The second day of ESports and Gaming Summit 2016 (ESGS 2016) concluded with a bang when PlayBook Elite ESports Team‘s Alexandre “PBE.AK” Laverez won the Philippines qualifier for The King of Iron Fist Tournament 2016 (KoIFT 2016). With this win, PBE.AK will be representing the country in the tournament final to be held in Japan this December.

However, a crisis hits the young player right after his moment of triumph. Though PBE.AK has gained the right to compete against the top Tekken players from all over the world, he is also left without a way to prepare for the big tournament.

Alexandre “PBE.AK” Laverez holding his ticket to the Japan Final. Image courtesy of

It’s been more than a year since Tekken 7 came out in Timezone arcades all over the Philippines. The local players have enjoyed the game since the moment it came out. However, interest in the game dwindled over time due to the high cost to play the game. This was especially true when the update titled “Tekken 7: Fated Retribution” was announced and released for arcades in Japan and Korea about three months ago. Instead of spending more money on an outdated game, a lot of players decided to save up for when the update comes out in the Philippines. Unfortunately until now, players are left with the ‘vanilla’ version of the game in arcades.

At ESGS 2016, Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia brought with them the console version of the game for players to enjoy. The game was available at their booth for all three days of the event and it was a massive hit for every single fighting game fan who was present. Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia also brought the updated PC build version of the game which was used for the Philippines qualifier of KoIFT 2016. The Filipino Tekken community was thrilled to finally get their hands on the latest version of the game but after the event, players were downhearted at the idea of returning to the version currently available in local arcades.

Bandai Namco Entertainment’s booth at ESGS 2016. Image courtesy of ESports and Gaming Summit 2016.

When asked about the arrival of the Fated Retribution (FR) update for the Philippines, arcades are adamant that the update has yet to be available for them. This statement is shared by both Timezone Philippines and Denki Game Station (Bibo Arcade), the only arcades who have the game at the moment. This statement was also confirmed by Tekken Brand and Community Advisor Mark “Markman” Julio on Twitter, revealing that there is no release available for countries outside Japan and Korea for now.

Mark “Markman” Julio on the issue of PBE.AK’s practice for KoIFT 2016.

The Japan tournament on December 10, 2016 will be played on Tekken 7: Fated Retribution. Aside from Japan and Korea, no other country has complete access to this version. It was however, made available to some degree for a period of time in some regions of the world.

For European players, Tekken 7: FR was made available to them at Warsaw Games Week which was held on October 16, and Paris Games week which was held on October 27-31, 2016. Both events served as qualifiers for the Japan finals as well with Poland’s Artur “Devil” Wleklik winning Warsaw Games Week, and Italy’s Tissuemon for Paris Games Week.

For Southeast Asia, the game was made available at the Southeast Asia Major 2016 (SEAM 2016) and of course ESGS 2016. SEAM 2016 also held a qualifier for the Japan final where Tekken player Meat from Indonesia took the top spot. Supposedly, another qualifier is to be held at Thailand but no new information about the event has been released yet.

Meat from Indonesia after winning the KoIFT 2016 qualifier at SEAM 2016.

Finally, in North America, players were able to practice to some degree by attending the numerous events (18 to be precise) of the Tekken Tour where their players could earn the chance to compete in the North American finals of KoIFT 2016 this November 9, 2016. The winner of that final tournament will represent North America in the Japan final.

There were a few other smaller events, but aside from those, not just PBE.AK but all the representatives from outside Japan and Korea will have no choice but to fly to those two countries if they want to practice Tekken 7: FR for the Japan final. At the moment, Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia have no official statement on how the winners should prepare for the tournament. At best, the representatives could fly early to Japan and get some practice in a few days before the actual competition.

With this clear disadvantage for PBE.AK and the other representatives from outside Japan and Korea, don’t be surprised if we see another King of Iron Fist Tournament dominated by Korea and Japan. Our best chance at competing on even grounds against them will probably come after the game releases on consoles early next year. Even with this situation however, PBE.AK has no plans on backing out from the challenge.

Good luck in the tournament Alexandre “PBE.AK” Laverez! We are all rooting for you! NewsFinals,Japan,King of Iron Fist Tournament 2016,Tekken 7 Fated Retribution,Unable to PrepareThe second day of ESports and Gaming Summit 2016 (ESGS 2016) concluded with a bang when PlayBook Elite ESports Team's Alexandre 'PBE.AK' Laverez won the Philippines qualifier for The King of Iron Fist Tournament 2016 (KoIFT 2016). With this win, PBE.AK will be representing the country in the tournament...For filipino tekken enthusiasts around the globe