Noble @Dragon_FGC wins Kombat Cup Week 4!
By far, Week 4 of the Kombat Cup’s second season has proven to be the most exciting! Not only would we see the crown go to a new winner, we would also witness a triumphant moment where a longtime MKX player overcomes his greatest demon to win the whole tournament.
Last week’s champion, Semiij, would take on HARA Rewind in the opening match for quarterfinals. After a brief scramble, Rewind lingered at the edge of victory in the first game only to be dragged into the abyss by a remarkable comeback from Semiij. Although Rewind backdashed Semiij’s blockstring before it could chip him to death, his EX Teleport brought him within range of a poke that destroyed his pixel of life. In retaliation, Rewind begins teleporting non-stop in an effort to force misplaced inputs from Semiij. He begins playing a tad too reckless, leaving himself open to Semiij’s B2 and F4 launchers. Two bold B2 overheads from Rewind, one of which is cancelled with an EX Teleport to begin a combo, award him so much damage in the final match that his victory in the first round seems imminent, but a teleport brings him right into the path of Semiij’s jump-in, leaving him unable to escape the chip damage that leads to his defeat. Semiij emerges victorious 3-0 to proceed to semifinals!
Sadly, Circa Destroyer is unable to defend his spot in the Top 8 due to technical issues, so Echo Fox Sonic Fox advances by default while his comrade Scar accepts a rematch with Noble Tweedy. Scar’s mix-ups deliver to him his first win on a breakfast platter, but a dropped combo in the second game leaves him at the mercy of Tweedy. With both players reset to neutral by a breaker, Scar tries to throw out a slide to pick up the round, but Tweedy reacts with a teleport to punish his impulsive decision. As the Kenshi specialist rains down blockstrings on his opponent, Scar becomes timid about reacting to the teleports, instead opting to stay defensive. He finally fishes for a poke from Tweedy and tries to counter only to eat a demon to the face. With the set tied at one win apiece, Scar instantly switches back to Sonya Blade to trap Tweedy with his arsenal of grenade set-ups. Tweedy is completely unable to dissect Scar’s strategy in the next two games, leaving him with little to no choice but to take risks when trying to escape offense. Scar runs right past his demon army to mix him to death in the corner, and his unstoppable momentum propels him to a 3-1 victory over his opponent!
It’s not often that a zoning battle is presented as a lop-sided match-up, but Noble Dragon’s Kitana manages to frustrate Sacky’s Quan Chi into committing to reckless decisions such as a Sky Drop meant to counter a fan toss. Kitana recovers fast enough to block the attack and counter for the win. Her air-to-air capabilities also shine in the second game, but Sacky finally finds an opportunity to create his hard-to-block setups and abuses it. Unfazed, Dragon walks him to the corner where he proceeds to rush his opponent down. Quan Chi’s lack of a decent reversal leaves him vulnerable to the staggering chip damage from his foe. Dragon eventually finds a chink in Sacky’s armor and obliterates his life bar with a deadly series of juggle combos. However, Dragon is kept at bay through the entirety of Game 3, forcing him to jump in an effort to close the distance only to leave himself open to trip guards. This setback does not weaken his momentum, much to Sacky’s dismay. The Summoner eventually bets his life on a Sky Drop in another effort to stop Kitana’s zoning, only to be blocked and punished yet again. Dragon’s savage side comes to the surface as he teabags Sacky without restraint before he closes out the set with a 3-1 victory!
The tournament is at its semifinals and already one of the greatest rivalries born in the Kombat Cup has bubbled to the surface! Echo Fox Sonic Fox takes on GTG Semiij in an effort to remind him as to why he took the throne in Season 1. After a brief service interruption in the first game (which was won by Sonic), we see him defeating Semiij’s air-based offense with reactive flipkick anti-airs. Semiij actually finds himself not trusting in his ability to out-space the fox, a fact made evident by his refusal to commit to his B2 string despite having tagged the fox in a moment of vulnerability. Sonic almost gives up momentum when he fails to OKI Semiij in the third round, but he manages to clutch it out by forcing a temporary stalemate and then finding the right moment to connect a crouch normal into the Glow Kick. Semiij remains unable to attack him from the air in the third game, leaving him with little options in the neutral. He finally becomes desperate enough to cancel a sai with a blockstring only for Sonic to land one last punish that sends him out of the Kombat Cup in a very one-sided fashion! Sonic takes it 3-0 to proceed to Grand Finals!
