K-JI: Round five is over, the bell sounds and we’re coming to you live from the Nagoya Dome with our analysis of the PSU Marathon Trophy Competition. I’m your master of ceremonies, K-JI and with me is the man with the plan, Saikou Hakkin. This week was all about the showdown format to spice up and reinvigorate the competitors. Some people failed to get the notice while others sent a message about who is really in charge.
Saikou: The fifth round challenge had the potential for fireworks and the sky was alight in glory as one team showed in the showdown format who is king, while another barely squeaked out a win. It was exciting to watch, and the finish for the three-way bracket was a nail-bitter until the end.
K-JI: Instead of unveiling all the numbers at once we’re going to show it showdown by showdown. First up we have Lasombra vs. Mondofish. Having over twice the points Lasombra handily won 1470 to 600. This was a battle of the captains, Saikou. Thoughts?
Saikou: Even though Lasombra is the captain of Eurocorp he is stuck in the shadow of Tim, no pun intended. Few notice he has been hovering around the 10th place spot overall. While Tim, Supra and Jmar have been putting up superstar numbers, he has been a workhorse by getting top ten numbers every round to give his team a shot. Mondo is in the same boat and this was a statement matchup.
K-JI: Kyle took on Lee in a complete blowout for Eurocorp. Lee never put up a single point, making Kyle’s 720 points not as impressive as it should be. This was his highest performance to date.
Saikou: Lee spiked himself this round and Angelika has not been able to get any word out of the New Epoch locker room as to why he threw up a goose egg.
K-JI: The battle of the team aces gave another surprise. Tim posted a human score of 2505, as the trophy teraquista easily dispatched his New Epoch counterpart Gaglaush, who scored 285. Both competitors are running on fumes comparative to their previous rounds. What can these aces do to regain their all-star form?
Saikou: I think they burnt themselves out and they are too proud to admit it. I think they both need to punt a round to recover, regroup, and reorganize so they will be fresh for the mid-game. Round 6-10 has historically been the least stable. Lots of position changes, lots of high scores, and lots of controversy.
K-JI: Ghost took on Chille in the battle of the MMO specialists. A paltry score of 195 allowed Ghost to squeeze out a victory over Chille’s score of 30. These gamers are MMO specialists so we have to put their low scores into context.
Saikou: You’re right K-JI, both were grinding on Final Fantasy IV so it is not a surprise their scores are so low. For the showdown format it is not a problem but their teammates are going to need more out of them to overtake the other teams in the team event.
K-JI: Lastly we have Fenix taking on Will. 615 to 90 was the final score for Fenix, giving Eurocorp the sweep over their direct rivals in the team competition. New Epoch could not usurp the throne from them this time.
Saikou: The complete victory is one to be celebrated and is a good moral boost, but Eurocorp needs to put this into perspective. New Epoch did not come to game. They floundered like a goldfish out of water, forgot it was out of water and floundered some more. They won but New Epoch made it easy. Kyle did better but Ghost is still holding the team down, while Fenix has not been showing his all-star form from previous events.
K-JI: Eurocorp demolished New Epoch but the three-way showdown was down to the wire. A single trophy was the different between victory and defeat. The aces were paired against each other for a showdown that excited the fans. Neutron haymakers were thrown and when the dust settled Supra reigned supreme on the throne. 9120 was scored to Jmar’s 4890 and Beast’s 3345. I think the fans got their money’s worth from this match-up alone. Do you agree with that Saikou?
Saikou: Definitely, K-JI. The aces had two jobs to do in this showdown. One was to show who the top dog head-head was. No overall scores, no team scores, just mano-a-mano. The second was to put fear into the aces of the other two teams. We don’t talk a lot about the mental aspect of the competition but it is there, and mind games can win points. Supra is now leading the pack for the overall title. There is still a long ways to go but that mental edge is invaluable. Tim had such an early commanding lead, including the record breaking performance, so to drop to second place has to be eating at him. It was his event to lose, and he is losing it currently.
K-JI: Brenden narrowly edged out Forrma in a tough face-off for the captain of the Outsiders. His ace lost and the captain needed to pull rank. The final tally was 1920 to 1575, with Freak putting up an 840 point performance. All three competitors put up good numbers to make it an interesting match-up.
Saikou: Freak got outmatched this time but he would have beaten over half of Eurocorp. Fair play to Brenden. He had to show the flag and get the much needed point. Unlike Eurocorp vs. New Epoch, this match-up has 6 pairings so a tie could have happened. Every point counts.
