Final Round XX, the first Premier Fighting Game tournament, concluded earlier this month, and Singapore’s very own Xian Kun Ho (better known as Xian) emerged victorious in Street Fighter V, without dropping a single series throughout the tournament. Xian has also won his second tournament, FTG Extreme Masters, just a few days after this interview.

Xian is known in the Fighting Games Community (FGC) to use characters who aren’t ranked very high in tier lists. Yet, this didn’t stop him from winning the grand championship EVO in 2013 for Street Fighter IV with Gen and picking F.A.N.G., who is generally considered a weak character, last year, at the beginning of Street Fighter V.

This year, Xian made the switch to Ibuki, who is again, generally considered to be a less competitive character, but it paid instant dividends for Xian. He began taking games left and right, with even greater success than the previous year. His performance was just a treat to watch – and everyone was rooting for him. Check out his highlights here, courtesy of The BEAST:

We were able to speak with Xian when he got back from Atlanta and asked him a few questions regarding choosing Ibuki, and his practice regimen.

What’s your daily routine?

My daily routine is practicing about 6-8 hours a day, and I usually start at nighttime around 6pm. Usually at night, because that’s when people get off work and start playing, so I will switch my sleeping schedule to get the best practice I can.

You’ve been known to pick characters that generally aren’t very mainstream – is there any reason for this?

With regards to picking characters, it all started with Gen, because I think he’s a really cool character. The reason I played F.A.N.G. is because he looks a lot like Gen, so I picked him just because of that. Eventually I switched to Ibuki because I think it’s very hard to compete with F.A.N.G. and Ibuki looks really cool. I just like characters that are very cool, and with regards to their strength I don’t really care. As long as the look’s cool, that’s all I want.

How was the transition from F.A.N.G. to Ibuki? They seem to be very different in style, how did that affect you?

I think the transition from F.A.N.G. to Ibuki wasn’t really that hard because I really like motion characters, but F.A.N.G. is a charge character, and using F.A.N.G. was a new approach for me. Going back to Ibuki is something I’m more familiar with.

You’ve started streaming in China for quite a bit, how is the FGC scene there?

The FGC scene in China is very very big, because it’s the China market. There’s a lot of people that watch the stream and they’re very interactive as well. It’s very surprising to see such a huge community, and I really enjoy streaming it with Huomao.

Outside of practising and playing Street Fighter, how do you enjoy spending your time?

Besides Street Fighter, I just spend time with my girlfriend, and traveling. There’s not enough time really. And eating, I really like food a lot, so I try to look for good food, be it hawker centers or restaurants. Food is one of my purpose of living.

What are your goals for 2017?

My goals for this year is to win at least two premiers. And I want to go even further than that, because I felt really unjustified for 2016, and this year all I want to do is get good results to prove myself.

Before we started this interview, you were holding some razor blades – what’s the story behind that?

I always have a razor… I mean shaver in my bag. It’s been there forever, my girlfriend gave it to me and I always forget to shave, so it’s always inside. I still have a lot of shavers, hopefully I can finish using it one day.

Watch the full interview here:

This tournament is the first of many that lead up to the biggest Street Fighter tournament at the end of the year – the Capcom Cup. We’ll be rooting for Xian along the way, tune into his matches and support our local hero!


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Game Is Hard is a group of passionate gamers who aim to provide gaming content in the perspective of Southeast Asia, from gaming news, guides, to esports event coverage, and much more.