Italy's "Queen of Tekken" grants us an exclusive interview, delving into her early beginnings in gaming and Tekken.
Welcome to an exclusive interview with Luxsylva, a name that has been making waves in the competitive Tekken scene for quite some time now.
Luxsylva, hailing from Italy, is more than just a passionate gamer; she's a relentless force to be reckoned with in the world of Tekken. In this candid conversation, we will dive deep into Luxsylva's remarkable journey, from her humble beginnings as a Tekken enthusiast to her noteworthy achievements in the highly competitive realm of fighting games.
What sets Luxsylva apart is not just her exceptional skill but her unique perspective, stunning cosplay, and rich history with the Tekken franchise. Intrigued by her remarkable journey and the impact she's had on the gaming community, we sought out this exclusive interview to share her story with our readers.
Luxsylva's presence in the Tekken community is nothing short of impressive. She has participated in Tekken World Tour events in Europe multiple times, consistently securing a spot in the Top 32 among a fierce field of over 350 players. Her unwavering dedication and unmatched skill have catapulted her to the forefront of the competitive Tekken scene.
Join us in this interview as we delve into Luxsylva's incredible journey, gain insights into her unique perspective within the FGC, and talk about the highly anticipated Tekken 8.
Arcade Press: Hey Luxsylva, how are you?
Lux Sylva: Hi! I'm doing great, thanks! Hopefully, you are as well!
AP: Very good! I’m curious, can you tell us about where you're from and how you got your name?
LS: My real name is Silvia, and I am known as Luxsylva. I'm from Italy! I changed my username roughly 3 years ago; I was previously playing under the name 'silvyjun.' I decided to give it a change because I needed something fresh. "Lux" doesn't stand for the League of Legends original character, but instead, it's the Latin language version of the meaning, which stands for "light." "Sylva" without the "i" is due to the original Latin version of my name. So, the final meaning would be "light of the inhabitant of the wild," and the light is there to bring that sparkle of positivity in addition to my name.
AP: You play Tekken competitively! How did you become so skilled?
LS: My journey with Tekken is quite long, I dare say! Before entering the competitive scene, there were some steps (as is the case for most people, I believe). I started playing for fun on my own, trying out several characters, and eventually, I became very passionate about it, creating my own story.
Originally, a childhood friend of mine wanted to exchange CD-ROMs back then, and he gave me one called "DEMO ONE" for PS-one, dated to '98, probably because it contained demos of games from that PS era, despite it being fully in the PS2 era. I was still very curious about it, so I gave it a try and found the "Tekken 3" demo on that disk, along with Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Tomb Raider, and others. I simply fell in love with it! You could play only Xiaoyu and Eddy, and I had tons of fun playing it with my younger brother and some friends!
Some years later, with the expansion of forums, I accidentally discovered there was an active offline scene, where Italy was the strongest country in Europe for Tekken at that time. It piqued my curiosity. I was very surprised to see so many veterans being so dedicated to a video game and traveling around the world to compete. Since this was prior to what is now called 'Esports,' witnessing this growth over the years has been quite interesting and inspiring!
With the release of Tekken Tag 2 in 2011 and the return of my long-time favorite character, Jun, I decided to jump into the online scene, primarily on X360 and later on PS3. I began attending offline competitions more frequently and meeting the active community at that time. I remember I had a tough time deciding on my main team because the game had plenty of characters. I decided to keep Jun & Asuka together because I thought they had good synergy.
Thanks to the Italian community and later with the collaboration of the French community, I gained a better understanding of Tekken's competitive side and developed my unique interpretation of it. It also strengthened my third language skills, if we don't consider Italian dialects, haha!
AP: What are your fondest Tekken memories?
LS: There are many to choose from, and I admit I have difficulty remembering specific details, but here are some of my fondest memories.
I think the first experiences are the ones that left the most significant mark on me, so I'll focus on those. One of the stories comes from a rivalry that eventually turned into a friendship. I can share a story about when a community began to blossom in my area.
It happened during my first and second regional tournaments, where I used to focus on the objective of overcoming my inner demons (haha). By that, I mean overcoming the fear of being judged and gaining more confidence by putting myself in an uncomfortable situation and stepping out of my comfort zone without a physical supporter around me. So, I did it. Trying to convert the stress of competing into adrenaline was another process to apprehend, I can tell. It doesn't happen in just a few occasions either (I still have to work on it, but it got better over time).
So, in this particular tournament, I had to take a train to go to Foggia (a city with a bad reputation) and go to a video games shop where the competition was held. There were many people there, and I received a mixed welcome. Some were curious, some looked down on me, and some asked, "What are you even doing here?" which was most likely a reference to the fact that I was the only girl participating (not counting the spectators). However, I tried to shift my attention to the event as quickly as possible, gathering enough adrenaline to make my Asuka/Jun team work against...
Surprisingly, something like 10 teams made up of Double Law (Forest & Marshall)?! That was the main character choice for a particular reason. The reason behind this was a Law veteran player who was teaching all his friends how to play Tekken with Marshall Law. This led to one of the most unique Tekken events I've ever entered, with matches played on laggy monitors (Tekken players, does this sound familiar?). We were asked to play important matches on the bad monitors intentionally.
When I managed to get into the top positions after overcoming these difficulties, I finally proved to myself that I could make it by believing more in myself. That was a very important step for me! Receiving positive comments from other girls present at the event and from the other spectators filled my heart with positive energy. It also made those people more interested in joining Tekken tournaments in the future. The good thing that came out of all of this? We eventually became a good starter group to help the community grow and become more supportive of each other to this day! The group now consists of around 50 people of varying skill levels in the area.
