The weekend before Evo, not many large-scale tournaments were hosted. In the Midwest, however, Breakout IV and Midwest Mayhem attracted large entrant counts, making it the place to watch for pre-Evo Smash 4.
Grand Finals: UNV | Marshall vs Fons
Diddy Kong vs Mario
This is a set with outplay after outplay from both sides. Marshall’s edge traps and banana baits keep Fons in check, adding percent after percent until Marshall can finally get a banana or ledge scenario that leads to a stock. Fons keeps up the pace with stronger individual punishes often netting 60-80% off a single grab, up tilt, or landing dair. Where the two players shine is in their situational reads and also how they deal with them. This set is great for moments that look impossible, but somehow lead to one player barely edging it out over the other.
Losers Finals: Pulse | Ryuga vs Miloni
Ike/Corrin vs Cloud
Who has the better sword? Ryuga, now know as a duel main between Ike and Corrin, faces off against Miloni after he lost to him earlier in bracket. Both players take advantage of what the other swordsman is missing. Ryuga, with Ike, gains significantly more than Cloud off grabs and he abuses it. Miloni out ranges Ike and has a projectile. Along with greater spacing and movement, Miloni tries to avoid grabs while also punishing anything that is whiffed. As Corrin, Ryuga uses tricky movement and 50-50 scenarios that trip up Miloni, but without as much threat to his shield, Miloni’s movement and traps are even more effective.
Midwest Mayhem 4
Doubles Losers finals: Zinoto & Ksev vs Ned & Tyroy
Diddy Kong + Fox vs Cloud + Meta Knight/Mario
The Chicago vs Michigan rivalry shows itself in doubles. Through the controlled chaos of doubles, team combos form from across the stage just out of hit-stun or while walling out one of the other players. Synergy wise, both teams have similar levels of awareness on when to stop fending off their 1v1 and help their partner eviscerate the other opposing team. Zinoto and Ksev make Diddy Kong and Fox seem like their hit angles were meant for each other. Ned and Tyroy, using two characters whose vertical hits can can juggle a character alone, combo into shuttle loop after shuttle loop until Tyroy eventually switches to Mario. Awareness is the thing to watch for in this set, and both of these teams know where to be to make the most of their compositions.
Grand Finals Set 2: SF | Hyuga vs Circa | 6WX
Toon Link vs Sonic
6WX has had a rough few months, but Midwest Mayhem proves to be his return to form. Known for an aggressive Sonic, 6WX finally optimised his play and camps out Hyuga whenever he has a lead, always threatening a time win condition. Hyuga; however, looks to trap 6WX in any corner he can. His boomerang placements are the most disruptive element of the set, leading to bombs or roll baits which lead to stocks. Not to be shown up, 6WX proves that he can use Hyuga’s bombs against him to create combos into his own aerials. This is a set of patience for both players. Whomever cracks first often wins each scenario in this set.
Losers Top 8: Pink Fresh vs Darkshad
Bayonetta vs Ryu
The 5.99 battle we’ve been waiting for. Darkshad and Pink Fresh play a classical smash 4 match up. A near dominating neutral game versus immaculate low % kill punishes. The amount of times Pink Fresh brings Darkshad to 140+ percent but dies to a Shoryuken or dair spike setup between 50-60% is surprisingly high. Pink Fresh builds percent so well and shuts down almost anything that Darkshad brings to the neutral. But what Pink Fresh had trouble with was this: rage. Focus to stock take happened in multiple different scenarios. This includes one of the sickest DI mixup I’ve ever seen in Smash 4. This is the best set of the weekend.