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Hello again, friends!

Returned to you with another material on fighting games! This time, as I promised, I will tell you about the most interesting moments of the CEO 2023 tournament that took place this weekend. In total, 10 disciplines were presented at the event, but I don’t have enough strength to talk about each one, and you don’t have time to read 🙂 So I tried choose 3 tournaments, the finals of which I will tell you about today.

Tekken 7

Pakistani nugget Arslan Ash has once again proved that at the moment on the stage of professional Tekken he simply has no equal. Together with him, two more Pakistani players flew to the tournament in Orlando, Florida – Khan (a very stern Geese, already shining on the world stage, took the prestigious Tekken Online Challenge 2023: South Asia Online Masters this year) and young Farzeen ( plays for Akuma, this is his first flight to international competitions), and all the necessary information about the level of Pakistani Tekken should be told to you by the fact that all three went to the Top 8 CEO 2023 without any problems. Who knows, land a troop of 8 Pakistanis at Florida – could they take the whole eight? ..

But let’s focus on Arslan. Let me remind you that this young guy already has titles such as EVO Japan 2019, EVO 2019 and the first season of the WUFL league. Unfortunately, Arslan lost in October a battle with another important opponent – the US Consulate in Pakistan, which was unable to provide him with a visa in time to participate in the Red Bull Kumite, which we talked about in the previous article. But by CEO 2023, Arslan put this opponent on his shoulder, and, together with his fellow countrymen, prepared to conquer one of the largest offline tournaments of this year.

Pakistanis burst in with fanfare – Arslan did not lose a single match (!) Until the grand final of the competition, and Farzin and Khan reached the top 8 with the same score 6: 2. Farzin was knocked out of the tournament bracket by another foreigner – Book Thai (one of the strongest Dzin in the world), and Khan was sent to a loser by one of the strongest (and, in the opinion of many, including your humble, the best) US players – Anakin (mainite Jack-7 ), where the same Book sent the Pakistani to rest. You should have seen the reaction of the audience when some of the American players managed to take a round, or even a match from the Pakistanis! My first association is the victory of Goku and his friends over Vijita and the Saiyan: D There was such an aura around the Pakistanis that it was obvious even without a visor – the level there is at least 9000!

But back to the tournament. Having eliminated Khan, Anakin was finally able to clash with the King, the leader of the Saiyan – Arslan. And when the best American player seemed to run into a concrete wall and “leaked” 3 games in a row, without taking a single match … It became obvious to the audience that a miracle would not happen, and the underdog would not be able to defeat the favorite. To Anakin’s credit, it must be admitted that the comeback from the losers and the victory at the Book gave him the pause he needed to collect his thoughts and rethink his style of play. Anakin began to play more risky, make new punches and mixups, which at first even knocked Arslan out of a rut: the Pakistani lost 5 rounds in a row, and was already thinking about changing the character (since Zafina’s release, Arslan postponed the usual Giza and Kazumi, with whom he “took” all previous ), but managed to regain control of the situation and finished the set with a score of 3: 2, taking another important peak – a large offline tournament after a year and a half without flying around the world.

The results suggest themselves – a long time without offline competitions did not affect Tekken’s picture of the world before the pandemic: Pakistan is still an order of magnitude higher than the rest of the world, and neither the Americans nor Koreans can overtake them … Let’s see if anything changes. in 2023, which (hopefully!) will bring back our traditional favorite offline EVO!

Separately, I would like to mention the American player Kaizur, who won the sympathy of the whole world with an unorthodox, risky game on Alice – a character far from the tops and rare for major tournaments. Kaisur managed to take the victory in the set from the Pakistani Farzin, and he did it with style 🙂

Guilty Gear STRIVE

At the Stryve tournament, everything was at first quite predictable – American pros, who had shone before that in offline and online tournaments, broke into the top. Major names include Punk (2nd place at Capcom Cup 2019, a bunch of regional tournaments, 2nd place CEO 2023 in his main discipline – SF V), his teammate Kizzie Kay (one of the best Kai players in the States and medalist of regional tournaments in Xrd), champion of several tournaments in the States TempestNYC, Diaphone (the hero of my past material!), the only one in the top Potemkin Shine and Canadian Remi Celeste. And everything could be quite predictable, with Kizzy or Punk on the podium … if a pro-player from MK11 under the nickname K7 Showoff hadn’t suddenly flown into the tournament!

