It’s time for another interview! David “Maxi Milian” Vidales, who has been living in South Korea for some time now and has been providing the Tekken community with local news and lots of Korean videos, has answered all the questions you submitted. Click the link below to start reading the interview.
MAXI! Why so famous !?
To answer that maybe I should start out by explaining who I am and what I’ve done. When I started playing Tekken I had no local community to speak of. I was litteraly at home alone playing against the computer. Naturally I was very interested in what the game looked like at the highest level. I started downloading match videos from the web, at that time (beginning of TTT) it could take a few hours to download a video. But it completely blew my mind. Something as simple as a tag in crosschop made my jaw drop. I’ve allways been the kinda guy that prefers watching than playing and since I had noone to play with on a regular basis these vids became really addictive to me. I’m sure many of you can relate to this, regardless of your level you can still really enjoy watching a good fight.
Through the player Kazman (one of the original founders of #eurotekken) I came into possesion of a huge amount of videos. Also through my good friend that goes under the nick DUK2000 (The founder of http://www.tekkencentral.com) I also gained access to a continious stream of videos during the T5.0 era.
It was natural for me to spread these videos since I so easily could relate to the positive effects it had on communities and even individual players. I started together with Kungen the Tekken FTP. At this point people started taking notice of me and my efforts. After some time youtube came into the picture and the FTP was causing me a lot of problems due to the user overload that my crappy computer simply could not handle. I decided to let it go and focus more on playing and organising tournaments/working on developing my local community. I’ve allways loved to travel and gaming gave me the perfect excuse to see the whole world. I could get housing pretty much everywhere thanks to my friends so I decided to travel as much as I could. During a few years I saw Europe, North and South America, Asia and eventually I traveled to South Korea. This country was like no other and especially the Tekken community really made a strong impression on me. During my first trip to Korea I recorded a big tournament in a nearby city named Busan which included Knee’s comeback from his army service.
As soon as I came back to Sweden I uploaded the videos and got a very positive response. I decided to quit my job and move to South Korea. Said and done, a month later I was living the dream and spending a lot of my free time recording and uploading videos. Answering questions about the Korean Tekken scene and even working on tightening the international bonds between the Korean community and the rest of the world. My channel eventually became pretty famous within the Tekken scene just like the old Tekken FTP. Just answering the hundreds of questions I get through e-mail has become like a full time job for me but I really enjoy it so don’t hesitate to keep sending questions ^^
I guess along the way I became one of the guys you can talk with if you want to get in touch with the Korean scene which allways has been very interesting but not entirely open to the rest of the rest of the world.
How did you get to work in South Korea? ^__^
Might be a bit personal so you can choose not to answer if you don’t want to.
A big thanks goes out to my close friend Sun Pyo which goes under the nickname Rain. During a long time we worked together intensively for him to travel to other countries and generally get in touch with other international players. Eventually his team was recruited by the E-sport company nStarGame. I participated in some of the planing meetings and shared my knowledge and experience about the international scene. Apparantly it must have been very appreciated because when Rain recommended them to hire me they instantly offered me a job as an international tournament producer, I did not think long about this offer ^^
I also work as an English tutor, which gives me some extra cash to have fun with ^^
Are you gonna live in South Korea forever?
That is certainly my wish, to cover a new Tekken from day one in Korea is something I have allways wished to do. Would I live here forever I’d be able to do that many times ^^
Realistically speaking I’d say there’s a 50/50 chance I can stay here after July 2011 (that’s when my studies end and I no longer receive money for studying).
What has suprised you the most during your stay in korea in a tekken perspective ?
Wow, that’s a hard question, first of all that you can actually have fun while playing. I think in Europe especially there is this image that in order to get good you have to play the game “seriously”, meaning not having fun. Now I think if you can’t have fun while playing you have no chance of succeding. You can see this as a skill to learn as well, learning how to have fun with a game in order to get better at it.
