Tekken Online Challenge: DVK clinches third at South Africa Regional Finals

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DVK takes a selfie following his run at the Tekken Online Challenge: South Africa Regional Finals (Photo: Davy Kamanzi / Instagram)

TEKKEN 254 founder Davy Kamanzi, better known as DVK, finished in third place at the South Africa Regional Finals of the Tekken Online Challenge (TOC), matching his run from the Online Masters over two months prior, in front of thousands of viewers once again. To earn that placing, he first had to participate in the elimination of his compatriots Frost and Xstar, who finished the tournament in joint-fifth and joint-seventh place, respectively.

Pools

On 5 November 2021, Mozambique's Bigdaddymike and South Africa's Callym Beukes engaged in the Pools Selection process for the Regional Finals as the top two seeded players. The process curiously ended with Callym pitting Bigdaddymike against all three Kenyans in Pool A, while at the same time having to face both his fellow South Africans DaXpt and Drooopy-ZA, as well as Zambia's Onyx, in Pool B.

The Regional Finals began with Frost taking a convincing 2-0 win over Xstar, while DVK stumbled to a narrow 2-1 loss against Bigdaddymike. Frost then faced Bigdaddymike and produced one of the rounds of the tournament with an impressive comeback playing Negan against Bryan, but ultimately suffered the same fate as DVK by succumbing to a 2-1 defeat.

Pool A continued with DVK clinching a 2-0 win over Xstar, effectively knocking him out of the tournament. Therefore, the following set between DVK and Frost would decide who advances to the final stage and was expected to be close given their history, but DVK pulled out a rather dominant performance to win 2-0 and bundle Frost out of the tournament in the process. The surprises didn't end there though, as Xstar pulled off the upset of the tournament by coming back from 1-0 down to beat Bigdaddymike 2-1 in a very close set.

Xstar's win would prove crucial in deciding the outcome of Pool A; with both DVK and Bigdaddymike now tied at 2-1 in Pool A, the former advanced to the final stage in first place with a points difference of 3 (2-0, 2-0, 1-2), while the latter finished second with a points difference of 1 (2-1, 2-1, 1-2).

The final placings for the pool stage at the tournament

Final Stage

The final stage began with DVK squaring up against Callym Beukes in a runback from the Losers' Final at the Online Masters. DVK caught everyone off guard by starting off the set with Geese, but didn't look at the races with the character and switched back to Miguel after losing the match 3-1. Callym won a further two rounds in Match 2 before DVK's controller suddenly disconnected, forcing him to forfeit the third round (and therefore the entire match) in line with the TOC rules on match interruptions.

Now with a mountain to climb, DVK defiantly began mounting a comeback in Match 3. Recovering from a trade in Round 4 in which Callym got a tailspin but failed to follow up on with a combo, DVK managed to close out a 3-1 win off a nail-biting slo-mo moment.

Callym came close to winning the set in Match 4 after winning two rounds, but DVK once again turned it up a gear to complete a reverse sweep and set up a final match. It was here that DVK seemed to run out of gas, with Callym employing a much more aggressive game to win three rounds straight and send DVK to the Losers' Final.

An in-form Bigdaddymike was DVK's next opponent, and things were looking rough in the beginning. DVK found himself in a tough spot at 2-0 down after losing six straight rounds, with Bigdaddymike seemingly finding an answer for everything thrown his way. It was in Match 3 that DVK finally offered some steely resistance, coming back from one round down to win two and come very close to getting his first match win on the board, only for Bigdaddymike to come up with another one of the fiery comebacks he had been pulling off all tournament.

With DVK just one hit away from victory and up against the wall, Bigdaddymike approached with Bryan's hatchet kick (qcb+3), then sidestepped DVK's retaliatory down jab and followed up with a decisive whiff punish. DVK's run came to an end as Bigdaddymike took the final round to set up a rerun of the Online Masters grand final against Callym. Interestingly, DVK was eliminated by the same opponents from the Online Masters, by the same scorelines, but in reverse order (at the Online Masters, DVK lost 3-0 to Bigdaddymike in the Winners' Final, then 3-2 to Callym in the Losers' Final).

Results from the final stage of the tournament

With his run, DVK earned himself US$ 780 in prize money, with Frost and Xstar earning themselves US$ 180 and US$ 120, respectively.