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Gamers8 2023 Tekken 7 Nations Cup Recap

Sebastian Quintanilla
6 min

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Gamers8 2023 Tekken 7 Nations Cup Recap
Pakistan claims the trophy in Riyadh

Sprung about by the major investments in esports from the Saudi-backed Savvy Group, ESL put together Gamers8, a massive event centered in the city of Riyadh that brought many of the world's best players together for a week of competition. For Tekken 7 players, it was the Nations Cup, putting together teams of 3 players for each country. 16 teams entered, and only one could win it all and with a million dollars on the line, not to mention the respect and prestige, everyone was gunning for first.

Group Stage

With 16 teams, nations were divided into four groups of 4 teams each.

Group A

Nation W/L Pts Players
United States 3-0 11 Joey Fury Anakin JoeCrush
France 2-1 9 Super Akouma Jodd Gunni
Peru 1-2 3 Sergie Mazter Abel Del Maestro Barba dorada
Jordan 0-3 1 Ammar Okosh M7 Ghafir Mohammad Mishima

Group B

Nation W/L Pts Players
South Korea 2-1 8 Knee Chanel Ulsa
Philippines 2-1 8 AK Doujin Jules
Bolivia 2-1 6 Noel DarkYorel Tojo 2
Germany 0-3 2 Tetsu Sephiblack HK Jr.

Group C

Nation W/L Pts Players
Pakistan 3-0 11 Arslan Ash ATIF KHAN
Japan 2-1 9 Nobi Chikurin AO
Saudi Arabia 1-2 4 Raef FEDERER2009 MohammedAljabri
South Africa 0-3 0 Callym Beukes Spaghetti gh0st_proxy

Group D

Nation W/L Pts Players
United Kingdom 2-1 8 K-Wiss JoKa Gosain
Australia 2-1 8 Yagami Bobby 6 weetbix
Thailand 1-2 4 Shin Akuma Book Patloars
Côte d'Ivoire 1-2 4 Skywalker Ivorio_Akon Shaoling

Tekken 7 Nations Cup Playoffs

Winners Side Opening Matches

Into the playoffs proper, it was the favorites, Pakistan taking the highest seed possible and facing off against the United Kingdom. On the other side of the bracket, South Korea was fighting for a spot on the winning side finals versus the United States in a grueling match that could have fallen either way and required Knee to play out five consecutive sets to secure Korea's victory. 

Losers Side Rounds 1 & 2

Over in the lower side of the bracket, the runners-up from each group ready themselves for a last chance at redemption. It would be Japan and France who advances past the first round, knocking out Australia and the Philipines in the process, relatively swifts affairs.

With the United States coming down, France struggled to meet the pace of the Americans, with only Super Akouma able to make a dent in a thrilling 3-1 2-3 3-0 series versus Joey Fury. Unfortunately, the overall scoreline by the end was 3-0, with France out of the tournament. On the other side, Japan's group draw versus Korea might have made them a dark horse in the bracket, as they beat the United Kingdom 3-0, all be it with a very tense Joka vs Chikurin match in the middle that could have gone either way.

Losers Side Round 3

It was now down to the wire between the lower bracket heroes of Japan versus the group-stage undefeated Americans. The opening set of Joey Fury Versus AO looked promising for the US, as 3-0 2-3 3-0 scoreline showed good pace, especially as they only needed to win one more set. Yet, Nobi was not going to let them off easy and put a point up on the board for Japan in consecutive 3-1 games versus Joe Crush.

It was now all resting on Anakin and Chikurin respectively, and they did not let off the gas for a moment, going 2-1 for Anakin by game three before Chikurin recovered and turned the set in a 3-2 overall, allowing Japan to continue in the tournament.

Winner's and Loser's Finals

Pakistan looked strong in its group and their opening match versus the United Kingdom. Now in the Winner Side finals, they took on the challenge of facing South Korea for a guaranteed second place, if not an outright win. Khan was able to pick up the opener versus Ulsan, although it could have easily been the other way around.

After, Arslan Ash proved once again to be a major asset, striking our Chanel before ATIF put up a performance worthy of champions by picking up two wins versus Knee before a quick character swap almost spelled disaster for the Akuma main with Knee tieing up the series with back to back 3-0 with Bryan. Nevertheless, ATIF recovered and earned Pakistan its Grand finals spot.

With their tournament run at stake, it was not South Korea's turn to try to stop Japan. Chanel struck out Chikurin in a painful 3-2 3-2 series to start, followed by Ulsan 3-1 3-1 versus AO. It was now up to Knee to finish up in a match versus Nobi, beating the 2015 Evo Champion 3-1 3-1 0-3 3-0.

Tekken 7 Nations Cup Grand Finals

Pakistan versus South Korea in the Grand Finals. An expected one and worthy of the Nations Cup title. Both teams coming into the match were highly motivated, not just for the cash prizes, but for the trophy and national pride of winning a title in a team made of their peers.

The opening set would not disappoint, as Khan and Chanel both intensely looked to gain the advantage for their team from the start. In the end, Khan would squish out two 3-2 victories leading the way for ATIF to do the same versus Ultan, all be it with the Korean player getting a 3-2 game of his own in the first match.

It was then time for the first to 3 match that everyone was anxiously waiting for. Arslan Ash versus Knee. For Pakistan, a win in this set meant complete victory and a clean one at that. For Knee, it was the last chance to keep South Korea in the competition, and he understood the assignment, taking out Arslan Ash in a dominant 3-1, 3-0, 3-0 scoreline.

Sadly, the celebration would need to be cut short, as the series sat at 2-1, South Korea was not out yet, but Pakistan only needed one more win. ATIF took to the stage and faced down Knee once more; in the winner's finals, Knee was able to string together two quick 3-0 versus ATIF; if he did that again, it would all go down to the fifth set. ATIF, cheered on by his fellows, brought down Knee 3-2 in game one versus Bryan, and followed it up with a 3-0 to seal the deal and give Pakistan a Nations Cup Trophy.

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