Welcome to 2021, and a whole new season of bending tournaments! The stakes are higher than ever before, with a brand new, exclusive, award on the line for the winners of each tournament. Trust me, it's something worth having!
For now though, let's see what our roving reporter, KevinY3 thought of the first tournament of the year...
Water: Mystef, TikTakJack, WarriorMuffin, Connorj222, redacted1, CaesarSW4R
Earth: GrndMageDecisnom, _Gent, _Kakashi69, S3ventysev3n, TheWuseligOne
Fire: Fire_LordAzula, IncognitoSubito, DeSEPPtion, IcedClouds, NeutrinoBoi, SuperHaggis123, MustardShaker, Rook8056
Air: AJHo, EshelD, BananaVirus, Ajelle, its_jeboi
Non-Bending: Custoj, Coffeee, UROShadow, KevinY3
Mystef (Water) VS. Custoj (Nonbending):
Custoj is known as one of the most prolific fighters on the server, with a score of impressive runs in previous tournaments. What played to his disadvantage in this bout was his habit of picking fights against new players and people outside of arenas, leaving him inexperienced against higher grade players and ill equipped to fight under tournament conditions. Even so, he was able to perform admirably against Mystef, quite possibly one of the most terrifying combatants in the server’s history and a notable innovator both in the realms of waterbending and arena design.
They traded quite equally early on, with Custoj making excellent use of smokescreen and proximity mine to seal off all of Mystef’s water sources, leaving him vulnerable to an outpouring of grappling hooks and falcon strikes. However, Mystef was able to snatch a series of microvictories out of this unfavourable setup, coming out of each engagement better off than Custoj might’ve hoped.
These miniscule advantages compounded upon one another until eventually Mystef was able to seize the advantage and unleash a deluge of hard-hitting attacks while Custoj’s best skills were still cooling down.
WarriorMuffin (Water) VS. UROShadow (Nonbending):
Seemingly in indication of each fighter’s combat ethos, WarriorMuffin’s stats were hastily assigned and unrounded while UROShadow’s were perfectly calculated, each a multiple of five and made specifically to counteract anything that Muffin could bring to the table. What shone through in the opening few moments was Shadow’s utter confidence in his approach, sidestepping Muffin’s attacks with ease all while whittling down his opponent’s health, as if of two independent minds.
Muffin quickly realised that they couldn’t hope to control the dynamic of the match and turned tail: it was too late for them to adapt however, and it only took another few attacks for Shadow’s exhaustively honed finesse to overcome Muffin’s reliance on experience and practically subconscious, flowlike style of fighting.
Fire_LordAzula (Fire) VS. Ajelle (Air):
It was somewhat odd to see Azula start with flame shot - long distance loving is not one of fire’s strengths - but it seemed to be to her advantage, as Ajelle struggled to get close in order to unleash his best attacks. After a few seconds of probing, with both fighters still in the middle of reading the other’s movements, they each got in close. Ajelle was quicker on the draw, using windslam to silence Azula, but was himself caught up in a followup solar burst, leaving him vulnerable to firebending’s unparalleled DPS. Without aim nor range being factors, it took mere seconds for Azula to cut Ajelle down to size.
NeutrinoBoi (Fire) VS. IncognitoSubito (Fire):
Incog had experienced a blisteringly quick ascent to fame after winning last month's tournament, making him the more popular - and much more betted upon - of the two fighters. Neutrino, on the other hand, had been in the background of the server’s PvPing history for much of his career, inconspicuously snatching a few victories in previous tournaments and always melting back into the crowd afterwards. Even so, his reputation from his practice against other players in the days leading up to the tournament followed him into the arena, convincing some that they were about to see the tournament’s first real upset.
The subsequent dance of death was a whirling dervish of death and flame, with each having many projectiles in the air at a time and an even greater number of plans in simultaneous motion. It was Incognito who came out of the conflict with the upper hand however, taking advantage of his damage-oriented stat setup and mastery of misdirection in order to categorically outclass his opponent.
BananaVirus (Air) VS. IcedClouds (Fire):
Much like the bout between Azula and Ajelle, both competitors immediately made use of their ultimates in order to try to seize the initiative: a bold, if inconsistent strategy. BananVirus’ windslam was thoroughly beaten by Clouds’ solar burst, after which a short chase ensued from which Iced emerged the victor.
