The top eight bracket of Street Fighter x Tekken ver. 2013 just came to a close, and what a series of matches it was. Many players looked out of sorts against competition like Infiltration and Evil Geniuses’ Justin Wong, the two players who would eventually make it to grand finals, but they all earned their spots in top eight and provided some entertaining footage.
We’ve included a full rundown of each match below, and you can check out our coverage hub for full results.
Top 8 Losers – Jibbo (Sagat/Jin) vs. LU|Alex Valle (Yoshimitsu/Lars)
The top eight would start out with a match between diehard Street Fighter x Tekken player Jibbo and longtime competitor Alex Valle of Level|Up Series. Valle held a tiny life lead at the beginning of the first game’s initial round, but Jibbo’s on point Sagat would lessen that advantage quickly. Time quickly ran down, and Valle would eventually win the round thanks to a ballsy (yet not uncommon) dragon punch. The second round saw Jibbo pressure Valle immediately with his Sagat and Jin, but the old-school fighter soon turned the tables with rushdown of his own. Valle’s Lars would fall in life quickly, but he would take the first game thanks to a great read and tag into Yoshimitsu.
Valle’s signature offense put him quickly into a match point situation, but Jibbo would do a good job of keeping him locked down in the second round. Some smart guesses kept Jibbo in the game as he whittled away Yoshimitsu’s health, a feat he would also accomplish on Valle’s Lars after he was tagged in. A costly drop lost the game for Jibbo, as Valle would catch him in the corner afterwards with a devastating Pandora combo to close it out.
Top 8 Losers – EG|Justin Wong (Hwoarang/Chun-Li) vs. Esuta (Law/King, Bob/Law)
The second losers bracket match in saw Esuta, a relatively unknown and mostly online competitor from Japan, take on Evil Geniuses’ Justin Wong. KBP.EMP|Hiro and MCZ|Tokido were eliminated earlier in the tournament by this fighter, but Wong would definitely offer a different kind of challenge. The footsies that carried Esuta into top eight would prove to form the basis of his game against his opponent, whose Hwoarang was hurt early and caught with low life for a first round win. Wong would prove that he knows a thing or two about the footsie game himself with his Chun-Li, which would force Esuta to keep Law on point to start any sort of offsense. Esuta would eventually be worn down for a time out loss in the second round. Wong continued to play a very poke and defense heavy game, making the Japanese player chase him down for much of the final round. Ultimately, Esuta would fail to gain optimal damage near the end of the round, and Wong would walk away with the first game.
A switch to Bob/Law seemed to remove a slight hindrance from Esuta’s game, giving him two characters that he felt could provide the tools he needed to fight against Wong’s tight defense. The first round would see Bob and only Bob, even as his life withered away. Seemingly unnerved by the seasoned veteran’s own footsies, Esuta appeared to fall away from the strong Law play that helped him earlier in the set. But as soon as he was allowed to bring Law in, it was like a switch was flipped, and a costly whiff by Wong kept Esuta in the game with a very close second round victory. A quick Bob overhead would give Esuta the opportunity he needed to bring Law in, but Wong appeared to feel safe just running away after establishing a life lead. Reading the Japanese player’s desperation perfectly, Wong would make a smart move to offense and close out the second game.
Top 8 Winners – CafeId|Poongko (Nina/Kazuya) vs. MOV (Law/Nina, Law/Cammy)
CafeId’s Poongko (with his lovely new hairstyle) and fighting game legend MOV provided the very first match of the top eight bracket’s winners side. Both would initially bring Nina into the game (Poongko on point, MOV as backup), but neither made much of an impact early on. A missed electric from Poongko would give MOV the opportunity to drop Kazuya nearly to half health, forcing him to bring Nina in. Poongko would show Nina’s power in the later portions of the round though as she carried him to a win. The Korean’s Nina pressured MOV’s Law consistently in the second round, and he would ultimately overcome some messy play to secure a victory in the first game.
