Pools: Saturday, 11:00 JST (Friday, 7pm PT)
Semis: Saturday, 19:00 JST (Saturday, 3am PT)
Finals: Sunday, 12:00 JST (Saturday, 8pm PT)
All action streamed on twitch.tv/tekken
Once finalized, brackets will be found here.
After a month in Europe, the TEKKEN World Tour returns to Asia in a big way.
Tokyo TEKKEN Masters 2018 is set to kick off this weekend. The tournament, a Master event, will feature more than 270 players from nearly 20 countries. Host nation Japan will be well-represented, as will rival Korea, but players from the rest of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America will all compete for valuable TEKKEN World Tour points.
This weekend’s tournament will be packed with so many great players that it’s impossible to name them all here. Instead, here are just a few of the storylines to follow at Tokyo TEKKEN Masters:
Will Korea score another victory in Japan?
The TEKKEN rivalry between Japan and Korea is well-documented. The two nations are widely considered the two strongest in the world, and their players have traded wins back and forth for years. The rivalry continued on last year’s Tour when both nations saw players win on their rival’s soil. Japan’s Noroma won the Korean Master Event, and Korea’s JDCR took top honors at Tokyo TEKKEN Masters 2017.
JDCR will not be in the field to defend his crown, but plenty of his countrymen will be there to pick up the slack. More than 40 Korean players are registered to compete this weekend. The contingent is led by Tour leader Knee, who rested this past week during Evo before returning to the TEKKEN World Tour. Kkokkoma, who finished second to Knee in Tokyo last year, is also in the field. Evo 2018 champion LowHigh and reigning Tour champion Qudans will also look to secure a Korean victory this weekend.
Will any Japanese players obtain pro licenses?
The Japanese players in action this weekend want to do well on home soil, and not just because of the rivalry between Japan and Korea. Any Japanese player who finishes fourth or better this weekend will be issued a pro player license by the Japan eSports Union (JeSU). The licenses allow players to win money in this weekend’s tournament, and it allows players to compete in other Japanese big-money events like the TEKKEN Pro Championships.
Nine players have already been issued pro TEKKEN licenses, and eight of them are in this weekend’s field. AO, Double, Karei, Nobi, Noroma, Pekos, Take, and Yuu are all hoping to add some valuable points to their tallies and take home a nice check as well.
But there are quite a few talented players Japanese players hoping to join the ranks of the pro players. Recruit made a top eight run at last year’s Tokyo TEKKEN Masters and is looking to go even further this time around. Kari and Batz, both fresh off of deep runs at Evo, are also threats to get into the mix. Former King of the Iron Fist global finalists Kagemaru and Shudy could also make noise in Tokyo.
How will Tissuemon fare in his “homecoming”?
When it comes to the TEKKEN World Tour, Tissuemon has been Europe’s dominant force. The Italian star has entered five of the last seven Challenger events to take place on European soil dating back to last year, and he won all five of those tournaments. He is the only European player to have qualified for all three TEKKEN World Tour/King of the Iron Fist global championships, and he’s is well on his way to reaching a fourth consecutive final.
But this weekend’s event isn’t just another tournament for Tissuemon. This weekend serves as a sort of homecoming for the Italian player. Before he was the pride of Italy, the Japanese-born Tissuemon was a player leveling up in the arcades of Osaka. This isn’t the first time Tissuemon has returned to Japan since moving to Italy, but it may very well be his highest-profile trip. Will Japan serve as ‘home sweet home’ this weekend?