Reigning Season 4 champions Nordavind returned to the Gfinity Esports Arena for the first time in Street Fighter V in Week 2 of the Elite Series Delivered by Domino’s! Impressive performances from ImStillDaDaddy, Confz and Salty Kid lit up the arena, but would they be enough to claim victory for their sides?
Vitality vs Reason
Verdoyance’s Blanka took on Vegapatch’s F.A.N.G in the first game of the night, and Verdoyance managed to force Vegapatch into the corner early on a claim a life lead. Vegapatch looked to activate to claw his way back into the round, but Verdoyance had enough to close it out in the end.
In Round 2, Vegapatch seemed overly defensive, and Verdoyance established his dominance once again. Vegapatch roared back though and managed to take the game to the third round with a superb back reversal late on.
The last round started cagily before a poor sweep from Vegapatch allowed Verdoyance to take control as Vegapatch missed another punish. A late v-trigger activation put Vegapatch back in with a chance but with time ticking away, he was left needing to force the issue, and Verdoyance was able to claim the victory with 10 seconds remaining.
With Poizesto unavailable for the fixture, Undacova stepped into the starting roster, and his Necalli faced off against TKR’s Chun-Li in the second game of the series. Undacova started off well with a jump-in and secured the conversion before launching in with a solid command grab. Undacova’s pressure continued, and he secured the first round comfortably.
TKR roared back in Round 2 as he forced Undacova to the corner and secured the stun to maximise the damage on his opponent and take the round in quick time. In the last round, Undacova answered back as he sprinted into a life lead early on in the round with a few excellent anti-airs. TKR’s aerial assault continued as he fought his way back into the round before a barrage from TKR with Undacova in the corner saw him close out the round to give Vitality a 2-0 lead.
Linkexelo was in action for the first time in Game 3 as his Necalli up against AngryMojoSan’s Akuma. A few quick jabs gave Linkexelo the advantage, but AngryMojoSan fought back with a late anti-air to haul his opponent in. AngryMojoSan then put Linkexelo under pressure in the corner, and his superb spacing helped him claim the win.
Linkexelo fought back but even as struggled to punish mistakes from AngryMojoSan, the Reason man failed to anti-air on a number of occasions, and Linkexelo finished off the round with a comprehensive command grab. In the final round, AngryMojoSan romped into a vast life lead and managed to get the stun, giving Reason a route back into the match with the series poised at 2-1.
TKR and Undacova were back in action again in Game 4, with many questions still remaining for both players after far from perfect performances in the earlier game. TKR went on the offense early on and used his normals well to stop Undacova from getting his game going to take the first round.
TKR again used a dash-up medium kick to establish an early lead in Round 2, but Undacova fought back well to push his opponent all the way. However, TKR had too much for Undacova to handle and he took the second round to give Vitality a 3-1 lead.
Linkexelo faced Vegapatch with Vitality needing just one win to take the series. The game started slowly, but Linkexelo then began landing his throws to streak into the lead. Despite this, Vegapatch’s v-trigger pulled him back into the round, but his reliance on v-trigger was his downfall as Linkexelo closed out the round to give Vitality match point.
Both players sparred in Round 2 before a huge crush counter from Linkexelo put him in the driving seat, and after forcing Vegapatch into the corner and getting the stun, he was able to claim all three points for Vitality in their first game of Season 4.
ASUS ROG Army vs Epsilon
Confz took to the stage for the first time since joining ROG Army, and his Akuma faced off with Nasty Nas’s Balrog in the first game of the series. Nas started like a house on fire, but Confz replied well to bring himself back into the game before Nas finally managed to close out the round.
In Round 2, Confz looked to establish himself early on but repeatedly found himself pushed to the corner by Nas. The round went back and forth, and Nas looked to have secured the win before Confz squeaked to victory at the last moment. Nas dominated early on in Round 3 and got the stun to run into a huge life lead, but Confz put the corner pressure on before sweeping to capitalise on a mistake from Nas to grab the win.
JonesArcade’s Ken went up against GunSlinga’s Zeku in the second game of the day. The ROG Army man was under pressure early on, and JonesArcade’s attempts to throw GunSlinga saw the latter take the first round comfortably.
