SBO Singapore Finals: Team Happy are champions

Team Happy. From right to left: Leslie Cheong (Sagat), Ho Kun Xian (Akuma), Tommy (Chun)

Team Happy – consisting of Ho Kun Xian (using Akuma), Leslie Cheong (using Sagat), and Tommy (using Chun) – earned the right to represent Singapore in Street Fighter IV at the TOUGEKI ’10 Super Battle Opera (SBO) fighting games tournament in September, after winning the SBO Singapore Qualifying Tournament yesterday night.

TOUGEKI is an annual Japanese fighting games tournament, widely considered to be one of the two most prestigious fighting games tournaments in the world, alongside the United States-based EVO Championship Series. TOUGEKI ’10 will be held in Japan on 16 September to 19 September.

Team Happy defeated Team Bets – whose members were Eng Ghim Khee “Gackt” (using Ryu), Dixon Pang (using Balrog), and Julius “Ganguro” Koh (using Sagat) – in a closely fought finals match that went down to the wire.

Needing to win two sets of matches in order to win the tournament due to the double elimination format, Team Bets took an early lead with Ganguro (Sagat) defeating Tommy (Chun).

However, Leslie bulldozed his team back into the lead with his masterful use of Sagat, defeating Ganguro (Sagat) and Gackt (Ryu).

It was left to Team Bets’ Dixon (Balrog) to pull back a win for his team. Dixon put his SFIV competitive career on the line, declaring to the tournament announcer before the match that he would quit the game if his team did not win the finals.

Dixon (Balrog) fought valiantly, twice coming from behind to knock out Leslie’s Sagat while at a life disadvantage.

In the decisive match versus Xian’s Akuma, Dixon managed to use Balrog’s EX Golden Headbutt to counter Akuma’s Raging Demon with one second remaining on the clock, knocking out Xian (Akuma) in the process to tie the round at 1-1.

However, Xian held on for the win by capitalizing on a rare error by Dixon, using Akuma’s fireballs to finish off a mis-timed turn-punch by Balrog.

Team Let’s Carry Yagami – consisting of Wilson “Tetra” Chia (using Viper), Jian Hui “Raven” (using Balrog), and Lang Tien “Yagami” (using Fuerte) – finished third after losing to Team Bets in the loser’s brackets finals earlier in the day.

Yagami said his team had worked out a plan based on the team brackets.

“The brackets were actually released early, so we were studying how to line-up our team against the members of the other teams,” he said. “However, we did not expect Tetra to lose to Gackt’s Ryu, because he always manages to defeat him. That was the turning point for us in the tournament.”

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