Say goodbye to the Tekken Tour and hello to the King of the Iron Fist.
Bandai Namco, publisher and developer of Tekken 7, rebranded its Tekken Tour as the King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2016 - North America on Thursday. The company also announced a championship event for the tour with a $20,000 prize pool, but didn't reveal either the date or championship's location.
The tour, which was announced in March, consists of 18 stops at a mix of traditional fighting game tournaments and Wizard World conventions. Each tournament is free-to-enter, but entrants must pay for admission to the given event or convention. The top eight finishers at each event split a $3,000 prize pool, with the 18 event winners each earning $1,000 and a berth in the championship event. The final two qualifiers for the 20-player championship event will be determined in a last chance qualifier tournament held at the site of the championship.
Winners of the five events that have already been held will be retroactively granted qualification to the championship.
Previous winners are generally barred from entering future tour events. If a winner really wants to try their hand at winning another event, a unique rule allows them to do so, but only after forfeiting their already-earned spot in the final. Any spots forfeited in this way will be up for grabs at the last-chance qualifier.
The King of the Iron Fist tour serves a dual purpose; to provide a platform for competitive play and to allow North American players to get their hands on the upcoming Tekken 7 and its update, Tekken 7: Fated Retribution. The update is scheduled to be released in Japanese arcades in July, but neither game yet has a public release date in North America.
The tour will use the Fated Retribution update as its official game upon its launch. The current version of Tekken 7 will serve as the tour's game until then.
It's unclear whether the winner of the North American tour championship will advance to a global championship, as no such global event has yet been announced. Bandai Namco did host a King of the Iron Fist tournament in Japan in 2015, and qualifiers for that event were held in Europe and the United States.
The next stop on the King of the Iron Fist tour will be Combo Breaker in St. Charles, Ill. over Memorial Day weekend.