The second game would see MOV switch out his Nina for Cammy, still with Law on point. He built meter early, using it to deal out some decent damage early in the first round. Poongko’s reliance on electrics would be his downfall, and MOV would confirm from a low for a victory in this initial round. The second was over in a flash as Poongko tied up the round count, but a missed launcher in the third would allow MOV to even the game score at one apiece thanks to a series of devastating tag combos.
MOV completely dominated the third game, poking away at Poongko’s defenses and forcing him to make a number of costly errors. The Japanese player would read him perfectly, capitalizing on whiffs to steal away a victory after Poongko’s early dominance.
Top 8 Winners – Infiltration (Jin/Alisa) vs. TZA (Chun-Li/Law)
Infiltration’s Jin would set the pace of this first game against TZA, allowing him to bring in his Alisa to counter Chun-Li and win the first round. He would then go into the second round with full meter, which he promptly burned on a cross assault. No hit would land on TZA during the doubled offensive, but his Chun-Li would continue to suffer at the hands of both Jin and Alisa, eventually falling to Infiltration in the first game.
The characters remained constant in the second, but TZA’s Chun-Li still struggled to establish any dominance in the mid-range game. Reckless meter usage on TZA’s part would allow Infiltration to get through his ranged game, and missed combos would ultimately seal his fate against the Korean powerhouse.
Top 8 Losers – LU|Alex Valle (Yoshimitsu/Lars) vs. TZA (Chun-Li/Law)
The following match in losers would see TZA remain on the station to face Alex Valle. It’s here that TZA would finally find some ground with his offense, as Valle afforded him a bit too much room and allowed him to leave the corner time and time again. The second round was punctuated by a number of back and forth combos, but TZA’s ability to avoid Valle’s offense game him the edge as well as the first game.
A hard tag by Valle in the second game’s first round would give TZA a great chance to deal big damage, but a blocked reversal gave Valle the edge and ultimately the first advantage. Unfazed by the first game, Valle would land a necessary overhead to secure a victory in the second.
Valle’s early rushdown would dominate the first round thanks to TZA’s inability to deal with jump-ins, a weakness that the longtime competitor capitalized on time and time again. Chun-Li would be removed from his game after she fell to near-zero health, but a costly tag near the end would put her down and give Valle the first round. TZA continued to pressure Valle with Chun-Li no matter how low in health she dropped, fighting out of the corner multiple times against Valle’s offense. The end of the round featured a number of risky choices, an exchange that would see TZA even the round score. More unfortunate tagging by TZA allowed Valle to punish Chun-Li and continue his ride through the losers bracket.
Top 8 Losers – CafeId|Poongko (Nina/Kazuya) vs. EG|Justin Wong (Hwoarang/Chun-Li)
Though he looked off in his earlier match, Poongko chose to stick with his Nina and Kazuya for the match against Justin Wong. He would continue to find footing thanks to Nina, but Wong would wake up near the end of the second round with risky choices of his own. With the life nearly evened, Poongko simplified his combos to make sure he completed the round and tied it up. Wong’s patience would ultimately prove to be Poongko’s downfall as the American player secured the first game.
The same story carried over into the next match, as Wong was content to play a defensive game and wait for Poongko’s mistakes. He would wake up a bit after going down in health, finding an opportunity thanks to a poor tag decision on the Korean’s part to take out the backup Nina and work his way to the next round.
Losers Semifinals – LU|Alex Valle (Yoshimitsu/Lars) vs. EG|Justin Wong (Hwoarang/Chun-Li)
This dream matchup between Justin Wong and Alex Valle would see the clashing of two very different playstyles. Wong’s early defensive game would give way to a risky chance that drained much of Yoshimitsu’s health. As the difference in the life bars widened and time wound down, Wong kept Valle locked down with Chun-Li’s legs to take the first round. Strong jump-in game would give Valle the edge, but it was a mistake from Wong later that would ultimately give Valle the tying round. While Valle did a good job pressuring Wong in the next round, he would be taken down gradually with smart pokes and reads. A whiff to narrow the gap would then be caught by Wong to win the first game.
