It took every ounce of focus from Tokido, but he found a way to slow Smug after he rattled off five straight wins over legends of the game. After losing to Smug on set one of the Grand Finals, beating Smug almost felt out of the question and majority of the time the player winning that first final set to reset the bracket leads to a win. This was not the case for Tokido.
For Tokido, handily beating Punk and Daigo in the quarter and semifinals looked and felt like the first part to Tokido easily taking home the ELEAGUE title. Arguably the scariest player with some momentum is Tokido and early on it looked like he would not be denied. Even against a player like Smug who was on an even hotter streak of wins, beating five of the top-10 including Tokido in the first set.
The fact that Tokido was able to calm his nerves, refocus, and win against Smug’s Balrog which was running feverishly downhill on his opponents is unbelievably impressive. It basically came down to outplaying Smug in those clutch, low-health scenarios and Tokido ended the second set landing all the kill combos. It was a combination of methodical offense and not leaving himself open to counter-attacks.
Tokido continues to revolutionize the game with his incredible Akuma play. SMug was the only player able to contend with his damage output on every given neutral exchange today, but it still wasn’t enough to beat the monster that is Tokido.
Top 8 Results
1. FOX|Tokido (Akuma)
2. Rise|Smug (Balrog)
3. CYG|Daigo (Guile)
4. Mouz|Problem X (Abigail, M. Bison)
5. FOX|Punk (Cammy, Karin)
5. FOX|Momochi (Cody, Kolin)
7. CO|Dogura (Urien)
7. FD|Fujimura (Ibuki)
Fujimura Atsushi went on a losers bracket tear to win one of the most prestigious events of the Capcom Cup circuit in CEO 2018. His Ibuki showed up in key moments against the likes of Zhoujun “XiaoHai” Zang, as he turned a losers bracket deficit into a tournament victory. He was the steamroller at CEO, now he looks to come out firing at the ELEAGUE finals.
And similarly to his run at CEO, Fujimura will be fighting directly out of the losers bracket after finishing second in his group behind Daigo Umehara who had a great group stage. The run begins against Smug and will quickly turn to one of two killers in the next round as Tokido faces Punk in round one winners, Fujimura getting the loser.
It’s clear that Fujimura, playing a momentum base character, will look to build on that losers bracket mentality and gain some momentum heading into losers round two. Obviously beating Smug is no easy ride, and could end his day early, but the current number one globally ranked player coming off a hot CEO week should bring more preparedness into the playoffs.
Daigo Umehara’s Path
Whenever Daigo is in serious contention for a tournament win, it’s the same effect Tiger Woods has on golf. The world of fighting games stops and witnesses what this legend is doing on screen. After taking his group, Daigo’s put himself in a prime position to make some waves. He starts off with a friendly draw against Problem X, and if he wins, will face either Punk or Tokido.
It’s safe to assume that most eyes will be on Fujimura and Daigo as the tournament wraps up. In terms of the tournament favorites, I’d start there with these two players. Tokido is also a scary threat, but with how these two have looked recently it feels as if one of the two will take it home. However, all eight players are capable of pulling it off and winning it all.
The one MDVA player in attendance comes into one of SoCal’s oldest tournaments and wins the whole thing. Arjun ‘lloD’ Malhotra wins his second regional of the year beating both Zac ‘SFAT’ Cordoni and Johnny ‘S2J’ Kim to take the Even Bigger Balc title. This win comes after lloD’s highest major tournament placing at CEO last week.
For lloD, it’s his best result of the year. 2018 that has shown him greatly improving his average placing and showing more ability to beat players perceived to be better than him. Back at CEO, SFAT eliminated lloD in a five-game set. At the Even Bigger Balc, lloD made the necessary adjustments and frankly demolished SFAT’s Fox.
In the video above, lloD’s displaying the two aspects of his game that carried him to a victory with Peach. We’ll talk neutral game, but first, we admire his edge guarding. Against Falcon, it was a relentless effort in zoning out S2J and pushing him back into the corner. From this position, lloD earned himself a large number of edge guarding opportunities. Every stock S2J was fighting just to make it back on stage.
