|Match Date||Wednesday, September 5th, 2007|
|Samus - 53.28%|
Frog - 21.15%
Axel - 14.94%
Kerrigan - 10.71%
|Samus first place (2pts) - 58.33%|
Samus second place (1pt) - 38.60%
Frog second place (2pts) - 25.40%
Frog first place (1pt) - 17.34%
|Samus - 96.93% (35,597)|
Frog - 42.74% (15,696)
This was the second match in a row where a Noble Nine character took over 50% of the vote, which for now proved the format wouldn't slow these people down much. It was also the second time in the first three matches where second place was heavily contested and the last place character was a complete joke. Kerrigan winning that recent Gamespot contest is going to lead to a bunch of people picking her to win a match she's destined to lose, you watch.
Axel vs Frog was the major highlight here, and before the game completely collapsed Chrono Trigger was always good for a classic match or two every contest. Hell even after the collapse, we get to see Crono getting upset by a jumble of pixels or the game itself losing to Mario 64 twice. Good times.
But here, for awhile, it looked like there wouldn't be much trouble for Frog at all. Frog jumped all over Axel early -- relatively speaking, anyway, there's only so much "jumping" you can do from second place when the top character is getting over 50% of total votes -- up to a lead of 1500 in only a few hours. It slowed down overnight, but so does everything when Samus is sitting here phazon beaming everyone else's collective face.
Even when the huge Kingdom Hearts morning vote showed up, which is right about the time Chrono Trigger always bombs, it still barely mattered. Axel got the lead under 1300, then the morning vote gradually wore off before Frog went back up again. Late morning, early afternoon, Frog went way up to 1900.
And then...? That damn Kingdom Hearts day vote. We really need to get something KH and something Halo of similar strength in a one on one poll to settle the title of Day Vote King for good.
Anyway, at 3 in the afternoon Frog was up by 1900 votes. Pair the Kingdom Hearts day vote up with Chrono Trigger's s***-tier awful day vote, and you get Axel turning 1900 votes into 1000 in about 6 seconds. Well, two and half hours, but you get the point. It would only get worse, too. Axel came all the way back by 8, which is completely nuts when you really think about it. A 1900 vote lead in a fourway is what, 4000 in a one-on-one? How many characters could swing 4000 votes in five hours?
The problem for Axel is how his fanbase is mostly comprised of people in bed by 8, so he wasn't able to keep the momentum going and finish Frog off. Oh he built a lead, but slowly. Way too slowly. Over the next three hours he was only able to build a lead of 330, and with the 25th hour rallying Frog gets in every match that lead needed to be more like 500 or more.
Of course Frog was going to come back in the final hour. Doesn't he always? That 300 vote lead disappeared in something like 40 minutes, and Frog completely dominated the final few updates to win. It's rare a character both impresses the masses and completely embarrasses himself via one of the biggest choke jobs ever all in the same match, but that's Frog for you. As for Axel, this was probably his one and only chance to ever win a match. KH is getting weaker with each passing year, and 3 cannot come out soon enough for these people.
Stats and Analysis Edit
this match was a match of trends: Frog is a CT character, one that does great to start out the poll but then goes into hiding the second the sun comes up. in some cases, they go into hiding even earlier, building up a huge lead in 3-4 hours and then holding on for dear life for the rest of the match. Axel, on the other hand, is the exact opposite: pathetic at first, but unequalled in the daytime thanks to the whole Disney thing. Axel is an upset pick that just about nobody even considered, self included. Frog was exposed pretty badly as a fraud in 2005, but even then, he wasn't going to be upended by a guy that was seen as fodder by most.
when the match started, people called it within minutes. with the early vote/bracket vote/Axel's patheticness at night, Frog was cruising to a huge lead. 142 vote lead in five minutes, 500 votes after 30 minutes, up 834 by the time the first hour was over. CT was bad in the daytime, but it wasn't going to drop a lead of several thousand votes that Frog was expected to take by morning. the lead hit 1300 votes by the second hour, and by 3 it was up to 1500.
from there, the first uh oh of the match happened: Frog stopped increasing. Axel froze him, and by 5am he started fighting back. by the time the morning vote -- usually indicative of the day vote -- was done, Axel had cut the lead to 1250 votes. Frog had the whole during-school vote still to pad his lead, and he did so - by the time school let out, he was up 1900. it was a nice buffer for the inevitable Axel comeback, and most people felt confident that Axel was not going to make a 1900 vote lead disappear.
those people underestimated Axel -- or expected too much of Frog's day vote, one of the two. those polar opposite trends made this the most exciting comeback of the contest. by 4pm, it was already down to 1663. Axel tore 400 more votes off the lead in the next hour, by 5:30 it was under 1000, and by 7pm there was only 400 votes to go. Frog was thought to be able to stabilize by 11pm or so, but Axel was just going too fast. Axel made some huge cuts and by 8pm, we were tied. this match was Axel's to lose.
