HARA @RewindFGC wins Kombat Cup S2 Week 12!
The final week of the Kombat Cup Season 2 preliminaries has come to a close! We’ve had almost twenty-five weeks of non-stop Kombat Cup action since near the end of last year, so you’d think that it would have exhausted its supply of mind-numbing hype right now…but not so! Upsets are abound, gods have ascended and others have become fallen Elder Gods (shout-outs to Shinnok players)! Read on for the results!
DaddyDab32 finally breaks into Top 8 territory this week to take on Semiij, using a character that the community has lost hope in – Jax. Although his pressure game is tremendous, his eagerness to throw out unsafe overheads leaves him at the mercy of Semiij. His distinct lack of lows adds to Semiij’s defense against him. Dab manages to crack a hole in Semiij’s armor but leaves all the damage on the table, thereby creating a snowball effect that led to his first loss. Dab immediately goes to Killer Leatherface to try a new approach. Most would have been thrown off-kilter by the abrupt changes in Dab’s offense, but Semiij responds lightning quick to his staggers and ghetto mix-ups, even teching a throw that would have extended the second match. A quick B2 1 follow-up puts Semiij ahead by two games. Flustered, Dab falls back to Wrestler Jax and adopts an up-close approach once again, only for his finger to slip off the block button when he is forced on the defensive. Semiij immediately capitalizes on the hit-confirm, ending his combo with a throw to prevent Dab from using his Breaker which would have saved his tournament life. Semiij cleans it up 3-0 to make his way into semifinals!
Next in line is Echo Fox Sonic Fox versus Forever King, the latter having been signed by Circa eSports recently. Known for his array of characters, King decides to use Grandmaster Sub-Zero to utilize the threat of the clone, forcing Sonic’s Cassie to play at a slower pace. However, King fails to establish any control over the speed at which Sonic plays the game. He plays unusually defensively without punishing any mistakes from his adversary. After a quick first loss, he goes to Sorcerer Quan Chi in an effort to compensate, but the situation is no different. Clean jump-ins pulverize mis-spaced fireballs, combos are dropped, and raw wake-up normals do not elude punishment. King is completely unable to regain any footing against the Fox, and so he is eliminated from the Kombat Cup 3-0.
The onslaught of Cassie Cage does not end there, however. It continues through HARA Rewind, who faces off against Noble Tweedy’s Kenshi for the right to make it into semifinals. The two have had a back-and-forth history throughout the Kombat Cup since their encounters in Konquest Season 1. In the case of Week 12, the matches are extremely one-sided in favor of Rewind. He pummels Tweedy non-stop with relentless mix-ups thrown in with staggers, even blowing up the armored EX overhead using his EX nut punch’s invincibility as a countermeasure. Tweedy quickly comes off his meter, a decision which penalizes him on the defensive side as he is now without Breakers to use, and all his efforts to teleport himself into attacking distance are met with flipkicks on reaction. After two consecutive losses, Tweedy finally manages to get Rewind under control in the third game’s opening round, but Rewind immediately tosses Tweedy back into the blender. Tweedy escapes a chip-out situation and fights for his life, only to meet his end when a reversal Glow Kick clips him mid-pressure. The Kombat Cup witnesses another convincing 3-0 as Rewind proceeds to Top 4!
This may be a tournament for a video game, but for the closing match in quarterfinals, the game is up. No more 3-0s. Instead we see a vicious struggle between STB Deoxys and Noble Dragon, two of the most recognized Kitana players in the league. However, Deoxys opts to try out Full Auto Jacqui Briggs as his answer to Dragon’s Impostor Shinnok, only to be kept at bay by a practical brick wall. A sequence of chip damage closes the first game in Dragon’s favor, prompting Deoxys to switch to his Assassin Kitana. Both players bust out all the footsie tools in their arsenal to seize control of the mid-range from the other, such as Hell Sparks, fans, shoulder charges and Kitana’s F2 normal. Soon Dragon becomes hesitant to anti-air and Deoxys takes full advantage, tying up the set 1-1. Dragon then decides to meet Deoxys head-on in the Kitana mirror, except with a different variation (Royal Storm). Usually known for his calculated and defensive play, Dragon actually finds himself losing in the zoning battle and dropping conversions from his anti-airs. His mis-timed meaties also cause him to eat wake-up jabs that lead into full combos. Deoxys moves into a 2-1 lead and Dragon decides to make a final stand using Bone Shaper Shinnok. It is at this moment that Deoxys finally begins to bring the parry into play, but Dragon’s low-hitting options bypass it. The match quickly ends in a win for Dragon, putting both players at set point. Realizing the futility in his parry option, Deoxys makes a variation switch to Royal Storm and adopts a more fireball-oriented playstyle, since Bone Shaper does not have access to Impostor’s teleport option. It all boils down to a final round, as Deoxys manages to force his aggression onto a hapless Dragon. Although Dragon consistently challenges and/or defends against Kitana’s float-based offense, he eventually oversteps by trying to continue after a blocked d1 only to meet a counter-poke B1 4 into a full combo. As Dragon recovers from the knockdown, he looks for a throw attempt but is caught in a final blockstring that brings a well-earned victory to STB Deoxys!
