Tekken 7 Player Spotlight: KaneandTrench
With each passing day Tekken 7 draws closer, more characters are announced and even new versions are released. Yet Tekken 7 still isn’t on home consoles, so coming from the UK it’s rare for a player to have played Tekken 7 and rarer still to be able to claim that you already hold a title in Tekken 7 as a champion. Well not if you are Kane “KaneandTrench” Heartfield.
Kane has grown up in the UK scene, playing Tekken for several years with his main Yoshimitsu and is considered one of the strongest “New School” players from the London school, New School effectively being players that started with the most recent Tekken game on consoles, Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Throughout this time Kane has mainly dedicated himself to Yoshimitsu, the character which would lead him to being the representative for the United Kingdom in Namco Bandai’s upcoming King of Iron Fist tournament. And he has managed to take some time out to talk to us about Tekken 7 and his recent tournament experience.
Q: Hey Kane, thanks for taking time to answer some questions. How did it feel to not only win the qualifying tournament, but to succeed in winners without losing a set?
A: It felt amazing that I was able to proceed all the way through winners, I would never have imagined going undefeated in a tournament featuring so many well known players, even if Tekken 7 is a new game! Knowing that I’ve won this qualifier which will allow me to go to Japan has made me very happy and excited because I’ve always wanted to go there.
Q: As you had no access to Tekken 7 at home, how did you prepare for the tournament?
A: I mainly prepared for this tournament by looking up videos of Yoshimitsu so I know all of his new moves and properties, frames etc. so I’m aware of what combos and setups to do. I also made sure to note down frame data of the new characters so I wouldn’t lose to them due to a lack of knowledge, but it turned out the only one I faced was Josie. The rest is prior knowledge from TTT2.
Q: You are known for playing Yoshimitsu in Tekken Tag 2, how do you feel he transitions to Tekken 7?
A: Yoshimitsu transitions brilliantly into T7; he’s received the most new stuff out of any of the cast and it has overall made him a much stronger character than many of his past iterations. So Tekken 7 I believe is the game where Yoshi will finally be able to shine and compare well to the majority of the cast.
Q: Are there any defining moves that have been changed or improved going forward for Yoshimitsu in Tekken 7?
A: There are a number of moves that have been changed which really enhance Yoshi’s game, for example his b2,2 string is now only -13 on block and now gives pushback if blocked so punishing it besides ducking the string, is extremely difficult. His SS+1 is also more or less safe now so Yoshi players can throw that move out without fear of being punished and potentially benefit off a counter hit launch with it. So yeah, a lot’s been changed and makes Yoshi that much stronger than he was back in Tag 2.
Q: With the disadvantage of having less access to Tekken 7 compared to the tournament favourite CherryBerryMango you still managed to come out on top. Are there any defining moments that stand out in your matches that you believe lead to your win?
A: I think everyone knows there’s one move that defined a lot of my wins in the tournament, and that’s the infamous Flash. I was getting so much mileage off of that move and it did help me to secure my wins through the tournament, even against CherryBerryMango. There’s also the times where I evaded CherryBerryMango’s rage art on two occasions, once where I used Yoshi’s Indian stance teleport (it actually would have missed anyway haha) and got him in the back, and it missing during my unblockable helicopter slash. Finally of course, there was me connecting a lucky but risky launcher which allowed me to finish up the final set with a rage art providing the best possible finish for a Grand Final, it was really hype and a big defining moment for my win I think.
Q: There’s a moment in the set in which you land Yoshimitsu’s Rage Art and perform the actions in real time, was this planned or were you caught up in the moment?
A: I think it was more or less the hype getting to me, the crowd was going wild and I felt like going a bit wild myself haha.
Q: Rage Arts, Rage Drive, and Rage itself appear to play a large part in Tekken 7; do you feel that they are a natural progression for Tekken’s style?
A: Rage has been a part of Tekken since 6, and it more or less has been nothing more than a damage booster, but 7 expanding on it with Rage Arts and Drives is really good in terms of making Tekken fresh because it allows for more interesting situations as well as combos. Tekken has always deviated from the norm with fighting games where there’s always some kind of super move, so the Tekken team implementing these kinds of things now in the newest installment is definitely a good move.
Q: During the UK Qualifier there was a clear focus on Rage Arts, but, comparatively, there were a lot less Rage Drives being used. Do you think this will change in time?
A: I believe it will, I think it’s perhaps because Rage Arts are a lot more flashy and better looking to get decent damage or finish a fight on, but once people understand the properties and possibilities of Rage Drives then there may be a balance of both, or Rage Drives might end up being used more than Rage Arts at some point. I personally used Rage Drives more due to knowing what it can do, I only ever used the Rage Art once and that was in the final tournament moment.
Q: And it’s not just a change in the mechanics of Tekken 7, there has been an overhaul in the roster. How do you feel about some characters not making the final cut and moves being adopted by other fighters?
A: I don’t mind much about some characters adopting the moves of older fighters (for example Josie for Bruce and Master Raven for Raven) as long as it is justified and the older characters still have some story involvement. Some characters still not being in Tekken 7 at the moment (like Lei, Anna, Julia etc.) is quite shocking due to how prominent they’ve been in the series and I am hoping they get added in at some point, I feel bad for anyone who mains these characters, haha.
A: The movement to me does feel a little different, but not too much to make that big of a difference compared to Tekken Tag 2’s movement. I will say there seems to be a bigger emphasis on getting in close this time around however, so it’s more about slugging it out to see who can be more scary up close, pressuring the other opponent to back off.
Q: It’s only a matter of time until you travel to Japan in December for The King of Iron Fist Tournament, do you have any training regime in mind to prepare you for what lies ahead?
A: I do plan to practice stick whenever I get the chance whether it be by visiting Namco or training with fellow players who play stick. I’ll also be sure to look up recent videos of the players confirmed for the finals to get an idea of how they’ll be playing.
Q: Are there any names that you are particularly scared of attending The King of Iron Fist Tournament? Or are there any characters that you think might be a particular problem at the tournament?
A: I haven’t played any of the players going to the finals, not even the other Europeans so honestly I’m scared of a lot of them, but I believe Knee stands out the most to me due to his reputation as one of the greatest Tekken players of all time, if not THE greatest. As for characters, I think the ones I’m concerned for are mostly Mishimas as well as Bryan and Dragunov, any other character I think I can handle quite well.
Q: Many players are labelling you the next big figure in UK Tekken, will you be capitalising on this and travelling to any other events across the UK when Tekken 7 releases?
A: I’ll definitely make sure to be a prominent figure in the UK when I can, attending as many UK tournaments as possible when the game roles out and even possibly travel abroad to other European countries for tournaments as well. If I’m considered the next best thing for UK Tekken, I’d better not disappoint, right?
Both Kane and I agree that there is no better time to get in to Tekken with the upcoming release of Tekken 7. So hopefully we will see a lot more of both Kane and Tekken 7 soon, who knows Kane might even go on to take the crown in Tekken 7. So if you want to keep up with Kane and his trip/experiences be sure to follow him on Twitter (@KaneandTrench).