The Tekken World Tour Finals in California concluded this past weekend, putting an end to several months of grueling practice and tournament bouts that hundreds of prospective champions put themselves through to be named the best in the world. Featuring sixteen elite participants representing several countries, the TWT Finals boasted a seemingly unending supply of hype and some shocking upsets and pleasant surprises across a long, but entertaining 9-hour broadcast.

The event has two phases: first is round robin groups, where players are separated into fours and begin to play each other. The two best performers in each group get to go on top 8, with first place starting in winners, and second place starting in losers, transitioning into the traditional double-elimination format.

Streaming was handled by the official Tekken channel on Twitch.

Tekken 7

GROUPS

GROUP 1

  • 1. Echo Fox | JDCR [Dragunov]: 3-0
  • 2. Circa | Joey Fury [Jack-7]: 2-1
  • 3. TDG | Fergus [Asuka, Xiaoyu]: 1-2
  • 4. UYU | P.Ling [Xiaoyu]: 0-3

GROUP 2

  • 1. Qudans [Devil Jin]: 3-0
  • 2. PG | Speedkicks [Hwoarang]: 2-1
  • 3. CKT | Blackbeard [Josie]: 1-2
  • 4. Crazy | Super Akouma [Akuma]: 0-3

GROUP 3

  • 1. CGG | Tissuemon [Master Raven]: 3-0
  • 2. COOASGAMES | Noroma [Jack-7]: 2-1
  • 3. Anakin [Jack-7, Paul]: 1-2
  • 4. DG | KaneAndTrench [Yoshimitsu]: 0-3

GROUP 4

  • 1. Echo Fox | Saint [Jack-7]: 3-0
  • 2. NCSS | Jimmy J Tran [Bryan]: 2-1
  • 3. Yamasa | Nobi [Dragunov]: 1-2
  • 4. ROX | Knee [Dragunov, Steve]: 0-3

The tournament began with JDCR, Speedkicks, Tissuemon, and Saint all being put into separate groups due to them being the Evo champion (in JDCR’s case) and regional leaders in TWT points. The rest of the players were drawn one by one and allowed to pick which group to join. Most of the other favorites to win the tournament – such as Jimmy Tran, Qudans, and Knee – all purposely avoided JDCR. Unfortunately, this led to Group 4 being particularly stacked with killers, and in a surprising turn that no one expected going into the event, Knee went 0-3 in his group. Jimmy Tran, America’s golden boy, put on what were quite possibly the two best matches in the entire group phase, against Nobi and Knee. Tissuemon put on a shockingly good display as he managed to overcome two of the four Jack players in the event with a character that few people see success with in a competitive environment. JDCR handily overwhelmed the other players in group 1, as did Qudans in group 2, who is possibly JDCR’s greatest threat outside of his own teammate, Saint.

TOP 8

  • 1. Qudans [Devil Jin]
  • 2. Echo Fox | Saint [Jack-7]
  • 3. Echo Fox | JDCR [Dragunov, Heihachi]
  • 4. CGG | Tissuemon [Master Raven]
  • 5. Circa | Joey Fury [Jack-7, Paul]
  • 5. COOASGAMES | Noroma [Jack-7]
  • 7. PG | Speedkicks [Hwoarang]
  • 7. NCSS | Jimmy J Tran [Bryan]

Unfortunately for the United States, two of its three representatives in top 8 are eliminated immediately, including golden boy Jimmy Tran. Joey Fury was able to last a bit longer, but wasn’t able to break top 4, placing 5th alongside Japan’s Noroma. Tissuemon comes in fourth after continuing to skillfully persevere through the onslaught of Jack-7 players he had to endure. He’s the only person in the whole tournament to have fought all four Jack-7s who qualified, beating three of them (Saint being the only loss).

JDCR comes in third after a dramatic fight with Qudans that saw him pleasantly surprising everyone with a Heihachi pick, but his efforts still came up short. Finally, Saint and Qudans squared off in grand finals, with Qudans managing an awe-strikingly consistent domination over the Echo Fox member, forcing a reset from losers bracket after being sent there by Saint in the first place. His momentum continued until he took home the win and tearfully accepted his trophy.

It was truly an event to witness; one which showed that the world of Tekken was one where dreams came true. Many expected another all-Echo Fox grand finals, but ended up with a champion who has been an elite player for over a decade, but almost never had the opportunity to travel. We all look forward to next year’s Tekken World Tour, and hope to see both known names and new faces competing throughout the year.

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Matthew Fetrow

I've been playing video games since 4 years of age, and finally began to deeply invest myself into the world of fighting games in 2015 after many off-and-on encounters with games inside the genre. I have a preference for 3D fighters, but also enjoy Street Fighter, King of Fighters, and some airdashers. I'm also a big fan of RPGs and shmups.