Winter Brawl 11 was a huge milestone for the Pokkén Community. It was a welcome celebration of this fantastic game by the FGC, and really opened some eyes as to where Pokkén stands as a competitive game. WB11 Pokkén was reigned in on the first day, Friday the 17th, with a thirty entrant single-elimination 2v2 bracket composed of fifteen different teams. It gave a good amount of entertainment to those who were tuning in, netting about 130 viewers peak and some good discussion from within the own community.
The favorites to win the bracket were team Christian & Wesley, composed of Suicune Master and CatFight, yet seeding differed quite far from the actual results. The somehow bottom seed for the bracket, Rokso the Guitarist—a team composed of RoksoTheSavage and Soul Guitarist—slayed, flayed, and shredded in the 2v2 format destroying the competition in their path all the way to Grand Finals where they fought the seventh seed, who had their own bizarre journey to grands. The seventh seed for this bracket, a dangerous duo of underestimation, Madluk and Rasenryu, entered under the name LowTierGod, as an homage to the infamous heel of the FGC himself. They ended up even knocking out team Brocooli Sucks, Brocooli and Twixxie, who ended up knocking out Christian and Wesley in Round 2. It was an exciting bracket, but in the end, LowTierGod ended up taking it over RoksoTheGuitarist in Grands.
Starting on day two, new talent and old faced off in an 83 entrant singles bracket separated into eight pools. The matches were intense, throughout. Enough so that people from other games began to realize that Pokkén Tournament was more than the momentum they had in the PokkénEvo drives—it’s a loud, strong, and thriving community that loves their game.
The excitement was incredible. Top 16 surprised so many people, seeing names that haven’t graced our highlights before. KOA| Sandman, McCent252, and several others impressed the Pokkén Community by placing so high in such a stacked event. NGI|AngelDarkSong shone for the first time in the states as well with his stellar performance. Top cut veterans as well took to the spotlight including Cat Fight, Rasenryu, BadIntent, Brocooli, Madluk, Burnside, HBA|RoksoTheSavage, H2, and Cloud. Some other players made themselves stand out even more at this event, such as McDareth, Twixxie, and HBA|DjWhiteyWhite three well-known players that were able to break through into their first top-placings at a large event. There was also one more player, a black sheep, whom stood out in that bracket, a mysterious entrant by the name of Ling Ling. It turns out the renowned Suicune Master decided to enter the singles bracket under a new alias, Ling Ling. Whether this is a permanent change or a simple joke entry is yet to be known.
Top 16 was a warzone of upsets. Of the most notable was NGI|AngelDarkSong, the UK Blaziken, who made his first appearance in US brackets, knocking Ling Ling into losers. This could only be described as a battle of extremes. There were times in which NGI|AngelDarkSong was near perfecting Ling Ling, and there were times where in turn Ling Ling perfected NGI|AngelDarkSong. Similar upsets occurred between the HBA family, as DjWhiteyWhite had to take out one of his hardest challenges from back home, RoksoTheSavage. It was an emotional top cut, and despite all of these players earning their right to be on that main stage, only one could leave the Winter Brawl 11 Champion.
Ling Ling vs Cat Fight, the culmination of the best of the best in this bracket. These two competitors have fought each other many times before in bracket. At Defend the North, they met in Winners Finals. At Rumble in the Tundra 6, they met in Winners Finals. In both of these situations, Suicune Master took it over Cat Fight, and they did not meet again in Grands. This time was different in every way. Cat Fight didn’t have to meet Suicune Master in Winners Finals this time, as the aforementioned upset put him into Loser’s. This gave Catfight the security of both sets of Grand Finals to adapt to what Suicune Ma—I mean, Ling Ling had to dish out. The set was close, and there were sometimes where it really seemed like Cat Fight wasn’t going to be able to pull through (I have to know why he had so much trouble countering those blizzards). However, by the chants of, “Fight Cat Fight!” from the crowd, and the sheer will to win, Cat Fight pulled through winning his first Major since Apex 2016. Good job, Cat.
Many of the matches during this bracket told stories, and the stories they told inspired not only the audience, but the venue to turn their eyes brightly towards the world of Pokkén. The next event we’re looking towards is Final Round, and while it may be named Final Round, it’s only the beginning of a brand new year second year of Pokkén.
Edited by Corgian