Pick one stellar performance from Week 1 of the Gfinity Elite Series and you will probably be thinking about it for a while.
Here is the one that stood out for me. It was the play of Akainu, who once again showed if he has a late lead, he is one of the toughest players to take down.
OK, so Fnatic is Fnatic and they seem to do well in whatever game they put themselves in. This win had the feeling of a team that will be playing in the postseason.
(Week 1 overreactions is what I’m here for)
The 4-0 finish is key because it’s not only a win, it puts them plus-4 in the game differential. With so few regular season games in the Gfinity Elite Series, the chances are likely it will come to tiebreakers of some sort. Being plus-4 is a great safeguard for any trip-ups that might happen over the next few weeks.
Akainu had a big hand in this win. He got a late lead in four of the five rounds he played, extending his streak of late leads held to 25 in a row. He had the most late leads held without blowing one last season, going 19 for 19.
His last late lead blown in the Gfinity Elite Series was back in Week 6 of Season 1, when Takamura did the duty.
Meter management was key, and in the late rounds, Akainu turned on the juice. In the late round of the five rounds he played, he used EX meter three separate times and did damage all three times.
By comparison, opponents used meter twice against Akainu in the late rounds. Only one of those instances resulted in damage. That was the round Akainu lost, which he was already trailing to Kuja who used critical art.
The only other time was when Takamura attempted an EX move that Akainu immediately snuffed out with a crush counter.
Overall, Akainu used 8 EX meters and did damage with all 8. His opponents used seven EX meters and did damage with just four.
We might be seeing a lot more of Akainu if Fnatic is going to make a run a postseason appearance. Twelve players took part in two games during Week 1, and only four went 2-0. Akainu, who had his appearances frontloaded, was definitely a standout in his 2-0 start.
If Akainu plays like this the whole season, the field will be watching this esports team etch their name in another game.