Updated: Jun 11, 2018
It was a one-man show at the MJX (Movie Jabber Expo) Tekken showcase on Sunday as Simba, who finished ninth overall in Season One of the TEKKEN 254 Circuit, stepped up to eliminate Team Vega all on his own and win the showcase and bragging rights for his team, the Peacekeepers. The showcase went ahead despite a number of technical difficulties, with the players having to play on a TV due to problems connecting the console to a projector meant to display the games on the MJX main stage.
The Circuit's top two players, champion Mickey and runner-up Vega, chose from the rest of the competition to make up their teams; Mickey recruited Simba and thirteenth-placed Kazuya main mugiwaraMunyi, while Vega went with Xstar2010, who finished eighth, and Proto-G, who finished one place below mugiwaraMunyi. Fellow Circuit competitors Davy Kamanzi and Shoryuken were on commentary duty for the showcase.
Before the matches began, the two teams were informed that each set would be a first to 2, with one player from each team (eventually Simba and Xstar2010) able to claim two "lives" and the captains having to play last for their teams.
In the first set, Proto-G picked Steve to face mugiwaraMunyi's Kazuya. The first match went back and forth with the two players taking it to a final round, but Proto-G ultimately saw off mugiwaraMunyi in convincing fashion before winning the next match 3-1 in rounds to give his team a 1-0 lead.
It was then that Simba stepped up to the plate, going with an expected Devil Jin pick to take on Proto-G, who switched to Hwoarang for the first match of the second set. After a slow start in the first match, Simba came back from losing the first round to win the match 3-1, exploiting the gaps in Proto-G's pressure with Proto-G also failing to punish Simba's mistakes properly, if at all. Proto-G then switched back to Steve for the second match, looking a bit more solid defensively and frustrating Simba to take the second match 3-2. Seemingly carrying on his momentum with a first round win in the final match, Proto-G slowly began to falter with his decision-making and lost the next 3 rounds in a row; Simba saw off the match with a WS 1, 2 off a side roll after Proto-G dropped what may have been a momentum-shifting combo at the wall in the Hammerhead stage.
Simba then had to face a tricky customer in Xstar2010, who had to lose in two sets to be eliminated. Simba initially fell to Xstar2010's quirky playstyle with King, losing 2 rounds straight before seemingly adapting to his patterns and coming back from behind to take the first match 3-2.
Continuing with the same characters, a few missed punishes and more unorthodox gameplay from Xstar2010 saw the second match slip away from Simba's hands, with Xstar2010 taking it 3-1. Xstar2010 continued to make Simba struggle in the final match, but his excessive use of ALI 2 saw him get punished by Devil Jin's can-can a number of times, one of which won Simba the penultimate round. Simba then rode on the momentum, launch punishing yet another ALI 2 to finish off the first set. Though Xstar2010's random patterns continued to give him problems in the second set, Simba looked more dominant, sharpening up on his punishment, breaking more throws and making more use of Devil Jin's wavedash mixups to eliminate his opponent.
Last on the hit list was Team Vega captain, er…Vega, who placed his hopes for a comeback on Akuma, one of his most frequent picks in the Circuit. He came straight off the blocks to let Simba know he wasn't going down easily, winning the first round with a Zanku Hadouken after some in-and-out pressure. However, Simba answered back with 3 straight round wins, baiting out and launch punishing a few Shoryukens and seeing out the first match with an EWGF wall combo off Devil Jin's rage drive.
After losing the first 2 rounds of the second match in convincing fashion, Vega was keen to remind us why he came second overall in Season One of the Circuit, winning the third round with a massive life lead. The fourth round was more open, with the two players taking each other to rage and Vega nearly winning with an EX Shoryuken on wake-up. Simba cleverly stayed down and let Vega whiff a d/f+4 before sealing victory for his team with a get-up 4.
You can watch replays of all the matches below (the first match from Simba vs Xstar2010 was unfortunately not recorded).
[Videos coming soon]