Round 2 followed a similar pattern as GunSlinga’s counter-hits enabled him to take a big lead before causing damage with a throw and getting the stun. JonesArcade got a lifeline when GunSlinga dropped his combo, and this mistake allowed his Ken to do some serious damage and come back to win the round. GunSlinga took the life lead early in the last round, and ultimately the counter-hits were too much for JonesArcade to recover from, meaning that Epsilon levelled the series up at 1-1.
Game 3 saw Shivryuken’s Laura against Isam’s M. Bison, and it was the former Nordavind man Shivryuken who took damage early on before performing an incredible sequence to get the stun and take the round.
Round 2 started similarly with Isam left guessing by Shivryuken before working his way back into the round and get out of trouble in the corner to take the game to Round 3. Poised at one game apiece, Shivryuken recaptured his form from Round 1 and closed out the round with ease to restore ROG Army’s lead in the series.
The next match-up was JonesArcade taking on Nas, and after trading blows throughout the round, Nas’s anti-airs were his downfall again as his Balrog was unable to repel the onslaught from Ken. JonesArcade’s smart play in Round 2 saw him streak into the lead, but a timely activation from Nas meant he forced his way back into the round. With both players one tap away from victory, a taunt from Nas at the most inopportune of times allowed JonesArcade to grab the win to the bemusement of the crowd in the Gfinity Esports Arena.
Confz had the chance to claim ROG Army’s first ever win in Street Fighter V in the Elite Series, but in his way was the talented Isam. A slow round was eventually closed out by Confz with an expertly executed fireball. Confz was confident heading into the second round, and despite pressure from Isam, a counter-hit from the former Envy man Confz sealed the round and claimed the win for the Spanish esports outfit.
Nordavind vs Hashtag United
The reigning champions Nordavind kicked off Season 4 with Momi taking on the impressive DarkMoonHado. Having won 84.6% of his games in Season 3, Momi was confident going into the match-up, but it was all to play forwith both players going with Cammy for Game 1.
Momi charged into a massive lead early on, but DarkMoonHado managed to get his offense going later in the round. An excellent confirm from DarkMoonHado then gave him the chance to close out the round which he swiftly did with a low kick. The Hashtag man was on top again in Round 2 with another great confirm, and DarkMoonHado saw out the round with few alarms to go 1-0 up in the series.
Without the incredible Phenom to call upon for Week 2, Veggey stepped up to the plate for the second game as his Birdie took on Naught’s Urien. The Hashtag played showed little regard for his opponent and took complete control of the round, and despite a late activation from Veggey, Naught completed a very impressive first round win.
The heat was on as Naught pushed Veggey to the corner early on, but Veggey jumped his way out to get back into the round. The Elite Series debutant Naught ultimately managed to take the round in the end using a combination of dashes and expert use of v-trigger to give Hashtag a 2-0 lead over the previously undefeated champions.
JokerJokez’s Dhalsim took on Salty Kid’s R. Mika in Game 3, and Salty Kid used command grab to establish control early on. Despite a comeback of sorts from JokerJokez, a late dash from Salty Kid secured Nordavind’s first round of the evening.
The aggression continued in Round 2 with consecutive command grabs from Salty Kid, before an EX command grab sealed the round to give Nordavind a route back into the series with the score delicately poised at 2-1.
Salty Kid was back in action again for Game 3 against DarkMoonHado, and Salty Kid performed a few great jumps to race ahead in the first round. A late EX spiral from DarkMoonHado didn’t come off as Salty Kid took his third consecutive round.
Round 2 started better for DarkMoonHado, and an excellent punish on a poor dive kick from Salty Kid gave him confidence moving forward in the round. Two consecutive anti-airs from Salty Kid appeared to have DarkMoonHado floundering, but the Hashtag man kept his cool to check Salty Kid’s dash and take the round.
The final round started with a great retort from Salty Kid to DarkMoonHado’s anti-air, but the latter used his plus frames to inflict grey damage on his opponent. However, a perfect critical art saw Salty Kid close out the round and bring the series level.
Momi and JokerJokez went head-to-head in Game 5, with both hoping to make amends for their losses earlier in the series. JokerJokez’s versatility was on show as he went with Ibuki having used Dhalsim in his earlier game with Salty Kid.
There was plenty of respect on show from Momi as he looked to suss out his opponent’s intentions, but the Season 3 champion opened up JokerJokez to take the first round. Momi’s skills shone through in the second round, and late shimmy sealed a win to give Nordavind match point in the series.
