Coverage

Coverage

LOSERS ROUND 3 MATCH 1:SMG VS ICHIZOKU

First up in LOSERS ROUND 3 are USA’s SMG and France’s ICHIZOKU. The LOSERS FINALS will finally begin to come into view for the victor of this match, and beyond that, the GRAND FINAL and world supremacy.

It’s a hard, long road to the top. With each win the competitors carve out along the way, they meet yet another fighter who is pushing their limits every round to stay afloat.

But it doesn’t really matter how strong the opponent is, what matters is their own strength. It was that which brought them here to Las Vegas, and that alone which can carry them to the top!

GAME 1

SMG’s Team and Battle Members

ICHIZOKU’s Team and Battle Members

SMG kicked off GAME 1 strong with his SON Family. He scored first combo with Goten, then followed it up with a nice dodge into “Super Kamehameha” on Ribrianne with Goku! ICHIZOKU thought he saw a gap in SMG’s defenses and attempted an early Rising Rush but was a moment too slow! SMG got the Vanishing Step off just in time, but still took some follow-up damage from the Girls.

There was a lot of pressure coming down on SMG so he tried to make some space with his own Rising Rush. He drew out Ribrianne’s Vanishing Step with a Tap Shot bait and activated the Rush, but ICHIZOKU was on top of the situation and swapped in his Great Saiyaman 2 for another Vanish to evade it!

With both players back on relatively even ground, this was shaping up to be a seriously competitive match! No one wants to lose in the Losers Bracket, that’s for sure.

The next big shift came after ICHIZOKU’s Great Saiyaman 2 won a Dokibaki Impact against SMG’s RED Gohan. She followed up with a Strike Arts then passed the baton off to Mai who fired her “Full Charge Shot” at the newly switched in Goten, but the timing was off and SMG evaded to counterattack! In an unbelievable turn, just 3 Blast Arts from Goten were enough to wipe ICHIZOKU’s Mai off the board!

SMG

ICHIZOKU, however, was not willing to give SMG the lead! Ribrianne came out to face Goten and locked him into a cage match with her “Song of Love and Victory”! Ribrianne let her fists do the talking and Goten was down for the count after a brutal combo.

Neither competitor was giving an inch!

Now it was SMG’s turn again. RED Gohan was starting to heat up thanks to his Unique Ability and gave Great Saiyaman 2 a taste of his wrath. He managed a good combo iced with a “Super Kamehameha” to finish her off, but in a flash Ribrianne took her place and met Gohan with her Rising Rush!

Winding down to a tense 1v1 between Goku and Ribrianne, this is the kind of match we love to see!

They stopped for a brief staredown at long range before tilting into a joust. The fighter to come out on top was…SMG! Connecting a combo and firing his Rising Rush, Ribrianne was finally taken down, bringing an end to an exciting GAME 1.

SMG 1-0 ICHIZOKU

GAME 2

SMG’s Team and Battle Members

ICHIZOKU’s Team and Battle Members

SMG and ICHIZOKU didn’t wait long before getting down to business in GAME 2. Both players with the same teams as last game, Ribrianne was laying into Goku who then pounced on a brief opportunity to counter and returned the favor. Ribrianne paid half her life for the slipup before switching into Great Saiyaman 2.

ICHIZOKU pulled ahead in the mid-game. Meeting Goten’s Tap Shot with a Blast Arts to start a combo, ICHIZOKU called Ribrianne back out to unleash a Rising Rush! He got the K.O. on Goten, and the lead along with it.

SMG then put his RED Gohan to work. He applied enough pressure to Ribrianne to force a switch into Mai, to which he responded with his Rising Rush! Though with “resistance” being Mai’s specialty, she went against all odds to pick Gohan’s card and mount a counterattack!

ICHIZOKU

Being denied the chance to level the playing field was a huge detriment to SMG’s game.

ICHIZOKU now took control with his number advantage and skillfully cycled his characters to crunch down on SMG’s Goku. Showing nerves of steel, he patiently waited out Goku’s side-steps at point-blank range to serve up the final blow with Great Saiyaman 2, leaving SMG 1v3.

