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The signing buff seems to have taken hold as Tekken phenom, Cuddle_Core won Defend The North less than a week after signing with Cloud 9. Along with Japanese player, YUYU, the women represent the team’s first forays into Tekken and making them some of the only signed female players in the FGC.

The championship run came on the back of a great run that unfortunately saw her sent down in Winner’s Finals. After a fairly dominant showing against jon_hammer in Loser’s Finals she eventually went up against Nene, another veteran in Tekken 7 hailing from Peru. In the first few matches Cuddle_Core continued her momentum in the first bracket. She used strong pokes to keep Nene’s Kazuya out for most of the match. She also took advantage of Alisa’s (her character of choice) strong power crushes to keep pressure up on Nene. 

Once she reset the bracket, Nene seemed to wake up taking the first two of the Grand Finals Reset. However, with her back against the wall, Cuddle_Core went ultra instinct and destroyed Nene in the next two matches. Forcing a game 5, there didn’t seem to be much separating the two players, and eventually the match went to the final round of the final game. But the Illinois native’s movement was key as she backstepped Nene’s hell sweep attempt for the killer blow and took home the prize.

The win only further solidifies Cuddle_Core’s status as one of the more visible members in the FGC. She’s arguably been one of the most consistent American players in Tekken along with Anakin. In 2022, she was featured in the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 as the only black female professional gamer on the list. And in addition to her new status as a member of C9, she’s also still sponsored by Red Bull making her one of the only double sponsored female players at the top flight.

Defend The North 2023 Tournament Results

Street Fighter 6

  • 1. Bandits|Caba (Guile, Kimberly)
  • 2. Bandits|MenaRD (Luke, Blanka)
  • 3. 4TW|SpaceBoy (Luke)
  • 4. DTN|NoNeedToTalk (Lily)
  • 5. LegendaryyPred (Kimberly)
  • 5. PortaJon (Chun-Li)
  • 7. BLM|Teiga (Ryu)
  • 7. Joe Umerogan (Luke)

Tekken 7

  • 1. C9|CuddleCore (Alisa, Xiaoyu)
  • 2. NeNe (Kazuya)
  • 3. JonHammer (Marduk, Gigas)
  • 4. NYCT|FearOfSilence (Dragunov, Feng)
  • 5. PAG|Regular Sized Majin (Law, Feng)
  • 5. ESG|Night Purifier (Hwoarang, Lars)
  • 7. STG|JayGeorgeM20z (Asuka)
  • 7. SourPiggy (Julia, Panda, Kuma)

Guilty Gear: Strive

  • 1. MR|TempestNYC (Leo, Ramlethal)
  • 2. XSET|iDom (Testament, I-No)
  • 3. K7 Showoff (Ky, Nagoriyuki)
  • 4. Kermit (Baiken)
  • 5. Zonic (Sol)
  • 5. MOOW|Splatoon Enjoyer (I-No)
  • 7. ChunkeMunke (Axl)7. MLGF (Anji)

Expect to see Cuddle_Core taking on the world’s best once more at EVO in Las Vegas next month.