MustardShaker (Fire) VS. GrndMageDecisnom (Earth):
The casters seemed to be thoroughly in the camp of Decisnom before the match’s beginning, touting his greater experience and elemental advantage. They also noted, however, that Mustard had an especially defensive build, taking advantage of protection and vitality to boost his effective health to tremendous levels. He wore these stats on his sleeve, staying close to Decisnom and taking what hits he could head-on so that he could deal some damage of his own.
Decisnom responded to this health-trading style of fighting by playing a very reactive game, landing shatters and earth blasts to punish Mustard for acting so loosely with his own health.
This, however, ultimately gave Mustard the advantage, as his intention all along had been to engage in a straightforward slugfest. Unable to switch up his style in time, Decisnom was baked to a fine char.
EshelD (Air) VS. _Gent (Earth):
Both fighters had bad blood between them, with Gent’s death at the hands of Eshel’s one-hit kill in previous tournaments having been immortalised in the annals of AMC history. Where Eshel treated their clash as just another obstacle to overcome, Gent took it as an opportunity to demonstrate how much he had improved since his last humiliating defeat. Using earth surf he was able to resist all of Eshel’s attempts to deal fall damage to him, simultaneously throwing out projectile attacks that kept Eshel from ever finding stable footing.
Eshel, to his credit, kept his cool and using both windslam and air shock to disorient Gent, dealing chip damage to the unarmoured earthbender who was out of energy less than a minute after the start of the fight. From there the two of them carried out a dancelike routine, neither willing to fall back and be the first to proverbially blink. Gent obviously had the upper hand, completely no-selling all of Eshel’s tactics while wearing him down like a thematically appropriate grindstone.
The match wore on, the audience grew to know what beats to predict: the tedium of it all almost replicated the sensation of being in a Zukologue. Finally, t very long last, Gent was able to finish Eshel off after an agonisingly slow brawl.
DeSEPPtion (Fire) VS. CaesarSW4R (Water):
Caesar was considered by many to be the decidedly more versatile and more generally talented bender, having demonstrated a mastery of all five elements in previous months. However, he had chosen to enter the tournament as water: an odd choice considering the massive disadvantages that the arena’s layout affected upon the element. Sepp, on the other hand, had never even looked away from the eyes of his darling firebending and was therefore by far the more experienced of the two with the setup that he’d chosen.
The match was more energetic than most: Caesar let out a series of creeping ices in order to expand his control of the arena floor while Sepp kept his distance and used a combination of flame shot and burnout in order to persecute Caesar from a distance.
Caesar attempted to counter this strategy with his own long distance moves such as water blast and ice spear but was unable to keep up with Sepp’s airborne maneuvers, eventually succumbing to a sky-high barrage of flames.
Rorrah (Water) VS. S3ventysev3n (Earth):
Rorrah joined the server a day before the tournament. You can probably guess how things panned out for them. Although to be frank, they were able to survive for a staggeringly long amount of time, with the match being the second longest bout in the tournament to that point.
Speaking of surprises, S3ven also took some time out of the round to give Rorrah advice about how to use their element. Absolutely solid stuff!
Connorj222 (Water) VS. CheeseSandwich (Fish):
There is a concept in modern philosophy known as The Sublime. It first entered our species' headspace sometime in the first century AD when a writer who we know today as Pseudo-Longinus coined a name for it. It's difficult to convey what The Sublime is with words alone but it may be thought of as total, transcendental sentiment. The Sublime is not an object but a state of being, something which someone may approach and sometimes grasp for brief, fleeting moments. Various happenings may elicit aspects of The Sublime: the animal bliss one wells up with when they look upon their newborn child, the cerebral awe that a person feels as they look upon the Earth from a great distance, the raw terror of beholding the terminal point of life when so much has yet to be achieved; these are tremendously pure experiences during which everything but the present moment is forgotten and only one emotion is felt, utterly overtaking the subject's consciousness. These evanescent milliseconds - the time it takes for a neuron to fire and fade - make a person sublime.
When Cheese stepped into the arena, the ardour which overwhelmed the assembled crowds put The Sublime to shame. As the leviathan's footfalls echoed in their heads, amplified by a cocktail of chemical fear and adrenaline, a deadening malice crept into their veins and tangled their nerves. The world came to a stop. The internecine feuds of man were forgotten as was all sense of self. Laying eyes on Cheese obliterated all other sensations; it overloaded their senses and psyches such that every other experience in living memory seemed vanishingly insignificant. Nothing dared move. Not the stars, which ceased their oscillations and flares, nor men, who knew that such a being as Cheese - one so gifted with agency and capability - rendered them obsolete through the virtue of his existence alone. All the combined works of humanity paled in beauty and importance to even a single act of Cheese's. This was an entity without boundaries, moral or physical. He was constituted of deprivations: a lack of obligations, a lack of needs, a lack of anything that could be considered a limit.
