Not only did Rikuto take out Bladez for title, but the reads were just unstoppable and Rikuto was on fire the entire time. He has successfully defeated the thorn in his side. After his epic tournament win the 2017 BR was officially announced.
The Top 16 Bracket
Day 1 Pools Replay
Tanii (Hitomi) and Kahliah (Tina) start off Top 8 and set the pace for the rest of this tournament. The first match went in Tanii's favor though both characters utilized their strengths. Kahliah was able to slow the second match down in the wrestling ring winning in the end using great patience and great holds. This is an example of how players adapt to others. The delay is really what may have helped most in the end.
Siologica (Genfu) and Master are next on the bracket and Siologica goes right in with Genfu using a lot of pressure to win the first game. Master wins the next game at Ninja Hideout in a last round, and wins the third in a last round after most people on stream thought he was about to lose. Both players did a good job of reading each other while getting their respective electric wall damage. You can tell by some dropped moves, and the crazy exchanges that both of these players were nervous. Great BT damage shown from Master to close this competitive set.
XcaliburBladeZ (Eliot) vs. Static Shock (Kokoro) Static does really well with Kokoro and pulled out a lot of offensive damage and mix-ups that most could never read, but XcaliburBladeZ was able pull it off and follow up with insane damage. He won both games, but there were plenty of times I thought Static was going to get the win on the Attack on Titan stage because he's so unpredictable with Kokoro.
Rikuto vs Teru Rock First round Rikuto makes the right reads to come back and finish the game... in the second game Teru Rock comes back by using lows to confuse Rikuto into better damage. I loved the slope damage in the desert, the powerful throws and great BT attacks from both players. Rikuto finishes the set off on Zack Island. This was a patient match as both players REALLY wanted the win. Competitive players can always appreciate the environmental damage that comes out of this level.
Static (Rachel) vs Kahliah (Tina) in my favorite matchup that I have yet to ever see on tournament file. I didn't see the last match of this set, but I liked how slow and calculated it was in the beginning. Lots of good FT and throw damage you would expect to see from this sort of matchup.
Master vs Teru Rock starts off with the community surrounding the players, getting into the corner of their favorite. Master shows no signs of nervousness with this change, and we see both entertaining players select their mains. During the match on Zack Island we see a lot of whiff punishing from Teru Rock and advanced holds from Manny. Master gets a great wake-up crush on Rock, but Rock follows up with a read of his own and plenty of wall damage to get the win.
"Master has his full bag of tricks on display here" - Shade
Second match was very intense with Rock reading well, and Master doing every evasive trick he can. Rock prodded and poked, but Master was able to get a guaranteed advance Izuna to close the second match. Rock and Master have 3 LAST ROUND matches, and the last round Rock has 1% life and lasted almost a minute.
Master vs Kahliah (Tina) Kahliah has a very good Tina with lots of good reads and wall damage in the wrestling ring, though I thought Tina would have mixed up Master better when he was grounded. When you down someone, you don't always want to go for 2T after the neutral grab because she also has a great dodge roll that you can mix up standing throws, K and P. Master adapted to Tina forcing a switch to Sarah which didn't pay off at all unfortunately.
XcaliburBladeZ vs Rikuto This is an interesting match, I predicted Bladez would win the whole thing, and Rikuto has maybe proven me wrong with his fantastic reads and probably the best OH execution I have seen in a tournament. Impeccable timing for this tournament, though Bladez gave him a run for his money, Rikuto had Helena downloaded from the start. Defeating Bladez for the first time in an offline tournament.
Master and Bladez get into it right away after his defeat to Rikuto -- and now Master looks to defeat Bladez for the first time offline. The Eliot-pressue, 12f grab and damage kind of overwhelm Master and he is unable to defeat Bladez this time, but we see yet another Last Round. What kind of tournament is this? The tournament of godlike reads and plays. We are seeing such skill that last rounds have happened nearly every game in top 8.
It is kind of disappointing we will not see Master vs Rikuto for the championship as Master took out Kwiggle you couple that with the old school rivalry and we could have had an instant classic. Thankfully this tournament is a classic in general, and it's not even over yet.
We go right back to Rikuto W and XcaliburBladeZ L and we see a slow calculated match from the start with Bladez side-stepping like a god and Rikuto spacing and zoning looking for an opportunity to open him up. After Rikuto takes a loss at the big open heliport, Rikuto gets a well needed win in the smaller wrestling ring with just impeccable reads and holds; continues to follow up with amazing timing and shuts down the idea of a reset.
Congrats @Rikuto you proved me wrong, and you did a near perfect job with your main man.