The grand final of Summer Jam 12 was such a back and forth affair that it was impossible to tell who would emerge the victor. The only guarantee was that they would represent the United States.
Anakin scored a dramatic win over JimmyJTran to take the Summer Jam title on Sunday. The victory was the first by a non-Korean player at a Master event on this year’s TEKKEN World Tour.
The Atlanta native won the title by outlasting JimmyJTran, a man who has largely had Anakin’s number in tournaments. The two went back and forth in all three of their encounters, with nearly every round going down to the wire. Anakin and his JACK-7 won their winners’ final match 3-2, but Tran and his Bryan Fury scored a 3-1 win in the first grand final set. The decisive set went down to the final round of the final game, but Anakin grabbed the hard-fought 3-2 win to take the title.
Summer Jam was the first Master event of this year’s Tour to not feature a Korean winner. JeonDDing did his best to keep the streak alive but could only finish in third place. The Korean star scored wins over both Pokchop and Joey Fury during Sunday’s finals, but those victories were bookended by a pair of losses to JimmyJTran.
Things did not go nearly as well for Dimeback, the other Korean player in the field. Dimeback was upset in pool play by Papadon, then was eliminated by Speedkicks in 17th place. That early elimination, combined with deep runs by both Speedkicks and JimmyJTran, knocked Dimeback out of the Top 19 – and out of qualifying position for the TEKKEN World Tour Finals – for the first time since mid-May.
Despite the smaller-than-normal Korean contingent, there was still a strong international presence at Summer Jam. Japanese stars Pekos, Furumizu, Kagemaru, and Yuyu were part of the field. All four Japanese players finished in the top 24, with both Yuyu and Furumizu falling one win shy of reaching Sunday’s Top 8 finals. The UK also saw three of its own in the field, as Kaneandtrench, Gosain, and Shirdel made the trans-Atlantic journey. All three were eliminated before the start of the Top 16.
All of those international stars fell to American players during the tournament. JeonDDing was the only player from outside the host nation to reach Sunday’s finals.
Joey Fury finished in fourth place in his first event as a part of Team Equinox. Speedkicks and Pokchop tied for fifth place, while Shadow_20z and NYC_Fab tied for seventh.
Several of the top American performers significantly boosted their chances of reaching the TEKKEN World Tour Finals. Anakin moved into ninth place on the Tour leaderboard with his win, while Joey Fury moved up to 15th. JimmyJTran, in just his second Tour event of the year, moved into qualifying position. He now sits in 18th place, 70 points clear of first-man-out Speedkicks. Speedkicks was tied with JimmyJTran for the 19th and final spot in the Finals field at one point on Sunday, but he now sits less than 60 points adrift of last-man-in Fergus.
JeonDDing’s second-place finish was good enough to officially clinch his place in the Tour Finals. He is just the second player to secure his place in the championship event, the first being fellow Korean star Knee.
The TEKKEN World Tour continues this weekend with the TEKKEN Grand Battle at The MIXUP in Lyon, France. The event serves as both the year’s final Master event in Europe and the final Tour event to utilize the current version of TEKKEN 7. The balance changes that are a part of Season 2 will go live on September 6, and they’ll be first used at Rev Major and SoCal Regionals the following weekend.