Mister Crimson and Arslan Ash to Miss Red Bull Kumite Las Vegas
Red Bull Kumite Las Vegas is gearing up to be the biggest offline fighting game event of the year. Twenty-nine of the world’s top competitors were invited to play in tournaments held for three different games. The Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) winner for each game would join the invitees in the official bracket.
Unfortunately, two invitees had to pull out of the event this week due to unexpected circumstances. On Wednesday, Nathan “Mister Crimson” Massol announced via Twitter that he would not compete in the Street Fighter V tournament at Red Bull Kumite Las Vegas. The following day, Arslan “Arslan Ash” Siddique announced he was unable to travel to America for the Tekken 7 tournament. Both players are at the top of their respective games and it is a shame their talents will no longer be on display this weekend.
Mister Crimson Won’t Attend Red Bull Kumite for Personal Reasons
Mister Crimson tweeted out on Wednesday that he would be unable to participate in the festivities for Red Bull Kumite Las Vegas due to personal reasons. The French Dhalsim specialist expressed heartfelt emotions that he would not compete with his fellow players. He did not provide any details on his situation but did acknowledge that he was “okay.”
Mister Crimson is a veteran in Street Fighter V with tournament victories dating back to 2016. He recently won Red Bull Kumite London last May in a stacked bracket. This weekend granted him the chance to become the first player since Atsushi “Fujimura” Fujimura to win back-to-back Red Bull Kumite events and the first to win two in the same year. Along with losing a top competitor, the tournament will now be without one of its most intriguing storylines as well.
To fill the void of Mr. Crimson’s absence, both the winner and runner-up of Saturday’s Street Fighter V LCQ will qualify for Top 16 the following day. Red Bull also used this replacement method for their London event when an invitee dropped out. With two slots now open for Sunday’s bracket, here are some players to look out for in the LCQ:
- [Panda] Nephew – EVO 2021 Online NA West champion
- [UYU] ChrisCCH – Intel World Open NA West Regional Finals champion
- [Bandits] Caba – Two-time First Attack champion from the Dominican Republic
- Samurai – EVO 2021 Online NA West runner-up
- [END] Shine – Intel World Open NA East Regional Finals runner-up
- Chris Tatarian – American Street Fighter veteran with several tournament wins
Visa Issues Force Arslan Ash Out of Red Bull Kumite
Arslan Ash revealed on Twitter that he is unable to travel to Red Bull Kumite Las Vegas due to Visa complications. Arguably the world’s best Tekken 7 player, Arslan is from Pakistan and was set to make the transnational flight to Las Vegas before the announcement. He did not share details on what went wrong, but it could result from stricter international travel restrictions in Pakistan because of COVID-19. Arslan revealed that Red Bull made strong efforts in getting him to the event, but nothing could be done.
Many Pakistani fans replied to the Twitter post urging government officials to solve the issue, with some even tagging their accounts. They argue that Arslan is a national hero and him representing the country in such a global tournament is a monumental opportunity. Arslan Ash shocked the world in 2019 when he won EVO Japan and again later that year when he won EVO in Las Vegas. Last April, he also won WePlay Ultimate Fighting League, the only major offline Tekken tournament held since the pandemic. The fans’ passion shows how important Tekken is to Pakistan and what Arslan Ash means to the nation’s people.
Although the Tekken 7 bracket at Red Bull Kumite loses one of its most esteemed competitors, it opens a door for a new player to fill the spot. Red Bull announced that now the winner and the runner-up of the Tekken 7 LCQ will qualify for Top 8. Take a look at some of the notable players entered in the LCQ:
- JDCR – two-time EVO champion
- Shadow 20z – EVO 2021 Online North America champion
- [EQNX] Joey Fury – ICFC North America Season 1 champion
- Averiey_RIB – top US player formerly known as “Runitblack”
- [ROX Dragons] Infested – rising star in South Korea
Red Bull Kumite Las Vegas kicks off this Saturday. You can visit the event’s official site for information on tournament schedules, rules, and more.