JokerJokerz was up again for Game 6, this time facing off against Veggey. The Nordavind man’s Birdie had too much power early in the round, but JokerJokez managed to force him into the corner to do some damage, and his patience saw him wait for Veggey to move into position before striking to take the first round.
Veggey got on the front foot early on once again in Round 2, and despite taking severe damage from JokerJokez fire breath, a timely EX command grab gave the round to Nordavind. With just one round needed to claim victory for last season’s champs, Veggey went on the attack in round three, and after getting the stun, he claimed a perfect KO to retain Nordavind’s unbeaten record in the Elite Series.
Envy vs Method
The final match of the evening saw crowd favourites Mr Crimson and Packz in action in Game 1, with the Envy man’s Dhalsim doing severe damage at the start of the round. Packz’s Karin forced Mr Crimson to the corner later on in the round, and a series of excellent punishes meant Packz took the first round.
Mr Crimson came back strong in Round 2, and a solid performance from the Frenchman saw him quickly dispatch Packz to bring the game back to a round apiece. Both players took turns dealing out the damage in Round 3, and after narrowly missing out the stun, Mr Crimson closed out the round to give first blood to Envy.
ImStillDaDaddy took on Abdess in Game 2, and it was the Method man’s Guile applying pressure in the first round. Abdess’s Akuma fought back, but it was to no avail as ImStillDaDaddy looked in supreme form.
The second round went much the same way as the first with ImStillDaDaddy dominating Abdess and finishing off his opponent with a back throw to take Game 2 comfortably for Method.
The Boys In Blue hoped to bounce back in Game 3 as Nassim-Claw’s Vega up against Broski’s Dhalsim. Both players jostled for space, but Nassim-Claw took advantage of his experience practising against Mr Crimson’s Dhalsim to set up his opponent and take the round with ease.
Broski started Round 2 well before a Nassim-Claw kicked his Dhalsim out of the air and worked him into the corner. Broski’s movement kept Nassim-Claw guessing throughout the round, but a series of command grab saw Nassim-Claw race further ahead before he finished off the Method man with the same move to put Envy ahead after three games.
Nassim-Claw was in the hot seat again for the next match-up as he took on ImStillDaDaddy. An early dash-up gave Nassim-Claw a good start, but ImStillDaDaddy jumped in to inflict significant damage. A few more flash kicks put ImStillDaDaddy into the lead, but despite trying to anticipate Nassim-Claw’s command grab, he wasn’t able to repel a late assault, giving the first round to Envy.
Both players traded blows early in the second round, and despite two point-blank slides from Nassim-Claw, ImStillDaDaddy used Guile’s sonic boom to great effect to seal the round. After rushing ahead in the final round, ImStillDaDaddy came under pressure from Nassim-Claw but the sonic boom game was too strong, and once he blocked a critical art from his opponent, ImStillDaDaddy claimed another win for Method to level the series.
Method looked to Broski to bring home their first win of the series that hadn’t come from ImStillDaDaddy, but in his way was former Ares player Abdess. Broski came under early pressure from Abdess’s Akuma, but a great read late on in the round allowed him to take the round when the odds were stacked against him.
A fast start from Broski allowed him to open up a significant life lead in the second round, and without v-trigger on hand, Abdess had no response as his opponent stayed composed to take the win and give Method the lead in the series.
A repeat of Game 4 saw Nassim-Claw face off against ImStillDaDaddy once more as the Method mainstay sought the win to hand Method the series. An early flash kick from ImStillDaDaddy put Nassim-Claw on the back foot, and the situation looked dire as he was forced to the corner with wave after wave of sonic booms heading his way.
Nassim-Claw tried to activate to retrieve the situation, but ultimately there was nothing he could do to stop ImStillDaDaddy claiming the win. Nassim-Claw fought back in the second round and managed to get the stun after a superb command grab, and although ImStillDaDaddy held on, another command grab gave Envy a lifeline in the series.
The final round started well for Envy as a back throw from Nassim-Claw forced ImStillDaDaddy to the corner. Nassim-Claw went for the kill, but timely air-to-airs from ImStillDaDaddy kept his opponent waiting, and after forcing Vega back into the corner to face another barrage of sonic booms, he closed out the round to secure the win for Method.
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