Vegas Cup 3 – Tournament Round up – Part 1

Vegas Cup 3 round-up:

On March 23rd and 24th, over 60 participants duked it out in four different games in the “King of Fighters” franchise. Vegas Cup 3 is a KOF-centric tournament held by the local Vegas community and produced by VegasKOF. Players came from 7 different countries to fight in The King of Fighters 98: The Slugfest, The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match, The King of Fighters XIII, and the King of Fighters XIV. Vegas Cup 3 was also a qualifier tournament for the Neo Geo World Tour and lead to two brand new players entering the fray for the NGWT Season 2 Finals in August.

The King of Fighters 2002:

A special thanks to Paul Tiffany and NYCFurby for streaming, cutting, and uploading all the footage! You can watch all the match footage in the official channel here:

ET came ready to play in the beginning of the tournament. His first fight of the day was Luis Cha and he showed his skills in 2k2UM against a living legend like Cha. Each match was close and often down to the last character, but ET scraped by to advance. ZJZ went up against VegasKOF | Layec and he was relentless. While Layec’s Ryo showed impressive and unheard of skill, ZJZ dominated the match and advanced to winner’s finals. ET and ZJZ fought in back to back nail-biting matches, but it was ET that came out on top.

However, in loser’s bracket, the lone Japanese player, Sana, emerged after taking on VegasKOF | Johny. He worked his way through loser’s against Luis Cha and just kept picking up steam.

TC | Pizzero faced off against Vegas Cup newcomer, SeisMX, and eliminated him in a close set. However, Pizzero’s rise met a sudden fall as Layec eliminated him soon after. Layec then faced off against Sana in what could only be a titanic match between two.

Layec had his back to the corner, but his Vice came out swinging with a max mode confirm. Sana answered back by giving Vice the touch of death with Nameless, securing his spot in Loser’s Finals.

Loser’s finals between Sana and ZJZ was electrifying. ZJZ dominated at first taking a 2-1 lead against Sana, who’d fought his way through loser’s to get to this point. Sana switched Kula out for Choi and began his assault on ZJZ’s defenses. In the end, he pulled through and got a shot to run it back with ET.

KOF2k2UM Grand Finals

ET was waiting comfortably in winner’s side of grand finals, but Sana was hungry for victory. He started off with his Kula, K’, and Nameless team and hit the brick wall that was ET’s Kasumi, Bao, and Xiangfei. ET dominated the first two rounds and was poised for victory with a 2-0 lead. Sana went to character select and immediately switched Kula to Choi. From then on, Sana was on a tear, outplaying ET at every opportunity to win three games straight against the EVO champion to reset the bracket. Sana would be one of the very few to reset the bracket on ET that day.

ET went back to character select and picked up EX Chris on his team. From that point, it was curtains for the Japanese challenger. ET dominated from the reset to win 3-0 and secure his victory in 2002.

The King of Fighters XIII:

A special thanks to Paul Tiffany and NYCFurby for streaming, cutting, and uploading all the footage! You can watch all the match footage in the official channel here:

KOF XIII was the next top 8 with a lot of familiar faces. Top 8 winners began with El Matador vs. El Rosa. El Matador had tied for fifth in Vegas Cup 2 having lost to RG | Huevo. This year, he came determined to win. He fought off El Rosa in close matches against his Hwa, Shen, and Vice vs. Mr. Karate, Kim, and Yuri for El Matador to secure his win. ET faced off against VegasKOF | Wero Asamiya in a run back of grand finals from Vegas Cup 2.

ET played a stellar game 1 against Wero, but started to falter as Wero started to pick up steam. His EX Iori had run through Duolon and Mr. Karate in game 2, and ET could only rely on clark to get rid of Wero’s Iori and Mr. Karate. ET mounted the comeback to end all comebacks to put Wero into loser’s with his Clark, 2-0.

Running the Gauntlet in Loser’s

Loser’s bracket began and RG | Huevo vs. TDF | TxC ViolentKain was up next and it was a match not seen since EVO 2016. One person was going home and one person was advancing. Both competitors fought hard in back and forth sets with RG | Huevo mounting a solid defense with Clark in the first game and ViolentKain battling back with his Mr. Karate in the second set. In the final set, ViolentKain kept the pressure on with his Kyo to finish off his opponent 2-1.

The next elimination match was TC | Yoshi vs. VegasKOF Layec. Sporting the only Chin in top 8, TC Yoshi tore through VegasKOF’s Mr. Karate, but Layec’s Hwa Jai managed to pull off some unheard of maneuvers to tear through the rest of Yoshi’s team.

