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Matt Chan unseats Joe Thomas to become a Central Region Champion on The Titan Games

“...the Titan Games only crowns one Titan Champion and that is my sole focus moving forward.”

Steve Dietl/NBC

On a recent episode of The Titan Games, Dwayne Johnson discussed how the changes to the format allowed for more redemption in the games. Challengers who are eliminated in one game have a chance to force a tie-breaker. Challengers eliminated on Mount Olympus can still return in the regional finals to prove themselves once again.

To this point, no one has embodied the redemption of games more than firefighter Matt Chan. During his first appearance in the Central Region, he lost Lunar Impact to Bartley Weaver, but won on Nuts and Bolts and in the tie-breaker. On Mount Olympus, he pushed NFL Pro Bowler Joe Thomas to the max but lost in a last second twist that still makes our jaws drop.

Fueled by redemption, Matt returned for the regional finals. After wins in Hammer Down and Resistance, he met Joe on Mount Olympus once more. Running a race that was a picture of perfection despite the mounting pressure from Joe in the final moments, Matt snagged the Titan title for himself and will represent the Central Region in The Titan Games Championship later in the season.

Steve Dietl/NBC

Matt touched base with us via email to provide some insight on how he stayed focused on success despite some upsets along the way.

What was your motivation for joining The Titan Games?

MC: Who wouldn’t wanna be involved in epic events against some of the coolest people on Earth? The opportunity to participate on a grown-up playground in front of a live audience and on national television would be an amazing opportunity.

You lost your first Mount Olympus battle to Joe Thomas by just “a turn.” How did that affect your mindset as you returned for the regional finals?

MC: It actually had a profound positive impact on my mindset. I knew despite the mistakes that I made during my first head to head match up with Joe Thomas, I was still within a second of a different outcome. If I earned a second opportunity to face Joe head to head, I would not make the same mistakes twice.

During Resistance, you took a commanding lead over Kaleb Redden. What was your strategy during that game?

MC: Obviously getting a faster start to the first barrel would be key in establishing a lead. My plan was to then sweep the barrels to each side so that I could throw out two barrels from one position. That strategy worked out well and it was my favorite event that far in the competition.

How did it feel to face Joe again on Mount Olympus and finally claim the title for yourself?

MC: It was a very gratifying feeling to work my way through the losers bracket in order to earn a second opportunity to face Joe on mount Olympus. Knowing the caliber of athlete that he is and having faced him once before, I knew it was going to be a match up for the ages. I focused on performing my best and executing each obstacle as I visualized in my mind. Becoming the Central Region Titan was extremely exciting, yet more work needs to be done.

Can you sum up how it feels to be one of the Central Region Champions?

MC: Being the Central Region Champion for the men’s division is exciting, but the Titan Games only crowns one Titan Champion and that is my sole focus moving forward. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of positive energy to beat the other regional champions in the finale.

Matt will return to The Titan Games later in the season. You can catch new episodes on Mondays at 8pm EST/PST on NBC.