Dondictions are back in this new season of st. Without further ado (yes this is the correct ado not adieu but fr no more ado)
1. Finchinator++++VS.++++16. McMeghan
Less like the 07 we believe warriors who took down #1 seed mavs but more of a load managing Lebron vs regular season James Harden (roro being the former). Finch's performance is nothing to scoff at, coming in at a hot #1 spot having amassed a great number of points (tho not as historic numbers as actual james harden), however he is often times considered predictable and can be boiled down to one move that has been countered by playoff veterans, because like Harden's foul drawing and finch's fwg + gliscor steel water fairy spam, somebody will figure him out. Regular season finch showed us consistency in farming wins w balance vs nonames which is a quality only high tier players possess, so hes like harden getting 39 a game. However, the ageless Roro/Lebron has plenty of tricks in his bag using a mix of everything but HO in sm, everything but stall in oras, and nothing but balance in bw. Playstyle wise finch has carried on the tradition of low-aggro and low-risk plays from some of the more duncan-esque legends such as bkc, but we know how these players can turn up the heat on any given turn. It is on Finch to prove that he too can turn up the heat in the playoffs instead of choking away leads like the beard. Roro however has moves as incalculable as lc damage percentages. He often asserts his aggressive tempo control from turn 1. Despite the 20%+ winrate disparity in sm between the two, I feel like no tier is a wash on either side. This will be a duel for sure but I predict McM to win two games in whatever tiers, since Roro is one of the goats and I cant yet put faith in finch nor Harden's clutchness having seen so little of it thus far. Wouldn't really consider this an upset because only the playoffs really matter, and just like harden, finch has a tendency of stepping back when he really needs to go forth.
2. ABR++++++VS.+++++++15. xray
One the one hand is the most stable and consistent man in the game rn, having an impeccable winrate just as Kawhi does and being perhaps the greatest farmer of the lesser intelligible since cheater Bloo, but who can also teambuild. His teams have solid backbones often times having a mix between resistances thru fairy steel ground/fwg, regen, and status absobtion, and can go on the offensive with megas, weavile, and scarfers in the three gens respectively. A true pinnacle of balance between offense and defense. On the other, an unstoppable offensive machine who has the talent to run enough versatile offensive styles that u know are coming but can't stop. His teams are creatively consistent and consistently creative, which he then pilots aggressively, especially in oras where hes considered one of the best players currently. I'd hate to bet against ABR but I just think his team styles are extremely susceptible to high pressure and high tempo teams that xray runs, so much so that team and playstyle wise this is a complete counter. However, I feel both players are goin in their bag for somethin special for this one, and gen 7 will be the decider for the boy wonder with ABR snagging bw and xray oras. This will be the upset of the round imo. (I would have had ABR over everyone but maybe 3 players this round)
3. SoulWind++++VS.++++14. RedEmption
Soulwind is the epitome of winning player with a slight lack of luck and opportunity, having amassed final after final in every major tour under his belt. If not for McM taking on the likeness of Lebron he would be him. However, like the perennial first team caliber AD, SW has insane stats but just lacks a personal trophy collection to top it off. Will this year be the one that the duo get their trophies? I think the man without weakness SW will use his versatility and consistency to steamroll his opponent in bw and whichever other tier is chosen. RedEmption is a French hothead with an offensive teamstyle and playstyle. His replays reveal his tendency for offense/offensive balance teams w fast mons and surprise scarfers which he uses to make level one outplays (predicting the obvious play). However SW is a level 2 3 type of guy and he will predict the predicted prediction which he will then predictably outpredict. Red often complains in chat at instances of hax, can hold out offensive pressure but often loses steam when behind. This is the sign of an aggressive young player who lacks experience and mental fortitude, someone who is a tad one dimensional and thus making him Kyrie. However, Red's relatively impressive ORAS play has shown he is a good pilot of the aggressive styles in that gen. Will it be enough to cover up his abysmal SM? I don't think so, and SW is one of the BW goats so that tier is a lost cause to me having seen some of Red's bw replays. This series won't be that close uncle drew.
4. Quaze+++++VS.+++++13. Malekith
Quaze has an abysmal winrate in BW and SM, the two more diversified and less mu intense gens. In ORAS where stall or HO can help the Swiss farm wins much like the way Westbrook farms stats, it is apparent how he has so many points and a high wr. Ironically, the Swiss army knife really has few tricks up his bag, and relies more on mu than building and outplaying. This strategy of farming is consistent for a specific gen and in regular season, but stall/bo spamming in SM and general mu fish in oras will not take u far against vets who have seen every playstyle. In addition, he hides replays and alts alot, meaning his bag is VERY limited, almost as if his one move is to put his head down and drive to the basket. Without shooters surrounding him (builders to supply teams), Quaze Brodie will struggle in the playoffs. Malekith on the other hand is a seasoned veteran from the old days. The spaniard has consistently performed in tours but has never made any noise in them (sorry no disrespect). The ring chasing vet has a really good winrate for BW and I believe it will get him the one win, but unfamiliarity with ORAS and SM which are heavily team-based and require knowledge of mu's will be his downfall. Last but not least, Kith brings teams that often make builders like myself cringe a little with how silly they are, sometimes having zero speed control and others having 0 breaking power. I feel that the mu fisher/stat padder will finally come out victorious because good teams beat bad ones skill notwithstanding. Sorry old man, better luck on a good spl team.
