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Sunday, November 4th, 2007

Ulti's Analysis[]

Poll 2925
Round Final
Match # 63
Match Date Sunday, November 4th, 2007
Link - 30.77%
L-Block - 28.89%
Cloud - 25.69%
Solid Snake - 14.61%
L-Block first place (64pts) - 0.27%
L-Block second place (32pts) - 0.72%
Link second place (64pts) - 9.00%
Link first place (32pts) - 32.47%
Top Two
L-Block - 0.99% (364)
Link - 41.47% (15,229)

"What the f*** have you done?"

Look at those total votes again. 195360. We are probably never again getting anywhere close to this number. This match was a perfect storm of hype, rallying, and a whole lot of other things that basically amount to "lightning in a bottle".

As an actual match, it honestly wasn't anything special. L-Block led Link by more than 1300 votes after 10 minutes, showed no signs of slowing down at all until the morning vote and even when Link made his paltry comeback attempt the entire internet was ready to backhand him into place. L-Block getting in first place was never in doubt at all, nor was the rest of the order once the dust settled. Of course we'd see Link > Cloud with Snake distantly behind them.

What the match meant however was a different matter entirely, much like Cloud upsetting Link in 2003.

Every bracketed contest, with winners:

Summer 2002 - Link defeats Mario
Summer 2003 - Cloud defeats Sephiroth
Spring 2004 - Final Fantasy 7 defeats Chrono Trigger
Summer 2004 - Link defeats Cloud
Spring 2005 - Sephiroth defeats Ganondorf
Summer 2005 - Link defeats Sephiroth
Spring 2006 - The Legend of Zelda defeats Final Fantasy
Summer 2006 - Link defeats Cloud
Summer 2007 - L-Block > Link > Cloud > Snake
Summer 2008 - Link > Snake > Cloud > Crono
Spring 2009 - Ocarina of Time > Final Fantasy 7 > Link to the Past > Final Fantasy X
Winter 2010 - Link defeats Cloud
Fall 2010 - Majora's Mask defeats Brawl

In 13 contests, the Zelda series has been represented in the final 11 times and has won 9 times. Square has been in the final 12 times, but only has 3 wins. The two matches where Zelda actually lost a finals type of match (Cloud > Link was the semis, but it might as well have been the final that year, and Ganondorf losing to Sephiroth doesn't count) are regarded as the two best matches the site has ever had, and it can be postulated we would not still have contests without Zelda suffering those losses.

And just think, this never happens if L-Block is on the top half of the bracket since he likely meets the higher end of the Noble Nine a round earlier. Snake and Sonic couldn't beat him, but L-Block probably wouldn't have survived, say, the Link > Sephiroth > Mario > Vincent match if you replace Vincent with L-Block. The whole run was perfectly lined up for the block in every single way.

Majora's Mask beating Brawl (also known as the best result in contest history) has ultimately saved Link from the ZELDA ALWAYS WINS rant for a damn long time, since ZELDA ALWAYS WINS came through when it mattered most. Brawl is the absolute most disappointing game ever made and had no business whatsoever being named our Game of the Decade. So as bad as it was watching Link win almost every single damn contest, holy hell did he come through when we needed him the most. Enjoy the reprieve from our hate, Link, for you have earned it. Never again will we question your methods.

That said, the L-Block run was lightning in a bottle wrapped in a miracle with a hand-written note from God himself on the package. We may never see anything like this ever again, and Zelda has only gotten stronger since the big L-Block upset. I won't complain about Zelda always winning ever again (because f*** Brawl, seriously, what the f*** have they done and what the f*** were they thinking?), but he does need to be retired. He will never lose a normal match ever again.

To put in a different perspective, this fanbase is actually hyped for Skyward Sword: Adult Toon Link's Misadventure. Enjoy the memory of this L-Block run, because it's probably the last Link loss we'll ever see barring extreme SFF shenanigans.

Couple random last points. As important as this match was, I remember how bad this board was during the final. Worse yet were the people trying to tell me of nearly 1000 PCA articles how I was wrong in my explanation of why L-Block won. I mean really now. L-Block won because it was fun. What other reason do you need? Also, thanks to the scoring system being crap the people that suicided with a Cloud > Link final outscored the people who picked Link > Cloud. Needs to be a 3:1 ratio up top, or better yet make a 4:3:2:1 ratio and make people pick the entire match. That way all those awful battles for third place become instantly interesting.

Not that this idea should ever actually be implemented or anything, mind. Fourways should never never never ever ever ever never ever EVER happen again. Never ever. Never. Forever. Until the end of time.

