Updated: Jun 12, 2018
Another day, another tournament win for Kenya's best Tekken player. Having already sealed the Circuit championship after Round Three with an insurmountable point lead, Mickey returned for the Final Round at the East African Gaming Convention (EAGC) taking place at Thika Road Mall to test out his new character, Heihachi Mishima.
The day's proceedings began with Pool A, with Tiz advancing to the winners' bracket in top 8 with a 3-0 record while Xstar2010 scraped through to the losers' bracket in second place with a 2-1 record. Pool B kicked off with a tense match between Vega and PRIEST, two of the community's top players, with Vega grinding out a 3-2 win before both players made light work of mugiwaraMunyi to advance to the winners' and losers' brackets respectively.
Mickey continued his unbeaten run in Pool C with 3-0 wins against Prince Abura, PseudoDude and Dawa Jr., who finished second with a 2-1 record to move on to top 8. Ugandan player GAMBIT failed to appear for the tournament, giving his opponents in Pool D Davy Kamanzi and Flurryfists free wins and guaranteed spots in the top 8; Davy beat Flurryfists 3-2 in a tight set to take the last available place in the winners' bracket.
The first set of the top 8 saw Xstar2010 eliminate Flurryfists with a 3-0 win, while PRIEST delivered the same result against Dawa Jr. in the next set to advance to the next round. Davy and Mickey then played out an intense Mishima battle in the first set of the winners' bracket, with Mickey's Heihachi beating Davy's Jin in the first match before Davy made it level in the second. Mickey would not be stopped though, winning the next two matches to advance to the winners' final.
Having been eliminated in Round Two by Davy's Geese, Tiz was in for another 2D nightmare in his set, as Vega brought out Akuma to banish him to the losers' bracket. Tiz immediately brushed off the 3-1 loss to knock out Xstar2010 with a convincing 3-0 victory. In the opposite fixture, Davy's Jin and PRIEST's Jack-7 took each other all the way in an entertaining set, with Davy memorably parrying a SS+1 and punishing PRIEST with a rage art in the fourth match, later winning three rounds straight in the final match to advance to the losers' semi-final.
Having just been released 11 days earlier, Noctis Lucis Caelum was a matchup most players would not have been familiar with and Davy Kamanzi gambled on that conclusion in picking him against Tiz in the losers' semi-final. Save for one perfect round from Tiz, Davy saw off Tiz's Nina fairly comfortably in the first match of the set, prompting a switch to Paul, one of Tiz's favourite tournament picks. The decision seemed to be paying off as Tiz pulled one match back to make the score 1-1, but Davy bravely carried on with Noctis, counting on Tiz's lack of knowledge on the matchup. The third match went Davy's way before Tiz answered back to tie up the score once more at 2-2.
Spectators were treated to an intense battle as the final match went to a final round; Tiz racked up a big life lead early on and would've won had Davy not broken a clutch throw and stuffed a follow-up with Noctis' d/f+2. Following a crucial combo, Davy put a grounded Paul into rage with u/f+2 before winning the set with a rage drive Warp Strike to send Tiz home.
In the winners' final, Mickey took a break from playing Heihachi and switched to Xiaoyu to face Vega's Paul. It was more of the same dominant play as Vega looked for answers to Xiaoyu's elusiveness and deadly mixups, switching to Akuma and then Dragunov but failing to get anything from the set in a 3-0 loss. Vega seemed a different person in the losers' final, however, switching back to Paul and running Davy ragged. Switching back to Jin, Davy couldn't seem to get a foothold on the set, with Vega using Paul's power to romp to a 3-0 victory and set up a rematch with Mickey in the grand final.
Mickey switched back to Heihachi to confront Vega's Paul in the Devil's Pit stage for the first match of the set. Mickey's punishment remained on point, consistently fuzzy guarding and punishing Paul's f, f+2 strings to rack up valuable damage. Vega fought back valiantly to take the match to a final round, but had a d+1+2 whiff punished at a crucial moment by Heihachi's rage drive, allowing Mickey to destroy Vega's life lead and win the match. Vega picked Akuma once again for the second match, coming back from a big life deficit in the first and second rounds to go on and tie the set at 1-1.
Mickey gathered himself and shut Vega down in the third match, weathering much of his FADC pressure and stuffing his demon flip mixups on his way to a "no round brown" to take the lead once again. Vega stayed with Akuma for the fourth and final match, but Mickey stayed calm and seemed to exploit every single one of Vega's mistakes, making it six rounds straight to cap off an unbeaten season in sets.
Walking off with Ksh. 25,000 in prize money, Mickey lost only 4 matches over the course of the season; one to Vega earlier in this grand final, one to Davy in Round Two and again in this tournament, and one to PRIEST in Round Three. Vega took home second place overall and Ksh. 15,000, while Tiz edged out Davy by two points in third place overall to claim Ksh. 10,000 in prize money.
You can watch a replay of the grand final below and the rest of the tournament on our YouTube channel.