Pools: Saturday, 5am ET (2am PT)
Top 32: Saturday, 2pm ET (11am PT)
Top 8: Sunday, 9am ET (6am PT)
All action on twitch.tv/tekken
Brackets can be found here.
The eyes of the fighting game world will be on Birmingham, UK this weekend for VSFighting 2018, the site of this weekend’s TEKKEN World Tour event. VSFighting is one of Europe’s biggest fighting game tournaments of the year, a status that makes it more than worthy of its place on the Tour as a Master event.
Over 260 TEKKEN players will test their skills in Birmingham. The field includes talent from all over Europe as well as Korea, Japan, and the United States. There will be no shortage of familiar names on display, as fighting game legends Kayane and Ryan Hart join a field that includes nine of last year’s TEKKEN World Tour finalists.
Here are just a few of the storylines to follow this weekend at VSFighting:
Can Korea continue their perfect record in Master events?
The key word on this year’s TEKKEN World Tour has been variety. TAKE’s FV Cup victory this past Sunday made him the twelfth different player to top the podium on this year’s Tour. The only constant in the winners’ circle has been the Korean flag, and this is especially true at Master events. We’ve seen four different players claim victory through the first six Master events this year, and all four call Korea home.
A strong group of Korean players will hope to extend that perfect record. Overall Tour leader Knee might not be in the field, but the other three Master event winners will be. Qudans, JeonDDing, and defending VSFighting champion JDCR are all in the Birmingham field looking to add a second Master event title to their 2018 resumes. They will be joined by Kkokkoma, who will make another attempt to score his first win of the 2018 campaign, and Saint, who won two Master events on last year’s Tour.
Can Europe score a win on its home turf?
Master events have not been kind to European players. JDCR made the most of his time on the continent last year by winning three of Europe’s four Master events during the 2017 Tour.
Another Korean player, Gura, won the fourth. May’s Fighting Games Challenge offered a chance to break that streak, but Korean players swept the top six spots at the Polish event.
The best hope of reversing the continent’s fortunes may be Tissuemon. The Italian player has won both of the Challenger events that took place on European soil and is the top European player in the standings. France’s Super Akouma, the top European finisher at Fighting Games Challenge, can also make a deep run. And don’t forget about UK stars Kaneandtrench and Asim; both have turned in strong performances as of late, and both have the talent to make deep runs in their home country.
Can either man on the bubble make a move?
The race to qualify for the TEKKEN World Tour Finals will come down to the wire regardless of what happens in Birmingham. Still, this weekend’s event figures to be a key point in the season as several players in the hunt for the final qualification places will be in action. The spotlight will shine brightest on Pool 6, which features several players near the final qualification spot.
The two key figures in the standings are Joey Fury of the United States and Ireland’s Fergus. Both players are coming off of strong performances: Fergus finished second at ADFT, while Joey Fury has finished ninth or better at each of the last three Master events. Joey begins the weekend as the last man in the Finals field, just four points ahead of Fergus for 19th place. Their paths could cross in the Round of 32 if they both make it out of their pool on the winners’ side, but that won’t be easy. Joey Fury could face a stiff challenge from the UK’s Roo Kang in pool play. Meanwhile, Fergus may have to deal with Dimeback, another player whose place in the TEKKEN World Tour Finals is far from secure.