@echofoxgg’s @SonicFox5000 is the #KombatCup Season 1 Champion!
It has all come down to this final confrontation between the eight best players from Kombat Cup Season 1. These players will engage in a double-elimination bracket for the right to be recognized as the Kombat Cup Champion, while Top 4 will be funded in cash prizes with the winner receiving a fully paid package for a trip to EVO 2017!
Before reading up on the results, we would like to remind you that Kombat Cup has a second season coming up! It will not launch next weekend, but the weekend after. Please visit this page for details.
Without further ado, we present the results of the Kombat Cup Season 1 Finale!
GTG Semiij and GTG SylverRye lead off the Kombat Cup finale from opposite ends of the player seeding, with Semiij as the first seed and SylverRye the eighth. SylverRye constantly repels Semiij from trying to smother him with Ethereal blockstrings using well-timed crouch normals including his uppercut to take the first game. Semiij makes a switch to Hollywood Cassie Cage to lay down the mix, but his approaches are cut short again by Rye’s use of his B2 overhead. The threat of entering the Loser’s side in his first match looms over the young man’s head, but he keeps his composure and returns to Ethereal with a new strategy in mind: to occasionally stagger his offense so as to bait Rye into reacting. This adjustment aids Semiij in tying the set 2-2, and the nerves cause SylverRye to release his block button after a jump-in only to eat more damage. He clutches it out in Round 2 of the final match to stay alive, but Semiij’s adjustment holds out enough to crush Rye’s hopes of survival. Semiij advances 3-2 over his teammate!
Echo Fox Scar would begin his run with a runback against Circa Destroyer, who’d previously defeated him 3-0 last Wednesday. Scar’s difficulties with this match-up do not appear to have eased, but he manages to scout openings through the storm cloud that is Destroyer’s zoning. In spite of these occasional slip-ups, Destroyer abuses his wake-ups to send the Special Forces general full-screen. His confirms off his half-screen B2 2 string puts Scar even more on edge trying to establish some degree of neutral, forcing him to rely on grenades to maintain an element of intimidation. As strong as Sonya’s mix-ups are, Destroyer demonstrates an impressive streak of successfully blocking more of them than most other players can manage, before he is opened up. The set teeters back and forth between the two, extending to a fifth game where Destroyer just runs away with the zoning leaving Scar with no answer. One final trap made of a disc and a laser wipes Scar’s traces clean from the Winner’s Bracket, and Destroyer’s win streak is maintained!
RevetLeafing versus Echo Fox Sonic Fox tends to leave us unable to tell left from right, up and down, with their gameplay running at such high speed. This race would be won by the Fox…twice. First game ends with Sonic denying Revet his chance to use his resources after his X-ray fails, whereas the second ends with Sonic landing an X-ray to interrupt his opponent’s offense. Frustrated, Revet changes to his Pyromancer variation and busts out his instant-air overhead drills to whittle away at Sonic’s defense. He eventually pushes the fox to the corner where Sonic tries – and fails – to guess his way out. Revet snags his first win as a result of his powerful offense, but a switch is flipped in Game 4, during which Revet simply cannot get anything going. He is unable to even punish from behind due to the unusual hitboxes associated with Sektor’s normals. Sonic closes out the set 3-1 to send Revet to Loser’s!
Yet another runback AND a team kill would serve as a conclusive combination to the first round of the Winner’s Bracket, as Noble Tweedy and Noble Dragon enter the arena dead-set on slaying the other. Dragon’s time in the lab becomes clear through his gameplay as he backdashes Tweedy’s offense consistently, but gives up opportunities to punish due to the loss in spacing. Nevertheless, Dragon quickly seizes two wins through his exploitation of Possessed Kenshi’s gaps. Tweedy takes notice of Dragon’s obsession with his EX Overhead, so he responds by drawing upon his EX Teleport instead to escape Dragon’s OKI and score very damaging punishes. Dragon’s backdashes eventually get him slapped as well, but like with Tweedy, he opts to block instead while occasionally sneaking an EX Shoulder Charge in now and then. The set comes down to a final pixel that Tweedy must defend, and when a combo is dropped, he has an opportunity to perform a miracle. But Dragon denies him that miracle by punishing his teleport reversal with a shoulder ram to win the set 3-2!
