The Kings of Kong: Vincent Lemay

He speaks—usually in the form of catchphrases and loud swearing—in a thick French accent. He can bench-press over 300 pounds. He had a bizarrely-proportioned Donkey Kong machine custom-built for him by fellow Canadian Robert Felstein (the Lucius Fox of the Donkey Kong community, who also fashioned arcade-style MAME control panels for the competitors who don't own machines).

If you're able to attend a future Kong Off, I would urge you to experience Vincent Lemay for yourself.

While he came up just 2,700 points short of Hank Chien's world record, Lemay made headlines in the gaming world in January 2013 when he snagged the number two spot live from the 1up in Denver.

Even though he has moved on from pursuing the record, I would be first in line to buy the DVD of Vincent Lemay: The Movie.

Before the "Lakeman versus Copeland" era began, near the end of 2014, a long-standing rivalry boiled between Lemay and Dr. Chien. At the Kong Off 2 in 2012, Lemay assessed his chances with graceful humility:

"The other players are good. But I'm perfect. My goal isn't to finish first. My goal, and only goal, is to kick the sh*t out of Hank. People will say: 'That's a WAY too easy goal! You should aim for a much higher goal than that!' They are right, I know."

Obligatory trash-talk aside, Vincent did indeed come very close to beating Hank and taking his record. It was not to be, but he somehow managed to leave the impression that he had.

Next: Steve Wiebe »

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