It took a few years, but Abel Del Maestro finally has South America’s biggest TEKKEN title back in his hands.
Peruvian star Abel del Maestro held off a strong challenge from RunItBlack of the United States to win the TXT 2018 title on Saturday. RunItBlack erased Abel’s winners’ side advantage with a 3-1 victory in the first grand final set, but Abel rebounded to win the second set 3-1 and take the title.
Abel’s victory was his first ever on the TEKKEN World Tour, but it was his fourth TXT title in the event’s six-year history. Abel won the first three editions of the event from 2013 through 2015, but fellow Peruvian players Sapito and Crespo earned wins in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Peru’s strength extended beyond the top of the podium. Four South American players finished among the top eight on the weekend, and three of them hail from Peru. Misterio finished the weekend in fourth place, and former champion Sapito finished tied for seventh alongside Korean star Dimeback.
South America was able to defend its continent against strong players from North America, Europe, and Asia. Six intercontinental players were in the TXT field, and all six suffered at least one loss to a South American player.
Abel did more than his share of work in that regard. He scored a victory over Canada’s Binchang in pool play, then scored wins in the Top 8 finals over P.Ling of the United States, Fergus of Ireland, and RunItBlack.
“South American Tekken has a lot of strong players and a variety of styles,” tweeted U.S. star and former TEKKEN World Tour Finalist Speedkicks, who finished tied for 13th on the weekend. His losses came at the hands of Peru’s Misterio and Venezuela’s Sergie Mazter.
Fergus finished in third place, while Misterio placed fourth. Sergie Mazter tied for fifth place with P.Ling, while Sapito tied for seventh place alongside Korea’s Dimeback.
RunItBlack’s run to the grand final was a long one, as he fell to Peru’s Roynichi in pool play. But the North America West online winner roared back with seven straight wins to reach the grand finals, racking up wins over Binchang, Sapito, P.Ling, and Fergus along the way.
That second-place finish propelled RunItBlack to 20th place, making him the first man out of the TEKKEN World Tour Finals field. He now sits 23 points behind the two players tied for the final two places, Super Akouma and Take. Dimeback dropped one spot to 21st place, while Abel del Maestro jumped to a tie for 22nd after his win.
Fergus’ third-place finish has him on the cusp of a place in the Finals. He jumped all the way up from 17th to 10th, and he appears likely to officially clinch a trip to Amsterdam after the next event.
Despite not attending TXT, Anakin ranked among the weekend’s big winners. Saturday’s results allowed Anakin to officially clinch a place in the TEKKEN World Tour Finals. He is the ninth player to secure his place in this season’s championship event.
Internet issues at the tournament venue limited the quality of the event’s live stream. All streamed matches were recorded locally and will be restreamed in full quality at a later date.
The TEKKEN World Tour returns to action this coming weekend at South East Asia Major 2018 in Singapore. The event is the final Asian event of the season as well as the final Master event on this year’s Tour.