The Philippine leg of for the South East Asia Tekken Amateur Cup was held this past weekend over at Playbook Circuit Makati, and it was nothing short of massive. With 252 entrants, this was the largest gathering of Tekken Players since REV MAJOR Philippines this past July. The winner of the tournament gets an all accommodations paid trip to Southeast Asia Majors (SEAM) this coming October to serve as a Philippine representative for the tournament.
Similar to Revelations and Road to Manila Cup, this tournament was exclusive to non-sponsored players. Head Organizer Mark Chionh of Singapore had this to say: “Within the region we understand that each country has its own pool of dominant players. These players we know will be very active in the Tekken World Tour. The Tekken Amateur Cup aims to reach out to beginner and intermediate level players. Hopefully we’ll be able to generate their interest in esports and push them to excel further in the game.”
Outside of the Evolution Championship Series, SEAM is widely regarded to be one of the hardest tournaments to conquer. It’s location in the SEA Region means easier access for people living in Japan, South Korea and China, countries who are considered to have some of the best fighting game talent in the world. Strong competitors who rarely come out for international tournaments can often be found participating in this annual event, making it both exciting to watch and one of the toughest proving grounds for fighting game pros.
It’s not often that a chance to participate in this prestigious tournament for free presents itself. As was expected, the local Tekken scene was in full attendance., All players were eager to prove that they had what it takes to compete and represent the country.
Grand Finals – Legion Hapon seals the Deal over Gold Standard
From the 252 names at the beginning of Day 1, the two that would face each other in the grand finals came down to Elite Joachim “Gold_Standard” Fuentes and Legion’s Michael “Hapon” Magbanua. Although Gold_Standard had just come fresh off his win at the final Road to Manila Cup Tournament the previous week, he had never won an event of this size. He was looking to make Tekken Amateur Cup the first one. On the other hand, his opposition Hapon had an impressive run throughout the tournament. That was the case until they met up in top 8, where Hapon was sent to loser's bracket by Gold_Standard. Meeting up again in grand finals, all eyes were on screen as as the two stepped up to their sticks.
Hapon started off strong, besting Gold_Standard’s Claudio two games straight. Seeing he was getting nowhere fast, Gold_Standard switched to the masked luchador King wherein the match became much closer, taking it to the final round. Unfortunately for Gold_Standard, Hapon’s mixup game with Eddy proved too much and the bracket was reset.
This time, it was Gold_Standard who started off strong, looking like he had finally adjusted to Hapon as he took the first two rounds. Hapon wasn’t deterred however, and made an impressive comeback to gain first point. Gold_Standard would finally put himself on the board in game two, but once again gets clutched out by Hapon in game three.
Now at tournament point, Hapon managed to make an impressive comeback in round two of game four with a well-timed Rage Drive. He was dancing circles around Gold_Standard by the end, clearly getting into the latter’s head. A final combo off of a raw launcher ultimately gave gave Hapon the win and the ticket to SEAM 2017.
Hapon (Black Jacket)
Since the console release of the game’s latest iteration, the local Tekken Community has been nothing short of dedicated; be it hosting events or showcasing their skills on stream. It has garnered impressive results and milestones, with events like REV MAJOR Philippines and players like Doujin and AK having made their mark on the international scene. As the Tekken Community continues to grow, it may only be a matter of time in before we crown a Philippine Tekken international champion.