When you first learnt that things existed outside of your perception - gaining object permanence, as all children of Adam do - you realised that a world of boundless possibility existed outside of your limited perspective. Suddenly, you stopped being the most important thing within your nescient sphere of perception. That minor neurological reconfiguration instantly altered your existential context, changing the way you thought of yourself and of others forever. Cheese elicited a similar reaction. You think of yourself now as an individual, don't you? As someone with goals, aspirations; you are the centre of your own universe. Rarely has the thought ever crossed your mind that you might be unimportant to yourself. Not inconsequential on a physical, cosmological scale - that is a given - but instead, totally irrelevant even to the collection of ideas and remembrances that you know as your own life viewed from a first person perspective. When Cheese alighted from his throne, that belief was dashed against the rocks.
All of us stopped asking questions such as "what am I going to do" or "what's going to happen to me": the very notion of "I" and "myself" seemed laughably immaterial by then. Instead, we could only wonder what Cheese was, what lay behind the eyes of apathetic eternity. We were all reborn, awakened to a glory beyond our reckoning. Undeserving of the attention of this presence, we sat silent like obedient children, watching as something of tremendous magnitude took its place on the arena floor. A geometry of light formed about the formation of ligatures and muscle that he called his hand. He held the image of a fish in his palm. Yet beneath it lay what we could not see, for it was so above and greater than us that it escaped our capacity for observation in its entirety.
He held a barb of the flower of death, a single sherd plucked from the stem of all mortality; that greedy rose which harbours countless avarices and drinks that which exists to feed its roots, swallowing life and warmth and ejecting it as photosynthetic entropy. Its name is Anathema, and its purpose is extinguishment. When I looked upon it something was taken from me, devoured by the black. It was my ability to go back to what I had been before I had seen Cheese. Who I had been at the beginning of the tournament felt alien to me, like a totally different person- no, a totally different type of being altogether. What a miserable existence they had led, bound by the constrictor of sensibility and the chains of logic. Now I was the muse of apotheosis, given up in the name of CheeseSandwich: not a king, god or anything of such mortal inception. Rather, he was himself, a self-definitional entity which authored the terms of its own existence. Unable to be classified, unable to be pigeonholed: he was the ultimate expression of freedom among so many other things.
And what of Connor, the supposed antithesis to the indisputable axiom of Cheese's hegemony? Oh how little he represented, a pathetic mustering of matter and finite intelligence which could've never hoped to be as he was before Cheese without his express permission to do so. I would say that Connor made an attempt to resist and threw a prism of ice at Cheese but that would not encompass the truth of the matter. Rather, it was Cheese - the guiding hand behind all occurrence and the well from which the river of time springs - which compelled time to march forward and events to play out as they should have, making Connor perform that meaningless act of resistance. Nothing occurs unless Cheese wills it. He is verity's puppeteer and actuality is his beaten marionette.
Cheese reached down - or was it up, right, left, from within, from without - and brandished his razor of nonpareil nihility. The audience's exultation thickened the air like syrup, though concepts such as viscosity had long since lost all relevance. Wings of endings - with coverts fashioned of the last pages of books and pinions hewn from final moments - stretched behind his back and through them shone the antilight of the great beyond. The Earth heaved and swayed, my nerves curdled as if sour milk, space bent beneath the pressure of having to host the continued existence of this infinite divinity. Pathos bled from me as I awaited the reckoning that surely was to come...
And then I blinked, and all that remained was Connor and the gaping absence of Cheese. The instant in which he chose to spare his would-be lamb seared itself into the fabric underpinning our universe, making itself a point as immovable and inarguable as the fact that two and two makes four. I knew then that Cheese had come to demonstrate something to us: that we all exist because he demands it, and that we would all end if he desired it. Just as he chose not to excise Connor from reality, he chooses not to erase all of us every second of every day, from the beginning of time to its cold, empty end. So expunge sin from your heart, fill your hours with virtue and kindness; not to earn Cheese's love but so as not to attract his wrath. For he watches and he judges eternally, our benefactor and our captor. I'd be afraid of forgetting all of this but I know that I couldn't even if I tried.
