Tournaments May 17th, 2018

BATTLE ARENA MELBOURNE 10 PREVIEW

Pools: Friday, 8pm - Saturday, 4am ET (Friday, 5pm - Saturday, 1am PT) on twitch.tv/tekken
Top 32 to Top 8: Saturday, 5am - 9am ET (2am - 6am PT) on twitch.tv/tekken
Top 8: Sunday, 1:30am ET (Saturday, 10:30pm PT) on twitch.tv/tekken

Brackets can be found here.

Melbourne, Australia is the scene for Battle Arena Melbourne 10, this weekend’s TEKKEN World Tour event. ‘BAM’ is a Master event on this year’s tour, which means that the field is loaded with talent. The best that Australia and New Zealand have to offer will throw down against a slew of international stars, including 10 of the top 14 players on the Tour leaderboard. Saint, JDCR, Qudans, Kkokkoma, JeonDDing, and Noroma are just some of the names you’ll see among the more than 200 players in action this weekend.

Here are three stories to follow this weekend at BAM 10:

Will we see our first repeat winner of 2018?

The 2017 TEKKEN World Tour included plenty of surprises, but early-season dominance was a recurring theme. Three players - JDCR, Saint, and Anakin - combined to win 10 of the first 16 events on the 2017 Tour. JDCR alone earned five of those 10 wins, including victories at three of the season’s first six tournaments.

The 2018 Tour has started much differently. The tour’s first eight events have been won by eight different players. The three heavy hitters from last year have all won events this season, but so have first-time Tour event winners SuperAkouma, LowHigh, and Book.

Battle Arena Melbourne could be the first time this season where a player makes a return to the winners’ circle. The field includes four of this season’s winners, all of whom could finish the weekend atop the podium. Korea Masters champion JDCR has yet to finish outside of the top four at a Tour event this season, while Final Round champion Knee reached the grand final in both of his Tour appearances this season. NorCal Regionals winner Saint and BEast Arena Hong Kong winner LowHigh will also be threats to go all the way this weekend.

Can Australia’s stars defend their home turf?

There will be plenty of international talent on display in Melbourne this weekend. While the international stars will get most of the attention, there are quite a few Australian players in action who have shown that they can do damage on the big stage.

Don’t be surprised if Chand NY makes a deep run this weekend. The Melbourne-area player finished third at BAM 9, but he could have gone even higher. He came within one game of defeating eventual champion Saint in the winners’ final, then gave eventual runner-up JDCR everything he could handle in the losers’ final.

Chand NY won’t be the only Australian threat in the field. Dee-On Grey, the only Australian player to finish in the top eight of both BAM and OzHadou Nationals last year, will be in action. Fellow OzHadou top eight finishers Rame and Zep will also be in the field, as will New Zealand’s Zarzob, who famously knocked Saint into the losers’ bracket in pool play at OzHadou Nationals last year.

Who will benefit the most from the coming stretch of Master events?

Every event on the TEKKEN World Tour is important, but this weekend may be more critical than most. BAM is the first of three consecutive Master events that will take place over the course of the next four weeks, with Combo Breaker in the Chicagoland area set for next weekend and Fighting Games Challenge in Lodz, Poland coming two weeks later.

If anyone can string together strong results in those three events, they will put themselves in strong position to secure a spot in this year’s TEKKEN World Tour Finals. This run of events could go a long way to determining who will make the Finals field.