Bae “Knee” Jaemin is on fire right now. After going undefeated at CEO last week, the Korean pro won another TWT event, going undefeated again in Osaka for the Wellplayed Challenger.
In the grand finals, Knee went up against Japanese pro, Takumi “Noroma” Hamasaki who had just defeated Kim “Kkokkoma” Mu-jong in the Loser’s Finals. The Korean pro stuck to his usual pick of Steve while Noroma went for his pocket character of Dragunov.
The first round was an even display of skill with both players cautiously testing each other out, but Noroma came out on top thanks to a beautiful juggle into a wall combo.
Knee adjusted quickly, and started focusing on counter-hitting Noroma’s jabs winning three rounds straight to take game one.
With momentum on his side, Knee looked unstoppable in game two. He started focusing on knockdowns and dealing big damage with some nasty low hits.
Noroma found some hope in the third round, hitting with some jab combos that brought Knee low. But he was unable to finish the round, and fell victim to Knee’s dangerous Rage Drive, giving Knee a 2-0 lead.
Facing elimination, Noroma switched back to his usual main of Jack-7 for game three.
Noroma started focusing on more poke-based damage, and limited the amount of counter-hit opportunities for Knee. In the third round, Noroma beat Knee’s Rage Drive with a quick jab combo and then executed an elaborate wall-carry juggle to win game three.
With Steve rendered useless against Jack-7, Knee switched to Paul Phoenix for his higher damage potential. At first, the switch looked like a mistake, with Noroma easily taking the first two rounds of game four.
However, with Noroma about to tie up the game, Knee started playing out of his mind and hit this beautiful wall-carry juggle to end a perfect round.
Knee took the next round too, putting him at tournament point.
In the last round of game four, Knee managed a beautiful low-parry and then followed it up with a massive Death Fist wall combo that left Noroma with just a sliver of life left. A quick low and it was all over, with Knee winning 3-1.
With this victory, Knee took home US$2,300 and 150 Tekken points, keeping him firmly at the top of the global Tekken rankings. Runner-up Noroma takes US$1,200 and 100 TP, bumping him from sixth to fourth place.
The next Tekken Master event will be VSFighting in Birmingham, happening on July 20-21.