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Fighter Select: Paul Gabriel Fuentes

On loving your scene

Gab Lazaro

While the excitement in our events is something the FGC takes pride in, more important than being hype is being genuinely passionate about the community and the games we play. The most genuine people aren’t always the loudest, and when it comes to loving and supporting your scene, no one is more familiar with it than Paul Gabriel Fuentes.

Known to the Tekken community as PoruKun, he got his first feel of the game at a young age through his brother. PoruKun started taking the game seriously during Tekken 6 and began joining tournaments with Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

PoruKun’s initial character of choice was the sumo wrestler Ganryu. Unfortunately he was removed from the cast after Tekken 6, so PoruKun came to settle with the overweight but surprisingly lithe fighter, Bob.

When it comes to picking your character, competitive players usually do research immediately to find out who’s the strongest among the cast. Bob was infamous for being one of the top characters when he was first introduced. PoruKun however had a simpler reason for picking him up:

“He’s fat. I was fat. I didn’t pretend to be something I wasn’t” PoruKun laughingly explained.

It was sometime during TTT2 when PoruKun noticed that the local community seemed to be uninformed of news and updates in and around the Tekken scene. PoruKun for his part always had a penchant for writing, having joined and posted in international online communities. “I thought, why not make it official and write for a big site?” he thought.

PoruKun eventually found his opportunity with the United Philippine Tekken Community. Founded some time in 2015, Unifiltekken currently stands as the central hub for all things Tekken in the Philippines. Bryan Mendoza, founder and owner of the website, made a posting in search of volunteers who would run the site. PoruKun was one of the first to sign up and was part of the team that launched the site. Since then PoruKun has been actively writing articles for Unifiltekken, and he's even helped organize events, most notably Tara Tekken back in 2015.

Unlike how he got his start with writing, PoruKun’s first venture with live commentary was much more informal.

The opportunity presented itself while he was watching an exhibition match at Playbook for TTT2.

“Sp00ky was there commentating solo. Suddenly sir Richard approached me and asked if I wanted to join him on the desk,” PoruKun recalled.

At first he wasn’t sure what to do. “I’m not considered a great player by the community, and I was very inexperienced in casting.” PoruKun explained.

The opportunity however proved to be too good for him to pass up, and he accepted Richard’s offer. Things turned out for the best and PoruKun found a new set of skills he wanted to work on: casting. From this unexpected turn of events, PoruKun has gone on to cast for some of the biggest events for 2017, including both Rev Major and Manila Cup.

A big part of PoruKun's enjoyment with casting comes from how it helps complement his writing. “You actually see the big matches and talk about it. When I get home to write about them, I get to recall details along with afterthoughts. It’s a great help.” PoruKun explained. Being on commentary has also allowed him to see up close how much the community has grown in terms of skill.

Though he may be known more for his work as a journalist and commentator within the community, PoruKun still hasn’t given up his days of being a competitor. “I’ve been joining more tournaments recently” PoruKun says. “I still aim to be a top player.”

Beyond his own personal aspirations though, PoruKun's bigger goal is to attend more events outside the country or even just outside of Metro Manila. “I want to bring more news and give exposure to some of the more unreached Tekken communities in the country” PoruKun said.

When he became an admin for Tekken Philippines, all that PoruKun really wanted to accomplish was to create a clean and friendly community where everyone can get a good start playing Tekken.

Now that fighting games are seeing a resurgence in popularity, it’ll be up to people like PoruKun to bring the FGC to a wider audience.

"If the community sees me as a personality then it's flattering, but all I really want is to get the word about the Tekken community out there."