Jamie “Zarzob” Joe has represented New Zealand in gaming before and wants to earn another opportunity this weekend.
The Aucklander is one of eight finalists in The Tekken 7 Esports World Championship NZ Qualifier.
The live final will take place in Auckland on Saturday; the winner will earn $1500 and the chance to represent New Zealand at the IeSF Esports World Championship in Kaohsiung, Taiwan later this year.
The final eight made their way through qualifying tournaments from across the country and making it to this stage of the tournament was no easy task.
With a nice payday and a chance to go to the world championships on the line, Joe said it would be a big event.
“It would mean a lot to me,” Joe said. “In 2010, I represented New Zealand in a TimeZone/Namco sponsored Tekken tournament in the Philippines, where I came third. It would be great to represent New Zealand again and be able to go up against some of the best in the world.”
The 31-year-old is a data analyst by day and has been gaming since a young age when he started playing Quake.
Recently he has devoted more time to the popular survival game Fortnite, which has taken the online space by storm, while also playing Street Fighter V.
“Tekken was my No 1 game in the past, but for the past five years or so, I have played Tekken mostly only in tournaments.
“I have a lot of legacy skill, which is a big factor as to why I am still at the level I am at.”
There will be no easy path to victory on Saturday and Joe said he was familiar with his potential opponents.
“I have lost or almost lost to everybody in the top eight before, but I think I have improved a lot recently so I would rate my chances as quite high.”
Joe, who plays under the name “Zarzob”, said Dan “DanBanter” Saeidian had established himself as one of the toughest players on the circuit and would be one to watch for.
The finals will be broadcast on Sky Sport from 4pm and fans can also tune in online via Twitch.
LPL are running the tournament and marketing manager Jordan Lilley said there had been strong interest throughout New Zealand.
“The skill level of the players has increased dramatically since last year’s grand final as Tekken 7 was still brand new then. This is one of the most evenly-matched top eights we have ever had and the winner will be anyone’s guess,” Lilley said.
More than 1000 gamers from at least 50 countries are expected to attend the IeSF World Championship in November.
Last year’s New Zealand champion Thomas “Kor_Nnova” Choi finished fourth at the world championships in Korea.
The Top 8 for The Tekken 7 IeSF Esports World Championship NZ Qualifier
Name and Alias
Fergus Broom – Cornwallace
Kevin Young – KevlarX290
Jamie Joe – Zarzob
Daniel Cossington – wowzer
Woonton Resture – Rezetro
JungSu Oe – Hanihani Mwohani
Dan Saeidian – DanBanter
Kavin Li – KYO