The Street Fighter V top three at BANC: Winner Schenkhan (M), runner up RoF (L) and third place Somniac (R). (Photo: CouchWarriors/Twitter)

Despite a sudden tournament cancellation due to COVID outbreaks across Australia, Battle Arena NightClub crowned Melbourne's new fighting game champions.

Melbourne fighting game major Battle Arena NightClub crowned the city’s new champions on Sunday night.

In the main event, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Jonathan ‘Jdizzle’ Douglas dominated both formats, winning both the singles and doubles brackets (alongside partner Bradley ‘DD’ Kun).

It was a strong return to form in major tournaments for the Young Link main, having previously finished ninth at the Smash World Tour Oceania Online Qualifier in March.

Jdizzle made his run to Grand Finals through the winner’s bracket, not dropping a set on his way to a 3-1 victory over Canberra-based Roy/Sephiroth main Srikhar ‘Sriks’ Jha. He also disposed of Sriks handily in winner finals, taking the set with a clean 3-0.

The two last met in bracket at Cospendium in August 2020, an online event. They met in losers finals, where Sriks was once again bundled out 3-1.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the BANC champion, being challenged hard by Kanga Esports teammate and third place finisher Joshua ‘Ghost’ Francis. Ghost took their set all the way through to five games, but inevitably went down 3-2.

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All in all, Sriks won’t be regretting his trip down to Melbourne. He placed first at Temple Smash #4 in North Melbourne, and third at Super Sunshine Smash. Sriks also finished fourth in doubles at BANC alongside Melbourne native Connor ‘MAST’ Kinkead. It was MAST’s highest placement in any Ultimate tournament in 2021.

In Super Smash Bros. Melee, interstater Nicholas ‘SA Nick’ Siemelink fought hard to not drop a set on his way to first place.

Grand Finals opponent Miles ‘DonB’ Dobney pushed him hard in Winners Finals, SA Nick prevailing in a 3-2. Rupert ‘melodiic’ H. did the same in Winner Semis, but back-to-back five game sets wouldn’t slow SA Nick down.

It was a historic win for the Melee champion, attending his first event outside of South Australia since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joining the winners list

Alongside the high-drawing Smash titles, there were nine other brackets held at BANC on Sunday.

In Guilty Gear -Strive-, the first major event held for the game in Melbourne, Feri and eveAZN faced off in Grand Finals. It was tight in the first two games, eveAZN took game one in a dominant performance with series newcomer Nagoriyuki, but Feri was able to adapt and win game two.

After a down to the wire next two games, eveAZN won both, closing out the final game with a hard hitting combo started off a timely counter.

It was a good start to the multi-game competitor’s Strive career, having also placed second in the Open Beta Tournament in May’s ranking battle.

Meanwhile, in Street Fighter V, tournament organiser Michael “Schenkhan” Cicillo won his first ever major after defeating Christian ‘ROF’ Dedalija 3-1 in Grand Finals.

Renowned for his elite Zeku play, the win was a steady build-up of consistent placings and determination by the long time competitor.

Other winners included:

  • Dragon Ball FighterZ: Ray ‘Agent 17805’ Usanto
  • Soul Calibur VI: Darcy Higgins
  • Samurai Showdown AND Killer Instinct: Hamish ‘Humzoid0909’ Ledger
  • Virtua Fighter V: Gab ‘GDFer’
  • Tekken 7: DHT | Yagami
  • Dead or Alive 6: Daniel ‘Berzerk’ Chlebowczyk

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