This year at Frosty Faustings XVI the Dead or Alive 6 World Champion and organizer of this event Hoodless was not able to make it due to a surgery, but despite this unfortunate setback, Juniper and or of Matchstick Melee was able to spring into action and run the event with a full camera stream for the players that dedicated the time to showcase their incredible skill within the Dead or Alive 6 meta. As I've mentioned prior to this writeup, the Grand Final here at FFXVI is one of the best the game has seen since it launched, and if you've followed the game at all you owe it to yourself to give it a proper viewing.
Congratulations to Neko for winning this event with Honoka, and we wish Hoodless a speedy recovery.
Johnny the Flash vs. Kidney
Johnny the Flash vs. Kidney
The first match in this Tina mirror set started off back and forth at Hidden Garden, and there is nothing more I love than seeing two experienced Tina players fight with sincere intensity. Johnny started botching his approach in Round 2 and a few mistakes was all it took for Kidney to capitalize with HC Crucifix Power-Bombs, offensive holds, advanced holds, and ground grabs. The Flash tried some B&Bs to get back into the action, but Kidney wouldn't let it happen and he quickly secured the first set using all of Tina's best assets.
They both kept Tina for the second fight at the Museum and both started applying pressure to one another going from the war zone to the path closest to the bar. Kidney slowed down the pace on this path and successfully spaced Johnny out for the first round. Round 2 was much better for Johnny due to increased evasion on Kidney's grab attempts allowing him a slow damaging but successful round. Johnny kept the momentum at the bar going for the next two rounds to secure the match.
The third game in the set ended up being a return to Hidden Garden in which Kidney happily took back his space and invoked the same exact strategy he used the first time to quickly win against Johnny once more. Their last game in this set was once again at the Museum, but this time starting off in the bar. Kidney took his confidence from his last win and applied more spacing and patience while approaching Johnny with some beautiful 66K and baited for throws while watching for Johnny's fuzzy guard to get the set win.
Neko vs ImBobtheCat
Neko vs ImBobtheCat
This set launches at the Museum and players that are observing this fight are getting a precursor of things to come to with the power of Neko's Honoka. Ayane & Bob put up a lackluster fight here with little zoning strategy applied and almost zero offense. That being said, he is fighting a top tier player and his final chance at the LAB proved he could use Ayane offensively, but it just wasn't enough to contend with the mind games Neko was playing.
Johnny the Flash vs Neko
Johnny the Flash vs Neko
You could tell that Johnny's Tina was a lot more comfortable fighting out of mirror with Neko's Honoka, and he's a very good player which is a testament to the skill Neko and Kidney both seem to possess. Their fight at the lab was back and forth with Tina taking advantage of environment and Honoka going in for high combo damage. Neko displayed better patience and was able to win over Johnny's offense that way.
The second game of this set was at the museum again and Johnny was able to secure a round, but once again Neko's ability to read out of these offensive situations and his fuzzy guard is on que for the Tina matchup; one that he has clearly studied for tournaments. Honoka ended the second fight with a clever fatal blow crush on Tina in a much closer bout.
For what could be the final game Johnny gets the 'Muscle' wrestling ring which is godsend for Tina, and he quickly appoints pressure to show why. Johnny quickly gets a round win with intense counters and high damaging combos into the electric ropes. Neko slows down the gameplay and is cautious about every move as Tina is still slamming Honoka around on the wall and reversing easy mid punches to keep her pinned there. Neko watches out for the holds and follows up with HC grabs that put him back on the board.
Johnny managed his meter in round 3 by not using any of it while Honoka expelled hers with break holds that didn't wind up in her favor. Tina took advantage of the electric ropes once more to win a second round. The last two rounds of this fight Neko completely changed his game by going for the zoning with launching follow ups for maximized damage. This strategy gained him the set win coupled with some excellent blocking in the time that Tina tried to rebuttal with more aggressive gameplay.
