Echo Fox Sonic Fox wins the Injustice Invitational!
The Injustice Invitational is an eight-man bracket featuring a handful of players whose accomplishments have left fans around the world in awe of their talent and passion. With Injustice 2 still in the beta phase, we’ve thrown it back to the days of its predecessor to create waves of nostalgia.
First match is a classic case of top-tier character versus low-tier character, with both their players recognized as top-tiers themselves. SonicFox is quick to shake the rust off his trademark Batgirl as he subjects Cossner’s Green Arrow to a torturous blender of safe mix-up options. Cossner is unable to get anything going in Game 1, but he redeems himself in the next match, delivering damaging combos that are concluded with an ice arrow for re-stands. With both players at full meter, Sonic clashes to stop the momentum, but Cossner willingly burns all of his meter to prevent him from regaining health and reclaim the neutral. In Game 3, he freezes Sonic in place to guarantee his Super, and he follows it up with 2 B3s to avoid the Clash, but the life deficit proves to be too much for Cossner to make up. In the final game, Sonic traps him in the corner where Cossner is unable to escape the most fearsome interactable in the game: the unblockable dumpster! Sonic takes it 3-1 to proceed to the semifinals!
cR HoneyBee (The Flash) and Decay (Lobo) lead off the next match with their heavy-hitting trademark characters and strategies. Decay scouts HoneyBee’s wake-up headbutt and punishes consistently, but all HoneyBee needs is trait and one bar to apply his colossal damage output to even the odds again. A crucial error in judgment costs Decay the first game. For the first time in Injustice history, we see Decay abandon his main in favor of Green Lantern (or Yellow Lantern, rather). Viewers suspected an attempt to zone, but Decay instead keeps the fight at close range as he attempts to slow down HoneyBee’s mobility, a feat that proves impossible to pull off. When a wake-up headbutt wins HoneyBee the second game, Decay falls back to Lobo and punishes all of HoneyBee’s whiffs with neutral jumps and raw B3s. At a crucial point in the match, Decay forces HoneyBee over to the leftmost corner, avoiding the Clash in the process, but his anxiety in reloading projectiles is punished dearly as he is launched by a full-screen headbutt. HoneyBee pops his trait to juggle Decay all the way across the map to the other corner, where he drops his combo for a set-up. Decay presses a button in anticipation of a throw attempt, only to be greeted with a meaty MB F3. HoneyBee, the self-proclaimed Flash God Lord, emerges victorious 3-0!
Since the days of ESL Season 3 for the MKX Pro League, Jupiter had slipped into the shadows for what felt like years, but he returns for the Injustice Invitational to pit his Martian Manhunter against Perfect Legend’s Doomsday. With the presence of invincible meterless wake-ups, the knockdown game tends to go without button presses from either player as they seek to bait each other out. MB Shoulder makes up the majority of Doomsday’s offense in the mid-range, leaving Jupiter with little room to breathe, but Jupiter fights back with his power-packed zoning and his trait, which extends his attack range dramatically. After electing not to clash, Perfect Legend shoves Martian back into the corner and then jumps backwards to bait a wake-up, but Jupiter’s teleport clips him on the way up, earning him his first win. The second game ends in a similar fashion. With Jupiter sitting on a two-game lead, Perfect Legend tries to make the most out of his corner game by alternating between his Earthshaker – which hits overhead and low in rapid succession – and his D3, and Jupiter is unable to block any of it. But the Martian senses PL’s hesitation to pressure him on knockdown, and so he turns it to his advantage to fly back to freedom. When Carl regains health via the Clash mechanic, he plants the Martian onto his back yet again but he hesitates yet again to pressure him. A desperate backdash is unable to escape the hitbox on Jupiter’s reversal Psionic Push, which he meter-burns to snuff out the final health bar of the set! Jupiter claims a 3-0 victory to join HoneyBee and Sonic in the semifinals!
Closing out quarterfinals is cR Biohazard, twin sibling of HoneyBee, vs YOMI Forever King. Whereas most Batman players would prefer to stay at a distance, King alternates between that and pressing the offense once Bane’s venom is depleted. Biohazard pursues him with forward dashes and command grabs, until King jumps over him to grapple his way to a game-winning combo. He is unable to finish the sequence, however, and Biohazard capitalizes to win Game 1. King immediately switches to The Flash to outdo Biohazard in a contest of vortexes. The game looks to be ending in King’s favor when he gets the launcher, but he pops trait and then hesitates, allowing Biohazard to steal the match with a wake-up DP! In spite of the drop, King pulls it together and, after a crazy brawl, corners Biohazard, who tries to drop the water tower. King reacts with an uppercut to claim his first win, and Biohazard switches over to his other main character – Nightwing, a character known for alternating between two stances to maximize his gameplay. He plays a majority of the match with Staff Stance in order to play an effective spacing and pressure game, which King meets head-on using his B2 normal for footsies. Biohazard repeatedly relinquishes corner control to send King flying through walls. Biohazard finally becomes desperate and tries to reclaim control with a wake-up Staff Spin, only for King to bait it out and punish! After being down two games, King completes a reverse 3-0 to take it 3-2 over Biohazard!
