Grand Finals Set 2: Zinoto vs Salem
Diddy Kong vs Bayonetta
Probably the most iconic character match-up in the Midwest, but instead of Tyroy’s pre-patch Bayonetta, it’s Salem. Salem’s neutral, slow play is the defining feature of his play. The problem is, Zinoto is also known for his slower, methodical play style. The two clash in strange, but well-thought out scenarios. To avoid being simply naired to death offstage, Zinoto ops to use the fact he can control his Rocket Barrel angles to avoid Salem. Salem catches Zinoto’s aerials, jumps and strings with Witch-Time and with Bat-Within, allowing hard punishes wherever Zinoto is slightly too slow. This is a textbook match-up and set. Learn up.
Final Destination 11
Winners Finals: Ito vs Elegant
Metaknight vs Luigi
In a match-up that would be expected to be a slow grind as Meta Knight tries to approach a fireball happy Luigi, Ito and Elegant multiply everything by the 1.5x button. Both players are fast. Ito’s conversions aren’t just the standard multiple up airs to up b or aerial finisher, but down throw tornados for an easier 28%. When he does convert, it’s often with one or two up airs only around 70-80%. Elegant somehow makes Luigi’s combo game appear faster. He often doesn’t have stage control, but from anywhere, he can suddenly even up a deficit. This is a fast paced game with a ton of action as neither player is willing to let their opponent leave their threat zone.
Winners Semifinals: Oisiitofu vs Ranai
Greninja vs Villager
It’s Japan. Names are popping up everywhere. Oisiitofu’s Greninja isthe epitome of patience. Even in game 1, he simply waits for Ranai to press a button and hits him again. Ranai is forced to change how he approaches his disadvantage as a whole in order to close the percent gap between them. He still wins gaame 1 with a jab>axe, but Oisitofu looks like he shook Ranai. Game 2, Oissiitofu begins swinging. On final destination, Ranai has less landing and escape options than the game 1 stage of battlefield. He takes full advantage of this added corner pressure. He takes the game, after a down-tilt knocks Ranai too low for a fair, but just in the right position for an air dodge read Shadow-Sneak. Game 3, both players have adapted and show everything they have in order to move onto winners finals.
Grand Finals: Ranai vs Earth
Villager vs Pit
Game 1, stock 1, Earth makes Ranai look like a standard villager. He reads his jumps, catches his nairs, reads every ledge option after edge option, and takes his stock with a standard grab out of shield after a nair. It’s precise, by the book, and makes Ranai look like he lost some of his aggressive, creative options. Then something clicks. While down a stock, Ranai fights back, nearly taking the game by covering all of Pit’s jumps and strikes where he must land. Game 2, begins in a deficit. He loses the first stock and takes moderate % on his second stock before taking Earth’s first. Again, Ranai turns up. Earth can’t approach. He can’t escape. He can’t land. Whenever Ranai lands a jab, it turns into a 60+ percent conversion. Earth did he is best to mix-up, but to no avail. Game 3, Earth has more fight in him. He finds tight angles amongst slingshots and lloyds, but Ranai is still showing dominance on the stage. It ends with a whiff jab into a 1 frame turn around jab>axe on the baited out drop shield. This is the best set of the weekend. Ranai is back.