The 2018 NEO GEO World Tour wraps up in a burning finish

By on August 27, 2018 at 12:00 pm

This year’s NEO GEO World Tour featured top competition across two games in The King of Fighters franchise.

The 2018 NEO GEO World Tour came to a head during August’s Hong Kong Esports Festival. The tournament lasted two days, with a total of twenty-six players competing across two games. These competitors went head-to-head in both The King of FIghters XIV and The King of Fighters ‘98 to determine the real King of Fighters, with thirteen players facing off in each title.


KOF ‘98 featured some of the series’ most celebrated competitors, with names like JoJo, Qanba x Douyu|Xiaohai, Blackwell|ET, and more fighting for top spot – and $57,000 HKD. Although a seasoned veteran of The King of Fighters series, JoJo didn’t make it past the first round of Finals for ‘98: he lost to Jovin 2-nil in the Losers bracket, knocked out of the tournament for good.

A favorite competitor to take ‘98 was ET, Evolution champion for the past two years. While he had fairly smooth sailing through Winners side, he ended up going 0-3 against Xiaohai in Winners Semifinals. Upon being sent to Losers Finals, he went head to head with WILD-HOPP1802, losing in a close set 2-3. This set Xiaohai against WILD-HOPP in the Grand Final, and it was no contest: Xiaohai took the set 3-0 with Chris, Orochi, and Chizuru, solidifying himself as the NEO GEO World Tour Champion of KOF ‘98.

Xiaohai and ET also competed in The King of Fighters XIV, alongside Sanwa|M’, VSlash|Zantetsu, VSlash|Whiteash, and VSlash|Frezzer. With three competitors in the mix across each title, VSlash made a strong showing in the Tour — but only one could remain standing. In a battle of teammates, Frezzer took out Whiteash 2-1, moving on to fight M’ in the third round.

M’ likewise showcased his strength in KOF’s latest installment. Staying in Winners side, M’ took out SSONG, Zantetsu, and Frezzer 2-0 before meeting LAU in Winners Semifinals. Taking the win 3-1, he went on to fight ROWY|ZJZ in Grand Finals, who had just taken out Xiaohai 3-nil and LAU 3-2 with Mature, Heidern, and Najo. ZJZ managed to reset the bracket against M’ 3-1, but M’ wasn’t about to take the loss — he came back with a vengeance, defeating ZJZ in a sound 3-0 with his team of Shun’Ei, K’, and Iori.

Both M’ and Xiaohai received a check for $57,000 HKD — the rough equivalent of $7,260 USD. The winners likewise won a ZOWIE RL monitor for future practice sessions and a spot in NEO GEO World Tour history as KOF champions. With the 2018 Tour concluded, the 2019 Tour is already underway, with more regions represented and even more competition approaching on the horizon.


kof '98 results banner

The King of Fighters ’98

1. QANBA x DOUYU|Xiaohai
2. WILD-HOPP1802
3. Blackwell|ET
4. QUANBA|Dakou
5. Hakchai
5. Pacman Loon
7. Jovin
9.  Cristina
9. JoJo
9. Ken Sou
9. KOF2982

kof 14 xiv results banner

The King of Fighters XIV

3. LAU
4. QANBA x DOUYU|Xiaohai
7. TXC|ViolentKain
9. VSLASH|Zantetsu
9. VSLASH|WhiteAsh
9. Luis Cha

Source: Challonge (KOF XIV, KOF ’98), NEO GEO World Tour (Twitch)

Shoryuken's secret assassin and fighting game fiend. Lord Bison's Top Doll who seeks to serve Shadaloo by infiltrating esports news outlets to shill for Psycho Power.