An exciting finish for the top 8 players at CEO in Florida.
Nearly 300 people flocked to the Beaches of Daytona, Florida this past weekend to experience the glorious return of Tekken 7 at CEO. The packed pools and nailbiting top 8 were already set to be one of the critical steps in the packed Tekken Would Tour calendar it certainly did not disappoint in its delivery.
From old rivalries, to new ones in 2022, everyone had a reason to come down to the Tekken 7 top 8 finals and watch the best of the best at the game take turns in beating each other up for the prestigious champions. This also marks the first Maste stop for the Tekken World Tour.
Jun 24, 2022
Tekken 7 at CEO 2022 | Top 8
Opening Winner-side Matches
Opening up the games for Sunday's top 8 was Rangchu, who split his time between Julia and Panda, and Anakin, who was going through the bracket with Jack-7. It was a rather swift 10-minute match with a clean victory for the side of Anakin. Right after we saw Book take on Super Akouma on what was an unexpended matchup. Book decided to mirror Akuma for the series in a long brawl with Book taking on the first set, then Super Akouma evening the score only for Book to seal the deal and win 2-1.
The Last of the Lower Bracket
In the lower side of the bracket JoKa, playing as Feng, intercepted Joonya's Katarina and pushed over a 2-0 victory. At the same time, Gen on Zafina dispatched Kodee's Kazuya with another 2-0 victory. Next up was Super Akouma's chance for a revenge run, trying to capture some momentum and strike JoKa down, but it was not to be, even after evening the series again 1-1 he fell to JoKa's Heihachi 2-1.
The story of winners into lowers into KOs continued as Rangchu dropped both games to Gen and opened the door for a Zafina vs Feng matchup between Gen and JoKa. JoKa would take the first set and nearly secure victory in the second as he pushed the score 2-2. It would take an extra set to bring him up to the next round with a 2-1 victory over Japan's last runner Gen.
Winners & Loser Finals
On the winner finals, it was Anakin, performing up to his level of talent on Jack-7 versus Book's counter pick of Lidia. A late third set victory for Book looked promising for the Thai national and the murmurings of a potential reverse sweep were in the air as Jack picked up said dreams and promptly slammed against the concrete to finish up the series 3-1.
Over in the loser finals, Book waited for his opponent JoKa. It would be a Feng versus Lidia matchup and Book came out swinging. Winning the first set with a clean slate and focused on the match beyond this match, the grand finals, and the reset. One set later and he secured it with a 2-0 victory.
The stage was set, It was going to be a rematch of the winner finals with Book returning to face Anakin. Things looked dire on the first set, with Book picking up Akuma and going 3-1 against Anakin's Jack-7. But the momentum was not going to slow down the Thai master. Instead, he jumped on Jin and went on to win the next three sets to call for the bracket reset. First by taking a 3-2 victory on set 2, then pulling himself out of a rut in set 3 as Jack-7 was up 2 and almost closing the set; and finally, taking a heroic 3-1 victory in the final set to call for that reset.
The Atmosphere was tense. Both players were now locked in mentally into the Jin Jack-7 matchup and it was a brutal back and forth with set 3 starting with a 1-1 score, and neither player was ready to give the other a free third set. Coming to a 2-2 score for the set, Book took the lead and established the floor of 2-1. If Anakin wanted to win, he would need to win the next two sets. Again to the final stock for both Anakin held on to bring the series 2-2 as the crowd went wild.
Like poetry, both players took a stock off each other to start the bout with Book's Jin looking solid enough to finally seal the deal, but as Anakin was on death's door he brought it back to 2-2, last stock. A bad trade for Book as Anakin's health was nearly zero was enough of an invite for the American to make himself at home in the arena and finish off Book with a flurry of punches closing out the reset with a 3-2 victory.