CWL September Report – SFV & Melee

The first fortnight of September has kicked off the endgame for CouchWarriors League 2020, with the national FGC organiser announcing that the remaining events on its tournament calendar would award double the normal ranking points to top 8 finishers! 

This change goes some way to addressing the unexpectedly low number of points available this season after COVID forced a switch to monthly online events. Now you can imagine a chance for almost anyone to make a late run at top 16 – the cutoff point for invitation to the $2000 season finale event!

The new points bonus looks to be most impactful for the leaderboards in Street Fighter V and Smash Bros. Melee, which were the first two games contested for the month. These points races have been static and lopsided all season, with interstate rivals Joshua “GZ|Sora” Lyras and Davin “Davox” Mai dominating Melee while Ervin-Jason “pahnda” Garanovic and Xavier “DS|Somniac” Nardella were holding it down in SFV.

These players amassed their lead in the first months of the year while full points were still available at offline events, and then have continued to put in enough work over the monthly CWL Online events to remain above the reach of their competition. Will a few months of double points give in-form players like ORDER|Travis Styles or Jacob “Sock” Waddell the chance to reel these frontrunners in, or will they just lift their game to match the higher stakes? These September online events were our chance to find out.

 

Street Fighter V

  1. pahnda
  2. DS|Somniac
  3. Rupps

 

The first sign of change following the end-of-season announcements was an immediate boost in turnout. Not only were the player numbers higher than they’d been since the first month of lockdown, but we were blessed with a concentration of national-level talent which left this feeling more like a major. Half of the current top 10 for CWL were here to defend their spots, including all of the top 4 – Somniac, panda, Travis, and his ORDER teammate Christian “ROF” Dedalija. There were other threats too – CWL Online standout Fraser “FREESER” Johnson; perennial majors contender Kevin “GG|Bksama” Nguyen; top 16 players John “ZEDDD” Le,  Taylor “syo” Waugh, and Michael “AwildLLAMA” Kalugin; and a real dark horse in Tasman “GG|Waz” Stoker, dipping his toes into another game after years of unmatched dominance over Australia’s Mortal Kombat scene.

 

 

Despite this insanely stacked field, the existing CWL top 4 were able to run the gauntlet and meet at the end of Winners Bracket – with one exception. Seeding threw ROF and Travis Styles together a round early, perhaps due to ROF’s intermittent participation in CWL Online, and Travis took out the ORDER mirror 2-0. This left room on the other side of the bracket for Peter “Rupps” Barron, the remaining top 10 ranked player, who fended off a challenge from Freeser to make it into Winners Semis.

Travis Styles demonstrates a typical eye for punishes as he dismantles teammate ROF

 

Somniac overcame Rupps to make Winners Finals, where he has often run into Travis in past CWL Online events. But this time pahnda handled the dangerous West Australian for him, giving Somniac a chance to lock in a Grand Finals appearance without needing to squeeze past his tournament demon. But pahnda was on some impressive match-day form, hitting the kind of offensive reads which can make Akuma look busted. 

Somniac got sent down to Losers Bracket despite some impressive rounds, where he found that Travis had again been removed from his path, this time by Rupps and his Mika. Maybe we’ll see Somniac and other likely season finalists picking up pocket grapplers of their own to neutralize the otherwise ultra-consistent ORDER star? Somniac shook off Rupps a second time only to suffer an even mightier beatdown in his Grand Finals rematch with pahnda. 

The Queenslander, while ultra-consistent, hadn’t placed above Somniac in a single event this year – so to crush the Darksided veteran 3-0 felt like an impressive breakthrough, and had the commentators nearly speechless. This was also pahnda’s first outright win at an event since March, and his first against interstate competition for 2020. It couldn’t have come at a better moment, as the double points reward slingshots him into a 1st place tie with Somniac headed into November. Travis also finally drew even with ROF after months of chasing, and Rupps leapt up into 5th place on the leaderboard.

