The TEKKEN 254 Circuit returned with Season Three on 26 January 2019 and Qualifier One saw some players set milestones and others suffer upsets. Darktempest reached the Grand Final for the first time and Battousai earned his first Top 8 finish, while Season Two runner-up AP | PR1EST slumped to 9th place and DVK ended his worst tournament run to date with a 14th-place finish. The Challenger Division saw Kafikan announce himself as a serious contender for promotion, securing victory in the Grand Final over fellow newcomer Komrad_Vadim without having dropped to the losers' bracket.
The Premier Division draw for Qualifier Two was announced two weeks ago and saw some of its top players bundled together to make for some feisty encounters in the pool stage.
Frost earned his third third-place finish at Qualifier One last month and is the favourite to advance to Top 8 from Pool A in first place, ahead of Proto-G, who also made Top 8 at Qualifier One and will be facing Frost in the pool stage for the second consecutive tournament. The pool will also be contested by Tkn-Vts | Chuma Mzee and Furious Monkey, who are also set to meet in the pool stage for the second consecutive tournament. The same goes for Lowlife and Tiz, who missed Qualifier One.
Community vets Chuma Mzee and Tiz will be meeting in the same pool for the third time, the first since Qualifier Two last season, which is also the last time Proto-G and Furious Monkey faced each other at a tournament. Chuma Mzee and Proto-G will face each other in the pool stage for the first time since Qualifier One last season, while Frost and Furious Monkey are set to play each other at a tournament for the first time ever.
Having finishing fourth at Qualifier One, Lord Vega is tipped to win Pool B and continue his run of never missing out on Top 8 in the Circuit. He is joined in the pool by Battousai, whom he hasn't faced at a tournament since Qualifier Two last season. Overhaul | In4red and RMP | Shoryuken will be playing each other at a tournament for the first time this weekend, as will Stanley Styler and PseudoDude (if he appears; he did not compete at Qualifier One last month).
Battousai and In4red are set to rub shoulders in the same pool for the second consecutive tournament, with the latter looking to avenge his loss to the former at Qualifier One. Shoryuken last faced Battousai in a tournament at Qualifier One last season and will surely be looking to draw inspiration from that event as it was also the last time he managed to finish in the Top 8.
Lord Vega and Shoryuken will be meeting for the first time since Round Two of Season One, while PseudoDude is set to face Lord Vega and Battousai for the first time since Qualifier Two last season.
The tournament's first "group of death" pits reigning champion AP | Mickey against Xstar and DVK, both of whom have previously reached the Grand Final of a Circuit tournament. Mickey and Xstar are set to meet in the pool stage for the first time, having previously met in the Top 8 twice, while Mickey and DVK have faced each other in the Top 8 six times so far and are also set to meet in the pool stage for the first time.
Xstar is yet to defeat Mickey in the Circuit but beat DVK in both of their pool stage meetings last season; DVK will be coming off the back of his worst tournament performance at Qualifier One last month but is the only player to have beaten Mickey in a set on the Circuit. While Mickey will be the favourite to win the pool, the prospect of him not only losing a set but even missing out on the Top 8 looks to be on the cards for the very first time.
The three will also be facing RobbyM$, XiT | QueenArrow and Pip Squeak, who missed Qualifier One last month. QueenArrow is not unfamiliar with any of her competitors; she met Xstar, RobbyM$ and Pip Squeak in the pool stage once each over the course of Season One, while she will be facing both Mickey and DVK in the pool stage for the second time, the latter for the second consecutive tournament. RobbyM$ will be facing Xstar, DVK and Pip Squeak in the pool stage for the first time since Qualifier Two last season, while Pip Squeak finds himself in the same pool as Xstar for the third time and DVK for the fourth time.
The second "group of death" for Qualifier Two will surely see a close three-way battle for Top 8 between Darktempest, AP | Tony and AP | PR1EST, the first and third of whom have previously reached the Grand Final of a Circuit tournament and the second of whom has never missed out on Top 8.
Darktempest and PR1EST are set to meet in the pool stage for the second consecutive tournament and the fourth time in the Circuit overall, with the former winning their previous meeting in a close set. Tony and PR1EST have faced each other in the Top 8 three times prior but haven't met in the pool stage since Round One of Season One on 27 January 2018, while the former will be facing Darktempest in the pool stage for the third time.
Joining them in the pool will be Overhaul | Deno_dev alongside community vets Poker Face and Flurryfists, who are set to meet in a Circuit tournament for the first time. The pool stage of Qualifier Three last season was the last time PR1EST faced Flurryfists and Tony faced Poker Face, who will be facing Darktempest on the Circuit for the first time since Qualifier One last season. Flurryfists is set to meet Darktempest in the pool stage for the first time since Round Three of Season One.
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Registration for the Challenger Division remains open to all who wish to join the TEKKEN 254 Circuit, with deadline for Qualifier Two set for 22 February 2019. If you would like to know more about the Circuit and participate, click here for more information.