While Hapon of Bren Esports became the defiant champion of the Tekken Online Challenge Philippines open tournament, the country’s exhibition series showcased the old and new schools of the local Tekken scene.
Some names in the exhibition might ring familiar, such as Alexandre “AK” Laverez, but get ready to see some of the new and improved fighters coming out of the archipelago, as well. Asahina, Doujin, and Vermilion figure to be among the names to remember.
Asahina vs. Kashieca
The first match was a battle of the Tekken Queens. While Kashieca has been in the Tekken scene since 2012, Asahina is a talented newcomer who’s ready to challenge the old guard with her bloodthirsty Eliza.
Despite being the newer pro, Asahina had her fangs out by the first game. With Eliza working as a 2D character, Asahina utilized her tricky dive kicks and mixed them up with some low licks to come out with a perfect round.
Switching to a more comfortable character of Lili, Kashieca found some success in the third game. With an incredible hop-kick combo into an unblockable super move, the PBE player managed to counter Asahina’s slide with a simple kick, securing the no-round brown.
Even though Kashieca was more dangerous on the Lili pick, Asahina went all-in in the sixth game. The Eliza player whiffed her first meter-burn, but she continued to put offensive pressure on Kashieca with some safe combos.
Once she filled her meter up, she went for an instant meter-burn wall-splat and, instead of ending things with a rush of jabs, Asahina waited for Kashieca’s get-up animation to land her final dive-kick of the series.
Doujin vs. Coffee Prinz
While this match-up can be seen as a tense rivalry between the two local Tekken gods, Doujin was the absolute favorite coming into the fight with almost 90% of viewers voting for the PBE player.
The two are known for some select characters from their previous appearances, but Doujin and Coffee Prinz came out to showcase some of Tekken’s newest fighters in Negan and Fahkumram, respectively.
Coffee Prinz started strong with his Fahkumram pick, but by the final round of game one, Doujin already had the Muay Thai monster downloaded. Despite Prinz taking the first combo through a successful low-parry, Doujin came back with a few bat swings and an impressive sidestep punish.
Doujin demolished his rival through the entire series. While Prinz did make the eventual change to another new character in Leroy Smith, his arsenal of parries did not work on Negan due to his unparryable weapon attacks.
With a punishing launch to start, Doujin eventually finished the entire series out with another sidestep punish, winning with an undefeated 5-0 scoreline.
Vermilion vs. AK
AK might come through as the known favorite in this youngblood fight, but Vermilion has been climbing up the ranks as a terrifying Devil Jin specialist and was the last Filipino player standing in REV Major 2019. With the Cignal Ultra player known for his dominance in long sets, Vermilion managed to beat AK with an astonishing 7-2 finish.
Vermilion stuck with his Devil Jin throughout the entire match while AK tested the waters with his Akuma pocket-pick. Despite AK’s quick 2D tactics of dive-kicks and knockdown lows, Vermilion’s defense was impenetrable, helping the Cignal Ultra star claim the first game with a simple string punish.
Vermilion went on to flex his DJ skills once more against AK’s Kazumi. Even though AK was able to hand over the health deficit to his opponent, Vermilion ran out the clock with Devil Jin’s flying laser, which made him untouchable for four seconds.
Moving on to a more trademark pick of Shaheen, AK began to show signs of a potential comeback. After an almost deadly hellsweep combo, the Shaheen specialist retaliated with a crazy Rage Drive combo and stole the game with a killing grapple.
With Vermilion now on match point, the Devil Jin player continued his wavedashes and Steel pedal kicks to hammer down AK’s health bar. AK was bringing out all his tricks to stop Vermilion’s offense, but the Cignal Ultra player finally ended things with a beautiful sidestep into the 1-1-2 string.