Axel went on to take a 200 vote lead with no problem, and while Frog was occasionally stalling him now -- which was much better than the 60 vote cuts Axel was making with ease earlier -- Axel's lead kept on pushing up. 300 votes was hit by 10:30. Frog made an unusual 40 vote cut and followed it with another 20 vote cut, but Axel shut everyone up by winning the next update. Frog's comeback was on, but it was going nowhere. 10-20 vote cuts on a 265 vote lead with 45 minutes to go? it just wasn't fast enough.
people believe that Frog has some strange "clutch" ability as if he's a real person, and nothing would convince them more than the last 45 minutes of this match. out of literally nowhere, Frog cut 51 votes off the lead, nearly a quarter of what was needed to take the lead. the next update, he took another 45. there were topics everywhere, including on LL, rallying for Frog. it isn't Frog that's unique, it's how far his fans are willing to go in order to ensure a win.
what followed was the single most illegitimate result since Mario/Crono 2003: Frog ripped another 50 votes, then 30 more, then a whopping 67 to punctuate taking the lead. just like that, the match was over with 15 minutes to go. Axel was not going to come back from this kind of rally. Frog went on to win by a fair anticlimactic 128 votes. if I could change one thing about this match, it would be delaying Frog's comeback ten minutes. THAT would have been something.
how shady was Frog's final hour?
Time | Axel . . . | Frog . . | Samus | Kerrigan
20:00 | 21.87% | 15.37% | 52.09% | 10.67%
21:00 | 21.24% | 18.84% | 49.65% | 10.26%
22:00 | 21.50% | 19.01% | 48.89% | 10.60%
23:00 | 18.76% | 19.57% | 49.40% | 12.28%
00:00 | 17.09% | 26.88% | 44.86% | 11.17%
pretty damn shady. but as far as exciting, wild matches with huge lead changes go, this was the single best match of the year.
Match Trends Edit
Frog started out on fire; he blew out to an 800 vote lead in an hour and showed no signs of slowing down. Chrono Trigger characters have always had an amazing night vote, so it wasn't unexpected. On the other hand, Kingdom Hearts characters may have the best after-school vote of any we've ever seen, so a big vote shift wasn't unexpected.
What was unexpected, though, was when Axel ripped 200 votes off Frog's lead at 5am. That was Frog's best time and Axel was ruining it. Frog recovered, though, and built out his lead to 1900 votes before school let out.
The second school let out, Axel just started ripping into Frog's lead. It started innocently, but by the time the full afterschool vote was in effect, Frog was getting absolutely destroyed. He was losing 400 votes per hour, and Frog supporters were so desperate that they were calling a mere 30 vote loss a "stall". Axel was moving so quickly that it looked like he would blow by Frog without so much as a struggle, and at 9pm EST, he did. The night vote was starting to kick in, but Axel would slowly push his lead out to 329 votes at 10:45. Even during Axel's peak hours, he was only getting 400 votes per hour. Everyone knew Frog would make a small comeback, but it wouldn't be fast enough. He was out of time.
It started innocently with a modest 16 vote cut. No big deal there. I don't think anybody even noticed. Even Frog made that 40 vote cut, though, the entire board woke up. Frog is a bit legendary in these contests - he has two of the closest wins of all time including arguably the greatest comeback - so the second board vets saw this, they were like "oh **** not this again". Most reasonable people said "oh, that was just a fluke. let's see him do it again before we start flipping out." Frog's next cut was smaller, and Axel won the update after that. Frog was just screwing with us.
From there, Frog cut off some votes, but he simply wasn't moving fast enough. 20 votes, 18 votes, 55 votes..
55? At this point, the board utterly exploded. A good chunk of the board was rallying for Frog and this format allowed it to show. Frog had pulled an update of 30% -- even when the entire board was bracket voting for Frog in the first five minutes, he only got to 24%. The next update came, and 45 more votes were pulled off the lead. At this point, cheating was the only way Frog was going to lose and everyone knew it. Frog's next update as a 31% update - to compare, Samus's was only 39%. Axel was being left in the dust.
With ten minutes to go, Frog passed Axel and there was no comeback from there. The entire board celebrated. Was it a legitimate win? Probably not - there's literally no way that Frog would have come back under normal circumstances. But in this format, with a ton of brackets on the line? Frog got everything he needed and more.