News Archive - March, 2012
Mortal Kombat PlayStation Vita Release Date Confirmed May
The Fate of the World Will be in Gamers Hands in May as MK hits PSVita!

After months of a vague official forecast for Spring release -- PlayStation Vita owners can finally look forward to taking the fate of the world into their hands in May! Gameinformer report confirmed retail release dates for May 1 for the United States, and May 4 for Europe.

The reveal ends speculation of an unverified April release, which would have placed the Vita update in line for the one year anniversary of the original edition. A Vita port was first teased last November, with the Spring arrival officially announced January [full story].

Containing the full package features of the recently released console Komplete Edition; Vita Kombat also contains much lamented, exclusive bonus content [more], including interactive elements customary to the device in the form of touchscreen fatalities and mini-games.

A brand new 150 Challenge Tower feats provide much of the touchscreen fun, allowing players to take control of Shao Kahn for the first time -- a much requested bonus. Sixteen additonal costumes provide more colour for characters, including alternate aesthetics for former DLC fighters, Kenshi, Skarlet, Rain, and Freddy Krueger.

An extensive array of demonstration trailers have been released to show-off Vita exclusive features [more]. Mortal Kombat Vita, like the console counterpart, has been refused classification in Australia [full story]. For last minute Vita updates, follow @MK_Online and like us on Facebook.

Johnny Cage & Noob Join Syco Collectibles Previews
Collectors Fear Getting Caged! Syco Preview New 10 Inch Statues Coming Soon!

Two more works-in-progress have been previewed by Syco Collectibles, the latest additions revealed from their extensive lineup of officially licensed Mortal Kombat statues.
Part of the standard 10" polystone collection; Johnny Cage and Noob Saibot add greater diversity to a growing roster of characters, each directly inspired by the designs of the most recent game.

Revealed last week in a Test Your Might first look; Johnny Cage comes in dynamic mid-move pose, based on his famed shadow uppercut special. Though still in development stages, the preview shows a promising degree of detail, with all the trimmings of his chest tattoo, belt buckle, and sunglasses evident and accounted for.

A less glitzy character than MK's resident movie star, Noob Saibot is no less adequately realized. The hooded wraith possesses the sharpened details of his in-game counterpart, striking a pose reminiscent of his shadowed victory stance. For a design dependent on blacks, tone will be an important detail not yet represented in these early previews. Images are not representative of the final product and may be subject to change before production.

The two figures join a pending release schedule that includes Motaro -- the 14" scale centaur chosen and previewed by Mortal Kombat Online [full story]. Fans can also look forward to pairing Cage with classic love interest, Sonya Blade [preview], while premium Rain, and Queen Sindel are also confirmed to join the series, with updates expected soon.

Before your shelves get caged, 20% online discounts are available for already released statues, such as; Sub-Zero, Ermac, Jade and more. Scorpion will soon be released for a second 10" run, repained with an improved gold finish.

For questions about these and other products, refer to MKO's official Syco Collectibles Q&A thread. Get additional updates and preview galleries by following @MK_Online and liking us on Facebook.

Road to Evo: NorCal Regionals Evo Series Tournament Preview
A Depleted Field Adds Intrigue to 10th Annual NorCal Regionals!

The Mortal Kombat Road to Evo continues this weekend as Jack Adams Hall, San Francisco plays host to the tenth annual NorCal Regionals!

The event may have been overshadowed by Major League Gaming's headline stealing $33.4k Winter Championships [full preview], but that only adds an extra layer of intrigue as dominant players are drawn away from the fourth Evo seeding tournament of 2012!

A modest field of confirmed participants reveals a far from barren talent pool! 2011 NorCal winner, Michaelangelo (@MKMichaelangelo), will return to defend his title, going up against the likes of Evo 2011 Top Eight competitor, DJT, and 2011 Devastation finalist, Marvaz. Twenty-four pre-registered fighters make up the current anecdotal list [via Test Your Might Forums], with late registrations still possible across the March 24-25 weekend.

Expected NorCal Regionals Participants [via Krayzie]:

Five of the top seven Evo Series points scorers are confirmed for Pro Circuit Winter Championships, meaning NorCal Regionals is sure to be a strategic boon for players able to perform well! Winners at Evo Series tournaments receive 50pts toward seeding in July, while runners-up receive 25pts, third 10pts, and 4th through 12th get a single 1pt.

Mortal Kombat Online is following the Road to Evo closely! For any live weekend updates, follow @MK_Online, and discuss all the March Madness on the forums! For more tournament information, visit

MLG Pro Circuit Winter Championships Preview
Mortal Kombat Goes Major League at Winter Championships!

Just over a month and a half after the original announcement; Mortal Kombat officially invades Major League Gaming at this weekends Pro Circuit Winter Championship, in Columbus, Ohio!

Offering a big money prize pool of $33.4 thousand dollars, the MLG event has attracted a confirmed registration of seventy-seven players, overshadowing the Evo Series' NorCal Regional, the same weekend.

