Best of 2019: Battle Arena Melbourne 11 Tekken

We look back on the best of esports in 2019.

We look back on the best of esports in 2019 from the Battle Arena Melbourne 11 Tekken Tournament.

The very best Tekken 7 players from Australia and around the world descended on the Battle Arena Melbourne, or BAM, in the middle of May to duke it out for Tekken World Tour points, money and glory. 258 challengers stepped up to the plate, but only one winner would take it all.

Working his way up through the top 32, local player Chand NY was the clear crowd favourite. But, although his top eight performance was hard-fought, this was not his tournament, going down 2-0.

Coming in at seventh place at BAM was Chikurin. His loss to Nobi in the top eight was a surprise, given that Chikurin at the time was easily leading the Tekken World Tour Standings with 435 points, far ahead of everyone else. Also bowing out of the top 8 were Rangchu and 4lch3m15st.

Next up was the winner’s final, with Rest and JDCR in a match some people have dubbed the most thrilling of 2019. After moving to Australia from South Korea earlier in 2019, Rest was holding the last of the home crowd’s hopes in his hand.

JDCR from South Korea might not have had as much of a home ground boost, but he had the skills to take the first game to 2-2 before narrowly losing to Rest. In game two, Rest turned up his unrelenting pace to 11. But JDCR was unwilling to let a perfect round define the end of his BAM 11 experience.

Rest kept it closer than the 3-0 board would suggest, but JDCR finally took a game. Still, at match point in Rest’s favour, JDCR had some momentum. But both players were still so well matched, that no one could predict the outcome.

With no more chances, both players were fighting with everything they had, taking the tie-breaking game to a tie-breaking point. However, in the end, JDCR found a moment and took complete advantage of it.

From there, Rest moved down to the losers’ final to play against Ulsan, who was fresh from a victory against Nobi in the Losers’ semifinal. Rest had been the only person to beat Ulsan all weekend, putting the only blemish on Ulsan’s record, and being the catalyst for him going down to the losers’ bracket in the first place.

Rest and Ulsan had an extremely close battle, with Rest not showing any signs of exhaustion. Ulsan took games one and two, but Rest decided to aim for the reverse sweep, narrowly taking game three. However, Ulsan wasn’t willing to give Rest another win as a birthday present, taking the set 3-1.

Finally, it was time for the grand final.

JDCR and Ulsan, both from South Korea, and both masters of the game. JDCR fought pretty hard, but Ulsan took the first round 3-0. Ordinarily, that would be enough to win the whole tournament, but because Ulsan came up from the losers’ bracket, they had to do it all over again.

And do it again he did. Clearly buoyed by his success, Ulsan moved like a steam train through any defence JDCR tried to put up in game one. Game two looked like it could go either way, and it was just the clock that separated them in the end. Game three was the one that was to decide Ulsan’s destiny. JDCR fought and clawed with all he had, but it just wasn’t enough.

Ulsan had made a crazy comeback from the losers’ side, winning some of the biggest matches all weekend, to become a well-deserved BAM 11 champion.

Congratulations Ulsan.

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