As both the current world record holder, the incumbent Kong Off champion, and the majority favorite to win, this year's lineup will have its hands full with Hank.
When I asked Chien how he estimated his prospects, however, he was more sober:
"I'd say my chances of winning the Kong Off are about 20%. Donkey Kong is just that random and the other players are just that good. I believe nobody has more than a 50% chance of winning. However, I have a 100% chance of beating Vincent Lemay (only joking, Vincent has improved his game a lot over the past year)."
As for his tournament-specific strategy:
"I'm going to back off my game a lot for the Kong Off and play around 1.05M pace. It's not realistic to expect to go all out and finish a game under those conditions. One weekend is not that many attempts when an average attempt takes 2-3 hours (including restarts and aborted games)."
The defending champ. The smart money pick. And with the announcement dropping just 11 days before zero-hour that he topped his own world record again, the Kong Off 2 is truly Chien's tournament to lose.
Something tells me he's not going to.
Next: Billy Mitchell »