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6 of the top 8 players left in Tekken 7 are maining Leroy Smith at EVO Japan, possibly solidifies FGC's concern that he may be too strong right now

We shouldn't go jumping the gun just yet, however

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • January 25, 2020 at 11:42 a.m. PST • Comments: 98

Balancing characters in competitive fighting games is perhaps one of the most delicate processes in the entire video game industry, but Bandai Namco's Tekken team has been widely regarded as one of the most talented at making sure all of their fighters have tools to win in recent years. What do we do though when one of those characters seems to have a few tools too many?

That's the question the Tekken 7 community is grappling with this weekend, as the finals bracket for EVO Japan 2020 features six of the top 8 finalists maining newcomer Leroy Smith while many players have been concerned about his offensive and defensive prowess since the Kung Fu master launched in December.

This is the first major event that Leroy has been available to use, and the scene has been curious to see how he'd do in his debut outing... needless to say, he's having a pretty good time in Japan thanks to thanks to THY|Chikurin, Talon|Book, Liquid|Gen, CGS|Noroma, Masa and Zeugal among a handful of others in the upper brackets as well.

Of course, a performance like this quickly caught the attention of the commentators, players attending and viewers at home who began to wonder if this is indeed a sign that Leroy launched too powerful for his own good.

Some are joking that the developers may need to get on stage and apologize after finals tonight, but is he really that much of a threat to the meta or is everyone just jumping in on the hype of a month-old character?

The answer to that probably lies somewhere in the middle here. Yes, Leroy's representation is crazy. At the same time, however, this doesn't come as much of a surprise either considering how much the FGC has been hyping him up since launch and claiming him to be overpowered.

Previous Tekken World Tour Champion AMPLFY|Rangchu took to Twitter to point out that the top three finishers from EVO Japan 2019, VS|Arslan Ash, PBE|AK and Illusion|CherryBerryMango, all lost to Leroy players while Rangchu himself also went down to Noroma's Mr. Smith.


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So what makes Leroy so dangerous in the eyes of Tekken pros? Well, his jabs and approach are great, his parry stances are fairly scary, and the damage he can get off of easy and light confirms certainly seem to push him instantly to the upper part of the tier list.

All of that said, however, there are others who are telling people to chill out a bit, and it's far too early to get worried about this after two days of competition / we shouldn't be surprised about this outcome following the hype.

"6 Leroy's in the top 8 of Evo Japan and everyone is surprised and disgusted," said prior EVO finalist Lil Majin on Twitter. "The character literally released last month, is easy to use, strong, and massively appealing for many reasons. It's no surprise that the majority of the top 32 for a high $$$ event is month old Leroy...."

Majin himself admits that Leroy is indeed strong though doesn't believe him to be broken having previously made his own videos on the topic including how to counter the newcomer.

EVO champion Arslan Ash also points back to the previous years of Tekken 7 competition where strong characters like Dragunov were held in very high regards in 2017 though those discussions would fade over time. Let's also not forget the community's reaction to Akuma's strong performances in the second half of 2019 either.


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It's not time to hit the panic button on Leroy the Wing Chun master just yet since again this is his first major, but the community, players and developers will certainly be watching Tekken top 8 closely tonight to see what direction the game may be taking in 2020... and how much they're going to have to potentially try and dig deeper into the new fighter.

Image: TekkenRulesOfficial

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