The 6th KAC preliminaries closed last week and for the first time in the history of the event, North America was able to participate in DDR A – granting the players to be able to compete in Japan amongst other top players from other regions. With the top two players from each region securing spots for the championship, The wild card is the highest scoring worldwide player excluding the top two of each region and KAZE.573 managed to take the spot, becoming the third North American player to compete.
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I asked a few questions to the top 2 North American players, Jeff Lloyd (fungah) and Chris Chike (iamchris4life) in a monumental and memorable experience both players will soon become apart of.
1: It’s been a long time coming that the United States has been able to compete in The KAC, what was your first reaction to this news that (North American) players are able to compete in The 6th KAC (Konami Arcade Championship)?
2: Both of you are incredibly skilled at the game – what runs through your head when preparing in tournaments or in this case, high EX scoring?
3: What else are you planning on your trip to Japan?
4: Anything you’d like to share with our readers?
1. I was elated. For the longest time, Americans have been given the short stick when it comes to DDR, either with awful cabinets or no network support, so even though DDR A was officially released in the US, I wasn’t keeping my hopes up that we’d be able to enter KAC. Hearing the news that we could enter made me extremely happy – I love tournaments more than anything. As we’ve seen in the qualifiers, competition drives scores up and helps players achieve what we all thought wasn’t possible before, so it’s truly an honor to be a part of this.
2. My goal is always just execution. I’m confident in my abilities, but putting everything together in one insane set was incredibly challenging. I had to remind myself to keep calm and take the arrows slow, since I tend to rush sections when I get nervous. And I experimented with a bunch of different techniques and mods for the qualifiers specifically until I found something that I felt the most confident with. But other than that, I try to not get in my own head too much (though I’m not always successful).
3. I haven’t been contacted by Konami regarding what dates we’re going yet, so I’m honestly not sure how much time I’ll have. Ideally, I’d like to make a bit of a vacation out of it. It’ll be my 5th time in Japan, so I’ll probably just eat some Coco Ichibanya, travel around a bit, and spend some time with all the DDR players from around the world that I’ve met in the last 13+ years of my life.
4. I’d just like to thank all my supporters for believing in me. Even though I didn’t get 1st seed, I’ll do what I can to make it to the finals and maybe even win it all. Feel free to follow me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/fungah_ ) to see updates of my progress over the next month. Thanks!
1. Excitement! I’ve never been to Japan before, so I was pumped when this opportunity was given to us.
2. I try my best to understand which skillsets or specific songs my opponents excel at. Then, in the DDR sessions leading up to the tournament, I focus on improving those skillsets/songs.
3. It’s too soon to make plans yet, but the main thing I’d like to do is meet the top DDR players from the other regions and play DDR with them.
5. I am really proud to be among the first DDR players to represent America in KAC. I’ll be trying my best to take the title home!
We’d like to say good luck to all finalists from each region!