@LordXav1er managed to absolutely dominate his opponents with Hitomi at Big E Gaming's NEC 20. Not only did he make Hitomi look like an S-tier superstar, but he crushed some of the strongest players in the game today. Congratulations to Lord Xav1er as he has proven that hard work will eventually pay off if you remain dedicated to it. Stay tuned for the replay, check out the bracket and congratulate your new NEC 20 champion!
For those desiring to experience DOA6 at it's best quality, have no fear, as the tournament will run on PCs thanks to the dedication and commitment from Free Step Dodge's own Matt Ponton! Big E Gaming commits to this event with a beautiful seating arrangement and has the tournament hall emitting a stunning green glow that characterizes the NEC brand. The event is completed by the fighters that showed up and commentary from players that know the game.
NEC is an important tournament for the Dead or Alive community, and usually the numbers are higher, but considering that the Dead or Alive 6 World Championship concluded last week in Tokyo we are seeing a more intimate turnout this year as made evident by the bracket. Regardless of this factor, Dead or Alive 6 is still a main game at NEC 20 and quality matches are showcased by the fighters as soon as DOA6s time-slot begins.
Top 8 Highlights
LordXav1er vs Dragon Ninja
LordXav1er vs Dragon Ninja
Both of these players are character loyalists, and they are playing a similar game against each other throughout the entirety of this set. Dragon Ninja isn't as successful with his range & poke game as he was in pools and Xav1er takes advantage of his mishaps with his superior ranged strikes. Hitomi has been labled as a character that can get it done at offline majors, but Xav1er is here to prove those players wrong against the alleged strongest character in the game!
Dragon Ninja is NO slouch, and in the first game he stunned the shit out of Xav1er for guarantees and a quick game, but Xav1er is touting his improvements at NEC 20 and comes back with raging fists and superb reads to win the next two matches in the FT2 set. Winner: Lord Xav1er
NoHoesJosh vs VideoGames is Life
VGL shows that he is not worried in combat when he replicates decision-making that is used against him. NoHoesJosh plays patiently and VGL retorts with the same exact patience; side-stepping and waiting for a hold so he can throw. NoHoesJosh is great at punishing unsafe strings and lows, but he's also top-notch at executing his combos for maximum damage. His 4HK was implemented perfectly after the bound extension near the wall, and he follows up with 7KP to complete his work.
This was a close set, and a fun one to watch, but VGL has been taking his tournament experience & momentum with him to every offline fight he competes in. Winner: VideoGames is Life
Shinlad vs Matt Ponton
Fighters complain frequently stating that Tina's throws are too damaging, but if you pay attention to non-wrestler & non-grappler Ayane in this set, you will see that she is completely viable on her throws alone. Shinlad makes a lot of great reads against Ponton and the HC throws, combined with Ayane's frightening confusion and speed make her one of the best characters in the game.
Ponton gets hit by a lot in the early going of this set, but comes back to get a win after he picks up his zoning game, which is widely known to be Ayane's main weakness (and comes in handy at A.P.O.). Shinlad is a fantastic player, but Ponton's studious nature proved to be callous for the expert Ayane loyalist this time.
This is Matt Ponton's best tournament performance in a while despite the jet lag from Japan. He's sticking to his secondary character for this event, and he's making it work. Winner: Matt Ponton
Big Dame vs Orpheus
Big Dame has found a secret weapon for himself in NiCO, and he has managed to break his first Top 8 at NEC 20! Despite the impressive onslaught of Orpheus' Hitomi, Big Dame is able to relax and find his comfort zone in this set. Dame is aware that he needs to keep Hitomi pressure cooked near the wall so he can throw out those painful close-hits for maximized damage.
Hitomi keeps the confusing strings coming and evens out the set with strong combo & wall damage at 'Colosseum' ending NiCO with a dose of her own medicine on the electric ring ropes. Dame counter-picks with Mai in hopes to throw off Orpheus at 'Miyabi' but he is unsuccessful in this endeavor even though the match went into last round. Orpheus waits patiently at the end of his health bar for anything unsafe and eventually finds it against Mai with a loud throw. Winner: Orpheus
Matt Ponton vs NoHoesJosh
NoHoesJosh is VERY good at this game, and he knows how to get his damage in many different ways with Nyo-Tengu. He starts off impressively against Ponton at 'Chinese Festival' obtaining high damage where ever he can get it! Josh has Ponton two rounds up in the first round, but when Ponton turns on his comeback switch he absolutely dominates players with HC throws, mix-ups & environment usage.
