The leaves are starting to turn brown, there's a chill in the air, and my conker collection is starting to grow again. Autumn is here! And is there any better way to warm up than by taking in yet another excellent bending tournament? Of course not!
I am delighted to be handing the report over to two of my able reporters this month (That's right, I have two
slaves employees now). KevinY3 and MochaGaming, take it away!
Water: MochaGaming, Danger5002, Jakkke
Fire: SuperHaggis123, Pli_, Fire_LordAzula, Cafeman, DeSEPPtion
Earth: MageKingDecisnom, UnicornSeren, FireGeneralIroh, _Gent
Air: CaesarSW4R, MuffledCoin71, EshelD, Swyatogor, Ezenity, BananaVirus
Non-bending: Ajelle, Custoj, Log_As, Steve_Avira, Hoodye, StuckInKarma, MakoAlpha, KevinY3
Ajelle vs. SuperHaggis123: Fire vs. Nonbender has always had a reputation for swinging in favour of the latter. However, with the recent introduction of moves such as kickback and burnout, fire has found itself in a situation where it is more than equipped to deal with nonbenders, but its players are generally too inexperienced to use them to their fullest potential.
The round started off strong, with Ajelle going in for an opening knife. However, he whiffed it, and Superhaggis’ efforts took a surprise turn for the better when he managed to ensnare Ajelle with a series of flame shots and blast waves. His momentum was entirely lost however after Ajelle was able to land a falcon strike on the hapless firebender, leaving him with too little health or confidence to put up a fight. A few chiblocks later, Ajelle stood victorious.
Ajelle moved on with relative ease following a rocky start: a surprisingly excellent first fight for the tournament!
MageKingDecisnom vs. UnicornSeren: Whereas MageKing went into the fight largely as an unknown factor, UnicornSeren was well known both to server staff and the more active PvPers of the server as being an especially new player, among other reasons to believe that she was at an extreme demographic disadvantage.
Both of them subscribed to extremely simple strategies, although MageKing did so more so out of convenience than necessity. Unicorn stood still for the majority of the fight and cast a sandstorm far, far from MageKing. She also aimed into thin air, casting spell after spell before being kicked off the server by lag.
A rematch was called for and set up. This time around Unicorn did somewhat better making efforts to move out of MageKing’s range. However, she once again cast sandstorm as soon as the round began and was forced to stand still as her computer lagged out due to the abundance of particles.
MageKing was essentially allowed to pummel her with every move in his arsenal, completely immune to retribution of any kind. He won by a massive margin, although he must not have felt especially proud of his victory.
CaesarSW4R vs. Pli_: Air has had a very rough year. Between nerfs to spear, dodge, jump and scooter they’ve been hit again and again by server rebalances, leaving them with almost no active players and practically no means of winning an engagement without resorting to the most frustrating and slow-burning of tactics.
At the very least, air remains a viable element to play, as evidenced by the outcome of this match. He was able to entirely dominate PLi_ throughout, using windslam and carry to control his opponent’s position at all times, attacking with practical impunity. For a while PLi_ was able to find his footing and put a few flameshots downrange but it really didn’t matter in the face of Caesar’s overwhelming evasion and control over the hapless firebender.
Ultimately, Caesar seized a comfortable win, cementing himself and his element as true contenders for the championship.
Custoj vs. Fire_LordAzula: This was a round full of surprises and fascinating applications of various different abilities. Azula chose to commit to a completely forward doctrine of combat, utilizing a combination of burnout, flame shot and flame slash to stick to their opponent like glue. Custoj, on the other hand, played a game of tug of war, retreating when his moves were on cooldown and attacking with abandon when he was certain he could deal more damage than his enemy.
A falcon punch and an uncountable number of grenades, knives and blowdarts later (as well as a lot of walking backwards) Custoj found himself the last thing standing in the arena. Kudos to him for an impressive performance!
Steve_Avira vs. Log_As: Nonbender vs. Nonbender is a confusing, terrifying mess of projectiles and what essentially boils down to luck. Who can chiblock first, who can falcon strike, who can land the most proximity mines? All questions whose answers can vary based on the most miniscule of factors, such as the time of day or even the mood of the fighters involved.
