Updated: Jan 23, 2019
Season Three of the TEKKEN 254 Circuit is poised to be a long and tough road as players tussle for points to qualify for the Circuit Finals in August. The draw for the Premier Division in Qualifier One, which will take place on 26 January 2019, was announced today and threw up some interesting match-ups that the community can look forward to.
Pool A will be contested by the Circuit's defending champion AlphaPlay | Mickey, perennial Top 8 finisher Tiz and Mickey's team-mate AlphaPlay | Tony (previously Simba), as well as RMP | Shoryuken, RobbyM$ and Lowlife, who gained promotion from the Challenger Division last season. Given his impressive record, Mickey will probably be tipped as the favourite to win the pool, while second place is expected to be tightly contested by Tiz and Tony, who will be meeting in the Circuit for the third time (first time in the pool stage) after Tiz previously knocked out Tony in last season's Circuit Finals.
Mickey and Tiz played in the Grand Final of our first ever tournament on 4 November 2017 and have faced each other in the Circuit five times since, with Mickey winning each time. The two AlphaPlay boys will be facing each other for the second time ever (first time in the pool stage), while RMP | Shoryuken will be meeting Tiz in the pool stage of a Circuit tournament for the fourth time and the first time since Qualifier Two last season. RMP | Shoryuken, RobbyM$ and Lowlife will all be playing each other in a tournament for the first time ever.
Season Two runner-up AlphaPlay | PR1Est (previously Kolovrat, and previously to that…PR1Est) leads the list of names drawn into Pool B, which also includes Vega, Darktempest, Poker Face, Pip Squeak and PseudoDude. Vega and Darktempest will meet in the Circuit for the fourth time, having last played each other in the losers' bracket of Qualifier Three last season; a set which Vega won 2-0.
As with Darktempest, Vega has faced AlphaPlay | PR1Est in the Circuit three times so far but is yet to claim a win, with PR1Est most recently sending Vega to the losers' bracket at last season's Circuit Finals. PR1Est and Darktempest have also met three times previously, with PR1Est winning twice but losing their most recent meeting in Top 8 at Qualifier Three last season. Poker Face has faced (and lost to) Darktempest twice in Circuit so far, once in the pool stage and once in the playoffs for 9th to 12th place.
Pip Squeak and PseudoDude are set to face off for the first time since Qualifier One last season, where Pip Squeak won their set 2-0 and the two also last found themselves in the same pool as Poker Face. PseudoDude will also be facing Darktempest and Vega in the Circuit for the second time ever.
DVK, Frost, Proto-G, Flurryfists, XiT | QueenArrow and Stanley Styler, who gained promotion from the Challenger Division last season, will be doing battle in Pool C. DVK and Frost are set to meet for the fifth tournament in a row and the latter will surely be baying for the former's blood; Frost has previously faced DVK in a tournament six times (five in the Circuit) and is yet to manage a single win.
Flurryfists and QueenArrow will be meeting in the pool stage of a Circuit tournament for the fifth time, having previously met at three of the four tournaments in Season One, with QueenArrow looking for her first win against the community veteran. Proto-G will be facing DVK, Frost and QueenArrow for the second time ever, having last faced the first at the Circuit Finals and the latter two at Qualifier Two last season. DVK and Flurryfists are set to face each other for the third time, with their last meeting at the Circuit Finals last season (as well as the previous two) going the former's way.
The pool stage at Qualifier One will close as always with Pool D, which will be contested by Xstar, In4red, Furious Monkey, Battousai, Chuma Mzee and Challenger Division newcomer Deno_dev. Pool D is set to be a pool of threes and thirds: Xstar and Furious Monkey will be facing each other for the third consecutive tournament as the latter looks for his first win in their head-to-head series, having previously lost at last season's Circuit Finals. This will also be the first time the two have been drawn in the same pool as Chuma Mzee since Qualifier Three last season.
Xstar and In4red will also meet for the third time (the first time since Qualifier Two last season) as the latter also looks for his first win against the former since they first played each other at Round One in Season One. Battousai and In4red also face each other for the third time, with the latter emerging victorious in their last meeting at Qualifier Three last season.
Moving away from threes and thirds to twos and seconds, Battousai and Furious Monkey are set to face each other for the second time, with their last meeting at Qualifier Two last season going the former's way, while Chuma Mzee and In4red also gear up for their second ever scrap, though their first one at Qualifier One last season was awarded as a walkover to the latter with the former unable to show up for the tournament. Interestingly, Furious Monkey and In4red will face each other for the first time despite both advancing to the playoffs for 9th to 12th place twice before, though eventually never meeting at that stage.
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Registration for the Challenger Division remains open to all who wish to join the TEKKEN 254 Circuit, with registration fees for the full season in both divisions going at a 50% discount until the Qualifier One deadline on 25 January 2019. If you would like to know more about the Circuit and participate, click here for more information.
(Note: In the previous version of this article, AlphaPlay | Tony was referred to by his previous pseudonym, AlphaPlay | Simba.)