One year after making history by winning EVO Japan 2019, the young Tekken master Arslan Ash intends to make history as he sets off to participate in the prestigious tournament again.
While last year, he was the ultimate underdog trying his luck for the first time, this year he enters the competition with a target on his back.
As the EVO Japan 2019 champion, Ash will be looking to retain his crown this year – something he admits is more difficult. “I feel different going into EVO Japan 2020 because I am practically defending my title and it’s more difficult to defend the title than win it,” said the Tekken crown-bearer in an earlier interview with Red Bull.“So, the pressure is on. And people are preparing to face me. You never know what happens but I will, of course, give me 100%.”
The pressure is high but Ash isn’t nervous at all. His intensive practice routine has paid off so far and he believes it will continue to. “I wake up at 4 am, pray and go to the gym. Then from around noon to eight or nine at night, I practice Tekken,” he said. “I am trying not to make the mistakes I made in the world tour last year and to devise perfect gameplay. I go to different arcades every day so that I get accustomed to different kinds of players and face different threats and strategies.”
Ash believes he is 80-90% ready to compete. Since Tekken World Tour in 2019, he has added Zafina to his collection of players, besides Kazumi and Geese.
As he prepares to continue his winning streak and conquer EVO Japan 2020, Ash does believe Japanese, Korean and Pakistani Tekken players offer the strongest competition in the world and therefore he must be prepared. “I just want to win it all again,” he said. “People have more expectations this time around. The spotlight is on me. I feel in a way it’s my national responsibility and I hope that I win again and make Pakistan proud.”
With EVO Japan 2020 starting in just a few days, Ash is determined to win again, retain his title of the top Tekken player in the world and make Pakistan proud.