The Penang Esports Festival happened this past weekend and while it did feature tournaments for a variety of games including FIFA and PUBG, the highlight of the tournament was the various fighting game tournaments that drew in several top international players who flew down to Penang in order to compete in the major events for their respective games.
First off is the Soul Calibur VI tournament at PEF which was a Soul Calibur Asia League ranking event, meaning that players who participated at the event stood a chance to win ranking points along with a free flight ticket and accomodation for the Soul Calibur Asia League finals in Singapore happening next month. Since this was the last event for the Soul Calibur Asia League prior to the finals, many of the top players in Asia were present to compete in order to secure precious seeding points that will come into play during the Asia Finals.
As the tournament progressed, the top 8 finalists emerged with 3 Malaysian players amongst their ranks: InC | NeonFaith, InC.SushiPays. | Grimrst and Meguseyf while the remaining players in the top 8 were rounded out by top competitors from Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia.
Given that Malaysia is not well known for producing top level fighting game players, the 3 Malaysian competitors did an outstanding job of fighting their way to the top 8 and representing Malaysia against some stiff international competition. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts they were unable to crack the top 4 of the tournament while 575 from Taiwan, SINARKIMIA | Holdmybeer from Indonesia and Baron from Singapore finished as 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Nevertheless, the Malaysian competitors still manage to secure some Soul Calibur Asia League ranking points from the tournament which will prove to be crucial if they decide to attend the Asia League finals at Singapore’s Southeast Asia Major event next month.
Happening elsewhere at the Penang Esports Festival was the Tekken 7 tournament which was also highly significant due to it’s status as an official Tekken World Tour Dojo event where players could also earn points which would help them qualify for the Tekken World Tour finals later this year which features a prize pool of USD $200,000.
This tournament had some extremely strong international players which included top Indonesian player SoG Meat, and 3 pakistani players: FATE| Khan, FATE| Bilal and Darkway – all of whom have helped to contribute to Pakistan’s current status as one of the strongest countries in the world for Tekken thanks to their recent tournament performances.
For the Malaysian contingent, the standout performer was Boost ZABA – a young player who has represented Malaysia for Tekken 7 at the WESG tournament and who was the Tekken 7 champion for the Malaysia Cyber Games in 2018.
At Penang Esports Festival, ZABA put on a characteristically strong performance, outplacing the top international players and his other Malaysian rivals before he eventually had to settle for 2nd place after losing to FATE| KHAN in the finals.
Although ZABA was unable to take the championship home for Malaysia at the Penang Esports Festival, both the hometown fans and the international players were full of praise for the talented player as he displayed skills far beyond his age while also proving that he had improved since his previous defeats to Pakistani players.
At the end of the day, Malaysian fighting game fans were treated to a great show at the Penang Esports festival thanks to skilled performance from Malaysian and international players alike, and the placings of several Malaysian players among the finalists is definitely a good sign for the future of professional fighting game players in Malaysia.
Image credits: Penang eSports Festival