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Round Two


Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Ulti's Analysis[]

Poll 3290
Round Division 8 Semi Final
Match # 47
Match Date Monday, November 3rd, 2008
Sonic the Hedgehog - 30.53%
Auron - 29.59%
Sandbag - 21.43%
Sub-Zero - 18.51%
Auron first place (4pts) - 10.60%
Auron second place (2pts) - 28.90%
Sonic second place (4pts) - 15.47%
Sonic first place (2pts) - 53.47%
Auron - 39.50% (16,947)
Sonic - 68.94% (29,577)

Tohoya, The Real Truth, Terrafire, amyvitality, Zagro, Explicit Content, and Xuxon are the only gurus who picked Auron to get first place here. You guys are geniuses and get to be immortalized in PCA lore forever. Nice job, folks! Bizarrely, two of you went the extra mile and thought Sonic wouldn't even get second place -- Terrafire had Magus(?) in this spot, and TRT picked Sandbag. Doesn't make this insanely beautiful upset pick mean any less though, no worries.

As for the match, I was there. I remember the hype. I remember all the people saying there was clear data Auron was a 4way all-star and had the chops to pull this off. I remember ignoring the litany of terrible matches Sonic has had since 2006. I remember looking at this match in 2007, shrugging it off, and thinking "nah, I'll be fine" like a Critical Drinker skit:

And to this day, I still cannot believe this result actually happened. Like I'm sitting here looking at this thing in 2020, going "Did this actually happen? Did Auron seriously beat the tar out of Sonic in the year Brawl came out?"

Yep. It's real. It actually happened. Props to everyone who called it, and props to everyone who hyped this thing up all contest. It shocked me when it happened and it still shocks me now to look at it all these years later. It wasn't just that Auron won; it was the way he won. After the freeze, this match was never even close. Auron just beat the shit out of the guy for 24 straight hours. You know those weird sports upsets where the underdog wins, but plays the entire game like they knew they were the better team the whole time, and even after it's over the fans are left scratching their heads? The 18-1 Super Bowl felt like that. The Magic randomly beating Lebon's Cavs that one year felt like that. The Pistons getting a gentlemen's sweep over the Lakers definitely fits the bill, and is probably the biggest example I can think of.

That was what watching this match felt like for me. It was just like... what on earth was I even seeing? I know Auron boosted from Kingdom Hearts 2 and Sonic wasn't looking too great there in the mid-2000s, but this was something else. The Noble Nine very rarely loses to outsiders, so any loss is a big deal. A loss this decisive is just.... yeah. This was much deeper than one upset, almost as if Sonic fans were punishing the guy for having such a garbage series for so long. I'd bring up how this not being a 1v1 was highway robbery in terms of longstanding contest lore, but I've ranted enough on that subject for now. For all the WTF factor of Auron winning this match, Sonic still advanced anyway. Dumb.

Last point. Sandbag was a bit of a dud. There was some fear he would pull an L-Block, but instead it was just one upset over a choke artist before bowing out in an easy last place. It was another data point in an increasing line of them that the joke factor, while still existent, would not be the end-al be-all of deciding this contest. The big names were all out for revenge.

Stats and Analysis[]

This, to me, was probably one of the most enjoyable results of the contest. Partially because I had it in my bracket and argued the stew out of it, of course! - but also because of the validation that it meant for a character who has not only become one of my all time favorite characters, but a contest entrant who really deserved a chance to shine.

Auron has always been a character who has straddled the line between upper-midcarder and near-elite. Now after the release of KH2 he's firmly on the side of the latter, but before then he's had to suffer some tough draws. Knocking down fodder before getting fed to Cloud and Sephiroth in 2003 and 2004 is pretty rough, and he got his big chance against Ganondorf in 2005... only to let his Villains Contest high and The Boost send him to a humiliatingly easy loss.

Since then and the release of KH2, however, he's looked only better and better - pulling in a great number on Crono in 2006, and then a pair of dominating performances in 2007 before barely - barely - losing to Ryu in the face of Cloud SFF. Despite this, however, there have been some who have treated Auron like Dante - strong, sure, but never able to pull off a shocker against the big boys. Well, the writing was on the wall after his and Sonic's first round matches, and he would have absolutely no excuses if he wasn't able to pull the upset here.

