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Round Two


Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Ulti's Analysis[]

Poll 3277
Round Division 1 Semi Final
Match # 34
Match Date Tuesday, October 21st, 2008


Altair - 32.30%
Duke Nukem - 25.46%
Marth - 25.37%
Lucario - 16.87%


Duke first place (4pts) - 19.42%
Duke second place (2pts) - 9.65%
Altair second place (4pts) - 27.81%
Altair first place (2pts) - 8.43%
Duke - 29.07% (12,472)
Altair - 36.24% (15,548)

For a lot of people, BrawlFEAR died in round 1, which makes sense. Brawl by itself clearly wasn't enough to make a weak character win contest matches. The final nail in that coffin where it was buried for good was likely this match, where Lucario followed up his trash round 1 showing with.... whatever you want to call this. Pokemon after 151 clearly aren't anything in contests without the joke factor, and Lucario bombed so badly in this contest that he was never invited back. Seriously, his pair of matches in '08 are his only showing. He was that awful. Even worse, his being here completely screwed Marth out of making it into round 3. Marth outright won his poll in round 1 where Duke Nukem got second place, but any hopes of Marth advancing here died with Lucario's leech job. Marth held on for about 30 minutes, but then he just totally died.

The shocker of all shockers though was Duke Nukem being out in first place when this poll first started. Altair getting second place was equally surprising, but Duke himself just blew everyone away with how good he looked. To put this into some perspective, here are the guru numbers for this match.

6 people picked Duke Nukem to get first place here. They deserve to be immortalized, so here are their names: TheRye, alblito, Smurf, Rhyhorn, Han, and LinkLegend27. You guys are geniuses or crazy men, and probably both! Good picking. Only 19 gurus had Duke making it into round 3. Equally shocking was Altair; only 17 had him making round 3.

Altair making a hyped new guy run makes some sense. Great character design, popular series, and in most contests we see a new character or game make a run. Duke however makes no sense at all, and I say this as someone who picked the guy to get second place here. It was pure luck, because I thought Altair would be crap and Lucario would SFF Marth into the ground. What actually happened was even sillier. Once Altair shook Marth off, Duke and Altair were locks to advance. Altair actually made a crazy push for first place here, but it was too little too late. Duke had a 2700 lead at one point, and Altair cut almost 2000 votes off of that to lose out by only 750 or so. It was super impressive performance by both characters, and Duke almost blowing the lead does not take away from how shocking this all was.

Reason being, here is Duke's entire contest history up until 2008.

This dude was bottomfeeder trash for years, and only advanced in 2007 because he was up against a motley crew of losers. This year, however, was no fluke. Duke didn't just squeak by here; he destroyed Nintendo in this one, in one of the most randomly insane matches we'll ever have in a contest. It's up there with Kefka > Arthas and DMC5 > Tropical Freeze on the WTF scale, and it's within reason to assume Duke Nukem will never make round 3 of a contest again.

Balls of steel, son. You got em. Sure his destiny was getting destroyed in round 3, but for a guy like Duke Nukem, making it into round 3 is basically his version of winning a contest outright.

Stats and Analysis[]

After putting up a percentage that is typically only seen by high midcarders and near-elites, Altair was looking GOLDEN for this Round 2 throwdown, and the Oracle predictions show it. Duke was also looking great to advance, as Marth had beat him by an unconvincing margin and Lucario, pathetic as he is, was definitely going to hold him back.

But we soon saw that Lucario nearly getting upset by Isaac was no fluke, and Altair's 43%+ didn't mean as much as it first appeared when stacked up against characters that actually have a fanbase. It also couldn't hurt that Duke drew all the picture in the match pic and him winning was starting to be embraced as a fad by half the board, but if Duke ever put up those kind of numbers we'd be suspect from the get-go.

What ensued what was in retrospect a pretty close match, although not recognizing the potential of Altair's day vote at first made it deceptive. The board did its darndest to keep Marth over Duke in the initial surge, but the power of Lucario-lovers was too much and he was immediately dragged down to earth. Altair was apparently bombing though, so it seemed he was safe to advance.

