The Gaoling Bending Tournament Report: October 2020

2020-11-04 03:34:59 +0000 UTC by QuietDove

The month of October brings us as spooky surprise in the shape of a double elimination doubles tournament, which I do realise isn't that spooky. What is spooky though is the excellent decorations that adorned the arena this month, expertly built by TurboClicks and maerchky.

Once again, I am delighted to hand over to KevinY3, who has summed up yet another excellent tournament.

Teams Direct Link
  • YaguraKaratachi (water) and s3ventys3ven (earth)
  • FireLordIzumi (nonbending) and CaesarSW4R (fire)
  • CodyCoyote123 (fire) and SkeletonXF238 (air)
  • Martdamp (earth) and Custoj (nonbending)
  • StuckInKarma (water) and EnforcedSun (air)
  • Fire_LordAzula (fire) and UROShadow (water)
  • Ezenity (water) and UnicornSeren (fire)
  • BananaVirus (air) and SgtCrabbyPepper (fire)
  • GrandLotusRohan (earth) and Porku (nonbending)
  • NeutrinoBoi (fire) and Log_as (nonbending)
  • TheChestLord (earth) and ShiningEmmy (fire)
  • 17Jlede (air) and Alternius (earth)
  • Spugeti (fire) and DeSEPPtion (fire)

First Round Direct Link

CaesarSW4R and FireLordIzumi VS. YaguraKaratachi and S3ventys3ven

The round was an absolute trainwreck from the word 'go', with two opposite and equal forces coming to blows in what was undoubtedly one of the most confusing matches we’ve ever had in the arena. There was an outpouring of fire and water as the two thermal elements dominated the visual stage. Izumi and S3ven stayed on the sidelines for the most part and trying to earn precise, clinical strikes inbetween the unrelenting barrages of Yagura and Caesar, the strongest competitors in the match. Izumi was forced to stay near the fringes by his own moveset, as almost all of his moves had the potential to severely hurt his own teammate.

Caesar went down after a minute to Yagura, failing to overcome the sheer firepower (pun intended) of water. Izumi landed a falcon strike on S3ven, managing to win himself a nice amount of damage, but was forced to go on the run from there, barely hanging on by a thread. Ultimately, Yagura dispatched him with one final splash; not necessarily a surprising result, considering that earth and water are undoubtedly the best elements right now.

CodyCoyote123 and SkeletonXF238 vs Martdamp and Custoj

In the words of BarelyDecisive, “this is going to be a massacre”. Martdamp and Custoj have each had their own second-place finishes in tournaments before this one, and there was no doubt that the pendulum swung in their favour at the beginning of the match. The start of the round saw a few cheap shots coming out from Mart and Yangchen, with a pebble and a knife taking a chip out of their opponents’ health.

While Skeleton duelled Custoj, seemingly without much success - he floundered for almost half a minute, landing no hits and taking a huge number in return - Martdamp pursued Cody, taking only a few weak hits in return. It was an extremely one sided battle, with Martdamp and Custoj switching opponents midway through.

The dynamic duo of Yang and Mart were just too much for their relatively inexperienced opponents to bear. It was a slaughter, just as Decisive had predicted.

StuckInKarma and EnforcedSun vs. Fire_LordAzula and UROShadow

Just before this fight was supposed to get underway not only did the stream crash, depriving us of Caljitsu and Decisve’s dulcet tones, but the event server itself did too, booting everyone as their computers bugged out with all the particles created by Martdamp’s sandstorm, which he cast at the end of the last round.

Right out of the gate, there was an incredible outpouring of moves, with Azula and Shadow choosing to go on the absolute offence, not caring about their own lives nor that of their teammate, with each of them knowing that they had an unequivocal advantage in both skill and firepower. Stuck, while using water - easily the best element for unrelenting offence - had been partnered with an airbender, who couldn’t put out any damage or perform any combos against their extraordinarily mobile opponents.

The arena was red and blue: there was hardly a hint of resistance to be seen from Stuck and Sun, although they managed to hold out for an impressively long while, with Sun even managing to trap Azula in a wind slam at one point. However, their victory simply was not to be; the cards had been stacked against them from the very beginning. Sun went down to a fluke shot from Azula - she’d been aiming at Stuck - and Stuck was taken down soon thereafter, this time by a headshot from Azula. It was a great showcase of both sides’ skill, not only demonstrating Shadow and Azulas’ complete mastery of their elements but also Stuck and Suns’ abilities to hold on in the face of insurmountable adversity.

