Highlights from Pools
The first thing you might notice from the CEO pool stream is that matches progress at a very smooth and steady pace and there is not a lot of wait time between them. KT and Team NINJA's stunning production quality of this World Championship event utilizes the same great stream layout that we've seen before decorated specially for Dead or Alive in a fashion we expect. As you are spectating pools, enjoy DOA professionals @EmeryReigns and @Shade on commentary instead of confused TEKKEN players or people that get paid to be there even if they are not familiar with our game.
CEO is a 'Offline Fatal Match' meaning that the winner is instantly qualified and flown to the DOA6 World Championship Finals in Tokyo, Japan on top of the $4,000 prize. Because of this we are seeing a lot of new players emerge at CEO hoping their skills accrued so far will be enough. Hoodless and Teru Rock from Japan appear to be the reckoning to the dream in pools G1 and G2 and are laying waste to everyone in their path.
Content creator, Memphis Legends took some time out of his busy stream schedule to show up to CEO, and he looked good against Hoodless even if the result was a loss. If you get some rounds on a top player offline it's a reminder that you are making progress with the game and when you take a game as steep and complicated as Dead or Alive it's important to see where you stack up as time goes by.
Dog Fish has been turning a lot of heads at CEO fighting alongside Tina and showing the entire world what she can do. His gameplay shows that you don't need to rely on big combos with every character; you can throw an entire game without throwing a single punch. Dog Fish used throws strategically whenever he could: to get his back off the wall, to get big damage on the wall or to change sides -- he also used tricky ground and attack throws like 7KT to mix up his flashy style.
Dead or Alive 6 is like a dance or an art form for Teru Rock, and it's of no surprise how serious he is taking CEO. This fighter has flown to the states from Japan a number of times and with every passing tournament he attends his power grows stronger and stronger. His fighting style is similar to how he fought at the Taipei Major 2019 with a lot of timed aggression. Even if it sacrifices some of his flair... he will stop at nothing to win this event.
The pool stream for CEO was only 2-hours long, but you can keep up with the progress of the event at CEO's Smash. GG until 24 - Top 8 on Sunday! If you missed pools G1 and G2 on stream, the replay is already available to you in its entirety.
Top 24 Highlights
Yesterday's pools could be considered quite an awesome precursor for things to come as the hype and excitement for great offline fights continues showcasing players we have not seen in the DOA community for a long time. Kwiggle and E-Mann return to scrap once again, but this time E-Mann gives Kwiggle the work, and not just to his Christie but his Phase 4 as well. Maybe Kwiggle was right and Christie was nerfed, or maybe his career and being married is the new big priority and DOA has slid down the scale?
Raansu and Matt Ponton both decided to use the new King of Fighters characters, and Ponton demonstrated why Mai is his secondary character as he quickly obliterated Raansu's Kula Diamond. I'm not entirely sure why Raansu decided to go with Kula, but it probably wasn't his best choice in this set. Ponton gave a clean performance showing off a lot of Mai's new tech, but he was not able to do the same to Rikuto's Hitomi later on in Top 24.
There was a lot of pressure on Zakkurye and Hayabusa to perform at their best this CEO, not just because Zakkurye is a popular content creator and Hayabusa is considered one of the best characters, but because this event was considered the proving grounds for both of them. Now that he has impressed people making it to Top 24, he must now prove why he calls himself the "Uncrowned King" against Black Moon Rising X -- the man that defeated Rikuto. Black Moon seeks to confuse his opponents with his evasive options, and while Zakkurye did get a game on his Leifang it ultimately wasn't enough to stop Moon.
Teru Rock is continuing to play as Kasumi against Black Berry's NiCO in what might be the most patient set we've seen in Top 24. Teru Rock's utilization of Kasumi's 9P options are very impressive, and with his bound to close hit attacks and move knowledge with this character he could be considered one of the most dangerous competitors at CEO even if he took a loss to XcaliburBladeZ earlier on. Black Berry would normally tear his opponents apart quickly, but Teru Rock was able to outplay him this time in a very exciting set.
Top 8 HighlightsThese two players start off throwing hands at 'Lost Paradise' and you can see that both of these fighters realize how serious this Top 8 is with instant patience and urgency displayed; zoning and slow poking going into Hoodless' favor. His pokes were perfectly timed and they always led into combos that a normal player just can't keep up with, and Hoodless easily wins the first game against Sio's NiCO. Siologica makes the adjustments during the next game at Colosseum by forcing Rig to hold and he received high throw damage as a response to even out the score.
Siologica vs Hoodless
Siologica vs Hoodless
The next two matches are set to 'Chinese Festival' and it's quite apparent that Hoodless is looking to make adjustments to his previous game with an even slower and more patient style, but both players are able to secure a win at this stage and it's because of their crazy combo extensions combined with the levels intractable environments, even if some of the fire cracker combos are still being dropped. Eventually Hoodless' skill with Rig at APO takes over in the last set to win and progress in Top 8!
