- Stream Host Every Single Day: Bifuteki
- Friday Exhibition Match 7pm EST
- Saturday Pools + Semi Finals 12pm-6:30pm EST
- Sunday Finals 1:30pm-3:30pm
NEC is always a competitive tournament and has been a community event staple since 2012 for the offline DOA community. This year we are going to get things started with an amazing exhibition that could possibly lay some ground for what will happen tomorrow in pools.
If you take a quick look at the pools, you will see why @LordXav1er said they are "stacked." Pool 1 has an interesting setup that almost replicates pools from last year. Most players would probably see @E-Mann or @Kwiggle as the pool veterans as E-Mann was second place at this event last year, and Kwiggle has cleaned up at both Battle Royals. @shazzmatazzles is also showing up in pool 1 and she did some major damage to Emann last year in a very good match, so I'm hoping to see an interesting follow up to that.
@ebabil Guney will also be competing in pool 1. He is one of the several International killers, and he won at BAM8; a major in Australia to advance to NEC 17. As proven in his defensive and calculated matches with Pro @Berzerk! he will not go down easy in the pools.
@hollow (Kasumi/P4/Alpha), @Black Moon Rising (Lei Fang), @Rambro (Mila), @Ozone (Hayabusa) all bring a certain level of diversity and ferociousness to the table. Most all of them have caused upsets, but they all have unique styles so it's hard to predict who will come out on top in Pool 1.
Pool 2 is very exciting because it's mixed with a lot of returning players and tournament regulars. FSD owner, @Mr. Wah is going to be competing! Just might be the only Bass we see this whole tournament... not to mention the best. @Sonic Fox might always be busy with MKX, but he is returning to DOA for this event and he is one hard player to read and can give any player issues.
@coldpieceaj has also shown a lot of attitude and like @LordXav1er has a very quick and well ranged Hitomi. It's possible he could end up being a very dangerous player at NEC because his Hitomi is different enough from Xav1er's to throw regulars off. Though @Gill Hustle, @Hoodless, @Rojikku and @XcaliburBladeZ are very adaptive, I'm hoping that factor balances everything out to create some really memorable matches in this pool.
Pool 3 has a lot of veterans that have been around since before DOA5. @SweetRevenge117 won a tournament not too long ago against his rival @MASTER and is a legend at fighting tournament regulars. Maybe he could beat champion @JC Akira who is also in this pool. @Rikuto... who won the first ever DOA5 tournament could also be a contender to defeat the "beast from the east." He uses slow, but powerful characters coupled with sound intelligence and strategy.
@Koompbala hopes to mix things up with Tina. Based off what I know of him he is smart and knows the meta game well. @Katsu Hayami, who is usually so busy with the brackets and behind the scenes work he can't compete; competes in this tournament as well. Thank you, Katsu for all of your hard work and dedication to this community! Like Koompbala, he also uses Tina, a character that many would like to see win a major.
@Gruff is a serious competitor that has been around since the beginning with Lisa and her lab coat. I've seen this guy make great comebacks in his matches, and he improves consistently. The same can be said about @Jaeger, @NoctTengu and @Yin Crescent. I simply can not wait to see the results of these matches!
Moving on to Pool 4 we've got West Coast Champion @Crazy Steady who is always a crowd favorite. His character list not only freshens the pace of every tournament, but he plays characters we want to see but don't see like guests Sarah and Jacky. @Blackburry is also a player in Pool 4 that is regularly seen in Top 8 as well as 2/3 of the Akira Squad @DestructionBomb and @Sly Bass.
A match I hope to see in Pool 4 is @Gehaktbal vs. @MASTER. This would be an awesome rematch to what could be called a great rivalry with two showmen giving it all they got. Also in Pool 4 we have @VirtuaKazama and @Teru Rock who are also showmen with great writing talents and community knowledge as well. Rock wrote a great piece on the Japanese community and the offline scene that you should certainly check out going into this amazing event.
@Xx IMMERW0LF xX and @Alithical have also been tournament regulars for a while and have continually impressed the community with their ninja skills. I will never forget when Althical defeated Sly Bass in a Last Round set at Winter Brawl. Great match.
Anyway you spin it -- this community event is going to be the most competitive with lots of value and even giveaways from Team NINJA. Thank you Team NINJA Studio for putting on this incredible Battle Royal. Just being able to write about the Battle Royal this year has touched my heart. It's not only great to see the dedication of this community, it's great to see it grow and see our favorite developer right there with us growing too. Team NINJA used to be a very silent studio. Now they are interacting with us, taking our feedback into consideration and doing great things for the community. Thanks again, Team NINJA, BigEGaming, FSD and all of the other tournament organizers for putting on one hell of a show.