The TEKKEN World Tour continues this week with a trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for FV Cup X South East Asia Major 2018. FV Cup has long been one of the biggest tournaments in Southeast Asia, but this is the first time the event has been a part of the Tour. It is also the first time the event has partnered with the South East Asia Major, which served as the Asia Regional event on last year’s circuit.
Registration for the event remains open as of press time, so there is no complete list of entrants yet. Still, players from Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, and India have already confirmed their entrance in this weekend’s field. There will be no shortage of talent on display in Kuala Lumpur.
Here are three of the storylines to watch this weekend at FV Cup X South East Asia Major:
Can Book continue his run of form?
When people think about Asian TEKKEN players, most minds drift to players from either Korea or Japan. After all, those two nations are two of the game’s biggest hot beds. Korean players currently make up the top seven players on the TEKKEN World Tour leaderboard, and Japanese players took three of the top four places this past weekend at Abuget Cup. But strong players exist beyond those two countries, and Thailand’s Book is a perfect example.
Book made an impression on the 2017 Tour by picking up four top-eight finishes. He started 2018 out with a bang, winning at Thaiger Uppercut. That win helped him get picked up by Thai esports team Alpha Red, who picked him up after he became a free agent earlier this year. That sponsorship has allowed him to travel more frequently, and he has made the most of the opportunity by finishing in the top six at both CEO and Abuget Cup. He currently sits on the good side of the TEKKEN World Tour Finals qualification line. Can the Thai star make another deep run this weekend and improve his qualifying chances?
After a rough showing at Abuget Cup, can Korea get some revenge against Japan?
Yes, Abuget Cup ended with a Korean player - Knee - at the top of the podium. But beyond his losers’ bracket run, Korean players had a bit of a rough weekend in Jakarta. Four of the seven Korean players in the field were eliminated before reaching the top eight, and the three that remained were all on the losers’ side of the bracket. By contrast, all four Japanese players in the field reached the last eight, with three of them doing so on the winners’ side.
Japanese players Take and Nobi, both of whom finished in the top four at Abuget Cup, will be in the field hoping to repeat their performances this weekend. The Korean contingent looking to take them down will include Ulsan, Dimeback, JeonDDing, and potentially more. A bounce-back weekend for Korea’s stars could wipe the taste of Abuget Cup out of their mouths, but another strong weekend for Japan’s best could see them start to break the Korean hold on the top leaderboard positions.
Can JeonDDing bounce back?
It’s a testament to JeonDDing’s season that a top-16 finish at Abuget Cup could be considered even close to disappointing. But JeonDDing’s performances heading in to Abuget Cup were tremendous. He finished in the top three of three straight Master events - third at Battle Arena Melbourne, second at Combo Breaker, and first at CEO. So, his relatively-early elimination last weekend was a bit of a shock.
JeonDDing would love to get back to winning ways this weekend. He will want to improve on last week’s performance, but he has additional motivation to make a deep run this weekend. He has a chance to move into second place on the TEKKEN World Tour leaderboard if he can reach the grand final this weekend. Will this weekend be when he surpasses JDCR in the standings?