Arslan Ash Takes First Place in Tekken 7 at CEO 2021
Arslan “Arslan Ash” Siddique took first place in Tekken 7 at CEO 2021, showing why he is one of the world’s best players. The fighting game pride of Pakistan defeated the “hometown” American hero Hoa “Anakin” Luu in a thrilling Grand Finals set.
CEO 2021 was the first major open-bracket fighting game tournament since the COVID-19 pandemic. The victory is Arslan Ash’s first major win in the United States since his legendary performance at EVO 2019. It is also the second offline event he has won in 2021 after taking 1st at WePlay Ultimate Fighting League last April.
Arslan Ash Claims the CEO Championship Belt
Representing FATE eSports and Red Bull eSports, Arslan Ash absolutely dominated the competition. On his path to Grand Finals, he won every single match without dropping a single game. This came against some of America’s top players, including EVO 2021 Online champion Marquis “Shadow_20z” Jordan. Known for his ability to use several different characters, Arslan Ash stuck with Zafina for the entirety of the CEO 2021. After cruising into Winner’s Finals, he met his Red Bull teammate Anakin in a matchup the whole venue had been waiting for.
Unfortunately for Anakin and the USA supporters, nothing appeared to be stopping Arslan Ash’s momentum. He and his Zafina routed the American’s JACK-7 3-0 to advance to Grand Finals on the Winner’s Side. The tournament favorite was right where everyone expected him to be, yet he still managed to impress with such flawless play. After his FATE teammates and fellow countrymen, Imran “Khan” Khan and Muhammad “Farzeen” Farzeen were eliminated, it was up to Arslan Ash to bring the CEO 2021 belt back to Pakistan.
In Loser’s Finals, Anakin defeated Thailand’s Nopparut “Book” Hempamorn 3-1 to earn a runback with Arslan Ash in Grand Finals. Their second set of the tournament was much more competitive, with Anakin jumping out to an early 1-0 lead. In fact, Anakin won the first five rounds of the set and was looking to go ahead 2-0 before Arslan Ash won three round straights to tie the set at 1-1. Arslan Ash took the next game to put himself up and one game away from winning the tournament. The American veteran would not go down that easy, as Anakin rallied to tie up the set 2-2.
Anakin needed one more game to reset the bracket, while Arslan Ash was still on tournament point. After four intense games, Arslan Ash finally seemed to have his opponent completely downloaded. Anakin had been connecting with several powerful, albeit linear attacks against Arslan Ash throughout the set. With help from Zafina’s impeccable movement, Arslan Ash began sidestepping these attacks and punishing Anakin for repeated whiffs. While the set had been close the entire way to that point, Arslan Ash convincingly closed things out in the fifth game to win CEO 2021.
The Win That Almost Didn’t Happen
Arslan Ash’s CEO 2021 victory is a monumental and emotional feat for the international Tekken star. Last month, he was forced to pull out at Red Bull Kumite Las Vegas due to Visa issues prohibiting him from traveling to the United States. He managed to get everything cleared up in time to attend CEO. Now that he is free to travel internationally to tournaments with no dilemmas, expect Arslan Ash to continue his incredible run of success as more offline events return next year.
Check out the full results of CEO 2021 here.