Ezenity and UnicornSeren vs. SgtCrabbyPepper and BananaVirus

Ezenity and UnicornSeren were definitely crowd favourites going into this match. The adorable duo were inexperienced, but they had the backing of the entire server on their side; nobody wished to see them fall. Pepper and Virus, meanwhile, went into the matches as unknown factors, with Pepper making their first tournament appearance in living memory and Virus having a reputation for relatively mediocre performances in combat.

The opening moments of the fight were punctuated by Pepper firebombing themselves, casting an ultimate nowhere near the other team, Seren diving into his ultimate while it was still active - despite being far away when it started - and Ezenity running into a corner, not realising he needed water to use his best moves. He tried to heal while being shot at - an interesting tactic - while Seren stood around and used Dragon of the West on thin air, apparently trying out moves even in the middle of the match.

Ezenity attempted a high tide: a bold stratagem perhaps, except that it didn’t come close to landing. Seren went down quite early, perishing to an air shock, leaving Ezenity to try to pick up the pieces. It wasn’t long, though, before he joined her in death, trying to heal even until his last moments.

GrandLotusRohan and Porku vs. NeutrinoBoi and Log_as

There was no question of who had the advantage right out of the gate. To be more specific, Porku, the absolute legend - the unchallenged best PvPer on the server even after months of inactivity - had made a return in glorious - perhaps understated - fashion to the halls of AvatarMC. Log_As and Neutrino, while both experienced and talented in their own right, simply couldn’t stand against Porku as his equals.

At the beginning of the match both nonbenders threw out a knife, although both missed without their opponents even moving. Apparently, they were overtuned to their environments, predicting their enemies’ moves when their enemies hadn’t even decided on step one of the game yet. Neutrino held the core of the arena for some time, taking advantage of fire’s ability to spam attacks to push Porku and Rohan to the fringes, but they came back strong and landed a terrific combo on him, forcing him to reevaluate his tactics.

Rohan and Porku stuck close and tried to cover one another’s backs, largely engaging the person who was attacking their teammate. Neutrino and Log, meanwhile, simply made every effort to deal as much damage as they could in as little time as they could; this strategy seemed to give them the advantage for the majority of the round but out of nowhere, Porku killed off Neutrino with a falcon strike, and then Log with a blowdart in short order. Still yet to find a worthy opponent, he proceeded into the next round of the tournament.

Losers Bracket Direct Link

StuckInKarma and EnforcedSun vs. SkeletonXF238 and CodyCoyote1213

Tensions were high for both sides, as both were aware that they were on equal footing with their opponents; neither of them knew what direction the fight would go in nor what their enemies would do once it began. Skeleton initiated the battle with an incredible windslam but EnforcedSun came back swinging with his own, leaving both on relatively equal standing. CodyCoyote was knocked out almost instantly, however, taking an unimaginable amount of damage from Stuck as water.

The situation was clarified with his death. Stuck and Sun kept up their vector of attack and Skeleton went down in short order.

Second Round Direct Link

YaguraKaratachi and s3ventys3ven vs. TheChestLord and ShiningEmmy

The first was a slow burn from the beginning, with neither side really committing to a plan of attack or an offensive strategy. Instead, they both maintained relatively lukewarm, defensive strategies. Emmy used fireballs to deal most of her damage; a ponderous but exceptionally powerful move. She wasn’t able to match up against S3ven’s incredible DPS and knockback, however, and soon fell back to let Chest take the hits.

Chest and S3ven, the earthbenders of the round, made attempts to outdo the other, both believing that if they could only knock out their main rival, they’d have a shot at winning the whole thing. Yagura was still going strong however, having spent most of the match simply running from pool to pool, dealing little to no damage of his own. He was the sleeping giant, yet to show off his immense skill.

Yagura took a shackle a minute into the match and for a while it looked as if he might go down, leaving S3ven to finish the match on his own, but Emmy died almost immediately thereafter to one of S3ven’s coins. S3ven perished in short turn as Chest avenged his teammate’s death. Yagura immediately set to work dismantling Chest’s defences, using dolphin dive to evade his enemy’s relatively short-ranged attacks and an ice spear to take him out of the game; an elegant and simple way to end the match.