As Big D best describes it, the first match of semifinals tells a tale as old as time itself. With both players completely guaranteed to make the finale, SonicFox and Semiij are merely struggling for seeding at this point. For whatever reason Sonic starts the set immediately with a jump-in that gets him juggled for damage. The first round is lost quickly as a result, but the fox breaks free from Semiij’s corner game to waylay him with a powerful neutral game. With no armor on her EX Flipkick, Sonic decides to sneak some EX Glow Kicks into Semiij’s blockstrings to make him wary of his meter. An unusual development is that Semiij appears hesitant to use the MB Fade…perhaps he’s been fearing Sonic’s awareness of the option? Whatever the case, the times he decides to use it typically locks him out of his Breaker, which hinders him in trying to fend off Sonic’s aggression. Sonic and Semiij consistently block each other’s ranged normals while fishing for an opening, a sign of the awareness both players have of each other’s arsenals. Sonic typically fails to complete the winning combo but makes up for it with inescapable blockstrings. All three games are close, but the absence of wake-up EX Fades catches up with Semiij in the last round, leaving him vulnerable to a loss by chip-out. SonicFox eliminates Semiij 3-0, continuing the streak of one-sided outcomes for Week 12!
For the second half of semifinals, HARA Rewind introduces his Crystalline Tremor to the Kombat Cup as his answer to Deoxys. Although Assassin Kitana’s parry would discourage Tremor from recklessly approaching with his six-frame F1 blockstring, Deoxys instead opts to defend and wait for his opportunity to poke out with his D1, as well as armoring through Rewind’s overheads the instant the start-up becomes apparent. Rewind tries to mount a comeback in Round 2 only to be sliced up like butter. Unfazed, he pulls yet another surprise character out of his sleeve: Flame Fist Liu Kang. His gameplay with the character appears somewhat shaky as he low-profiles Kitana’s wake-up but is still clipped by the follow-up NJP, but fortunately he makes up for it and clutches out the second game with an armored flying kick in response to Deoxys’s approach with F2. Deoxys himself decides to change things up by going to Spec Ops Cassie Cage, but he soon comes to regret that decision as Rewind unleashes horrifying combos, some of which are spawned from conversions off of either pokes or blockstrings that also serve a purpose as anti-airs. He even challenges Rewind’s advantage despite being forced to block missile set-ups.
With the set now in Rewind’s favor, Deoxys repeats his stunt from his set with Dragon by going out with Royal Storm Kitana for his final stand. At first he takes a commanding lead, but with Flame Fist, all that is needed is a damage buff and one touch just to make a whole life bar melt away. The first round soon goes to Rewind despite an impressive start from Deoxys. Deoxys repeatedly tries to impose his domination only to be armored in retaliation. After being anti-aired several times for trying to jump away from Liu Kang, Deoxys bets it all on a wake-up, but Rewind stops his run at a distance to make the attack whiff before going in for the kill. Rewind takes it 3-1 over Deoxys to meet with SonicFox in Grand Finals for a runback from Week 11!