For two years since Winter Brawl 9, SonicFox and HoneyBee hadn’t sparred in tournament, so this runback was long overdue. One of the few to send Sonic to Loser’s, HoneyBee is understandably confident, but SonicFox is more than willing to meet his mix with mixing of his own. After he subjects The Flash to a painful gambling game in the corner, HoneyBee manages to escape and establish his own rundown. With Flash being one of the few characters to punish Batgirl’s overhead string, Sonic is forced to be somewhat conservative with his mix-ups. HoneyBee gets a slight lead and tries to widen it with interactables, but Sonic reacts with a MB Teleport Drop to not only punish the speedster, but also to take his wins where they are available. Sonic’s jump-ins are countered by HoneyBee’s backdashes, limiting his opportunities to apply the mix. The health bars race towards zero as they trade blow for blow, until HoneyBee is left with a miracle pixel but no meter. He tries to circumvent the mid-range game with his trusty headbutt launcher, only for Sonic to react with MB Batarangs. The set was an incredible spectacle, but SonicFox would take it 3-0 to enter the Grand Finals!
For the second semifinals match, Forever King opts for a mirror match to give Noble Jupiter a taste of his own medicine. He holds his own until Jupiter sends him flying through the portal with a MB B3. When King is sent flying to the other side of the screen, he wakes up with a teleport that actually interrupt Jupiter’s orb summon, but King drops the follow-up and is left open to a wake-up push. King drops the mirror match to go Aquaman. After some well-executed combos, King anti-zones with From The Deep to destroy Jupiter’s first health bar. Jupiter responds with teleport punishes to reprimand King for his reckless whiffing, eventually reducing him to a pixel. King throws out Aqua’s super in what appears to be a gesture of surrender, as he is not within range for the attack to connect. For his final stand, King goes to Doomsday, and this time, Jupiter simply cannot stay on his feet or outrun the herald of the Apocalypse. Meter floods King’s counter and he spends it like candy to stay at advantage. Jupiter finally sustains his first loss. but in the fourth game, he succeeds in restraining King’s destructive impulses, keeping him full-screen which is where he is no threat. King’s trait does not redeem his disadvantage in health bars, and so Jupiter comes out on top 3-1 to meet with Sonic in Grand Finals!
But before Grand Finals can take place, HoneyBee and Forever King confront each other in a battle for the bronze. The monarch reintroduces his Martian Manhunter in the hopes of regulating HoneyBee’s speedster. His gameplan suffers from random overhead teleports, with almost all of them receiving a reversal uppercut as consequence. With King forced to play chase, HoneyBee constantly baits out his attacks and retaliates accordingly, for a quick first win. For the second game, King erects a maze of orbs, trying to coerce HoneyBee into approaching him, but his opponent is content to wait them out before walking in. After an agonizing stand-off, King finds an opening, but he hesitates once again and HoneyBee capitalizes to claim a 2-0 lead over his hapless adversary. The final game is a nail-biter…King is shoved to the corner, his bar reduced to a mere pixel. HoneyBee has the look of a predator about him as he pounces for the kill, but King’s rapid-fire wake-up teleports pay off allowing him a chance at revenge. Yet, he hesitates again, unsure of the input to go with given his uncertainty about where the teleport landed. As such, he is unable to escape HoneyBee’s retaliatory wake-up, which closes out the set in favor of HoneyBee.
As a result, YOMI Forever King will take home $100 as his reward for finishing in fourth, while HoneyBee will take third place as well as $150. Congratulations to both of these players for a commendable showing!
With the Grand Finals at hand, the win condition receives a slight adjustment: it will now be a race to five wins instead of merely three. Chaos ensues the moment the announcer says, “Begin.” SonicFox tags Jupiter with an impressive whiff punish that sends him right to the corner, but Jupiter not only escapes, he armors through the corner interactable to decimate the Fox’s first health bar. However, the fight is lost when he is forced to Clash while Sonic sits on full meter. The second game is best described as Armageddon. EVERYTHING Sonic attempts is countered by a combination of unholy reactions and calculated anticipation. At the opening of Game 3, Jupiter juggles Sonic to the corner where he attempts to trap him with an unblockable, but Sonic’s wake-up teleport has enough invincibility on start-up to help him wriggle out of harm’s way. Sonic Clashes to force a neutral situation before rushing at the Martian. Jupiter tries to react with his S3 powered by his trait, only to be caught in a trap consisting of the rumba and Sonic’s teleport, which creates an inescapable set-up. Sonic quickly moves into a 2-1 lead over his green-skinned nemesis.