Every now and then I close my eyes to blink or sleep and when I open them again I feel an overwhelming catharsis because I'm afraid that while I'm not looking, Cheese will decide to unmake the world and I'll miss it because my eyelids were down. What if he forgets about me and doesn't remember to get rid of me? What if I'm left alone in the dark, blind and unfading, forever? Maybe he'll leave me behind out of nothing but spite. I would never know. There's too little room in creation to hold the answer to these questions; there's no room to contain any part of Cheese at all, the world can only accommodate the shadow that he casts. We're like fish in a lake looking toward the film that forms between water and sky, trying to find truth amidst the distortion. When Cheese came to us, he dipped his finger in the pond.
I deeply regret my existence.
AJHo (Air) VS. Redacted1 (Water):
Each player was entirely focused on mobility, with Redacted running around the arena from pool to pool while AJHo, suspecting a trick, followed close behind and made sparing use of air blast and windslam to sap Redacted’s health.
However, strangely, in spite of having many opportunities to turn the tides of battle in his favour, Redacted never truly committed to any offensive strategy, instead just running and running until his luck ran out. He was ultimately saved by the bell - or rather, lag induced by blizzard ejecting somewhere around 50 people from the event server - necessitating a rematch.
This one was far shorter than the last, with both players remembering the last round - AJHo realising that he could win easily and Redacted realising that he was bound to lose - and what occurred thereafter was a farcical chase wherein AJHo poked Redacted in the rear until he eventually went down.
Coffeee (Nonbending) VS. KevinY3 (Nonbending):
A tragedy. A comedy. An illustration of the faults of man and all the abhorrence of violence. These things all describe what transpired that day, as KevinY3 pleaded against all hope - even as daggers and shrapnel tore through their body - for Coffee to lay down his arms and embrace peace. But a tournament cannot abide cooperation by the nature of its format and thus, even as KevinY3 begged for there to be an end to strife, Coffee ended their life. There was a moment of hesitation right at the end, a second before he committed to the kill. That may speak a volume of his character... it may have just been time he spent planning.
Ne'er wearing his emotions on his sleeve, it remains unknown if he felt some remorse. But think not of the violation of brotherhood and the betrayal of kin, consider instead the strings that made Coffee a murderer so. It is not a fault of character to sin, it is the failure of the powers that be to foster an environment in which aggression and dishonesty are unnecessary. It cannot be the responsibility of an individual to be absolutely accountable for how they were raised and what ideals they espouse, not when a collective exists around them which defines their being, and which is itself shaped by a clique which we have come to identify as our leaders.
In other words, we live in a society.
A note from Dove, the Editor-in-Chief: Yes, Kevin did write this themself. All you need to know about the fight is that Coffeee won due to Kevin not really giving a toss about the result!
TheWuseligOne (Earth) VS. Itz_Jeboi (Air):
Wuselig went into this one with a fair amount of clout at his back: in the weeks preceding the tournament he’d been in the arena almost twenty four seven, putting in ridiculous amounts of practice in preparation for what would most certainly be a gauntlet of challenges on the day of the tournament. Jeboi, in contrast, was almost totally unknown, but showed off an impressive set of skills as soon as the countdown came to an end, using windslam and scooter to not only evade Wuselig’s attacks but also to open up opportunities for him to slip in some serious damage.
Wuselig knew that he didn’t need to win though, he just didn’t need to lose: any strategy, as long as it hit Jeboi even somewhat, would see him through to victory: earth’s durability is simply that high. It wasn’t necessarily tricky plays or even a difference in skill that turned Wuselig into the victor, it was the simple fact that air doesn’t have the toolset to put up a real fight against earth.
Mystef (Water) VS. TikTakJack (Water):
The battle was a foregone conclusion right from the get go. TikTak tried to keep his distance and made every attempt to survive. It wasn’t enough. It was a short, brutal affair that really nailed home just how capable a bender Mystef was: TikTak, though his intuition and skill may have been admirable, simply didn’t have what it took to match Mystef in the arena.
Fire_LordAzula (Fire) VS. UROShadow (Nonbending):
Azula had prepared herself for a possibly even match, having accompanied Shadow to victory against S3ventysev3n and YaguraKaratachi in the last 2v2 tournament: she believed herself to be his equal. However, Shadow was decidedly different from anything she had ever faced before, totally unlike any of the nonbenders that Azula had sparred against in the past. She expected her opponent to fall back in the face of blitz and dragon, clearly, as she tried to put on the pressure during the opening ten seconds.