Steve’s strategy seemed to be to out-range Log, staying at a distance throughout the match. Log, perhaps too confidently, attempted to approach and land a few moves, only for Steve to unexpectedly turn his strategy around entirely and shoot off every single close-ranged move in his arsenal, devastating Log.
Even though Log managed to execute upon an impressive falcon strike near the middle of the match, it wasn’t enough to turn the tide. Steve_Avira won in grand fashion.
MochaGaming vs. Danger5002: Both fighters embodied their elements by instantaneously choosing to drown in each other’s attacks, tanking and absorbing as many hits as they could while dishing them out in return, each half-confident in their victory. Mocha rapidly had to fall back, however, finding their health bar more black than red.
It was a series of consequential engagements from there, with Danger landing hit after hit while Mocha ran and ran. At one point they attempted to land an ice spear - and a high tide after that - but it was all for naught. Danger’s situational awareness was too great and his DPS too high: he successfully defeated Mocha - although it should be noted that they chose to partake in this fight as a waterbender, rather than as their primary element: non-bending.
MuffledCoin71 vs. Hoodye: This was a done deal from the moment the match began. Hoodye was evasive, protective, aggressive and every other adjective you could apply to nobody but the best warrior in the world. He perfectly countered each of MuffledCoin’s strategies. When the airbender attempted to outrange him, he used knives and blowdarts to pound his opponent. When Coin attempted a windslam, Hoodye chiblocked him and led into a falcon strike to boot. Grenades and proximity mines abound, there was hardly even a hint of resistance to be found against Hoodye’s complete domination of the match.
Hoodye, one of the best nonbenders to have graced the server in a long time, found himself triumphant.
StuckInKarma vs. Jakkke: Jakkke persecuted a long-distance war, utilizing their hardest hitting and longest range moves to stay as far from their opponent as they could, ever conscious of the fact that Stuck could easily bring them down with chiblock, falcon and slash. Stuck, seemingly aware of this, stayed as close as they could, utilizing projectiles to pressure their opponent whenever they were apart.
It was a one-sided match, all things considered. Stuck was simply too aggressive for Jakkke to escape, and so at the end of the day, they were the winner.
EshelD vs. MakoAlpha: Attrition went head to head with burst damage in this battle for the ages. While EshelD had to stay at a distance and use wind carry and air shock to deal most of his damage - coming dangerously close to his opponent at time - MakoAlpha had to rely on chiblock and falcon strike to get any real hits in.
Falcon aside, most of the heavy lifting was done by blow dart and air burst, both of which came out of their respective users liberally, seemingly the only viable avenues they had to deal any lasting damage. Mako successfully landed a chiblock and falcon strike in short succession halfway into the match and for a while it seemed like he’d completely cemented his victory - but in a surprise turn, Eshel managed to dispatch him with wind slam.
A tight and close fight with room on both sides to improve but a stunning display of bending prowess nonetheless.
KevinY3 vs. Cafeman: These tournaments always come down to luck of the draw in the first round. Unfortunately for Cafeman, he got placed against the two time champion and nonbending master, KevinY3. It was over before it started, with Cafe putting up very little resistance. He managed to hit Kevin with a few firebolts, and a flare blitz. However, Kevin's barrage of grenades, blowdarts and throwing knives proved too much for him.
Once hit by a devastating falcon strike, Cafe couldn't recover. He attempted to run and go for a distance approach against his behemoth of an opponent, but it wasn’t enough. He went down to a prox mine and a throwing knife in the end. Kevin took the win with modest confusion, surprised by their victory. You aren't fooling anyone Kevin!
Swyatogor vs. FireGeneralIroh: This battle had to be delayed because Swy spent so long assigning their stat points. Regardless, things went smoothly after the round began, with Swy trying to go for an early air shock, only to undershoot by some thirty blocks. However, with an airburst and punch, they rapidly brought FireGeneralIroh close to death through fall damage. Iroh chose not to take this lying down however and used a sandstorm to ensnare and obliterate Swy, completely annihilating the airbender before they could even leave the radius of the ult.