In neutral, lloD centered his entire gameplan around setting up garbs. Using turnips to approach sparingly as he relied more on stage position and zoning. In every area Peach needs to hit to win, lloD was certainly hitting. lloD used directional input and the aforementioned stage control to stave off each potential knockout attempt. S2J wasn’t landing any finishing blows, mostly settling for up-air to try and kill at high percents.
It was an impressive showing. lloD being one of the lone players to travel cross country enters the event and leaves a champion. As Evo 2018 approaches, it’s important to be playing at a peak performance level and lloD, at the very least, is revving up for a big July run.
Westballz Out in Losers Round One
Weston ‘Westballs’ Dennis fell out as early as losers round one to local California Melee player Cesear. It’s a noteworthy placing for Westballz as a top player falls out of a seemingly easier tournament than the norm. Now, without seeing the actual reason for his exit, Westballz has taken these SoCal regionals lightly in the past (getting DQ’d at The Bigger Balc in 2017). Whatever the case, losing this early after just signing an extension is not the best look.
Featured photo courtesy of SD Melee TV
Sure, Fujimura tore up the losers bracket and won an absolutely stacked Street Fighter V bracket or Kazunoko pulling off something similar in his win over Go1 on the Dragon Ball Fighter Z side. No, the real winner was us: the fans. We got quite the show at CEO 2018, including a literal wrestling match on Saturday that led into a bonkers Sunday and finishes to the tournament.
As a longtime patron of fighting game tournaments and events, Community Effort Orlando 2018 had a different feel to it. Yes, it’s always had the similar wrestling theme with the individual player intros for top eight, but this year seemed to have more pomp and pizzazz. On top of a ridiculously entertaining tournament, filled with many memorable endings, we also got what could honestly be considered one of the greatest moments in fighting game history.
Now, Infiltration’s always had this hilarious side to his personality dating back to his famous streams back when Street Fighter V was just released. His personality is infectious and that’s why he’s built such a loyal following alongside his incredible talent in Street Fighter. I can honestly say that I was in tears watching this intro. It’s not the only Infiltration, but the announcer’s reaction, Tasty Steve’s reaction, and the crowds all culminating together. A helluva moment that completely overshadowed Infiltrations performance.
On a side note, here’s a number of the most intense sets of the weekend. The most often talked about set of the entire weekend was easily the unbelievably close set between Go1 and Leffen in DBFZ. Hearing Yipes scream the top of his lungs, as the adrenaline from the match takes over is entertainment at it’s highest. Include Go1’s comeback’s in that set and it’s one for the hall of fame.
The next best match, maybe to the behest of Tekken fans who got a show in grand finals or SFV fans who saw a monster run from Fujimura to beat Xiaohai, but the set I’ll remember most is MKLeo somehow clutching out a win against Raito’s innovative Duck Hunt play. The use of the can and his projectile timings brought MKLeo to the brink, but in classic fashion, he adjusted in time to take a close set. However, it was not before putting on a show from the crowd favorite
Featured Image courtesy of CEO’s Official twitch page
Thanks to Reddit user Kenniky, CEO 2018 seeding has been leaked for both Melee and Smash 4 giving us an idea of what the brackets will look like and how certain players are considered in terms of ranking. In terms of any questionable seeding, the consensus on this list is accurate outside of Crush over SFAT, and potentially 11-17 be moved around.
The current seeding will match up players like PwePewU vs Zain, or SFAT meeting Zain in losers. It will also match Zain with Leffen, which we’ve seen before being a problem for Leffen. It also pins mew2king vs Wizzrobe which adds in the Florida crowd, and the possibility of M2K losing to a Falcon-main in front of a large crowd.
