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Monday, July 22nd, 2002

Ulti's Analysis[]

Poll 961
Division South Division
Match # 22
Match Date Monday, July 22nd, 2002
Vote difference 4,702
Jill - 50.77%
(8,511 brackets)

When the bracket was first released, our board embraced Kirby from the beginning. It's nearly impossible not to love the little guy, and it didn't take long for there to be a huge outcry about how low Kirby's seeding was in this contest.

Take a quick look at some of the characters who were seeded higher than Kirby in this contest, but lost before Kirby's match came up. Kirby would beat, ranging to destroy Iori Yagami, Q*Bert, Dirk the Daring, Bub, Kazuya Mishima, Kane, Akira Yuki, PaRappa the Rapper, Abe, Spyro the Dragon, Kasumi, and even Gordon Freeman. And those are only the higer-seeded character who lost. Kirby was horribly underseeded in this contest, and if you go by the Extrapolated Standings and Expected Seeding of every character or game to have appeared in all four contests, only Starcraft has ever been more underseeded than Kirby was in his match against Jill Valentine on this day.

That said, the board support for Kirby was astounding. Kirby having higher odds of winning the contest than Valentine is no accident, and neither is the match's prediction percentage. Most of the board was pulling for Kirby to take this thing, despite the seeding discrepancy among the characters. After all, we had already seen a 3 seed lose a match this contest.

But once the match started, Jill Valentine grabbed a small lead and hung on tight all the way until the end of the poll. This match was similar to Alucard and Tails in that despite the match looking close, the character who wound up winning was in control from start to finish despite the board's best efforts to turn the match around while it was going on. Remember, a few thousand votes was close for its time, so for the entire match, Kirby was thought to have a chance at coming back.

Unfortunately for Kirby, the match's final results make it look closer than it really was. Kirby was never really in the match for whatever reason, and even though many people cite the seeding as the reason for Kirby's loss, I feel that the prediction percentage and odds prove otherwise. Starcraft proved that popularity will be there regardless of seeding, and even though I feel bracket voting happens a lot more than some stats show, it wasn't necessarily present in this match. Bracketmakers were split directly in the center. I simply think that both Jill Valentine and the Resident Evil series were a lot more popular and respected back in 2002 than they are now. Sure Jill has taken a decline since 2002, but at the time, I wasn't surprised to see Jill take the match.

There would have to be another match or two before Jill's strength could be validated in the eyes of many, but regardless, a win is a win is a win. This match set up Jill vs Bomberman in the second round, which was completely up in the air at the time.

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2002 Contest Matches

Round One
Mario > Servbot
Morrigan > Spyro
Aya > Terry Bogard
Donkey Kong > Bub
Alucard > Tails
Duke > Iori
Pikachu > PaRappa
Cloud > Fox
Lara > Chop Chop
Ryo Hazuki > Guybrush
Crono > Simon
Dante > Q*Bert
Aeris > Kasumi
Tina > Gordon
Knuckles > Akira

Snake > Squall
Pac-Man > Goemon
Kyo > Abe
Scorpion > Kazuya
Max Payne > Dirk
Bomberman > Kane
Jill > Kirby
Strider > Raziel
Link > Little Mac
Sonic > Pitfall Harry
Tidus > Claire
Samus > Ken
Ryu > CATS
Mega Man > Ms. Pac-Man
Serious Sam > Mr. Driller
Sephiroth > Gabe
Crash > Ulala

Round Two
Mario > Morrigan
Donkey Kong > Aya
Alucard > Duke
Cloud > Pikachu
Lara > Ryo Hazuki
Crono > Dante
Aeris > Tina
Snake > Knuckles
Pac-Man > Kyo
Scorpion > Max Payne
Jill > Bomberman
Link > Strider
Sonic > Tidus
Samus > Ryu
Mega Man > Serious Sam
Sephiroth > Crash

R3 and following
Mario > Donkey Kong
Cloud > Alucard
Crono > Lara
Snake > Aeris
Scorpion > Pac-Man
Link > Jill
Samus > Sonic
Sephiroth > Mega Man
Mario > Cloud
Crono > Snake
Link > Scorpion
Sephiroth > Samus
Mario > Crono
Link > Sephiroth
Link > Mario (Finals)