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North America’s Speedkicks withdraws from Tekken World Tour 2022 Finals

You won’t be seeing Speedkicks on the world stage this year. How does this affect the TWT Finals?

UPDATE (1/27/23): Bandai Namco Esports has officially announced via Twitter that Anakin will be taking Speedkicks’ spot as an NA representative in the TWT Finals, confirming what Anakin revealed on his stream days prior.

UPDATE (1/25/23): During his Twitch stream earlier today, Hoa “Anakin” Luu made it known to his viewers that he will be taking Speedkicks’ spot in the TWT Finals. Anakin no longer has to qualify for the Finals by participating in the LCQ. But, does this open an additional spot in the LCQ? That only seems logical, but we will have to wait and see.

Stephen “Speedkicks” Stafford has announced on Twitter that he will not be attending the Tekken World Tour 2022 Finals on February 4-5 in Amsterdam. The reason given was that he has to handle “IRL” (in real life) matters. This comes as quite a shock and a bit “Shakespearean”, but one can only assume that his reason for bowing out must be something either related to family or perhaps even work.

For the last year or more Speedkicks has made it known that he is retired and would no longer be competing, but because he continued to participate in tournaments, albeit online, many wondered if his proclamation was serious or not. This included participating in TWT events as well, where he racked up enough points to compete in the North America regional finals.

In the regional finals ‘Speed’ pretty much ran through the competition. He looked as sharp as ever, but in the grand finals he ended up faltering to Joseph “Joey Fury” Bennett. The two players qualified for the finals in Amsterdam, with Hoa “Anakin” Luu placing third and winning a free trip to the last chance qualifiers.

So What Happens Now?

With TWT Finals less than two weeks away, where does this leave things? Will another LCQ spot open up and Joey Fury be the lone American with a secure spot in the TWT Finals? Will Anakin be given Speed’s spot in the TWT Finals and someone else Anakin’s spot in the LCQ? Speedkicks did say that he asked that it be given to Anakin, but no official word has been made public yet.

As far as the Tekken community goes, the array of responses have been from shocked, to not shocked, to disappointed. With no additional information, the only thing we all can truly hope is that things are okay with Speedkicks and his family. But I can’t lie and say I’m not also disappointed, because I truly wanted to see one of the greatest Tekken minds on the world stage again.

Maybe when Tekken 8 comes out.

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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