GTG Semiij wins Kombat Cup S2 Week 2!
Week 2 of Kombat Cup Season 2 brings us a combination of returning faces and new challengers, all of whom are hungry for blood! The question is, who will emerge victorious? Read on to find out!
…or check out this archive first before reading.
Noble iLuusions (Warlock Quan Chi) takes on the Week 8 champion from Kombat Cup Season 1, yungmonster12 (Full Auto Jacqui Briggs). The tussles are rougher than a day on the football field. iLuusions finds a knockdown in the first game but mistimes his meaty, leaving him open to the killing blow from yungmonster12. iLuusions takes the second match to the corner in the Outworld Marketplace where he finds an opening with a raw B2 Trance on an unsuspecting yungmonster. He is unable to keep the young brawler trapped in the corner, however, and he guesses wrong on the incoming mix-up which worsens his situation. The result is devastating as his entire life bar is annihilated by a 40% meterless juggle from Jacqui. Desperate, iLuusions resorts to his pocket Grandmaster Sub-Zero in an effort to walk his opponent to the corner. Unfazed, yungmonster guns him down to win the set 3-0!
The next match offers proof that this is the night of Jacqui Briggs, because EXiLE OD FullAuto is next in line to represent the character as he takes on Frozen Acid’s Inferno Scorpion, which is a surprising selection considering that Inferno is regarded as Scorpion’s worst variation. Frozen Acid is on the verge of invalidating that statement, but a dropped hit-confirm costs him his momentum in the first game. FullAuto capitalizes on his mistake to take the match, going up 1-0. Acid immediately reverts back to his primary variation, Hellfire, to take advantage of an increased damage output that stems from the numerous benefits afforded to him by the Flame Aura. However, his reliance on the teleport costs him the second match, giving FullAuto a 2-0 lead. But that serves as the torch that ignites Acid’s fire, quite literally…his execution ascends to ungodly levels and suddenly FullAuto cannot find any chance to poke out of Scorpion’s offense. Before the crowd knows it, the two players are tied at 2-2. The final round becomes a waiting game where neither player is willing to risk it all, but a faulty decision to perform the OTG EX Hellfire while his opponent still has health leaves Acid open to a wake-up attack that closes out the set. FullAuto wins 3-2, avoiding the dreaded reverse 3-0 as a result!
cK RetroTech, a regular from the secondary Konquest series, finally returns to a Kombat Cup Top 8, but the first leg of his journey will not come easy. He must fight the number one seed from KC’s first season: GTG Semiij. RetroTech debuts an amazingly solid Special Forces Sonya, using the drones to regulate Semiij’s movement as well as create opportunities for pressure and mix-ups. However, Semiij dodges the projectiles with well-timed jumps and gradually hacks away at Retro’s defense. A panicked divekick eventually forces itself free from Retro and Semiij capitalizes immediately to take his first win. Retro resorts to abusing his uppercuts in an effort to discourage his opponent from running in and jabbing him, only to fall to an uppercut himself. With Semiij on set point, Retro pins his last hopes onto Brawler Cassie Cage. This pick, combined with immaculate spacing, proves to be a good choice as he finally takes a round off Semiij with a sequence of whiff punishes. However, Semiij immediately turns Retro’s patience into a weakness by reverting to a rushdown style of play that catches Retro slacking. While the third game was a delight to witness, Semiij takes it 3-0 in the end.
This last quarterfinals match would become the second highlight of the bracket. EXiLE OD Atai, a Kitana specialist known for his sense of style, takes on Noble Tweedy, who’d taken fifth place in the KC Season 1 Finale last month. Atai presents a unique approach to the match-up, staggering his offense with jabs, sweeps and occasional pokes in an attempt to force Tweedy off his armored attacks. Tweedy’s defense holds up until near the end when Kitana’s b3 sneaks through, giving Atai his game-winning combo. Atai comes within a pixel-sized reach of a two-win streak, but after blocking Tweedy’s demons at the mid-range, his slide gets stuffed by a pre-emptive crouch normal. Momentum ceases for Atai at that point, giving Tweedy the opportunity to seize the two-win streak for himself. Hope for Atai begins to evaporate, but he finally composes himself halfway through the fourth game by drawing upon the tactic he is known for: his amazing instant-air jump-back 1s and fan attacks, the former catching Tweedy out of a teleport. Tweedy is unable to find an escape route from the corner afterward, and Atai ties it up 2-2. It seems like Atai can do no wrong from there on out, because the last game is all about correct reads from him, including one where he punishes Tweedy’s backdash by tossing a fan after a Rising Fan set-up. Noble’s second elite falls victim to the Edenien Assassin after taking a 2-1 lead earlier on!
