Raven Is Raw Wins The KrossUp Season Finale!
After a long but exciting journey with the Killer Instinct community, the KrossUp circuit has finally come to a close.
We at StreamMe want to thank everybody who participated. Every match we’ve seen for the past eight weeks has been magical, but as the saying goes, “Save the best for last.” We can safely say, that is exactly how the finale looked. Mr Aquaman and I were privileged to be able to cast a fitting conclusion to the league.
As per usual, I could go into detail about every match that took place, but then we would be here all day! So to make it easier on the readers – and to leave them with more to be surprised about – we are going to give you a rundown of Winner’s Finals, Loser’s Finals and Grand Finals while we let you watch the rest at this archive from the KrossUp Stream.Me channel.
But first, a little review of what happened prior to the finale: HW DaaChronicle’s victory in Week 8 tied him with MnT Letalis for 8th place in the final rankings. Because the finale only had room for eight players, the two would have to play a tie-breaker match to determine who would become the eighth seed. The victor would then be forced to face F3 Sleep in the finale’s opening match. A daunting challenge considering Sleep’s status as the World Cup champion, but one that both players would be willing to take.
DaaChronicle (Shadow Jago) takes a wary approach when zoning Aganos. When the golem has a bar stocked, his Shadow Ruin will ignore fireballs and punish from a considerable distance, so DaaChronicle decides to fight from the mid-range by using forward heavy kick to discourage MnT Letalis from just strolling right into his territory. But contesting Aganos at such a range is dangerous for anyone. Although effective, DaaChronicle eventually overreaches by burning resources on surged slides and divekicks, but Letalis counters this by purposely taking the hit so that his armor would cause a trade in his favor, leaving his opponent open to punishes. When DaaChronicle’s attempt at a Raging Demon goes awry, he is left with limited options to fight back. With Letalis up two games to nil, DaaChronicle switches to Fulgore for a stronger mixture of zoning and offense. While he finds greater success in cracking Letalis’s defense, he keeps his combos short and simple to maintain mix-up opportunities, but this allows Letalis plenty of room for error while he fights his way out. DaaChronicle gets so reliant on the vortex that he completely disregards Letalis’s meter, and this costs him when Letalis wakes up with a Shadow Ruin that completely decimates the remainder of his health. Letalis emerges 3-0 and qualifies into the Season Finale!
With that, the final stage of the KrossUp circuit commences…
After the Winner’s Bracket runs its course, the only two left standing are Raven is Raw (Spinal) and HW xXHoLoGrAmXx (Thunder). Hologram has been known to rush down without a care in the world for the majority of his matches, but against Raven he is forced to pull the reigns on himself as the Spinal specialist demonstrates accurate punishes against every unsafe option from Thunder. Hologram is also flustered by Raven’s consistency in eluding the command grab despite being “conditioned” by Thunder’s pokes. In answer to this, Hologram purposely drops combos to force reset situations with his forward heavy punch overhead and his Ankle Slicer low. The match becomes like a game of cat and mouse: Hologram comes in swinging and Raven reacts with a teleport to dodge the offense and punish while adding skulls to his arsenal. On occasion Raven plays a conserved zoning game to not only reprimand Hologram for his unsafe approach but also to lock his meter down. Speaking of locking meter down, Raven makes it a point to seal off Thunder’s Instinct in order to regulate his opponent. Hologram delivers a strong response with suffocating offense and a refusal to be frame-trapped (Shadow Sammamish as a reversal, in other words). In return, Raven starts the final match with a Counter Breaker on his medium auto and suddenly the world comes tumbling down for Hologram. Raven comes out on top 3-2 with a teabag attached!
F3 Sleep had been sent to the Loser’s side of the bracket by Hologram when they first met in Winner’s Semis, so the two would meet for a rematch in Loser’s Finals. Similar to their previous set, Sleep broke out the Kilgore and sought an all-zoning approach where he’d constantly run away and condition with machine guns while chipping away with missiles. As the machine guns do no chip damage, Sleep is forced to stutter his zoning once in a while in order to avoid losing space control over the entire screen. He almost wins the first game using this strategy alone, but Hologram finally violates his space to snatch victory away from his grasp. In Game 2, Sleep is better prepared for his desperate DPs, using a bar to instantly cancel his standing fierce into an anti-air DP, which gives him time to retreat to full-screen again. The zoning whittles away the rest of Hologram’s willpower and Sleep ties up the set 1-1, an improvement from their previous set which Hologram had taken without dropping a game. Unfortunately for Sleep, he is completely unable to elude Thunder throughout the entirety of the third match. Hologram locks him down while buffering cancels behind his normals to accommodate for Kilgore’s explosive teleport, a tool Sleep had almost never used in all of their matches. With Hologram on set point, Sleep finally switches back to his ARIA. Hologram demonstrates remarkable defense against Sleep’s cross-up offense which is ordinarily almost impossible to defend consistently against, but a whiff punish with ARIA’s crouching medium kick begins a sequence that wipes out Hologram’s first health bar. In retaliation, Hologram makes quick work of two of ARIA’s bodies within the next ten seconds, leaving Sleep with only his Boost Body to work with. Sleep immediately activates Instinct Mode and adopts the same approach he took with Kilgore, but his zoning eventually leaves him trapped in the corner where Hologram proceeds to eliminate him 3-1.
