North American Evo winner shares his thoughts about the event
It’s not easy to compete when you have a burden of expectation placed upon you. When you win an online tournament after an online tournament, people start expecting greatness from you. They scrutinize your every failure, and as your army of fans grows, the amount of haters follows suit. This is the time when you need support from your closest ones. The shining example of this are Shadow 20z and Joonya 20z, two brothers that play at the highest level of competition and support each other through thick and thin. We spoke with the Evo 2021 Online Tekken 7 NA winner Shadow 20z about his experience with the event, his brother’s success, his characters, and plans for the future.
Aug 6, 2021
Congratulations on your win at Evo 2021 Online! This certainly wasn’t easy! What did your preparation before the event look like?
Thank you! To prepare, I just made sure to play every day while also making sure I was on point. There isn’t really a way to prepare for a tournament like Evo besides just doing your best.
Both you and your brother made it to Evo Top 8. Tell me, how does it feel?
It feels really great to see my brother do good. He is my biggest supporter, and I am his.
You’re obviously known for your Claudio, but you played the bulk of the event with Zafina. Is she the character you aim to main going forward?
I play Zafina because before I played Claudio, I played her. She is my main character along with him. I play her the majority of the time because she makes a lot of matchups easier.
You also have a pocket Anna. Is she a specific pick against Fahkumram, or can we expect more of her in the future?
I like to play Anna for specific playstyles. Sometimes her 50/50 playstyle gives players a lot of trouble.
In the grand final, Averiey didn’t make it easy for you. Did you expect him to come out from the loser bracket all guns blazing?
I knew that once he had beat Anakin, it was likely that he would make it back to Grand Finals. He had lots of momentum.
His Jin was incredible. You struggled vs. him as Zafina, but you switched to Claudio and it all went swimmingly after that. Is Claudio a better pick into Jin, or is this more of a character familiarity thing?
I think in this situation, Zafina is the better pick into Jin, but it was just best to pick my strongest character. I have more experience against Jin with Claudio, so I was a bit more prepared for certain situations with him.
Tekken 7: IG Averiey_RiB vs. DISRUPT Shadow 20z - Grand Finals - EVO 2021 Online NA
How good do you think the Tekken 7 balance is at the moment? There are some stand-out picks, but you also see some character specialists making very deep runs.
I think the balance is in a good spot right now. Maybe buffing some of the weaker characters would be good, but nothing too drastic needs to happen.
How strong do you think the NA region is compared to some others?
I think NA is really strong compared to any region. The past two years have been mostly online, but I still think a lot of NA has really improved.
With this Evo win, you now get an invite to the Evo Showcase. Who are you looking forward to facing the most?
There are a few players I haven’t played in a tournament yet that I’d like to fight, but if I had to choose just one, it would be Super Akouma.
What are your plans beyond the Evo Showcase? Practice for the next season, or is there something else?
I plan to just keep playing and improving for when offline fully returns.
Let's wish Shadow 20z the best at Evo Showcase this fall! For more Evo 2021 Online coverage, take a look at the special page will all the materials.