News November 26th, 2018

TEKKEN World Tour Finals Preview: Players #1-4

Next stop: Amsterdam.

The TEKKEN World Tour Finals will be held at The Theater Amsterdam in Amsterdam, Netherlands on December 1 & 2. It is here where 20 of the best TEKKEN 7 players in the world will square off for a share of $25,000 and the title of TEKKEN World Tour Champion.

The TEKKEN World Tour Finals won’t be like any other event this season, and that’s not just because of the amount of talent that will be in action. The weekend will consist of two events: a Last Chance Qualifier and the TEKKEN World Tour Finals. Here’s how they work:

December 1st will be dedicated to the Last Chance Qualifier. Any player who did not finish in the Top 19 of the TEKKEN World Tour global leaderboard can enter the tournament. The Last Chance Qualifier will be a standard double-elimination tournament, and it’s do-or-die. The one player who wins the tournament will earn the final spot in the TEKKEN World Tour Finals.

December 2nd is Finals Day, and it will work a bit differently than a standard TEKKEN World Tour tournament. The day will start with the Group stage, where the 20 competitors will be divided into four groups of five. The top four players on the global leaderboard will be drawn into separate groups, but the results of this draw will be hidden. Next, each of the remaining finalists will take turns selecting which group they want to compete in. The players will pick in order of their finish on the global leaderboard, starting with the player who finished fifth, then sixth, and all the way down to 19th. The final pick goes to the Last Chance Qualifier winner. Once the selections are complete, the top seeds’ groups will be revealed and play will begin.

Each five-player group will compete in a Round Robin, where every player plays a best-of-three set against every other player in their group. The two players with the best records in their group will advance to the Bracket Stage. If there are any ties, the first tiebreaker will be game differential (number of games won minus number of games lost) so every game will be important.

The Bracket Stage will feature the winners and runners-up from each group. Those who won their group will start on the winners’ side, and those who finished second will start on the losers’ side. From there, it will work just like a Top 8 at any other TEKKEN World Tour event. Matches will be best-of-three except for the Winners’ Final, Losers’ Final, and the Grand Final, which will be best-of-five. Whoever enters the Grand Final from the losers’ side must win two sets. Whoever wins the Grand Final will be the 2018 TEKKEN World Tour champion.

Now that you know how the TEKKEN World Tour Finals will work, it’s time to learn a little bit about the players who will compete there. Today we will look at the players who finished in the top four spots on the leaderboard. We will look at the rest of the field in the weeks leading up to the championship event, as well as the players who will compete in the Last Chance Qualifier.

Let’s kick things off with a look at the four top-seeded players at this year’s TEKKEN World Tour Finals:

#1 – KNEE

Jae-Min Bae, South Korea, Team ROX Dragons
Twitter: @holyknee

Character(s): Multiple. During his last Tour appearance at The Mixup in Lyon, France, he used six different characters. Knee has won grand finals sets on this year’s Tour with Jin, Devil Jin, Lili, Steve, and Paul.

How he got here: Knee won the season-opening event at Final Round and just did not stop winning. He won six events on the 2018 Tour, five of which were Master events, to lock up the top spot on the leaderboard.

Why Knee could win: Winning is almost all that Knee has done in 2018. The Evo Japan champion is hard to top on his best days, and it seems that this year is almost entirely composed of his best days. He reached the grand finals of all eight TEKKEN World Tour events he entered this year, and he took home the gold from six of those events.

#2 – JEONDDING

Sang-Hyun Jeon, South Korea, Team UYU
Twitch: twitch.tv/jeondding_tk
Twitter: @jeondding_tk

Character(s):JeonDDing has danced his way to victory with both Eddy and Lucky Chloe this year.

How he got here: JeonDDing attended more TEKKEN World Tour events (16) than anyone else this season, and he performed well at almost all of them. He racked up eight finishes of third or better, including wins at CEO: Daytona and South East Asia Major.

Why JeonDDing could win: He has momentum. JeonDDing has been strong all year, but he ended the season with a victory at South East Asia Major. His path to that title included victories over fellow finalists Book and Qudans.

#3 – QUDANS

Byung-Moon Son, South Korea, Team UYU
Twitch: twitch.tv/qudans1987
Twitter: @qudans1987

Character(s): Qudans is widely regarded as the world’s best Devil Jin player.

How he got here: Qudans was a frequent fixture deep in tournaments. He made the grand finals of four TEKKEN World Tour events, three of which were Master events. He scored a win at one of those Master tournaments, taking top honors at Fighting Games Challenge.

Why Qudans could win: The spotlight is nothing new. As reigning TEKKEN World Tour champion, there is no question that Qudans can handle big moments. At last year’s championship he twice defeated JDCR, who was the #1 seed in 2017. In 2018 he scored 3 wins over top-seed Knee at Tour events, the most among all players.

#4 – SAINT

Jin-Woo Choi, South Korea, Free agent
Twitch: twitch.tv/saint_tk
Twitter: @TK_SAINT

Character(s): Saint is one of the best JACK-7 players in the world, and that was his character of choice on this year’s Tour.

How he got here: Saint racked up five top-four finishes, four of which came at Master events. He picked up wins at both NorCal Regionals and VSFighting.

Why Saint could win: Experience and hunger. Saint has been here before, winning both Evo and the King of the Iron Fist finals (the TEKKEN World Tour’s predecessor) in 2016. He will also have something to prove at the Tour Finals as he, along with fellow finalist JDCR, was recently released from Echo Fox after what the team called a ‘realignment.’

We’ll be back tomorrow previewing players #5-12 from the global Tour leaderboard. Don’t forget to watch the 2018 TEKKEN World Tour Finals this weekend on twitch.tv/tekken!