Thanks to Big E Gaming and Team NINJA's Master, Dead or Alive 6 made the cut this weekend as a featured game at Winter Brawl: 3D Edition after a 2-week delay canceled its original tournament debut. Despite the short notice and registration deadlines for the event, DOA6 still attracted 800+ active viewers regularly in pools through the TSB Blaze live stream. Watch our first major conclude with Top 8 at 11:30am PT or 2:30pm EST time at Bifuteki to see why everyone is currently talking about DOA6.
After a highly intense and competitive series of fights in pools Top 8 has been revealed: @Rikuto @Sly Bass @Jager @EmeryReigns @BBoyDragon @LordXav1er @XZero264 and @YinCrescent a superb roster of players that are very capable of showcasing DOA6 this early on at its finest! In pools you could see how much it meant to these fighters to win the first major not just for a prize pot, but also as a way to represent their character selection. The DOA6 Pool replay provides you 4+ hours of fighting entertainment so let's take a closer look at the road to Top 8!
For the DOA6 appearance being last minute, the production quality has been spectacular at Winter Brawl 3D. Master and @Matt Ponton deliver brilliant commentary that not only promotes DOA6, but also adds an extra layer of excitement to the matches because of their extensive knowledge to DOAs system. TSB Blaze provided a stream that had little to no issues and was the glue that kept this vibrant and beautiful production together.
Matches in pools were positive experiences because newcomers were so open to figuring new things out, and adapted quickly to DOA6s deceptively deep set of rules. They may have lost, but were still enjoying the game and saw how they could improve. Master was asking newcomers if they had fun, and confirmed that people were privy and accepting to DOA6.
Rikuto was very cautious with his opponents and played a calculated game with Bayman. Players were worried that heavies could be in a bad position in DOA6, but the EVO champion took the system tools and made them work in his favor. Like usual Rikuto's reads are pretty much unbeatable, and it's rare that he drops his combos or damage. You could say that Rikuto is Bayman, and after all these years it shows in his outstanding and entertaining gameplay.
The experience can carry over from DOA5 to DOA6, but you will need to make adjustments and tinker with your game. Sly Bass has made his adjustments quickly with Brad Wong and was showing us the importance of the environment in DOA6 with beautiful combos you have NEVER seen before in DOA. Could Brad Wong be an S-Tier character? Sly Bass would make you think so!
Jager went nuts at Winter Brawl with Rig's insane combos, damage and the pressure we are accustomed to seeing out of this phenomenal player. FSDs Nichol (@XZero264) also favored a more aggressive playstyle for his Mila, with fantastic guard break usage and side-steps. With this kind of proven pressure, it begs the question how anyone could ever be opposed to having break holds and a strategic meter implemented into the DOA system.
Emery was at the tournament being the showmen he is in person and with his characters Hayate and Mila. His mind games and risky gameplay decisions can confuse meticulous players like Rikuto and Kwiggle, and it seems like Emery is close to his first big win, earning many appearances in Top 8 over the years. BBoy Dragon can also put on a show, and his NiCO lab coat and pose was a fun addition to this tournament. When it comes down to it, he's kicking all kinds of ass with NiCO despite his main Phase 4 not being playable until the 'Day 1 Patch.'
@LordXav1er is one of the best Hitomi players, and he's also earned his spot in Top 8 by fighting defensively and clawing through his opponents when he finds his opportunity. Hitomi is very effective for wall damage because of her output for single input hits, after the bounce she can continue her combo on the wall to complete the wall splat. He stretches his damage and zones effectively to secure his wins in pools while taking advantage of Hitomi's top tier environment presence.
Top 8 Matches
Sly Bass vs. Rikuto
Sly Bass vs. Rikuto
Before the Winners-Semi Final match, Rikuto was tearing everyone apart with Bayman, but when he fights Sly's Brad Wong he begins running into trouble. Because of Brad's new options through his low stance, he can now get great damage from small combos and avoid some damaging throws in the process. Rikuto was defeated in Winners-Semi Final, but he had a new plan for Losers Final against Sly.
Rikuto made an insane switch to Hitomi and started taking advantage of Brad's one weakness to tracking pressure. With that said, Brad still put up a fight with some of the coolest combos and evasion tactics we've seen in the game. Rikuto's a DOA professional, and switches like that prove that he's perhaps one of the best players in the world.
Jager vs. EmeryReigns
Jager has been putting on a show the entire tournament with his aggressive nature and continues to in his bout with Emery. Reigns put on some pressure, but Jager was ready to crush those openings, and followed up on all of his damage opportunities. Hayate's got a plethora of Guard Breakers, but they don't appear to do much against Rig's guard when Jager can block like a god and follow up with nasty attacks that earn him the win.
