Without MysticBill in the picture of the Madison Soul Calibur Community things were very different. There was no guide or person to teach the players how to improve their games. MysticBill was a great person at motivating the players and pushing them to their limits. The gentler jimmypikachuchoi was a motherese type teacher that was nurturing, but not the toughest when it came to teaching the players. Something that jimmypikachuchoi was good at, however, was beating people down and exploiting their weaknesses in fights. Would he be able to defeat the others this time around without the presence of his best friend? Who would push through as the possibly new Madison #2 or #1?
Before the tournament even began drama unfolded as Pouncer had exploded after a comment made by Phil Bond in the 8wayrun thread. Metallix, a Raphael player of 10 years plus, has often made comments that had shown the little self-confidence she had had in herself, often insulting her own skill or self. Although most of the community members knew about this and didn’t say anything about it, Phil Bond was very vocal and brave in expressing his concerns regarding the issue, and in a “tough love” way, asked for her to not be so down on herself, in a more paraphrased way. The comments were blunt, but powerful and caring. This led to a feuding in our community, but after a day to think things through, jimmypikachuchoi was able to get through to Metallix that people only cared about her, and it really hurt the community to see her have such low self-confidence. Phil Bond had given tough love, but if he weren’t a friend he could have just stayed silent and allowed her to continue the negative comments about herself; he did not do that, however, and took a stand to try and help someone out. That shows that he truly cared about her. Would this drama go away or would it affect our seasoned veteran players?…16 Players remain. I’m scared!!!
This week’s tournament only consisted of our league members; no non-members entered this week. There are 22 members of the Madison Soul Calibur League, but only 16 of them were able to make it, making it a perfect 16-man double elimination bracket. Since many of the seeded players from last week were gone, we had 5 seeded players: 1. jimmypikachuchoi, 2. Orange, 3. Ora, 4. Outlaw and Phil Bond. Would the seeds be able to fend off the underdogs, or would the underdogs prevail? In the first blunder of the tournament, jimmypikachuchoi had the seedings ready, when making the bracket, but forgot to spread them apart in the brackets, leaving one quarter of the brackets free from any of the 5 seeded players. He better not make another blunder or perhaps a fashion faux-pas, as the photographer from the Isthmus would be there today, taking action shots of the group members, as well as taking more pictures of some of Madison’s stars, such as Ora and Phil Bond, both of whose attire was given a thumbs up from the styling jimmypikachuchoi. Lokim also had dressed in a nice suit jacket with a blue striped tie, hopefully, in an attempt to try and distract jimmypikachuchoi during the tournament. The leader jimmypikachuchoi has a big crush on Lokim…16 Players still remain.
The tournament would now commence. The 16 players this week and 8 1st round matches were: Kinrogin vs. Outlaw, iKotomi vs. Phil Bond, Shadow vs. Orange, Strakaman vs. MSPLT, Lokim vs. AkumaKaze, Anduril vs. Daners Dorkus, Rignite vs. jimmypikachuchoi, and lastly Ora vs. Metallix in a battle of the Latina female video gamers. In the 1st Round, Kinrogin is paired up against Outlaw, but Outlaw’s experience and solid skills with Patroklos were able to get him into the next Round with little resistance. Outlaw has been struggling with his confidence lately because of Namco’s decision to omit YunSeong and Hwang from the roster of characters in Soul Calibur 5. Only time would tell to see if his confidence had indeed been lifted up. iKotomi prevailed over 4th seed Phil Bond. Perhaps the extra training iKotomi had with jimmypikachuchoi paid off this week as he performed more solidly than the last week. With a newly revived focus, could he be the one to challenge jimmypikachuchoi? In a huge upset, the 2nd seed Orange was sent to the loser’s bracket by Shadow, who was 0-2 going into the fight. Shadow’s online practice with his Ezio paid off as he was able to use tricky tactics and evasive moves to defeat Orange. Winning against a seeded player is a plus in this league. A seed is determined by the previous tournament results standings, and the top 4 players from that previous tournament are seeded. An unseeded player may get bonus points by beating seeded players. In the next match Strakaman redeemed himself, getting his first league win after last week’s 0-2 flop. Could he carry it all the way with his Maxi? One half of the bracket fought, the other half still to compete…16 Players still remain.
