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Rangchu and his ‘low tier’ Panda win TEKKEN World Tour Finals

TEKKEN World Tour Finals was all we hoped it would be, and more.

Photo: Rober Paul @tempusrob

Rangchu and his ‘low tier’ Panda win TEKKEN World Tour Finals

The 2018 TEKKEN World Tour Finals in Amsterdam, Netherlands concluded in epic fashion this past weekend on December 1st and 2nd.  There were upsets, surprises, fanfare, excitement, reveals, and tier list bonfires (figuratively speaking).

Here’s everything that went down this weekend in case you missed it.

Last Chance Qualifiers

It all began on Saturday, December 1st, with the last chance qualifiers (LCQ), where over 300 competitors battled over the coveted 20th spot, hoping to participate in Sunday’s finals. While there were many talented players, it really appeared to come down to the four best players, those being Equinox’s Cuddle_core (USA) and Dimeback (South Korea), Exeed’s Ghirlanda (Italy), and WP’s Double (Japan).

Of the four, only one player was using a character that is often said to be low tier, and that was Ghirlanda using Katarina. Often cited for being a “one trick pony” due to her 4,4,4 (kick, kick, kick) string, Ghirlanda put Katarina on full display, showing that there was much more to her. Commentator Reepal “Rip” Parbhoo even said that this was the best display of Katarina that he had ever seen.

Possibly the most compelling storyline of the LCQ was that of Dimeback, who actually placed 20th on the TEKKEN World Tour leaderboards, but because only the first 19 players qualify for the finals, he had to fight for a spot that was “technically” already his. Again, technically (not officially). Unfortunately, he fell short in a nailbiting loser’s finals against Ghirlanda where it came down to the thinnest wire ever.

The grand finals ended up with an entertaining series of matches between Double (W) and Ghirlanda (L), where Ghirlanda would have to reset the bracket if he were going to win it all. To Ghirlanda’s credit, he went into it looking unfazed and confident as ever.

If you missed the last chance qualifiers, here’s the top 8 for your enjoyment.

The Finals

On Sunday, December 2nd it was for all of the marbles, as 20 of the world’s best TEKKEN 7 players would compete to determine who would be the 2018 TEKKEN  World Tour champion.

Before any matches would begin, the players would be split up into groups of four (4), where each player in the group would play one another in a round robin format. Two players with the most wins would make it out of their group and into the top 8.

The round robin format was a very time-consuming process. It literally took hours upon hours to determine the top 8, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this brought some fatigue to the players and viewers. Nevertheless, it was all still very entertaining.

Top 8

The top 8 ended up being Fursan | Rangchu (S.Korea), ROX | Chanel (S.Korea), UYU | Qudans (S.Korea), EQNX | Joey Fury (USA), UYU | JeonDDing (S.Korea), JimmyJTran (USA), ROX | Knee (S.Korea), and YAMASA | Nobi (Japan).

There was actually a slight bit of confusion when it came to determining who would progress to the top 8 out of group C. It was thought that Joey Fury and JDCR both had the same number of wins and losses. The way to settle the score was to have both players fight one match and the winner would move forward. JDCR ended up defeating Joey Fury, and Joey looked visibly distraught and emotional after the loss.

After a careful investigation of the score and the rules, it was later determined that Joey Fury should have made it into the top 8 all along and the match between he and JDCR was null and void. Rick “The Hadou” Thiher took to the stage to make the announcement, showing that above all things, integrity and honor are at the forefront of all we do. It is said that JDCR was a great sport about the matter.

Rangchu and his ‘low tier’ Panda

Without a doubt, the most amazing thing that witnessed was that of Rangchu putting on a stellar performance with Panda, eliminating both Knee in losers finals, and last years champion, Qudans, in grand finals. Both players were using a character that is regarded as the best in the game – Devil Jin. The fact that he beat both players with a character considered the most bottom tier shows that tier lists are nothing more than cow manure. It is ultimately about the skill and knowledge of the player. I’ve been saying this over and over again.

Here’s an interesting fact: Rangchu lost every match in which he did not choose Panda (as noted by Kataku writer, Ian Walker).

If you missed the top 8, then you can catch all of the action below.

Harada and Michael Murray

TEKKEN director Katsuhiro Harada and Michael Murray took the stage during the finals to make some exciting announcements. Social media, Twitch stream chats,  and even those in the building at The Amsterdam Theater were all in great anticipation to learn who the three mystery characters were that would be joining the TEKKEN 7 cast.

Reveal trailers were shown for Craig Marduk and Armor King (AK), with AK’s revealing that Julia Chang would also be joining the cast. They also showed an approximately 4-minute long story and gameplay trailer for Negan, the antagonist from The Walking Dead.

Possibly the best news was that Marduk and Armor King would be available for download the very next day on Monday, December 3rd. A new patch update came out shortly after the finals concluded, which added support for the characters and more.

Other news they shared was that TEKKEN 7 has sold 3.6 million copies to date. As well, they announced that because of the success of this year’s tour there will be a TEKKEN World Tour in 2019 and that more official news would come soon.

As of this writing, TEKKEN fans all over the world are enjoying the new look and feel of TEKKEN 7, along with learning more about newly added cast members Marduk and AK. Negan, who is DLC #9,  is slated to release sometime in 2019, but before him, Julia will come out first, who is DLC #8.

For yet another year, the TEKKEN World Tour was a great success, and the hype train is still rolling.

In the faithful words of Mark ‘Markman’ Julio, “It’s a great time to be a TEKKEN fan!”

Aziz Peregrino-Brimah aka Zee the CEO | Founder / Editor-in-chief of TekkenGamer | Gaming has been a passion of Zee's since the early days of Atari and ColecoVision. His first experience with Tekken was in the early 90's, and it was Tekken 3 that sealed the deal. True story... As a teenager Zee once received his Winn-Dixie paycheck and spent it all at the arcade the same day. Needless to say, his mother wasn't pleased.


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