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Tekken 7. (Bandai Namco Image)

Every April, fighting-game fans from all over the world come to Washington for the Northwest Majors tournament. Serious players of video games such as Street Fighter, Tekken, Mortal Kombat, and Marvel vs. Capcom show up to compete for prizes, fame, and the thrill of facing off against new and skilled opponents. This year’s NWM is scheduled to be held on April 27 and 28 at GameWorks in downtown Seattle.

For the first time, this year’s Northwest Majors will also be an official stop on the Tekken World Tour. Players who take 1st- through 13th-place spots at this year’s Tekken 7 tournament at Northwest Majors will also receive up to 150 points towards their official rankings on the Tekken World Tour leaderboards. At the end of the year, the top 19 players in the world, as measured by their spots on the leaderboard, will be brought to Bangkok, Thailand for the grand finals in November. The last tournament, according to the World Tour, has a prize pool worth more than $185,000.

Tekken‘s publishers, the Japanese company Bandai Namco, announced earlier today via the World Tour’s official website that Seattle is one of several cities that are new for this year’s World Tour, alongside Arlington, Texas; Toronto, Canada; Malmo, Sweden; Taipei, Taiwan; Athens, Greece; Cape Town, South Africa; Dubai; and Lima, Peru. In each case, the Pro Tour appears to be putting its support behind an existing local tournament, such as Cape Town Showdown, rather than hosting its own new event.

Tekken 7 has been a popular game at Northwest Majors for the last few years, with support from Tekken‘s local community of players in Seattle. With points towards the Pro Tour on the line, however, this year’s tournament is likely to get a sudden influx of new players from around the world.

All of the new Pro Tour tournaments, such as NWM and Toronto’s Electric Clash on June 1st, are in the Pro Tour’s “Challenger” bracket, where the 1st- through 13th-place competitors can earn up to 150 leaderboard points towards their final rank. (By comparison, larger events such as Combo Breaker in St. Charles, Ill., are considered “Master” tournaments, where players can earn up to 300 points, and whoever competes at this year’s Evolution in Las Vegas can earn up to 550.)

Labeled spots on the Tekken World Tour for 2019. (Source: TekkenWorldTour.com)

Local players in Seattle who are looking for Tekken competition in advance of this year’s tournaments can attend one of several regular events in the area, such as the regular Tuesday-night get-together on the second floor of GameWorks, or “Tekken Thursdays” at Super Smash Games in Tacoma, Wash. Players interested in registering to compete at this year’s Northwest Majors can do so via Smash.gg.

The Tekken series made its debut on the Sony PlayStation in 1994, and quickly became a flagship title for its publisher, Namco, in the years before its merger with Bandai. The second and third games in the core series, Tekken 2 and 3, are the fifth and second best-selling fighting games of all time as of 2018, with Tekken 3 as the fourth best-selling game in the lifespan of the original PlayStation. The most recent game in the series, 2017’s Tekken 7, has sold over 3 million copies.

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