In the other half of the draw, Lokim and AkumaKaze were still looking for their first win. Both were struggling with a character, since Lokim’s used-to-be main was Talim and AkumaKaze’s old main character Voldo got nerfed a little. Lokim elected to choose Viola and AkumaKaze chose Zwei. In the end, Viola’s speed overcame Zwei’s spacing. Lokim got his first victory. As Viola uses her Crystal Ball to beat opponents down, would Lokim try to use his tie in the same way to distract jimmypikachuchoi? If he could win one more fight, and jimmypikachuchoi wins 2 matches in a row, it could happen. In a close fight Anduril rallied with his Astaroth to beat a feisty Daners Dorkus’ Xiba. Both displayed great execution, but both were still a little green with their characters, still getting used to the Soul Calibur 5 mechanics and steering away from old Soul Calibur 4 habits. In a rematch of last week’s tournament, Rignite had to encounter the Number 1 Seed, jimmypikachuchoi again, but this time in a 1st Round match. Again, jimmypikachuchoi’s Leixia dominated and gave no mercy for him to do his Yoshimitsu tricks. In a battle of Latina women, Metallix fought valiantly in the her match with 3rd seeded Ora, but wound up short, as Ora prevailed the victor and setting up a crazy 1st seed vs. 3rd seed match against jimmypikachuchoi. Would she get her revenge? 1st Round Loser’s bracket was next…16 players, 12 men and 4 women remain.
In the 1st Round Loser’s bracket Rignite was paired up against Metallix and prevailed. Daners Dorkus was able to get her first win by defeating AkumaKaze. “I don’t think I’m going to use Zwei anymore.” said the former Voldo player. It seemed like he would stick with Voldo from now on as Zwei’s lack of speed was not working well for him. In another upset, the 2nd seed Orange went 0-2, losing his next match, this time against MSPLT. With a baby along the way, perhaps this father-to-be might have entered his last Soul Calibur V Tournament. Only time would tell. Phil Bond knocked Kinrogin out of the tournament. “Hey here are some moves that you can use with Raphael. It’s basic, but these are some of the fundamentals that you will be using with him.” jimmypikachuchoi said to Kinrogin, as he made sure he tried to help one of the new members of the community. At the end of the 20 weeks, there is still that “Most Improved” Award that will be given out. Perhaps Kinrogin will be the nominated one…12 players, 10 men and 2 women remain.
In the 2nd Round Winner’s bracket iKotomi defeated Outlaw by outplaying him. Outlaw’s new counter-attack strategy that he just developed worked for a little while, but wasn’t able to carry him through t the next round. His use of Patroklos’ A+B was good in the beginning, but as iKotomi caught on, A+B was not good against Pyrrha’s 66K, or kicks, or highs or 236 B, and made sure to exploit Patroklos’ weakness with this attack. But that was not the only problem for Outlaw. He was not able to create enough pressure to intimidate iKotomi. That in combination with hardly breaking any of Pyrrha’s B-throws proved to be big factors in his loss. In 2 surprising matches, Shadow surprised Strakaman with his Ezio, and Lokim avenged his loss against Anduril, defeating him this week and going 2-0 at the start of this tournament. He would set up a date and possibly scheme to use his charm now to defeat jimmypikachuchoi, should jimmypikachuchoi be able to beat Ora. In a super close match, with rounds ending down to the wire each time, Ora almost won against jimmypikachuchoi. However, the inability to look at her meter cost her the match, for she had enough meter to use a Critical Edge on jimmypikachuchoi’s Leixia because she had just launched her, but instead only went for the easy guaranteed damage 236B, allowing a final momentum shift with jimmypikachuchoi turning the fight around and winning. In several instances jimmypikachuchoi thought it was over for he was not able to react in time to Pyrrha’s 1AA, a slow low, then mid attack. In the end he was blocking it better, but even with the win, he was still frazzled at his shaky performance…12 players remain.
In the 2nd Round Loser’s Bracket, Outlaw beat Rignite, Daners Dorkus, Ora’s longtime girlfriend lost to Strakaman, Anduril convincingly beat MSPLT, and in a destined battle, Ora had to fight Phil Bond. In a completely one-sided match, Phil bond was not able to produce the goods, as he allowed Ora to just attack and attack, not ever giving her a chance to switch to defense. It was apparent that it was difficult for Phil Bond to adapt to the new Siegfried, since his moves were almost all the same from the last game. He would have to go back to the drawing board and rework some new ideas or strategies. His confidence may have been shaken after some tough losses online. In the next Round of loser, Outlaw again lost to Strakaman, this time in Soul Calibur 5 while a determined Ora beat Anduril…6 players, 5men and 1 woman remain.
In the 3rd Round Winner’s, iKotomi easily beat Shadow’s Ezio tactics, while in a closer fight, Lokim was not able to charm his way to victory, as jimmypikachuchoi ignored all the outer interferences, even a “hot blue tie” and “hot-blue glasses,” items that wore him down thinking about it. Lokim’s mix of unfamiliar low hits was working well, until jimmypikachuchoi started to block them. Now Lokim would have to fight Omari aka Strakaman. This also set up an all Asian Winner’s Finals again…6 players still remain.