After the switch turns on - it doesn't turn off for Bass. Matt Ponton absolutely destroys Nyo-Tengu at the 'Sweat' wrestling ring but there are some unfortunate cable disconnections. We recommend that Josh finds some new toys for the next tournament, because he has the potential to absolutely dominate the offline scene with his high-level Tengu-play. Winner: Matt Ponton
Dragon Ninja vs Orpheus
Dragon Ninja is getting a lot of offline Hitomi practice in this tournament, and he's making better reads against Orpheu's Hitomi than Lord Xav1er. They start this set at 'Seaside Eden' and Dragon Ninja uses all of his tools at this stage and finishes Hitomi off with a fatality; sending her into the ocean for a salty drink to complete the first match.
Their next match at the 'Sweat' wrestling ring gives Orpheus the room to do what he does best with Hitomi: stuns and pressure. He keeps his defensive capabilities up, but Dragon Ninja catches up to him with impeccable HC launch height followed up with well-timed combos that rarely drop. Winner: Dragon Ninja
Lord Xav1er vs VideoGames is Life
Xav1er is looking the strongest he has ever looked in this set as he absolutely tears VGL apart this time. With that said, VGL knew what was going on and his setups were great, but he couldn't beat out Xav1er's incredible zoning game. Xav1er punished whiffs almost every time and this set was over surprisingly fast! Winner: Lord Xav1er
Matt Ponton vs Dragon Ninja
Bass & Hayabusa can put on one hell of a show in this matchup and when you combine that factor with Matt Ponton and Dragon Ninja; you have an instant classic! There were a lot of back & forth tech exchanges, lots of grabs and wall damage at 'Zero Lab.' This match goes into last round and Dragon Ninja barely edges Ponton's Bass out.
At 'Chinese Festival' Ponton looks to recover his momentum with a plethora of: firecrackers, HC throws & the infamous 2T pick-up grab! Ponton defeats Dragon Ninja clean 3-0 at this stage and takes that zeal into the next game of the set at 'Lost Paradise.' Dragon Ninja turns up the delay on his Hayabusa for this match to keep things complicated for Bass because they are both playing so defensively and reading each other with counters so well. Dragon Ninja wins this game, but it was a close one and both players put on a great set overall. Winner: Dragon Ninja
VideoGames is Life vs Dragon Ninja
VGL sees how defensively Dragon Ninja is playing so he attempts to turn up his pressure to the highest level, but it just doesn't outsmart Dragon Ninja as his patience is strong enough for him to scope out reads. Dragon Ninja could be comparable to someone with a photographic memory and he completes his game with picture perfect free step techniques.
Kasumi & VGL are not going down without a fight though! VGL makes a miraculous comeback against Dragon Ninja at 'Road Rage' utilizing the exploding cars and extending that damage with beautiful bound combos. This FT3 is insane because both players are super hungry for a major win! Dragon Ninja thought he had this set in the bag, but VGL brought it back and destroyed the fourth match to put this set into final round.
Dragon Ninja manged to turn up his pressure for the last fight, and VGL wasn't sure what to do with it and even tried to slow down the game for the first time this set with Kasumi. If VGL becomes more cautious and aware of Hayabusa there is no doubt in my mind that he could come back to another tournament to defeat Dragon Ninja, but this might be Dragon's time to shrine and he wasn't going to let VGL take the grand final from him. Winner: Dragon Ninja
LordXav1er vs Dragon Ninja
LordXav1er vs Dragon Ninja
Dragon Ninja has fought Hitomi plenty of times at NEC 20 and now it's time to take everything he has learned through the course of this tournament to get his first big major! Xav1er wants this win though and he seems to be approaching this final with little to no nerves, even when watching Dragon Ninja fights valiantly out of the loser bracket to get back to him.
Before the Grand Final, LordXav1er actually got on commentary for a few matches and you could tell that the confidence he had was on a new and more assured level. His commentary call-outs and understanding of this game were spot on and it would be great to see what else he has to say in the future.
This FT3 is unbelievably one-sided, but Dragon Ninja does pop off at the beginning of it with his various techniques that can't be applied for long periods of time against Xav1er before he starts catching on. Lord Xav1er does not play ANY games in this major and he forces Dragon Ninja to switch to a new character, and that doesn't pay off for him either. Xav1er was quite possibly the only competitor that could have taken out Dragon Ninja with the presence he was sporting at this tournament. Winner of NEC 20: LordXav1er