A 23-year-old Pakistani has taken home the title in the Tekken 7 EVO Grand Finals. On Sunday “Arslan Ash” Siddique beat Jae-Min “Knee” Bae in the 2019 Evolution Championship in Las Vegas to take the crown.
According to Vice, this is the third time Arslan Ash beat Jae-Min, who is widely considered to be among the world’s best Tekken 7 players. The win is particularly interesting because Siddique is still a virtual newcomer to the world of gaming; he was hardly known even just a year ago. His win is also interesting because he comes from Pakistan, a country that has not been known for its gaming prowess.
Before winning the Tekken 7 EVO Grand Finals on Sunday, he won the EVO Japan competition in February, a smaller and less prestigious event held in Asia. When he won that event, many considered it to be merely a fluke. However, Arslan Ash’s win in North America this weekend solidifies his position as the best Tekken 7 player in the world.
EVO has held official competitions for nine fighting games this year, of which Tekken 7 is one. Four of the top eight players in the Tekken 7 EVO Grand Finals came from Japan, while two are from South Korea, and one is from the U.S. All seven of Siddique’s competitors have had success in the gaming scenes of their own parts of the world. However, Arslan Ash is the least experienced of the eight players and was the first Pakistani to compete in the Tekken 7 EVO Grand Finals since 2011.
Vice reports that Siddique played The King of Fighters and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 before breaking into competition for Tekken 7 last year. He finished in ninth place in the FV X SEA Major Malaysia competition, but he had some issues doing so, including visa problems and a lack of funds. He went on to beat South Korean Jae-Min in a tournament in Dubai before beating him again at the TGU x SEA Major Thailand competition this year.
You can watch Arslan Ash beat Jae-Min in the Tekken 7 EVO Grand Finals here: