Pools 1 | Pools 2 | Pools 3 | Pools 4 | Top 16
1st XcaliburBladeZ 2nd Rikuto 3rd Sonic Fox
This cold winter just got a little warmer with the raw intensity and close competitive games at this year's Winter Brawl. Congratulations to XcaliburBladeZ for making it through to the end with a first place prize. He not only defeated NEC Champion, @Rikuto after losing to him previously, but won against a bevy of other serious fighters with many tournament highlights of their own and a very clear focus -- taking home that trophy.
We also see our community leader, Matt Ponton return with some impressive Bass and Mai play. He won against @shazzmatazzles fantastic Ein, @Lith and @HGS Ghoul. It was great how he sent @Blackburry's Rachel home packing, but right after his loss Berry decided to go with his dangerous main. Ponton also had some issues earlier in pools with Sonic Fox/Christie and the same problems occurred in this match. It's really quite the spectacle to see Christie's insane wall damage in pro heavy bouts like these. Despite all this Ponton ties 7th with @Rojikku.
@Rojikku competed in some of the most intense matches at Winter Brawl. He lost in the early going to BladeZ, but he used it to fuel the fire for the rest of the event. The match in Top 16 with him and @Jaeger was just crazy. It was a street fight they both wanted to win, and it went to the last damn round and the last damn move. He also managed to defeat @Sly Bass in Top 16 despite his awesome Brad Wong antics. It's refreshing to see @Rojikku's take on Hayate especially when we actually don't see many in competitive play.
Jaegar also had a match in pools up against @ninjaguy446 and his incredible Helena. At many points in these matches it was a battle of who is going to throw off who with the Bokuho vs those turned leg cuts. I feel like the two players created a special matchup between their characters, combine that with incredible reads, combos and mix-ups and you have one of the most exciting matches at the tournament.
Dante shows off his Tina skills against the seasoned @NoctTengu
We got to see Dante's Tina go into a grappling contest with Kwiggle's Lisa. Lisa gets taken to suplex city, gets a running shining wizard to the face, Tina gets a taste of deja vu and dashing hurricanranas. Couple the skill, timing and combos with the fact you are getting grappling match and this was a super fun set to watch.
@XZero264 also prefers to grapple and is known for competing with a relentless Leon. "The Strongest Man in the World" performed well against @shazzmatazzles and almost won while sporting the raptor outfit. He did a great job at getting his damage with good inputs, environmental awareness and regular 65% combos. By the end of it the patience and timing of Shazz gave her the win for this matchup.
@Sypher was also very impressive and did remarkably well with controlling the pace in his sets against Blackberry. Spot on with his pressure and punishes using Rig. He knew exactly when to attack, but Blackberry was able to make the proper adjustments in the coming games with pressure of his own to get the win. Despite some surprises, close calls and a Christie mirror with Kwiggle, tying 5th place with Jaegar wasn't bad at all for Blackberry.
Eventually, Bladez made a great change to Rachel and went straight to winners in the final. The two heavies fought on the more environmental heavy maps, and BladeZ was able to get the win convincingly until the last match at Zack Island where Rikuto began adapting and getting damage even though Rachel was still able to edge him out for the tournament win.
TWITCH: TOP 16 REPLAY | POOLS REPLAY (8hrs 15mn in)
YOUTUBE: TOP 8 | POOLS FROM HUBBS