So here’s the top 64 of CEO 2018 Melee Seeding (in order):
- Liquid` Hungrybox (Jigglypuff)
- PGRB l Plup (Sheik,Fox)
- TSM l Leffen (Fox)
- FOXMVG l Mew2King (Marth,Sheik)
- Wizzrobe (Captain Falcon)
- PG l Zain (Marth)
- CLG. SFAT (Fox)
- Tempo l S2J (Captain Falcon)
- Crush (Fox)
- OG l Swedish Delight (Sheik)
- CLG. PewPewU (Marth,Fox)
- ALG l n0ne (Captain Falcon,Ganondorf)
- DIG l HugS (Samus)
- lloD (Peach)
- MSF l La Luna (Marth)
- IMT l Shroomed (Sheik,Marth)
- CLN l AbsentPage (Fox)
- Balance l KJH (Fox)
- Balance l Syrox (Fox)
- SS l Colbol (Fox)
- TNC l ARMY (Ice Climbers)
- iBDW (Fox)
- Balance l Ginger (Falco)
- WaR 20GX l Gahtzu (Captain Falcon)
- MnT l 2saint (Jigglypuff)
- DaShizWiz (Falco)
- MVG l King Momo (Falco)
- Cal (Fox)
- OES l MilkMan (Fox)
- FSBR l $mike (Captain Falcon)
- Sharkz (Ice Climbers)
- Drunksloth (Ice Climbers)
- G$ (Falco,Marth,Fox)
- IFF l Excel_Zero (Peach)
- mayb (Peach)
- Zasa (Jigglypuff)
- Articanus (Marth)
- Voo (Falco)
- AMG l Arakune (Marth)
- HB l Gravy (Fox)
- TOX l prof (Marth,Sheik)
- Spiral Cafe l Krudo (Sheik)
- Tylenol (Fox)
- MKSF l lint (Falco)
- MKSF l Ryobeat (Peach)
- Yort (Falco)
- Magi (Falco)
- WSGP l Flipsy (Ice Climbers)
- Thomas Tipman (Ganondorf)
- Stockholm Syndrome (Peach,Bowser)
- KnK l LSD (Marth)
- TGL l Shamunt (Sheik)
- Liquid` Crunch (Fox)
- HIGH TEST l Chef Rach (Captain Falcon)
- Harriet (Fox)
- Flamin Roy (Fox)
- Ridz (Fox)
- Dublat (Marth)
- DR l Lein (Sheik)
- Barraca (Marth)
- Bab (Captain Falcon)
- BIGKID (Jigglypuff)
- Dash (Fox,Falco)
- HiFi (Jigglypuff)
On the other side of Smash token, here’s the Smash 4 top 64:
- FOXMVG l MkLeo (Marth,Cloud,Bayonetta)
- NRG l Nairo (Zero Suit Samus)
- Tweek (Bayonetta,Cloud)
- GRV l Dabuz (Rosalina)
- EMG l Mistake (Bayonetta)
- LiquidMVG l Salem (Bayonetta)
- 2GG l komorikiri (Cloud,Sonic)
- Samsora (Peach)
- MVG l Light (Fox)
- Cosmos (Corrin)
- MSF l Larry Lurr (Fox)
- YP l Fatality (Captain Falcon)
- Marss (Zero Suit Samus)
- bc l Mr.R (Sheik)
- PG l ESAM (Pikachu)
- uS l Elegant (Luigi)
- CaptainZack (Bayonetta)
- Abadango (Mewtwo,Bayonetta)
- DNG l Kameme (Megaman)
- Shuton (Olimar)
- CND l Raito (Duck Hunt)
- Wrath (Sonic)
- Manny (Sonic)
- Rags (Meta Knight)
- IMT RZR l ANTi (Mario,Cloud,Zero Suit Samus)
- falln (Rosalina)
- PG l MVD (Diddy Kong)
- E2C l tyroy (Bayonetta)
- Captain L (Pikachu,Jigglypuff)
- Charlie (Fox,Bayonetta)
- dyr (Diddy Kong)
- BKO l Ac (Meta Knight)
- MuteAce (Peach)
- DA l Sinji (Pac-Man)
- Myran (Olimar)
- EBM l Blank (Sheik)
- GGEA l Karna (Sheik)
- Ozone (Duck Hunt)
- NAKAT (Fox,Ness)
- MVG l ScAtt (Megaman)
- zaki (Kign Dedede)
- LGCY l Sharpyzard (Charizard)
- Pugwest (Marth)
- AMG l 8BitMan (R.O.B.,Diddy Kong)
- LH l K9sbruce (Diddy Kong,Sheik)
- Typo l Sonido (Sonic)
- GRV l Eon (Fox)
- EMGRB l SuperGirlKels (Sonic)
- Balance l Ryo (Ike,Corrin)
- SRC GGEA l Light The Lantern (Zero Suit Samus,Corrin)
- SYN l Miloni (Cloud)
- BxA l Zeta (Zero Suit Samus)
- Kiki (Diddy Kong)
- GGEA FX l Dakpo (Diddy Kong,Zero Suit Samus,Luigi)
- Child (Bayonetta)
- FS l Salt One (Cloud)
- VS l Master Raven (Sheik)
- Rideae (Pikachu)
- Lily l NovaPixl (Lucas,Ness)
- 1upGirlXaltis (Rosalina)
- RiotLettuce (Bayonetta)
- Deluxemenu (Bowser)
- Dath (Robin)
- OES l Eldin (Rosalina)