Martdamp and Custoj vs. Fire_LordAzula and UROShadow

The old guard against the new; Shadow and Azula, the forerunners of the next generation of benders and reigning champions of fire and water, against Martdamp and Custoj, each legends in their own time but well past their prime. While Custoj had made efforts to modernise his style of fighting and had indeed proven himself to be an exceptional combatant in the last tournament, Martdamp had no such evolution and was still utilizing an older style of bending that could see him lose the day.

Shadow initiated the battle with an ice cage to trap Martdamp, allowing Azula to get inside the cage and cast solar burst in Mart, dealing huge damage and showing off the two teammates’ complete affinity, with one of them opening up their enemies in order to let their teammate capitalise on their weakness. Martdamp went down almost instantly, dying to shadow less than 30 seconds into the battle. Custoj had wasted his falcon strike early on into the match and hit nobody, and his second attempt to land it also whiffed, as Azula knocked him away with flame blast.

From there, it was a matter of how long it would take Shadow and Azula to win, rather than whether they would. Custoj made an admirable attempt to survive but there was genuinely just no chance of him pulling out a clutch victory: the momentum was just too clearly in the favour of Shadow and Azula. He was taken down before long.

SgtCrabbyPepper and BananaVirus vs. Alternius and 17Jlede

The airbenders played a mirror match, each starting the round with a downward air gust - throwing them into the air - followed by scooter, allowing them to maintain horizontal mobility and to observe the match and determine its dynamic before committing to anything. The non-air competitors, Alternius and Pepper, were locked in a deadly embrace, meeting one another in the field and matching any hits they took with attacks of their own. It was clear, however, that Alternius held the advantage due to earth armour. However, in a twist of fate, Alternius earth-surfed into a wall and suffocated for several seconds straight, taking a huge amount of damage!

Jlede and Virus were, perhaps unwisely, largely landlocked during the fight, spending their time on the ground and casting spear and burst at one another. It was certainly the highest damage tactic, but it didn’t take advantage of any of air’s inherent advantages such as its enhanced mobility and ability to stay far from their enemies’ attacks.

The battle from there was a bit of a kerfuffle, with Jlede dying out of nowhere to a fireball from Pepper, and Virus going down to the combined efforts of Alternius and Jlede.

GrandLotusRohan and Porku vs. deSEPPtion and Spugeti

Earth and nonbending vs. fire and fire. Certainly, Sepp and Spug - rivals for the position of best firebender - were both forces in their own right. Together, they had the potential to become Yin and Yang, filling in for each others’ weaknesses. However, they could also succumb to the natural trappings of their elements and kill one another with friendly fire (in a quite literal sense). In short, they could either massively outperform their regular selves or greatly underperform; nobody really knew what to expect going into the fight which Cal quite rightly pointed out to essentially be the quarterfinals.

Porku managed to knife both of his enemies right as the match started, demonstrating either their slow reactions or a willingness to take a few hits. The arena was practically filled with flames from there, with the firebending duo staying high up in the air to avoid one anothers’ attacks while making good use of blitz and rain of fire to deal damage to their enemies. It was obvious that Rohan had no idea what to do, as earth coin was useless against such mobile and airborne opponents. He spent the majority of the match just running around, sometimes leaping into the air in order to try to earn himself a second or two of reprieve.

Porku was the hegemonic factor of the match however; both firebenders demonstrated a clear fear of him, never going on the offensive except in short, one-second bursts. He was perhaps a little frustrated by the fact that his enemies spent so long high in the air - and therefore out of his range - but when they inevitably came back to the ground, he put out such a colossal amount of damage that they had no choice but to run away once more.

While Spug tried to keep his team in the match, Sepp spent almost a minute simply not attacking, flying around at the top of the arena without contributing to the battle. This left Spug to try to pull a win, something which Porku simply wouldn’t let him do. While Sepp eventually returned to the fray, his attempts to salvage the round simply didn’t work. Rohan had taken a lot of hits but Porku was still fresh, and managed to obliterate Spug from behind with a falcon strike.

But oddly, as a result of a clerical error, Porku and Rohan died to the /kill command partway into the battle! In a shockingly unfair twist of events the match had to be repeated, even though it was obvious that Porku and Rohan had the upper hand for the entire thing.

GrandLotusRohan and Porku vs. deSEPPtion and Spugeti: Take Two!

The second foray; Sepp and Spugeti went into this one a little wiser and a little more aware of what they should and shouldn’t do. Indeed, Porku had proven to them just moments before that they couldn’t just rely on their overwhelming offensive capabilities to see them through to victory, nor could they depend on thor teammate to carry them to the finish line.