In the next rounds of the loser’s bracket, Strakaman had to go up against a reenergized Lokim, a player who had been completely gloomy at the end of the Soul Calibur 4 Series. In a close battle of ring outs and tricks and shenanigans, Strakaman rang himself out to finish off the first of 3 fights. His Maxi’s awesome Bruce Lee-like flying jump kick broke Viola’s Soul Gauge, which would have then allowed him to ring her out, but he was too they were too close to the edge, and he ended up losing that fight off of a technicality. In the next 2 fights though, it would be a battle of who could use more tricks than the other. Strakaman rallied on to win in a hard-fought match. Ora made quick work of Shadow, causing Shadow to cower in fear against any Pyrrha player. In a rare 5th-6th place fight, Lokim barely beat Shadow to secure 5th place and win 5% of the 5th place pot, which would be …$2. In another ugly outburst, Shadow cursed his way out, not through words, but through body language. He was clearly upset at not winning the $2…4 players, 3 men and 1 woman remain.
In the Winner’s final, iKotomi showed little resistance against a more refreshed jimmypikachuchoi, dropping the difficult combos that he normally was able to do consistently during last week’s tournament. jimmypikachuchoi, however, was also not at his best, dropping combos, and buffering Critical Edges too late. Overall, jimmypikachuchoi was more consistent than iKotomi, and would await a winner in the Grand Finals. It wouldn’t be a Jimmy-Bill match up, but it would be an exciting fight nevertheless. In the last 2 loser’s bracket matches, Strakaman beat Ora in the first fight with his new Maxi tricks that many people are not familiar with. His defense and battle aura were stronger too, but in the 2nd fight Ora turned it around by loosening up and playing her game, winning the 2nd. In the 3rd, Ora looked unbeatable in the 1st round doing damage left and right to Strakaman, but in a turn of events, Strakaman pulled through to win that round, and the next 2, giving him the best 2/3, and preventing the multiple Soul Calibur 4 winner from getting her first taste of victory in Soul Calibur 5. Who would win in the Loser’s Finals and go up against jimmypikachuchoi? iKotomi has been having trouble beating him, while Strakaman in last week’s fun mini doubles side tourney beat jimmypikachuchoi twice. Anyone’s game at this point…3 players remain.
In the Loser’s Final, it was quite clear that this would be a battle of wills. Neither fighter, iKotomi nor Strakaman would give up until they emerged victorious. In a spectacular display of exchanges and pivots, Strakaman had iKotomi on the ropes, ringing him out, and using Maxi’s barrage of loop attacks, which seemed to have better properties than the last Soul Calibur. iKotomi used power and punishment with Pyrrha and Pyrrha W to go up against Strakaman. With Strakaman having the momentum throughout the match, iKotomi decided to switch from Pyrrha W to regular Pyrrha. His plan seemed to work as he was able to level it back to even 2-2. In the final fight Strakaman nearly beat iKotomi, and was very close to victory, while iKotomi was nowhere near close enough to win the final rounds, but iKotomi was able to fend off Strakaman and face jimmypikachuchoi in a 4/7 Grand Finals. In order for iKotomi to win this tournament, he would have to beat jimmypikachuchoi 4/7 times twice. Will he have the mental stamina to overcome this Leixia player, or will Leixia’s abusing WSB BE be the end of iKotomi? 2 players remain.
In a final battle, iKotomi was already a winner. Since he was a Tier 2 player and had the highest ranking of the Tier 2 players, he was guaranteed to get part of his entry fee paid for in next week’s Milwaukee Tournament “Elimination Chamber.” Would he be able to make it a double win-win situation? In a great demonstration of nerves by both ends, it seemed like anything could have happened. iKotomi chose Pyrrha and Pyrrha W, while jimmypikachuchoi elected to pick his main character Leixia. Both players are good practice partners, playing hours of casuals against each other. The question would become who would wait out the other patient person, out turtling them? That would ultimately decide the winner. From an execution perspective, neither player was at their best, with jimmypikachuchoi dropping Critical Edge (CE) Combos, wasting full bars of meter in the process, while iKotomi was not punishing everything and reacted slowly to Leixia’s slow attacks such as 44aB, or her 2B+K which leads to QS and a good chunk of damage. In the end after about 15 minutes of back and forth rallying, jimmypikachuchoi ended up on top and improve his record in this league to 10-1. Is this player unstoppable? After his loss, iKotomi provided some thoughts about what he could do to improve his anti-Leixia strategies and stop this madman from going on a win streak. “A+B the 44aB on reaction, just guard if on point and have meter. Just guard quake stuns…You can just guard 1KK to make it 236B punishable, but 1K standing B becomes hard to block. Jimmy is really good at beating people that are impatient, and I’m terrible at turtling...” Good luck with your strategies, iKotomi, and good luck to jimmypikachuchoi, Outlaw, Strakaman, and Ora in the upcoming “Elimination Chamber” Tournament…1 player remains,…jimmypikachuchoi.