@Chris_Tatarian wins #SavageSeries Week 1!

We thank the 400+ players who showed up to play for the first week of our Street Fighter V Savage Series! Our first Top 8 has come to pass, and we are happy to present the results to you!

Right off the bat, the Top 8 bracket unfolds with a F.A.N.G player in the Winner’s side. F.A.N.G is typically considered to be among the lower tiers in Street Fighter V, but Mono PR, going against Charlie’s Necalli, puts up an unshakeable wall of poison and long-ranged normal attacks which leaves his opponent feeling limited. Charlie tries valiantly to take the initiative only to get whiff punished and forced into guessing situations off of knockdowns, a trial made more difficult by Mono’s use of the Ryobenda. Holes are eventually created in Mono’s wall as Charlie finally closes the distance and lands a command grab to turn the tide, but Mono takes advantage of his mistimed meaties to reclaim control. After a wild scramble, Mono PR takes it 3-0, sending Charlie to the Loser’s Bracket!

A hurricane advisory seems to be in effect, because DNL Chris Tatarian (Ken) and Orangeman (Rashid) come spinning into action for the second half of Winner’s Semis. The set starts with a blaze of glory as Chris quickly takes the first and second games with a commanding offense, although Orangeman succeeds in snatching a round in the second game. The shimmies are abundant, as are the tricky cross-up setups with Ken’s tatsu and Rashid’s hurricane kick, but both players demonstrate excellent defense while constantly seeking to overwhelm the other with their offense. A huge bait on the wake-up DP lends incredible momentum to Orangeman, allowing him to take the third game, and the final match comes down to a chase for the last pixel which Chris ultimately succeeds in snuffing out. Chris Tatarian advances 3-1 over Orangeman!

Noble’s Vagabond, originally a Necalli player for the duration of Season 1, debuts his Akuma as he faces off against Joey900’s R. Mika, a character the community dismissed after her Season 2 adjustments. But from the course of the match, doubts of Mika’s ability to compete are quickly dispelled as Joey alternates smoothly between meaty normals and command grabs, eventually causing Vagabond to attempt jumping out of panic only to get punished hard. Both players demonstrate an aptitude at checking each other’s forward movement, but Joey’s hesitation against the fireball game allows Vagabond to dash in and begin his offense. The set becomes a nail-biter as both players take two games apiece and enter a final game, with Vagabond scoring a crucial meaty attack to receive hit advantage, but a wake-up grab puts an end to his adventures in the Savage Series! Joey900 advances 3-2 to Loser’s Quarterfinals!

Fun fact: the commentators cannot seem to agree on the type of overhead attack Akuma uses. 😉

For the other side of Loser’s, Wolfkrone (Laura), coming fresh off his tournament victory at last weekend’s Kumite in Tennessee 2017, enters the Top 8 with a thirst for blood. But UrbanFlow, who commands a deadly Karin, is not willing to quench that thirst anytime soon. A quick first win goes to UrbanFlow, but this has the consequence of waking up the wolf within…because momentum immediately swings into Wolfkrone’s favor with his use of tick throws mixed in with deadly frame traps. His up-close fireball game causes hesitation in UrbanFlow, opening him up to an overhead that awards a win to Wolfkrone, tying the set at one game apiece. When UrbanFlow’s V-Reversals fail to save him from the wolf, his defensive options suffer to the point where he is left without an answer. With one final command grab ensured by a fireball, Wolfkrone emerges victorious 3-1!

The next set in Loser’s starts off in a similar fashion. Orangeman, who had apparently sent Wolfkrone to Loser’s in the Monday preliminaries, takes the first game, albeit he had a bit more difficulty in doing so than UrbanFlow did. However, Wolfkrone slapped on Laura’s orange costume and declared, “The forward tornado guy? I’ve got something for you.” His answer consisted of a successful throw attempt that also helps him avoid Rashid’s V-Trigger setup in the corner due to the invincibility frames, and from there on out, it was all Wolfkrone. Eating one command grab after another, Orangeman’s gameplay becomes riddled with wake-up EX spinning mixers and light kicks, but these do not deter the wolf’s offense in the slightest. Wolfkrone closes out the last game with a Perfect to advance to Loser’s Semis!

Charlie’s Necalli returns for revenge, and he’s got Joey900 (Mika) in his line of sight. Grapplers are known to be a character archetype capable of producing hesitation at a close range, which is when their trademark attack, the command grab, comes into play. Yet, fear is completely absent from Charlie if his gameplay is anything to go by. His disrespectful EX DPs keep Joey at bay and allow him to run the train while his V-Trigger enhances all of his abilities. With Charlie up 2-0, Joey starts neutral jumping a lot hoping to catch his opponent whiffing, and Charlie adopts this strategy as well. A hit-confirm from Joey gives him the chance to seal the deal, but a dropped Critical Art input allows Charlie a chance to breathe. The decision to use it on wake-up instead is punished by a neutral jump, giving Charlie a 3-0 victory!

With the tournament down to its Top 4, we return to the Winner’s side to witness a clash between DNL Chris Tatarian and PR Mono! After a quick first loss, Chris adjusts his offensive approach and manages to snag the first round of Game 2 with a Thunder Kick overhead, but PR Mono takes advantage of Chris’s dropped CA input to turn the tide, using an overhead of his own to snuff out the last pixel. As Game 3 unfolded, Chris adopted a highly mobile approach with jumping roundhouses and full-screen V-Trigger tatsus, and PR Mono finds himself unable to do much but stay on the defensive while looking for an opening. Chris finally catches his opponent trying to press buttons at the wrong times and nets himself humongous damage off of the Counter Hits. This effort completes his three-game comeback from an 0-2 deficit, thereby dropping PR Mono into Loser’s Finals where he awaits his chance at redemption!

