm, well I am a big Star Wars fan, so maybe a Star Wars character and a Dark Souls character! Vader and Artorias!
Sajam: I would say Sagat, and then maybe a Mortal Kombat character like Scorpion? Something about sidestepping Scorpion’s spear and then punishing it sounds super sick to me, but honestly I can’t think of who would be cool. I trust they’ll make better choices than me.
fLoE: Hmm, being a Soul Calibur fan I’d love to see some characters from that game. Maybe Taki and Astaroth? Just nothing too crazy like Soul Calibur does with like Yoda and stuff. (LOL)
LPN: I’m pretty satisfied with how Akuma came out as a character from the Street Fighter series. As far as two other guest characters coming out, I would definitely like to see someone out of the ordinary like Masumune Date from the Sengoku Basara series, or maybe Ivy from the Soul Calibur series!
5. Do you think Tekken 7 has a good chance at making noise in the esports arena?
JWong: Tekken has a good chance in esports just because you guys have an awesome community and awesome leaders such as MarkMan. Also, Namco puts in a lot of work for the community which is super awesome as well.
LI Joe: I think as long as the scene promotes the game and supports it, it is very possible. I think Namco has done a great job pushing the game and sending it around for people to play as well as the Tekken Tour. It’s certainly possible.
Sajam: Yeah I expect Tekken will be popular again at Wednesday Night Fights once it releases. Lots of the Tekken guys have been around and playing other games, but it’s just not the same. I can’t wait to be able to play and watch Tekken every week!
fLoE: Tekken has a good chance of making a splash as long as they keep that world tour going that they had and stuff like that. You can see all the complaints a lot of people have with Street Fighter V. But as long as there is support from the developers the players will definitely flock to the esports side.
LPN: I think Tekken has a good chance of getting into the esports circuit if, and only if, the community continues to show their love for the game and the hunger never stops. I’ve always considered Tekken to be more of an underground style fighting game, but it can absolutely be very entertaining and interesting to watch outside of playing it!