Tournaments August 10th, 2018

Moscow Fighting Arena 2018 Preview

Pools: Saturday, 3am ET (12am PT) on twitch.tv/fightingru
Finals: Sunday, 11:30am ET (8:30am PT) on twitch.tv/fightingru

Brackets can be found TBA

With Evo now in the rear window, the TEKKEN World Tour returns to action this weekend with a stop at Moscow Fighting Arena. The Russian event is a Challenger event on this year’s Tour and is the third straight European stop on the Tour following VSFighter and Headstomper.

The points at stake this weekend are valuable, and a field of over 60 players will be fighting to earn them. Once the dust settles this weekend, there will be just three offline European events left on this year’s Tour. Time is running out for those who hope to reach the TEKKEN World Tour Finals. Who will make a move this weekend?

Here are three storylines to follow at Moscow Fighting Arena:

Can Asim make up for lost time?

You have to be a great player to qualify for the TEKKEN World Tour Finals, but you also need a little luck on your side. Good fortune did not smile on Asim two weeks ago. Severe weather brought UK air travel to a halt on the weekend of Headstomper. As a result, UK stars Asim, Kaneandtrench, and RooKang were forced to withdraw from the Danish event.

Asim’s absence from Headstomper gave Finals qualification rivals Joey Fury and Fergus an opportunity to get some breathing room, and they did just that. Asim is now 25 points outside of the 19th and final qualification place. He will need to place 4th or better this weekend to move back above the cut line. His second-place showing at The Colosseum proved that he is capable of a deep run. Can he score another one in Moscow?

Can Loveneet play his way back into contention?

The surprises on this year’s tour came early and often. One of the biggest in the early part of the season was Loveneet, who made an incredible run at Thaiger Uppercut. The Indian sensation scored upset victories over Chanel and Qudans on his way to a fifth-place finish at the event.

Since that deep run in Thailand, things have not gone quite as well for Loveneet. He has turned in several strong performances, including a win over Fergus at Fighting Games Challenge, but he has not reached the last eight of a Tour event since Thaiger Uppercut. He will need to break that trend to keep his hopes of reaching the TEKKEN World Tour Finals alive, and this weekend might be his best chance to do so.

Will Jopelix make another deep run?

Finland is not necessarily a country most people think of as a TEKKEN hotbed. Yet the country produced three of the top 16 finishers at Headstomper 2018. The best finisher among them was Jopelix, who scored third place at the Finish event. Jopelix’s only two losses on the weekend came to Tissuemon and Fergus, the players who finished first and second respectively.

Jopelix won the European qualifier for NorCal Strongstyle earlier this year, but Headstomper was his first TEKKEN World Tour event of 2018. His last Tour appearance was the 2017 European Regional event at Paris Games Week, where he finished in ninth place. He can only move into Tour Finals qualifying position with a win, but another deep run puts him in the conversation. Will we see another Finish flag near the top of the standings this weekend?