Ezenity vs. Ajelle: Airbending and non-bending are practically built to match one another blow for blow. Both have shockingly low DPS, high mobility and rely on burst damage to down their targets. What a match this would have been if not for the fact that Ezenity only joined the server a week ago and was completely and utterly unprepared to fight someone as experienced as Ajelle.
In spite of an early windslam, Ajelle controlled his opponent throughout the whole match, using slash to corner him and grenades to throw him around, hardly taking a hit in return except when he permitted it. In spite of a few rough spots - such as when Ajelle missed a falcon strike and a chiblock - he was able to seize the win in extremely long, protracted order, owing to nonbender’s abysmal DPS.
MageKingDecisnom vs. CaesarSW4R: This round was almost entirely devoid of tension. Everyone knew that Caesar would win as soon as the bracket came out, due to the existence of a particular one-combo kill that airbender can pull off with incredible ease and which earthbenders have no chance of avoiding.
It was frankly a tragic affair, watching MageKing struggle against all odds to survive, to bring his name glory in the face of such overwhelming odds. It wasn’t easy to watch by any means, and my eyes were only glued to the screen by the knowledge that MageKing’s suffering would soon be over; Caesar wasn’t one to toy with his opponents, after all, but instead a violent and exacting exterminator of life.
The efforts that MageKing went to in order to hold his own don’t bear description. Projectiles, shatters, walls, nothing even came close to working against the sheer force of nature that was Caesar. There is truly no recompense to be found in the analysis of this match: purely and simply, Caesar crushed his opponent, even in spite of an air-related bug afflicting Caesar which caused the first brawl to be suspended
Nicky_Boi05 vs. Custoj: Custoj, as expected, went for the win-at-all-costs route of throwing a knife as soon as the round began. Both fighters traded blows from there, generally choosing to stay close to one another. They were practically mirrors of one another, both missing their first falcons and hitting themselves with knives. Custoj managed to differentiate himself from his opponent after a minute by landing a chiblock, forcing Nicky to retreat and attempt to recuperate. This was not to be.
Custoj’s intimate familiarity with his opponent’s tells - his ability to discern when a falcon strike or chiblock was about to come out - allowed him to cleanly avoid every major attack, resulting in a bout which was cleanly in his favour. Custoj dispelled any notion that he should be underestimated with this particular performance.
BananaVirus vs. Steve_Avira: BananaVirus was forced to sub in for UROShadow after he failed to turn up. This match began with both fighters focusing on dodging the other’s attacks more than landing their own, making good use of dash and air gust to stay either high in the air or too mobile to hit.
Steve very clearly had the better of Banana about half a minute into the fight however, successfully landing knives and blow darts while Banana struggled to even hit a single spear. Banana tried to adapt, bringing out an air scooter with which to joust Steve, but found that Steve was wise to his tricks, using slash and shield to cancel him out of the move.
It could hardly be called a fight from that point forward: it was more of a massacre, with Steve only needing to wait out his opponent’s scooter in order to land a cavalcade of deadly attacks. While Banana’s performance could hardly be called unimpressive, Steve was unequivocally the superior combatant of the two. Whereas all Banana could do was concentrate on surviving, Steve had time and health enough to go on the offensive. After a long and costly conflict for the two of them, Steve came out the victor.
DeSEPPtion vs. Danger5002: Fire and water, enemies of legend and pure exemplars of what conceptual dichotomies are supposed to be. Truly, could there be two more different elements? Danger stuck to his guns and tried to beat his opponent from range, clearly realising that Sepp’s damage dealing potential far outweighed his own. Thus, he capitalised on water’s greater accuracy and kept his distance.
Sepp, to his credit, knew exactly how to counter the plucky waterbender’s strategy: he used blitz to constantly weave around the arena, staying just out of range of water’s best close-range moves like splash while staying near enough to his opponent to make full use of flame shot and flame slash. In the end, he put too much heat on Danger for him to handle; Sepp conquered his opponent in no time at all. It was a short, punchy and exciting affair: pure popcorn thriller material.
