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“Life changing” Japanese e-sports gaming player Kakeru indulges in $400,000 Street Fighter 6 triumph at Gamers8

Kakeru achieves the Street Fighter 6 Championship in Gamers8 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo: Supplied.)
Kakeru achieves the Street Fighter 6 Championship in Gamers8 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo: Supplied.)
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15 Aug 2023 12:08:58 GMT9
15 Aug 2023 12:08:58 GMT9
  • Japanese star beats Jordanian national gamer Angry Bird in Sunday’s Grand Final at Boulevard Riyadh City after incredible comeback.
  • Legendary franchise’s debut tournament at Gamers8 witnesses four days of battle-hardened action featuring 32 of the most staggering players on the planet.

Malak Alzahrani

RIYADH: Kakeru, the Japanese e-gaming fighter player representing IBUSHIGIN, has achieved victory in Street Fighter 6 on Sunday night at Gamers8: The Land of Heros, saying that it is “life changing” claiming silverware and the $400,000 winner’s prize at the biggest gaming and esports festival worldwide.

Kakeru, who triumphed using the Street Fighter 6 character JP, did it the hard way after being beaten by Jordanian national Angry Bird 3-0 in the Upper Bracket Final at Boulevard Riyadh City. That meant he then played Punk, the American from Philadelphia, in the Lower Bracket Final, where he won 3-2.

The Grand Final, however, saw Kakeru gain revenge on Angry Bird, winning 3-1 and 3-0 to claim the coveted Gamers8 trophy and the lion’s share of the largest ever Street Fighter tournament prize pool – a cool $1 million.

“I still don’t know my actual feelings after all this. I think joy and happiness will come gradually to me. I’m relieved and calm that I won the tournament. This kind of tournament, this kind of money, it changes life. (But) I’ve no idea how to feel about it – this is a sum of money I can’t imagine at the moment.” Kakeru said at the post-tournament press conference.

While most of the packed Riyadh crowd were disappointed that a regional favorite couldn’t win, Kakeru’s incredible comeback led to his name being chanted loudly by gaming fans in the arena.

The 25-year-old Kakeru said in the press conference after winning the title: “I cannot describe my feelings right now. Perhaps in the coming days, when things calm down, I will understand what happened, but of course I am very happy with this victory. Featuring the best names in the Street Fighter 6 universe, and holding such competitions supports players and gives them the opportunity to stand out globally. I really enjoyed the experience and the crowd support throughout the tournament, which gave me extra motivation in the matches. I thank the Saudi Esports Federation and all those in charge of the championship for this wonderful organization.”

Gamers8: The Land of Heroes is the biggest gaming and esports festival worldwide and the destination for elite esports champions and gaming universe lovers.

Organized by the Saudi Esports Federation, Gamers8: The Land of Heroes – which revolves around six pillars: compete, amuse, rhythm, challenge, meet, and learn – runs from July 6 and lasts for eight entertainment-packed weeks at Boulevard Riyadh City.

The festival features 16 elite esports tournaments from 13 top titles, live concerts from more than 20 local, regional, and international artists, more than 1,000 activities and attractions, festivals, shows, community gaming, education platforms, and fun for all ages.

Gamers8: The Land of Heroes has a total prize pool of $45 million, triple that of Gamers8 last year. The elite tournaments this year are: Fortnite, Tekken 7 Nations Cup, PUBG Mobile World Invitational, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Dota 2, ESL R1, StarCraft II, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Rocket League, PUBG Global Series 2, three FIFAe tournaments, and Street Fighter 6.

Further details, including ticket sales, are available here

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