And Sonic, having looked AWFUL ever since his upset victory of Crono back in 2006, finally saw his bad performances catch up with him as Auron easily fought off his bracket vote, pushed ahead in the Power Hour, and essentially never looked back en route to a match Sonic was never even remotely in. The hype for this match and the payoff are pretty much the only things of note in this match, because Sonic's efforts were BORING. Heck, watching Sandbag fail and end up getting clobbered by Sub-Zero were more entertaining than the hedgehog, as it really threw into perspective exactly how pitiful Magus had been in the previous round.

And with this result, a whole new line of conversation was opened - could Auron end up advancing AGAIN next round? Not too many entertained the idea, but Tifa holding up as well as she did last round gave some credence to the idea. It would have to be seen how well she would do the next day against Kratos.

Match Trends[]


Ngamer's Same Day Analysis[]

Match Prediction[]

And now for maybe the most-discussed matchup of the round! Let's throw a couple hundred more words at it, shall we?

X-Stats from Round One:

  • Sonic - 39.10% (based on Shepard = Marcus)
  • Sandbag - 31.61% (based on Shephard = Marcus)
  • Auron - 35.92% (based on '07 Marcus)
  • Sub-Zero - 29.09% (based on '07 Marcus)

What terrible numbers! I guess I didn't want to base anything off that horrible showing by Magus last year, but it's clear Sonic and the Sandman should be way lower. Likewise you can't make a very good case for '08 Marcus... he was just not nearly the same character who surprised us a year ago, for some reason. With a fixed set you would surely see Auron entering the fray as a distinct favorite, I would think.

Let's start with ol' Sandy eyes. He appeared to have confirmed himself as the one joke character who was going to perform like a joke about an hour into his match- the early joke push had been there to an extent, but Magus was soon killing him, and it got especially nasty once the NPH was over. But wow, what an ASV he came up with! Fortunately for our sanity, I can't see anything like that taking place again in this one... Sonic will be there to help limit his morning, and then both Auron and Sub-Zero are guys with respectable strength all through the day; a Magus-like collapse from either would be just unheard of. Since he'll be against three guys with pretty unique fanbases, all of whom look great in the pic (while he's got about the most bland image imaginable), I can't see the Bag maintaining his joke base as well as WCC did the other day- a slip from 25 to around 22 or 21 should be more likely.

The bad new for Subby: even a Bag weakened that far will probably be too much for him to deal with. Yeah, the blue ninja held up well directly on Auron in R1, but I figure much of that is his ability soak of casual votes like a sponge, much like his partner in ninjadom, Hayabusa. Now that Sega fans and Smash fans have somewhere else to go with their votes, he probably loses a bit of ground versus Auron's more steadfast base, and as a result I have trouble seeing him stay out of the basement here.

Which of course means that the real battle should be Auron versus Sonic- and I think it's going to be a true slugfest! On the one hand Sonic is pretty obviously the character with the greater natural strength. On the other, his whole Team has been just dreadful in this format two years running, New Square has been consistently solid and seems to have improved somewhat for '08, and worst of all, he's going to be splitting much of his newfound Smash support with that bag of sand over there. Perhaps I should be more cautious... after all, Squall looked all-world in R1 as well, and that didn't stop him from getting brought way back down in earth a few days ago. But come on, Smilin' Squall versus Winkin' Auron- there's just no comparison! Plus there no option remotely like Sora in this bunch for those on-the-fence Square supporters.

  • Auron - 29.39%
  • Sonic the Hedgehog - 29.21%
  • Sandbag - 22.03%
  • Sub-Zero - 19.38%

That looks... just fine!

Ngamer Says: Auron > Sonic

Next Day Review[]

Uh oh, not alot of time for tonight's writeup because I spent most of it doing an Oracle prediction of the upcoming election. So let me just quickly say, hoooray for Auron! So good to see him finally be given a chance to knock around fodder before getting bounced out by Cloud/Sephiroth... this time he got to knock around a Noble Niner before that happened! Also it's obviously awesome to see the weakening joke trend continue, as Sandy couldn't even manage a real ASV and is going to be punked easily by Subby in this one. I still don't have much hope for Pika over the Block, but after a showing like this I think MM > WCC once against becomes a good possibility, even with Zero trying to hold him 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)