Bboy Dragon vs. LordXav1er
These two had both of their matches at 'Chinese Festival' and they both had a chance to pop the firecrackers on the ground and caused explosive combo wall damage to one another. Bboy made great use of NiCO's reset throw that lead to a cool wall damage combo. He finished the match by using NiCO's break bow to Hitomi after a wall splat. An electric finish for an electric fighter in the FGC.
FSD Nichol (Xero264) vs. Yin Crescent
One of the most impressive elements to Nichol's style is that he has been able to regularly sidestep attack successfully, combine that with his spacing and evasive Mila options and you have one of the best defensive players in the tournament. Yin Crescent played well utilizing a lot of Kokoro's new tools for DOA6, including the alternative take on her new Shinso combo throw, but Nichol's patience paid off in the end with a low sweep to win the set.
Jager vs. Sly Bass
Their first match at 'Forbidden Fortune' showcased all of DOA6s environmental goodness with: ceiling throws, floor breaks, explosive barrels and the continued damage after that ended up giving Jager a quick win. At the 'Unforgettable' mashup stage, Brad got some better damage and an impressive combo at the 'War Zone' area of the level. It's amazing that Brad can get 40% off a 7-9 hit combo, but Jager finished this set with his throw launch combo.
At the 'Zero' lab level, Sly Bass was able to use his evasive tricks with no obstacles in his way to win the match against Jager's pressure. The final match at 'APO' really gave Jager the opportunity to regroup and utilized ceiling damage from his throw launch, and explosive wall damage combos to get the win on Sly.
Emery went for an intense pressure based game and took out his frustrations on Bboy to quickly win the first game at 'Forbidden Fortune' despite some strange combo drops near the boxes and barrels. When Emery plays like this and has a lot of confidence, he's very hard to defeat, but when mind games are played on him it can be a lot harder for Emery to regroup. Bboy actually made some adjustments with NiCO in the last fight and brought the game into last round in a more open stage, but Emery played on instinct to capture a much needed win in Top 8.
EmeryReigns vs. Bboy Dragon
EmeryReigns vs. Bboy Dragon
Rikuto vs. FSD Nichol
Bayman and Mila start off at 'The Muscle' and spend most of the match near the ropes. Nichol got great damage on the wall, and responded with a throw and combos but couldn't withstand Bayman's damage from the electric ring ropes. They switched to 'Lost Paradise' and Rikuto's download on Nichol was complete and Mila couldn't build any offense. Rikuto utilized the environment, using a throw to drown Mila in the stream, and bashed her into the Pterodactyl eggs to finish the set with a follow up break blow.
Emery Reigns vs. Rikuto
Emery switched to Mila in an attempt to possibly throw off the matchup for Rikuto, and his side-attacks helped against Bayman, but it just wasn't enough to hold off all of the damage from Bayman's high counter back breaker, couple that with deep stuns and a wall reset and the first game was Rikuto's game. After the first game, Emery switched to Hayate and tried playing defensively at the Colosseum, but Rikuto came after him with his own custom Bayman pressure to secure his place in Grand Finals.
Jager vs. Rikuto
Jager started his games off with Tina since he wasn't fighting for a reset, and Rikuto quickly too advantage of that choice with a plethora of throws and offensive holds. Jager's pressure with Tina didn't throw off Rikuto at all so Jager quickly switched back to his Rig.
Jager quickly made the adjustments fighting Bayman, but he still struggled early in the fight on 'Lost Paradise' though he started making excellent use of his throw launch to get that extra height on Bayman since he is a heavy character and drops to the ground faster. Rikuto was still able find some great damage, and he expertly applied his combo throws and mix-ups.
Bayman fought aggressively, but Jager's patience paid off, and for a pressure based character; you must be extremely defensive or you will get read and repeatedly held. Jager show's everyone how to truly apply an aggressive style to tournament play and he wins Grand Finals because of it. Rikuto was close to winning with Bayman, but he decided to switch to Hitomi and it almost paid off, but the speed difference didn't mean that Jager wouldn't quickly adapt and he did.
Congrats to Jager for winning the first Dead or Alive 6 major! He viciously beat people up with pressure, good reads and excellent follow up damage. Grand Finals brought in an average of 2,000 active viewers at once and was great exposure to the game a week before release which is also highlighted in today's opinion piece on the great things Winter Brawl: 3D Edition did for DOA6.