Stats and Analysis[]

This was the single most anticipated and important match in four and a half years -- since Cloud/Link 2003. I actually made up an excuse to my friends so I could be home by midnight to catch the craziest contest final ever. no way was I going to miss a Tetris Block against our contest gods, Link and Cloud.

To people who follow our contests closely, Link is a force, a character that has an aura of absolute invincibility. Link is so revered for his contest strength that when people suggested Cloud as a possible winner, they were usually met with jeers and insults. Link was seen as being so invincible that, even when the hugest bandwagon you can ever imagine formed, people still picked him to win the contest. I won't call it "fanboyism", but people have come to expect Link to crush everything in sight. The only thing that can stand up to Link is Cloud, and even then it takes Wind Waker pictures and Kingdom Hearts and who knows what other factors in order to eke out a win. Even then, Link came back and beat him worse the next year, and then even worse the next year, and then won by even more the year after. Link is unstoppable. Even the analysis crew sided heavily with Link - even Cloud had more picks to win the contest than L. Clinkfear! ohh yeah.

that's what makes this match rank so high. L-Block, by all reasonable expectations, should have been viewed as the favourite here. everyone could see the bandwagon growing, but few would admit that Link was actually in trouble. even when L-Block took its familiar massive lead -- 55% of the vote after five minutes -- people still held out hope for Link. truly, this match was over in the opening minutes, and was almost anticlimactic by the way L-Block dominated during its first hour. but in a way, that was what made it so amazing. when was the last time Link or Cloud was done for in the opening minutes of a poll? I'm gonna go with "never", but L-Block made that happen.

L came out with its domination in the opening minutes. 65, 70% was nothing new, but to see it happening against Link was an impressive performance indeed. L had a lead of 820 votes at the freeze, and when the first update came, another 500 got added. at 00:20, it was up to 2000. L built a 5500 vote lead on Link in three hours, and then went essentially 50/50 for the rest of the match en route to a 7300 vote win.

the real sight to see here was the board - never before have I seen anything like this. board 8 has never been this fast, unless there's a tight match at the end. there was nothing but L-Block topics. we received 195,000 votes. that's insane, 25 hour match or not. it was a fitting end to a ridiculous contest, the greatest single contest run in history. L-Block will probably never be repeated, but you can't say the words "Character Battle VI" without thinking "L-Block".

(Note from Ulti: The fastest match we've ever had in terms of board speed was Mario > Cloud in 2002.)

Match Trends[]


Ed Bellis' Analysis[]

I couldn’t decide which L-Block triumph should be highest, and in the end this one wins out for being the ultimate victory, the ultimate joke character gone horribly, horribly wrong. L-Block vs. Snake was where people starting really believing that this could happen, but it wasn’t until this poll began that it truly sunk in: Link was losing. The king was dead… to a Tetris block.

A breakneck first hour acquiesced to an inevitable truth… the 2007 contest had ended, and L-Block was king. All glory to the Block.

External Links[]

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2007 Contest Matches

Round One
Yoshi > Knuckles
Mega Man > KOS-MOS
Samus > Frog
Scorpion > Midna
Marcus > Kefka
Cloud > Ocelot
Auron > Shadow
Ryu > Bowser
Sephiroth > Meta Knight
Fox > Wario
Mario > Big Boss
Magus > Phoenix Wright
Link > Bidoof
Vincent > Zelda
Crono > Raiden

Zero > HK-47
Luigi > Mudkip
Ganondorf > Vergil
Master Chief > Yuna
Liquid Snake > Alucard
Dante > Amaterasu
Ada Wong > Balthier
Pikachu > Tidus
Leon > Vivi
Kirby > L-Block
Kratos > Donkey Kong
Snake > Nightmare
Ryu H > Riku
Squall > Aeris
Sora > Lara
Duke > Gordon
Sonic > Sub-Zero

Round Two
Mega Man > Yoshi
Samus > Scorpion
Cloud > Marcus
Auron > Ryu
Sephiroth > Fox
Mario > Big Boss
Link > Vincent
Crono > Zero
Ganondorf > Luigi
Master Chief > Yuna
Dante > Amaterasu
Leon > Pikachu
Kratos > L-Block
Snake > Riku
Squall > Sora
Sonic > Sub-Zero

R3 and following
Samus > Mega Man
Cloud > Ryu
Sephiroth > Mario
Link > Vincent
Master Chief > Luigi
Pikachu > Dante
Snake > L-Block
Sonic > Squall
Cloud > Samus
Link > Sephiroth
Master Chief > Dante
L-Block > Snake
Link > Cloud
L-Block > Snake
L-Block > Link (Finals)
? Block > L-Block (Bonus)