The bracket progresses to Winner’s Semis where GTG Semiij and Circa Destroyer cross paths yet again. Their last set ended in a close 3-2 including a Match Extension that was to Destroyer’s benefit, but Semiij ultimately took the win. As frustrating as Destroyer’s zoning has proven to be, Semiij snakes his way through it while getting an occasional slap on the wrist from a Smart Disc whenever he tries to close the distance with his teleport kick. Destroyer’s defense is as impressive as it’s proven to be since the set with Scar, but Semiij responds effectively with well-timed throws blended in with plus frames off his Fade blockstrings. As strong as Predator’s run cancels have proven to be, they become a weakness as well due to their consumption of stamina limiting Destroyer’s usage of breakers. This contributes to Semiij’s domination, resulting in a 3-0 victory for the young prodigy!
The story of the Fox and the Dragon runs strong in the MKX community. Dragon has always been one of the few players able to push Sonic to his limits, but never to the point where Dragon won. Tonight would be an opportunity to change that. With the threat of the Hell Sparks, Sonic’s gameplay becomes somewhat respectful from midscreen distance. The sparks are an all-utility tool able to contest numerous options including Sonic’s occasional run-in, while also commanding respect in the poking game. Both players are hesitant to pull the trigger while shyly jabbing at each other from crouch-blocking stances. A Tie Round blows everybody’s minds in Game 2 but Sonic breaks one stalemate to force another one. After a quick Game 3, Dragon introduces some savagery of his own by committing to a punishable overhead from a full-screen run-in, and it WORKS! Sonic panics and is caught by yet another Hell Sparks, which ironically gives him a Breaker only to be prevented from using it as Dragon grabs him for the win. Not to be outdone, Sonic retaliates with some savage mix-ups of his own, using his movement to make them even more discreet than usual. Dragon is on the verge of surviving in the second round, but a bait with a backdash goes wrong due to the insane range on Sektor’s EX Flamethrower. The dragon is slain by the fox yet again…SonicFox advances to Winner’s Finals with a clutch 3-2 win!
Semiij, the only player to pass Sonic Fox in terms of league points, must once again face his formidable rival for the right to advance to Grand Finals. The return of Sonic’s Acidic Alien takes him by surprise as he is assaulted by 20% throws and high-damage combos leading to restands that guarantee even more life drain. However, Semiij quickly regains his composure to punish Sonic’s zoning and his whiffed normals. Sonic purposefully drains away his own health via Alien’s acid spit, deciding he’d rather go down on his own terms instead of Semiij’s, but not without a retaliation in mind. Hollywood Cassie Cage comes back to the fight to dominate Semiij in the neutral game, much to the GTG rep’s chagrin. All of his attempts to bait a wake-up from the fox are sniffed out and before he knows it, he holds another restand and is forced to guess for his life. With the EX Nut Punch auto-correcting itself to punish his staggers, Semiij is left without options to escape the rushdown. Sonic Fox exacts his revenge to win 3-2, thereby securing himself for Grand Finals on the Winner’s side!
As a reminder, the Season Finale is run as a double elimination bracket. As such, we turn to Loser’s Bracket to see what will become of the players whose records have been marred by one loss. A second defeat results in their elimination from the tournament.
Echo Fox Scar and GTG SylverRye lead off the Loser’s Bracket. Similar to Ethereal Mileena, Scar benefits from his EX Phase giving him full invincibility in order to escape Rye’s offense, until Rye starts scouting it with cross-over jumps to punish him on his recovery. Rye plays a strong game where he occasionally hits the brakes hoping that Scar will make himself vulnerable, only for Scar to surprise him with retaliatory strikes and throws. Scar tries to sneak in EX Teleports to instill fear into Rye, but none of them yield the reward he’s hoping for. With Scar’s eight-frame F1 acting as an effective punisher, Rye forgoes his overhead to opt for smothering pressure. All of Rye’s attempts to retreat are thwarted by Scar’s B2 1 string which controls so much of the screen. After a very clutch round in the fourth game, Rye takes the set to the final round, only to meet his downfall due to the numerous holes in his defense created by Scar’s staggers. Scar beats SylverRye 3-2 to avoid elimination from the finale!
Despite the magnitude of his struggle against Dragon, Noble Tweedy has plenty of gas left in his system to contend with RevetLeafing’s highly mobile gameplay. A staple for Dragon Naginata players is to use their teleport mid-air in order to bait the opponent into reckless decisions, but Tweedy takes a page from Revet’s book to expose the gaping holes in his offense AND take the first game. Changing back to Pyromancer Tanya, Revet responds with a myriad of mix-up options that include the threat of his EX Shroud, which heavily adds to the damage output behind his fireballs. Although he ties up the set 1-1, Noble Tweedy has Revet’s tendencies on lock, because nothing goes Revet’s way as the set progresses into the later games. Delayed F3 overheads aid in Revet’s offense, yet Tweedy is hardly fazed. Tweedy continues to dominate the air kombat and the mind games until he comes out on top 3-1!
