Coverage

Coverage

LOSERS ROUND 4 MATCH 1: MASAKATSU VS ICHIZOKU

Here we are, already at LOSERS ROUND 4. Time flies!
This time, Japan’s MASAKATSU and France’s ICHIZOKU will do battle for a seat at the LOSERS SEMIFINALS table.

These challengers have walked different paths through the tournament to get where they are now. MASAKATSU was defeated in the WINNERS SEMIFINALS by CHICKEN319, while ICHIZOKU lost to CHICKEN319 in the Top 16 and has been earning his keep here in the Losers bracket since.

As fate would have it, the very same man who bested them both would be waiting two rounds ahead in the LOSERS FINALS!

What could be better than claiming vengeance against the one they lost to, then go on to bathe in glorious vindication as world champion?!

Striving to realize that dream, MASAKATSU and ICHIZOKU would stake everything on the line this match.

GAME 1

MASAKATSU’s Team and Battle Members

ICHIZOKU’s Team and Battle Members

Unfortunately, ICHIZOKU accidentally powered off his device during the battle and suffered a game loss.

MASAKATSU 1-0 ICHIZOKU

GAME 2

MASAKATSU’s Team and Battle Members

ICHIZOKU’s Team and Battle Members

For GAME 2, we saw both players bring out the same three SON Family battle members. As we know, nothing matters more in a mirror match than skill.

Sparks were flying in the early game with both players connecting a Special Move each. Their intense focus manifested in their blow-for-blow gameplay, neither one letting the other get a lead on them.

ICHIZOKU was first to cast his dice. He crossed blasts with MASAKATSU who threw a second volley, anticipating ICHIZOKU might do the same or to score a combo. ICHIZOKU saw it coming, Vanished into close range, then lit the fuse on his Rising Rush! However the gamble didn’t pay off, as MASAKATSU used his lightning-fast reflexes to cancel out of the Blast Arts and evade!

ICHIZOKU was able to use the priority off his Rush being evaded to land one Strike Arts but ran out of cards, rolling out the red carpet for MASAKATSU to make a play. With ICHIZOKU in a position of disadvantage — having no Vanishing Step to dodge nor cards to clash with — MASAKATSU knew that there was only one thing his opponent could do when faced with a threat: switch characters and immediately use Vanishing Step. Exploiting this knowledge, he forced the switch-evade with a Strike Arts to rob ICHIZOKU of his final resource, then quickly cancelled out and fired off a guaranteed-to-hit Rising Rush! It was a masterful play, but unfortunately for MASAKATSU, ICHIZOKU was able to pick his card and counter!

With both players’ Rising Rushes out of the picture for now, the battle returned to a brawl for superiority. ICHIZOKU found himself in position for a decent combo and kicked it off with a Strike Arts, followed up with a barrage of Blast Arts which tore into MASAKATSU’s RED Gohan.

It looked as though he might lose his Gohan altogether, but there was a moment of reprieve when ICHIZOKU exhausted his card supply. The pair engaged in an evasion-reading duel which MASAKATSU got the better of by staggering his attack after switching into Goten to catch ICHIZOKU’s BLU Gohan in the middle of a side-step. MASAKATSU pelted Gohan with Blast Arts from Goten before tagging into his own BLU Gohan to add two thunderous Strike Arts to the combo. He then moved to cap it off with a “Family Kamehameha”, and ICHIZOKU responded by cover changing into his Goten to spread the damage around.

Goten pulled through with around 10% of his health remaining and struck back hard. With his hand packed full of Blast Arts, he hit MASAKATSU’s BLU Gohan for volley after volley, collecting Dragon Balls along the way, and eventually forced him to cover change out into his own Goten. He almost reset the combo with another Blast Arts card off the top, but it was a moment too slow and MASAKATSU began to take his turn. ICHIZOKU’s Goten would be knocked out by another Arts card, so he cover changed into BLU Gohan who was unfortunately taken out instead.

The loss of BLU Gohan would have a large effect on ICHIZOKU’s game.

With his two remaining fighters, Goten and RED Gohan, both already having suffered heavy damage, rendering even cover changing to be undesirable, this would be an uphill battle for ICHIZOKU against MASAKATSU’s three-member team. However, even under this immense pressure, ICHIZOKU appeared to be unfazed! Carefully navigating through a standoff, knowing a single misstep would cost him the game, he got the better of MASAKATSU and stated a combo with Goten’s vicious Blast Arts.

He bore into MASAKATSU’s late-game keep, RED Gohan, and forced a cover change into Goten. The assault continued, and he launched his Goten’s Ultimate, hoping to finish off one of his opponent’s fighters, but fell just short of enough damage.

MASAKATSU had survived the vengeful attack with all three members still up. He had his Rising Rush attempt gracefully evaded by ICHIZOKU’s RED Gohan, but it mattered not as he was able to use the priority to connect a Strike Arts! The combo took what little health Gohan had left and knocked him out, leaving ICHIZOKU with only his Goten, already in critical condition.

ICHIZOKU fought to the bitter end, even almost taking MASAKATSU’s RED Gohan down with him, but all it took was one evaded Rising Rush attempt and a Tap Attack to finish the job.

MASAKATSU 2-0 ICHIZOKU

MASAKATSU Wins!

ICHIZOKU: “I really feel that we were pretty much on the same level, so in games like this what really matters is how well you can analyze your opponent. I was in a good spot in GAME 1 but got a game loss because of making a mistake with the phone. The lock button is really close to the screen and I pushed it by accident. But looking back over the tournament on the whole, I was able to make it into the Top 8 in the world, so that’s definitely not bad in my mind.”

Proving his worth after losing in the first round, ICHIZOKU has had some great games today and we applaud his impressive performance!

MASAKATSU: “GAME 1 wasn’t really a satisfying win as you can imagine, but I think I really earned the win in GAME 2. I’m going to stay focused and do my best to win next round.”

Back on track after his defeat at the hands of CHICKEN319 last round, we send our energy along with MASAKATSU as he heads off to the LOSERS SEMIFINALS!

Back to Articles