WHO?! You might be asking with your best Djimon Hounsou impression. That was the question on everybody’s mind when relative newcomer Arslan Ash came out of seemingly nowhere and defeated perennial powerhouse Knee at the Tekken 7 Grand Finals at EVO 2019 this weekend.
The 23-year old Pakistani player surprised everyone in attendance when he beat Knee, one of–if not– the best Tekken player in the world, with his masterfully relentless Kazumi play. Knee who had initially rolled with Kazuya could only do little to stem the onslaught of slaps, chops and pokes from Ash’s unrelenting Kazumi.
Knee swapped out to Devil Jin in the later rounds in which he started to claw his way back even tying up the set at match point 2-2. Truly the heart of a champion will not just go quietly into the night. Arslan would then rally and make an emphatic statement announcing his arrival to the Tekken world clinching the final match in just 3 rounds. He is here. This is his moment and he will not be denied.
Ever respectful, Arslan immediately shows love to his competitor. He embraces Knee in front of the tens of thousands in attendance and millions watching at home. He faces a crowd who are going crazy for him at this point and offers a Sujood. A bow and sign of respect from his native Pakistan. At the end of the day, the whole world now knows his name but still he is humble.
Congratulations Arslan Ash!