January 11, 2017

Kumite in Tennessee 2017 Recap

Team Noble has had the pleasure of attending last weekend’s FGC event, Kumite in Tennessee 2017. Known for one of the strongest competitive crews for Mortal Kombat XL, six Noble warriors charged into battle against a myriad of titans including Echo Fox’s Sonic Fox.

We are extremely thrilled that out of the top eight players who made it to the finals, four of them were representing Noble’s golden crown: BeyondToxin, Dragon, iLuusions and Raptor, all of whom boast impressive tournament results online and offline including the ESL Season 3 finals! As if that weren’t enough, finalizing this Top 8 required a team kill between Noble BeyondToxin and Noble Tweedy, a conflict from which Toxin emerged as the winner, leaving Tweedy with an impressive 9th place finish given the quality of KIT’s Top 16 bracket!

We also give shout-outs to Noble LLumiya for being there with us to show support!

Leading the charge into Top 8 is Noble iLuusions, who takes on Echo Fox Sonic Fox. Both players are known for their myriad of characters, a factor that adds unpredictability to the course of their matches. iLuusions opens with Sun God Kotal Kahn while Sonic busts out his trademark Hollywood Cassie Cage, and the match immediately goes to mid-range with iLuusions searching feverishly for tick throws. Sonic avoids a majority of the throws in the first game, but finds himself eating them repeatedly as the set progresses with advancing normals mixed into the concoction. Sonic’s counters consist of meterless flipkicks and nut punches that catches an unprepared iLuusions off-guard, as well as inescapable blockstrings with enhanced gun shots. The matches seesaw between the two in momentum, but Sonic ultimately prevails 3-1, dropping iLuusions into the Loser’s Bracket.

The next match consists of ANOTHER team kill featuring Noble Dragon and Noble Raptor (who appears to be a clone of iLuusions…). Their match-up becomes a huge game of mental chess as both their characters – Royal Storm Kitana and Hellfire Scorpion – are not so excessive with low/overhead options, forcing both players to decipher the other’s way of thinking through other means. The fundamentals are abundant…projectiles get punished on reaction, defense slips away due to shimmies, and match-up knowledge shines as bright as Noble’s crown. While we were saddened to see Raptor join iLuusions in Loser’s, we were equally proud to see Noble Dragon proceed to Winner’s Finals to continue his long-time rivalry with SonicFox!

The next match-up consists of some history! Noble BeyondToxin has been the bane of Kinetic Semiij, now known as GTG Semiij, during the ESL Plantronics Cup back in September 2016, and the viewers have often debated what would happen if the two were to meet offline. They would get their answer at KIT as both players wasted no time taking their trademark characters to the battlefield. While Toxin had demonstrated commendable awareness of Semiij’s spacing by keeping him in check with his own options, his attempts to anti-air would meet with failure, tipping the scales into Semiij’s favor. Semiij’s reactions were also so on point that Toxin found himself trying to recover from his mishaps, only to be eliminated 0-3. This rivalry shows no sign of ending, and we are proud to see Toxin take home a 7th place finish, thereby breaking his streak of finishing in 9th at a majority of the tournaments he has attended!

Displeased by the fall of his comrade, Noble iLuusions faces GTG Semiij to avenge Toxin. His choice in character, Sorcerer Quan Chi, causes an abrupt change in Semiij’s generally passive playstyle, and iLuusions takes full advantage. Quan Chi’s mix-up options further whittle away at Semiij’s defense, and each one on hit leads into a powerful set-up including either the armor rune or the meter drain rune, the former affecting Semiij’s wake-up options considerably as it allows Quan to win trades with his opponent’s attacks. Semiij attempts a character switch with Hollywood Cassie, but quickly falls back to Ethereal Mileena when that does not yield desirable results. iLuusions defends his home base all the way to the end of the set, and emerges victorious 3-1!

Noble Raptor returns to the stage to take on cR WoundCowboy, who’d eliminated his longtime foe YOMI Forever King. Raptor starts off with a steady grip on the set, anti-airing all of Cowboy’s teleports and baiting mistimed button presses to consume entire life bars. But as the second game goes into Round 2, a switch is flipped. Momentum completely swings into Cowboy’s favor as he picks apart the logic in Raptor’s reads and reactions, forcing his opponent on the defensive which is where Scorpion is limited. Raptor starts trying to jump out of Shinnok’s offense in a state of panic only to be severely punished, prompting him to take a quick break before Game 4. But once again, Cowboy has him on lockdown, and Raptor falls 1-3 to his opponent after a commendable performance. We are very proud of his 5th place finish at KIT and we look forward to more great things from him!