Neko vs Kidney
Neko vs Kidney
Neko has climbed out of the loser bracket to fight Kidney and hopes to attain that legendary reset in an intense set that brings the best out of both players. Round 1 at the streets was a great start to Kasumi and Honoka's epic battle of two players hunting for mistakes with excellent defense. Kidney uses a break hold to back away from the extension of damage given by the crowd, but Honoka follows up with that sexy drop flex OH on Kasumi to get the first win over Kasumi.
Round 2 of the first set continues to be visually pleasing with excellent block timing, and advantage from Neko's seasoned Honoka. Honoka waits for Kasumi to finish her hold before starting a round of throws at the crowd to extended damage and more throw opportunities to take round 2 over Kasumi convincingly. Kidney follows up the third round with an insane combo into the crowd and combo extension into the rubble scattered about the street to capture Neko's attention.
Neko took a win at the streets by countering Kasumi where it mattered and he successfully wasted her meter leaving her vulnerable in the situation. Their second fight started off at Miyabi with Neko dominating the first two rounds completely crushing any attempt Kidney made. Round 3 Kidney came out with better move composition, full combos and holds. This match went into last round with both players blocking one another's fatal blows before Honoka KOs Kasumi with the infamous 1P.
Kidney is sticking with Kasumi for game 3 of this set and instantly struggles with Honoka at Road Rage. They didn't utilize a ton of car combos all over the map, but they did have a nice slugfest that included some environmental affair. While Kidney was able to capture a round; Kasumi was eaten alive by Honoka's superior strength thus, resetting the game and putting the pressure on Kidney to make a serious decision.
His serious decision was to switch to Ryu Hayabusa, and this proved to benefit Kidney greatly at Lost Paradise as he quickly showed Honoka that his combo experience and rush down was in a different league from what he could do with Kasumi. Neko watches his Honoka's health melt as Hayabusa proved to be the equalizer for him. Honoka comes back in round 2 with exuberated patience and a beautiful fatal stun that left Hayabusa a defenseless cracked egg. Or did I mean defenseless near a cracked egg?
Kidney retaliated in round 3 by knocking her off the top tier and brutalizing her with staggering hold damage. Neko still tried to come back from that onslaught with the impressive Raidou command throw, but all it took was a failed block and a lovely spinning mid-kick to the head to knock her out. Honoka interrupts more pressure from Ryu with PK and plays patient while going in for combos to put the game in last round once more.
Neko's Honoka took a beating in the last round but kept the onslaught from being too much with great keep away tools (4K) and took damage when he could. Honoka whiffed the 1P when Hayabusa's health was nothing, but Kidney incorrectly guessed Neko would try it again which costed him this game. Their second game of the reset took place at the 'Muscle' wrestling ring and Kidney used the small space as his advantage and completely dominated Honoka the entire match by keeping her stunned and closed in.
Hayabusa continued the abuse at Chinese Festival where he not only completely took advantage of the firecracker environment, but impressed the crowd with some satisfying combos that only Hayabusa could pull off in DOA6. Honoka had some great responses including a nasty close hit KO, but it just wasn't enough to defeat the woken Hayabusa at one of his best levels in the game.
Kidney continued to dominate at the practice wrestling ring, but Honoka was able to find herself with Kidney in the most desperate time and I must applaud Neko for his sheer ability of switching his style on the fly when he's in danger. Some people just follow up their game with the same mistakes, but he's very adaptative. His combos come out looking smooth and he knows the metrics of Honoka like the back of his head. Knowing the length of your attacks is so important with Honoka because you can connect her combos with their very tip of her big toes and when he pulls it off here it just looks so good. Combine that with his amazing throw timing and you can understand how he took over that fight and won.
The last match took place at 'Unforgettable' and what we had was an unforgettable game that went into final round. This is always how we want to see a grand final go with two players giving it their all, taking risks, showing us high level tech, great holds and crazy combos. As close as it was the crowd watching gave it a reaction and respected both fighters with Neko getting the final blow. An absolute must watch grand final for anyone that is still remotely interested in DOA6! Congratulations to the Winner: Neko!
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