Ultimate Fighting Arena
Returning for its third edition is one of Europe’s biggest tournaments of the year, the Ultimate Fighting Arena held in Grand Paris located at 87 Avenue des Magasins Généraux, 93300 Aubervilliers, France on October 4, 2019 to October 6, 2019. True to its claim, the tournament received an entry number of more than 1,100! Included in those numbers are 67 SOULCALIBUR VI players competing to prove their claim as best in the continent.
France's Top Fighters
After a grueling pools which featured a lot of hype-filled matches, only 8 competitors managed to survive and make a last stand in winning the tournament. Included in the top 8 are some of France’s top SCVI players which are Oplon | Skyll, CN | Kira, PULSAR | NOOBICYDE and GO | Keev in the winner’s bracket and agencimmo.com | Saitoh, Abysses | Raziel, ORANGE | Kayane and Triade | DTN in the loser’s bracket. Considering the list of players, this tournament will surely by explosive.
Hoarding the goods
One of the favorites to win the tournament is Skyll, a world invitational player for being considered as one of the best SCVI players in the world and unanimously known as the best Mitsurugi player. Considering his previous win in Kayane Session held last month, everyone is well aware that he is a hard match to fight against. Kira, on the other hand, was prepared.
The first match between these two competitors was unsurprisingly won by Skyll using his regular strategy with his Mitsurugi ending the set with a Critical Edge.
In the second match, Kira stepped up his game by beating Skyll in the first round and second round with his great defense and interruptions. Skyll tried to be aggressive and managed to win the third round. However, during the final round, with the competitors having similar low life and 1 bar gauges, Skyll decided to use his gauge into a SC. Despite this however, Kira hit his powered up opponent with perfect Critical Edge timing to clutch out the win.
The third match started in an even exchange of blows between the two with Skyll winning the first round with ease and Kira getting his own easy win in the second round. The third round however started to be in Skyll’s advantage in the health discussion but with great punishes, Kira was able to hit a rising launcher against Skyll and managed to hit another launcher into a Critical Edge to win the third round. The fourth round featured a hype-filled grind match between the two but with a perfectly timed hit into a Critical Edge, the round ended in a triumphant win for Kira.
The Wild Loser's Bracket
Considering the consequence of being eliminated upon losing in the loser’s bracket and the caliber of players included in the said bracket, this is where the best fights of the tournament occurred.
The loser’s bracket commenced when NOOBICYDE defeated Keev (another top French SCVI player) 2-0 during the set 2 of the winner’s bracket.
The first match-up of the loser’s bracket was between Saitoh’s Astaroth fighting against Raziel’s Voldo. The first set between the two was pretty much dominated by Saitoh getting fast wins with his aggressive Astaroth which even made some great Command Grabs that countered Voldo’s unpredictability. Although the second set Raziel made a gutsy effort of fighting back, Saitoh won the set and eliminated the former.
The next battle would then be between DTN’s Raphael and Kayane’s 2B which showcased an epic offensive clash considering their play-styles. The first set started to be an even fight between the two exchanging two wins each. In the last match however, with 2 full gauges, Kayane did not waste time to use it into a SC and immediately dished out a powered up 2B against his opponent to win the set.
Their second set was pretty much started to be similar with the previous set reaching equilibrium of 2-2. But with his opponent making a huge mistake of dodging Raphael’s Reversal Edge attack, DTN clutched out the win after continuing the RE hit with good mixup combo.
Thus, the last set commenced. The first match started out as a warm-up between the two exchanging hits after hits where it was DTN who managed to hit his opponent with a big one and won. During the next match, Kayane turned up her gear and started to get aggressive while reading her opponents mistakes to dish out some high damaging combos to earn her a win. The third match was again in Kayane’s advantage but with another mistake of attempting to dodge Raphael’s delayed Reversal Edge, she lost. But as it turns out, her attempts of dodging the Raphael’s RE finally paid off during the fourth match, wherein after finally succeeding dodging the said RE, she reversed the match via a Ring Out despite only one or two hits away from being eliminated.
