Capcom Cup & UGC
Panda Global kicked off December with two riveting events: ESAM and MVD represented the Panda smashers at UGC Smash Open in St Louis, while Filipino Champ headed over to the Esports Arena in Santa Ana for the Capcom Cup.
All of FChamp’s hard work cumulated in this past weekend’s event: After a year of competing to qualify, his skill was recognized as one of only two Dhalsim players present at the Cup. The tournament shook things up by opting for a best of 5 format for all of the Top 32 matches -- a change that ramped up the competition and invited a series of exciting upsets.
Our Panda was off to a rough start to the bracket with a 0-3 loss to Japan’s Haitani (Necalli) -- who went on to take 4th place overall. Fchamp powered through, entering the Losers side with another tricky match versus Justin Wong’s Karin. Down two games, Fchamp opted for a more offensive approach to counter Wong’s pressure and turned the tides with an impressive reverse 3-0.
We saw the a more patient Fchamp in his next match vs KBrad, taking an impressive 3-0 victory over the Cammy player. However, his momentum was stopped short by Phenom, another Necalli player from Norway: Up two games, our Champ lost control of the match-up and found himself eliminated in 13th place.
ESAM started off the weekend strong, with a 3-0 upset over rising star Salem (Bayo). Our favorite Pikachu went on to secure a 3-2 victory over VoiD’s Sheik, sending him to Losers Bracket.
He next squared-off against Japan’s Abadango for the opportunity to battle ZeRo in the Winner’s Finals. ESAM quickly gained a two game lead, only to lose the next three to the MewTwo player [2-3].
Our Panda’s Losers run kicked off with a rematch with VoiD, whom he yet again bested [3-2] and continued on to the Semi-Finals versus Nairo (Zero Suit Samus). In a series of close games, ESAM truly demonstrated his skill -- finally challenging Nairo below the stage to secure the win [3-1].
Unfortunately, ESAM lost his footing in his rematch with Abadango. A rough start in game one prompted him to make this a MewTwo ditto, but when that switch didn’t serve him, he was encouraged by the crowd to pull out Bowser. The choice did not pay off, and he lost the set [0-3] and ended his tournament run in 3rd place.
Needless to say, ESAM arrived at UGC ready to make a statement and set expectations for what we can see from this player in 2017.
ESAM/MVD glided into the Top 16 on the Winners side only to be pitted against ZeRo/Nairo in the first round. Our Pika/Cloud duo was no match for these foes, and they were tossed to the Losers after a 0-2 defeat.
Regaining their footing with a 2-0 win over MLG/Ned, the Pandas next faced-off against double Mario team Anti/Larry Lurr. While ultimately eliminated in 7th place, our team was able to take their share of stocks, bringing the set to game 5 [2-3].