Porku and Rohan were at a decided disadvantage, having spent the majority of the last round simply chasing the tails of their mobile opponents, never getting an opportunity to actually read them or learn what their tactics were like. In order to keep Sepp and Spug from just flying away indefinitely, AvatarKorra - the adjudicator and manager of the event - ruled that if either of them flew up to the crystals and spent a considerable amount of time there, they’d be disqualified.

The start of the match saw Rohan pursuing a much more aggressive, much more competent method of assault. He was clearly playing better than he had been before; whereas in the last round he’d been mostly a nonfactor, now he was using surf and shackle and coin to land some genuinely impressive hits against his opponents, holding his own even when Spug and Sepp teamed up against him in an attempt to knock him out of the fight early.

Porku, meanwhile, maintained his composure and focused on supporting his teammate, knowing that he couldn’t involve himself too closely in the brawl in case he accidentally killed his ally. He stayed at the edge of the map and made use of grappling hook, knife and falcon strike to keep the firebenders on their toes, but was taken out by a stunning combo from Sepp, leaving Rohan alone. He seemingly lost his fighting spirit afterwards, putting up only a tepid defence as Spug tore him to shreds.

While I think that we can agree that by all rights, Porku and Rohan had it in the first round, it’s clear that the second match saw Sepp and Spug adapting beautifully to their enemies’ movesets and tactics. Whether they deserved the win is contentious, but their ability to evolve their own playstyles was shown to great effect; a grand demonstration of the difference between the dynamic new style of bending and the stagnant but refined old way of doing things.

Losers Bracket Direct Link

CaesarSW4R and FireLordIzumi vs. Porku and GrandLotusRohan

Lotus and Izumi were both playing vanguard during the battle, taking up the centre of the arena and absorbing hits for their more dynamic, more skilled partners. Porku understood before the fight even began that his main adversary would be Caesar, and so spent almost all of his time trying to deal with the winner of the last tournament, making good use of falcon strike, slash, chiblock and sand attack to deal an insurmountable amount of damage to the target of his adversity.

Caesar, meanwhile, was left playing a defensive and reactionary game, unable to make much of a contribution to the fight while Izumi made every attempt to hold his own against Rohan who, against an enemy who spent all of his time close to the ground, came into his own element (ba dum tss). After an unbelievably long combo from Porku - juggling his target like a tennis ball - he executed Caesar with one final blowdart, just as it looked like he would get away. Rohan, an indestructible wall, killed off Izumi soon thereafter, acting as an incredible frontiersman for Porku; there’s no doubt that Porky’s win streak wouldn’t have been possible without Rohan there to tank for him.

EnforcedSun and StuckInKarma vs. Alternius and Jlede17

Just based on the elements of each side, it was obvious that Alternius and Stuck would be the deciding factors of the match. It started off with a 1v1 between Jlede and Sun, with Stuck and Alternius pelting one another with offensive moves on the other side of the arena.

Partway into the round, however, Jlede got stuck behind one of Alternius’ walls and took a startling amount of impact damage, unfortunately losing more health to his ally than he gained from them being there. To contrast their dysfunctional relationship, Sun and Karma were like a well oiled machine, never getting in each others’ way nor having to consciously avoid one another in order to avoid friendly fire. While they didn’t make any active attempts to support one another, both of them simply being in the arena meant that one of them could run and recuperate while the other one took over attacking duties.

Jlede and Alternius suffered slow deaths to attrition, with neither Sun nor Karma coming close to defeat.

Martdamp and Custoj vs. Ezenity and UnicornSeren

Martdamp threatened to crash the server with sandstorm right as the match began, although this promise of mutual destruction ultimately never realised itself, with him choosing to take the high road and treat his opponents as his equals.

Yet, in the most shocking anime betrayal of 2020, Yangchen turned around and sniped Martdamp as soon as the round began with a blowdart! Mart tried to crash the server with sandstorm but it was to no avail, he was killed by his own teammate! Apparently some kind of agreement had been made behind closed doors, with Custoj deciding that he would kill Martdamp as soon as the match began in order to have a 2v1 against Ezenity and Seren!

Even after that Game-of-Thrones esque twist, Yangchen still had basically every advantage on his side. Seren and Ezenity tried to pull it back but it simply was not to be. They just couldn’t win, even with Custoj alone and wounded. Truly the best anime arc of 2020.