In the second set, Yoshi brought it back with his Chin and finished off Mr. Karate and Hwa Jai. It all came down to Layec’s Maxima. A few exchanges were all it took for Layec’s Maxima to rip through Chin and Shen, ending the match in a tense back and forth where Layec baited Yoshi to roll so he could punish with EX Maxima Press.

https://youtu.be/o8d0KPRdyTM?t=3121

 

El Rosa and ViolentKain were up next in a team elimination kill for Texas Crew. El Rosa sported Vice, Mature, and Hwa Jai while ViolentKain kept his EX Iori, Kyo, and Mr. Karate. The first match went convincingly to El Rosa as he gained a solid lead against Violent Kain’s EX Iori and presented brick wall to ViolentKain’s offense. The second set was all EX Iori as he managed to rack up damage performing the Aoi Bana rekka infinite multiple times for an OCV.

https://youtu.be/o8d0KPRdyTM?t=3800

After that loss, El Rosa switched out Shen for Kensou for the final fight. ViolentKain did not let El Rosa’s Kensou started. He anti-aired with the rekka into the infinite series. EX Iori secured two more confirms into the infinite series against Hwa Jai. As a result, this put El Rosa in a big disadvantage, and softened him up for the ViolentKain’s Kyo to finish the job.

Maxima breaks top 5?!

In another team kill, VegasKOF Layec would go up against VegasKOF Wero Asamiya. The two competitors and teammates went at each other, and Layec came out on top in the first set sporting his Mr. Karate, Shen, and Maxima while Wero played Mr. Karate, EX Iori, and King.

Layec showed immense skill with his Mr. Karate in both sets to deal with Wero’s Mr. Karate and EX Iori. He rode the life lead to his first victory. Wero adjusted and brought it all the way back with his team in the second set. It came down to Layec’s Maxima in the last round, and he did not disaapoint. Maxima held the line and secured victory for Layec, 2-0 over Wero Asamiya.

KOF XIII – Winner’s Finals

ET vs. MTDR | El Matador promised to be an exciting match. ET was the returning Vegas Cup champion in KOF XIII. Matador came in as the hometown hero in his first Winner’s Finals for KOF XIII at Vegas Cup 3. The first two sets against the champ were intense and rough for Matador who struggled to stop the offense and spacing tactics of ET’s Benimaru. The last set was an adjustment made by ET and solidified his defense against every opportunity by Matador to crack him. As a result, ET secured his victory 3-0.

VegasKOF Layec vs. TDF | TxC ViolentKain saw two titanic teams fighting for a chance at El Matador in Loser’s Finals. Layec was riding high from his dominate matches, but ViolentKain was on fire from the fantastic play he displayed in the earlier matches. Layec played Mr. Karate, Maxima, and Hwa Jai while Violent Kain stuck with his Mr. Karate, EX Iori, and Kyo.

However, Mr. Karate did a lot of work for Violent Kain in maneuvering around Layec’s defenses and breaking stalemates. As a result, the match was tense and everything was put on the line.  Riding that momentum from the last match, ViolentKain came out on top to advance to Loser’s Finals for KOF XIII.

https://youtu.be/o8d0KPRdyTM?t=5629

KOF XIII – Loser’s Finals

MTDR | El Matador would face off against TDF | TxC ViolentKain in his final chance for the crown. The hometown hero put up a miraculous fight against Violent Kain. However, the challenger put up a daunting fight with his Mr. Karate, EX Iori, and Kyo.

Advancing to the next set, El Matador brought the fight to ViolentKain with Kim by tearing through Kyo and Mr. Karate. EX Iori waited as an anchor in a 2 to 1 situation, and that did not stop him. Against all odds, Iori ran through Kim and finished Yuri in the second set with a rekka infinite.

https://youtu.be/o8d0KPRdyTM?t=6670

Now, 2-0, El Matador switched out the Mr. Karate for Benimaru. ViolentKain’s Mr. Karate presented a wall to Kim and Benimaru in the first part of the set. ViolentKain found the holes in the offense by El Matador and used reversals to break through. The match ended with Mr. Karate tearing through El Matador’s anchor, Yuri, for an OCV finish to eliminate Matador 3 to 0.

KOF XIII Grand Finals

On Winner’s side, ET sat comfortably waiting for a challenger. Meanwhile, ViolentKain had climbed all the way to Loser’s side of of the bracket. ET had to win 3 matches and ViolentKain needed 6. ET got in one round, but ViolentKain battled back to reset the bracket 3 to 1.

The returning champion switched around his order to place Mr. Karate at anchor and shore up his defense. ViolentKain blew past them by converting anti-airs, empty jumps, command grabs, and even instant supers for impressive amount of damage. He tried to stay ahead of ET as he mounted is comeback.

In the reset, ET regained his composure and battled with everything he had by switching out Clark for Hwa Jai. ViolentKain was still hungry for victory and fought back against the champion. Hwa Jai presented a significant challenge to ViolentKain’s team in the hands of ET. The final match began with ViolentKain managing to sink the Hwa Jai to even up the score. However, ViolentKain fell to Mr. Karate as ET rose again as the champion for The King of Fighters XIII at Vegas Cup 3!

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