ElectrifiedMann vs XcaliburBladeZ
On one hand you have BladeZ who has been at almost every event since DOA6 started, and on the other you have DOA5 professional fighter ElectrifiedMann returning from a long hiatus in his first DOA6 major. EMann starts things off with Christie and swings hard at 'The Muscle,' and surprisingly he takes out BladeZ quickly in the first game. EMann is quick and he's always looking for an opportunity to correctly read and punishes BladeZ's Eliot accordingly.
At Crimson BladeZ begins to collect himself with his character, but Emann still continues to go in despite this, showing that Christie is still indeed a powerful character. Their match on Crimson goes into BladeZ favor, but the match went into last round and could have gone either way. BladeZ uses the 'Lost Paradise' level as a momentum shift and goes for a quick win on Emann using the slip stun granted from the water and even the Pterodactyl to assist him with his victory. Emann switches to Helena for their last match but XcalirburBladeZ's download is complete and quickly defeats his opponent at the regular wrestling ring.
Black Moon Rising X vs Rikuto
The last time these two fought in a major it ended up being in Black Moon's favor, but Rikuto makes an interesting switch from his mains to Kula Diamond to start things off against Leifang at the Colosseum, but Moon was not having this switch and quickly disposed of Kula winning the three straight rounds. For their fight at the 'Zero Lab' Rikuto continues to play a risky game by switching to Nyo-Tengu and this risk pays off with a great victory. He opens up Leifang with P+K before going into crazy combo damage with guaranteed ground throws included.
We go from the lab to 'APO' and Black Moon begins to adapt to Nyo-Tengu with super complete combos, and big high counter hold and throw damage to get a pretty fast win. Rikuto finally switches to Bayman and the damage really starts coming through with an impeccable ground game and simply amazing tanks rolls that only Rikuto could pull off. Black Moon is playing perfect games though; his comeback here is no joke and is able to defeat Rikuto for the second straight event in a row!
Kwiggle vs Teru Rock
Teru Rock is continuing his game with Kasumi, but Kwiggle is very familiar with Kasumi and expertly counters her opening shots to quickly win the first game at the 'Sweat' wrestling ring. The next game begins at 'Chinese Festival' with a 24-hit bounds and fire cracker combo from Christie, Teru Rock quickly fires back in the next round with close hit wall damage and throw launches to win the second round. Kwiggle quickly finds his space to get his advantage back and easily wins with a BT combo from a move off the wall into more bound fire cracker combos.
Kwiggle continues to lay waste to Rock at 'Road Rage' with efficient combos and decision making. Kwiggle changes up his game as Rock adapts with combos of his own in the second round and ends it with two flashy throws. Kwiggle is able to complete his download against this powerful player and we begin to see that old Kwiggle that dominates his competition.
Black Moon Rising X vs ElectrifiedMann
The opening match is once again at 'Chinese Festival' and you can see that Emann is finding that comfort zone we are used to seeing him in as he absolutely destroys Black Moon in prime form all three rounds with the last round ending in a great pokey throw on the wall. As Emery Reign points out before the second game at 'Muscle' Emann is using a wide arrange of tick throws combined with his pressure and combos; he is currently unstoppable against Black Moon and wins another quick three rounds straight before going to 'Zero Lab' where Black Moon is finally able to land his first round. With that being said, Emann robs Black Moon from his thinking space and keeps him on the wall to win the complete set!
Siologica vs Kwiggle
Siologica is the ultimate test for Kwiggle in Dead or Alive 6 because he's not only one of the best, but regularly plays as NiCO, a brand new character that Kwiggle may not be as familiar with because of his short break from the franchise. Siologica plays a very careful game to start at 'APO' and secures two wins by just fishing for damage here and there, and punishing with throws. Kwiggle is still able to catch up and keeps NiCO pinned against the wall to get the first game.
Kwiggle is usually all smiles, but he is extremely focused here and you can see the urgency on his face with this fight against Sio as they prepare to battle again at 'Road Rage.' Kwiggles 2H+K slip stun on the ashy ground caused a pause in Sio's game in round one and he completes it with stuns and a short combo. Sio reacts strongly with a zone out game and picks up a round with some great close hits on the wall, but Kwiggle reads him and puts on pressure to win the second game. The last game of the set is at 'Throwdown' and Kwiggle waits patiently for Sio's holds and consistently gets the right read and follows up with high counter throws to dominate this set.
XcaliburBladeZ vs Hoodless
XcaliburBadeZ starts off this set by winning a very back and forth match at 'Lost Paradise' using Phase 4 to face Rig. Hoodless has a good game plan to fight off Phase 4, but the skill of BladeZ really shines through not just with his patience, but his massive character knowledge to back him. Hoodless continues to slowly poke at Phase 4, and looks for unsafe moves, and while it's a good enough strategy to create a slow game it is still not enough to get the win at Colosseum.
