It was with much fanfare and anticipation that Final Round XV played host to an exhibition grudge bout between some of the biggest names in the Mortal Kombat tournament scene. Representing two factions loosely defined by geography; the teams of five would have the opportunity to hash out an intertwining web of personal rivalries and tournament history, whilst addressing some of the bigger storylines of regional superiority and tour dominance.

The battle between Team VSM and Team 16Bit has been a long time in the making! Plans for a five-on-five encounter go as far back as October, 2011 (Season's Beatings), but the various near misses only added twists and turns of intrigue to this heated rivalry. Delays allowed for a key moment to occur in December, when current Evo Series leader, CD Jr., had some disparaging remarks to make about the achievements of SoCal Regional winner and dedicated Kitana player, . In an interview with MKO, Osu16Bit said they were able to resolve their differences, but the question of superiority remains.

If the backstory didn't make this sound enough like a pro wrestling angle, how about the promise of a hooded mystery fifth man representing Team VSM? Like a true heel, Tom Brady was unveiled as the final component, contrary to claims from the man himself! With the stage set for an epic encounter ahead of Sundays tournament charge, the only thing left was for each team member to make their entrance to theme music, and finally fight toward their Final Round!

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With pomp and circumstance out of the way, the battle could begin. Captains REO (VSM) and Osu16bit (16Bit) announced selections in order of occurance, a character lock enforced on winners under best of three match conditions. With Khan's Koliseum providing the perfect backdrop to the exhibition, Crazy Dominican stepped up to face Slips in the opening encounter, bringing with him the big call of a claim he could singlehandedly cut through the competition on one character -- his allegedly superior Kitana!

Opening tension melted away as CD set the stage for things to come, anticipating Slips' enhanced spear to punish his first victim with a babality! Round 2 with his second opponent was the first chance for CD to taste possible defeat, Dizzy able to make their first match a sudden death heat with his Johnny Cage pressuring hard in the corner. The Dominican madman made it a clean sweep from there, however, building momentum for his clash with Team 16bit's third hope, Morty Seinfeld!

After an intense but clean 2 rounds to 0 against papa Seinfeld and his Sonya in match one, it was a cakewalk again for Crazy Dominican in match two, making the concept of a one-man walkover terrifingly realistic! Fortunately for Team 16bit, their final announced man would bring the fight straight to the dominant Dominican; DetroitBalln313 representing a Kabal that was as efficient as he was cool under pressure! A battle of zoning and combos divided the first two matches between them, leading to a blockbuster deciding match that forced DetroitBalln to fight back from the brink of death in Round 2, riding an intense final round to Team 16bit's first win!

Fight 1: Crazy Dominican (Kitana) d. Slips (Scorpion) 2-0 2-0 2-0
Fight 2: Crazy Dominican (Kitana) d. Dizzy (Johnny Cage) 2-0 2-1 2-0
Fight 3: Crazy Dominican (Kitana) d. Morty Seinfeld (Sonya) 2-0 2-0 2-0
Fight 4: DetroitBalln313 (Kabal) d. Crazy Dominican (Kitana) 2-1 2-0 0-2 2-1
Fight 5: CD Jr. (Jax) d. DetroitBalln313 (Kabal, Jax) 2-0 2-0 2-0
Fight 6: CD Jr. (Jax) d. Osu16Bit (Kitana) 2-0 2-0 2-0

With hopes riding high, DetroitBalln313 would face the revenge of Crazy Dominican's younger brother, current Road to Evo seeding leader and National Gaming Rankings #1, CD Jr!
After some indecision about character selections, CD Jr snubbed Smoke in favour of a familiar Jax, the character he won Winter Brawl 6 with. His teammates suggestion paid immediate dividends as CD Jr fought back from a deficit to take Round 1, and more confidently claimed Round 2. DetroitBalln313 took the losers prerogative to switch characters and went the route of a mirror match, only to again find himself losing his lead in Round 1, before a Round 2 overhead finished it.

Down 1-4, captain Osu16bit might not have liked to have been at such a disadvantage when making his entry into the battle, but remembering the history between the two top five competitors, it was a destined battle to be welcomed by fans. It might not have been kontest to konfirm the top Kitana, but the fight would certainly give Osu16bit a chance to silence CD Jr's critique.

Round 1, Match 1 proved tight as the two titans clashed in a battle that saw Osu16bit attempt to claim it with an X-Ray attack late in the fight, only to have the gambit fall flat. Forced into Round 2 with his X-Ray meter empty, Osu16bit fought well again, despite CD Jr grinding to a clean sweep win in the first match. With the deck stacked in favour of VSM, CD Jr put massive pressure on his opponent in Match 2, bullying his way to a 5-1 victory for Team VSM and a 2-0 personal win!

Mystery Man Tom Brady wasn't needed in VSM's dominant performance. [image via Test Your Might]

So, who has the best Kitana -- and which region reigns supreme? For now, the Valley Stream Monsters can take the bragging rights, impressive in their thorough domination over the best of the Mid-West! As comprehensive as their victory may have been, there remains the small matter of an official 2012 Road to Evo tournament on Sunday!

After two Evo Series tournaments and a winning performance in the 5v5 epic, CD Jr is the man to beat in the Mortal Kombat tour. Team captain REO trails Jr's perfect 100pts with his own 35pt total after playing runner-up at Winter Brawl 6. Crazy Dominican keeps it in the family in fourth with 10pts.

Mortal Kombat Online will continue coverage with final results from Final Round XV when available. For useful updates follow @MK_Online and discuss all the tournament action on the forums! There, you'll find the latest strategy superthread, where Kitana pros can exchange pro-tips.