AK Breaks His Curse and Takes Tekken 8 at Combo Breaker 2024

AK Breaks His Curse and Takes Tekken 8 at Combo Breaker 2024

Years of perseverance have led to this moment.

The crowd at Schaumburg Convention Center roars as they crown PlayBook Esports’ Alexandre “AK” Laverez as their first Combo Breaker 2024 Tekken 8 champion. It was a triumph years in the making as AK bested Arslan “Arslan Ash” Siddique in a nail-biting 3-2 series.

In case you’re still not aware, AK is considered the best Tekken player in the Philippines. He has been playing competitively since 2013 and has represented our country in international tournaments around the world. His consistency and dedication to Tekken is known worldwide, as are the challenges he’s faced throughout his career.

AK Breaks His Curse and Takes Tekken 8 at Combo Breaker 2024
Alexandre “AK” Laverez (right) takes Combo Breaker 2024 from Arslan “Arslan Ash” Siddique (left). (Photo by Vexanie)

Despite his skill, AK has never won a Major Tekken event. Yes, he’s a regular face within the top sixteen, top eight, and even the top four, but that first place finish has always eluded him. He would always have heartbreaking finishes, like last year where he finished second at the IESF World Esports Championships. Recently he finished second at the Tekken World Tour Finals 2023 Last Chance Qualifier. This one was especially painful as it was his chance to compete at the last big Tekken 7 tournament of the year.

The Will to Never Give Up

AK’s career is filled with setbacks and almost-there moments, but Tekken 8 is an opportunity for him to reset. Combo Breaker is considered the first major event of the year for many fighting games and the second stop of the Tekken World Tour 2024. If there ever was a time for AK to prove himself, it would be to become a Combo Breaker champion.

Right from the start, AK was on fire. He tore through the 1,634-player bracket to make it to the top eight on the winners’ side. He took down South Korea’s Jeong “Rangchu” Hyeon-ho and Pakistan’s Muhammad Farzeen to keep his winners advantage in grand finals.

It’s only fitting then that his final opponent would be the Pride of Pakistan, Arslan Ash. Five years ago in Evo Japan 2019, these two were in similar positions. There Arslan Ash would take the championship from AK after a 3-0 reset followed by a 3-1 stomp. You could say that this was where Arslan Ash’s meteoric career started.

That story would not repeat itself here. At day 3 of Combo Breaker 2024, after a gruelling nine hours, AK would break his second place curse. After persevering for over five years, AK defeats his nemesis and wins his first Tekken Major proving that he has what it takes to be a champion.

You can watch how AK becomes the Combo Breaker 2024 Tekken 8 Champion here.

Banner photo by Robert Paul.

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