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I Just Wanted to Travel With My Friends - Zhen Speaks to DashFight

Femi Famutimi
6 min

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I Just Wanted to Travel With My Friends - Zhen Speaks to DashFight
The LCQ winner was catapulted to the spotlight and we got a chance to talk to him about what that was all about

Following his impressive performance at Capcom CupDashFight got a chance to speak with Zhen with the help of experienced writer Timothy Lee who wrote this piece. You can follow Tim on Twitter and Contently

Zhen was the dark horse of the tournament, and his performance was an eye-opener for many. Below he gives us insights into how he defeated some of his opponents, why people will be forced to respect China now, and how he sees himself as a player now. 


Kuang Zhen boarded the plane out of Hong Kong International airport, full of excitement from the thought of playing his first offline tournament out of China. He joined his two training partners, Yuhan "DCQ" Ding and Yanxin "Vxbao" Luo, as the only representatives from mainland China with no real expectations for the week. Contrary to his thoughts, as well as his own training partners' beliefs, Kuang “Zhen” Zhen was about to become the story of the Capcom Cup

223 players registered for the last chance qualifier for the final spot into the main event, and among them were some of the world’s best players: Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi, Tsunehiro “gachikun” Kanamori, Hiroki “Kichipa” Asano, and Shuto from Japan. Altogether, the field would match even the toughest tournament of the year with multiple world champions and legends of the game. But Zhen defied all expectations and took down the entire tournament without dropping a single set. What was expected to be a trip to Los Angeles with friends as part of a gap year away from school ended up being the biggest moment in his playing career.

DCQ and vxBao always told me that I am a very good Bison and that I’m not worse than other world-class Bisons like Dogura or Problem X. They really think I am good, but I don’t think I am – it’s really their belief,” Zhen said. “They told me that it wouldn’t be a surprise if I won the last chance qualifier, and I just couldn’t believe it. It was acceptable if I beat Problem X. If I lost after that, that would still be acceptable to me.”

Zhen would end up fighting the player he molded so much of his game after, Benjamin “Problem X” Simon in the last chance qualifier and took down his Alex in close fashion. The nerves hardly showed on the screen as he ran his setplay and oppressed with Bison’s signature scissor kick pressure. He would later say that Problem X took advantage of his overall rhythm and rust, but he just kept pressing forward and overwhelmed him. That confidence in his pressure and ability would define his entire week.

It helped that Zhen had the calming advice and encouragement of both his two training partners as well as experienced Capcom Cup players like Leevy “Oil King” Lin. Oil King’s advice before his match against gachikun was key to calming down his nerves and ended up being the key to beating the Rashid main. He cites his specific support and the overall belief of DCQ and vxBao as reasons that helped him just play his game and calm down while he played killer after killer.

“When I first saw Problem X in the last chance qualifier, I knew it was going to be tough. But, after I played against gachikun, I entered a state where I was no longer nervous and just enjoyed playing the game,” Zhen said. “It really hit me that I could win the tournament after I beat Shuto, and thought maybe I can be the champion for that day.”

That momentum from the last chance qualifier carried over, and only one opponent during the entire Capcom Cup truly figured out his play. Zhen would end up finishing runner-up at the end of the entire main event with his signature pressure game, mixups after activation, and calm and collected composure when faced with a deficit. His meter management and overall confidence in his ability to come back after he activated his v-trigger made all the difference when he faced against players with more name recognition than his own – but he didn’t care. He wanted to put China on the map after he received the biggest confidence booster of them all when he qualified into the cup.

“It was good that we can show people how we play. China was not recognized too much, but we worked a lot, and it feels great that we can finally be recognized,” Zhen said. “We’re in the top three in the Asian region as a community. If you see Chinese tournaments, you’ll find out that we’re doing better than a lot of regions – they’re very good. I’m not sure how DCQ and vxBao improved so much. For me, because I practiced with them so much, that really made me strong. When you have top players around you, you’re always going to get stronger.”

He cites both DCQ and vxBao’s retention ability and studying habits around Japanese players as his guess on their rapid ascension into global recognition. But with his own success after the Capcom Cup week, China should be firmly on everyone’s radar as one of the strongest regions in the world. He does want to state that his overall strategy is weak, and he wants to improve on much more without ever becoming cocky.

“The environment is so important. Even though the connection in China is not great, we have our top players that play and train with each other. I hope winning the last chance qualifier and doing well at Capcom Cup will get more players to get into the game,” Zhen said. “I don’t think it’s enough for just us three players to come; we need more players in order to seek more knowledge and learn from other regions.”

If Zhen can have his way after a phenomenal week of play, he would want the world to recognize China as a region on-par with the best in the world. After his incredible run through some of the best players in the game’s history, it would be hard to argue against him.

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