News November 28th, 2018

TEKKEN World Tour Finals Preview: Players #5-12

The countdown to the TEKKEN World Tour Finals in Amsterdam continues, and so does our preview of this year’s finalists. In our first part we gave you an overview of how the TEKKEN World Tour Finals work, as well as a look at the top four seeds at the tournament. We now turn our attention to the players seeded 5th through 12th.

This group, which includes a former King of the Iron Fist champion and the last two Evo champions, won a combined 13 Tour events this season. There’s no shortage of talent here, so don’t be surprised if you see this year’s eventual champion in this group.

Read on to learn a bit about this talented bunch of players.

#5 – Kkokkoma

Kim Mu-Jong, South Korea, Free Agent
Twitter: @kkokkoma_mujoy

Character(s): We’ve seen Kkokkoma pull out Geese, Paul, Kazumi, Dragunov, and more on this year’s Tour. Dragunov has been the character that has gotten the most play in the two “Season 2” events he entered.

How he got here: Consistency. Kkokkoma placed fourth or better at four Master events, including runner-up finishes at both Korea Masters and VSFighting.

Why Kkokkoma could win: He always seems to be in the mix. Kkokkoma did not win a TEKKEN World Tour event this year, but he finished eighth or better in 11 of the 14 events he competed in. He’s been close to having everything go his way so many times on this year’s circuit, so there’s no reason to think it couldn’t finally happen in Amsterdam.

#6 – JDCR

Kim Hyun-Jin, South Korea, Free Agent
Twitter: @TKJDCR

Character(s): The words “JDCR” and “Dragunov” are enough to give any TEKKEN player nightmares, but he can go with other characters if need be. He pulled Heihachi and Kazuya out of his bag at SoCal Regionals.

How he got here: JDCR got out to a quick start. He finished 2nd at the season-opening Final Round, then won the season’s second Master event, Korea Masters. He followed those performances up with top-four finishes at CEO and VSFighting.

Why JDCR could win: The element of surprise. Last year JDCR won eight of the first 10 Tour events he entered, but he finished third in the Asia-Pacific Regional event and the TEKKEN World Tour Finals. This year, he seems to be pacing himself for a stronger finish. He only attended two Tour events in the second half of the season and has not crossed paths with top-seed Knee at a Tour event since late-May’s Combo Breaker. He might have something special cooked up for the top-ranked player.

#7 – Tissuemon

Shimon Kawai, Italy, Cyberground Gaming/Qanba
Twitter: @tissuemon

Character(s): Tissuemon is widely recognized as the world’s best Master Raven player.

How he got here: Tissuemon reached the grand finals of four European Challenger events. He emerged victorious in three of them: The Colosseum, ADFT, and Headstomper. He also finished third at Tokyo TEKKEN Masters, an event that included more than half of the eventual TEKKEN World Tour Finals field.

Why Tissuemon could win: He won’t be rattled. Tissuemon is no stranger to the big stage. The Italian star joins Knee, Nobi, and JimmyJTran as the only players who have reached all four TEKKEN 7 season championships. His performance at last year’s edition was his best ever, going a perfect 3-0 in group play on his way to a fourth-place finish.

#8 – LowHigh

Youn Sun-Woong, South Korea, Fursan Esports
Twitter: @TekkenLowHigh

Character(s): LowHigh’s biggest moments have come with Shaheen. But we’ve also seen him pull out Bryan, Steve, and Law on his way to victory at his most recent Tour event, Rev Major.

How he got here: LowHigh scored an early-season win at BEast Arena Hong Kong, and capped his regular season with a victory at Rev Major. Between his two wins, he scored top-eight finishes at Combo Breaker, Fighting Games Challenge, and Tokyo TEKKEN Masters. Oh, and he won the 2018 Evolution Championship Series. By many accounts that already makes him a world champion class player.

Why LowHigh could win: History is on his side. In two of the last three years, the TEKKEN 7 Evo champion has gone on to win the season championship (Nobi in 2015 and Saint in 2016). LowHigh’s Evo win isn’t a guarantee of success in the finals, but it does show that he can come through on the biggest of stages.

#9 – Anakin

Hoa Luu, United States, Red Bull
Twitter: @tk_anakin

Character(s): Anakin has used JACK-7 to great effect all season, including his run to victory at Summer Jam.

How he got here: Anakin scored a pair of victories on the 2018 Tour: an early victory at Texas Showdown and a critical late-season Master event victory at Summer Jam. Those results, plus strong performances at Final Round and Combo Breaker, allowed him to finish the season as the top American player.

Why Anakin could win: Preparation. Anakin recently made a two-week stay in South Korea to level up his game for the TEKKEN World Tour Finals. He trip included sessions with Saint and a rank up to Tekken God Prime. We’ll see if that trip pays dividends in Amsterdam.

#10 Nobi

Daichi Nakayama, Japan, Team Yamasa
Twitter: @daichinobi

Character(s): Expect to see a heavy dose of Steve out of Nobi, with some Dragunov thrown in for good measure.

How he got here: Nobi, the 2015 King of the Iron Fist, needed a strong late-season push to secure his ticket to this year’s Finals. He won the East Asia online event, then sealed the deal by winning the regular season finale, Canada Cup.

Why Nobi could win: Momentum. Nobi needed to play his best TEKKEN to get into the Tour Finals, and he has done just that. He has won two of the last three Tour events he entered this season, and that momentum could carry him to a second season championship in four years.

#11 Book

Nopparut Hempamorn, Thailand, Free Agent
Twitter: @booknopparut

Character(s): We have seen Book pull out Shaheen, but the Thai star is known as one of the world’s best Jin players and has used that character for the vast majority of the Tour.

How he got here: Book scored an early victory at Thaiger Uppercut and a late win at the South East Asia online event. He also had strong performances at CEO (5th), Tokyo TEKKEN Masters (4th), and the South East Asia Major (5th).

Why Book could win: He’s always there in the end. Book entered seven events on this year’s Tour and finished fifth or better in all of them. Also, thanks to his two victories over Knee at Thaiger Uppercut, he is one of just two Finalists with multiple wins over this year’s top seed.

#12 Fergus

Fergus McGee, Ireland, Team UYU
Twitter: @UYU_Fergus

Character(s): Fergus is known primarily for his Asuka play, but we have seen him pull out a Katarina pick on a few occasions.

How he got here: Second-place finishes at ADFT and Headstomper got Fergus into the thick of the qualification race. He closed strong with a win in the Western Europe online event and a top-three finish at TXT to secure his place in Amsterdam.

Why Fergus could win: He’s on an upward trajectory. Last year Fergus needed the benefit of a tiebreak to qualify for the Tour Finals. This year his strong late-season performances gave him a bit more breathing room, not to mention momentum and confidence heading into the championship.