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Round Two


Sunday, October 26th, 2008

Ulti's Analysis[]

Poll 3282
Round Division 4 Semi Final
Match # 39
Match Date Sunday, October 26th, 2008
Crono - 31.48%
L-Block - 30.48%
Ryu - 24.90%
Amaterasu - 13.30%
Crono first place (4pts) - 49.61%
Crono second place (2pts) - 20.36%
L-Block second place (4pts) - 25.88%
L-Block first place (2pts) - 23.62%
Crono - 69.97% (30,019)
L-Block - 49.50% (21,237)

As crazy as the round 1 match was featuring L-Block, this match.... wasn't. If you check out the trend graph, this match was basically set in stone 10 minutes in. People were worried L-Block would start going nuts again, but it just... didn't happen. This was perhaps the most boring match a hyped bandwagon joke character has ever been in.

L-Block had already beaten Ryu in round 1, so him beating Ryu again was no surprise. By the way, Ryu has the distinction of losing to both L-Block and Draven. Poor guy. He was never in contention here, but that wasn't much of a surprise. What was a surprise though was L-Block coming out in this match and looking positively normal. He was only in this match for about 5 minutes before falling off, and that was it. Crono got an easy first. L-Block got an easy second. Ryu and Amaterasu, better luck next time.

The normalcy here surprised a lot of people in and of itself, because as you can see by the Oracle picks, many people expected L-Block to get a bandwagon going and challenge for first. When he failed to do that, alarm bells went off. Was L-Block falling off? Was he losing the joke appeal? Did he merely run up against a beast in Crono and this match was a speed bump?

A lot of people felt it was the latter, and the Save_Us.RAT movement was born.

Stats and Analysis[]

This match was all about confirming the inevitable. L-Block had beaten Ryu LAST round, and with the Street Fighter icon now playing second fiddle to Chrono Trigger's main, L-Block was going to advance with laughable ease. In fact, if you weren't in denial and looked at it objectively, L was the 'smart money' to take first over Crono.

But something happened here, and it would verify what Mudkip had already foretold. The board vote opened up on the match with Crono and Ryu enjoying the briefest of leads, with Ryu getting beaten easily and Crono just inching ahead of L. Considering how anti-L the opening five minutes were considered to be, it looked like the Block had the match all wrapped up right then.

But the next update saw a Crono surge to a 72 vote lead. And it didn't really slow past then - 170 votes by the half hour mark, 419 by the hour. This was during L's undisputed best time, mind you - and from there he just began a percentage collapse all day, ultimately finishing under 28% with the lowest percentage of his contest career.

Yeah, Ryu was never really in the match. But he only got beat by about 5500 votes, and considering that we were expecting the God-killer free of splitting fanbases with The Dog... in essence, this was the first match in L's entire contest career where he disappointed expectations, and it was very odd to watch. As well as being pretty boring - no exhilaratingly crazy board vote that allowed him to put up a big lead on Solid Snake as early as Round 3, and all the finals magic seemed to be gone.

Unfortunately, the best avenue of taking out L also seemed to be gone - Ryu was the second strongest in this division, easily, and with him out of the picture and a mound of SFF awaiting until the finals, L had plenty of time to pick up steam between then and now. It sucked for the board - the Block finally looked beatable, and no one was there to capitalize on it.

And finally let's also throw a shout-out to Amaterasu, who really needs to get in one of these things 1v1 and see if she can be a good midcarder. Still one of the craziest unexpected strengths I've ever seen - what a picture and dedicated fanbase can do, eh?

Match Trends[]


Ngamer's Same Day Analysis[]

Match Prediction[]

Alright, so, we come to it at least. A month back this was unanimously agreed upon as the most important R1 matchup, perhaps in history. If only Ryu had been able to capitalize with the SNV and sneak out a victory there, we might be talking about this as the most significant R2 tilt of the season. As is... no one seems to be able to muster much hope.