For the entirety of Game 4, Jupiter constructs an obstacle course of pillars, meteors and orbs that stumps even Barbara Gordon. Sonic sustains a gargantuan amount of damage before he is finally able to close the gap, but Jupiter pushblocks the fox before he is subjected to the blender once again. He then plants an orb to trap his opponent long enough to dash in and perform an instant jump-1 attack which acts as an overhead. He fails to grab the conversion, but makes up for it with a jump-cancel into teleport. Their composure shows signs of faltering in Game 5 due to their combos dropping everywhere, and it almost costs Jupiter, but he makes up for a dropped unbreakable with his D1.
The outcome creates a situation that the Fox is rarely ever faced with…he is now down 2-3 against a formidable opponent. However, the two had already agreed to a race to five wins, so for Jupiter, there was more work to be done. The crowd watched with bated breath, curious to see if the Injustice Invitational would produce a new champion.
As the set continued, SonicFox began abusing his cartwheel attack to establish pressure on Jupiter, whether it landed or was blocked. In response, Jupiter conjures an orb, then teleports. Sonic blocks and goes to punish, but he is incapacitated by the orb while Jupiter escapes with a backdash. Sonic attempts to make up for it with a teleport drop only for it to be outright defeated by Jupiter’s own teleport. Sonic quickly gets Jupiter off his gray pixel, and the two engage in a crazy sequence of set-ups. Jupiter’s use of pushblock eventually backfires when Sonic cancels his low with a two-bar Bounce Cancel, which overrides the pushblock and sends Jupiter flying through the walls of the Wayne Manor!
The gods among us are now tied at three games apiece, meaning they have entered the final leg of their battle. But it seems that a switch was flipped after Sonic demonstrated the anti-pushblock tech in the previous match, because everything that could possibly go wrong for Jupiter did in fact go wrong. Jupiter’s Clash did nothing to assuage the Fox’s growing anger. The two play a game of dodgeball using the dumpster as the ball, but the exchange is won by Sonic. With Sonic on set point, Jupiter tries to assert his aggression early in Game 8, only to be countered by an unlikely anti-air…D1 into Cartwheel. Sonic makes quick work of the alien’s first bar afterwards despite a dropped B3. Twice Jupiter manages to push the wild Batgirl player off him with an armored B3, and he also wins another trade in teleports to even the playing field. However, his failure to convert damage from a teleport leaves him open to a final blow from the Fox’s uppercut.
1st Place: Echo Fox Sonic Fox
2nd Place: Noble Jupiter
3rd Place: cR HoneyBee
4th Place: YOMI Forever King
5th Place Tie: Cossner, Decay, Perfect Legend and cR Biohazard
Echo Fox Sonic Fox (Batgirl): 3 vs. Cossner (Green Arrow): 1
cR HoneyBee (The Flash): 3 vs. Decay (Lobo and Green Lantern): 0
Noble Jupiter (Martian Manhunter): 3 vs. Perfect Legend (Doomsday): 0
cR Biohazard (Bane and Nightwing): 2 vs. YOMI Forever King (Batman and The Flash): 3
Echo Fox Sonic Fox (Batgirl): 3 vs. cR HoneyBee (The Flash): 0
Noble Jupiter (Martian Manhunter): 3 vs. YOMI Forever King (Martian Manhunter, Aquaman and Doomsday): 1
Third Place Match
cR HoneyBee (The Flash): 3 vs. YOMI Forever King (Martian Manhunter): 0
Echo Fox Sonic Fox (Batgirl): 5 vs. Noble Jupiter (Martian Manhunter): 3
As Kitana Prime said, the year may have changed, but SonicFox’s reign of terror has yet to cease, if ever! Congratulations to the fox for defending his throne to win the Injustice Invitational!
Our thanks go out to Mr Aquaman and Kitana Prime for casting this eight-man bracket! They will rejoin us next Wednesday to cast the first Top 8 finals for Kombat Cup Season 2, which players can sign up for by visiting this page at Smash.GG.
Thank you to everybody who tuned in! Please follow this blog and the accounts below to stay updated on the Kombat Cup!
Kombat Cup Smash.GG page – https://smash.gg/kombatcup
Kombat Cup Stream.Me page – https://www.stream.me/kombatcup
Stream.Me’s YouTube page – https://www.youtube.com/StreamMeVids
Stream.Me’s Twitter page – https://twitter.com/StreamMe