Setsuko is back in his tournament-dominant form. He won the second major tournament of TFT Set 9 — the Shurima Cup!

Early in Setsuko's competitive Teamfight Tactics (TFT) career, he was labeled a ladder warrior. He had trouble converting his ranked success to tournament play. But now, he has joined an elite club of players who have won two Riot-sponsored TFT tournaments. From ladder warrior to tournament champion, here is how he won the Shurima Cup!

A total of 160 players competed over the past two weekends, between Aug. 5 to 6 and Aug. 12 to 13, to take the crown in the Shurima Cup. Read on for how Setsuko claimed the title of Shurima Cup champion and added to his list of victories.

Shurima Cup winner Setsuko

Setsuko's Game 5-winning board (Image via Riot Games)
Setsuko's Game 5-winning board (Image via Riot Games)

As one of North America's best players on the ranked ladder, Setsuko, along with 31 other participants, received an automatic bye to Day 3 of the Shurima Cup. With this bye, Setsuko wanted to more than just replicate his Set 8 tournament successes.

The final day

On Day 3 of the tournament, Setsuko had 36 points and earned 4th place out of the 64 participants. With this placement, he received three bonus points to start with on the final day of competition.

Scores after Game 5 (Image via Riot Games)
Scores after Game 5 (Image via Riot Games)

Through the first five games of the final day of the Shurima Cup, Setsuko demonstrated exactly why he deserved those bonus points. He placed 2nd, 5th, 1st, 2nd, and 1st respectively in those games, accumulating a tournament-leading 37 points with the help of his bonus points. With two games left to play, he earned himself a two-point lead over Subzeroark.

Scores prior to the final game (Image via Riot Games)
Scores prior to the final game (Image via Riot Games)

In his penultimate lobby, Setsuko continued his dominance, claiming a 4th place to maintain his position at the top of the standings. One game stood between Setsuko and the Shurima Cup victory.

The final game of the Shurima Cup

The final game of the day featured Setsuko, Casparwu, Subzeroark, Prestivent, Connerisme, Rereplay, Cris TFT, and Wasianiverson. While it was impossible for half the lobby to catch up to him, he had only a two-point lead over Casparwu at the time. Setsuko needed to close out the tournament with a solid finish.

Securing the Shurima Cup victory

The competitors with a realistic chance of overtaking Setsuko bowed out in lower placements than him. Casparwu, who was in 2nd place overall going into the final game, took an unfortunate 7th place on a lowroll and contested the Noxus game. Subzeroark, who was in 3rd place overall going into the final game, took a hard-fought 4th with an uncontested sorcerer Lux composition. Finally, Prestivent, who was in 4th overall going into the final game, piloted a Shadow Isles Challenger board.

Setsuko wins the Shurima Cup (Video via Riot Games)

Setsuko, already leading the pack in 1st place overall prior to the final game, secured his Shurima Cup victory with an Ionia Challengers finish in 3rd place.

Prize pool distribution

This is how the competitors split the $12,500 prize pool:

8th$400Cris TFT

You can check out the full details on the scores and standings here.

Other qualifications

Through a top-four finish at the event, Setsuko, Subzeroark, Casparwu, and Prestivent qualified to the Runeterra Reforged Mid-Set Finale. The winner of this tournament will receive an automatic place in the Runeterra Reforged Championship as one of five North American representatives.

Interview with the winner of the Shurima Cup

Setsuko's interview with Gangly, Casanova, and Khroen (from left to right) (Image via Riot Games)
Setsuko's interview with Gangly, Casanova, and Khroen (from left to right) (Image via Riot Games)

Overcoming expectations and tournament pressure

Less than a year ago, Setsuko talked about how the expectations, nerves, and pressure affected him when he was a guest on the Don't Talk If You Don't Know podcast. Since then, he not only has two tournament wins, but also very strong performances across all competitions. What changed to cause this success?

There was a certain tournament I stopped caring as much. I don't know why; I just played like I would play in solo queue and I did pretty well. And then I just kept doing that from then on and it's been going pretty well. It was like a flip of a switch.


Legend choice

Most players in the tournament chose to use the Ornn legend. It has good lowroll protection built into its tailored augments and players aren't unhappy with its offerings. There were players that strayed from that path and went with legends such as Caitlyn, Aurelion Sol, Lee Sin, Urf, and Poro. Setsuko chose to run Urf in the Shurima Cup.

I have a mental block with the Ornn items; I don't know how to play some of them. So I pivoted to Urf. I feel like there's a lot of highroll potential. Some portals with Urf are really overpowered, like Placidium Library and Bandle Cafeteria. Worst case, just don't take the augment. [The] 3-2 and 4-2 Urf [tailored augments] are acceptable as well. I think Ornn is better than Urf, but I'm bad at Ornn so I just started using Urf.


Study group rivalry

There's a developing rivalry between the study group of Prestivent, k3soju, Kiyoon, Setsuko, and Milk and the study group of Dishsoap, Robinsongz, DQA, Souless, and Kurumx. While the latter outperformed Setsuko's study group in the previous Freljord Cup, Shurima Cup results swung in the favor of Setsuko's group.

I just wanted to say, I think we all know which study group is better now. They got feared out of [their] mind this tournament. I'm not going to say names, but you guys know who you are. GGs.


What's next in North America?

Teamfight Tactics Set 9 tournament information (Image via Riot Games)
Teamfight Tactics Set 9 tournament information (Image via Riot Games)

Here's a look at what's in store for North American competitive TFT in Set 9. Be sure to tune in to the broadcast of the next tournament, Mid-Set Finale, between August 25 to -27 at 1 p.m. PT.

Stay tuned to for the latest TFT news and updates.