It was 16 days of non-stop Guilty Gear -STRIVE- action that culminated in a final that more or less went the way that we all expected. The EMEA Strive Cup is now over and Saudi Arabia are the winners. The team were considered the overwhelming favorites from the very start. While France and The United Kingdom also showed their mettle winning all they came across, Saudi Arabia were just a cut above.
Led by Latif, the Saudis were irrepressible, and even when they came up against a very dominant French team, they defeated them with relative ease.
The final took on a slightly different format as instead of a best of three, we had a best of five. What this meant was that each game comprised of three potential first to three matches. Each set was a best of three and the overall game was also a best of five.
Saudi Arabia's win means that they get the lion's share of a huge $5000 prize pool and also the bragging rights of being the best in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
Team Saudi Arabia
Team UK came into the clash as the underdogs, but they clearly felt like they could do some damage to Saudi Arabia who had shown one or two vulnerabilities in the group stages, however, with players like Latif and Slash, it did seem they will come out clutch when the situation demands it. As it turned out, UK drew first blood with a memorable win in game 1. One of the matches was between BarryBones and Slash with the latter being the better player historically, and it seemed like it was going as expected. But, BarryBones pulled off an incredible comeback winning the set from 2-0 down to take it 2-3. While Latif took it against Mystic, Maka was able to close it out against SSF.
This gave the UK some hope. But it was short-lived as it soon became clear that Saudi Arabia were the better team. They took the next three sets to win the game and take the whole event.
The EMEA Strive Cup was an absolute delight as it was a chance to really see the European scene which can sometimes be underrepresented. With the display of skill on show, you can see how these players could potentially beat the best in the world and in the other vaunted regions like Asia and North America.
The event was an unmitigated success and DashFight loved covering all of it. It is hoped that another event comes up soon and we get to see more incredible Strive action.