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We Talk To EVO Tekken 7 Champion About Tekken 8 & The Series’ State

It’s not every day you get to speak to one of the world champions of 3D fighting game Tekken 7. It’s not common to also hear honest thoughts about the sequel from pro players who somehow find time in-between . We managed to grab an exclusive with 4-time EVO champion Arslan Ash about the game, the current meta, and Tekken 8.

Check out the video interview below. Transcript’s below.

Hi, my name is Arslan Ash and I am from Lahore, Pakistan and I am 28 years old. I play Tekken 7 and my biggest accomplishments so far are that I am a four time champion. 

I have won multiple events but I think the four time champion is my biggest accomplishment. I used to play fighting games when I was a child.

I used to have an arcade center in front of my house. So I think that’s the reason because after school I used to go to the arcade center in front of my house and I used to play Tekken 3 back then. So I think this is how I started playing fighting games.

So before the big events like EVO Japan or EVO USA or any other big events,

I play around 8 hours, 9 hours a day. But the thing is that when you are training, you shouldn’t be training, you shouldn’t be playing with your teammates or online but you should lab as well. So I think that is what I do and what other players don’t do.

They don’t lab, they just keep playing but they don’t lab or they don’t understand. With labbing, it’s like labbing the character and also understanding how your opponent thinks.

So I do the board thing, I watch my opponent’s matches, how he reacts when he’s about to die or in tense situations, which move he presses.

So I do that and I think that helps me. 


On The State Of Tekken 7 And His Current Run So Far

So I think it was an amazing experience so far. I won the tournament but it was hard. The tournament was tough because I was sent to losers earlier in the pools by Kokoma, a Korean player. So the tournament was hard but I fought my way all the way to the winner’s final, then grand final and I won from low-high twice. It was tough but it was an amazing experience. I learned a lot and this is what I am doing. I am travelling before Tekken World Tour Finals so I can get experience as much as I can.

I think this year is one of the best years of my career so far. I have won multiple championships this year like EVO Japan, EVO USA, then Combo Breaker and then multiple tournaments I have won. I got a lot of experience and I grew as a player, as a person better this year.

I think my biggest win, EVO, really helped my local scene to shine. They got more opportunities and more sponsors came. Pakistan got more sponsors and more support. Now we are having more events than ever in the past. Recently we got one of the biggest Tekken tournament in Pakistan. And we have now 5 to 6 players who are internationally sponsored. So it’s helping them a lot. And also it’s not about only me, but the other players who are going and also winning abroad.


The Current Meta: Top 5 Characters Of Tekken 7 So Far

So I think now, the top characters at the moment are Akuma, Fang, Kunimitsu, Noctis, Jin. I think these are top 5. 

I think for Akuma everybody knows that he is the most broken character. Having 10 frame punish combo and 12 frame combo, 13, 15 frame combo. I think he is just broken. Fang is overall not a broken character but he is very good. He has everything. Kunimitsu is very good in tournaments, not in long sets. Noctis is very basic character, has good punishments. Back 2 is kind of broken. Down 4, 1 is amazing.

And Jin I think is a perfect character. His parry is scary, has 4, 4 neutral 4, 2, 1 amazing poking game. I think yeah, that’s the reason.

When I was in Korea I asked people who are their top 3, the way you are asking me. And who are their top 5 characters in the game. Almost everyone said Katarina is the top 3 or top 5 at least. Which I think she is not. But I want to see if the whole community, Korean community is very strong. If the whole community is saying that, that character has potential. So she must have potential. I want to explore her potential and I want to see how good that character is. So that’s why I want to try Katarina.


The Best Players In Tekken 7 (Apart From Him)

I think one is always Knee. Knee is one of the toughest opponents so far. Atif, but he is my training partner. Him, recently LowHigh, I had an amazing fight with him. In Jemputan Championship in Malaysia, Ulsan is also amazing. I think these 4 players are the best. Our other player who gave me the toughest time.

Why? I think because they are strong, I guess. They are like the best in their region or the best in their country. Everybody knows Knee. How competitive he is. How strong he is. And Ulsan is like the youngest Korean player. One of the youngest Korean players. And has a lot of potential. LowHigh is like a very good, very strong player. Good reflexes and everything. I think these are the reasons.


The Toughest Part Of Learning Tekken 7

The toughest part of learning a game like Tekken 7 would be high level. Not junior level. High level. I think the first thing you can do is to learn frame data.

Frame data is really important now. It really helps you at the highest level of gameplay. The other thing that can help you is watching your own matches and learning from your own matches.

If you are fighting, let’s say somebody. You should better watch your own match and analyze your own match. I think match analysis is also very important.

So that’s the second thing. The third thing would be how determined you are towards your goal. I think one of the toughest part is to learn the frame data.


On Tekken 8

I don’t like, to be honest, if you ask my humble opinion or genuine opinion.

I don’t like it too much, but it’s not the final product. I don’t like the heat mechanics, I don’t like the chip damage thing. A lot of things are imbalanced. But since as Harada and Michael Murray said, it’s not the final product. Final product would be much different than this one. So I am hoping for them to make a better version of Tekken 8.

Still, there are a lot of imbalanced things in the game. I hope it gets fixed soon. First thing is heat. I think heat shouldn’t be given. You should be able to earn it. That’s how you will value your heat. You will value your meter. If you are earning a meter, then you value your meter. What’s happening now is that every round is pretty much the same. You are starting the round with heat. You don’t care, you just waste your meter any time you want to waste. I think that’s the issue right now with the game.

Chip damage is too much, combo damage is pretty high. And as you see now, stage is looking broken. I don’t know, a lot of things.

I think Jack, Jin, Lily, I guess. These are the characters. I think a lot of people are going to play. Maybe Feng as well. Feng is also sick. So I think these guys. Feng is really strong right now. And Fang is also a character people love to play. In female characters Lily is top tier, I guess. Very strong. Jack is broken. I think these are the characters you will be seeing a lot.



I think that my advice would be, you can make a career out of it, that’s the biggest thing.

Because when we think of giving our 100% to something, we are just sacrificing everything for it. So I think if you are willing to do that, there is a scope, there is money, there is respect, you can make a name of yourself.

Everything is there for you. And if you are passionate about video gaming, I think Tekken 8 is going to be huge. You can earn a lot of money, fame and everything. So yeah, if you are really passionate, you should start playing Tekken 8.



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