P. Ling Takes on the Tekken World Tour Finals
As the Tekken World Tour drew to a conclusion, many of North America’s best players competed for their final TWT ranking points at Dreamhack Denver in October. One player in attendance at this regional-tier ranking event was UYU’s P. Ling, finishing in 9th place and narrowly missing out on the #5 seed position to qualify for TWT Global Finals. Though sitting at 6th place on the TWT Americas leaderboard, luck proved to be on P. Ling’s side.
When P. Ling’s Tekken World Tour run seemed to be over, a second chance emerged as South American player Crespo was unable to travel to San Francisco for the Global Finals. Due to ranking point totals after Dreamhack Denver, the 5th seed at Global Finals was thus awarded to P. Ling. “It was definitely a surprise but I was glad to represent team America again,” P. Ling stated about the chance he was given to compete despite such short notice. “It was really stressful to schedule a practice session.” Without much time to prepare, P. Ling did his best to train for the tournament.
Following his qualification for the 2016 King of Iron Fist Tournament Finals, P. Ling’s TWT Global Finals run would mark his second consecutive pro tour finals appearance. “It didn't feel like last year’s finals, I felt like it ended pretty fast this year. But it was a really great experience,” P. Ling said.
To begin the TWT Global Finals, groups were decided during the event pre-show. As the final player to be selected, P. Ling joined JDCR, Joey Fury, and Fergus in group one. “My selection was tough but definitely not the toughest,” said P. Ling. “I just went in trying to do the best I could at the time.”
P. Ling’s first match of Global Finals pitted him against European player Fergus. Game one of the first group stage match went in Fergus’ favor, winning the game 3-1 despite a dominant perfect round from P. Ling in round two. Fighting on into game two, P. Ling found himself at a 0-2 round deficit before claiming another clutch perfect round to swing momentum in his favor. Following this second perfect, P. Ling earned another round win as he pushed Fergus to the final round. Although fighting hard, Fergus won the match 2-0 as P. Ling dropped to 0-1 in group play.
Staying focused, P. Ling moved directly into his next match without a break. Facing off against a fellow American player, he prepared for another best-of-3 set against Circa’s Joey Fury. Though P. Ling kept each round of game one close, Joey Fury took a 1-0 lead in the match after winning three straight rounds. Bouncing back in game two, P. Ling claimed a first-round victory to ensure he would not go down without a fight. With a two-round deficit, P. Ling rallied his way back into the game as he prepared for the final round of game two. Unfortunately, Joey Fury was too much to handle in the last round as a 2-0 match result pushed P. Ling to 0-2 in group one.
For his final match of group play, P. Ling met EVO champion JDCR, who stood at the top of the group with a 2-0 record. Not succumbing to pressure, P. Ling took Echo Fox’s JDCR head-on as he went into game one. Though losing round one to JDCR, P. Ling answered back immediately with two straight rounds wins, taking a commanding 2-1 round lead. JDCR responded to this pressure with two rounds of his own, winning game one to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Game two went in JDCR’s favor, winning three straight rounds despite P. Ling fighting hard to the end.
Although losing early in group play, P. Ling displayed that he deserved a spot on the stage with fellow finalists as he remained focused in each of his matches. “I knew I made many mistakes, I played slow and I know I could have played better,” said P. Ling about his play. “My performance was not the best but during next year’s tour I will definitely be ready to play better!”
After the conclusion of the 2017 Tekken World Tour, P. Ling will prepare for events in the coming months to showcase his Tekken talent. One of P. Ling’s first events of 2018 will be EVO Japan on January 26th-28th, where he plans to take on many of Asia’s top players. “I'm going to practice more and focus on my weaknesses,” P. Ling stated. “I’m also training more alongside Bronson and Jimmy”, two of Northern California’s veteran Tekken players.
With EVO Japan being just one of many events in 2018 for UYU’s P. Ling, he will look ahead to the new year with confidence and determination to become the world’s best.