 

SFV Leaderboard for September

 

Smash Melee

  1. LGC|DonB
  2. GZ|Sock
  3. McCloud

Like SFV, Melee also saw an outpouring of extra players motivated by those extra CWL points. There was also an extra incentive for going for the prize this month; overall leader and clear national #1 Josh “GZ|Sora” Lyras was taking the month off to practice with his new B0XX controller. Since  has missed only a single Grand Finals in CWL Online Melee this season, any would-be rivals had to make sure to seize this opportunity.

 

 

Several did, with top 10 competitors like Jacob “GZ|Sock” Waddell, Miles “LGC|DonB” Dobney, dice|Nangs and Gerard “smopup” Salonen carving their way through the field. Smopup looked to have a slight edge, especially after defeating his only higher-ranked rival present, Sam “Auro” White, in Winners Quarters. But a game as mature as Melee is full of surprises, and instead the Queenslander was smashed 3-0 in the next round by Connor “McCloud” O’Neill’s Peach. McCloud, who had only been able to score a single CWL points finish back in February’s SA ranbat, also managed to take a set from Sock as part of his run, but ran out of steam against DonB in Winner’s Finals before falling to 3rd. It’s still a terrific effort that should leave McCloud just a point outside that critical top 16 cut with several CWL events still to play!

Meanwhile, Sock took on DonB in Grand Finals after successfully exacting revenge on McCloud in Losers. With their single past meeting being a high-stakes win to DonB (at this year’s Phantom major) this felt like it could go either way. Both players had won CWL Online before and both were definitely in need of the points to try and get into the top 3 rankings for an end-of-season cash prize. Both were satisfied to lock in for the true 20XX Fox ditto over a possible 6 matches. It was time for some High Level Melee alright.

Sock looked characteristically solid in the early going, beating out DonB consistently in the neutral and finishing games with a clear stock lead to secure the reset with momentum to spare. But from the first game of the second set DonB turned things up a level, showing off a veteran’s knowledge of the ditto and manipulating Sock with help from the Yoshi’s Island platforms. It was still close enough to go to last-game-last-sock, but unfortunately for Sock he did not have the benefit of a spare set to readjust, and DonB’s Legacy-coloured Fox took the tournament! 

 

Smash Melee leaderboard for September

 

Despite moving up into the coveted 3rd place overall for Melee, Sock was left doing some soul searching at the end of the day. It certainly stings to have gone so close and then fallen short as he did – but he’s still within striking distance of Davox and Sora if he can use this as inspiration to win the next two CWL Online events. It would be one hell of an upset to see, but again – you never count anything out in Melee.

 

As always, you can find the CWL live rankings for all four games on the league website, and sign up to upcoming events including September’s Tekken 7 and Smash Ultimate brackets through Smash.gg.

 

CWL August Report – Tekken 7

Out of the four major games covered as part of the CouchWarriors League, Tekken 7 continues to be the most unpredictable and hotly contested. Months of national competition in these online events has failed to show a single dominant champion. Instead, a host of talented and dedicated players are constantly one-upping each other as they struggle to reel in the points totals amassed by ranbat winners in the first months of the year.

Six grinders in particular have been consistently scooping top points; Lucky Chloe main Chris “Stuckles” Stuckey, Queensland champion “Harlem”, community mainstay Kun-Mo “FAM|Gun_Mo” Yon,  Master Raven players Raphael “FAM|Daitooka” Batskos & Peter “Ravenboy” O’Flanagan, and online warrior arbiter”. Read more

CouchWarriors League Online Results – July

Another awesome month of online competition brings new developments to the CWL leaderboards!

The weekly CouchWarriors League Online events each focus on one of the major games supported by the League, with the placegetters receiving League points as part of our ongoing tournament season. Our monthly winners also received Steam vouchers from CouchWarriors.

A handy reference for our online tournament schedule during the pandemic period is on Twitter. You can always check the current standings for each game and player in CouchWarriors League here.

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CouchWarriors League 2020 – Half-Season Recap!