Hoodye vs. StuckInKarma: Nonbenders faced off in this match, each entirely convinced that their own defeat was assured. In spite of this, it was a shockingly close match; Hoodye made use of his entire arsenal. Between sand attack, grappling hook and dash, he was almost impossible to pin down and equally difficult to fight at a distance.
However, Stuck was determined not to make Hood’s victory an easy one: their explosives game was on point, with impact grenades and proximity mines coming out in droves, constantly funnelling Hoodye into avenues of attack or corners. However, Stuck’s win was simply not to be: Hoodye was the one who was left standing when the dust finally settled.
Gent vs. EshelD: Eshel had a massive advantage going into this fight by sheer virtue of his element; air’s one-combo kill was an apparatus of war known to him as well as Caesar. However, Gent put up a shockingly good fight, staying well out of range of his opponent’s attacks while also remaining mobile and, more importantly, extremely accurate. He was able to put down an obscene number of projectiles, almost none of which failed to find their target.
It was almost impossible throughout the match to pinpoint who exactly the victor would be. Between Gent’s unconventional usage of earth surf in order to nullify the knockback of Eshel’s moves and Eshel’s tendency to focus on evasion rather than assault, neither fighter seemed to be taking much damage or dealing much in return. It was clear, however, that Eshel was struggling far more than Gent was, with the earthbender seeming almost casual as he struck his enemy with rock after rock. He rarely, if ever, took even a mote of fall damage.
In the end, it was Gent’s tactics - those which he had perfectly tailored for use against Eshel’s brand of airbending, and especially his one-combo kill - that saw him through the battle, allowing him to make the most of his overwhelming advantage in regards to damage-dealing potential and to send Eshel to an early grave. A brilliant performance from both sides.
FireGeneralIroh vs. KevinY3: Kevin's experience going into this fight was to be the deciding factor. FireGeneralIroh couldn't compete with the aggressive fighting style of Kevin. He attempted to send boulders at Kevin, only to be deflected by shields. He attempted to dodge only to run into proximity mines. His walls were no match for grenades that were sent over them. Kevin was simply too fast and agile to worry about earth's inherently slow speed.
Ajelle vs. CaesarSW4R: Caesar’s heart is a cold and dark place, a lacuna of compassion so cosmically vast that not even an ocean of sympathy could hope to fill it. It is a gourd occupied by nothing but hatred and cold despair; despair for its own miserable existence and its inability to pursue anything but the destruction of all that is innocent, all that is pure, all that is not Caesar.
Ajelle's defence of his life was mighty. He withstood blistering winds, the full brunt of the Aeolian gale Caesar brought to bear. He was a bulwark against the storm, glass shield poised to catch all blows. But Caesar is nothing if not calculating, and he always found a way around. The darts and knives he faced were as familiar to him as the fleeting sense of someone's life fading away beneath his fingertips. He made a casualty out of his opponent, almost uncaring about whatever blows he received in the meantime, knowing that he couldn't lose.
There was nothing to see in this battle, other than the cries and desperate throes of someone being systematically dissected by their opponent. Ajelle was utterly removed from the equation.
Custoj vs. Steve_Avira: Another nonbender vs. nonbender match, one which saw Custoj pursuing aggression above all else like before. Steve was consequently made to run for the entire round, dodging when he could but mostly having to stay content with distant attack, using dash to keep away from Custoj and knives to get some damage dealt.
Custoj was inescapable, landing falcons and chiblocks at every turn while also entirely avoiding any of Steve’s attempts to take the initiative and deal some lasting damage. While it was certainly not a one-sided fight, it was not an especially hard one for Custoj to win either.
DeSEPPtion vs. Hoodye: Sepp had proven himself to be one of the best firebenders on the server in the August tournament. Now, he had to face down one of the best nonbenders to have ever graced the arenas of AvatarMC, and possibly the best nonbender in the entire tournament period.
Both fighters decided to strike first and to ask questions later. The opening moments of the fight saw Sepp moving forward with a flare blitz in order to try to blast Hoodye into oblivion with a solar burst. He missed, unfortunately, and this gave Hoodye an opening large enough to land a chiblock and series of knives, handily putting him ahead in the game.