Secondly it’s the amount of good players that never ever get mentioned internationally. People abroad are allways comparing their top players with the big names but they are sometimes overlooking all the guys inbetween. Korea really is amazing in the sense that monsters keep appearing out of nowhere. In other countries we see that the top players are often older and have played for a longer time. In Korea with all it’s monsters it’s still possible for a guy to start playing and a year later become the first Tekken God (Sun Chip). This to me is just amazing.
The kind of brotherhood you can instantly sense in what’s supposed to be the most competetive arcade in the world does not leave anyone unaffected. I think this only strengthens my theory that for a community to grow and excell what’s most important is how fun it is to play in it.
Many other things have left me in pure disbelief and awe but these are the first things that come to mind.
Do you work there? Do you study there? How old are you? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Yes, I have two jobs and am studying full time. I’m 26 (27 in Korea). In five years I will have my working visa in order and working as an english tutor recording matches at Green Arcade and writing updates as often as I can.
Hello maxi i am so grateful that there is a person like you in this world that is supporting tekken and gaining others by supporting it to i always wanted to come south korea to play and live tekken in the no.1 country in world i have no challengers i have no friends that play tekken basically i just watch green arcade videos, gosu and crash matches and that is to with our korean tekken players maxi i wish i could meet you in person and praise you for what you have done for me every time i will think of you and say to my self i will meet maxi and praise and thank him for all the absoulute hard work for the dedication and for the love of tekken and thank you so much that i will say to my self i meet maxi and the korean tekken players and keep it as remembrance for the rest of my life^^ thank you so much once again maxi for every thing you have done from the start thank you^^
Haha, I’m glad you’re appreciating watching the videos as much as I do uploading them ^^ Keep playing, have fun and I’ll see you in Korea some day, first rounds are on me! ^^
What has starcraft 2 done to u and the korean tekken fanatics
Honestly the Tekken players don’t seem to care much about this. If anything maybe some of the players think it will fail and leave an opening for Tekken to grow as an E-sport. At no point do I think Starcraft 2 will steal a considerable amount of Tekken players from the scene. People here see the success of Starcraft 1 as a thing of lucky timing. Noone thinks SC2 can ever be as big as SC1.
In your opinion, can the US support a healthy competitive tv show like Tekken Crash or starcraft, or is the Korean community that intertwined that it would not be successful.
I think there is still a lot of potential for growth for Tekken as an E-sport in the US. Just like http://www.iamtekken.com started their own podcasts people could start their own internet shows or whatever. Imo it’s just a matter of time before someone figures out a working concept and executes it properly. USA has the most active scene when it comes to tournaments so it’s a surprise a company has not seized the opportunity to be the first in this untapped market. There’s a lot of money to be made so someone will deffinitly be on it in due time.
in your own opinion, whos the best tekken player?
and why? Who is the most underrated player in your opinion as well?
We would have to define what you mean by “best” first but I’ll try to answer it to the best of my abilities. Imo Nin is the best Tekken player both in present and in the past. Having won some ridiculous amount of 50 Korean tournaments if I remember correctly. Being the teacher and mentor of many of the other guys that could be considered being even with him. His natural sense of the game combined with his mentality, dedication, and paid efforts. Add his sick amount of experience, his unrivaled position to keep learning and develop in the best possible conditions on the planet and you have the complete package. If any human is pushing the limits of how good you can get I’d have to say it’s this guy.
If you define best as having the biggest chances of winning a tournament I think I would have to say Knee right now. His style in contrast to Nins can not really be studied, even if you know exactly how to play against him it is still going to be close to impossible in a longer format. Knee seems to be one of those one in a million guys. Some of the things that he has done has later been studied in slow motion by top players and still people can not understand how he can sidestep certain things. Right now he seems to be at least one level above everyone else when it comes to knowledge of sidestep. He has played Bryan since Tekken 3 and is deffinitly showing us the characters close to full potential in human hands.