ShiningEmmy and TheChestLord vs. NeutrinoBoi and Log_as

Emmy and Chest wasted no time trying to take the initiative, trying to force Neutrino and Log onto the back foot. Unfortunately, that was where Log shined: he’d always been an incredibly defensive nonbender, choosing to prioritise the usage of knife and blowdart over falcon strike and chiblock; when his enemies were content to just rush at him with utter abandon, he was nothing but happy to respond with his own unique style of nonbending.

The round was quick and decided in the opening moments: Neutrino and Log won without any difficulty.

Third Round Direct Link

UROShadow and Fire_LordAzula vs. YaguraKaratachi and S3ventys3ven

Yag and Shadow are both absolutely unrivalled exemplars of what waterbending is truly capable of. They spent the match almost totally oblivious to the activities of Azula and S3ven, engaging in a pitched back-and-forth that saw each of them utilizing their movesets to their fullest extents. Ice spears, area heals, ice cages and splashes: they went through at least two dozen strategies in a matter of mere minutes, each constantly adapting to the other’s behaviour.

This was one of the most cognitive fights in the entire tournament, with Shadow and Yagura dominating the match with their truly intense head-to-head fight. However, whereas Yagura seemed determined to see Shadow fall, neglecting his teammate in the process, Shadow had quietly been supporting his own side in the background, using area heals to keep Azula in the fight and a high tide to snipe S3ven, killing off Yagura’s ally thereby freeing up Azula to help Shadow take Yag down.

If Rohan was Porku’s shield then Azula was Shadow’s guardian; she spent the entire match keeping S3ven off his back, giving him enough time to defeat Yag and secure them the victory. Truly a masterful display of not just bending prowess but the teamplay that we saw so little of in the tournament.

deSEPPtion and Spugeti vs. SgyCrabbyPepper and BananaVirus

Spug and Sepp knew from the beginning that they didn’t need a strategy to win. Their natural talents won the day for them; Pepper and Virus were desperately floundering while Sepp and Spug were having the times of their lives, flying around willy nilly and using subpar moves like fireball to deal the brunt of their damage, clearly taking the mickey out of their opponents.

In no time at all Pepper and Virus were roasted by their opponents. Now, I’m a fan of roast peppers, but roast virus? Well, to each their own.

Losers Bracket Direct Link

GrandLotusRohan and Porku vs. StuckInKarma and EnforcedSun

Enforced and Stuck went after Porku immediately, with the understanding that Porku had won most of his matches before them by relying on Rohan to tank. It turned out, however, that fighting Porku head on was even deadlier than fighting his partner: as soon as Sun got close, Porku locked him down with a chiblock and laid into him with his entire moveset, leaving Sun on little health mere seconds into the round. Stuck, meanwhile, was chased away from Porku by Rohan, who once against demonstrated his ability to play support by keeping Porku safe from a potential 2v1.

Porku, however, took a great deal of damage from Sun, who windslammed and shocked him before leaving Stuck to finish him off. However, he grossly overestimated his much damage he’d done; when they switched opponents, Porku managed to kill Stuck almost instantly with a falcon strike. Sun made an admirable comeback from there and managed to kill Porku with a windslam, leaving him and Rohan as the only factors left in the battle.

There was massive pressure on Rohan to win. Porku had done most of the work and now all Rohan needed to do was seal the deal; and seal the deal he did, conservatively keeping up his evasion while turning around every now and then to throw a coin or blast Sun’s way. This was what won him the day, as if he had gotten closer, Sun would’ve been able to use his most powerful moves like blast, shock and windslam. Sun went down and Rohan went on having proven that he was more than just a shield.

Martdamp and Custoj vs. NeutrinoBoi and Log_as

If there was any doubt as to whether Custoj deserved his incredible run in the last tournament, it was dispelled in this match, as he immediately broke through Log’s defences and landed a devastating falcon strike, clearly proving that he had analysed Log’s playstyle and learned exactly how to counter it. From there he came out with a series of chiblocks, slashes and knives, always maintaining the attack and never once letting up, knowing that if he allowed Log to get away, he’d never take back the initiative. However, Log proved himself to be a complete monster of a fighter, taking advantage of Custoj’s overwhelmingly forward strategy - and therefore his predictability. He chiblocked Custoj and landed two falcon strikes while avoiding Custoj’s own, allowing him to kill Custoj in short order. Log may not have looked impressive while he was fighting, but he certainly dealt enough damage to see himself through to victory.