5. FMG+++++VS.+++++12. Empo
FMG is like a mini finch in that he uses balance and plays defensive, his well rounded winrates in every tier underscore his consistency. A player that uses balance in every single tier is going to have a high floor but a limited ceiling, and predictability is often a crutch for players like FMPG. In the playoffs I predict FMG to have a rough time outplaying better players (he is another level 1 outplay type player). His love for stable and consistent wincons such as reuni and clef is a pro and a con, in that those mons can easily grab wins but also become liabilities vs pressure-heavy offenses. Embiidpo on the other hand has a lot more offensive weapons. He farms mu wins with known mu teams from time to time but can pilot a variety of styles, so building against him is difficult. Someone who only brings HO and Stall is hard enough to prep but he often pulls out Italian specialties from webs to bisharp to rain ho in bw to pinsir in sm and much more, making him a nightmare to guard against much like Embiid's unstoppable presence. I believe Empo will take it 2-0 if good to even mu and 2-1 giving out one mu loss.
6. Pohjis+++++VS.+++++11. ima
Pohjis is one of those players who started off from lower tiers and plays a little bit of everything, and is generally considered a "good player" due to the ability to learn and become above average at a given meta. However, like the undersized Draymond, he is prone to being exposed when directly compared to better competition. I have seen Pohjis play blunder in friendlys a number of times and the outplays were pretty apparent, so I can see the gap between Pohjis and the tier 1s. However, Pohjis has a unique take on teambuilding and loves setup mons, his use of creative sets clever mixing of offense and stall mons in all three gens gives him a surprise factor. Ontop of all this he is actually still a very good player, he basically can play at a top tier competitive level in every tier he touches, making him somewhat of an all around weapon like Dray (2016 Dray at least), and his opponent ima is no blunder. ima is a middling "star" if u could even call him that, having average playing skills and using mostly mu fish stall or HO in ORAS while stealing whatever is popular in SM. I dont think he even knows how to play bw and uses autopilot shit so im not even gonna analyze that. A player like this can cruise into playoffs simply off the strength of teams that he didn't build but I have yet to see him beat any notable names in the replays I found. Similar to Quaze but even worse, I feel ima will at best take ORAS and lose 1-2.
7. Lopunny Kicks VS. 10. Lusa
From the replays I gathered Lop is an aggressive player who plays a bunch of weird styled teams. I guess it is an Italian tradition, but this also allows him to throw off opponents with his use of bulky setup + fat staple + fast mon. However, I have seen him in as many games making balls to the wall plays for 6-0s as others where they have failed and caused a 0-6 against better players. I think he is an inconsistent player like Dame who an hit high highs but be shut down by an above average player like Jrue Holiday. Lusa is Jimmy Buckets aka a solid all around player who only uses balance but can play them well enough so that he isn't too predictable. Like Jimmy, Lusa's value is greater than if you just took the eye test, because though unassuming in record or accomplishments I have seen some replays where he beat hot names cleanly. Lop has some crazy strats in BW which explains his high WR, but I think Lusa wins ORAS and SM off the strength of not choking or throwing because Lop is one of those players who aren't tip tier yet because of the lack if complete understanding regarding wincon identification, gameplanning, risk/reward etc.
8. John W VS. 9. Adri
No disrespect idk WHO TF either of these nibbas are so theyr stock 2k generated characters. I can see from replays that Adri is avid at ORAS often taking games off named players while John W had an impressive OST run and a nice SM record this season throughout various tours, but cmon get ur shmoney up and win somethin so I can bother to do more research into yall. For now idk idc but gl to you two gentlemen and I think whoever wins BW wins the series.
It sucks to lose to the same person in the same round of the same tournament 5 years later. Had I not gotten min damage with my Z move or hit a Stone Edge, we would have likely seen a third game, but that is a stupid excuse and I have been trying to avoid using these recently after a history of using them for years. At the end of the day, McMeghan outplayed throughout the first game and the end of the second game. The better player won, so congratulations and good luck against John W next round.
As for the rest of the tournament, I guess I want ABR to win, but seeing SW or McM take the last BW tour may be more fitting. As for my future in SmogonTour, it was a struggle to play some weekends this season and I am only growing busier during these periods, but I know I have a childlike desire to win one of these, so odds are FINCHTOUR29 will exist in some capacity.
Finally, a special fuck you to Foggi for stealing the last BW tournament from me.
after just watching the round 1games i predict mcm abr soulwind and fmg to proceed to the next round and abr to win it all. rooting for mcmeghan tho as its fun to see him play the newer gens while hes already easily one of my favorites to watch in old gens