This topic could be discussed forever but these are the Korean players that I find the best, although for different reasons.
The most underrated player… That’s hard to say, I think maybe it would have to be some guy living in a smaller city or something :D I think the guy named “N” has th same mentality as the absolute best, he so rarely plays he never gets any attention though. I think Gura is extremely good to, although kinda staying in the shadows of Chanel and Only Practice in this season of Tekken Crash. There’s a lot of players from other cities than Seoul that are really famous in Korea but without much international fame. Hirano Aya or Bow Jack for instance. I’ve lived in Korea for a while but I doubt I can really give you a good answer to this question sorry.
Hi Maxi, it’s good to see that you’re getting more exposure since you’ve contributed so much to the community! anyways, who is your favorite person to watch in Korea play?
Haha, I’m gonna get a hard time at Green for saying this but I’m gonna have to go with Help Me. Especially watching his Yoshi brings a smile to my face. When he is playing at his best Rain’s style is a sheer joy to watch. It looks so perfect and afterwards you can’t even say if he was playing aggressive or defensive. I think no other player can get the balance down so accurately as Rain. Watching Nin is fun but his opponents are often in the air being juggled so you’re like “Oh…. ok this guy ain’t human, he doesn’t count” haha. Watching a really good Mishima like Tongbal Love or Crazy Dongpal is allways a pleassure, especially if you can’t predict where he’ll be next and your eyes can hardly keep up ^^
have you tried hitting on the tekken crash girls? lol.
Not yet, I’m gathering my courage! At least one of them speaks perfect english though so maybe I’ll go for it. I could propose on live TV during Tekken Crash? How could she refuse? ;)
Your thoughts about the gap between Korea and US.
Impossible to say, I think Korea has a lot of players at a higher level though. But regarding the best vs the best it’s hard to say imo. I think Koreans are better in the sense of being more solid against a wider array of players and characters. But when it comes to player vs player you really have to play the scenario out. Maybe GM for instance really has a player advantage over Knee. It would be wrong to assume the opposite just because of theory. In the end I don’t find this kind of speculation that important. Let’s ask ourselfs what we can do to help make the matchups happen more often instead and let the results speak for themselves ^^
Korean and Japanese girls, Which are the hottest?
When it comes to looks I find korean girls more attractive because of their height, but the fashion in Japan is freakier and I’m a freaky guy ^^. In the end I’m gonna have to go with the Korean girls, they do better in conversations and don’t try to hide the fact they only want your cash : / (honesty is important).
Why did you change to Bob?
I wanted a character that could step in fast and make a fast comeback if necessary. At the time I picked him I thought he was very underrated as well and I found it funny people had abandoned him cause of the 6.0 –> BR nerfs even though he was still obviously a very competent character. I just thought he’d suit me well and he seemed very good as well so I decided it was time to switch.
What’s the craziest thing you have seen in Green Arcade?
Has anyone ever gotten in a fist fight over Tekken there?
Has anyone freaked out cause they lost a match or got demoted?
Has anyone gotten so upset that they ran out of Green Arcade crying with snot flying out their nose?
Hmm the craziest thing I’ve seen at Green… Maybe the bet between Only Practice and Ji3moon Ace where the loser had to clean the other guys shoes (Ji3moon lost that one). Help Me, everytime he comes by from his army service and destroys everyone that plays him. Jeong Jeom Nam stealing JDCR’s Tekken God card for fun and being chased by JDCR on the street for I don’t know how many blocks. Or maybe the time Narakhof was draging Gaxkini by the hair all over the floor (all in friendly spirit). Some crazy shit happens from time to time, people getting their chairs pulled from underneath them, cards being replaced, junk flying from one side of the arcade to the other, lots of hair pulling, the usual arcade humour ^^
If you mean Tekkenwise you sometimes see some combos or other things that just seem completely impossible. Sometimes you catch an epic comeback that you just know resulted in a broken heart.