Martdamp went down almost simultaneously with Custoj, having spent the match struggling to stand his ground against the ever dynamic, ever aggressive NeutrinoBoi.

Semi Finals (and many losers round) Direct Link

UROShadow and Fire_LordAzula vs. Spugeti and deSEPPtion

Spug and Sepp were both immensely aggressive from the get go, leaving Azula confused and disoriented by all the particles surrounding her. However, they overcommitted to their assault against Azula; Shadow was able to pull Sepp away from Azula and from there it took just a scant few splashes and an ice spear to finish him off. Spug was killed soon thereafter, with Azula managing to execute upon an unbelievable combo that left her opponent reeling. Shadow and Azula may have had a rough start but they ultimately pulled through.

Losers Bracket Direct Link

Porku and GrandLotusRohan vs. S3ventyS3ven and YaguraKaratachi

S3ven underperformed quite heavily as the match began, landing in water and missing several of his hardest hitting attacks. Yagura on the other hand seemed to be well within his comfort zone, showing off his complete mastery of the fundamental concepts of waterbending by always maintaining mobility, jumping from pool to pool and estimating the range of his attacks perfectly, meaning that he landed just about every move that he cast.

Rohan played support, incapacitating Yagura with a shackle and keeping him on his toes with pebble gatling gun, freeing up Porku to recover and let his cooldowns reach zero. However, while Porku was taking a break, S3ven managed to snipe Rohan from a great distance; Porku knew that it was all over. He and Rohan had been the most mutually reliant duo in the tournament, with one serving as the sword and the other acting as the shield : however, none of it mattered in the end. Yagura and S3ven finished the heartbroken Porku off, tossing him to one side as they moved ever closer to what they believed to be ultimate victory.

Log_as and NeutrinoBoi vs. BananaVirus and SgtCrabbyPepper

Following Log’s defeat of Custoj in the last round that he was in, expectations were high going into this one. He did his best to deliver, making good use of nonbending’s staple moves to put out constant damage as the match progressed. Neutrino immediately engaged Pepper and tried to keep him out of the game for as long as possible, keeping up an unending stream of attacks which forced Pepper to backstep and backstep, eventually turning into a full-on sprint away from Neutrino. Virus, understanding that Log would win the match for his side if left alone, tried to keep Log occupied, staying close so that Log couldn’t make use of his long range moves: the ones that he seemed to be most fond of.

Once more, however, Log proved that he was a long-ranged fighter by choice, not necessity. Sun was soon the one who was trying to get away from Log, having been struck by sand attacks and chiblocks. Near the end of the match he managed to trap Log in a wind slam but it simply wasn’t enough to turn the tide. Pepper and Virus were taken down by their respective opponents; this battle was practically two simultaneous duels, with little crossfire occurring at all.

Losers Semi-Final: Log_as and NeutrinoBoi vs. YaguraKaratachi and S3ventyS3ven

After a kerfuffle involving a crashed stream and BarelyDecisive being kicked off the server, the round was allowed to begin. Neutrino spent most of the first few seconds of the match pummelling S3ven against a wall, preventing him from contributing to the match. Log followed up on this beating by using falcon strike against S3ven, meaning that the earthbender had little chance of contributing to the fight afterwards. It was all up to Yagura to carry his side from there, and he did so with gusto, revelling in the opportunity to demonstrate his overwhelming skill. He was able to kill Neutrinoboi in seconds, turning the tables on Neutrino who thought that he could defeat Yagura in a head-to-head brawl. Log_as found some success in his persecution of the battle, staying at a distance and successfully parrying many of Yagura’s attacks, but when S3ven got involved it was all over: he was thrown into a pool of water by an earth blast, trapped with steam explosion and finished off with earth shatter.

Losers Final: S3ventyS3ven and YaguraKaratachi vs. Spugeti and deSEPPtion

The fight saw Sepp AFK at the start of the round, meaning that Yag and S3ven were able to land a painful chain of hits upon him. From there, the momentum was clearly in the favour of S3ven and Yag, who managed to force Spug and Sepp together, preventing them from using their best moves like rain of fire for fear of hitting one another. While Yag maintained his caution, keeping far from any sources of danger and making sure to stay in the pools for as long as he could, S3ven attacked with absolute abandon; their combined assault was too much for Spug and Sepp to bear, defeating both of them almost at the same time.

