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James Chen Esports Fighting Games and Deep Thoughts

August 21, 2017

TEN:009 | Esports Fighting Games and Deep Thoughts with James Chen

James “jchensor” Chen has been a long-time commentator for Fighting Games such as Street Fighter V and has had years and years of experience teaching people how to play Fighting Games and understanding Fighting Games! He has a twitch channel, where he does his best to help players grow as Fighting Game players and enjoy various Fighting Game content! He is also a part of UltraChenTV Group.

'To be decent at fighting games really requires you to look deep within yourself.' -@jchensor

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Time Stamped Show Notes

  • [1:33] How did you get into commentating [esports]?
    • [1:35] Living in sunny california has helped, being close to Alex and Level Up started things
    • [1:50] James has always tried to be educational in the fighting game community, he used to write FAQs and tutorials and gave tips in forums
    • [2:20] Had a group of people that were playing street fighter and they began teaching people
    • [3:10] James was really good at explaining things so he jumped on stream and started commentating and it’s all history from there
  • [3:50] What do you love about teaching?
    • [3:52] James is just a huge fan of fighting games and thinks it’s a hugely underrated talent
    • [4:35] What James enjoys about teaching is getting people to understand why it’s so great and then help them understand how to play and get to higher levels they can then experience the high level and the “high” of being dominate at the game
  • [6:05] Why is esports/fighting games so exciting?
    • [6:10] James loves the people that are there and the personalities and the stories that come from all the players
    • [6:33] The fgc is one of the only esports in the industry that is 1v1, there’s not much team play
    • [6:48] Every person is unique and individual and highlighted. You get to see their good sides and bad sides
    • [7:50] It’s emotional and exciting and the level of skill is amazing
  • [8:25] Worst moment in esports?
    • [8:30] Most of James’s down moments was really before it was dubbed “esports”
    • [9:10] In 2008 at EVO before Street Fighter 4 came out. The venue was not very good but it was also the first year where you could tell that there was so few people there that year
    • [10:30] He thought he might have to hang everything up and move on to “real life”
    • [10:35] Then in 2009 Street Fighter 4 came out and that was the rebirth of everything
  • [10:50] Biggest accomplishment so far?
    • [10:55] To be able to commentate the Top 8 Mandalay Bay, because it was the peak with 5,000 entrances for Street Fighter 5
    • [11:30] Also James has been able to travel to a lot of places and meet a lot of people and talk to them about how they got into fighting games and hearing that HE inspired them to get into the game was really awesome
    • [12:20] Being able to help people learn and understand fighting games is the times when James feels most proud about the scene
  • [13:05] COMMON NARRATIVE “To be decent at fighting games really requires you to look deep within yourself.”
  • [14:12] Biggest rivalry right now in the fighting game community?
    • [14:15] It’s probably still USA vs Japan, that’s one of the ones [storylines] that’s always highlighted
  • [15:57] Can players compete and win major tournaments in multiple fighting games?
    • [16:00] James says it’s definitely possible and there are some players out there that are ridiculous
    • [16:05] Tokido is probably what most people consider one of the greatest fighting game players of all time, with multiple top 8’s in many games
    • [17:03] Then there is SonicFox who has won almost every Mortal Kombat and Injustice tournament and he’s also super good at other games too
    • [17:20] And there’s a lot of other players too
    • [17:50] It’s definitely possible to learn multiple games and in a weird way it’s very useful because different games teach you different skillsets
  • [18:44] Is there an X-Factor that these amazing players have that others do not?
    • [18:50] “If I knew what the secret was I would be playing too!”
    • [19:00] A lot of it is just dedication and creativity and just having an open mind
    • [19:10] James says that Tokido has done a lot of meditation kind of things, healthy body healthy mind kind of thing
  • [20:09] COMMON NARRATIVE Burying yourself in your own demons is one of the quickest ways to not be able to succeed in fighting games or any other esports
  • [21:15] 5 Question Combo Breaker
    • [21:20] Best advice someone has ever given you? Always keep growing. James lives his life trying to understand people and be considerate of other people and their viewpoints
    • [24:29] What does the esports industry (or fighting game community) need, to grow and continue to be successful? The fighting game community is kind of lagging behind a lot of the other scenes. FGC needs to figure out how to become esports on it’s own terms
    • [29:53] [Spencer] We have to be cognizant about building [esports] businesses that are MAKING money
      • [30:30] James says we also have to be looking at ways to create future spaces for players, because they are not going to be able to play forever
    • [33:55] Best play you have seen or the most memorable moment in esports? EVO 2004 between Justin and Daigo in Street Fighter. Click Here to watch the match on YouTube. Skip to minute mark 2:45 in the video for an amazing roaring thundering crowd as Daigo goes berserk and Parries Justin’s attacks
    • [37:33] Share a resource that’s been beneficial to you in your career. Twitter. Building up an audience on twitter has been amazing
    • [41:52] What’s one daily habit that’s been the biggest factor for your success? Caring, trying to care as much as possible.
  • [44:12] What’s your advice for someone starting out in esports?
    • [44:13] Make sure it’s what you love. Don’t do it unless you really love it and it’s something you’re passionate about
    • [44:43] Don’t just do it for yourself, do it because you want to be a part of something great

You can connect and engage with James on Twitter @Jchensor AND be sure to go check out his Twitch Stream at Twitch.tv/JChensor and you can find UltraChenTV at Twitch.tv/UltraChenTV on Tuesdays.

 

3 Big Narratives

  1. To be decent at fighting games really requires you to look deep within yourself.
  2. Burying yourself in your own demons is one of the quickest ways to not be able to succeed in fighting games or any other esports
  3. Always keep growing. James lives his life trying to understand people and be considerate of other people and their viewpoints

 

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