ICHIZOKU had built up a huge lead, so was able to play a safe and conservative late-game. He managed to build up his Rising Rush again while gradually filing away at SMG’s RED Gohan, but held off on using it even when it could’ve ended the game. Perhaps fearing a characteristic SMG comeback should the Rush be countered, ICHIZOKU instead stuck with the basics and ended the game with a guaranteed “Pretty Cannon” off a “Flash Bang”.

SMG fought honorably to the end but there was to be no reversal this time! ICHIZOKU’s skill and decision-making pulled through, forcing SMG to face him in a third game.

SMG 1-1 ICHIZOKU

GAME 3

SMG’s Team and Battle Members

ICHIZOKU’s Team and Battle Members

ICHIZOKU kicked off GAME 3 beautifully with his trusty Girls team. From his first evade to start a combo he put on a dazzling display of offense and defense to run rings around SMG’s SON Family. Without suffering so much as a scratch, ICHIZOKU had blown through almost half of his opponent’s Goten and Goku’s health bars.

Then came a jaw-dropping sequence that brought victory into clear view for ICHIZOKU. First he hit SMG’s Goku with a “Flash Bang” to cover Great Saiyaman 2’s entrance, then Vanished around his Blast Arts to fire off a massive “Justice Strike”! Goku was in the middle of his attack animation, meaning SMG was unable to use a cover change; All he could do was watch in astonishment as the righteous Special Move brought the Saiyan down from over half HP!

But ICHIZOKU wasn’t done yet, he still had his Rising Rush armed and ready!

SMG’s Goten hit the battlefield and was met by ICHIZOKU’s Ribrianne. He fired a Tap Shot bait which Ribrianne took, then instinctively side-stepped to avoid her counterattack, but the attack didn’t come out! ICHIZOKU had Ribrianne stay her furious fists for a fraction of a second to allow Goten to side-step, leaving him wide open for a Rising Rush!

Goten was knocked out and in an instant SMG was facing another ominous 1v3, but the fire of hope still shone in his eyes!

Back the top 16 against SHENYAO, SMG made a stunning reverse sweep from a 1v3 situation, and in the WINNERS TOP 8 against NA-KAEL-08 he pulled an unbelievable turnaround with his 1HP Goku. If there’s one thing we’ve witnessed SMG to be capable of, it’s a miraculous comeback. And now once again finding himself in dire straits with only his trusty RED Gohan, SMG’s warrior spirit awakened!

Mai was the first to fall. SMG tried for a Rising Rush on Ribrianne as she would be the largest obstacle between him and victory, but ICHIZOKU acted accordingly and cover changed into Mai. She took the full force of Gohan’s fury and was knocked out of the game.

Just Ribrianne and Great Saiyaman 2 to go. Ribrianne returned to the ring for another bout so Gohan loaded up his Ultimate “Father-Son Kamehameha” into hand. He started a combo on Ribrianne after a well-executed delayed attack, but ICHIZOKU quickly cover changed into Great Saiyaman 2 to deter SMG from using the Ultimate! SMG knew he would need it to defeat Ribrianne and held off. He would now have to pressure Great Saiyaman 2 enough to force a switch, but she was all over him!

Sadly, this was where SMG’s fiery rebellion would be snuffed out.

Ribrianne switched back in to catch Gohan off guard with a Vanishing Step and landed “Ribrianne Eternal Love”! If the enormous damage wasn’t enough, Gohan was also left with Paralysis! The card destruction blew away 3 of SMG’s cards, but miraculously missed his “Father-Son Kamehameha”. Ribrianne’s Vanishing Step was down, and with the threat of falling victim to a tick of Paralysis looming grimly overhead, it was now or never! SMG pulled the trigger on Gohan’s Ultimate, but ICHIZOKU had a “Pretty Cannon” waiting for him!

Gohan dove head over heels into the heart-breaking blast, and was soon after finished off by Great Saiyaman 2.

SMG 1-2 ICHIZOKU

ICHIZOKU Wins!

SMG: “I didn’t play as good as I’ve been playing so far in the tournament so he took advantage of that.”

Unfortunately, after putting on so many fantastic games with twists and turns that had us on the edge of our seats, SMG’s SHOWDOWN journey ends here.

ICHIZOKU: “It was a fun match. It was really suspenseful when we were dodging each other’s Rising Rushes, but I think I played well in Games 2 and 3 so I’m happy about that.”

Having enjoyed this incredible match, ICHIZOKU now looks onward to LOSERS ROUND 4!

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