However, rather than retreating, Shadow simply stepped back, braced himself and chiblocked Azula before she could get a single good hit off. From there it was a complete landslide in his favour, eventually ending with Azula’s demise.
IcedClouds (Fire) VS. IncognitoSubito (Fire):
Clouds and Incognito had played together for a long time before the January tournament, with the latter mentoring the former, providing tips about how to use their element to its fullest extent. Clearly, however, Incognito had chosen not to reveal what to do when facing himself, for Iced found himself on the back foot for the entirety of the battle, unable to assert himself in the face of what might as well have been a concrete mixer barreling down on him.
_Gent (Earth) VS. MustardShaker (Fire):
Gent and Mustard had been exposed to one another before in a series of casual matches which had left the two of them with the impression that Gent was the decidedly superior fighter. Indeed, Mustard tried to rush Gent down and to throw him off with an overwhelming outpouring of offensive power. This, though, was turned back by a combination of evasion and offence; Gent's trademark hybrid playstyle. Gent was seemingly content to fight a war from the other side of the arena, always sticking to the middle distance without allowing Mustard to make it close enough to use his best moves.
Gent made innovative use of ground breaker and boulder toss, slowing his opponent so that he could never close the distance which he was so sure he needed to eliminate in order to have a chance of victory. Eventually, Mustard got close enough to see the white in Gent’s eyes - it was his opportunity to turn the tables in his favour! - and yet, mere moments later, all the hope faded as he realised that he hadn’t broken through Gent’s defences. Rather, Gent had allowed him to get that close, luring him into a trap. A rumble, shackle and shatter later, Gent had sealed Mustard’s grave with a headstone of coarse rock.
DeSEPPtion (Fire) VS. SuperHaggis123 (Fire):
If there were a sound barrier to be broken in Minecraft, Sepp most certainly would’ve shattered it tenfold. He utilized blitz, blast wave and jet in a way that left even the ever mobile Haggis feeling like he was stuck in quicksand. Haggis had no choice but to react to whatever Sepp decided the agenda was: and apparently, Haggis was a better follower than Sepp was a leader, for it was ultimately Haggis that extracted victory from what seemed to be a situation that was thoroughly not in his favour. Perhaps Sepp had been running scared rather than controlling the momentum of the fight? The world may never know.
Connorj222 (Water) VS. S3ventysev3n (Earth):
Connor had no qualms, it seemed, with taking the fight to Seven in spite of almost everybody - commentators and Seven included - thinking that he was going to lose. Whether this was because he was unaware of Seven’s reputation for incredibly one-sided victories or because he was simply fearless couldn’t be known but what was certain was that Connor ran literal circles around his opponent, upsetting the crowd with his seeming domination of the two fighters' dynamic.
Yet, it couldn’t be denied that Seven seemed utterly nonplussed by the situation, ever unshakeable much like his element. In spite of an impressive performance on the part of Connor, Seven’s experience and devastating style of play saw him through to the light of day yet again.
AJHo (Air) VS. Rook8056 (Fire):
Rook brought his A-game to the table, blazing a trail of firebombs and kickbacks which left AJHo helpless but to flounder. The airbender looked as if he had just encountered a brick wall, an opponent which he could never hope to contend with, let alone overcome. Rook ended the match in mere seconds, displaying a shocking mastery of his element which would've put even the server's best to shame.
TheWuseligOne (Earth) VS. Coffeee (Nonbending):
Much of Coffee’s strategy seemed to be to pressure Wuselig as hard as he could, constantly blinding or silencing his enemy so that he could never have a moment of respite. It worked to put the fear of god in Wuselig’s mind, as he switched from his aggressive style of play which he’d displayed in the past to an incredibly cautious, long-range method which he clearly hoped would keep him safe from Coffee’s close range capability for damage. Coffee, though he’d started out strong, failed to keep his own momentum going and took a series of bad trades that ultimately resulted in his narrow defeat.
UROShadow (Nonbending) VS. Mystef (Water):
Mystef admitted before the round that Shadow was likely to win, implying that he’d be proud if he even managed to get Shadow to half health. This was not a display of weakness, it was a show of respect for someone who he considered to be his superior in most regards. Mystef had been one of the original pioneers of the modern style of waterbending and he’d been there to witness Shadow taking his innovations and turning them into something more coherent and practised, something which had come to define the element for months thereafter.
