The National Tekken Cup - Thoughts and Expectations from Organizers

As hinted at in the earlier article briefing the National Tekken Cup, where we compiled all the information, we've gained a closer insight into the event through the expectations and thoughts of the organizers for the event and the general Tekken 7 scene here in Malta. The organizers are all entities within the Visionary Iron Team, formed a year ago around December 2017; having organized two events already, their main aim is to nurture the local community into growth. Their distant and general aim is also to host the first Tekken World Tour Tournament in Malta in some form, and this may seem likely in the near future. Here are the team members with their thoughts. 

Dylan Caruana 

I have always loved Tekken, ever since I was a kid. During the PlayStation 1 era, Tekken 3 was the first game that I played. As I grew older, I started playing Tekken competitively and started competing head to head with other national professional players. Around 1 year ago, the local Tekken industry was going down the drain due to the fact that no more local Tournaments were organized to keep the hype going and as such the community was slowly fading.

Christian and Kimberly came up to me and proposed that we revive the Maltese Tekken community tournaments. Proud to say that thanks to Visionary Iron Team, we succeeded to the point that the upcoming November tournament, for the very first time in Malta, will include the opportunity to also go head to head with international professional players and not just national!

Christian Cauchi

I first started playing Tekken when I was just 7 years old and it was through the Tekken 2 Arcade Version - found in many arcade outlets at the time. After that, I continued to Tekken 3 through the arcade and the PlayStation 1. In Tekken 4 one of my friends found out that there was a tournament held for Tekken and we attended and got beaten up. That’s were Tekken became a competitive game not just a game. I took a stop from Tekken due to other commitments around 8 years ago during Tekken 6 and made a return last year with Tekken 7.

When I returned to the community I noticed that things have slowed down, the community started fading and missed having the tournaments that we used to have back when I was younger. Dylan Caruana organized a tournament on his own at Matrix Luqa. The tournament was a success for a 1-man organized event but it was nothing like the tournaments we used to have back in the day.

That’s when I decided to talk with my wife who is a great organizer and to Dylan because I saw the love for Tekken within.  From there, we started working as a team to bring the best between a mix of the old age from my experience and some of the new age from Dylan’s and my wife’s expertise.

Kimberly Cauchi

When I was younger, I played Tekken 3 on PlayStation 1. I never knew how much I loved the game and how much I enjoyed it until I started organizing the tournaments myself. After seeing and meeting the community of this game in Malta, I realized that Tekken and the community itself have the potential to grow in various ways. The drawback was that we had a lack of enthusiasm. Since the hype was diminished in Malta and I was asked to hand the task of organizing a tournament, I must say I was a bit shocked. As much as I used to love playing Tekken at a younger age, I had never been an organizer before. I wanted the community to grow stronger and to be the best community on the island. With no experience whatsoever, I challenged myself. I pictured a tournament where players not only compete but also have fun, eat, drink and mostly enjoy each other’s company whilst getting to know one another.

After the success of the first tournament, we had to keep pushing forward. After all the hard work, I thought that it is of utmost importance to have a team name and that is when I came up with the name 'Visionary Iron Team'. Being a team with a lot of visions especially for the game we all love, it sounded perfect. Today I am a proud organizer of the greatest community with an awesome team. We aim high, we work hard and we strive to be successful!

Matteo Privitelli 

I have been a fan of TEKKEN since the third game of the series came out. Unfortunately, the only console I owned was a PlayStation (the first one), which meant that I could only enjoy the next instalments by watching online videos and by playing, only on occasion, casual games with friends and family. Nevertheless, despite the limited opportunities available to me to actually play the TEKKEN games, I never lost interest in the franchise and I kept on reading about its lore, as well as informing myself on the characters and the game mechanics.

When I heard that TEKKEN 7 was to come out on Microsoft Windows, I immediately made it a priority to, not only take this new instalment very seriously, but also to become more involved in the Maltese TEKKEN community. It was because of this that I became more dedicated and devoted to the franchise than I was ever before. The local community most certainly played a crucial role in this new-found passion. Seeing the maturity and the determination of this ever-growing Maltese TEKKEN scene, I subconsciously started making myself more heard and the dormant desire to contribute to this new TEKKEN family finally awakened.

The opportunity arose when, around May 2018, a new tournament was announced for November. This was to be the largest tournament that the Maltese TEKKEN scene was to experience. At first, I was interested in becoming a participant, however, it was not long before a call for shout casters and commentators for the tournament was put forward. This was exactly what I had been hoping for. Before TEKKEN, I was the main shout caster and commentator for the Maltese League of Legends scene. Now, I could become one of the main casters for my all-time favourite fighting game – TEKKEN 7. Thankfully, I was accepted and started forming part of this new team, Visionary Iron Team (VIT), whose members I now consider to be my second family.

My only wish is that VIT keeps on aiming high so that, one day, our country becomes recognised internationally as a destination in which major TEKKEN tournaments can be hosted. If VIT works hard and keeps on organising top-quality tournaments, our country’s attractiveness when it comes to the TEKKEN scene will reach new highs. This will, in turn, open up new opportunities for Maltese players to improve their game and, perhaps, become more encouraged to take their TEKKEN skills to the next level and compete in major tournaments and events. Having said this, with the other team members’ vision and dedication, these ambitions will transcend the boundaries of fiction and become a reality. 

Christian Camilleri

I first came in contact with the local Tekken scene at Junior College. Someone had placed a PS3 and some chairs in the left corner of the entrance hall, with Tekken 5 DR and another game which I don't remember. At first, there were random people every day but slowly 6 or 7 people started being very consistent, including me and a friend. Tekken at that time was mostly mashing and holding back for me, so I was not really any good, but then a small tournament was announced, which was when I took it so seriously I got a copy of Tekken 5 for PS2 just to train for it. I was knocked out in round 1 but I still treasure it as an experience but dropped Tekken as I thought it wasn't for me. Around 5 years later I was browsing Youtube when a video among the suggestions caught my eye. It was the EVO 2010 grand finals between RIP and Nin. I watched it and was amazed at how good they were. I started watching more and more Tekken videos and slowly became a hardcore fan of the game. I went out, got myself a PS3 and Tekken Tag 2 and that was my official entry into the series. 

As for joining Visionary Iron Team, I was approached by Christian for commentary for the upcoming tournament in November. I was so ecstatic I immediately accepted, as this something I have always wanted to do. As a big fan of all the TWT Casters out there, I will be trying my best to do as well as them!

Some fantastic words of encouragement from the Iron Visionary Team. Gamers.com.mt wishes them the best of luck, and we're proud to be sponsoring the upcoming event!

Posted by Gabriel Sciberras on 13th November 2018, 11:46

I'm Gabriel - 17 year-old student attending a sixth form with a little free time on his hands. I've been working with Gamers.com.mt for a roughly a year now - spreading my interests in technology, gaming and writing over the platform along with interviews and hardware reviews. All constructive feedback is appreciated. Thanks for reading!

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