Violence is not uncommon in Korean arcades, at Green it happens very rarely though. There have been some physical situations though. I won’t give away any names ^^
People act classy when being demoted, if it’s against an unknown opponent they usually bow. If they know each other but aren’t the best of friends they just walk away. If they’re good friends they can sometimes show dissapointment but allways in a respectfull manner. Of course there are exceptions but I have not seen many.
I have never seen anyone running out of Green arcade crying with snot flying out of their nose. I have seen some people get so emotional over tournament loses they could not hold back tears but it’s not common.
Although you spend a lot of time at green arcade, you don’t seem to play much yourself. Why is that?
I play sometimes, but I fell in love with TTT when I started playing. Even though I consider BR a better game technically speaking it does not have the same attraction for me. I play TTT here sometimes too but it’s just not as fun as it used to be. I think I got tired of playing Tekken hardcore a very long time ago. I’ve played over 10 years so it’s not that weird. To sum it up, I find watching the top players battle it out more interesting. Sometimes I have periods where I get really into the game but honestly it’s all in the name of casual gaming.
What was your first thoughts going into green arcade and how has it affected you since than.
During my first trip to Korea I realised this is where I want to live and spend my days. It affected me in the way that I felt Sweden was no longer my home. A very odd feeling because I don’t feel Korean either :D
I think with my first visits to Green and with all the friends I made here I realised there is no reason to settle for mediocrecy. If I want to move to Korea, why shouldn’t I? This feeling of truly being able to do whatever I want is something I am deeply appreciative for having experienced at least once in my life.
If you were in Tekken Crash who would your partners be and why?
They would probably be my Korean friend Jeung and maybe Rains GF haha. I haven’t asked her yet but Jeung and I are allways joking about making her the anchor in our dream-team.
maxi what are the players thoughts on tekken collabarating with sf and what do the players think of this project namco are doing with capcom with both versions?
I haven’t heard much about it, players here only seem to really focus at the game that’s being played in the present. One day they’ll walk in to the arcade and there will be another game, then they’ll play that. That’s the feeling I get. Of course the players are more interested in Tekken X SF than vice versa for obvious reasons.
Can Japanese players qualif for Tekken Crash or is it Koreans only?
Anyone can qualify, and it is not only possible, it is encouraged. But it’s pretty much impossible for a foreign team to join a tournament of this format. It’s played during several months, there’s just no way it can be practically done. If high profile players are visiting they are welcome to participate as guests like Gen1us recently did, this is well within the margin of what’s possible so there is no problem at all to arrange something like this. I do however think foreigners could be invited for Royal Rumble. Right now it consists of the top 16 players if I remember correctly. This could easily be expanded to a 32 player tournament. I think more effort could be made in inviting players to an event like this.
Right now there is not a huge prestigious international one event kind of tournament in Korea. A slot for a tournament of this kind of format is still open for grabs. Hopefully someone will realise this and take the opportunity to make something mastodont like SBO or EVO for instance.
First off, thanks for the vids : ) been in the community for awhile and I remember u even did the ftp stuff back in the day. I was just curious what the mannerisms are in the arcades in Korea? Are they generally nice to new people? Or do you basically have to have some sort of acquaintances in order to be able to hang out with the people in the arcade? Anyway, thank you again for the support, don’t know how much props you get but man! You are definitely one of the people who make the tekken community stand out, so again, thank you for everything that you do for the community : )
Thanks for the kind words, I really appreciate them and they motivate me even further to keep doing what I do. It’s extremely easy to make friends at Green as a foreigner, basically people will approach you if you hang around long enough. They are interested in foreigners and people with decent english will approach you and say hi. After that you can suggest to go out and drink or go eat dinner or just have some games or whatever. Koreans are some of the friendliest people I have ever encountered. Even the top players will approach you with humility and try their bottom-tier english on you ^^
Unlike many other communites if you ever decide to travel here I can truly guarantee you you’ll have an awesome time, you can spend your days at the arcade and have mad fun with friends. Get to play all the top players and so on. If you instead decide to party and roam the Korean streets there is no shortage of players to do that with.