It’s safe to assume that the Smash 4 event will produce some much more excitement and hype with the number of top players in attendance. CEO 2018 sticks as one of the most sought-after Smash 4 events, that puts more of an emphasis on the Smash 4 side. Outside of Evo and Genesis, CEO is arguably Smash 4’s third most important event of the year.
Taking a look at round 2 finals, the round right before top 8, is a major onto itself. Unlike last week at 2GG: Hyrule Saga, Nairo will be in attendance making a little bit more difficult on Tweek to take back-to-back events. It will be interesting to see if Bayonetta continues her streak this weekend.
Featured photo courtesy of CEO Facebook
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – Nintendo Switch
In Tweek’s most recent results, dating back to the latter half of 2017, there’s a distinct upshift in his overall placings. Since he first dabbled in the Bayo waters at The Big House 7, Tweek has gone on to win four major events with Bayonetta, including the supermajor this weekend: 2GG: Hyrule Saga.
In fact, Tweek’s switch is almost directly in response to Salem’s winning streak over his Cloud. Salem’s Bayonetta eliminated Tweek four times last year and since that time Tweek’s gone 2-0 in the mirror match up and beat him solidly. At Hyrule Saga, Tweek put on quite the performance, handily beating a number of strong opponents throughout the weekend.
With MKLeo bowing out early losing once on Saturday to Japanese Dedede player Zaki, and after managing to reach to reach top eight through the losers bracket, falling to Captain Zack’s Bayonetta in losers quarterfinals. The players who made it through had a rough time dealing with Tweek’s precise Bayonetta spacing.
It’s Tweek’s fourth win of the year, moving into first in the 2GG standings. He continues to improve and more importantly, consistently show up and play a strong game. The number one of the world is still very much up for grabs, and Tweek could be the next player to step into the limelight
War for the Planet of the Apes
SonicFox’s skill goes against the laws of physics. There are only a few players who are able to keep up with ChrisG’s speed and damage output. SonicFox is not only able to stick with Chris G but in the ultimate move of disrespect, is able to beat Chris in his fury-form. After a first set-reset from ChrisG, in which he was pushed to game five, SonicFox had a fairly easy four-game win in set two to take the title.
Beyond The Summit’s DBZF invitational was only a few weeks ago, and despite a disappointing result from SonicFox in the finals, he bounces back to win Northwest Major only a few weeks later. His team of Android 18, Kid Buu, and Cell had little difficulties outside of the finals. The only blemish on his record at Northwest Majors was to Chris G, not dropping around until Grand Finals.
In the matchup with Chris G, SonicFox displayed varying levels of cross-ups with Android 18. The big counter was Tien’s level three air super that catches opponents out of the air. In the bracket reset, Chris G landed a number of these that eventually setup into hard mix-ups on knockdown. The problem was Tien was forced to be used as a comeback mechanic putting Chris G constantly behind in life lead.
Featured image via SonicFox Twitter
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