Well, 6 months down and 6 to go. 2020 may have turned out to be an inauspicious year to launch our new CouchWarriors League, but just like any FGC great, we’ve adapted. Online events have kept the CWL leaderboards ticking over during the pandemic months, and we’ve even seen new players gain big opportunities from this unusual focus on netplay. Certainly for those who live outside of the main metro regions this season is looking like their best chance to make a tilt at national recognition!

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CouchWarriors League Online Results – June

Well despite the best efforts of 2020 we’ve made it all the way through June, and thu to the halfway mark of the inaugural CouchWarriors League season! Look out for a formal midseason recap to be published soon – in the meantime, here’s last month’s results!

The weekly CouchWarriors League Online events each focus on one of the major games supported by the League, with the placegetters receiving League points as part of our ongoing tournament season. Our monthly winners also received Steam vouchers from CouchWarriors.

A handy reference for our online tournament schedule during the pandemic period is on Twitter. You can always check the current standings for each game and player in CouchWarriors League here.

Read more

CouchWarriors League Online Results – May

Another month of weekly online tournaments is in the books, and while we’re all pining for a regular ranbat sometime soon, this way of continuing the CouchWarriors League has proven to be a success. Plenty of great matches and stories emerged from the online brackets in May, so let’s run down exactly what happened for those who missed it.

The weekly CouchWarriors League Online events each focus on one of the major games supported by the League, with the placegetters receiving League points as part of our ongoing tournament season.

A handy reference for our online tournament schedule during the pandemic period is on Twitter. You can always check the current standings for each game and player in CouchWarriors League here.

Read more

CouchWarriors League Online Results – April Recap

Welcome back, CouchWarriors family! It’s been a few months since we were forced into isolation by the COVID-19 pandemic. As tough as it has been to not get out to regular ranbats and weeklies, we have seen some great community efforts to stay connected and run online tournaments for any game which supports them.

Chief among these online events has been the CouchWarriors League, which we launched with incredible timing just before the coronavirus news started to hit. What was intended as a national leaderboard for state ranbats and majors has shifted with the times, and become a weekly online tournament for our rotating roster of top games. While that feeling of playing next to your opponent in a live venue is irreplacable, we have at least been able to enjoy some rare interstate matchup as each scene sends its best gladiators into the online arena! And thanks to a stack of $100 prize vouchers supplied by m-wave, there was a little bit more than pride and points on the line…

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COVID-19 Update and Online Tournament Schedule

It has been a tough month or two for any community that relies on live events – our FGC included. Those following our social media accounts will know that the realities of the coronavirus pandemic have forced CouchWarriors to make a number of changes to our 2020 plans, including postponing tournaments or moving them online. To ensure an easy reference for our community over the next few months, we’re collecting those announcements in one place.

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QLD March 2020 Ranbat Results

Note: CouchWarriors apologises for the delay in event reports this month. The results are being reported here for posterity.

 

This month’s CouchWarriors QLD Ranbat was delayed a few weeks to account for Phantom, taking place on Saturday the 14th of March at George St Brisbane. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the top matches played out. A complete listing of match results and brackets for each game can be viewed on Smash.gg here.

Results for SFV, MK11, Tekken 7, and Smash U count towards the standings for the BAM Path To EVO series for that game, which can be viewed here.

 

Street Fighter V

  1. pahnda
  2. Destiny74
  3. Issedia

A common theme for the ranbat was on display here; a smaller field, likely due to COVID-19 fears, left room for players to register personal best placings. For Benjamin “Destiny74” Jakabfy, this was his first trip to the podium since getting 3rd in September. Julian “Issedia” Petersen broke an even longer drought of his own.

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Phantom 2020 Major Results

Note: CouchWarriors apologises for the delay in event reports this month. The results are being reported here for posterity.

 

After a massively successful debut last year, the return of Phantom was arguably one of the most anticipated tournaments for 2020. This year the Smash-focused major was again held at the UNSW Roundhouse in Sydney, with tournament brackets running on March 7th and 8th.

Phantom 2020 also had the honour of being the first Major to hand out double-points for the newly-launched CouchWarriors League. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the top matches turned out. A complete listing of match results and brackets for each game can be viewed on Smash.gg here.

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