The set between Noble Dragon and Echo Fox Scar gets off to a rocky start due to a forfeiture of the first game (Dragon had picked the wrong character by mistake via hidden selection), a development that works to Scar’s advantage as he proceeds to take his second win. The crowd resigned itself to a 3-0 victory in Scar’s favor, but Dragon begs to dispute that prediction. He defers to his strategy he’d employed against SonicFox, abusing Hell Sparks in close range while he has meter on hand in order to keep Scar from disrespecting him too much. Both players are reluctant to risk anti-airing whenever they violate each other’s spacing as one opening for either player can lead to a vortex. Poised to take a win, Scar goes completely invisible in the corner, but is brought back into plain slight by a disrespectful shoulder attack. Dragon fights back, tying the set 2-2 and forcing Scar to fall back to his initial main: Demolition Sonya. However, Scar is given no room to breathe, let alone reload his grenades, in the face of Dragon’s increasing aggression. A call-out on the X-ray leaves Scar with no resources, and Dragon capitalizes on this amazing read, emerging victorious after an earlier disadvantage from an incorrect character selection!
Circa Destroyer has found his matches with Tweedy frustrating to no end since they first played, so he decides to change things up by going with Crystalline Tremor, a sensible decision since it gives him access to a meterless armor option to combat Tweedy’s tendency to machine-gun his own armor. Combined with his advancing string bringing Tweedy back down to Earth, Destroyer takes an early advantage in the set only to lose it, as Tweedy goes up two games over his one. But the first win appears to have bolstered Destroyer’s determination. Reverting back to his Predator, he challenges Tweedy’s cancels with his armored Scimitar Stab to toss him into a corner set-up. Despite his successful attempts to challenge Destroyer’s pressure, Tweedy misses out on opportunities to convert, possibly due to him having no faith landing reversals against this adjustment in Destroyer’s offense. Desperation causes Tweedy to become reckless in his approach, ultimately leading to his demise. Having finally overcome one of his online tournament demons, Destroyer basks in his triumph!
However, Destroyer has little time to relax before he confronts Noble Dragon in Loser’s Semifinals. Very few characters can hope to compete with Predator in a zoning battle, and Mournful Kitana is one such candidate. Dragon strikes out in the first game of dodgeball, but he redeems himself by leveling up his air-based zoning and capitalizing on conversions off of his advancing string. Destroyer’s reckless abuse of meter once again limits his defensive options, but considering his success in baiting Dragon’s reversals, it’s a setback he is willing to tolerate. Yet, Dragon takes advantage of his tendencies to tip the scales into his favor. Against Kitana, blocking low is often advised, but Destroyer is popped up by a jump-in jailing into an overhead EX Air Glaive, the resulting combo tossing him right back into the corner, leaving him at Dragon’s mercy. After being down 2-1, Dragon brings it back 3-2 to join GTG Semiij in Loser’s Finals.
With only three players remaining, the Kombat Cup Finale enters its final stretch! Dragon and Semiij both have vendettas to settle with Sonic Fox, but first, they would have to eliminate one another. Dragon trades out his Kitana for Impostor Shinnok to opt for a vortex style of gameplay instead of dealing with Semiij’s anti-zoning. Contrary to the majority of his sets, Loser’s Finals opens with Semiij trapped on the defensive given Dragon’s alteration between mix-up options after courageous run-ins. Semiij is usually patient enough to wait out the up-close game, but the threat of the overhead forces him to strike pre-emptively only to be popped up by the Hell Sparks. Semiij doesn’t dare to zone from any range greater than mid-screen so as not to deal with that teleport, but Dragon apparently has no need for it. Dragon abuses throws until Semiij begins to tech them, but this subjects him to another layer of the mix-up game that he simply cannot pick apart. A jumpkick meaty hits solidified air due to the EX Fade’s invincibility. Semiij tries to mount a comeback, but Dragon delivers a finishing blow to eliminate the Mileena specialist 3-2!
After enduring countless trials where just about every set has entered the final game, the stage for our Grand Finals has been set. Sonic Fox and Dragon previously met in Grand Finals for Kumite in Tennessee 2017, where Sonic came out on top, so Dragon has been incredibly anxious for this runback. The fox is forced to fight conservatively at mid range due to Dragon’s calculated use of his Hell Sparks, and Dragon gives the fox few openings to work with in the first game. Sonic’s F4 4 is countered by a neutral crouch on the second hit, netting Dragon respectable damage and the chance for a mix-up. Sonic tries to surprise him with a missle only for Dragon to react with a teleport and K.O. him for his first win. In response, Sonic relentlessly chucks his advancing strings at Dragon from close range to intimidate him. This approach leaves its mark on Dragon, allowing the fox to run rampant with runs into grabs or the occasional stagger. Dragon’s overheads suffer a cruel and unusual punishment, which further weakens his comeback potential. The matches become dominated by read-for-read scenarios including when Dragon boldly runs past Sektor’s overhead missiles to challenge him, whereas Sonic subjects him to mix-up after mix-up with each knockdown he scores.