Here we need to make a small digression. In the circles of the fighting game community (FGC) there is an opinion that fighting game players from NetherRealm Studios (NRS for short) have a skill level somewhat … lower than their fellow communes, which is preferred by Japanese games of the genre – GG, SF, KOF, DBFZ etc. They say that the players in the NRS projects (MK, Injustice) cook in their own juice and rarely come into contact with the strongest representatives of other disciplines. I will not say that they are openly called Untermensch, but there is definitely a certain condescending attitude towards them. These are our smaller brothers from the world of fighting games 🙂

There is, of course, the world-famous exception to this rule – SonicFox, whose talent spans many disciplines, but he is best known precisely for Mortal Kombat X and 11 and both Injuctice. That being said, Sonic is the EVO 2018 DBFZ champion and has already taken two major online STRIVE tournaments in 2023. But the stereotype was not destroyed, and Sonic only cemented it – they say, such a multi-talent is born once a decade, and other fans of NRS games did not dream of conquering the heights in other disciplines …

Against this background, the success of K7 Showoff shines even brighter, which has managed not only to wipe its nose to the professionals of Strive, but also to prove again that the NRS pro is not a bastard either! Don’t write them off just because people are used to blocking with a separate button: D

The STRIVE tournament ended with an unexpected announcement:

In January 2023, the popular one-eyed samuraish Baiken will be added to the game! Many were waiting for her as a 2 DLC character, well, a maximum of 3 … And they were already desperate to wait, as Arki, without any warning, rolled out a teaser with an announcement and an imminent date of return to the game. True, the numerous exclamations of joy online should be taken with a certain degree of skepticism .: many admire the great hmm … Baiken’s abilities in martial art and deep … knowledge of Japanese culture, but very few will play it: D

Finally, my favorite moment from the tournament, an illustration on the theme “why am I playing for Potemkin” performed by Shine 🙂

Mortal kombat 11

The MK11 tournament ended with a result that is quite close to the Guinness Book of Records – the 1st and 2nd places were taken by the twin brothers from Chile under the nicknames Scorpionprocs23 and Nicolas. The first one confidently made it through the upper bracket of the tournament table, and the second one went through all the losers, returned to the upper bracket, set the heat to his brother (!) There until the bracket was restarted, but failed to finally take the upper hand over him and ended up in an honorable second place. So, the brothers scattered American pro players, set an interesting record and put Chile on the map of the strongest fighting communities.

This incident reminded me of another interesting use case from my own experience. Imagine: 2006, fighting games in Russia “lived” only in small clubs and apartment gatherings, and the largest event to which players from all over the country were selected was the MFA tournament, organized by the website. At that time I was already fond of games of the genre, and could not miss the opportunity to look live at the legends of Street Fighter, Gilty Gear and Tekken. The tournament was the last one and was marked by the largest underdog moment of the entire tournament!

St. Petersburg and Moscow old men as usual tore a few guests from the regions and prepared for the traditional derby, and bet on victory on one of the “bison” Tekken and Soul Calibur, the legendary Belial. Imagine the surprise of the capital’s pros when an unknown player on Marduk from distant Norilsk under the nickname Romer flew almost without stopping the entire tournament grid. Oh, you should have seen the faces of Muscovites who “flew away” from his juggles and throws! So they haven’t knocked their arrogance off yet: D

Romer defeated many notable players, including Belial, and made his way to the final of the tournament, where he faced another bison, Akira, who plays for Marshal Low. Akira knocked out Romer as a loser in a fairly equal fight, but the underdog from the north returned and again faced Akira with his foreheads … But he could not snatch the victory, having achieved, however, a very prestigious 2nd place (again, at the largest tournament in the country!). So, why I remembered all this – when Romer was asked how he managed to raise his skill away from large communes such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, he said that … he trained with his younger brother 🙂 And then at a local tournament they met with two other brothers and created the four of us Brothers clan! If they burst into the tournament with the whole gang, and who knows how the MFA 2006 grid and the three winners would have formed 🙂

Yes, of course, tournament experience and experience of online fights is of no small importance on the path to the championship, but do not underestimate the opportunity to regularly lab and spar with brothers or close friends – whatever you say, no one else will tell you so honestly in your face about yours. disadvantages.

An interesting fact: in the Street Fighter V discipline, which will not be awarded separately today, the palm was taken by a player from another Latin American country – Puerto Rico in the person of Mono on a rare tournament character FANG. However, Mono is far from a newcomer to the tournament scene, he had previously reached the top 8 and top 16, and even took first place at the Intel World Open – Mexico & Central America regional tournament.


That’s all, dear friends. Ahead of the major tournaments, only ArcEvo in GG STRIVE, but all the most interesting awaits us in the upcoming 2023. See you on the battlefields, and join the ranks of the fighting commune!

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