DreamHack Atlanta 2019
DreamHack Atlanta is one of many DreamHack series headed by the great Alex Jebailey which was held on November 15, 2019 to November 17, 2019 in the Georgia World Congress Center located at No. 285 Andrew Young International Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30303, United States of America. Considered widely as DreamHack’s largest tournament in its series, it has a large number of entrants which is in the amount of more than 1,500 participating competitors in its multiple featured fighting games and tournaments. Moreover, it is a great honor that our game SOULCALIBUR VI makes another return to this great event.
Lesser in numbers but does not lack in talent
Compared with last year, this year received a significant lesser entrant number of 61 players. However, it’s not without its share of talented participants as seen in the players which reached the top 8 whose handle names include Yugo, Impulse, Novastar, Calvinize, Big Boi, LMNY | Cry-Wolv, BxA | Xephukai and AXL | Party Wolf.
The Alpha Wolf
After many significant and epic bouts between all the competitors in the top 8, the one most notable of them in the tournament is the reigning/defending DreamHack Atlanta 2018 champion Party Wolf. All throughout the tournament, his pitch as the Best Kilik player in the world and one of the game’s top players is well heard by making out of the pools undefeated and unscathed defeating different competitors to reach the winner’s side of the tournament. This dominance was still on full display in the first round of the top 8 when he swept Calvinize’s whose Astaroth had no answer to his mastery of Kilik.
In the winner’s finals, meeting him is Cry-Wolv which is the other player in the tournament who exhibited great gameplay (and coincidently a member of the wolf pack) by sweeping up Big Boi in the previous round with his spacing-heavy and cautious Azwel. Despite the hype that their match will be close considering their performances in the tournament and the obvious difference between their characters in terms of strength and potential, it was shown that Party Wolf was on a whole another level in terms of the knowledge of the Match-up when he not only swept Cry-Wolv and his Azwel 3-0 in the set but did it in a commanding 9-1 round sets in which he got 7 straight round wins ending his opponent’s suffering with three straight Evil Kilik BBs in the final round. Adding Cry-Wolv in his list of swept victims, Party Wolf reached the winner’s side of the Grand Finals with an undefeated record and waiting for anyone willing to challenge his flawless streak.
The Apex Predator
While Party Wolf is displaying dominance in the winner’s column of the tournament, another one was also making noise in the loser’s side demonstrating his own kind of dominance. It was none other than Xephukai who reached that side of the tournament early after a close match against Cry-Wolv in which he obviously lose.
Despite starting the top 8 in the loser’s side however, it was shown that on one could stand in Xephukai and his Sophitia’s way in advancing in the tournament. This was clearly shown in his dominant path leaving his victims which are Impulse’s Zasalamel/Nightmare 2-0 in the loser’s top 8, Calivinize’s Astaroth 2-0 in the loser’s top 6 and Big Boi’s Siegfried/Ivy 2-0 in the loser’s semis. For all his efforts, he earned the right to face Cry-Wolv, the player who brought him down in the bracket, in the loser’s finals to determine who would face Party Wolf in the Grand Finals.
But despite the hype circulating in this rematch, it turned out the same as with Cry-Wolv’s battles against Party Wolf. He could not find any answer whatsoever to stop Xephukai’s momentum in their best of five series. Throughout all of their sets (and despite a game crash), Xephukai displayed flawless movements and reactions against Cry-Wolv which was perfectly in rhythm with Sophitia’s game to dominate the set 3-0. Moreover, his knowledge of his opponent’s powerful character was also shown with his perfect side-steps and dodges into devastating counters which not only pressured Cry-Wolv but also overwhelmed him. For this, not only did Xephukai get his sweet revenge against Cry-Wolv, but also earned his spot in the loser’s side of the Grand Finals.
A Finale Between Good Friends and Rivals
The Grand Finals match of the tournament is between former teammates and old friends Party Wolf and Xephukai. With both players exhibiting dominant display of skills the whole tournament, one will need to bow down to the other to determine who will be DreamHack Atlanta’s 2019 champion. Using their mains to start the matches, the Grand Finals commenced.
As close as the two competitors in terms of skills and knowledge of the game, there is one thing that separated them in the tournament that is – the will and drive to win. The initial set between the two turned out to be a fast reset in which the loser’s Xephukai quickly accomplished this feat against the winner’s Party Wolf, who not only could not find an answer or any counter to the former’s barrage of attacks but also fell victim to Sophitia’s flawless movements and perfect reactions despite changing into Maxi in the final match set. Still maintaining his winning streak and managing to make Party Wolf feel his first loses in the tournament; Xephukai started the next set in significant advantage against his friend.
Returning to playing Kilik in the Grand Finals reset, Party Wolf started the 1st round of the Grand Finals reset close against Xephukai. However, their exchange of blows at the final seconds of the match was won by Xephukai. The 2nd round of the match did not turn well again for Party Wolf in which despite performing great, he could not cancel Xephukai’s grab in the last which resulted to him losing two straight. The 3rd round, on the other hand, was won by Party Wolf in which he was able to cancel the pressuring grab attempts of Xephukai which gave him a chance to hit the latter with a low A. Despite showing signs of life though, Party Wolf’s decision to activate Evil Kilik early in the 4th round turned out bad for him as Xephukai was pretty much prepared and punished him continuously with Sophitia’s 66Bs to dominate the former ending the 1st match set with a Critical Edge to continue his streak.
In the 1st round of the 2nd match, Party Wolf started significantly stronger managing to hit Xephukai with his Kilik mixups. However, all his efforts had gone to waste as Xephukai was able to hit him with a 66K in an RO loss. Despite the unfortunate loss however, Party Wolf was unfazed still hitting Xephukai with his attacks which now earned him a close round win. 3rd round, after an exchange of blows between the two, Party Wolf was able to hit Xephukai with 22B into a Critical Edge to have significant health advantage. But a well-timed Xephukai side-step into a Critical Edge to Party Wolf’s A+B attempt gave the former the win. The 4th round featured an exchange of blows between the two with no meter used which was won by Party Wolf showing that he might have found the solution against Xephukai’s clean gameplay. In the final round, Party Wolf made an early Critical Edge to Xephukai which was immediately taken back by the latter when he hit the former with a 66B into a Critical Edge. Party Wolf then played defensive by repeatedly poking Xephukai and with a side step dodge, finally won his first match set (and stopping Xephukai’s streak) by hitting the latter with Kilik’s Critical Edge.
Early in the 3rd match, Party Wolf continued his momentum winning a close 1st round which was immediately matched by Xephukai who won the 2nd round dominantly. In the 3rd round, with both players getting to low health in the final seconds, Xephukai again was able to hit Party Wolf with a Critical Edge after a well-timed side-step, The 4th round turned out pretty much the same story with Party Wolf having an advantage in the neutral match between the two only to fall victim to a whiff punish Critical Edge by Xephukai.
For all Party Wolf’s valiant efforts to make a comeback, he could not totally top Xephukai’s hunger for a trophy in the 4th match, which was the final set between the that is dominantly won by the latter who ended the tournament set with Sophitia’s Critical Edge which he masterfully used to dismantle all opponents who stood in his way.
With his dominating performance the whole top 8 of the tournament and his commanding win over his friend Party Wolf, Xephukai made everyone hear that he is back to take his spot among the top players in the USA and prove also his spot among the best in the world. Finally obtaining his first Major Tournament Trophy in SOULCALIBUR VI, will this milestone of his open the way in accomplishing many more trophies and success in the future? Whatever happens, tonight he showed that he is the best SOULCALIBUR VI by winning DreamHack Atlanta 2019. Much Deserved!