Penang Esports Festival
The Penang Esports Festival, one of the biggest if not the biggest esports event in Malaysia, was held on September 7, 2019 in the SPICE Arena located at Penang, Malaysia. It’s also the fifth and final battle stage of the SOULCALIBUR Asia League Tour. For this event, 25 players competed in order to earn the final spot at the Asia League Tour Finale SEA Major to be held in Singapore this October. Out of the said 25 players competing on Saturday, 8 of them were able to come through in order to compete for the finals the next day.
LOTS OF FAMILIAR COMPETITORS
The top 8 players of the competition consisted of familiar faces who reached once or more the top 8 in previous battle stages like 575, 0rez, VGD, NeonFaith and InC.SushiPays. | Grimrst. There are also some fairly fresh faces like Baron, SINARKIMIA | Holdmybeer, and Meguseyf. With such a cast of competitors, this tournament will prove interesting and will crown a new battle stage champion either way.
CLASH OF CHAMPIONS
One of the most memorable and intense set in the tournament was the battle between Soul Ignite Champion 0rez and FVCup x SEAM Champion Meguseyf. As their titles suggested, both these competitors do not bow down to a challenge.
First match, 0rez’s Nightmare immediately set the tone with his witty and confusing mix-ups which made Meguseyf’s Raphael suffer three straight ring-outs.
Surprised and even looking frustrated, Meguseyf returned playing his main Groh and did not waste time making 0rez feel the extent of his character’s aggressive play, which managed to get him two fast wins.
0rez however, after gaining ground, immediately fought back and got two wins in return. As for the last round, 0rez had an advantage early on getting a life lead against Meguseyf.
The latter, however, with his 2 full gauges took advantage of 0rez’s mistakes and successfully hit his match-up two Critical Edges which gave him the win and a 1-1 set.
Their last fight likewise was full of hype.
0rez, learning from the last round, took an early aggressive approach and got two straight wins. Meguseyf, not wanting to back down, took back these two losses.
In the final seconds of the last fight, with both competitors having one full bar each and the same amount of life, only one mixup or CE could tip the balance.
In this part, 0rez went to activate his Soul Charge, and with a timed side-step gainst Meguseyf’s attempted Guard Impact, managed to hit the latter with a combo and win the match. Even though these match occurred in the loser’s bracket, both players deserve credit for a great fight.
BARON’S DARK HORSE STORY
In a competition dominated by Nightmare and Groh specialists, a lone Tira player stood out and that was Singapore’s own Baron. Baron, a well-known figure among Singapore’s Soul Calibur players, delivered with a character that’s not used that often !
Even facing odds against SCAL top 8 regulars VGD and Neonfaith with their pop-offs and teabagging, Baron was never fazed and played some patient Tira gameplay to dominate the two.
However, a great challenge awaited him in the next round against 0rez in the loser’s semis.
With 0rez having the advantage in experience and momentum (just winning an intense set against Meguseyf), he immediately pressured Baron and won the first round 3-0. In the next round, Baron showed that he’s never fazed against pressure and changed his gameplay to a more defensive and spacing approach, which was so effective that he won the round against 0rez 3-0.
In the final round, Baron continued the same pressure and finally ousted 0rez with a 3-1 win. His story however, ended against Holdmybeer’s Groh who was more prepared and more willing to adjust to his uncommon main. Despite the odds, this player managed to rack up the 3rd place and even gave us a good glimpse of Tira’s potential in tournaments !
575’S DOMINANCE FELT THROUGHOUT THE TOURNAMENT
575’s Nightmare made a loud statement during the tournament that he is a force to be reckoned with in the league by not only winning the tournament, but doing it in a dominant fashion.
Considering the fact that he went undefeated during the group stage by sweeping both Baron and FlashGawd during said group stage, he continued the onslaught in the top 8 by getting another sweep against his fellow Nightmare expert 0rez.
Not wanting to be stopped, he continued his winning streak by getting another convincing sweep against Groh extraordinaire Holdmybeer 3-0. If not for the valiant and gutsy effort of Holdmybeer during the Grand Finals which gave him a win against 575, the latter could have won the tournament undefeated.
0rez and 575. Photo by 0rez
With 575’s win during the Penang Battle Stage, the 5 battle stages of the SOULCALIBUR Asia League tour is now set and said tour draws to a close with the finals to be held in SEA Major on October 12, 2019. With the invited SCAL Battle Stage Champions Shen Chan, Plruto7, Kamizono, Shiwapon and 575 and other aspiring competitors joining and visiting to compete, these finals will surely be one for the history books of the SOULCALIBUR franchise. Now the question remains : does your soul still burn ?