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