The author would like to pause at this moment to acknowledge that it’s a good night to play female characters, as the Top 4 proves. 😉
For the first half of semifinals, FullAuto and yungmonster12 meet for a Jacqui Briggs mirror match. Mortal Kombat XL becomes Call of Duty given their endless exchange of gunfire, with an occasional crouch normal thrown in to duck under the bullets (or to improvise for movement, perhaps?). Jacqui as a character has an insane damage output with and without meter, but that advantage seems to favor yungmonster as FullAuto’s precision continues to fail him whenever he starts a combo. On occasion, FullAuto would backdash on wake-up to avoid the meaty, then he would go in for a punish only for yungmonster to jump back and retaliate with a ground pound to launch his adversary. yungmonster quickly comes with reaching distance of a 3-0 blowout, but FullAuto runs in to tag him with an advancing string only to drop the winning combo! However, he makes up for the drop with a meaty D1 to steal the match, thus putting him on the board. yungmonster gets reckless with a wake-up attack that leaves him open to FullAuto, who’d used his ground pound cancel to dodge and retaliate without mercy. Unfortunately for him, the majority of their tussle takes place in the corner, where he repeatedly switches sides to his own detriment. FullAuto tries to poke out only to be defeated by a vicious counter-poke. yungmonster takes it 3-1 to advance to Grand Finals!
FullAuto’s comrade, EXiLE OD Atai, would make an effort to avenge him at his side of semifinals. Fully aware of Semiij’s passive style, Atai decides to match his passive-aggressiveness with his own. However, when he knocks Semiij down, he drops that tactic in favor of pressing the advantage while ignoring Semiij’s meter, which proves to be a costly mistake in the first two games, both of which are won by Semiij. Faced with the challenge of a reverse 3-0, Atai begins cancelling his pokes into Rising Fans to disrupt Semiij’s counter-poke game while using a bar to create combos. The two gradually edge towards one another while chucking projectiles to cover their advance, only to retreat full-screen. Atai’s abuse of blockstrings into the float aid in whittling away at Semiij’s defense, paving the way for a two-game tie between both Edeniens. Immediately the crowd is on edge expecting an upset, but the fifth game runs an incredibly one-sided course in favor of GTG Semiij, who takes it 3-2!
With the Week 2 crown up for grabs, yungmonster12 (Jacqui Briggs) and GTG Semiij (Mileena) face each other in what would be an explosive Grand Finals, although a convincing first win for Semiij would cause viewers to resign themselves to what they believe to be the inevitable. However, yungmonster quickly turns up the heat. As rock-solid as Semiij’s defense is, even he is left at the mercy of Jacqui’s monstrous mix-up options. yungmonster expertly maneuvers around the map to force whiffs from Semiij and capitalize. Even the MB Fade is shut down as a defensive option as yungmonster punishes it on reaction. Semiij finally becomes pre-emptive with his teleports and rolls to call out yungmonster’s pesky zoning, a tactic that proves effective (not surprising given that Semiij rarely ever gets aggressive). yungmonster traps Semiij in the corner and catches him in a corner juggle that was supposed to ensure him the win, but an interesting decision to not burn a bar for more damage backfires on the Jacqui loyalist in the worst possible way. Semiij steals the match to take it down to a fifth and final game, yet the set already appears to be done as yungmonster’s performance suffers from that huge loss of momentum. The enraged yungmonster tries to pressure Semiij into submission, but his blows keep striking empty air, leaving him vulnerable to full combos. Semiij proceeds to pick him off 3-2 in an astounding conclusion to Grand Finals.
Congratulations to GTG Semiij for not only seizing the victory in Week 2, but also reclaiming his #1 spot in the Kombat Cup league rankings! Having narrowly avoided a defeat at the hands of yungmonster, the target sign on Semiij’s back has grown in size. Can anyone stop this beast?!
1st – GTG Semiij
Prizes: $250 and 150 league points
2nd – yungmonster12
Prizes: $100 and 125 league points
3rd/4th – EXiLE OD Atai
Prizes: $50 and 75 league points
3rd/4th – EXiLE OD FullAuto
Prizes: $50 and 75 league points
5th – Noble Tweedy
Prizes: 50 league points
5th – cK RetroTech
Prizes: 50 league points
5th – Frozen Acid
Prizes: 50 league points
5th – Noble iLuusions
Prizes: 50 league points
Noble iLuusions (Quan Chi and Sub-Zero): 0 vs. yungmonster12 (Jacqui Briggs): 3
EXiLE OD FullAuto (Jacqui Briggs): 3 vs. Frozen Acid (Scorpion): 2
GTG Semiij (Mileena): 1 vs. cK RetroTech (Sonya and Cassie Cage): 0
Noble Tweedy (Kenshi): 2 vs. EXiLE OD Atai (Kitana): 3
yungmonster12 (Jacqui Briggs): 3 vs. EXiLE OD FullAuto (Jacqui Briggs): 1
GTG Semiij (Mileena): 3 vs. EXiLE OD Atai (Kitana): 2
yungmonster12 (Jacqui Briggs): 2 vs. GTG Semiij (Mileena): 3
Sincere thanks to MrAquaman and Kitana Prime for joining us on commentary to enjoy this amazing Top 8 for the Kombat Cup! As a reminder, BigD will join MrAquaman to cast the Sunday preliminaries whereas Kitana Prime will be around every Wednesday to bask in the glory of the finals!
Kombat Cup continues this Sunday at 6 P.M. EST! Go here to sign up for Week 3.
Also, a reminder that we will be hosting an un-boxing of the brand new Nintendo Switch LIVE on March 3rd. Make sure you go to www.stream.me/thegrind to catch this momentous occasion, especially since we’ll be giving one away for free when it happens!
To all who’ve watched or played in the Kombat Cup, thank you! We hope to see you in our next brackets! Until then, follow this blog and the links below to stay updated.
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