Anakin drops King of the Iron Fist qualifier to compete in Combo Breaker 2016
UPDATE (05/24/16): Anakin speaks about entering Combo Breaker in his recent appearance on Tekken Talk with MarkMan.
Combo Breaker 2016 is this weekend on May 27th-29th, and we’ve taken a good look at the pools for Tekken 7. First and foremost, the numbers are great to see. There are 16 pools with a total of 240 players registered. Some of the notable players we recognized are Justin Wong, Rip, PerfectLegend, Mateo, Cuddle_Core, RenoFace, MysticBill, CEO Jebailey, and Anakin.
As many of you may know, Anakin competed in Final Round 19 back in March of this year, where he took 3rd place to Saint (1st/KOR) and SoDam (2nd/KOR) in Tekken 7. Final Round was a Tekken Tour event, which makes it a King of the Iron Fist Tournament qualifier. Though Anakin did not win the Tekken 7 tournament at Final Round, he was the next highest-placing American, and as a result receives the qualifier for KOIFT (see: Tekken Tour Rules).
Having received the KOIFT qualifier, why would Anakin risk it by entering into Combo Breaker 2016? There are a few possible reasons.
1. Supreme Confidence
Anakin is not your everyday Tekken player. He is a former champion with knowledge and insight into Tekken that is unparalleled. The only other American that probably possesses his level of knowledge is Jimmy J. Tran, aka “Mr. Naps.” When you’ve been playing Tekken as long as Anakin has, have a track-record of making the top 3 and top 8 at most tournaments (if he didn’t win them), and have a knowledge and feel of the game like he does, your confidence level is through the roof.
— TekkenGamer.com (@TekkenGamercom) May 23, 2016
2. Pave His Own Way
Not everyone likes for things to be handed to them. While we’re sure that Anakin is pleased to have received a qualifying spot for KOIFT, he only got it because he was the highest placing American at Final Round. That’s nothing to shake a stick at or be ashamed of, because he is still very well deserving of it. First, he hasn’t had that much experience with Tekken 7. Not very many Americans have. Second, he faced some very strong Korean opponents in Saint and SoDam. Koreans have had Tekken 7 since late 2014. That’s a two-year head start pretty much. So it makes sense that Bandai Namco would place this in the rules, else it would be completely unfair.
Still, Anakin may want to pave his own way, and not have to hear the mouths of those who may say he only got to compete because it was given to him.
We understand both sides of the argument, but would have had zero issue had Anakin decided to keep his qualifier.
This is the one we believe more than likely came into play (in conjunction with #1). Anakin recently signed with Circa eSports, and sponsors sponsor players for mainly one reason – to make money. It would make no sense to sign Anakin and then he not compete anywhere. How would Circa eSports benefit? Most of the major tournaments are on the Tekken Tour, so Anakin really has no choice but to compete when and where he can. Plus, the more Anakin competes, the more money that can be made, and the more the Circa brand can be pushed. It’s a win-win situation actually. And this again speaks to Anakin’s confidence as a player (and the faith Circa has in him), because you don’t do any of this unless you believe in your abilities.
So, what about you? Would you do it? We believe Anakin will do well, but we can’t say for sure that he’ll win it all. Would we put money on him? Sure! Anakin believes he can win it all, and his track-record speaks for itself. Plus, now he is signed and has even more incentive for doing well. In our opinion, other players beware!
The path of least resistance will never make you proud. – Tony Robbins