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Everything you need to know about Tekken 7FR at EVO 2016

EVO is this upcoming weekend and it promises to be the most exciting exhibition of Tekken we have seen in a long time. We’re talking years. The pools are stacked with high-level pro players from around the world. The game will only be two weeks old. New mechanics made intentionally with tournament gameplay in mind will be on display. There are new characters introduced into the roster. And much more. Let’s get into it.

If you just want to know the tournament and stream schedule, skip all of this and head toward the bottom.

Brackets and Pool Play

There are 549 players registered for this years EVO, making 36 pools. The countries represented are USA, Korea, Japan, France, Canada,  Brazil, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Poland, Panama, South Africa, Denmark, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Costa Rica and Australia.

Some of the notable players to keep an eye on are Knee (KOR), JDCR (KOR), Saint (KOR), Poongko (KOR), Nobi (JPN), KuroKuro (JPN), Shudy (JPN), Yuu (JPN), Ryan Hart (UK), Shadow 20z, Rip, Just Frames James, Brawl Pro, Geesemaster, Perfect Legend, Mystic Bill, ZTS, Obscure, Speedkicks, Jody the Great, RickThaRuler, N8nmonster, Kane, LtrainLocomotive, and Anakin (last 16 are all USA). Just as an observation, Steve “Tasty Steve” Scott, Rick “TheHadou” Thiher and Alex “CEOJebaily” Jebailey are also in this tournament.

All of these players should make it out of their respective pools, but where it may get tricky initially is pool C205, which includes Shudy, Just Frame James and Brawl Pro. There could possibly be some other upsets as well. There’s another twist.

High-level Akuma

While there is a good turnout of  players from around the world coming to EVO, one of the main reasons this years event promises to be spectacular is due to one character – Akuma. Tekken 7: Fated Retribution being approved for EVO changes the game (pun intended) entirely. Akuma is a new character that hardly anyone who exclusively plays Tekken is familiar with. This is why determining who will make it out of their pools is tricky. Because Akuma is new to the game, there are some things he can get away with fundamentally. Just keeping it real, not many have had time to play him, study defensive schemes, and anyone outside of Asia really doesn’t stand a chance against a high level Akuma player honestly.

Yes. High level Akuma players exist.

The adoption of Akuma as a main character by players has mushroomed. Just by looking at gameplay and combo videos of Akuma, you can tell that Asians have been in the lab. Players who are familiar with Street Fighter are using him at a high level already. They understand how to make use of his meter, FADC, combos, setups and more. And it is because of these things that this will be a very interesting EVO.

One such pro Street Fighter player to look out for that has transitioned to Tekken 7FR to play with Akuma is Poongko from Korea. Ever since Akuma has been available he has been in the lab familiarizing himself with Akuma and the nuances that come with being in a 3D space. We had seen Akuma players like Japan’s Tokido in action, and it was respectable, but it wasn’t until people saw Poongko against Aris at CEO that everyone’s jaw dropped. The way he used Akuma made everyone realize just how good he was, because before then he was just “okay,” and everyone was saying that Shaheen was the best. Sorry, Shaheen, there’s a new sheriff in town.

Will Tekken players be ready for the red-eyed monster that is Akuma? Will they know the timings,  proper punishes, mix-ups and situational responses? Quite simply, will they know the matchup? It depends on who has done their homework.

New Moves Inbound

Lastly, Tekken 7FR also brings along with it a few new moves. This too changes the game for everyone involved at EVO. As if Akuma wasn’t enough, now there’s even more homework issue to do. And how well anyone outside of Asia can study is at the mercy of the internet. Thankfully a gang of videos are being uploaded to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube daily.

Does T7FR being playable at EVO gives Asian players an edge? Slightly.

Strong and confident players like Anakin welcome the challenge though, and isn’t a bit worried.

I’ll just go into it with the same mindset I’ve always had. Just do my best and there will be nothing to worry about. I’m not really worried about who has what first and who plays what more.

I’m sure Anakin will make the proper adjustments, plus he has some Akuma experience. And, it’s not like the moves each character has been given completely transforms them, but one or two additional good moves can take a character that was considered irrelevant, and make them relevant again. Take Heihachi, for example. Because of a few additional moves in Tekken 7FR, he is now considered to be a top character again.

Here’s a video showcasing all of the new moves for each character in Tekken 7 FR (minus Katrina Alves).

Tournament Schedule & Stream Info

Everything goes down starting this Friday, July 15th thru Sunday, July 17th. 

Here’s the tournament schedule for Tekken:

Narration should take place between Rip, Aris, Tasty Steve, and MarkMan.

Final Details

According to the Tekken Twitter, there will be some streaming there as well. Perhaps some casual matches, or a Tekken Talk Episode 3? We shall see.

Tekken won’t be making the main-stage at Mandalay Bay for Sunday Finals this year, but it should next year. Tekken 7 will be out right before the next EVO, so numbers should be much higher as far as registrants (and the cap higher).

1st and 2nd place at EVO will also qualify for the King of the Iron Fist Tournament later this year.

So, what do you think? What do you anticipate will happen at EVO this year? Who will win it all?

Aziz Peregrino-Brimah aka Zee the CEO | Founder / Editor-in-chief of TekkenGamer | Gaming has been a passion of Zee's since the early days of Atari and ColecoVision. His first experience with Tekken was in the early 90's, and it was Tekken 3 that sealed the deal. True story... As a teenager Zee once received his Winn-Dixie paycheck and spent it all at the arcade the same day. Needless to say, his mother wasn't pleased.

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