The State of the TWT: June 2019

The Mixup. Rox N Roll Korea. Battle Arena Melbourne. Combo Breaker.

These four tournaments have been the first Master events on the 2019 Tekken World Tour. And what have they all given us? Four different champions, with four different characters, starting off what might be one of Tekken’s most exciting years ever.

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Before the start of top 8 at Combo Breaker 2019, Bandai Namco announced an official partnership with Astro Gaming, providing audio equipment for players at TWT events and even an online tournament. But that’s not all — Astro adding $100,000 to the Tekken World Tour prize pool means that the stakes of the TWT are higher than ever, and the competition will continue to grow stronger.

The range of players proving themselves at Tekken tournaments this year has been exciting and inspiring, after just seven official tour events (not counting the vast amount of Dojo tournaments that have occurred). We are seeing high-level Tekken represented on a more global scale than ever, from Peru’s Abel Del Maestro and Cuddle_Core from the USA to Pakistan’s Arslan Ash and South Korean legend JDCR.

As more TWT events happen throughout 2019, new locations on the tour such as Cape Town Showdown and Clash of the Olympians have the potential to expose the worldwide Tekken audience to players who previously couldn’t be seen in that same spotlight.

With the growth that competitive Tekken has shown recently, tournament results and character choices have become harder than ever to predict. Super Akouma, Chikurin, Ulsan, and Knee have all won Master events, though there are already 30 players who have reached 100 TWT points, all with a large variety of characters and playstyles. Factoring in “hidden killers” that have yet to show their true strength in tournaments, there is still room for plenty of surprises in this young season.

Source: @TeamLiquid

In terms of player support, the number of sponsorships and opportunities in the Tekken community continues to grow. The recent news of Gen joining Team Liquid surprised many, but spectators unfamiliar with the Japanese Leo player will have yet another strong player to look out for on the TWT. Teams such as ROX, Equinox, Disrupt, and UYU have also been showing that Tekken is a high priority for them, through both competition and producing content with their players.

While it is important to celebrate these hard-earned sponsorships, there are also many free-agent competitors that continue to leave their mark on TWT events. JDCR, Rangchu, Lil Majin and P. Ling are just a few of the top-level tournament players that are still unsponsored, giving even more reason for larger esports organizations to follow in Team Liquid’s footsteps and support Tekken World Tour competitors.

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Starting the month of June at Electric Clash, JDCR again showcased his talents as he won his first TWT event of the year. This month features two Master tier events, Fighting Games Challenge in Poland and CEO 2019 in the United States.

If the 2019 Tekken World Tour continues with this same level of unpredictability and pure hype it has shown so far, players and spectators alike have plenty of reasons to be excited.

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UofL grad. I write about fighting games a lot.

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