F3 Sleep wins KrossUp Week 7!
Results for KrossUp Week 7 are in! Thanks go out to all of the Killer Instinct players who came around to participate in the league and support their favorite game!
After being unable to play his Top 8 match in Week 6, UA Charbok (Hisako) fights his way out of his pool once again to confront F3 Sleep (ARIA), who has recently been crowned as the World Cup 2017 champion. Yet, titles do not intimidate Charbok, who demonstrates an extraordinarily solid defense against Sleep’s vortex set-ups with ARIA. Sleep decides to cut his losses at some point by grabbing the lead and then retreating full-screen to zone Charbok with his Bass Body, but Charbok’s dash helps him get right back into the fight. Sleep is unable to elude him for the first two games, and Charbok finds himself at match point. But as the third game commences, a switch has been flipped and Charbok finds himself getting out-zoned tremendously. The set quickly hits a stalemate with both players sitting at two wins apiece, neither willing to give up the match. Charbok once again forces Sleep back into his desired range by using his rekkas to catch the backwards jumps, but Sleep retaliates with such ferocity that Charbok is backed into a corner. As the tension mounts, Charbok teleports twice from full-screen and surprises Sleep with two command grabs. However, Sleep manages to escape the loop. Charbok takes pursuit once again only to be punished by the extended hitbox from ARIA’s jumping medium kick. Sleep narrowly avoids defeat and sends Charbok home!
Next, Raven is Raw and UA Bass confront each other in a Spinal mirror match. The two are not shy about calling out each other’s grabs or teleports using neutral jumps as they do not want to be subjected to each other’s vortex options. Raven’s tendency to jump backwards for a whiff punish works on the first try, but then his success rate plummets when Bass begins cancelling his runs prematurely to bait reactions from his fellow skeleton. On occasion, a Soul Sword checks their opponent for jumping at a bad range. Raven finds it surprisingly difficult to mix up Bass with his plethora of offensive options, even with the grab as Bass conveniently finds either a teleport or jump to avoid it. With Bass at set point, Raven finds a combo but drops it intentionally for a reset only for Bass to avoid it entirely. Desperate, Raven challenges the run cancels only to be baited and punished. Bass tags him with one last manual before performing an Ultra to win the whole set 3-0!
Mike N Ike 25 (Thunder) stomps back into Top 8 to give Tyzo (Cinder) a lot of hugs. Tyzo is not about to have any of it, however, as he consistently jumps out of his opponent’s tick throw set-ups despite putting himself at risk of eating a safer combo starter. He is also quick to dart away from his opponent mid-air whenever the life lead is his. Unfortunately for him, he cannot mount an aerial offense from above his opponent’s head, as Mike consistently dashes out of range before anti-airing him with a DP. Tyzo found some success in defending against Thunder’s jumping HP cross-up after a hard knockdown, but as the set progresses, his defense begins to falter, leaving him open to damage. Tyzo is quick to break out of his opponent’s combos in order to get himself some space to toss his bombs. Mike becomes anxious and tries to jump in, but is punished as the bombs attach to him before they explode, launching him for juggles. Now and then, Tyzo will end his combos with Burnout Enders to intimidate Mike from using all his punch-based special attacks, but they don’t last very long before fizzling out. Trapped in the corner, Tyzo waits a bit before jumping out, only to be tagged by Mike’s jumping medium punch in response. Mike N Ike takes it 3-1 to proceed to the semifinals of KrossUp!
The last quarterfinals match brings the spotlight to not one, but two newcomers to the KrossUp series: HereticMAGICMAN (ARIA) and HW Mackmane (Orchid). Orchid players generally believe that their character suffers heavily against ARIA given her vortex set-ups, countermeasures for anti-airs and strong zoning. Knowing this, Mackmane starts every match by dashing right to MAGICMAN’s face and pressuring the daylights out of him. With each knockdown, MAGICMAN becomes intimidated to press buttons until MackMane starts another combo, in which case he consistently finds a Combo Breaker to reset the neutral. An upside to the fast pace of the match is that MAGICMAN is able to pop his Instinct a lot faster than usual, but MackMane continues to play with unrivaled savagery, even going so far as to DP out of ARIA’s offense despite her assists lounging at the side. Although his reckless Shadow attacks leave him vulnerable to Shadow Counters, MackMane is quick to recover. All of MAGICMAN’s backdashes get tagged by Orchid’s Ich Ni Sans resulting in the destruction of ARIA’s bodies. Before MAGICMAN knows it, he is carried right to the corner where MackMane proceeds to assault him with a squadron of Shadow Firecats. MAGICMAN counters the first and pops his Instinct, but he fails to block the second attack which allows MackMane an opportunity for a STAGE ULTRA!