And that thinking lasted all of one update, as Marth just fell off the face of the earth and Altair surged ahead, taking the lead and just not letting go. Duke had a killer night vote on the lot of them, though, and by morning had built himself a practically insurmountable lead. Altair had a go of it, however, and ended less than 1000 votes away from Duke by the end. That retrospective closeness would only underscore the most important thing - Duke had somehow yet again pulled an extraordinary upset and beaten a big favorite for the win. Considering this is the guy who was getting put up as a 16 seed milk carton against Cloud and was thought to have left these contests for good, that's really saying something.

For the board's part, we could at least exhale - this weird ass half-division was finally done, and neither of the competitors had put up the numbers to give confidence in beating Zack. We were sort of ignoring the fact that Duke and Altair escaping gave most of us ZERO points in our brackets but, eh, details.

Lastly, I'll save one last cringe for Marth. How do you let the equivalent of Isaac get 40% on you? Marth's strength is either much more suspect than I thought, or he somehow let Lucario rSFF him. And if the latter case is true, that means that somehow one of the elite top tier characters of SSBM, fan-favorite in both games, is somehow lower on the totem pole than a Brawl-only nobody. Neither reflects well on the pantsless one.

Match Trends[]


Ngamer's Same Day Analysis[]

Match Prediction[]

Anyways, today- wowza, what a mess of a matchup! We knew Division One was going to be wild heading in, and boy has it lived up to the billing. Let's break out my new R1-based writeup format and get cracking!

Round One Values

  • Marth - 22.61% (based on '07 Kefka)
  • Duke - 21.34% (based on '07 Kefka)
  • Altair - 18.83% (based on '07 Guybrush)
  • Lucario - 12.80% (based on '07 Guybrush)

Now obviously that Altair number is a little low, because Guybrush looked a decent bit better last month than he did a year ago, but the point remains - everyone going crazy over him needs to take a step back and realize that he only blew out a guy who's as strong as Isaac. Not only that, but an Isaac who was being LFF'd by another Nintendo option! You don't exactly have to be a Titan of the industry to pull that off, and heck, I think even Duke could have done it, so Altair's going to have a difficult time finishing second tonight IMO.

Lucario... is just awful, no way around it. His only hope is that he shares less of a fanbase with Marth than he did Isaac- which I guess is ALMOST possible given their Nintendo handheld overlap, but nay, Luc must get almost all his votes from Brawl so it's much more likely that Marth murders him. I'd have to call last place a lock for the guy, and by a large margin.

The coolest battle should be for first place between Duke and Marth. Chalk me up as a big Duke disbeliever, but even I've been forced to warm up to him this past month: between making the Contest banner pic, dominating this match pic, Forever, and his taglines making him the best joke option of the bunch, I've got to believe Nukem has the upper hand in this group. Even so, I see Marth beating down Luc so effectively that he'll be able to make something of a run at Duke during the Day to keep this one interesting, and at the same time give himself enough of a gap to not be overcome by Altair's Xbox ASV.

Sooo Duke > Marth > Altair in a fairly tight one with Lucario lagging well behind ought to spin to something like...

  • Duke Nukem - 28.28%
  • Marth - 28.11%
  • Altair - 28.05%
  • Lucario - 15.56%

That looks... marvelous!

Ngamer Says: Duke > Marth

Next Day Review[]

Pretty much all the long-time Contest vets were up in arms when we found out that this year's Contest would once again be a 4-way, and I'll admit that I was just as opposed to the idea as any of them. While I still feel that we're overdue to return to 1v1s for '09, I've got to admit that occasionally this format can turn out some real gems, and these two matches are a great example. Both yesterday and for tonight you could make a strong case for any of the top three characters finishing in any position, and that's pretty amazing IMO. Speaking of the current match, I can't say too much right now, as Duke has completely fallen off the map with the ASV (the only surprising thing is that it didn't happen sooner!) and will need to recover soon to ensure Altair doesn't overtake him. The one thing I CAN say though is boy, what a disappointment from Marth! You're a two-time SSB veteran, how are you letting a guy who got owned that hard last round hang around in this one? Bah, I guess the D/P generation of Pokemon isn't as pathetically weak as we all thought a few weeks back.

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)