Monday, September 3rd, 2007
|Match Date||Monday, September 3rd, 2007|
|Yoshi - 34.59%|
Knuckles - 30.32%
Rikku - 21.59%
Vaan - 13.53%
|Yoshi first place (2pts) - 29.96%|
Yoshi second place (1pt) - 50.91%
Knuckles second place (2pts) - 21.34%
Knuckles first place (1pt) - 37.78%
|Yoshi - 80.87% (29,699)|
Knuckles - 59.12% (21,711)
Usually I do a pre-contest thing, but I'm sticking it here because it basically amounts to "CJayC felt like it". But just in case people are looking at this stuff in a few years, I should probably mention a few things since this is getting written in 2011 four years after the fact. First and foremost, this was our first-ever fourway contest so there was a lot of things people weren't really aware of -- like, order mattering when filling out a bracket. Remember all the whining about that? Cripes.
And believe it or not, fourway matches didn't always suck. You wouldn't know it by how much we hate them now (mostly bitterness because of 2009's games contest), but the first contest was actually pretty good from start to finish and the first match was fairly hyped. Normally you get a Nintendo overall 1 seed against some slug for an easy blowout, but with no seedings this year you couldn't really do that. Eventually the board settled on Yoshi > Knuckles at the top, but that ended a few seconds after the match started. This match technically extended Knuckles' first round winning streak, though he didn't need to get first place to do it and like usual he had to work hard for it.
Not many people really expected Rikku to give him a challenge, but once Knuckles did well early the typical FFX night vote paired with Sega's terrible night vote allowed her to come back from down 300 fairly quickly. Then Knuckles exploded with that typical Sega morning vote before falling down equally quickly by lunch. You'd think Square would have been able to hold even after holding off the Sega morning charge, but ask Magus how well that works out. Sonic characters never behave in polls, but at the end of the day they always have these huge day pushes. Rikku held out for awhile, but ultimately got swamped and lost by 1100.
Knuckles is really odd when you look closely at it:
2002 - Blows out Akira, gets wrecked by Snake.
2003 - Weird match with Yuna where he was up by 1000 forever before blowing up in the morning. Loses in round 2 to Snake.
2004 - Weird match where Kefka is winning for awhile, but Knuckles blows up in the morning and loses in round 2 to.... Snake.
2005 - Everyone knows about Magus, but the loss to Squall in round 2 was actually really respectable.
2007 - Barely beats Rikku in another "saved by the morning" match, loses in round 2 to Mega Man and Yoshi.
2008 - Loses in round 1 for the only time ever, and even here he was respectably close to Zelda.
2010 - ANOTHER morning save against a character he should have destroyed and ANOTHER round 2 loss.
I can't think of a single character who deserves to get to round 3 more than this guy. He's definitely earned it. Somewhere in here I should probably lament on how 12 hour matches while great completely murdered all sense of high vote totals and drama. I didn't remember how good this match was with the high vote totals until I looked at it again, but jeez. I kinda miss it.
Oh and a note on Vaan. This was his only contest match ever, and you can see why. Dude's absolutely terrible and has got to be the weakest post-NES Final Fantasy lead. Does anybody like this guy?
Stats and Analysis Edit
Judging by how 85% of Gurus had Yoshi slotted for first place here, you wouldn't think of this as the most exciting match to start a Contest season that GameFAQs has ever seen, but in reality it was. Of course much of that has to do with CJay's always making a Nintendo powerhouse the overall #1, playing against a fodderific 16/8 seed, but also there were many on the board claiming Knuckles had a good chance for the Day One upset. Because the Female bracket had kept him out of the '06 Contest, Knux's stunning '05 defeat of Magus was still fresh in our minds, perhaps over-inflating his value. Some people also suspected that Nintendo had traditionally benefited from casual support, especially where Melee characters were involved, and so the company would be weaker in this format now that people had three other options to choose from, and that possibly Team Sonic's more dedicated supporters would give them an advantage.
The bubble burst on that pipe dream within seconds, as Yoshi shot out to a huge lead that not even bracket voting or the Nintendo Power Hour could account for. Knux did decently with the board vote as well, but from there it was all downhill for him; Rikku was making cuts on him within the hour, and by the time a couple more hours had passed he was getting completely owned on every update. Knuckles fans didn't give up though- the legendary Sonic morning vote was still to come! It came alright... and went almost entirely to Yoshi! This match did a perfect job of setting the trends that we would continue to see in the 63 days to follow:
- strong opening few hours for Nintendo
- Square domination during the dead of the night
- Nintendo ownage for a few hours once the sun rose
- no clear Nintendo/Square advantage with the ASV (except where Kingdom Hearts was involved)
- Sonic Team flat out disappointing no matter what time of day it was
Meanwhile, Vaan was just awful all day. In retrospect the warning bells for an upcoming Balthier flop should already have been sounding, but instead most people choose to just chalk this up to Vaan being the pathetic Tidus to Balthier's Auron. What Vaan DID accomplish though was to bring about the first case of what would become the dominant factor of 2007: LFF (aka Leach Fanbase Factor). The FFXII lead had been embarrassed, but still managed to affect the final result by leaching away enough of Rikku's Square support to cost her a spot in the next round.
The other interesting thing to note about Match One was the insane vote total - 158k were cast, making this the third most popular matchup in site history (behind only the Zelda/FF Series Final and the Link/Cloud/Seph/Mario/Snake/Samus Battle Royale). As this was only the first day, we naturally assumed that interest and rallying would continue to grow the rest of the season, and that we'd be seeing 200k in a matchup before too long. We ended up being wrong, as votals instead took a dive for the remainder of Round One, only returning to approach the 160k mark in the L-Block-boosted final stages of the Contest.
Match Trends Edit
historically, the first match of the year is a Nintendo-sized blowout - Mario crushing Joanna Dark, Samus smashing a random Pokemon, Zelda putting up 90%+ on Civilization, etc. our alpha dogs from our alpha company go first, and while people are excited about the match because the contest is starting, we rarely get a good match.
that's what makes this match so good. Yoshi and Knuckles were the class of the match, Yoshi having beaten Dante the year before and Knuckles having perhaps the Greatest Upset of All Time before giving potential Noble Nine Breaker Squall a fight two years ago. Rikku was a decent character who had a nice match against Ryu two years ago, but she didn't do all that well against friggin' Kairi and got doubled up by Samus. oh, and Vaan was in the match to ruin her chances.
too bad things didn't work out that way. Yoshi came out dominating, just like he always does during the board vote, and Knuckles was out of the running before the poll froze. from there, it just got worse for Knuckles as Rikku slowly gained percentage while Knuckles sat there not doing much of anything. Knuckles grabbed a 300 vote lead, but FF10 is a night vote beast and Rikku took advantage of it, snatching the lead within about 90 minutes and building the lead out to 500 votes by morning. Knuckles recovered with the patented Sonic Day Vote, but Knuckles was no longer the lock to make round 3 due to Yoshi/Mega Man overlap; we had expected Knuckles to be about 7% closer, after all.
from here, we tried to explain what happened. some possible explanations were: Yoshi and Knuckles having some overlap (not THAT crazy of an idea - they're both fan-favourite platforming characters, and we've seen Sonic and Mario overlap before); Square doing well in this format; and Knuckles being overrated thanks to fluking that match against Squall. in the end, the answer was a lot simpler - Sonic characters just suck in this format. I'm not about to try to explain why or if Sonic would have had a bad year in a traditional format, but by the end of the contest it was very obvious that Sonic was not in its element in 2007.
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