Considering the hype and even matches between this two, the last match likewise did not disappoint. With each character had 1 gauge to use, Kayana used her first into a SC and with it, managed to close down her opponent’s health to two-thirds. DTN then got his turn to use SC and dished out Kayane into a slither of health. But not wanting to back down, Kayane fought back and after managing to his opponent with 2B’s grab, she pushed through a Reversal Edge (which annoyed her the whole set) attempt by DTN and won the set. Can’t contain her happiness, she celebrated for a hard fought win.
Threading a Needle
As unbelievable as it seems, both Skyll and Keev (two of France’s best SCVI players) found themselves in the loser’s bracket early in the top 8 despite starting it in the winner’s bracket. Although still favorite’s to win the tournament, they had to come out in an already rugged bracket.
Starting out at loser’s top 6 were heavy-hitters Keev vs Saitoh. The first set started to be in Keev’s favor by taking advantage of Nightmare’s faster attacks. However, Saitoh, still in momentum in his previous set, made a clutch win during the fourth round to push the set to the last round. During the said round, Saitoh continued the onslaught and even ending the set with an Astaroth Critical Edge finish. Continuing his momentum, Saitoh started out the next set with two straight wins. But Keev, showing everybody why he one of the best, remained calm despite the odds and got three straight dominating wins adjusting his game to a more aggressive play to match Saitoh’s and survived the hard fought match. Finding his opponent intimidated, he continued to dominate his worthy adversary in the last set and won it 3-0 to advance to the loser’s semis.
Next up is Skyll vs. Kayane which played different styles. The first set started out close between the two with Skyll getting the first round. However Kayane got on her groove fast just after a fast RO win during the second round, She then continued to pressure Skyll with 2B’s unorthodox moveset and won the next two rounds. During the second set, after an exchanged of wins between the two, the third round started to be close. But when the round is in its final moments, Kayane took advantage of Skyll’s mistake and hit the latter with 2B’s critical edge to win the third round. She would then need one more to win the set and eliminate the Great Skyll. Unfortunately for her, Skyll finally read her 2B. The next three rounds Skyll started to play more aggressive while timing his distance every time Kayane tried to fought back, this proved very effective and he was able to win despite the overwhelming odds. Although Kayane fought hard during the last set, she had no answer to Skyll’s adjustments to her and she was eliminated.
After these two hype-filled matches were done, it was again destined that Keev and Skyll would face each other in a tournament. First set between the two was pretty dominated by Skyll, showing that he had learned more in his countless matchup against Keev. Keev, in retaliation and not wanting to back down, fought back hard during the second set. However, for all his efforts, Skyll just had his numbers and again swept him in their match like their previous match during Kayane Session.
With all this hype filled and emotional matches between the competitors, only one stands as untouchable the whole top 8 event and that is NOOBICYDE. Might still be remembering his poor performance during the September edition of Kayane Session, NOOBICYDE made sure that everyone remembers he is also among the top guns of the SCVI French scene. His path though was not easy.
His first match of the top 8 was none other than the great Keev and his powerful nightmare, despite the caliber and legendary status, NOOBCYDE was unfazed and with his own powerful Azwel, he not only won the match against Keev, but swept the hulking giant with ease.
His next fight during the winner’s finals was Kira, who was playing like a crazy pirate the whole tournament, bringing both Kayane and Skyll down to the loser’s bracket. But despite his opponents momentum, NOOBICYDE showed that he is an immovable object and with his flawless with his character’s powerful attacks and punishing counters, he overwhelmed Kira and beat the latter 3-0.
His Grand Finals match-up however was not a returning Kira, but a hardened Skyll who got his revenge against Kira during the loser’s finals. But as good as Skyll was during the night, NOOBICYDE again proved why he should be considered as one of France’s best SCVI players if not the best by overwhelming the world invitational player and beating him in a very convincing 3-0 set. It was then shown at the end of the tournament that the human race was saved…flawlessly.