'Tekken 7 knocked it out of the park. It is no surprise to me that it's growing. It is amazing' - Joey Fury talks JACK-7, EU/NA differences and more

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • November 26, 2018 at 10:41 a.m. PST

Note: This interview was conducted a few weeks before the Tekken World Tour qualifiers had wrapped up, so some questions have answers that are slightly dated by now. This is entirely the fault of myself, and I apologize for the delay in this getting posted.

The Tekken World Tour has been ablaze all year so far, and I've personally attended some of the events it's been happening at. While there, I made sure to talk to some of the top Tekken players in attendance to see if they'd be interesting in doing interviews for EventHubs, and they were more than accomodating.

These interviews have been delayed slightly, so more events have happened since they were originally conducted, but they're still quite recent.

With the Tekken World Tour Finals just around the corner, I hope you're ready to hear what some of the top contenders have to say about the game, its competition and their own philosophies.

In this interview, I spoke to EQNX|Joey Fury about the difference between the American and European Tekken scenes, his thoughts on JACK-7's nerfs in the latest patch, whether he has any more secret weapons waiting for us in upcoming events and more.

You can catch a snippet from the interview below.

MajinTenshinhan: You've been a constant presence in American tournaments for quite some time, but this year we've seen you show up to some European events as well. Do you feel like there's any notable difference in the type of matches you have between the two regions, in playstyle, mentality or anything else?

EQNX|Joey Fury: There was one clear difference between the competitive fields in North America and Europe. People have noted many times the differences in character representation between the two regions. It was a challenge navigating through these characters that are underrepresented in North America. Top players in Europe represent Akuma, Yoshimitsu, Master Raven, Katarina, Asuka, Miguel, etc.

As far as playstyle, I noticed some similarity in playstyle among players from the same community, but that was it. I think characterizing a playstyle for a whole continent would be impossible. There is far too much diversity between the regions, just as there is in North America. The best players will always develop distinct and adaptive styles anyway, so that resists overarching classifications in itself.

Continue below for the rest of the interview.

MajinTenshinhan: Your main character, JACK-7, was one of the most heavily represented characters in the top levels since Tekken 7's launch, with yourself, FOX|Saint, RB|Anakin, COOASGAMES|Noroma and many more all playing him with great success.

To nobody's surprise, the character received a few nerfs (though some buffs as well) in the Season 2 patch. How do you think the character matches up with the meta right now, in Season 2?

EQNX|Joey Fury: Jack’s effectiveness has always derived from a style of conditioning and imposing strong mindgames on the opponent. This style is very deeply ingrained into the character's toolset. He creates situations in which the opponent must know all of their defensive options to turn the risk-reward in their favor. He also often creates these situations at a very fast pace, so the opponent must be thinking quickly.

If the opponent can’t consider the best defensive options and choose them quickly, Jack starts steam rolling hard. This is why less experienced players often perceive him as over-powered. At very high level it becomes more and more demanding for the Jack player to represent unorthodox options and timings, as the best players are indeed prepared with fast paced and optimal decisions on defense. It also becomes very important for the Jack player to have strong defensive instincts, as he doesn’t have any evasive “get out of jail” options.

With all this said, Jack received some nerfs, but his fundamental toolset remains intact. For that reason, he will continue to be used successfully by dedicated players. You can’t nerf conditioning and good decision making, which is the premise of the character.

MajinTenshinhan: You've been doing better and better this year, placing higher and higher every time we see you. How do you go about practicing Tekken? Have you made any changes in your approach to the game these last few months?

EQNX|Joey Fury: Practicing properly can be a major challenge. We often have to use online to gain match up knowledge and experience, but of course, the games are sub-optimal and you are preparing in conditions that are not the same as tournament. For me the big changes that I am trying to incorporate recently are emphasizing my own mental performance and de-emphasizing the environment in which I am playing, i.e. Online vs Offline, PS4 vs PC, streaming vs not streaming).

As long as I am focused on decision making, I should be able to improve as a player with each match regardless.

MajinTenshinhan: Although you mostly play JACK-7, we've seen you bring out Paul a few times in tournament as well. With the new Season 2 changes, do you think we'll see any other characters from you in the future, or are you planning on sticking with JACK-7 for the most part, after all?

EQNX|Joey Fury: Jack is where my heart is so you will always see me playing him in tournament. I have also been a Marduk player dating back to Tekken 5 so naturally I would be hyped to represent him should he ever return.

I’ve been experimenting with some other characters quite a bit recently, but whether they come out during my next few tournaments... I will have to keep you in suspense.

MajinTenshinhan: Tekken 7 has been a big success for Bandai Namco and for the competitive scene, notably being the only returning title at EVO to actually increase in participants this year. What do you think it is that has made Tekken 7 be such a big success in the competitive scene?

EQNX|Joey Fury: There are so many things about Tekken that make it great. The characters have personality and decades of lore behind them, they are aesthetically beautiful, many of them showcase real martial arts with incredible nuance and style to the animations, and those whose fighting styles are not based on a real martial art have very imaginative movelists.

You are granted a massive number of attack options in Tekken. These are movelists that have been built over the course of 20+ years for many of these characters. Being gifted that kind of freedom, it makes the fights feel very... real. Add the slo-mo finishes, powercrushes, rage arts, rage drives. Tekken 7 knocked it out of the park. It is no surprise to me the game is growing. It is amazing.

MajinTenshinhan: You're in a pretty good position to make it to the Tekken World Tour Finals this year. How do you feel about your chances if you make it?

EQNX|Joey Fury: I am confident I can beat anyone who qualifies. I have beaten some of the best players in the world this year and given others a run for their money. My consistency is what is lacking at the moment but I know if I prepare hard and play my best, I can rise to the occasion. I’m not quite qualified yet though so I will be staying focused!

Huge thanks for EQNX|Joey Fury for agreeing to do this interview with us, and we wish him the best of luck in the Tekken World Tour finals.

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