Epic losers bracket runs are nothing new to the Smash Bros. community. Just this past July, we were all treated to one of the greatest losers runs of all time when MangO cut a swath through the losers bracket Smash Summit 11 to win the tournament over the favorite, Zain. IlluZion's Nicko is not MangO, but the one thing they have in common besides entertaining playstyles is a propensity to embark on successful losers runs.
Yesterday, Nicko entered The Oasis #9 and triumphed over 44 other entrants. He won, but it wasn't in the way he expected.
The tournament started out as a breeze for Nicko. He decisively beat his first two opponents (2-0), including four stocking his second round opponent, Zagoo.
Nicko next found himself in the winners quarters finals against Megaman player, smasher1001. Nicko was the number one seed of the tournament and was expected to blitz past smasher1001, but smasher1001 flipped the script and sent Nicko to losers after a hard fought (2-1).
After a heartbreaking loss in winners, Nicko was left with an ultimatum: he could lose himself to eternal sadness and fall in the lower bracket, or he could steel himself and take first place through losers.
Nicko started off by winning his first set in losers (2-0), and from there, his momentum hardly waned at all. One by one, Nicko barreled through every opponent he played until in losers semis, he came face to face with smasher1001 (the same player who beat him in winners).
Nicko started off the set very aggressively by using Shulks superior aerial range to keep smasher1001 constantly on the backfoot. He also used his wide array of Monado Arts to make his approached more unpredictable. Smasher1001 tried to use Megaman's large arsenal of projectiles to stifle Nicko's movements, but Nicko was far to patient for that; he maneuvered or jumped over most of Smasher1001's projectiles and made sure to play his game and not his opponent's. Despite their winners set being close, Nicko soundly avenged his loss by beating smasher1001 (3-0).
(revenge is sweet)
In losers finals, Nicko had to play Gomakenpi who was a player that had given Nicko a real run for his money before in recent tournaments. Nicko However, this set was nothing like their previous ones because Nicko defeated Gomakenpi (3-0). The set itself was competitive; games one and two were one stock, and the third game was a two stock finish, but Nicko ultimately was the better player this tournament and he finally made it to grand finals for a shot at glory.
In grands, Nicko crossed controllers with C.Kaleb, a Pac Man main who had made several upsets earlier in bracket. It was now a contest between the dark horse no one expected and the fallen favorite. Who will emerge the victor?
Nicko picked up a lot of steam at the beginning of the set, going up (2-0) and was one game away from resetting the bracket. However, as the third game played out, the tides had turned into C.Kaleb's favor as he clawed his way back to tie the set count to (2-2). Though this tide was soon to dissipate as Nicko struck back with an amazing three stock finish to close out game five and to reset the bracket. Now, Nicko had just one more hurdle to climb, one more set to take.
The second set saw C.Kaleb switch off of Pac Man for a Samus style MII Gunner. A change in character so late in the set can disturb the flow of the set and can throw off the enemy's winning rhythm. In the case of Nicko, though, the second set proved to be much more dominant than the first. Nicko won the first two games against the MII Fighter before C.Kaleb was forced back onto Pac Man in one final stand to save his tournament life. He fought tooth and nail with Pac Man's bizarre lineup of fruity projectiles, but Nicko proved his vitamin C and D levels were off the charts by not letting them hinder his attacks, and with one juicy Attack Mode-fueled up smash out of shield, Nicko took C.Kaleb's last stock and completed the best losers run of his life, defeating C.Kaleb (3-0)!
Fun Fact: this is the fifth tournament that Nicko has won in August alone. He has also not dropped below fifth at any tournament he attended this month as well.
Written By Hank Strandberg
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