Hoodless begins to find his form at 'The Muscle' with some cool combos from Rig's most effective bound setup, but it's still not enough to fight off the elusive and highly underused Phase 4 character. Hoodless is sent to loser's bracket with Phase 4's awesome air throw combo. The lack of familiarity with this character could confuse a lot of different players, but Phase 4 is underused because of her blatantly steep mechanics and we even see BladeZ drop combos off and on with her.
Emann is taking Helena to go see Christie at 'Lost Paradise' and Helena brings out a perfected stun game and she punishes Christie with high damaging throws and combos to quickly and surprisingly win the first set with relative ease. Kwiggle makes a switch to Phase 4 before their fight at 'Zero Lab' in attempt to throw Emann off with an unusual suspect. This switch benefits Kwiggle, and he unleashes some sick combos from the neutral teleport, but Emann is the comeback king, takes his time and wins the match.
Kwiggle vs ElectrifiedMann
Kwiggle vs ElectrifiedMann
Kwiggle needs to adapt to Helena quickly in the third fight, and he begins to zone at 'APO' and gets his damage when he sees an opportunity to poke and sometimes holds instead of going for a crush when he can to get his first game against Emann. Electrified Mann makes a smart switch to Christie for their fight at 'Throwdown' but Kwiggle is making strategical adjustments to his game and is obviously very familiar with the character, but the nerves are also starting to come into play for the last rounds. Some mistakes are made by both players, but Kwiggle incorrectly splats Christie on the wall, Christie quickly techs up from the side splat and finishes Kwiggle off with a crowd assist combo.
ElectrifiedMann vs Hoodless
Their set begins at 'Sweat' and both of these players are exhausted going into their last match before the grand final. The first round ends with Christie break-holding at low health to finish the clock and win the round. Hoodless is paying close attention to Christie's movements and he goes for the high counter throw punish whenever he can get it in this slow paced set. Christie tries to bring more pressure to the table and it works for a while, but Hoodless is able to block like a god and wins the last round with a WUK.
The next match is at 'Road Rage' and Christie benefits from the slip stun on the ash much like Kwiggle did against Siologica. Hoodless is keeping up with Christie's pace and can back off and poke when he needs to and then comes in with a big damaging combo. Hoodless has officially made Emann nervous winning three rounds straight, and he makes an unpredictable switch to Kokoro for the first time in Top 8 to try keeping his tournament life going in a different way.
Hoodless starts bringing out a solid mix-up and stun game, uses Rig's turn-cut stance like a boss and punishes Kokoro whenever he can. Kokoro doesn't get much offense in this last game but is able to at least secure a round before Hoodless finishes the set off to go fight XcaliburBladeZ in the Grand Final.
XcaliburBladeZ vs Hoodless
XcaliburBladeZ vs Hoodless
Both of these players have been in their best forms since the launch of Dead or Alive 6 and now everything they have learned up to this point will come into play for this Grand Final. BladesZ begins this set at 'Lost Paradise' with Phase 4 whom was highly successful against Rig and Hoodless earlier in Top 8. Hoodless knows to wait for something unsafe to punish, and he does, but BladeZ performs some interesting dive tricks with Phase 4 to keep a ground game going and to confuse Hoodless, but Rig learns to keep his distance, capitalizes on Phase 4's mistakes and goes in for full combos to get the first game.
The game is at 'The Muscle' and it's going to be harder for them to space each other out when they are surrounded by electric ropes so they instead fight for wall supremacy and Phase 4 completely edges out Rig here with neutral teleport plus insane electric ring rope damage. 'Chinese Festival' opens up their third fight and Hoodless tries to find his game and space, but Phase 4 continues to keep him pasted on the wall, and if he's in an open space XcaliburBladeZ will just drag him to the wall instead with a devastating combo. After this third game concludes with a decisive win, you can see a cunning and maybe even cocky smile emerge on BladeZ as the camera focuses and zooms in on him!
Hoodless chooses to stick with Rig in his last attempt to reset the bracket, and at this point Phase 4 is flexing all over Hoodless with dives and insane combo damage at the 'APO' stage. Hoodless brings back his zoning strategy and punishes the holy hell out of BladeZ with throws to secure a round. During round 4 Hoodless continues the punish game and he even breaks Phase 4 out of the glass window, but shortly after BladeZ canceled the comeback with his tenacity and aggression to win the CEO 2019 major.
There is no doubt that Community Orlando Effort 2019 was an excellent offline showing for the fighters and Dead or Alive 6, but this is only the beginning of the Dead or Aive 6 World Championship! Attending the event itself can offer you more insight on all of the matches; take this Mai Shiranui Mirror Match between Kwiggle and Ponton for example, or this hype set between Siologica and Zakkurye! Once again, congratulations to XcaliburBladeZ, but don't you think it should be you?