32 players were brave enough to qualify and put their egos on the line this season, but only 1 player in the entire zone gets to celebrate the title of Champion and also walk away with $125 for their excellence in 1v1 2d spaceship battling. With these remaining Warbirds left to duke it out to see whoís the best, the conclusion of Season 12 of TWEL-D is going to be as intense as it gets. Lots of sweaty palms and mom's spaghetti is my prediction.
This season has witnessed a few upsets and plenty of forfeits, but the narrative of this yearís tournament was written very early. Throughout this whole tournament, the gameís undisputed elite asserted their dominance on the rest of the league, making light work of every competitor thrown in front of them until TWEL-D was left with nothing besides the heavyweight division: RaCka, Ricko, Ease, Best, Iron Survivor and myself are the only competitors still standing. Thereís no more freebies. Every single one of these players is a 10* Warbird. Every single duel from this point on will be competition at the highest level.
Hereís a breakdown of each remaining player:
RaCka - Any doubts I had about RaCka being able to still compete as an elite dueler while handicapped on his laptop was quickly erased. Heís played the most difficult bracket while on his way to the last Winnerís Bracket duel before the Grand Finals. Even without the services of his desktop, his rush has still proven to be too much for every challenger. He played 3 of the most aggressive players in the zone in Iron Survivor, 2pacZ and Best, and he controlled the pace against every single one of them, defeating his opponentsí heart and soul as heís gone on runs of 5-0 in every single duel so far this season. Once he figures you out and gets in rhythm, good luck defending the onslaught. If RaCka can complete his journey unscathed through the winnerís bracket, whoís really going to bet against him with a 1-0 lead in the Grand Finals?
Ricko - Along with RaCka, Ricko has also had an incredibly impressive run of perfection, going undefeated against serious competition in the opposite bracket. I clearly underrated Rickoís 1v1 ability in my original predictions thread, and according to his own post, so did he. After what Ricko has accomplished so far this season, it should no longer be a question - his dominance has translated over to the solo game. Dueling IQ and mental toughness are the gap between wins and losses when it comes to 1v1, and Ricko has proven to himself and everyone else that he has plenty of both. This year heís overcome being down multiple match points to defeat elite competition, imposing his will against Attacks and last yearís finalist, Ease, to finish them both off in overtime with identical scores of 12-10. His confidence should be at an all time high as he now finds himself in a great position to win this entire tournament.
Ease - While he suffered a close loss to Ricko in the previous round, thereís no reason to write off Ease just yet. He battled his way back from the Loserís Bracket last year to compete in the Grand Finals. And with a potential earning of $375 if he wins every league (heís currently in the Winnerís Bracket Final in TWEL-J and TWEL-S), itís not out of question that we might see the Greatest of All Time go into full tryhard mode and add his very first TWEL-D Championship to his collection right beside last yearís TWEL-S trophy.
Best - Heís been the most dominant warbird in the zone for the last couple of seasons and itís not debatable. Iíve played with the guy for the last few years and itís pretty much fact at this point: give Best a good start and heís dropping 15 minimum. The same aggressiveness and aim that he brings to squad dueling is magnified in 1v1 play when he only has one opponent to focus on. His defense is his offense and once he starts connecting, he doesnít hesitate to throw you in the middle of his heat check. Unfortunately I got to witness it first hand, falling prey to the pace and overwhelming pressure that his aim creates. His inactivity and overall lack of interest in the game might end up being his downfall, but heís still more than capable of defeating every player left in this league.
Iron Survivor - Iron is still riding high off the momentum of winning TWLD and that kind of confidence mixed with his activity (and lag) is going to make him an extremely dangerous player to go toe to toe with. Heís already a previous TWEL-D Finalist, and Iím sure he wants nothing more than to cap off his team-win with an individual Championship as the best dueler in the zone. Something tells me Iron is still hungry for more and specifically has his eyes set on RaCka for revenge.
Mythril - Dueling Ease Friday night around Midnight EST. Gonna poop on him as soon as I say ĎTWELD champ timeí
Good luck to all!