K-JI: Jakintosh, Lavzee and Beasley are the next pairing. Lavzee came out of nowhere and transformed to take a surprise point for The Establishment. He put up a herculean 1215 compared to Beasley’s 525 and Jak’s goose egg. I say herculean because he had been slipping farther and farther into obscurity each round.
Saikou: He is making an early case for comeback player of the tournament if he can keep his form and put up a bigger number at random times. Jakintosh’s goose egg was the most baffling as he has always been old reliable, especially for being a veteran. Angelika has made no mention of an injury or fallout with the team, so this will remain a round five mystery unless the team makes a statement.
K-JI: In the fourth pairing Maxdamo can add a notch to his win column as he managed to conquer Ace and Medicdog with a score of 405 to 0. Both Ace and Medicdog put up zero points, making Max the luckiest competitor in the format.
Saikou: The Outsiders had two goose eggs, which is really rare. I mentioned Angelika could not get a comment from the locker room but it is obviously a strategy on their part in my opinion. It is the only plan that would make sense unless an injury happened, as in someone’s PS3 exploded. They must have thought three points would win it and went with that strategy, sacrificing matchups that were perceived as weaker.
K-JI: It must have been a successful plan as Blazi won the fifth pairing, defeating Lethal and TSG 1515 to 495 to 1185. Lethal’s form has been abysmal for an established elite trophy hunter, but TSG made a solid effort to try and snag a point.
Saikou: It was a valiant effort but he simply ran out of time. A couple quick games were the difference. Game choice is always interesting in tournaments, but especially so in showdowns. What people don’t realize for tournament play is once a trophy is earned it can’t be gotten again. Everyone uses their personal account each round. No fake accounts. It is a constant shift of when to play certain games. Burn up the cheap, easy Hannah Montanas early, or in previous competitions, and that leaves nothing in reserve. Wait on them for a late push and it could mean too little, too late. These random showdowns and format changes help keep the gamers on their toes so they are not just becoming mindless robots.
K-JI: After five pairings the score is The Outsiders 2, The Establishment 2, and Neo-Collective 1. As we mentioned earlier a team did win this showdown. It was between Patrick, PSGamer and Cloudja. Hindsight is 20-20 but this would have been a moment of redemption for Cloudja. You gave him a plan to try and make it back into the good graces of his team that he ignored, and as luck would have it this was another missed opportunity. Patrick edged PSGamer to give The Outsiders a very close, very competitive showdown victory with a score of 420 to 390. One silver trophy was the difference. Patrick came up with an unlikely victory for his team.
Saikou: Much like the Chille and Ghost pairing, these two gamers are RPG gamers. There are lots of grinding trophies, lots of meaningless task trophies and not a lot of bang for your buck. It was the perfect pairing for them. Patrick grinded a little more and for a little longer to get the match-up edge to win respect from his team. Cloudja at this point is a lost cause for his team, and a hindrance. This is really sad for someone who had potential going into his first rookie event. Pressure or expectations must have gotten to him.
K-JI: Eurocorp and The Outsiders won. Do you think fireworks can flare up when they go against each other in a future showdown?
Saikou: It’ll be interesting to see who would win that battle in a couple rounds. The big strategy that will determine victory will be who The Outsiders choose not to have in the line-up. You can’t do 5 vs. 6 so someone has to drop. Do they let Jmar take a rest and punt a round, or do they not take a risk with someone putting up low numbers going into it? It’ll be an interesting strategy meeting for them, as well as the other teams because New Epoch will be slotted in the three-way.
K-JI: Before we finish the show let us check out the top ten overall standings to show who has the momentum going into round six.
Saikou: Tim is no longer the king. I have to say his spine is brittle and he needs to prove himself again if he wants the overall title. Brenden becoming the fourth player to break the 10,000 mark is not a surprise considering his vast experience from last year’s tournament. Gaglaush is barely holding onto ninth position, the one bright spot on his team at the moment. Round six will be very interesting depending on how people respond from this round’s showdown.
K-JI: As always for Saikou Hakkin, I’m K-JI saying swing for your dreams. Join us again for round six of the PSU Marathon Trophy Competition. Will Brenden vault over Beast? Can one of Gaglaush’s teammates crack the top ten? Will Forrma keep up his good form? All these and more will be answered, live from the Nagoya Dome.
Missed a round of the toughest competition in e-sports or want to see the overall scoreboard? Check out the marathon thread and cheer on your favourite comeptitor!
Dane Smith is the Japan editor for PlayStation Universe. When not out on the streets of Nagoya wondering why no one is looking for a Yakuza-style showdown, he can be found cracking open the newest RPG to hit the shelves. You can follow him on Twitter or read some of his past musings.