The fruits fell near-endlessly, and the world was a much healthier (and more interesting) place for them. Who would rise to the top in osu!catch's first official "anything-goes" mapping contest? Read on to find out!
Faced with the task of mapping the appropriately food-themed ONIGIRI FREEWAY by Featured Artist OISHII, fruit-arrangers came from far and wide to test their mapping might.
Last month's live showcase featured ten of the most creative offerings seen in osu!catch mapping to date, savoured and scrutinised by our panel of expert judges, before allowing you, the community, to decide each mapper's fruity fate.
When the dust settled, only one would top the mountain, but it would do so with an utterly dominant performance that blew all other competition out of the water. Receiving critical praise from the community and judging panel alike, the winner of Aspire 2017: Stage Three is perhaps fittingly, Superior Fox, mapped by the one and only Spectator, with a total score of 72.2/80 and 218 unique public votes!
Spectator's Superior Fox demonstrated a masterful command of 2B patterning, Slider Velocity changes and BPM manipulation, with execution slicker than a well-oiled machine. Whilst not the most outlandish of entries, our judges praised its varied use of gimmicks whilst retaining beautiful aesthetics, playability and enjoyment, awarding it the highest mark of any entry in all of the four judging categories.
With almost twice as many public votes as the runner-up, it would appear the community fell in love with it just as much as we did! You can play Spectator's contest winning entry here!
Heading the chasing pack was Truthful Waxwing by -Ken, achieving a score of 46.9/80 and 128 unique public votes.
-Ken's Truthful Waxwing got a chuckle out of us all with its initial storyboarding endeavours, but this merely foreshadowed a seriously impressive technical offering, featuring a vast array of hyperwalks, stacked notes and bizzare stream shapes. Placing second overall for Creativity and fourth in other criteria, our judges felt that some questionable structuring and a slight lack of variety were all that held this map back from being a contender for the top spot.
With favourable feedback from the judging panel and a sizeable chunk of the public vote, -Ken's entry deserves our hearty congratulations and was a worthy runner-up this time around. I hope you will be all right by checking out -Ken's entry here!
Missing out on the second place spot by the slimmest of margins was Panicky Armadillo by -Sh1n1-, racking up 43.6/80 and 110 unique public votes.
Demonstrating excellent use of inter-connected and overlapping sliders and a huge variety of stacked sliders and streams, all whilst being aesthetically beautiful and hugely enjoyable to play, -Sh1n1-'s Panicky Armadillo rounds out our podium for this contest. Placing second overall in the Technical Skill category and third for Flow and Structure, our judges felt that a somewhat limited array of gimmicks used was the only major criticism on an otherwise outstanding entry.
Whilst the judging panel may have favoured this entry slightly over Truthful Waxwing, the community thought a little differently, and though this entry was by no means poorly received, it wasn't quite destined to snatch the number two spot here. You can play two maps at the same time by checking out -Sh1n1-'s entry here!
Want to see the breakdown of scoring and the judges' comments in more detail? You can find results and judging evaluation for each of the final ten entries on the Aspire Stage Three Results spreadsheet, and the community voting results can be found over at the contest listing page.
A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of this contest, from the mappers who provided us with some truly incredible offerings, to everyone in the community who took the time to watch, discuss and vote during and after the live stream showcase. We saw over 600 viewers at peak, numbers rivalling those at the climax of the annual osu!catch World Cup event, which was incredible to see.
Additionally, a massive thank you to our expert judging panel (alienflybot, Ascendance, Nokashi, Sartan and Zak). Their contributions and insight helped make the event not just a reality (which it very nearly wasn't), but a success. Seeing Aspire entries played by an actual person (or alien, in this case) was especially well-recieved, so alienflybot deserves a special mention here for putting in hours of practice on each entry to show off their best features. Hopefully this can be included in future Aspire events also!
Lastly, a massive thank you to Ephemeral for entrusting me with the reins of this Aspire contest, as well as streaming the showcase event on osu!live for all the world to see. Whilst he is no doubt fed up with my incessant questioning and nagging by now, his wealth of experience with previous contests ensured things ran as smoothly as possible throughout.
See ya next time!