It has been a long time coming, but at long last, the tournament enters KrossUp’s absolute final confrontation between Raven is Raw and HW xXHoLoGrAmXx. Although there are three seasons full of characters in Killer Instinct, Season 1 characters would set the stage for the Grand Finals. Although Raven had not played a single match for hours since he first qualified, he looks no less comfortable than he was after his adjustment in Winner’s Finals. Every time Hologram connected a command grab, he would try for another one only for Raven to jump out of it and counter-attack. Raven plays a dangerous game cornering himself with his teleport and yet Hologram struggles to keep him trapped there. With his use of Instinct-only dashes suffering from a limit, Hologram hastens to get into the right distance to attack. Raven will at times retreat only to run back in and anti-air with a Soul Sword whenever Thunder takes to the sky, and this approach proves highly effective. With his first two wins, Raven enters tournament point, yet Hologram refuses to go quietly into the night. A slew of Counter Breakers interrupts Raven’s attempts to escape juggles, costing him life bars in the blink of an eye. With a Supreme Victory under his belt, it appears that the download is completed, but Hologram becomes a tad too courageous with the risks in Game 4 at a cost of his newfound momentum. Raven is able to play his game once again, spending skulls for continuous teleports and punish opportunities as his opponent tries desperately to chase after him. With his last life bar in the Danger zone, Hologram manages to take the second round, but the pressure on him is evident. Raven maintains his patience knowing that Hologram will hang himself and sure enough, the Thunder specialist commits to an unsafe option and is ultimately defeated as a result.
1st – Raven is Raw
2nd – HW xXHoLoGrAmXx
3rd – F3 Sleep
4th – UA Bass
5th – UA Wheels
6th – Ectopic ILLusion
7th – Mike N Ike 25
7th – MnT Letalis
8th Seed Match
HW DaaChronicle (Shadow Jago and Fulgore): 0 vs. MnT Letalis (Aganos): 3
MnT Letalis (Omen and TJ Combo): 0 vs. F3 Sleep (Kilgore): 3
Ectopic ILLusion (Cinder): 1 vs. HW xXHoLoGrAmXx (Thunder): 3
UA Wheels (Gargos and Sabrewulf): 2 vs. Raven is Raw (Spinal): 3
UA Bass (Mira): 3 vs. Mike N Ike 25 (Thunder): 2
F3 Sleep (Kilgore and ARIA): 0 vs. HW xXHoLoGrAmXx (Thunder): 3
Raven is Raw (Spinal): 3 vs. UA Bass (Spinal): 2
Raven is Raw (Spinal): 3 vs. HW xXHoLoGrAmXx (Thunder): 2
Loser’s Bracket, Round 1
MnT Letalis (Aganos): 1 vs. Ectopic ILLusion (Cinder): 3
UA Wheels (Gargos): 3 vs. Mike N Ike 25 (Thunder): 0
UA Bass (Spinal): 3 vs. Ectopic ILLusion (Cinder): 0
F3 Sleep (ARIA): 3 vs. UA Wheels (Orchid and Tusk)
5th Place Match
UA Wheels (Gargos): 3 vs. Ectopic ILLusion (Cinder): 1
UA Bass (Cinder and Mira): 0 vs. F3 Sleep (ARIA): 3
F3 Sleep (Kilgore and ARIA): 1 vs. HW xXHoLoGrAmXx (Thunder): 3
Raven is Raw (Spinal): 3 vs. HW xXHoLoGrAmXx (Thunder): 1
We are happy to congratulate Raven is Raw for becoming the KrossUp Season champion! His resume is impressive to behold: 3-2 against UA Wheels, 3-2 against Bass (in the Spinal mirror!), 3-2 against Hologram in Winner’s Finals and finally a 3-1 victory in their rematch! Although he had not won any of the qualifying events for KrossUp, he did make seven consecutive Top 8s and was an inch away from an eighth. Consistency has blossomed into the greatest victory one can achieve.
As seen in the match log above, a prize pool of $1,100 accompanied the finale’s bracket. $100 of it goes to UA Wheels, who defeated Ectopic ILLusion in the match that would decide who’d finish at 5th place. Bass takes $125 for placing 4th; Sleep takes $175 for 3rd; Hologram earns $300 for placing second and finally…the biggest share of the pot, $400, as well as all the glory in the world, goes to the KrossUp champion, Raven.
We at StreamMe truly hope that all the Killer Instinct players enjoyed their experience in the KrossUp circuit. It has been a pleasure to witness every iota of gameplay that you all brought to the table. For those outside of North America hoping to experience a similar league, you can sign up for King of the Ring which is brought to you by The Dutch Brawlers and StreamMe. See their Smash.GG page for more details.
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Stay tuned to the blog for an upcoming interview with the KrossUp champion!
Thank you all once again for joining us on this journey. Continue to sharpen your skills in your favorite fighting games because StreamMe will have more fighting game competitions coming your way!