Grapplers collide once again in Loser’s Semis, but who would prove superior? After a wild tussle, Charlie fishes out a crucial jumping roundhouse to punish Wolfkrone’s whiffed fireball for his first win. In the second game, Wolfkrone cages Charlie by mixing in his V-Skill overheads into his fireball game, but Charlie goes into V-Trigger and trades a jab with the fireball to thwart Wolfkrone’s ambitions. While frustrated, Wolfkrone does sniff out Charlie’s newfound reliance on jumping and turns it to his advantage, and Charlie finds himself struggling to fend off the wolf’s renewed savagery. A panicked EX DP gets Crush Countered, further reducing Charlie’s grip over the set, and Wolfkrone repeats Chris Tatarian’s formula at a comeback to take it 3-2!

Loser’s Finals is now set. Between Wolfkrone and PR Mono, who would earn the right to run it back with Chris Tatarian in Grand Finals? While his quick intake of damage gives him access to V-Trigger really fast, PR Mono isn’t given much of an opportunity to use it as Wolfkrone refuses to give him any room to breathe. Up 2-0, the set looks like it would be his, but a change in PR Mono’s tactics changes the atmosphere considerably as Wolfkrone becomes stumped over how to fight his way out of Mono’s fireball-oriented offense. PR Mono’s quickened access to V-Trigger begins to cost Wolfkrone as well. The set goes down to a fifth and final game, during which the offense is reversed once again. Mono plays passively trying to avoid the fireballs but completely disregards Wolfkrone’s V-Skill, an oversight that leads to his demise. Wolfkrone takes it 3-2, climbing all the way from the bottom of the bracket straight up to Grand Finals!

With Wolfkrone in Loser’s, he faces the challenge of winning two 3/5 sets while Chris Tatarian only needs one. Both players immediately begin their brawl with fearless offense, preying upon each other on knockdown without mercy. Chris struggles to anti-air consistently, but keeps his defense solid to make up for that weakness. However, he tries to combat Wolfkrone’s Thunder Clap from too close of a range with his own fireballs, and the motion moves his hurtbox right into Laura’s projectile, an inconvenience that proves to be Wolfkrone’s benefit. With nothing to halt his momentum, Wolfkrone takes the first Grand Finals set 3-0 to reset the bracket.

With the scores reset, the previous outcome prompts Chris to step it up big-time, and before Wolfkrone can regain himself he’s caught trying to avoid fireballs and Chris’s rapid use of the V-skill. The neutral game between both players reaches quick conclusions in favor of Chris, who abuses his crouching light kick after V-Trigger cancels to override his prey’s standing guard and cause insane damage. Wolfkrone simply cannot capitalize on his knockdowns because of Chris’s relentless tatsu wake-ups, each of which leads into a damaging juggle that knocks him back to the edge of the arena where Chris shines. In a last-ditch effort to survive, Wolfkrone reacts to a fireball with his armored EX shoulder charge, but much to his chagrin, it is blocked and punished!

After being 3-0’ed himself, DNL Chris Tatarian returns the favor to win Savage Series Week 1! Congratulations to this warrior for winning it all in a 400-man bracket!

Tournament Placings

1st Place – DNL Chris Tatarian (Ken)
2nd Place – Wolfkrone (Laura)
3rd Place – PR Mono (F.A.N.G)
4th Place – Charlie (Necalli)
5th Place Tie – Joey900 (R. Mika) and OrangeMan (Rashid)
7th Place Tie – Noble Vagabond (Akuma) and UrbanFlow (Karin)

Match Log

Winner’s Semifinals
PR Mono (F.A.N.G): 3 vs. Charlie (Necalli): 0
DNL Chris Tatarian (Ken): 3 vs. OrangeMan (Rashid): 1

Loser’s Bracket
Noble Vagabond (Akuma): 2 vs. Joey900 (R. Mika): 3
Wolfkrone (Laura): 3 vs. UrbanFlow (Karin): 1

Loser’s Quarterfinals
Wolfkrone (Laura): 3 vs. OrangeMan (Rashid): 1
Joey900 (R. Mika): 0 vs. Charlie (Necalli): 3

Winner’s Finals
PR Mono (F.A.N.G): 2 vs. DNL Chris Tatarian (Ken): 3

Loser’s Semifinals
Charlie (Necalli): 2 vs. Wolfkrone (Laura): 3

Loser’s Finals
PR Mono (F.A.N.G): 2 vs. Wolfkrone (Laura): 3

Grand Finals Set 1
Wolfkrone (Laura): 3 vs. DNL Chris Tatarian (Ken): 0

Grand Finals Set 2
Wolfkrone (Laura): 0 vs. DNL Chris Tatarian (Ken): 3

To see the players’ current standings, as well as sign up for Week 2 of the Savage Series, please visit this page. Remember that at the end of the series, the player with the greatest amount of points will receive a free trip to this year’s Evolution championship tournament in Las Vegas! Hotel, travel, registration – EVERYTHING is covered! Sign up for Week 2 and stay hungry!

Sincere thanks to SFV Vicious and Reepal for contributing an amazing commentary to this event! And again, thank you to everybody who participated as well! We are amazed by how many of you have embraced our league, so this makes us more determined to bring you high-quality SFV events in the future!

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