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CEOtaku —What We Learned from Mortal Kombat 1's First Tournament

Just like Street Fighter 6 in June, fighting game fans headed to Florida for a weekend mostly filled with Anime fighters. But CEOtaku also served as the first in-person tournament for the newly-released Mortal Kombat 1

The sister event to Florida’s CEO Fighting Championships, CEOtaku took place in Orlando over the weekend. While it isn’t known as one of the premier events on the FGC circut, it was one of the first times we got to see Mortal Kombat 1 played at the pro level. The top tiers of play have already been grinding away at the game and eventually a massive upset lead, Stryker, to take one of the first MK1 titles.

CEOtaku is generally known as an anime convention that just so happens to have some fighting games at it. However, because it remains a brainchild of legendary torunament organizer, Alex Jebailey, the event has grown into a solid FGC stop as well. In addition to the stalwarts of the anime fighter genre like Perona 4 Arena, Blazblue and Guilty Gear: Strive, MK1 slid a bit under the radar. In terms of draw it still fell behind Street Fighter 6, Guilty Gear and even Melty Blood. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t major takeaways from the MK1 bracket.

Punk is Very Good at Fighting Games

One big development was that American FGC star, Punk, was a major player at the event. Mostly known as a Street Fighter player, Punk decided to pick up MK1 as well in his current stint with FlyQuest. Punk was able to make it all the way to grand finals in a bracket that falls a bit below the standard of some of the bigger events like Combo Breaker. In Winner’s finals, Punk faced off against Stryker (not the Kameo fighter), who he sent down to Loser’s. But in a twist of fate, Stryker came back and reset the bracket to get a major victory against one of the FGC’s top talents.

Baraka and Mileena look like the Characters to Beat

In terms of characters, CEOtaku’s bracket seemed to favor aggressive rushdown and close-quarters characters. Baraka and Mileena saw significant play at Top 8’s while the brawler, Havik, also had strong representation. Punk and his fellow American player, OD_Fullauto decided to go with Ashrah who excels in controlling the neutral game with her strong pokes and easier conversions. OD_Fullauto also played a few games as Sindel as well, which was the only zoner we saw in top 8’s.

CEOtaku Winners

Mortal Kombat 1 - Stryker (USA)
Street Fighter 6 - NuckleDu (USA)
Guilty Gear: Strive - Tempest NYC (USA)

Granblue Fantasy Versus - Wavie (USA)
Blazblue Central Fiction - Monarch (USA)

Melty Blood: Type Lumina - ScrawtVermillion (Costa Rica)

Blazblue Cross Tag Battle - Chopsuey (USA)

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax - Migaki (Japan)

DNF Duel - Bluelinkys (USA)