Pools: Saturday, 6:30am ET (3:30am PT)
Bracket stage: Saturday, 12pm ET (9am PT)
Top 8: Sunday, 11:30am ET (8:30am PT)
All action on twitch.tv/arkhamteam
ADFT IX in Barcelona, Spain is the site of this weekend’s TEKKEN World Tour Challenger event. This weekend is the ninth edition of the event officially known as Arkham Digital Fighting Tournament, but the first edition to feature as part of the Tour. Still, the city is a familiar one to TEKKEN fans as Barcelona Games World was part of the 2017 circuit.
Registration remains open for ADFT at press time, so the list of players participating is not final. But the list of names already confirmed include stars from all over Europe. All five of the continent’s qualifiers for the 2017 TEKKEN World Tour Finals will be in action this weekend, so there will be no shortage of heavy hitters in the field.
Here are just a few of the stories to watch for this weekend at ADFT IX:
Can the UK’s stars move back into TEKKEN World Tour Finals qualifying position?
The TEKKEN World Tour hasn’t reached its halfway point just yet, but it’s not too early to think about where players stand on the Tour leaderboard. The top 19 players at season’s end will qualify for the TEKKEN World Tour Finals. Just two European players – Super Akouma and Tissuemon – are among that top 19 entering this weekend, but a pair of stars from the United Kingdom can move into qualifying position this weekend.
Asim enters the weekend in 20th position, just 10 points behind Speedkicks and GoAttack for the final qualification spots. Kaneandtrench is a bit farther back in 24th place, but still well within striking distance. Both men finished in the top 16 of last year’s Spanish Tour event, Barcelona Games Week, with Asim finishing tied for fifth. Both players also finished in in the top three of The Colosseum, the last Challenger event on European soil. Similar performances this weekend would allow both players to move to the good side of the qualification line.
Will Spanish players feature in this weekend’s finals?
While Barcelona Games Week 2017 was kind to players from the UK, it was a rough weekend for Spanish stars. Just three Spaniards finished among the top 16 that weekend, and only one finished among the top eight. Hopes of a stronger performance for Spanish players this time around took a hit last month when longtime star Caiper announced his retirement from professional play.
Still, Spanish hopes will be strong this weekend. Princess Namine was the sole Spaniard in last year’s top eight, and she will hope for an even better result this year. She will be joined by the dangerous BlackKazama, who eliminated both Caiper and Super Akouma on his way to a ninth-place finish last year. Griec, who knocked Fergus into the losers’ bracket during last year’s event, will also be in the hunt for a strong finish this weekend.
Can Tissuemon continue his charge up the standings?
Tissuemon got a late start on the 2017 TEKKEN World Tour, not finishing in the top eight of a Tour event until after the halfway point of the season. A pair of late-season victories and other strong performances pushed him to the top of the European standings and allowed him to comfortably qualify for last year’s Tour Finals. But with this year’s Tour utilizing a different format, leaving it late is a far more difficult task.
Fortunately for Tissuemon, his 2018 campaign is off to a much better start. He picked up a victory at The Colosseum, then turned in a strong top-six performance at Fighting Games Challenge. He also made a deep run in his last visit to Barcelona, finishing third at Barcelona Games World 2017. Another strong performance could be in the cards, but fellow Italian player Ghirlanda, who finished runner-up at last year’s event, could stand in his way.