ESL will be bringing a whole new level of competition to the fighting game community this weekend in the form of the Mortal Kombat X Pro League. Over the past eight weeks, the online season seeded the top ranking players from North America, Europe and Russia for an offline battle at the finals, which is set to take place in front of a live audience in Burbank, California, on July the 11th 2015 (which you can be part of by grabbing your ticket here).
The experience will be quite a memorable one for aspiring pro gamers who’ve qualified within their respective divisions as ESL will be providing them with an all-expenses-paid excursion to Southern California, with the yet-to-be-determined Season 1 Mortal Kombat X Pro League champion to return home with one of the largest prize pots the fighting game community has ever seen.
With the saga of Batgirl closed, SonicFox will be remembered as the reigning champion of Injustice: Gods Among Us. During his early competitive years, he struggled to gain respect within the fighting game community and was often criticized for his method of play. However, in time he achieved enough victories over the offline veterans and in multiple fighting games, becoming feared for his mastery over setplay. The mere mention of his character’s name or the term setplay sent shivers down the spines of SonicFox’s opponents, with him having earned the reputation of absolutely destroying players off a single good read from the neutral game. SonicFox started off his Mortal Kombat X (MKX) Pro League career looking unstoppable, and sits at the top of the NA season rankings with 300 Pro League Points as well as being the winner of Fatal 8 and three qualifiers including the Mid-Season Showdown.
Pig Of The Hut gained renown for putting Kenshi on the map during the MK9’s prime competitive time. He competed less in Injustice yet fought his way to the grand finals at Evolution 2014, where he would face SonicFox in a very tense set. Pig Of The Hut is no stranger to building a character from the ground up, and has shown his ability to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Having done so with Kenshi in MK9 and Zod in Injustice, Pig is now faced with the challenge once again with Kenshi in MKX. Playing the intellectual game is one of his strong suits, and he is one of the game’s most skilled zoners. He holds fourth position this season in North America with 225 points and will be a force to be reckoned with at the season finals.
In the years following his Mortal Kombat 9 competitive days, Bread kept a low profile while awaiting the release of MKX. He earned his name battling against Pig Of The Hut’s Kenshi with Nightwolf in a very close set, showing a great display of fundamentals. Upon the release of MKX, Bread arrived as a serious competitor with very consistent placings throughout the ESL MKX Pro League season. Holding the third seed in the North American rankings with 250 points, Bread is here to win.
And what of REO, the best Kabal player of MK9 with arguably one of the most impressive resumes in the NetherRealm community? He returned to the competitive scene for MKX after taking a two-year break at the end of the MK9 days. Although he appears not to have settled on any particular character, he plays many of them at a very high level and can never be counted out of a fight. The ability to recognize patterns within the heat of battle and develop counters gives him an edge over his opponents, and is one of his best strengths. REO secured his seventh North American place seeding and wins when it counts: he made sure of it when he was scheduled to compete in a three-way round robin tiebreaker in order to qualify for the top seven.
Perfect Legend earned the Evolution Champion title twice back to back in 2011 and 2012 and fought for the title of Kung Lao of America during the remainder of MK9’s competitive years. Ramping up the speed of a match to 1,000 MPH is what Perfect Legend does best. Although off to a rough start in MKX, he found his grounding around the middle of the ESL MKX Pro League Season 1, when he faced off against Pig Of The Hut’s Kenshi in the grand finals of week five. Perhaps it was the rebirth of a long-forgotten rivalry or a moment of his past that had resurfaced. In something of an awakening, Perfect Legend went on to win the following week and since then began intense training for the finals. At 255 points and two qualifier wins, Perfect Legend is out for another Championship title.
Back to back Evolution Champion
Crawlingshadow has competed in the ESL MKX Pro League almost exclusively, and it’s proving to be a fine introduction to his MKX competitive career. He placed fifth overall in the North American rankings this season, won week four and has been consistent in his performance throughout the season. Known to be something of a freestyle player with great adaptation, he is a contestant to keep an eye on.
CrazySteady was unknown in the fighting game community prior to the ESL MKX Pro League. He was discovered online and due to his impressive gameplay was strongly encouraged to play in the Pro League. In week three he made his debut, where he battled his way into the finals to face SonicFox, and continued his winning streak with top four placings in the following two weeks. The tiebreaker event was where CrazySteady secured himself a sixth place seed for the finals by defeating two well-known players - REO and Dab. As the first example of an online warrior with no offline competitive history, CrazySteady is here to make a name for himself.
The ESL MKX Pro League Season 1 finals will go live on Saturday the 11th of July at 11:30 PDT, when the 16 top players from all over the world will compete face to face for the largest prize pool ever seen in Mortal Kombat history. Who will be crowned our champion? Find out by catching the action live on Twitch.tv or up close and personal as part of our studio audience by grabbing your ticket on Eventbrite! Also make sure to follow @ESLMortalKombat and @NetherRealm on Twitter for the latest updates on all things Pro League and Mortal Kombat.