Grand Final Direct Link

YaguraKaratachi and S3ventyS3ven vs. UROShadow and Fire_LordAzula

What a battle this was, what a struggle had been undergone on all sides in order to reach the final match. Yagura and S3ven had systematically destroyed their opponents in every previous round, making use of sheer blunt force to tear apart the competition. Meanwhile, Shadow and Azula had seen struggle after struggle, constantly having to evolve and rethink their tactics, never once having an easy victory to their name. Yag and S3ven were expected to win, but Shadow and Azula were the underdogs: they’d undergone the most change, suffered the greatest hardships.

The fight was a struggle from the beginning. Yag seemed calm as ever, allowing himself a few slip-ups amidst a torrential outpouring of offensive attacks. Shadow chose to divert Yag's attention from Azula, knowing that in a matchup between water and fire, the hotter element was at a decided disadvantage. Azula, meanwhile, took the opportunity to come into her own and take care of S3ven while Shadow kept Yag - undoubtedly their greatest threat - busy. She was able to pin S3ven in a corner and use a solar burst to wear him down, all while bearing blasts, shackles and coins. She was in the midst of a suicidal gambit and everyone knew it: the whole fight hinged on the outcome of that one fight.

Shadow, fearing that Azula would fall, rushed to his partner’s aid. He had but a second to act; after that, Yag would catch up. With Shadow’s assistance, Azula was able to essentially knock S3ven out of the game: he didn’t die, per se, but he was left with far too little health to keep fighting and no morale to keep himself going. Yagura thought that he still had the advantage but with S3ven incapacitated, Shadow and Azula were revitalized. They turned on Yag with the fury that desperation breeds, breaking through his barriers and burning through his health.

If they had been alone, neither Azula nor Shadow would’ve been assured of a victory against Yagura. Together, though, they were an unstoppable tide, a whirlwind of ice and fire. Where before they had been independent champions, each fighting their own battles, now they were a unit: the Yin and Yang that the whole tournament had been constructed to create. When Yag bolted Azula, Shadow was there with splash to return the favour. When Yag tried to spear Shadow, Azula knocked him out of the water with blast wave. Finally, at the end of the tournament, they truly conjoined and became one entity, one contiguous body motivated by a desire to win.

Ultimately, after a hard fought and long journey, Azula and Shadow stood victorious. On one side, the second firebender to have ever won a tournament and a rising star in the world of bending, who had to struggle with lag and disconnections just in order to participate. On the other, the proven and tested champion of all trades, the man who could now truly call himself master of every element. It was an unimaginable triumph for both of them. As for whether they felt elation, gratification or just a hollow melancholy, we will never know.

The bracket for this tournament can be found by clicking here.

Quotes Direct Link

And now it's time for a brand new feature, some quotes from the top six fighters!

1st Place - UROShadow + Fire_LordAzula:
Shadow - “Which pool!?”
Azula - "The leaf one, not the huge one!"

2nd Place - YaguraKaratachi + S3ventyS3ven:
Yagura - "I know I said I was in retirement, I still am, but I needed a quick buck"
77 - "Ggs , it was fun ,I’m a little surprised we did so well until we kinda choked a bit at the finals(yag carried)"

3rd Place - deSEPPtion + Spugetti:
Sepp - "Green crystals tasted nice but needed a little more salt"
Spug - "That was exhilarating"

Doves' Awards Direct Link

The awards were slightly harder to pick this month, mainly because I had been drafted in to look after the bracket and ended up getting slightly distracted by the stress of it. However, I think I've made the right choices here.

Best Team - There is no individual award for this, how could there be? There were no shortage of candidates this month, with some very high quality pairings on display. The winning pair though, is Spugetti and deSEPPtion. They were the only team to go with the same element, fire, which did limit their strategies. However, they were able to make a hugely entertaining run to the semi-finals, going above all expectation.

Best Fight - The good thing about doubles tournaments, is that there is plenty of oppurtunity for twists and turns in a fight. The winner of this award was always going to be a fight that showed this off then! GrandLotusRohan + Porku vs StuckInKarma + EnforcedSun is my pick. The fight showed promise early on, as Porku laid into Sun, leaving the latter with minimal health, the fight swung his teams way. However, a brilliant piece of work from Sun looked to have turned things around, but Porku showed his quality to avoid being defeated. He countered and swiftly took care of Karma. Sun hit back themselves and defeated Porku shortly after, leaving it as a one-on-one between Sun and Rohan. A fight full of twists came to an end as Rohan grinded away at Sun, eventually coming out victorious. A worthy winner of this award.

