Road to the Finals: Week 8 of the North American Mortal Kombat X Pro League

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Ryan DeDomenico
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We now have 7 North American kombatants qualified for the Season 3 Finals. Earlier in May, BEN George Edward qualified as the Latin American NA finalist, and in Week 8 of the MKX Pro League, the top six spots determined by the regular season were locked in. The eighth and final North American finalist seat is reserved for the champion of Combo Breaker, which will be held from May 27-29!

Due to a scheduling conflict, SonicFox was unable to participate in the Week 8 Top 8 and Hayatei immediately advanced to the semifinals.

Both Nubcakes and Destroyer made their Top 8 debuts this week. Destroyer has been extremely close to the Top 8 throughout the season, using his infamous Predator, and Nubcakes has collected some big scalps as well. The first set of the night started with Nubcakes taking Game 1 with his Boneshaper Shinnok. The entirety of the set consisted of each competitor answering back with a game of their own. With every game going down to the final round, each player made sure to put on a show before ending their Season 3 journey. As it came down to Game 5, Destroyer edged out the win to advance to the semifinals.

Because of how close some of the competitors were in ranking points, Jupiter had the power to crush the dreams of BeyondToxin and WoundCowboy. If Jupiter made it to grand finals, he would earn himself the qualifying spot, thus destroying BeyondToxin and WoundCowboy’s chances of competing in the finals. Jupiter’s first opponent was none other than Dragon, who has only been taken down by two competitors this entire season. With his eyes on the prize, Jupiter showed no mercy and dominated Dragon in a 3-0 sweep to advance to the semifinals.

After taking down Nubcakes, Destroyer had to face off against a rising star of the Mortal Kombat X Pro League, Hayatei. Destroyer showed absolute dominance by taking a swift 2-0 lead against Hayatei’s Ronin Takeda, but with so many ranking points still available, Hayatei refused to go down easily. After being on the brink of elimination, Hayatei displayed amazing adaptation and ran it all the way back to take the set 3-2, thus advancing to the grand finals of the night!

The overwhelming pressure continued to build on Jupiter as he then had to face off against one of the most dominating players of the season, Scar. Although Scar is already guaranteed a spot in the finals, he was on a mission to earn enough points to qualify as the #1 seed. The set started off with a bang as Scar took a convincing first game with his Covert Ops Sonya. Scar displayed his great matchup knowledge, using the parry unique to this variation to help halt Jupiter’s pressure. Jupiter, however, quickly adapted and tied the set 1-1.

After some unbelievable reads by both competitors, the set went down to the final round of Game 5. With the set tied 2-2, the season finals qualifying spot was within Jupiter’s grasp. As Jupiter had a commanding life lead on Scar, he made one crucial mistake that lead to a dropped combo. Scar immediately took advantage of the situation and made a devastating comeback to take the set 3-2, bringing Jupiter’s Season 3 run to an end.

The Week 8 grand finals was a Week 7 runback between Hayatei and Scar, but each player decided to pick their wildcard characters. Hayatei debuted his Ancestral Kung Jin, and Scar went with his Hat Trick Kung Lao. Despite the first game going to the third round, Scar took a quick 2-0 lead. As Hayatei’s tournament life was threatened, he returned to his comfort zone with Ronin Takeda. It seemed to be too little too late however, as Scar took the third game to be crowned champion of Week 8!

Although Week 8 came to an end, there was still one more score to settle. Because Jupiter did not earn enough points to qualify for the Season 3 Finals, there was a tie in points between Toxin and Cowboy. Therefore, they were pitted against each other in a first-to-three set to determine who would earn the qualifying spot. Toxin, known for his aggressive style with Ermac, chose the Mystic variation in hopes to control the space against Cowboy’s Boneshaper Shinnok. With so much on the line for these two competitors, they both knew this would be a difficult challenge. Last season, Toxin was one win away from qualifying for the Season 2 Finals and WoundCowboy was one of the sixteen players who competed.

Toxin set the pace quickly by taking a commanding first game against Cowboy. Despite such an enforcing display, Cowboy kept his best foot forward and stuck with Boneshaper Shinnok for the rest of the set. As Toxin took a 2-0 lead, Cowboy knew he had to switch things up if he wanted to return to the Finals this season. In Game 3, Cowboy attempted to slow down Toxin’s momentum. Although this seemed to prove more successful, Toxin could not be stopped. Toxin eventually emerged victorious over WoundCowboy 3-0 to solidify his spot in the Season 3 Finals.

Season 3 has been full of surprises and upsets. Regardless of the 7 qualified North American competitors, one spot still remains. Combo Breaker is an offline tournament that will be taking place in Chicago, Illinois on May 27-29. The champion of this event will earn the final North American spot in the Finals. The qualifiers may have ended, but the fight is far from over! Be sure to witness the epic ending to Season 3 in person while seats are still available!

For all the latest information about the #MKXProLeague, follow ESL Mortal Kombat on Facebook and Twitter, as well as the official Pro League and Challenger Cup websites.