Semifinals kicks off with Mike N Ike 25 and UA Bass battling it out for a spot in the Grand Finals. Instead of Spinal, Bass pulls out his pocket Mira to take advantage of Mike’s whiffed dropkicks using his ranged roundhouse. However, Bass finds it difficult to establish pressure as Mike consistently challenges his bats by jumping out or DP’ing through them. Still, Bass appears to be unconcerned about Mike’s okizeme due to his ability to simply phase through attacks at a cost of his own health. This weakness comes back to haunt him as he finds himself losing life bars when large portions of health could have been recovered for himself, yet he is left with no choice but to risk it in order to give himself some breathing space against the resourceful Thunder specialist. From watching the matches, Thunder’s larger hitbox appears to make him more susceptible to Mira’s cross-up heavy kicks after her air dash, but Mike is fortunate enough to have a great deal of success with early Combo Breakers. Bass finally lets a dropkick go and tries to make up for it by chipping Mike out with bats, but Mike disrespects the hitstun to DP out of danger. When Bass fails twice more to punish Mike’s whiffed overheads, the match devolves into a scramble. Finally, Mike catches Bass holding up to anticipate a grab and punishes him with a Triplax that leads right into the game-winning Ultra Combo! With only a pixel of life to sustain him, Mike advances to Grand Finals!
A plot twist warps the second semifinals match, with both F3 Sleep and Mackmane abandoning their mains in favor of Aganos and Sabrewulf, respectively. MackMane shows a blatant lack of respect for Sleep’s offense by stripping away all of his armor with a Shadow Eclipse, while also avoiding the grabs that would have given Aganos access to such a resource. Mack abuses Aganos’s weaknesses to heavy attacks to prevent Sleep’s use of armor, but eventually Sleep sets up a wall and knocks him through it for insane damage. As the World Cup champion climbs two games ahead of his opponent, Mack switches to a pocket Fulgore in an attempt to zone, only to be punished by a Shadow Ruin on reaction to his fireballs. He instantly changes tactics by special-cancelling his teleport in order to sneak a DP in there, and it catches Sleep by surprise. He is completely unable to defend against the vortex with each and every knockdown, and so Mack ties it up 2-2. In answer, Sleep resurrects his pocket Maya. Once again, he consistently counters Fulgore’s fireballs by jumping over them from full-screen to punish his opponent. As compensation for his defense suffering, Sleep makes it a point to control the screen from all angles, a task made easier by his angled dagger tosses. A slight shimmy before the overhead opens Mack up for the killing combo that ends all hopes for a reverse 3-0 outcome, and Sleep strides back into Grand Finals for the fifth time in a row!
Quite a bit is at stake in this Grand Finals. A victory for Mike N Ike 25 would guarantee him a spot in the Season Finale, otherwise he would have to make at least Top 4 in Week 8 to get in there. While F3 Sleep is already qualified for the Season Finale unless none of the players ranked below him are able to earn more league points (read on for details), if he were to win, he would finally break his curse of placing in second in just about every KrossUp bracket!
F3 Sleep begins the set with his Kilgore, a character that Mike N Ike has had trouble combating against since their first face-off. Throughout the first game, Mike is completely unable to intimidate Sleep to the point of blocking, as he continually challenges his flip-outs and knockdowns with an advancing DP attack. Similar to when he fought Bass, Mike tries to take advantage of the delay before Sleep’s missiles connect, but the armor on his Shadow Triplax is beaten clean leaving him open to a counter-attack. Mike tries valiantly to get back within striking distance of his opponent, but unfortunately for him, he is disconnected from the lobby and the win is awarded to Sleep, putting him one step away from seizing the crown for KrossUp Week 7.
