Chatting with the Champ: Uzaki
As a fulltime student in London, Vietnamese PES player Viet Nguyen “Uzaki” juggles multiple activities in his spare time. In between training for tournaments, the 4-time champion of the London PESrankings Offline Event plays administrator to the Pes.vn forums and commander and chief to the PES Vietnamese community. Going into the PES UEFA Champions League Festival 2013 as winner of the UK region, Uzaki went on to finish as the tournament’s second runner up.
Recently conferred the opportunity to pursue a masters degree programme in UK, the avid gamer who turned 24 not too long ago, admits that he enjoys the experience of competitive gaming and isn’t a glory hunter as some make him out to be. Speaking to us in an exclusive interview, Uzaki recalls his exploits at the recent PES UCL Festival and relates to us what it means to be an eSports professional who’s not only highly regarded by his peers but his countrymen as well.
RGN: You managed an outstanding performance at the recent tournament in Europe, what are your thoughts on your fantastic finish?
Uzaki: I didn’t take the final results too seriously. It was perfect to have a chance to share in the interests with seniors from all around the world and Konami’s staff. Unfortunately, due to examinations 3 weeks before the tournament, I didn’t have chance to practice (not even one match before the event). However, my experience on PES has generated some unique skills in me; I believe I’ve managed to impress other international fellows with my own style of playing.
RGN: What are your opinions on European competition and players? Are their play styles any different and do they compare with players from the PESVN community?
Uzaki: It [PES UCL] is the biggest PES tournament in Konami history. No doubt they prepared for it very professionally and made sure every player felt comfortable. I certainly think that there are a lot of talented people who deserve a place at this event but sadly this is only for the EU area. My competitors on the grand final were outstanding and played fair to be honest. It is hard to compare their skills to our Pes.vn players but I believe we have a lot to learn before we are able to compete with them.
RGN: What’s your most memorable moment in this competition? Which was your toughest match and who was the gamer you appreciated most and why?
Uzaki: It must have been the second round in group stages and my opponent was a Swedish gamer. That game was tough and very exciting. When the time went into the final minutes, he equalized. I thought I would drop 2 points regrettably but right after my kick-off, I played the ball quickly in some special way and finished the took my chance. It’s hard to describe how I, my opponent or anyone there felt at that moment.
My hardest match might be the semi-final game against a Spanish player. The pressure was so high and I could not really focus on the game and play at my best. But the Spanish guy deserved to win.
The champion, Pedro from Portugal and WiDe who represented Germany were some players that I appreciate most. While Pedro‘s very young and definitely the most determined guy that day, WiDe proved why he is a PES legend by his confident style (both outside and inside the game).
RGN: What have you learnt from that competition, as both a gamer and as an admin of PESVN community?
Uzaki: As a gamer and the leader of PES Vietnam, I feel more confident after experiencing what it’s like to play other leading gamers. Networking between gamers and the Konami team is also an important benefit that I think will be helpful for developing PES VN Community in the future. Hopefully I will have chance to learn from them and make a better and brighter the Vietnamese community’s future.
RGN: You have been heralded as a hero, what are your thoughts on the fantastic reception you’ve been receiving since?
Uzaki: Proud, of course, not only as a Vietnamese gamer but also as the leader of my community. It is unbelievable that I represented the UK for the grand final and made an impression for Vietnamese community despite only being here for 6 months. I have never had this feeling before - the happiness when your dream really comes true.
RGN: Are you familiar with the new engines in PES 2014 and FIFA14 (the FOX engine and the IGNITE engine)? If so do you think it’ll change gameplay drastically?
Uzaki: Honestly I don’t really pay much attention on PES or FIFA since studying has been my priority. However, I believe with the new engines, PES and FIFA will be more exciting than ever!
RGN: There’s been a lot of competition between FIFA and PES. What’s your opinion on this and have you or will you consider joining any FIFA tournament?
Uzaki: I don’t think there is a big contradiction between PES and FIFA. There are a lot of great PES gamers have made the switch to FIFA and earn significant achievements (such as the UK PES Champion last year, the Greek player who actually changed his field for couple of months and became the UK FIFA Champion; or the French gamer who won FIWC 2 years was a PES-er before that). I think the most important thing is the right attitude towards football and of course, being focus on practicing.
I used to attend some FIFA events but only for experiencing the difference that PES didn’t possess. I really think that the 2 communities can be friends. Whatever the version is, attitude is always the most important factor.
RGN: What are your thoughts on the current state of the PESVN community now?
Uzaki: Pes.vn is currently still running well and deserves to be the official PES Community representing PES Vietnam. I believe Pes.vn will make a substantial move when PES goes next-gen. PESVN is taking the right steps towards international reputability. We will try to improve ourselves significantly so let’s see.
RGN: Tell us a bit about some of the plans you have for the future, gaming and non-gaming.
Uzaki: I am making studies the first priority right now and building a fundamental future for myself. PES is always a hobby that I am passionate about. Perhaps I will not be solely responsible running Pes.vn as I used to but I will try to inspire and support potential gamers to follow their dreams and find their own way.
Moreover I will try my best to be able to contribute at the World Final as long as it doesn’t affect my study. I never change my own principle about final result: it will never be as important as the journey leading to it, for as long as I know that I have given my best, I will be proud of myself.
RGN: Thanks for your time; it has been a pleasure speaking to you! Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Uzaki: Thanks RGN for giving me a chance to share my thoughts with you guys, especially the fan of PES. Hopefully there will be more chances like this in the near future.
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