Other fond memories come from various trips to many places, both in my own country and abroad, where I've met people from all around the world. My first TWT (Tekken World Tour) experiences gave me the chance to meet Mr. Harada and Mr. Murray. Receiving positive comments from the latter during my matches at TWT Finals in Amsterdam is a memory I can still recall to this day!
More beautiful moments have been gathered from the inspiration we shared among players, and I've had the privilege of encouraging other girls to take the initiative and show up at events, leaving a positive mark!
AP: How do you generally feel about Tekken 8? Are you excited to compete in it as well?
LS: Tekken 8 is AMAZING so far! I've played the CNT (Closed Network Test) extensively, and I can't wait to play both my favorite Jun and Asuka in the same game! The game's visuals are fantastic, and the gameplay is very dynamic. I'd like to see a few tweaks to the Heat System and shorter combos, but overall, it's shaping up to be a great game. I've been waiting for this chapter for several years already.
Regarding the competitive aspect, I'd like to try it with my real main, even though I'm not entirely sure yet to what extent. I'm still trying to understand my "own way" and how far I can explore it. I still would like to give it another chance, though.
AP: Do you believe that being alady in the FGC gives you a unique perspective on fighting games like Tekken?
LS: Yes, absolutely. Being a woman in the FGC does provide a unique perspective. Now that you mention it, I've always been a curious person by nature, constantly comparing and examining the differences between various games, especially in this genre. I've looked at how women are represented in terms of design, gameplay, and presentation in different games.
I've conducted research on female fighters, paying attention to the feelings they evoke and how they have been represented over time. While many different fighting styles have been introduced, I haven't seen as much diversity in terms of facial features and body types for female characters. Often, the same stereotypes are used.
In Tekken, I've noticed that most female characters share a similar model in the game with very small changes between them, leaving little room for creativity. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing a female fighter who is a bit older, not the typical high school girl, maybe someone in her 40s or 50s, similar to Sonya Blade in Mortal Kombat, who has been a part of the series for a long time and remains iconic.
I'm pleased to see that in Street Fighter 6 and Tekken 8, female characters are portrayed in more "relaxed" clothing styles with outfits you could wear during the day without being hypersexualized. This is already a significant step in the right direction.
In terms of fighting style, I perceive the Tekken girls as more the 'ballerina' type, which seems to attract a larger audience of girls, representing a more feminine nature. However, how this representation is done matters a lot. Personally, I'm more drawn to female characters with strong and resolute behavior, like Cassandra from Soul Calibur and Asuka from Tekken, but also to graceful and peaceful characters like Jun, as well as upbeat and extroverted characters like Athena and Kula from King of Fighters. This doesn't mean I can't be interested in other and new archetypes of characters; it depends on how they are represented.
Recently, I've noticed a new trend of the "psycho" archetype, probably inspired by the famous Harley Quinn, with characters like Juri and A.K.I. drawing a lot of interest and positive comments. I believe that the "bad girl" archetype should be explored more, with deep backgrounds that make the character more interesting and realistic, as no one is just one-sided in terms of personality. I loved the duality of "yin and yang," even if it wasn't canonical, in the characters Jun and Unknown in TTT2. That's an example of the kind of depth that can make characters more engaging.
AP: Besides Tekken, what are your other favorite games?
LS: That's a great question! I have several games that I'm passionate about. One game with a sentimental factor is Wild Arms for the PSOne, a JRPG with a unique Western-fantasy setting. If we exclude fighting games, some of my favorites include Resident Evil, Clock Tower (I'm delighted to see that they've confirmed remasters), Final Fantasy, Devil May Cry, and more recently, Persona 5 Royal, which is an absolute masterpiece!
AP: Could you tell us about your most notable Tekken achievements?
LS: With Tekken, I've had the opportunity to play with people from all around the world, each with different mentalities and cultures. This has affected my gameplay and allowed me to learn more, especially in the past. After 2020, with the pandemic and such, I slowed down a bit to focus on other aspects of life and my passions, and I began creating content on various platforms.
In Tekken, I started to train more seriously with Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (TTT2), and I was proud to face my fears and gain more confidence by putting myself out there. I achieved high rankings at regionals and placed in the top 12 in a national tournament for TTT2 in Italy. I also participated in larger events in France, making it to the top 8 and 16 in Season 1 of Tekken 7 at local, regional, and national levels. I diversified my gameplay beyond Asuka, trying out Chloe, Xiaoyu, and Lili in tournaments in Marseille, Lyon, and Paris, where I had the chance to train with some of the best players in the area.
I participated in TWTs in Europe, and for at least four times, I made it to the Top 32 out of over 350 players participating. One of my most recent achievements was reaching the Top 8 in a TWT Dojo in Rome last year.
I'd also like to mention a personal "extra achievement." I've been mentioned several times by Katsuhiro Harada, once for my Jun Kazama cosplay, which you can find in the top search results on Google, and other times for an interview I did for an Italian TV channel during the "Only The Best II" tournament in Naples. I was also mentioned for discovering rare vintage hidden cabinets of the original Tekken games around Europe during my travels!
Another positive experience for me was receiving compliments in person from Mr. Murray for the matches I played during TWT Finals in Amsterdam. It genuinely made me happy. I've also received compliments from other girls who found inspiration in my journey, knowing that there are other girls out there making them feel safer in the FGC. That makes me feel grateful and glad to hear!
AP: Is there anything else you'd like our audience to know?
LS: I'm aware that I'm not the most consistent when it comes to streaming or creating content, but my sincere passion for gaming is always there. I appreciate everyone who has noticed my dedication over the years. I've always enjoyed freely sharing my opinions without filters.
Stay tuned for my full return to streaming and content creation as soon as Tekken 8 is released! You can also count on me for all the Jun content you need, so you know where to find me!
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story, and to the readers, keep up the great content!