Both fighters had a tremendous career at their backs, with tournament wins on each side. The battle was solemn and balanced, with Shadow keeping close and Mystef trying to stay mobile to no avail, as he found himself constantly silenced and pursued by the silent warrior of steel and powder. Mystef's prediction came true in the end, with him falling to Shadow after a brilliant blaze of glory.
_Gent (Earth) VS. IncognitoSubito (Fire):
Gent clearly showed off his adaptability in this round, playing against Incognito’s strength at close range by staying mobile and utilizing dodge and jump at every opportunity. Coins and blasts kept Incog at a distance while earth rumble punished any attempt to get in range. However, Gent’s victory was simply not to be: Incog had a slight edge in mobility and power, enough to constantly arrest Gent’s plans before they could get off the ground. Enough, in fact, to earn him the win.
S3ventysev3n (Earth) VS. SuperHaggis123 (Fire):
In a display of how the bout between Gent and Incognito could’ve gone in another world, Seven danced circles around Haggis and built up walls to obstruct his vision, keeping him confused and off balance while Seven built up damage with shackles and pebbles. It was a one-sided stomp in Seven’s favour: a testament to his skill, knowing just how formidable Haggis was.
Rook8056 (Fire) VS. TheWuseligOne (Earth):
The third match in a row which set fire against earth, this battle was the most balanced that the tournament had seen so far: Wuselig stayed light on his feet, knowing just how devastating fire could be at close range, while Rook took to the skies, always keeping himself well out of reach of coin and earth blast. For a while, both fighters were too mobile and too cautious for any real hits to connect, but Rook eventually got pinned against a wall and shackled, opening him up to a devastating combo from Wuselig which carried him through to victory.
UROShadow (Nonbending) VS. IncognitoSubito (Fire):
Both tournament winners, both pinnacles of bending prowess and inner potential, both bearers of a legacy they needed to honour. Incognito had crushed his student’s chances for victory in his last fight against IcedClouds; now he needed to honour his sacrifice. Meanwhile, Shadow had only just overcome Mystef, a clear demonstration of how far he’d come since the days when Mystef had mentored him in the FNC arena. There would be no backing down, no parlay, no chance for mercy or trickery. The battle, regardless of its outcome, would be nothing short of a clash of titans. And where Shadow spoke casually before the round, keeping the atmosphere light and preventing the pressure from getting to him, Incognito stood silent and unmoving, focusing his energies into a pinprick gaze set entirely on triumph: a scathing stare from the other side of the arena.
There was no time spent on the formulation of tactics or the consideration of the opponent’s playstyle, both players immediately threw themselves into combat as soon as they were able to, with Shadow disorienting Incognito with sand attacks and smokescreen all while Incognito pushed his enemy towards the sides of the arena, chasing him with flare blitzes and fire walls that never seemed to permit Shadow any room to maneuver. Each one was a dragon, a serpentine beast which intertwined itself with the other, waiting for their foe to flinch and be crushed. Shadow was the first to slip, after a solid minute of the two of them showing nothing but flawless expertise: a few scant hits from dragon of the west was all it took to clue Incognito into the fact that triumph was within reach.
Seeming to accept his fate, Shadow stood still as Incognito finished him off with aplomb, having lost less than half his health during the clash. The audience exploded into applause.
S3ventysev3n (Earth) VS. TheWuseligOne (Earth):
Wuselig had progressed further than anyone could’ve predicted, seizing upset wins by the hair of his teeth again and again. Seven, meanwhile, hadn’t yet had much trouble with any of his opponents, always controlling the arena floor and never once seeming vulnerable or at risk of defeat. It was Wuselig, however, that seemed to have the upper hand for the first half of the match, with his shackles landing over Seven’s. Eventually, in a complete departure from his behaviour in every prior tournament, it was Seven who went on the run, staying back while his opponent pursued him from one side of the arena to the other.
It was truly astounding, watching Wuselig systematically dismantle his opponent’s defences and exploiting openings which only the best of fighters might’ve hoped to be able to discern. In an absolute upset - possibly one of the greatest in the history of AvatarMC - Wuselig came out the winner, leaving the legendary Seven in the dust.
