Tournaments April 26th, 2018

Korea Masters 2018 Preview

Pools: Saturday, 12am ET (Friday, 9pm PT) on twitch.tv/tekken
Top 16: Sunday, 12am ET (Saturday, 9pm PT) on twitch.tv/tekken
Brackets will be posted later at https://twt2018kr.challonge.com/

After a week off, the TEKKEN World Tour is set to return with a bang

Seoul, South Korea is the site for this weekend’s Korea Masters tournament. The event is a Master event on the Tour, which means that top players from all over the world will be in action. The field includes nearly every notable Korean player you can think of, as well as several top players from Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, France, the United States, and more. All told, seven of last year’s TEKKEN World Tour finalists and numerous players talented enough to reach this year’s finals will be among the more than 239 players in action this weekend.

Here are just a few of the storylines to follow during all of this weekend’s incredible action:

Can Korea defend its home turf this time?

Last year’s Korea Masters was the site of one of the biggest shocks on last year’s Tour: Japan’s Noroma won last year’s tournament by beating both Saint and JDCR. The Korean stars had been nearly unstoppable to that point, so to see them lose anywhere – much less on their home soil – was a surprise. Noroma will be in this weekend’s field in search of a repeat performance, and he’ll be joined by fellow Japanese stars Nobi, Yuu, Take, and Tanukana.

JDCR and NorCal Regionals champion Saint will look to put their nation back on top of the podium, and they won’t be alone. JeonDDing, who is fresh off his Saigon Cup triumph, will be among the Korean stars favored to make a deep run this weekend. They’ll be joined by LowHigh, Kkokkoma, Qudans, and Chanel, all of whom are currently in the Tour’s top ten. Even players who aren’t currently near the top of the standings – like Help_Me, CherryBerryMango, and 9ra – will be prepared to give the Japanese stars everything they can handle.

Can JDCR get back to the top of the podium?

It seems crazy to think that three top-four finishes at TEKKEN World Tour events this year can be seen as anything but impressive, but that just may be the case for JDCR. The Korean star was the dominant force on last year’s Tour, winning eight of the first ten Tour events he entered in 2017. By contrast, his 2018 results include fourth-, third-, and second-place finishes, but no wins.

JDCR currently sits second in the global standings and is well-positioned to return to the TEKKEN World Tour Finals, so a poor result wouldn’t be disastrous for him. A win would remind the world exactly what he’s capable of doing though. If he returns to the incredible form he had last year, a win this weekend could be the first of many.

Can the American players make an impact?

Like the other Asian events on the Tour, the Korea Masters field will include top players from all over the continent. The added allure of Master event status means that some of the top players from the United States will be in the mix this weekend too, and they have the potential to make deep runs through the brackets.

Speedkicks, who topped the Americas region on last year’s Tour and reached the last eight of the TEKKEN World Tour Finals, leads the American contingent. The Atlanta native will be joined in action by fellow countrymen WayGamble and P.Ling. All three players had rough showings at Final Round, but previous results have shown that they can go toe to toe with the world’s best. The question is, can they do it half a world away from home?