Speedkicks retires from competitive Tekken
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American esports pro Stephen "Speedkicks" Stafford announced his retirement from competitive Tekken yesterday, on July 8. In his tweet, he invited fans to participate in his last AMA.
When asked his reason for retiring, Speedkicks replied, "I'm the type of person who wouldn't be satisfied with winning anything. I wouldn't stop even if I won Evo or TWT if I was still into the game. I'm just not into the game anymore." While his competitive career has ended, he does see himself playing the game casually from time to time.
From his words, it's clear Speedkicks is burnt out on Tekken 7, as he has no intention of ever competing in it again. Yet, he did offer his own opinion on what's wrong with the game and how it can be fixed. Bandai Namco just needs to address "the balance/design issues they keep creating with the new patches." Often mentioning the addition of Leroy Smith as his breaking point, it's obvious he wasn't a fan of the game's Season 3 content.
While he's fallen out of love with Tekken 7, he's still very much interested in the Tekken Tag Tournament franchise, but not competitively either. While there's no other fighting game out there right now that's caught his attention, Speedkicks did entertain the thought of picking up Super Smash Bros.
Going forward, Speedkicks plans to focus on Software Engineering for his livelihood. Streaming is also still in his immediate future, but it will be playing games like League of Legends and Chess. It's unfortunate that Speedkicks has no intention of ever returning to competitive play in any title, but he's certainly armed himself for the next exciting chapter of his life.
In a recent post, Panda Global bade farewell to Speedkicks and two other players, former Shadowverse player and content creator, Stavros “Zerofyne” Vitsensatos, and former Super Smash Bros. 64 powerhouse, Dan “SuPeRbOoMfAn” Hoyt. Similar to Speedkicks, SuPeRbOoMfAn and Zerofyne's love for their games have waned, leading to their desire to explore other life choices.
Speedkicks gained a lot of attention after finishing in the Top 8 at EVO 2016. Joining Panda Global in July 2017 as their first Tekken player, he has achieved numerous 1st-place finishes under the PG banner. Speedkicks also made it into the 2017 Tekken World Tour Finals Top 8.