This week, we're gonna try switching up the recap format to something a little more stylish! Hopefully this will facilitate in your avid reading pleasure, as we dive right into the Quarterfinals stage of the osu!mania 4K World Cup!
The Quarterfinals stage marks the start of a new phase in the tournament, where teams fight harder in an effort to remain in the tournament. Having been separated into the Winners and Losers Bracket in the previous stage, many teams were at risk of being eliminated this weekend, though this certainly didn't faze any of them in the slightest.
Every single team was determined to make the most of their situation, all in the hopes of making it to the next stage as best they can. Without further ado, let's get right into the recap!
This weekend, we saw a total of 42 picks and 14 bans across 7 complete matches. Every map was played at least once, which is always a good indication of mappool diversity and balance.
"We were overall quite happy with how the Quarterfinals mappool turned out. As mappool selectors, it certainly is very nice to see every map being picked. Honestly, we were rather surprised by the importance of SV picks throughout this stage. Normally we'd expect these types of maps to be avoided or outright banned, but it seems that they have played an integral role in determining the outcome of several matches."
"We do however, express minor regrets over our choice of the tiebreaker map. Personally we feel that it could have been more ambitious in challenging players across a wider set of skills. Regardless, it's been our pleasure constructing this mappool for you all."
This week's most popular pick was yst - The Lost Dedicated, having been played in every single match! The map also holds the distinction of being the "most accurate", though this is mostly because of its easier difficulty compared to the rest of the mappool. Caravan Palace - Clash and NOISIA - Groundhog (Beat Juggle) were also two very popular maps, making appearances in a total of 5 matches each.
Blue Stahli - Shotgun Senorita (Zardonic Remix) and Akira Complex - Odyssey (Au5 Remix) both made appearances in 6 matches. The former was a devilishly tricky map featuring many long note patterns, while the latter was very technically demanding, requiring high accuracy. As a result of this, both maps were understandably banned 4 times each. Finally, Maika - Goldrop received the least attention, being picked only once across all the matches.
Right off the bat, our first match of France vs. Chile ended with an intense tiebreaker. France may have had the first pick, but Chile emerged victorious. Both teams had their fair share of convincing wins; an excellent showing from both teams. A critical moment saw France losing by a hair on their own pick Caravan Palace - Clash. This tiny score difference of 94 was all Chile needed to secure their eventual victory.
The next match saw Argentina put up a good fight against the United Kingdom. Not ready to take an early exit, the Brits fought fiercely and took the first two points in quick succession. Argentina regained their composure on their second pick, but United Kingdom's determination simply proved too strong, allowing them to win the match 1 - 5.
Rounding off matches for Saturday, Canada lost 0 - 5 to the United States. The United States was first to pick, and despite the former team putting up a good fight, it really didn't take long for them to be defeated. Still, one memorable highlight to take away came in the form of the unholy warmup that was noissessoP fo nwapS - noitirappA. Courtesy of US participant stupud man, the beatmap was a note for note respawn of the original, just in reverse. Frankly, I almost couldn't tell the difference.
Continuing where we had last left off, the match between South Korea and Japan also ended with a confident 5 - 0 victory. Contrary to the previous match where the matches were fairly one-sided, this encounter started off quite a bit closer, with Japan almost beating South Korea on their first pick yst - The Lost Dedicated, missing out by a score difference of 2,965. However, South Korea's superior consistency really shone through, allowing them to win pick after pick despite Japan's best efforts to keep up.
Our second match of the day saw New Zealand against Poland, resulting in an overwhelming 0 - 5 defeat. As the mappool difficulty continues to rise, it is only natural that some teams will struggle to keep up. This is exactly the case here, in which the high seeded Poland took full advantage of this fact, going for some of the trickier picks in the pool. Major props to the unseeded New Zealand for making it this far though!
Singapore gave China a fair challenge, losing 1 - 5. Adhering to a common theme this week, Singapore lost the first 2 points despite having the first pick. They were then able to scrape a point back on their second pick Getty vs. DJ DiA - Fox4-Raize-, edging out China by a marginal score difference of 4307. However, China returned fire and proceeded to win the match without too much difficulty.
Regrettably, Hong Kong vs. Sweden ended with a WBD in favour of Sweden. A "win-by-default" is an uncommon outcome that arises when one team lacks sufficient players to compete. Already a small team in their own right, Hong Kong's Opean was plagued with connectivity issues along with a myriad of unfortunate circumstances. Unable to compete with a full team, Sweden won the match by default (but not before taking 3 points off them). Below are the final moments before Hong Kong was forced to concede the match.
The final match of the weekend saw Brazil triumphing 5 - 1 over Indonesia. Brazil started off very strongly, taking 4 points in a row from the top seeded Indonesia. Fearing a sweep, Indonesia gave out one last roar, and convincingly took a point off the dominating Brazillians on yst - The Lost Dedicated. Brazil then proceeded to finish the match with Caravan Palace - Clash - a fitting conclusion to one of the more exciting matches over this weekend.
If you've missed any of these matches, you can always catch up on the VODs found here.
That concludes all the matches for this weekend! Let's wave our goodbyes to Teams Singapore, Argentina, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Many congratulations to them for making it to the Top 16! Meanwhile, Teams Indonesia, Japan, Canada and France will be descending into the Losers Bracket.
Good luck to all the remaining teams in this tournament!
Three weeks in, and already we've whittled 32 potential teams down to a hardy 12. Next week we'll be treated to another 8 exciting matches, 2 of which will remain undetermined until the matches are fully underway! Let's have a peek at the upcoming matches in the semifinals stage:
Our first matchup will see Brazil facing off against South Korea. South Korea is definitely a crowd favourite, but Brazil may have a trick or two up their sleeve. The second match will see United States squaring off against Chile. This match is definitely one to look out for, as it will almost certainly be quite a bit closer.
Over in the upper part of the Losers Bracket, we have China vs. France. This is definitely a match you don't want to miss, as it will be a rematch between the two teams from Group Stage! Will China be able to exact their revenge, or will France score yet another victory? The other match we have here is United Kingdom vs. Canada. The respective winners of these two matches will then face each other.
Meanwhile, the lower part of the Losers Bracket will first see Sweden vs. Japan. This too will definitely be a close match as both teams have proven to be suprisingly strong. Poland vs. Indonesia will be the last determined match of this stage. This match also promises to be an exciting one, and will definitely turn your head upside down! Like before, the winner of these two matches will face each other on Sunday.
The first match of the Semifinals Stage will take place Saturday 11:00 UTC, 2nd of September. There we will see a much anticipated match between two powerhouses - Sweden vs. Japan. Be sure to catch the stream on the osu!live twitch channel!
Finally, a reminder to buy your banners today! In addition to expressing your support for a chosen team, your contribution will also go towards funding the prize pool for this tournament. You can even buy banners for teams that have already been eliminated, if that is what you wish to do! You can purchase the banners here.
And that's it from me this week! As you may have noticed, I've tried spicing up the format of the recaps a little - hopefully this is a step in the right direction. If you have any feedback or suggestions, feel free to drop me a PM, or leave a comment down below.
See you next week!