Things went poorly for Sepp from that point forward, with Hoodye successfully landing a falcon strike and a second chiblock. All it took was a scant few slashes for him to seal the deal, winning himself a place in the quarterfinals.
KevinY3 vs. Gent: A rematch from last month for KevinY3 as they face Gent once again in the arena. Having learned and practiced for this. Early on in the fight, Kevin took a small amount of damage, but retaliated with a well placed falcon strike.
From there, Kevin used Gent’s walls to their own advantage. Throwing Impact grenades and proximity mines over the top, while slipping out from the side to shoot knives and blow darts. Gent kept trying to shackle the evasive non-bending master, only for them to connect with naught but air.
It was a close affair, with moments of melee combat where Kevin simply took away Gents bending and punished him for coming close. In the end, Gent choked on Kevins brutally placed blowdarts, and went down.
CaesarSW4R vs. Custoj: The source of all sin meets the dragonslayer, the paragon with a blade of adamantine and a soul twice as hard. A battle is fought, a signal is fired: the spark of hope flares up - the fate of the world is balanced on a razor edge, all of humanity chanting one name, one cry for justice - but it’s all for naught. Custoj is brought to his knees, the cool whisper of quietus in his ear.
He knows he’s lost, he knows that he cannot avenge those who have fallen before him… and yet he fights anyway. For his own sake, for the sacrifices of all who’ve stood in Caesar’s way, in order to buy time for those who will come after him; he fights, defying fate and its inevitabilities.
“No!” He proclaims with every knife, with every dodged spear. “I will not give up! I will not fall!” His voice is loud, his yearning for justice as bright as a star. His heart aflame, the crowd is seized by morbid optimism. But the Stygian siren call only grows, transforming from a murmur into an all encompassing crescendo, a saccharine and irresistible summons from the other side of the river that all souls must eventually cross. He crumbles there on the sandstone dias, a defiant yell stuck in his throat.
Caesar merely watches. He does not comprehend.
KevinY3 vs. Hoodye: Never before in the tournament have two nonbenders been so close in skill. The battle started with knives and blowdarts from both sides as they strafed each other. Hoodye then managed to pull out a surprisingly early and successful falcon strike on Kevin. They didn't give up however, and moments later pulled the same on Hoodye.
With both sides having taken massive damage, they moved back in close slinging grenades and proximity mines all over the field as they rushed at each other with vicious ferocity. One throws up a shield, deflecting a knife, the other throws a grenade to be dodged with dashes galore. It was a mirror match of such chaos that the spectators could only guess at who was winning at any given moment.
It didn't last much longer however, as Kevin managed to get just a few more of those critical microvictories over hoodye. Soonafter, another successful falcon strike secured victory over the Equalist, and Kevin moved on to the finals with their toughest match behind them.
Custoj vs. Hoodye: The battle for bronze, the chance for each person to make their own name! Glory on the field, nothing to be lost and everything to be gained! Custoj showed off his literally explosive genius, using proximity mines and grenades to throw Hoodye around like a puppet while Hoodye remained almost untouchable with dash and used a combination of knife and blow dart to fill Custoj with holes.
The question remained throughout the entire fight: who would win? What outcome could possibly arise, other than proof that both parties were some of the best fighters to have ever lived and breathed?! Custoj may have fallen but he gained eternal recognition alongside his fellow competitor, Hoodye! Breathtaking nonbenders, the both of them.
KevinY3 vs. CaesarSW4R: Nothing to be said, only to be done. Endless energy, frenetic attempts to seize triumph from the clutches of defeat. Knives, blowdarts, grenades, all useless in the face of Caesar and his ability to turn his victims into marionettes, bearing them on irresistible winds in whichever directions amuse him most.
Chiblock, falcon, both wasted by a combination of tardy action and outright glitches. Nothing came of them even when they landed, not even a glimmer of distress in Caesar’s eyes to assure Kevin that his attacks had any effect. In the face of the only thing left that could even hope to defeat him, Caesar remained unmoved. Malevolence does not fear, it just hates. Caesar, an icon of edacity, lusting for naught but to dispense violence and pain, rendered his most brutal urges upon his opponent.
