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Here's what you missed at the Western Cape MKX Cup Qualifiers

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It was an ominous start to the day for the Western Cape leg of the South African qualifiers for the Mortal Kombat Cup. The sky threatened to set forth a lightning strike to match Raiden. But it didn’t really. It just rained a bit. However, in the MCave situated in the MWEB headquarters in Parow, Cape Town, there were many people itching to unleash just that kind of destruction on each other by way of punches, kicks, eye gouging and general maiming. And then there was the matter of playing some Mortal Kombat too. 

Once every living soul in Cape Town – well, 64 players and around 200 spectators - had been crow barred into the auditorium at MWEB it was down to introductions and rules. It wasn’t of course going to happen without the ‘theme song’ for Mortal Kombat whipping everyone into a frenzy, ready for the aforementioned eye gouging contest… 

Oh. So actual eye gouging was not allowed according to the briefing held by head judge Brian Murdoch. Hmm. Looks like we’ll have to make do with in-game Fatalities and Brutalities rather than. Admittedly, it was a little difficult to hide my disappointment after that, but there was a job to do and rock, paper, scissors to watch. Yes, really, there was. 

The first showing of rock, paper, scissors was to determine factions, when Lin Kuei proved too popular and competitors needed to use the game of our youth (and one that was closest to physical violence all day) to determine who could grab a coveted spot with the faction… or choose another. 

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Once the action got underway (a little late, but that’s Cape Town right?), rock, paper, scissors got another run as the standard way to determine who picked their fighter first. Once again, there was a feeling that maybe there was a more physical solution to determine this, but the officials were on hand, watching for that sort of unruly behaviour. 

64 players were then off and fighting their hearts out for a spot in the top 16 elimination bracket. We won’t bore you with the details of how the Swiss Rounds were played to determine the top 16, because we know some swear by the system, while others loathe it. It worked on the day due to the numbers, but at least two competitors appeared to lose heart after around two losses (of a six possible matches) and disappeared (possibly via teleportation). 

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With lunch time came a reprise from all the blood and gore, as well as a moment for reflection, but it was clear that the competitors had more interest in eating than reflecting because the food was devoured faster than a ravenous zombie horde could clear a city (which, to be clear, is much faster than you think). 

After lunch it was clear that there were a few players to watch out for. Dr.Zol, D1GamerKid, Raaj23 and Lumi were all looking strong. A number of players attempted a charge for the top from their mid-table positions to secure a spot in the top 16, but once the dust had settled, there was a clear contender for the title, with Dr.Zol going undefeated to ensure top seed in the playoffs.

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The Playoffs

The top 16 was a slightly more serious affair, with players facing immediate elimination if they lost. Under the watchful eye of a growing number of spectators in the venue and online (where nAvTV were handling the streaming and casting duties), the players generally held true to their seeding from the Swiss Round, with only fourth seed Lumi finding himself eliminated in the first round of playoffs. 

By the semi-finals (which became best of nine matches), the top three seeds were still in it, with 13th seed SadFace (who had beaten Lumi in the round of 16) joining them. 

Semi-final 1 saw D1GamerKid face Raaj23. The two have been friends since Mortal Kombat 9 and while they knew each others playing style, they did not hold back against each other. D1KidGamer took the match 5-3 to book his spot in the final. The only player to remain undefeated, Dr. Zol, maintained his track record and beat SadFace 5-1 – a reversal of the result from a face-off the day before at Kamimodo Esports Café. 

The third and fourth place playoff saw SadFace and Raaj23 playing for seeding at the grand finals scheduled for Saturday 6 June in Gauteng. Raaj23 secured third with a confident 5-2 win, but both competitors will be heading to the finals (all expenses paid) thanks to PlayStation SA. 

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Who’s Next? The Final 

It was the moment many had been waiting for. The fight of the century… or at least, the fight of the Western Cape Mortal Kombat Cup. Comedian (and gamer) Gareth Woods was tasked with getting the around 70-strong crowd baying for blood. He did pretty well, because the cheering was (probably) similar to the kind of enthusiasm for brutality last experienced at a Roman Colosseum. 

D1GamerKid had lost to Dr. Zol, the “most dominant competitor” (HellbirD of nAvTV) of the day, in the Swiss Rounds, so the pressure was on for the ‘underdog’.  The final really was a to-and-fro affair which reached 3-3 at one point. However, it was D1GamerKid with Cassie Cage (Hollywood variation) who turned up the heat with two wins in a row over Dr. Zol’s D’vorah (Swarm Queen variation) to bag the winner’s spot of the event 5-3, much to the approval of everyone watching.

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L-R: D1GamerKid (Winner), talking to the nAv shoutcasters

What the Winner Said

We caught up with D1GamerKid (real name Kim Petersen) to find out how he felt after the intense affair, and what how he plans to prepare to the finals. 

How was the tournament experience for you, and how did you find the level of competition? 

D1: Firstly, I never experienced anything like this before, it was amazing! The level of the competition was intense, everyone made it hard for the next person to win a fight. It was honestly anyone’s game. 

Have you checked out any of the other provinces competitors yet? Who do you think will be the one to beat at the final? 

D1: I watched the footage of both Durban and Johannesburg, from what I have seen, the level of gaming is really high. According to what I heard as well, Draeka [Gauteng winner - ZD] is the one to beat and I would love to get a chance to play against him. 

Do you think you have a chance of heading to Paris for the international final? 

D1: I think I have a good chance but then again I believe all of the competitors stand a great chance. We are all going to Johannesburg for one thing, and that’s to win. 

How much time will you put into practice for the grand final? 

D1: I would like to practice once a day and perhaps more often closer to the time. My best friend, Raaj23 is part of the top 4 so myself and him will be training together quite often. 

Will you focus on certain characters and variations for the finals, or just stick with your favourites? What are your favourites? 

D1: My main character is Cassie Cage (Hollywood), but I will be training with both Cassie Cage and Kano (Cutthroat). Kano is my second best character and will keep him as second but will definitely be using Cassie Cage in Johannesburg. 

The full playoff bracket can be found here. 

The Day’s Highlights

  • Quote of the day: “MOER Mkaa!!!” – Brendon Bosch aka Sweh
  • (Probably) the most used character: D’vorah
  • Surprisingly not used as often as you would think character: Scorpion
  • Cape Town featured 64 players, Gauteng had 41 and Durban had 32. Cape Town wins this time… 

If you’re keen to see what you missed on the day, more photos can be found on the Zombiegamer Facebook Page, and Grant Hinds put together this video from the day. Last but not least, a big thank you to SA's Mortal Kombat Cup host, Ster Kinekor Entertainment.

Let me end by saying that without the support of the Cape Town community, the event would not have been a success. The competitors and spectators may all take a bow for getting involved. 

Congratulations to the four qualifying players going to Gauteng to represent the Western Cape.

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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd

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