Most players would have lost their ability to stay composed after an uncontrollable setback like that, but Mike N Ike 25’s response is to land two back-to-back Counter Breakers on a surprised Sleep to establish his control in the third match! Suddenly the hunter has become the hunted, as Mike repeatedly conditions him with light attacks before scooping him up with another command grab. All of Sleep’s attempts to retreat from his foe are rewarded with full-screen DPs and cross-up dropkicks. Sleep almost succeeds in running it back by an entire life bar until a reckless ball flip costs him the match. The fourth game brings nothing but good tidings for the Thunder specialist, as his wake-up DP gets him out of all of Sleep’s knockdown setups. Realizing that his zoning has become futile, Sleep sustains another loss, but this outcome allows him to pull out the character that won him his greatest victory at the KI World Cup – ARIA!
But when the last match starts, his tendency to backdash at the wrong distance almost costs him his first body, which Sleep manages to save with a last-minute breaker. He sends out an assist to distract Mike, who takes the bait, losing his first health bar as consequence. Sleep finds another knockdown to begin a sequence of vortex setups that Mike eventually escapes with a Shadow DP, but this leaves him open to a whiff punish from a shotgun knee. Nevertheless, his trust in the power of the DP helps him deprive Sleep of his Boost Body. Sleep attempts to compensate for this setback by activating his Instinct, but this proves to be a terrible idea when he eats two consecutive Shadow Call of the Earth attacks, with the damage spreading across both his remaining bodies! Sleep is quickly reduced to only one body and he uses the match downtime to run to the other side of the screen, where he can safely begin his zoning. With Sleep trapped in the corner, Mike waits for him to whiff an attack before dashing in, but this leaves him open to an onslaught of fireballs that bring a sudden end to the match!
Tournament Placings and Prizes
1st Place: F3 Sleep
Winnings: $150 and 75 league points
2nd Place: Mike N Ike 25
Winnings: $100 and 50 league points
3rd/4th Place: HW MackMane
Winnings: $50 and 25 league points
3rd/4th Place: UA Bass
Winnings: $50 and 25 league points
5th Place: UA Charbok
Winnings: 10 league points
5th Place: HereticMAGICMAN
Winnings: 10 league points
5th Place: Raven is Raw
Winnings: 10 league points
5th Place: Tyzo
Winnings: 10 league points
Tyzo (Cinder): 1 vs. Mike N Ike 25 (Thunder): 3
Raven is Raw (Spinal): 0 vs. UA Bass (Spinal): 3
F3 Sleep (ARIA): 3 vs. UA Charbok (Hisako): 2
HW MackMane (Orchid): 3 vs. HereticMAGICMAN (ARIA): 1
Mike N Ike 25 (Thunder): 3 vs. UA Bass (Mira): 2
F3 Sleep (Aganos and Maya): 3 vs. HW MackMane (Sabrewulf and Fulgore): 2
Mike N Ike 25 (Thunder): 2 vs. F3 Sleep (Kilgore and ARIA): 3
It has been a long time coming, but F3 Sleep has finally won a Grand Finals to become our KrossUp Week 7 champion! This achievement comes one week after his hard-earned victory at the KI World Cup. We congratulate him for not only adding to his streak, but for also locking himself in for the KrossUp Season Finale on April 15th!
Additionally, UA Wheels and UA Bass are guaranteed to compete in the finale, regardless of how the final week of the series turns out. See below for the updated rankings.
With the top three players locked in, 4th – 8th place are up for grabs. With the points still evenly spread out across the lower half of the rankings, the possibilities are plentiful. Stay tuned to this blog for an update where we indicate the players who still have a chance to qualify for the finale!
Were you not able to catch the live broadcast? Not to worry, we have the archive set to go! Check it out.
If you are uncertain about participating, perhaps this will convince you: with one win in the KrossUp series, MnT Letalis and HW xXHOLOGRAMXx were immediately propelled to the Top 8. That alone tells you that with five spots up for grabs in the finale, a new face could come by and surprise us at the last minute. That new face could be you, so if you play Killer Instinct we heavily encourage you to sign up for Week 8, which will be the final opportunity for players to add points to their name!
Note: KrossUp is restricted to North American players only. If you are from outside of the country, we advise you to check out King of the Ring, hosted by both Stream.Me and The Dutch Brawlers. Like with KrossUp, cash prizes and league points will be up for grabs! Should you have any questions, contact StreamMe or TDB at their Twitter pages.
Thanks to JagoBlake and Mr Aquaman for casting Week 7! They will return this Saturday to experience the roller coaster ride yet again, as we hope you will as well! Good luck to all players competing…and FIGHT ON!
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