The zcvn Fair Play Award - This is awarded to Custoj, due to his efforts to try and give the crowd favourite pairing of Ezenity and UnicornSeren a fair fight, and maybe even a memorable win. Even though Custoj ran out victorious in the end, I'm sure that the losing pair appreciated the gesture.

The 'I wanted more friendly fire award' - This a complaint from me really. The comedy value in a doubles tournament comes from the potential for people to take out their opponents, and yet there was absolutely none of that this time! You've all become far too competent at this fighting thing, please get worse next month!

Funniest Moment - No doubts about this one I'm afraid. AvatarKorra_, making her tournament running debut, made a catastrophic mistake in the SpugSepp vs PorkRohan fight. After Spug fell, the arena appeared to be empty, and team Porku was declared victorious. The normal procedure followed, with Korra killing everyone involved in the fight, to clear the arena. However, she had not noticed that deSEPPtion was flying around the large hanging crystal in the roof, out of sight. Sepp's premature death meant that the fight, which looked likely to go team Porku's way, had to be restarted.

Last Notes Direct Link

The thanks I give to events team in this section are always genuine, but this month they are even more so. Some unfortunate timing clashes meant that a large chunk of the team was unavailable for this tournament, with several other team members needed to jump in at the last minute and take on roles they'd never done before. There may have been a couple of small mishaps (hi Korra!), but the tournament ran as smoothly as any!

So a special thanks to: AvatarKorra, Yellow_Skies, King_Squirrel113, and Kyoshi_Falcon.

In addition, a huge thanks to Caljitsu and BarelyDecisive, who stepped in at the last minute to lend their voices to the commentary, along with FireLordZuko, of course.

Join us again next month for more action, though this time it won't have a theme!


Hall of Fame Direct Link

  • July 2018 - Kaaldr
  • August 2018 - Porku
  • September 2018 - nanook4219
  • October 2018 - _Guru
  • November 2018 (2v2) - Tofu_ and Porku
  • December 2018 - _Guru
  • January 2019 - KevinY3
  • August 2019 - Vincebobogunoosh
  • February 2020 - _Guru
  • March 2020 - Porku
  • March 2020 (2v2) - Porku and Best_Minority
  • April 2020 - KevinY3
  • May 2020 - Jtox17
  • June 2020 - Mystef
  • July 2020 - YaguraKaratachi (Mystef)
  • August 2020 - ShadowKing1255
  • September 2020 - CaesarSW4R
  • October 2020 (2v2) - UROShadow and Fire_LordAzula

Spooky Story Competition Direct Link

But wait, there's more!

You may have been aware that we ran a Spooky Story Competition this month, as it's Halloween. Well, the winning story is below, for all to read. Congratulations to GrandLotusRohan, who authored it:

The door clicked as it locked, and Shu knew he wouldn’t be safe. He heard footsteps, slowly making their way upstairs to his room. He had seconds to hide, for Shu knew the rumors, the story of the cloaked figure who came for benders while they were alone. The story ran through his mind as he saw the first tendril of water creep up the stairs:

Min Li was a respected earthbender of Republic City. One night, during a shining full moon, she decided to take a stroll through a nearby park. The park was empty, just how she liked it, so she could be alone with the earth. She laid down in the soft grass and just admired the moon. When it reached its highest point in the sky, she vaguely saw a cloaked figure with tendrils of water creeping across the ground…

Shu jumped into the closet and held very still. He started to feel an invisible full bringing him out, and he tried to fight back as hard as he could, but it was as if he had no control over his own body. He was brought back into his dark bedroom, and he created a small amount of fire to see who his attacker was. His heart stopped as he saw the cloaked figure, with spider like tendrils coming out of the fabric. The fire was put out and Shu was plunged into darkness…

Startled, Min Li jumped off the ground, 3 boulders circling around her. She started to lose control over her body, the boulders fell to the ground, and she felt an invisible pull on her, bringing her face to face with the cloaked figure. She tried to yell for help, only to realise that she couldn’t. She felt a huge pain in her head, and everything went black. No one saw Min Li ever again, and the only things left behind were some displaced boulders, and water spelling out the word Shadow.

Shu tried to fight the growing pain in his head, and in a final desperate struggle, he set fire to one of his bookshelves, illuminating water on the floor spelling out the word Shadow. The pain became too much, and Shu gave up fighting, never to be seen again.