Last Saturday, Nicko won OAKSMASH SATURDAY 16 @ LFG in Michigan without dropping a set. He also claimed victory over fifty five other players.
Nicko moved to Michigan from Socal where he was ranked within the top four, and he has wasted no time in establishing himself as a top threat to Michigan's elite.
His tournament began splendidly with him winning his first round (2-0).
Nicko's second round opponent, JADO, however, would give him a touch of adversity.
Nicko began the set by going Roy.
Both players played to their characters strengths with Nicko utilizing Roy's superior range to hit JADO at a distance. JADO, as a Young Link main, would use projectiles to stuff out Nicko's approaches, as well as Young Link's quick aerials to deal enough damage to patiently get the killing blow.
The first game was close, but JADO sealed it with a fire arrow to up b combo.
Interestingly enough, it was here that Nicko elected to switch to Shulk for game two.
Changing characters can be, at times, risky depending on if one has had time to warm them up. Well the Shulk wasn't just warmed up, it was practically on fire as Nicko quickly took the second game with two stocks left in less than four minutes.
Game three went in a similar direction. Nicko used Shulk's aerial range to pick apart JADO at a distance before harnessing a smash art to end the game with an enhanced up b out of shield, ending the set (2-1).
(Nicko the Air Slash Master)
Nicko would go on to make it to winners side of grand finals in top sixteen without dropping a single game. The player he would face from the losers bracket was Gomakenpi ( a Wolf player), the same man he played in winners semis. Would Nicko continue his Shulk dominance without dropping a game, or would Gomakenpi learn from the mistakes from winners and prevail?
Gomakenpi came out of the losers bracket with a vengeance, he took the first two games, putting Nicko at a 0-2 deficit. Nicko would have to win three straight if he wanted to take the tourney without dropping a set.
Nicko held fast against the storm and snagged the next two games. Now it all came down to one last game in the set. The last game itself proved to be a barn burner; both players were even in terms of neutral with Nicko landing the better ranged shots, and Gomakenpi dominating the close quarters exchanges. Nicko fought well, but he ultimately lost the first set. Now he would have to win the bracket reset if he wanted to win the tournament.
The second set started out the reverse of what happened in the first set with Nicko barely edging out the first two games. Gomakenpi took the next game after that. Nicko needed just one more game win, but Gomakenpi has proven to be a tough nut to crack. Nicko not only cracked that nut, he sent it off stage and faired it to the depths to take the second set of grand finals (3-1)!
(Nicko takes the tournament)
Written by Hank Standberg
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