The tournament returns to the Winner’s Bracket to witness the Kombat Cup runback between Echo Fox Sonic Fox (Sektor) and Noble Dragon (Royal Storm Kitana). Contrary to what the final score may suggest, each match was a mental tug o’ war between the players. SonicFox occasionally gets checked for his highly mobile gameplay with very well-timed fan lifts from Dragon, but staggered overheads are Sonic’s response to Dragon’s defense, bagging him insane damage with hit-confirms. Dragon’s use of his floats and fans becomes insanely limited due to the factor that is Sektor’s teleport, which essentially acts as a full-screen punisher that can be made semi-safe with a bar. Both players elaborately dance around the maximum range of their best normals trying to outplay the other. Unfortunately for Dragon, a correct read goes criminally wrong as Sektor’s wake-up flamethrower negates Dragon’s attempt at a bait. SonicFox advances to Grand Finals while an incensed Dragon waits in Loser’s Finals.

Dragon’s other comrade, Noble iLuusions, faces cR WoundCowboy in an attempt to stay alive in the tournament. Their character match-up is a flashback to the days of the Deadly Alliance, because iLuusions goes Warlock Quan Chi against Cowboy’s Bone Shaper Shinnok! Both players start the set with blatant disrespect consisting of armored options after eating restands, with not a care in the world for hit advantage. The first game crawls to its last pixel, and iLuusions decides to get sneaky with a ground rune after tagging his opponent with a D1, only for Cowboy to call out the gap by interrupting it with his F4! After a quick second game, iLuusions goes to Nimble Reptile with the intention of slithering away with the win, by alternating between overheads and slides in his blockstrings. Unfortunately for him, Cowboy’s experience in the match-up shines, and iLuusions hugs it out with his opponent in a peaceful conclusion to the set. Noble commends him for his fourth place finish!

Loser’s Finals is where Noble makes its last stand against the fallen Elder God that is WoundCowboy. Dragon decides to play a game of dodgeball with Mournful Kitana, and it proves very effective in the first game, prompting Cowboy to switch to his Impostor variation. At first, his teleport seems to be an okay option against the storm of glaives, but Dragon quickly removes that factor from the equation, much to Cowboy’s chagrin. He begins searching frantically for key jump-ins to beat out Dragon’s zoning, but the majority of them get pulverized and each punishment sends him flying right back to the corner. Unable to find an answer to Mournful’s zoning game, cR WoundCowboy goes home with a third place finish at KIT, ensuring Dragon’s runback with SonicFox!

From Winner’s Semifinals all the way to Grand Finals, Noble has taken the bracket by storm, and the team now watches with anticipation as their champion, Noble Dragon, gets his rematch with SonicFox. In stark contrast to Winner’s Finals, Dragon runs a train wreck with his Kitana constantly keeping Sonic’s back to the floor. But his refusal to be conditioned lends him momentum, bringing the game down to a pixel that is snuffed out by an EX Homing Missle after a crucial punish opportunity is overlooked. Dragon finally gives up on the match-up and decides to try Impostor Shinnok. Their set boils down to a game of, “Who can grab more?” Dragon appears to be superior at this game as he gets a win off of the Fox, causing an excited reaction among the crowd. The dragon corners the fox with a daring run into a grab to take the fourth game to a final round during which Sonic goes completely rampant. Karma eventually runs its course as Dragon is caged into the corner by EX Homing Missles, but Dragon’s delayed wake-up avoids the last missile which seems to give him a sliver of hope…until Sonic crushes it with one last grab that results in a Brutality.

We congratulate Echo Fox Sonic Fox for claiming the win at Kumite in Tennessee 2017! Our Noble players fought very well, taking home 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th and 9th place finishes! We are always amazed by their tireless work ethics and the results that come from them. With each tournament, their results only improve, and that’s why you can stand assured that Noble will continue to make waves in the FGC throughout the year 2017. Shout-outs to the NRS community all-around and we look forward to playing with you once more!

Missed out on the excitement? You can check out the Twitch archives for both the Top 8 and our Noble members swimming through pools! Please be advised that you’ll have to subscribe to PandaXGaming’s Twitch channel for $4.99 to access their archive.

Top 8 archive – https://www.twitch.tv/pandaxgaming/v/113349136
Pools – https://www.twitch.tv/funkyp/v/112953141

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