How much money do you players win from tournaments on an average? =)
(First I should say I have never won anything big) On average I’d say Korean tournament winners win about 1.000.000 KRW which is about 860 USD. It’s an embarassingly low amount of money considering what starcraft players make. Lately this has started to change with company sponsorship by Najin and Nstargame for instance, where players also get a monthly salary as well as sponsored trips to big events. Its progressively getting better but at a slow rate. I wish for instance the system of sponsoring would be reformed to resemble the western style of sponsoring more. Where many companies can pay a small sum and be one of many sponsors instead of paying an average sum and be the sole and exclusive sponsor. When this reform is made I think the prizes can go up considerably. This is what needs to happen imo. There’s a lot of conservatism when it comes to business in Korea, people are to keen on playing it safe imo.
Can only Korean players play in Tekken crash or is it a global platform? Is it compulsory to play on stick in Tekken crash? What about those who are used to playing on PS3 remotes?
Tekken Crash is open for everyone but I doubt the need for pad ports will ever be so big they’ll be installed. If for instance a foreign famous team asks for it something could probably be worked out, but I’m just guessing really.
what urged you to cover tekken?
who is your favorite tekken pro player? (asides rain if he is your fave)
if there will be another event match in tekken crash, who do you think should battle?
do you think tekken crash should import international teams, like maybe from the us, japan or europe?
I fell in love with Tekken and its scene, starcraft has never really caught my interest as an e-sport. I’m a one-game kind of guy. Tekken is huge here, and considering how little info is coming out I can really feel like what I do counts. Instantly seeing the results of your efforts is the best anyone could ever hope for ^^
Like I wrote earlier I really enjoy watching Help Me but since he’s in the army I can’t really count him in. I think the Tekken scene has a lot of really interesting top players at the moment. It’s hard to choose, I like watching all the players of Specialist, Resurrection and What can you do? a lot. I love watching the games of Hao, Only Practice, Ji3moon Ace, Fight Devil Jin and so on. They’re all very interesting in different ways. If I had to name just one that I really consider being a pro I guess I’d have to go with JDCR if I cant say Rain ^^
I would really love to see some Japan VS Korea action. MSR 2nd VS Knee would be really cool I think. Or maybe Nobi VS Rain. I would like Tekken Crash to do a kind of special event thing with Nin against people from the audience or something. Just to let the dude play for once ^^
Generally speaking the sport needs to get more nation VS nation like. This way you can gather interest from the big masses even though they might not be very into the game. People love cheering for their country even if they don’t have an idea what’s actually going on. But cheering for a guy or a team is kinda limitied to if you know them personally or not unless you’re really into the game imo.
what are the names of the tekken crash chicks?
I have no idea, even if they told me I can’t remember Korean names :F
Who is, in your opinion, the most handsome Tekken-player?
This sounds like one of those trap questions where I after my answer get called a cocksucker, jellyfag or whatever else people can come up with :F
But in the spirit of trying to answer every question I’m gonna have to go with Holeman. I think that dude has a talent with the ladies.
Korean and Japanese food, which is the best?
I’m gonna have to go with Japanese food, mainly cause it’s so much easier to order. I really like the Korean food but I find myself eating the same stuff over and over again. In Japan it’s easier to find different stuff as a foreigner and it rarely dissapoints. In the end nothing beats a good japanese style ramen ^^
And the final words from David:
Thank you for the interview, see you all on the forums and check out my channel (www.youtube.com/ldmaxi) if you haven’t allready ^^
I also want to quickly promote the upcoming Ultimate Tournament that the French organiser Kenji and NSTARGAME are working hard with. It’ll be announced officialy very soon. Even if you can’t go make sure to check out the vids later as it looks to be a great event.