The struggle is a bloody one, but with one final throw, Sonic calls in his teammate Scar to deliver the finishing touch to the Kombat Cup Finale! The Cyber Initiative has prevailed over the Netherrealm! SonicFox has overcome insurmountable odds to triumph over the competition! He is therefore worthy to be crowned our Season 1 Champion!
1st Place – Echo Fox Sonic Fox (Sektor, Alien and Cassie Cage)
2nd Place – Noble Dragon (Shinnok and Kitana)
3rd Place – GTG Semiij (Mileena)
4th Place – Circa Destroyer (Predator)
5th Place Tie – Echo Fox Scar (Smoke/Sonya Blade) and Noble Tweedy (Kenshi)
7th Place Tie – GTG SylverRye (Liu Kang) and RevetLeafing (Tanya)
GTG Semiij (Ethereal Mileena and Hollywood Cassie Cage): 3 vs. GTG SylverRye (Flame Fist Liu Kang): 2
Echo Fox Scar (Demolition Sonya Blade): 2 vs. Circa Destroyer (Hish-Qu-Ten Predator): 3
RevetLeafing (Dragon Naginata Tanya and Pyromancer Tanya): 1 vs. Echo Fox Sonic Fox (Sektor): 3
Noble Dragon (Bone Shaper Shinnok): 3 vs. Noble Tweedy (Possessed Kenshi): 2
GTG Semiij (Ethereal Mileena): 3 vs. Circa Destroyer (Hish-Qu-Ten Predator): 0
Echo Fox Sonic Fox (Sektor): 3 vs. Noble Dragon (Impostor Shinnok): 2
GTG Semiij (Ethereal Mileena): 2 vs. Echo Fox Sonic Fox (Acidic Alien and Hollywood Cassie Cage): 3
Echo Fox Scar (Smoke): 3 vs. GTG SylverRye (Dragon’s Fire Liu Kang): 2
Noble Tweedy (Possessed Kenshi): 3 vs. RevetLeafing (Dragon Naginata Tanya and Pyromancer Tanya): 1
Echo Fox Scar (Smoke and Demolition Sonya Blade): 2 vs. Noble Dragon (Impostor Shinnok): 3
Circa Destroyer (Crystalline Tremor and Hish-Qu-Ten Predator): 3 vs. Noble Tweedy (Possessed Kenshi): 2
Circa Destroyer (Hish-Qu-Ten Predator): 2 vs. Noble Dragon (Mournful Kitana): 3
GTG Semiij (Ethereal Mileena): 1 vs. Noble Dragon (Impostor Shinnok): 3
Echo Fox Sonic Fox (Sektor): 3 vs. Noble Dragon (Impostor Shinnok): 1
Sincerest congratulations to Echo Fox Sonic Fox for becoming the Kombat Cup Season 1 Champion! Time and again, online and offline, this prodigy has demonstrated why he is the best Mortal Kombat XL player the FGC has ever seen. Still, the Kombat Cup has given him his fair share of formidable opponents to worry about, and we salute each and every one of those players for giving us a show, especially with so many 3-2 outcomes!
As a result of his victory, SonicFox’s return to EVO will be guaranteed this year. We look forward to seeing him add to his legacy, as well as to any and all threats ready to oppose him! Dragon will also receive $1,000 that will go towards funding an event of his choice, while Semiij takes home $500 and Circa Destroyer nabs $250!
With that, the first season has come to a saddening end. It has been an honor for all of you, the viewers, to share in our excitement over competitive Mortal Kombat XL. So much of an honor, in fact, that we are ready to do this all over again! We will make our return on February 12th to continue our tradition of bringing you your weekly dose of excitement, so please look out for us!
All matches will be archived and uploaded to our YouTube page. If you’ve missed out, you will want to subscribe to this page to be notified about when we make our uploads, so that you can catch up!
Mr Aquaman and Echo FGC have been great casters to work with. The quality of their dual commentary only gets better with every week, so you’ll be pleased to know that they will rejoin us for Season 2! We thank them for joining us on this journey to involve the players and viewers in one unforgettable experience.
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