X-Stats from Round One:

  • L-Block - 27.44% (based on Meta Knight '07)
  • Ryu - 27.33% (based on Meta Knight '07)
  • Crono - 23.74% (based on Frank West '07)
  • Ammy - 16.64% (based on Frank West '07)

Those MK-based numbers look pretty decent, but clearly Frank West vastly underperformed in that awful fourpack last season, because there's no way I'm accepting Ammy that far beneath the fodder line. Anyways, Crono > Ryu > Ammy might as well be set in stone but the question everyone needs answered is, which of those gaps does L fall into? Now, I've been talking for a while about how the joke characters might be weakening before our eyes, while at the same time the favorites seem to be returning to a more normal level of strength. The "evidence" is that despite the Block looking fantastic, WCC was weaker, Sandbag was weaker yet, Hogger was pathetic (just a little LESS pathetic than those other two!), and other character with potential "joke" appeal like Jinjo and the Sackboy have instead fallen on their faces. Also, there seems to be a definite resurgence for Chrono Trigger this season, which ought to give Crono fans a bit of hope. Unfortunately, there's still plenty standing in the way of an L-Block elimination here:

  • yes, the Block was under 32%, but let's not forget that the Dog was sucking up another 14% of that vote. jokes may be weakening, but they would need to weaken by light years versus R1 in order for this upset to have any chance
  • Ammy's not a pushover anymore... with her strong Wii sales for the Okami remake she ought to appeal to plenty of new Nintendo fans here, especially as none of these other options have had a real Nintendo release since the SNES. if this were a three way, Ryu would only need to avoid getting killed by Crono and he'd have a good shot at outlasting L's static 30%ish fanbase, but with the wolf not rolling over and surrendering her small percent of the legit votes, a win becomes nearly impossible
  • Capcom SFF between Ryu and Ammy? it sounds ridiculous, but then again we said the same thing about Dante/Leon and look where that got us. in any case its only one more case against Ryu, when he'd need a good dozen points in his favor before anyone would consider backing him

Oh wait, forgot to mention Mudkip's major collapse! After what we saw in 2007 I thought he would have had a much more static, joke-supported fanbase, and instead he fell apart. So yeah, there are reasons to bet against a Block win in this one, but I'm not going to jinx it by picking it myself. Taking the Block for the win, but will be rooting my face off for Crono and Ryu all day! Let's throw those points in the pot and see what we get after a little stirring.

  • L-Block - 29.58%
  • Crono - 29.54%
  • Ryu (Street Fighter) - 25.01%
  • Amaterasu - 15.87%

That looks... awful. Come on voters, win back my respect- drop that Block like it's hot!

Ngamer Says: L-Block > Crono

Next Day Review[]

Okay, so, this was the match where us Gurus almost unanimously agreed that L-Block would be meeting his maker. But... it didn't happen, and in fact, it happening was never even a real possibility, so by all rights I ought to be distressed. And yet... L-Block finally lost to someone, and its got me all smiles! Not only did he lose, he only won a single 15 minute update against Crono (at about 7:30 this morning) while Ryu has already topped the Block in 7 updates and could very well be scoring more before this match concludes, as he's sporting a darn impressive SNV right now. On the down side, L gains a major advantage in the next debatable match where Crono and Vincent will most likely be Square-SFFing each other. But on the plus side the idea of his having a completely static joke vote has been shattered just like it was for Mudkip early this round. Also, the trend of jokes weakening continues unabated... perhaps it will keep up, to put Crono far enough ahead to outlast him in R4? *crosses fingers*

External Links[]

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2008 Contest Matches

Round One
Zack > Wario
Link > Zidane
Marth > Duke
Altair > Lucario
Luigi > Liquid
Bowser > Phoenix
Mario > Zelda
X > Mudkip
Samus > Nightmare
Ganondorf > Frog
Vincent > Falco
Scorpion > Gordon
Crono > Amaterasu
L-Block > Ryu
Alucard > Falcon

Pikachu > Arthas
Cube > Tidus
Mega Man > Nero
Ryu H > Zero
Snake > Vivi
Sora > Fox
Squall > Yoshi
Cloud > Midna
Mewtwo > Pac-Man
Big Boss > Kirby
Master Chief > Raiden
Leon > Riku
Dante > Hogger
Sonic > Sandbag
Auron > Sub-Zero
Sephiroth > Tifa
Kratos > Jill

Round Two
Link > Zack
Duke > Altair
Liquid > Luigi
Mario > X
Samus > Ganondorf
Vincent > Gordon
Crono > L-Block
Pikachu > Alucard
Mega Man > Cube
Snake > Zero
Squall > Sora
Cloud > Mewtwo
Kirby > Master Chief
Dante > Leon
Auron > Sonic
Sephiroth > Kratos

R3 and following
Link > Zack
Mario > X
Samus > Vincent
Crono > Pikachu
Snake > Cube
Cloud > Mewtwo
Kirby > Dante
Sephiroth > Sonic
Link > Mario
Samus > Crono
Cloud > Snake
Sephiroth > Kirby
Link > Crono
Snake > Cloud
Link > Snake (Finals)
Classic > CD-I (Bonus)