A slow and methodical round would follow, one that saw Wong take the round advantage and put himself at match point. He would again take the life advantage in the next round, allowing him to play his signature keepaway game and force Valle to make some bad decisions. This game Wong just the advantage he needed to take the game and earn his spot in losers finals.
Winners Finals – Infiltration (Jin/Alisa) vs. MOV (Law/Cammy)
MOV opened this match with a drag from his oxygen tank, taking in the moment and gathering his thoughts for the upcoming set against Infiltration. The two competitors would fight for position in the first round, and Infiltration would find his way out of the corner by sniffing out an odd setup by MOV. It would be the Japanese player who took this second round thanks to his tactical use of long-lasting moves that consumed more and more time off the clock. But an unfortunate cross assault activation in the second round would allow Infiltration to pick up both characters in a high-damaging combo, knocking them both down to very low health and stealing away a relatively easy first game.
Smart and damaging whiff punishes put Infiltration up early in the second game, forcing MOV to rushdown Infiltration. In an effort to keep Infiltration from gaining more space in the middle of the stage, MOV jumped from the corner, unfortunately opening himself and giving Infiltration the round. Another whiffed EX gave Infiltration a chance near the end of the second round to land some heavy damage, forcing MOV into the losers bracket to face Justin Wong.
Losers Finals – EG|Justin Wong (Hwoarang/Chun-Li) vs. MOV (Cammy/Law, Law/Cammy)
While MOV looked a bit out of sorts as he moved through the top eight bracket, Justin Wong’s own journey through the losers side was punctuated with dominant performances. The first game would see MOV move Cammy into the point position to try and fight against Wong’s footsies with Hwoarang and Chun-Li. Both players played super patient in the early portions of the round, but a perfect reaction a tag allowed him to take the life advantage and put his lockdown game into place once more. The same story played out in the second round, as MOV was forced to take a number of risks to keep himself in the game. An unfortunate hesitation to continue pushing the American champion would keep MOV from gaining any more ground.
MOV put Law back on point heading into the second game to add some much-needed pressure to the early parts of the second game. This one would move much quicker as Wong baited out a number of errant moves on MOV’s part. It would ultimately end in a perfect on Wong’s side, a seat in the grand finals against Infiltration waiting.
Grand Finals – EG|Justin Wong (Hwoarang/Chun-Li) vs. Infiltration (Jin/Alisa)
The first game between these two strong competitors opened with an absolute frenzy of offense. Infiltration would eventually go up in health after trading blows, and then take the round when Justin Wong’s weakened Hwoarang rushed into his attack. Wong’s Hwoarang would go down early in the next round, forcing him to rely on his strong footsie game with Chun-Li for much of his pressure. This gave him a slight advantage, but Infiltration was able to come back again to secure the first game.
Wong would fail to punish Infiltration many times early in the second game, allowing the Korean player to quickly go up one round. Hwoarang would go down in life once more, again making Chun-Li the workhorse in Wong’s comeback. Unfortunately, Infiltration would correctly bait Wong’s alpha counter, allowing him to escape and deal out punishment for a second game victory.
With first place in sight, Infiltration completely controlled the first round of the third game. He would try to carry Wong to the corner in the second, but would find himself on the wrong side of a punish, with heavy damage dealt to Alisa. Jin would come in and face the same fate, as he was immediately pushed to the corner and locked down by Wong’s own pressure. That win looked to be the beginning of a great comeback by the last American hope, and a series of smart grabs (five in all!) would lead to him taking his first game.
Infiltration seemed content to allow Wong out of the corner on a few occasions in the fourth game, only to switch up apply some offensive pressure when Wong was least expecting it. He would then spend a bar with Alisa to clinch the round. An early read in the final round would secure the momentum for Infiltration, allowing him to take out Wong and win Street Fighter x Tekken for the second year in a row.