Meanwhile, Echo Fox’s Scar meets Dragon for a match that would exceed our expectations. Dragon is quick to leave Scar guessing his options while throwing in slight delays and shimmies to obscure his patterns. After a desperate EX Teleport steals the round from Dragon, Scar finds a punish on Dragon’s throw to turn the tide, but Dragon knocks him down and then mercilessly pressures him until he gives into the urge to Fade. Having thrown a meaty poke to check the Fade, Dragon is able to recover quick enough to punish the wake-up and take Game 1. Scar immediately makes a switch…to Sektor? Some suspect he passed his controller to Sonic as Scar definitely does not specialize in the ketchup-colored cyborg, but their doubts vanish when Scar proves that he is just as competitive with this variation by punishing Dragon’s teleports on reaction with startling consistency. A failed anti-air almost costs Dragon the game, but a wake-up EX Shoulder repels Scar’s pressure and closes out the match in the younger prodigy’s favor. Switching back to Smoke, Scar stands ready to punish Dragon’s repeated overhead attacks for full combos. Scar also notes his opponent’s courage in challenging his staggers, so he counters this strategy by cancelling a full string into an EX Smoke Bomb to receive an opportunity for the killing combo. In spite of this setback, Dragon repeatedly steals Scar’s Smoke Bomb and adds it into his own combos to reinforce his mix-up opportunities. With one last overhead, Dragon eliminates Scar 3-1 to meet his nemesis SonicFox in the Grand Finals!
Like a wolf pack, the two circle each other cautiously, waiting for the correct moment to strike. Then the first fireball is tossed and the chaos erupts. Dragon continues to find mileage off his overheads while Sonic refuses to let Shinnok’s teleports fly. The neutral consists of back-and-forth advancing strings between the two with neither player truly overpowering the other. Sonic eventually takes the first game while calling in Smoke for a Brutality, but Dragon responds back with a courageous read where he runs in, stops just a short distance from his opponent, and throws out a Hell Sparks to catch Sonic in the act of pressing a button prematurely. Dragon follows up with an unbreakable to tie up the set 1-1. Dragon blocks a jumpkick but fails to scout out the follow-up air dash which leaves him vulnerable to a meaty overhead. One last combo leaves him with too little health to endure an incoming interactable at the Outworld Marketplace, and so Sonic ascends to tournament point with a 2-1 lead over his adversary. However, Sonic becomes too greedy with the air dashes and Dragon is quick to punish him for almost all of them. Despite the wake-up EX Flamethrowers, Sonic finds himself trapped in the corner by an unending barrage of Hell Sparks. The fox eventually crumbles under the pressure, leaving both players at another stalemate. Dragon teleports so low to the ground that Sonic is actually unprepared for it, leaving him with little choice but to guess against his opponent’s options while blocking. Dragon performs quick run-ins before throwing out lows that launch the fox into juggle combos. Sonic tries valiantly to mount a comeback only to be out-zoned, out-read and out-pressured into oblivion!
It has been a long time coming. Between SonicFox and Dragon, their tournament history shows an insanely one-sided record in favor of the Fox, but the curse has finally been broken. Huge congratulations go out to Noble Dragon for breaking the fox’s hold over him to become the Kombat Cup’s Week 4 champion! A legend has begun anew!
1st – Noble Dragon
Prizes: $250 and 150 league points
2nd – Echo Fox Sonic Fox
Prizes: $100 and 125 league points
3rd/4th – Echo Fox Scar
Prizes: $50 and 75 league points
3rd/4th – GTG Semiij
Prizes: $50 and 75 league points
5th – Circa Destroyer
Prizes: 50 league points
5th – Noble Tweedy
Prizes: 50 league points
5th – HARA Rewind
Prizes: 50 league points
5th – TTT Sacky
Prizes: 50 league points
GTG Semiij (Mileena): 3 vs. HARA Rewind (Raiden): 0
(Circa Destroyer is unable to participate, so Echo Fox Sonic Fox advances by default)
Echo Fox Scar (Smoke and Sonya Blade): 3 vs. Noble Tweedy (Kenshi): 1
Noble Dragon (Kitana): 3 vs. TTT Sacky (Quan Chi): 1
GTG Semiij (Mileena): 0 vs. Echo Fox Sonic Fox (Cassie Cage): 3
Echo Fox Scar (Smoke and Sektor): 1 vs. Noble Dragon (Kitana): 3
Echo Fox Sonic Fox (Sektor): 2 vs. Noble Dragon (Shinnok): 3
Noble Dragon has been one of the most consistent players to hold his own in the first season of the Kombat Cup, but he’d never been able to close out a bracket in his favor. He has finally achieved that victory in the second season! Will he be able to defend his throne for the second week in a row?!
Tune in tonight at 8 P.M. EST to catch the Week 5 finals, which will be cast by Mr Aquaman and Kitana Prime! Sincere thanks to Big D for joining Aquaman this week to oversee the Sunday preliminaries which have paved the way for this amazing Top 8!
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A gracious thank-you to all of the viewers who continue to show unending love for the Kombat Cup! It’s been a pleasure to bring you week after week of the non-stop hype and we plan to continue that tradition tonight! We hope to see you back this Sunday to play in Week 6!
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