UROShadow (Nonbending) VS. S3ventysev3n (Earth):
The competition for third place, seemingly always the fight that shines the brightest in any tournament as those that fell on the staircase to glory try to save themselves from the tumble into obscurity. It started with a long range poking match, with both fighters’ backs literally to the wall as they threw stones and knives at one another from as far away as they could possibly be from their opponent. Seven was the one to eventually break the stalemate, going in close for a rumble and a shackle: Shadow turned the tables handily, using chiblock and sand attack to completely flip the precedent that Seven had hoped to set. From there, he kept on the pressure and crushed Seven to a pulp.
IncognitoSubito (Fire) VS. TheWuseligOne (Earth):
Nobody had expected Wuselig to make it this far. Even those who knew him best, who’d seen him prove himself at the Caldera and Gaoling over and over again, hadn’t known just how much potential he had within his heart, how much power he could truly bring to bear when the chips were on the table. Incognito engaged in a desperate gambit, poking Wuselig with powerful close ranged attacks only to fall back before the winds of retaliation could find him: it was a strategy that seriously played against his own strengths: his aim at long range and his mobility up close. He was forced to always be at a middle distance, right where Wuselig’s attacks were easiest to aim and hardest to avoid. Wuselig seemed an iron wall, entirely immovable. He met every kickback with a coin, every blitz with a blast.
Incognito must’ve felt the cold hand of death closing in around him, felt his chances of victory slipping away. And then, almost imperceptibly, Wuselig stepped back. In an instant, Incog - as he’d tuned his senses to do through thousands of battles, accruing endless scars through the process - recognised his opponent’s weakness. Their relationship flipped. Where once Wuselig had been totally unflappable, now he was vulnerable: he'd become something that Incog could exploit, predict, overcome. As if possessed by a dragon, he surged forward and engulfed Wuselig in an envelope of flame which no amount of sand or stone could hope to bury. Like a raging forest fire ripping the oxygen from the air, Incognito tore at Wuselig’s very soul, obliterating every conception he had of himself.
Wuselig had thought himself skilled, thought himself unstoppable: now he was just another bender caught in Incognito’s scalding grasp. And so it was that he was laid to rest beneath the light of an avid star, the beacon whose name is IncognitoSubito.
1st Place - IncognitoSubito:
“I would like to thank everyone who helped me and cheered me on, you know who you are. :3“
2nd Place - TheWuseligOne:
"It was a great tournament and well organised"
3rd Place - UROShadow:
“If you don’t kill him, no one will.”
4th Place - S3ventyseven:
“buff earth #earthpower”
Best Fighter - The quality of these tournaments continues to rise and rise, so there's plenty to choose from for this award. For me, the winner is TheWuseligOne! They put on a series of very impressive performances to make their way to the final, going against all expectation.
Best Fight - The only winner here is the exceptional clash between IncognitoSubito and UROShadow. The defending champion coming up against the person who many consider to be one of the greatest of all time. It was thrilling to watch and well worth the billing it had been given.
The Champagne Moment Award - There are lots of nominees for this award. Honourable mentions to UROShadow's camouflaged skin; Cheese and his food fight technique, and KevinY3 for another 'fight and type' showing. But the winner is S3ventyseven for stopping in the middle of a fight to offer his inexperienced opponent some words of advice and encouragement. Heartwarming stuff!
Funniest Moment - This tournament saw a rematch between EshelD and Gent_, the latter of whom had faultlessly countered Eshel's 'one-hit-combo' in a previous tournament. The simple move of jumping onto an earth surf was repeated here, something which clearly annoyed Eshel. He was prompted to jump onto an air scooter and chase Gent around the arena for a few seconds as his frustration finally got the better of him.
Once again, a massive thank you to the Events Team for ensuring this event runs smoothly, to Zuko, Kopk1, and Porku for casting the event, and finally to everyone who takes part!
Will we see history being made in February? Incognito has the chance to be the first fighter to ever win three tournaments in a row, and can also match _Guru by becoming a three times individual champion. Another who can claim that milestone is UROShadow. After two tournaments without success, he has the chance to fight back and stake his claim as the GOAT. Victory for him would see him join both _Guru and Porku as the most successful in terms of individual and overall titles. Or will Mystef put a disappointing run of results behind him and win a championship title of his own?
There is much intrigue as we head into this most anticipated of tournaments!
Finally, I would like to show you the Championship Bracelet that we now offer as a prize for tournaments. It was created by KingSquirrel, and is based on the Earth Rumble belt from ATLA.
See you soon!