For the first time in three seasons, The Nationals Tekken 7 king Alexandre “AK” Laverez made a detour after dropping to the lower bracket while on his way to the grand finals.
Facing another title favorite in Juliano “Jules” Lozano in the upper bracket finals, AK’s third consecutive run to the grand finals ground to a halt. The Smart Omega bet unleashed a one-of-a-kind Bob performance to sweep the defending champion.
It was only fitting that Jules — whom many considered the most improved player in the league — banished AK down to the losers’ finale. After all, his performance prior to the playoffs already showed that he’s the one who can finally make God bleed.
“Nagulat talaga ako [kay] Kuya Jules, ‘di ko talaga in-expect na ganun ‘yung mangyayari. Pero ‘yun ‘yung nangyari. ‘Di ko in-expect ‘yung kay kuya Jules,” said AK moments after winning his third-straight The Nationals crown.
“Ang na-feel ko nun kasi parang talagang inaral nila ‘yun sila Kuya [Mark] Eking, si Coach Pica [Lozano], and si Kuya Jules nang sobra ‘yung Law and Paul ko kasi hindi talaga nag-work eh. Sobrang hirap ako, iba ‘yung dinanas ko na hirap sa kanila na parang lahat ng moves na gagawin ko, alam niya ‘yung kasunod. Lahat nang una kong ititira alam niya rin.”
Down the lower bracket final, it was a rematch of the Season 2 grand finals. AK had to eliminate Bren Epro’s Maru “Maru” Sy. The 20-year-old Tekken wunderkind then gutted out a thrilling 3-2 victory over his rival to have another crack at Jules.
But since he was the one coming from the losers’ bracket, he needed to reset the bracket first in order to boot out his contender.
And just like from time and time again, the Tekken wonder boy once again did the improbable.
Pulling out Geese Howard from his bag of tricks, AK managed to reset the bracket after a 3-1 victory over Jules. The Southeast Asian Games silver medalist banked on Geese once more come the deciding series, putting up a dominant performance in Game Five to claim his third title in The Nationals.
AK may have made history by becoming the first player to force a grand final reset and win the title despite from the lower bracket, but there is no denying that Jules, who was always in the middle of the pack in the prior seasons, gave AK his hardest title yet.
That’s why for AK, there are two champions this Season 3.
“Masasabi ko kay kuya Jules, sa lahat ng nangyari ngayon sa results para sa akin dalawa kaming champion kasi grabe yung pinagdaanan namin,” said AK.
“Grabe yung mga laro namin and for sure napasaya namin yung audience and lahat napasaya namin sa game namin.”