Having briefly edged out the Fox in their last encounter, Sonic decides to run the same character match-up as before for the sake of a true rematch, except he goes to his Brawler variation while Rewind immediately locks himself to his iconic Displacer Raiden. Rewind plays a bait-heavy style by whiffing attacks before throwing out EX Vicinity Blast, a tool with an enormous hitbox and tremendous frame advantage on hit and block. Brawler Cassie’s grappler style mixed with her footsie options fails to fluster Rewind, who blocks the grabs accordingly and punishes for heavy damage as well as corner carry. Sonic looks for the EX Vicinity Blast after he finds a knockdown, but Rewind catches him off guard with a normal throw instead, taking the first game. At that point, the fury of the Fox boils to the surface, and the next two games are practically a bloodbath. Sonic takes a page from Rewind’s book by negating Rewind’s reversal with the invincibility frames of his EX Nut Punch to keep him trapped in the blender, eventually performing a Brutality where Raiden literally loses his head.
In spite of the Fox’s renewed ferocity, however, Rewind’s composure is unshaken. Fox’s growing confidence pushes him to start the fourth game with a jump-in, a decision that practically costs him an entire round in the blink of an eye. The reintroduction of the EX Vicinity Blast in Rewind’s baiting strategy throws the Fox for a loop, as does the frustration of Raiden’s F4, which is +6 on block, crushes lows and travels a considerable distance. Even with Cassie’s B1 at his disposal, Sonic has difficulty contesting such a powerful option. The two scramble to poke one another for the sake of utilizing subsequent hit advantage so that they may apply their mix-ups to their opponent, but such trades are favoring Rewind at this point, giving him enough momentum to push the set into a fifth and final game for the week. Sonic’s decision to wake up with a flipkick leaves him with little to no meter to work with against Rewind’s control of the entire screen. When Rewind teleports in, Sonic reacts with a D1 only to be caught by an EX Vicinity Blast that leaves him at the mercy of a D1-Shocker blockstring. With not enough health to survive, SonicFox is eliminated once again by HARA Rewind 3-2!
1st – HARA Rewind
Prizes: $250 and 150 league points
2nd – Echo Fox Sonic Fox
Prizes: $100 and 125 league points
3rd/4th – Semiij
Prizes: $50 and 75 league points
3rd/4th – STB Deoxys
Prizes: $50 and 75 league points
5th – DaddyDab32
Prizes: 50 league points
5th – Circa Forever King
Prizes: 50 league points
5th – Noble Tweedy
Prizes: 50 league points
5th – Noble Dragon
Prizes: 50 league points
Semiij (Mileena): 3 vs. DaddyDab32 (Jax and Leatherface): 0
STB Deoxys (Jacqui Briggs and Kitana): 3 vs. Noble Dragon (Shinnok and Kitana): 2
Echo Fox SonicFox (Cassie Cage): 3 vs. Circa Forever King (Sub-Zero and Quan Chi): 0
Noble Tweedy (Kenshi): 0 vs. HARA Rewind (Cassie Cage): 3
Semiij (Mileena): 0 vs. Echo Fox Sonic Fox (Cassie Cage): 3
HARA Rewind (Tremor and Liu Kang): 3 vs. STB Deoxys (Kitana and Cassie Cage): 1
HARA Rewind (Raiden): 3 vs. Echo Fox Sonic Fox (Cassie Cage): 2
Congratulations to HARA Rewind for not only maintaining his win streak against SonicFox but also becoming the Week 12 champion for Kombat Cup Season 2! Frankly, we could not have asked for a better outcome to close out the twelve-week preliminaries for the league.
Were you not able to catch the broadcast when it happened? Catch up on Week 12 by watching this archive!
With that, it’s time to review the final rankings to determine which players have earned their right to compete in Season 2’s final bracket…
Congratulations to the eight finalists listed above! Each of these players have fought tremendously well throughout the entire season. The storylines they’ve presented on stream will be forever cherished within our hearts for the excitement they’ve brought and the skill they’ve showcased.
As such, these eight players will meet in a double elimination bracket this Sunday at 6 P.M. EST to compete for glory and increased cash prizes totaling a pot of $3,800! More details on the finale will be released in a later post, but for now, make sure you are following the Kombat Cup’s Stream.Me page to be notified of our next broadcast.
From all of us here at Stream.Me, we thank each and every one of you for your amazing support of the Kombat Cup, as well as any and all other leagues you may have entered. Two long seasons of unforgettable competition that will never be forgotten…all of that was made possible by you, the players and the viewers. We hope you will join us one more time to see off the second season with a bang!
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