Things could’ve been better. In a world where just one more falcon landed - and indeed, one was in the works when Kevin expired - the world might’ve seen a brighter tomorrow. But alas, reality has no aversion to tragedy.
There was no glory. No turnaround. The villain won, potential heroes laid out before their feet like wilted leaves in Autumn. Salt running through his veins, ears engorged on begs for mercy, he turned his back on the arena and strode into the sunlight, ready to find fresh prey.
The tournament was over.
And now it's time for a brand new feature, some quotes from the top four fighters!
1st Place - CaesarSW4R: “After shadow didn’t show up for his round, I knew, that I was going to win the whole tourney, I won for him, and eshel, and everyone else who helped me along the way.”
2nd Place - KevinY3: “I was asked to give a quote so uhh… quote? I mean, you’d have to be right bonkers to think that I deserved second place. Honestly, Hoodye should’ve been the one to face down Caesar, not me.”
3rd Place - Hoodeye: "Considering how busy I have been these few weeks I'm happy with how far I got. I was nervous the whole time and it was a ton of fun, good job to everyone who competed"
4th Place - Custoj: "Nonbender v nonbender is always a bit of a coin toss, and with most fighters using nonbender in this tournament I’m surprised I made it as far as I did.”
Just as last month, the duty of handing out the awards fall to me. This is mainly because it's my name on the trophy, ok?
Best Fighter - There are plenty of contenders this month. Hoodye, who did the basics extremely well. Custoj, who had his best run in a tournament to date. KevinY3, who was so close to clinching her third championship.
But the winner has to be the eventual champion CaesarSW4R. They'd put in a lot of work in the build up to this tournament, and it paid off in the best way. They fully deserved to win and will be a contender in months to come, I'm sure.
Best Fight - It's always nice to have a hard time picking the winner for this award, as it means we were treated to a cracking tournament. Gent vs EshelD was excellent, along with both Custoj vs Caesar and Sepp vs Hoodye. The winner though, is KevinY3 vs Hoodye. A fight of the highest quality, between two fighters who really understood their element.
The 'Grand Theft Scooter' Award - They may have only taken part in one fight, and they may have also been a late stand in, but BananaVirus started a trend this month. The sight of Banana zipping around the arena on top of their Air Scooter, a rarely seen move at this level, clearly inspired CaesarSW4R as they adopted it in subsequent fights.
The 'Who was that mysterious fighter' Award - This is less of an award, and more of a question for the readers. The never before seen player 'MageKingDecisnom' was entered by the new Mod, BarelyDecisive. Keen eyed viewers may have also noticed that their skin was a curious mix of Decisive's two best known skins, an orange dinosaur(?) and Raava. What is going on? Does Decisive have a secret alt that she uses for PvP? Is she entering in disguise be avoid being dragged in these reports (again)? Answers on a postcard please, I want to know the truth...
Funniest Moment - Annoyingly, the fights were all a bit too competent this month, so there weren't any true brain fade moments. This award has to go to someone though, and that person is WWWWWWWGMWWWWWWW! One of two stand in commentators this month, his strange tangents and and off-the-cuff remarks were highly entertaining, but it is his impression of Custoj that truly clinched it.
A special thanks to the whole Events Team for their work in putting this tournament on. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make these run smoothly, so raise a glass to them!
Another special thanks to the Twitch team for their stellar work this month. FireLordZuko was joined by Kopk1 and WWWWWWWGMWWWWWWW this month, and the commentary was highly informative, entertaining, and eclectic. Side note, if there are any experts in Sesame Street reading this, please contact W.
I'd also like to personally thank both KevinY3 and MochaGaming for their assistance in putting this report together, it really is appreciated by me.
Massive kudos to Caesar not just for his first place victory, but for also being an incredible sport about how we decided to depict him in this tournament report. He's certainly no fiend outside of the fictionalised narrative that we created to entertain you, so we really appreciate him allowing us to write him like this for the sake of the story.
Finally, a massive thank you to everyone who showed up to take part or watch the tournament! It really is a massive boost for us team members to see so many people online and enjoying the server.
Stay safe out there, and we shall see you all again in October, when things might get a little bit spooky...