Tournaments June 29th, 2018

CEO 2018 Preview

Pools: Saturday, 10am ET (7am PT)
Quarterfinals: Saturday, 6pm ET (3pm PT)
Semifinals: Saturday, 8pm ET (5pm PT)
Top 8: Sunday, 2:45pm ET (11:45am PT)

All action streamed on twitch.tv/tekken

Brackets are available here.

The TEKKEN World Tour rolls into Daytona Beach, Florida this weekend for CEO 2018. The pro wrestling-themed tournament has long been one of the biggest spectacles of the year, and that spectacle will be even larger this year as the event includes an actual New Japan Pro Wrestling show (Friday, 8pm ET/5pm PT on twitch.tv/ceogaming).

But for TEKKEN fans, Saturday is when the real smackdown begins. Nearly 350 players will be in the field in Daytona Beach, including top stars from Japan and Korea. The CEO brackets will also contain a who’s who of top American players, including one of last year’s Tour finalists making his 2018 season debut.

Here are a few of the stories to watch for this weekend at CEO:

Can Kkokkoma finally get to the top of the podium?

There have been 13 TEKKEN World Tour events so far this year, and seven of them have ended with a Korean player taking the trophy home. Kkokkoma has yet to lift a Tour event trophy this year, but he has come so close so many times. He reached the top eight in seven of the eight Tour events he entered, including a second-place finish at Korea Masters and a third-place finish at Fighting Games Challenge… but no wins as of yet.

Kkokkoma will have plenty of competition for that top spot. TEKKEN World Tour leader Knee will not be in the field this weekend, but second- and third-place stars JDCR and Saint will be. They will be joined by fellow Korean stars JeonDDing, Qudans, and Dimeback. And when you add top American stars like Anakin, Shadow, and P.Ling to the mix, his chances of winning drastically go down. Can Kkokkoma overcome those odds to finally get his victory?

Can JimmyJTran get into the TEKKEN World Tour Finals qualification race?

JimmyJTran did not attend many events on the 2017 TEKKEN World Tour, nor did he have to. The man sometimes known as “Mr. Naps” waited until September to make his Tour debut, but he still reached the Tour Finals thanks to wins at both The Fall Classic and DreamHack Denver.

Changes to the format for the 2018 Tour makes a similarly-late charge up the standings more difficult, which is why his performance at CEO – his first TEKKEN World Tour event of 2018 – could be critical to his hopes of making a fourth consecutive global final.

The magic number for TEKKEN World Tour Finals qualification is 19. Finish in the top 19 on the leaderboard and you’ll earn a place in the season championship. That final qualification spot is currently held by Joey Fury, who has 130 points. Just above him are Thailand’s Book and Ireland’s Fergus. Speedkicks sits just 10 points behind Joey Fury, while Dimeback sits 20 points out. All five of those players will be in the CEO field, so strong performances from any of them could make JimmyJ’s path to Amsterdam all the more difficult.

Will Tanukana get another crack at Yuyu?

Earlier this year fighting game legend Daigo Umehara created Kemonomichi, a series of high-profile exhibition matches in various games. One of the series’ greatest sets came in March at Kemonomichi 2 in a TEKKEN 7 match. Tanukana, arguably Japan’s top female player, squared off against Yuyu, a legendary female player who stepped away from the competitive scene to start a family. Yuyu reminded the world just how good she could be by winning the set in a 10-9 thriller that went down to the final round.

Since then, Yuyu has continued her competitive comeback. She joined UYU’s TEKKEN superteam and entered the field at Combo Breaker. Tanukana was also scheduled to compete at that event but withdrew due to illness. With both women in the CEO field and Tanukana coming off a strong ninth-place showing at the Taiwan Challenger, will this be the weekend where we get to see a repeat of their legendary battle?