YOU WANT MORE!?
Welcome back to the second half of our Weekend Warriors segment because the grind doesn't stop even on the weekend. Even when it comes to mixing business and fun, there's always something going on. There's always room to improve as a player while you cheer and support your friends. Even when there isn't a major tournament, your locals are always your training grounds to get better. At some point, I stopped talking about merely providing content and instead talked about one of the largest pillars in tri-state Tekken. The NYC Tekken Monthly is currently taking place at Next Level Arcade, the first since Combo Breaker and the last before CEO.
The tournaments have had their history since 2018 at iFix Machine. Originally created as a way for the local scene to grow, NYC Tekken had expanded thanks largely in part to the Tekken World Tour in 2019. Players from around the world came to compete from Qudans, JDCR, and arguably the most celebrated player at the time, Arslan Ash.
First Rule: Always Desync Your Emotions
Today's monthly event, as mentioned earlier, sees everyone competing in anticipation of CEO. That's the beauty of locals, for even if a tournament like CEO is not in your sights, you can still expect quality gameplay from others of various skill levels. The most important thing is to get fulfillment from the experience. I lied, the most important detail is offline play as anyone who played Tekken online will know how chaotic it is.
Notable players include players from out of town who came to visit. Big Dame, Vesper, Reckless, and Milk are some of the few players from out of state who gave our local scene love consistently. There are also local favorites who have made their appearance known. From the awesome Lili action courtesy of keekeexbabyy to the Eliza extraordinaire Mr. Flubbs. Furogu the Nina expert who has been making a name for herself, and of course Blood Hawk, one of East Coast's OGs.
I entered the tournament for the first time in months because of a number of factors. The main one is a bit of an oxymoron. I say that the tournaments are inclusive to everyone and that much is true. The tournament organizers, Helst and unexcited, always do enough to accommodate the attendees that often reach the 20s. These tournaments, like almost every existing one, offer much in the way of introspection.
Kick, Punch, It's All In The Mind
Going 0-2 is an expectation just as much as going 2-2 or even top 8. There are no gimmicks and no-frills. Your fists and your skills carry you as far as they can take you. However, the truth is you can be the most skilled player in the United States. You can be the technician of a specific character all you'd like. It means nothing if you don't have the confidence to back it up. It's not just "How well you can hit this combo," but "How much will that 'unskilled player' get away with that one random move until you either wake up or let it overwhelm you."
This is the bitter truth about being a competitor. If you lost, it's your fault. Take accountability, adjust, or suffer. It's a lot of hard work to be a competitive fighting game player and it can be as demoralizing as it is fun. Sometimes it's best not to compete and play "friendlies" with other players in a casual setting. Whatever your idea of fun is, this is what you'll experience in an NYC Tekken event. You just have to meet others halfway.
So why do I compete if I'm heavily critical of success being a benching point? The thrill of playing others and showing how you fare against a big-name player. Here, legends are created and born. The success stories you see in majors begin here, but it's not just NYC Tekken. Iron Fist Philly is a close relative of NYC Tekken as they do the same thing as us but, of course, in Philly. If you're not from the city then reach out to your local scene and you'd be surprised at what you find.
My biggest advice to someone who has been there and has continued to brush with rock bottom. Don't give up but be honest with your emotions. Let the salt flow within you but plan your next attack. You got two chances to make it work so even if you lost one you're still in. Let that emotion out. You did deserve that win. You did let nerves get to you. You couldn't adapt to a common situation you know you would have adapted to otherwise. At best you can see that same person in a money match later and retain your glory. At worst, just accept the loss before the loss accepts you and it goes with you into the loser's bracket.
Winners, Losers, Top 8s
That's enough introspection, for it's time to talk about the Top 8. No matter what, there will always be eight players remaining and these are when the North East Tekken players are seen at their finest.
The Anna specialist Nameless, rising star Regular Sized Majin, and others were a part of the top 8 for NYC Tekken. At this point, things trickle down and casual setups are open to the stragglers who remain. Even during the tournament, there are ways for the eliminated to find glory and share a laugh over sequences that makes no sense in Tekken.
As mentioned, once you get the salt out of the system, it's all about making new friends, playing with old ones, and improving. In the end, Nameless made third, Blood Hawk made second, despite a really good loser's run. Mr. Flubbs would ultimately win it all in an impressive winner's run
Perhaps the best thing to note about this monthly event is that next month marks the beginning of this year's Tekken World Tour. Marked as a Dojo-tiered event, July's monthly will be the first NYC Tekken event to be a part of the official World Tour. With this announcement, surely NYC Tekken will remain that pillar for tri-state Tekken for months to come. Be sure to sign up here to get first dibs on the action!