August 5, 2019

Reliving our favorite EVO moments: Arslan Ash Tekken 7 Unified Champion

EVO 2019 has just concluded its weekend with record highs, methodical mind games, and classic high-paced action. 

The whole weekend was full of fighting game goodness and the euphoric high of spectating some of the most exciting and mentally exhausting games in the esports industry today.

Fighting game tournaments are much akin to watching a tournament with many different styles of martial arts. Tekken 7 is your boxing event, with its 3D-based lateral movement with many boxing characters being showcased in Top 8. Samurai Shodown is your advanced fencing match with a samurai style. Street Fighter is the old guard of fighting games much like the MLB. 

The excitement is palpable and the energy is electric, the competitors have all trained for this very tournament, and all eyes watching their computer monitors and television screens to see the best of the best.

The big moment

Arslan Ash first made his appearance in the Tekken 7 fighting game scene with a harrowing travel tale of his journey to participate in his first international event, EVO Japan. Ash is originally from Pakistan and as far as many of the FGC was concerned, there was no fighting game scene to take note of from that country. That all changed when Ash took out “The God of Tekken” Jae-Min “Knee” Bae, to win EVO Japan.

Many considered this a fluke as Arslan Ash had been ‘unproven’ coming from a country no one gave two thoughts about. But he proved any skeptics wrong.

Ash came to 2019 with a mission, he was going to prove that he was the best and that Pakistan deserved to have eyes watching their scene. He was consistent, beating the best Tekken 7 players with his Kasumi Mishima, his playstyle centered around jabs and smart movement. Boxers would care to admire Ash’s lateral movement and dodges throughout his entire run through the tournament.

He barreled through the competition, having never dropped a single match and stayed on the winning side of every encounter. He destroyed his rival Knee in the semi-final, Anakin in the Winner’s final, and then Knee again when Knee rose up from the loser’s bracket at Grand Finals.

He never dropped a single game.

Arslan Ash is now the undisputed, and now first-ever, unified Tekken 7 EVO champion, having won both the EVO Japan Tekken 7 championship, but also the main EVO event in the United States.

Arslan Ash was so taken aback with emotions after having won the biggest, hype-est, and most prestigious fighting game tournament of the year, that he prayed right on stage. Culminating in one of the greatest visuals of humbleness, sportsmanship, and pride in all of esports.

And that was just one moment of an amazing weekend of fighting games.

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