Hyunho “Rangchu” Jung has made quite a name for himself recently. Having relied solely on the lesser-used — and console-only — character Panda, the South Korean has made several high-profile top 8s, including Evo 2018 and Tekken Masters in Japan.
While at Evo, I was able to talk to him about his performance, and what drives him to play such a unique character at the competitive level.
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
Corey “Missing Person” Lanier: I don’t think anyone predicted a Panda in top 8 at Evo, and you played it off perfectly. I have to ask, how much do you think character unfamiliarity helped you in this bracket?
Hyun Ho “Rangchu” Jung: One of the reasons I love using Panda is I don’t rely on vertical moves, only horizontal and tracking moves. I also like using long range attacks, which Panda has a lot of. So for me, Panda’s fighting style is comfortable. And also, Panda is cute!
Missing Person: I also noticed that you have a lot of safe setups on okizeme, where they would try to punish, and would whiff entirely. How long have you labbed up these setups to get them to throw off so many players?
Rangchu: I don’t really practice a lot in training mode. I prefer playing ranked matches, and that allows me to practice things through playing live opponents to see what works, rather than thinking it works on a dummy and it isn’t actually practical.
I actually play this game like I was still in the arcade. I started in Tekken with Bloodline Rebellion as a Zafina, Julia, and Roger Jr. player, so I was used to not only practicing on arcade opponents, but having to practice less-used characters.
I’ve considered using more streamlined characters, but I also think if I do, I wouldn’t be able to replicate my results with these characters. So these unique specialty characters fit me best.
Missing Person: How did it feel having the whole crowd behind you during your play?
Rangchu: I got so passionate about my play, and was happy to hear their voices rallying behind me.
Missing Person: That’s so interesting, because when we watched the end of your match against Noroma, you had a poker face going on. I had to wonder what was going through your mind after that win.
Rangchu: I just felt shy. But after I won, I turned to face Noroma, and saw his face was full of disappointment. I didn’t feel like it would be in good taste to pop off in front of him. But deep down I was actually screaming, of course, because I won.
Missing Person: So with the announcement of Season 2, we’ve seen Anna, Lei, and Negan. We also have three slots that are currently unannounced. Which characters would you be most excited to see come back?
Rangchu: After seeing Anna, I had also played her a bit, so I may true to use her. I would definitely also like to see Zafina or Roger Jr. make a return, and I would definitely them. But honestly, I would love to see characters like Jinpachi or Ogre come back. I would love to give them a try in this system.