Tanzania outclassed as Kenya romp to victory in 3 v 3 team battle

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It was an extremely one-sided affair between the teams representing the Tekken communities of Kenya and Tanzania on Sunday afternoon as the former steamrolled their way to a massive 9-0 win, with the latter only managing 2 match wins out of 29 in total and a huge gulf in quality highlighted between the two sides. The event was organised by Ace Pro Gaming under the Savanna FGC brand, in partnership with Tanzanian company Bandar Service.

The event announcement revealed that Team Kenya would field a strong line-up consisting of Marduk main Ghost, King loyalist Xstar and Lars main SU | Darktempest. However, the latter two pulled out prior to the event to fulfil other engagements and were replaced by reigning TEKKEN 254 Circuit champion WTCH | Mickey and Akuma main Vega. Team Tanzania put forward Damas, who had recently won the Bandar King of Iron Fist Tournament, alongside runner-up Ameen and Claudio main Arun.

Unlike previous team battles, this event had each player from one team play against each player from the opposing team once in a round robin format, with set wins from five rounds of matches tallied for each team to obtain the total score and determine the winner.

Ghost (pictured) produced a convincing win over Damas in Round One, before running into some trouble in taking down Arun in Round Two

Proceedings began in Round One with WTCH | Mickey enlisting Law to take on Arun's Claudio. Despite the latter's best efforts, the set's outcome looked destined from the outset, despite Mickey looking sloppy with his execution early on. Arun made switches to Alisa and Paul for the second and third matches respectively, but it made no difference as he failed to clinch a single round. The second set of Round One pitted Tanzania's champion Damas, who started off the set with Hwoarang, against Ghost, who picked Claudio. It was more of the same for Team Kenya as Ghost convincingly took a 2-0 lead before Damas switched to Jin, again making no difference as Ghost matched Mickey with a 3-0 win of his own.

Vega was finally called to action in Round Two with Ameen as his first opponent. Picking Akuma as most expected, Ameen and his Lars took the first round before Vega embarked on a reverse sweep to draw first blood in the set. Ameen found his fortunes limited thereafter, coming close to taking a few more rounds but ultimately coming up short each time; a switch to Master Raven proved irrelevant, as Vega took three rounds straight just as he did moments earlier.

Arun returned for the second set of Round Two and coughed up a shock win with Claudio over Ghost's Marduk in the first match, with the latter seemingly confounded by the former's wild playstyle. However, Ghost—having also switched to Claudio—quickly levelled the score with a quick three rounds and went on to win the set 3-1, with Arun winning one round more each time.

Like Ghost before him, Vega (pictured) saw off Damas with a comprehensive win in Round Three, but dropped one match in a cagier affair against Arun in Round Four

The event continued with Vega once again stepping back into the spotlight, this time to face Damas. As he did against Ghost earlier, Damas put Hwoarang aside and switched to Jin, this time after losing the first match though. Seemingly a recurring theme throughout the event, the character switch once again did nothing to stop Vega's Akuma in his tracks, taking the set 3-0 as Damas was dispatched without a single round to his name. Mickey finally returned to action in the second set of Round Three, this time picking Bob to face Ameen's Master Raven. After suffering a "no round brown" in the first match, Ameen switched to Lars for the remainder of the set, managing to take a round of Mickey in each of the remaining two matches but ultimately not doing enough to get Team Tanzania on the board.

In Round Four, Arun once again proved to be Tanzania's brightest spark on the day as he stepped up to face Vega. Having lost the first match in the set with Claudio, Arun switched to Alisa and managed to level the set, seeing off Vega in the final round with a sizeable life lead and forcing him to switch to Armor King. The remaining matches proved to be just as cagey, with Arun taking Vega all the way once again with Paul in the final match but failing to see it out this time round.

The final set of the event came in Round Five between Mickey and Damas, with the former coming out the gate with Ganryu against the latter's Hwoarang. Mickey took five straight rounds before Damas came close to pulling one back, but threw it away with a whiffed rage art that Mickey promptly punished. Expected to switch to Jin as he had done previously, Damas perhaps looked to throw everyone off by switching to Katarina instead; competent with Katarina himself, Mickey would not be phased as he went on to surge to a dominant win, leaving Damas with no rounds to claim as Vega had done before him.