With the original purse doubled from $16k by sponsors [full story], the potential for profit provides a valuable incentive for the growing MK division. Evo 2011 Champion, Perfect Legend, is one of the marquee names appearing at the tournament, a major proponent for supporting the partnership between MK and the MLG brand. In a recent interview with MKO, he spoke of the consolidated benefits the Pro Circuit can bring to the existing community, "... this 33k is going to not only bring out the killers internationally, but it’s going to breed a whole new generation of killers."

Joining the announced roster are plenty of other big names from the scene, including Road to Evo series winners, CD Jr and vVv REO; inaugural PDP National Tournament winner, Jwonggg; Final Round XV finalist, VSM Maxter; Crazy Dominican, Tom Brady, WNBA Death, SwiftTomHanks, and many, many more. The complete bracket will be subject to change, with players still able to register at the door.


An open bracket of up to 128 will be randomly drawn, with players competing against elimination in best of five matches, each match at three rounds. Double elimination losers brackets will diverge from the winning field. Fighters facing-off against each other for a second time will be subject to a Best of Eleven format, adding new games to the result already recorded in their previous meeting.

MLG will be Premium Streaming Winter Championships events for three straight days, with Mortal Kombat winners and losers on Saturday, before the money finals, Sunday, March 25th. Phillip Michael Siegel (@995Phil) will head up commentary.

    MK Stream Schedule (via Major League Gaming):
    Saturday (March 24)
  • 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM Mortal Kombat Winners 1 A
  • 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM Mortal Kombat Winners 1 B
  • 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM Mortal Kombat Winners 2
  • 5:30 PM – 6:00 PM Mortal Kombat Winners 3 A
  • 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM Mortal Kombat Winners 3 B
  • 6:30 PM – 7:00 PM Mortal Kombat Winners 4 A
  • 7:00 PM – 7:30 PM Mortal Kombat Winners 4 B
  • 7:30 PM – 8:00 PM Mortal Kombat Losers 6

  • Sunday (March 25)
  • 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM Mortal Kombat Winners 5
  • 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM Mortal Kombat Winners Semis A
  • 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM Mortal Kombat Winners Semis B
  • 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM Mortal Kombat Losers 10
  • 5:30 PM – 6:00 PM Mortal Kombat Winners Finals
  • 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM Mortal Kombat Losers Finals
  • 6:45 PM – 7:30 PM Mortal Kombat Championship Finals
  • 7:30 PM Mortal Kombat Awards Ceremony

Mortal Kombat Online will be following the event with interest, and provide full results when available. Discuss the event live on the forums, and follow @MK_Online for last minute updates and info. Don't miss our Q&A with Perfect Legend, where the Evo Champion discusses communtiy, business, and Major League Gaming [full story].

Pro Circuit Preview: Perfect Legend Talks Community, Business & MLG!
Evo 2011 Mortal Kombat Champion Eyes MLG Prize and Talks Community with MKO!

In a former gaming life, he was a 2006 Champion of Dead or Alive, but as he revealed in the following interview, Carl "Perfect Legend" White has always believed Mortal Kombat was one of the fundamental building blocks of the fighting game genre and community.

Since winning the 2011 Evo Championship, Perfect Legend has become one of the biggest and most discussed names in the MK tournament community. A rare fixture despite his major win, he was quick to declare interest and gratitude to Major League Gaming for their announced inclusion of Mortal Kombat in the Pro Circuit tour [full story]. Perfect Legend will be one of the marquee names attending MLG's Pro Circuit Winter Championship, with a heavily stacked field chasing a total prize pool of $33.4k -- doubled from the original $16k in a recent announcement!

With the MLG major taking place this weekend from Columbus, Ohio; Mortal Kombat Online talked to Perfect Legend about his expectations for the tournament (or lack thereof), the impact the event will have on the developing scene, and where he feels the franchise sits in the present.

[MKO]: We always like to start simple. Who are you and what brought you to Mortal Kombat and the MK tournament scene?
[Perfect Legend]: My name is Carl White but I’m also known as “Perfect Legend”. My team mate from Empire Arcadia, Bill Menoutis, also known as MK Tom Brady, brought me to the Mortal Kombat tournament scene.

You haven't been to many tournaments since winning Evo. What are your plans for 2012?
Yeah, it's true I haven’t been to as many tournaments that I attended in the past, since my second Evolution World Fighting Game Championship. That decision came from my previous failed attempts at becoming a professional gamer. My first Evo title was Dead or Alive 4 and this was when I first started with the Empire. My first mistake, was not understanding what my true value was. I kind of rushed things and got involved with CGS and CGI and they pretty much brought me down. Then I went to WCG and although they were great, my opportunities at the time were limited.

In 2011 I finally learned that I had already mastered playing the game, but there was another game that I was completely unfamiliar with, and that was "how to become a professional gamer?" I thought for a long time that it was about being the best at competing. I learned from TriForce, who is the founder of Empire Arcadia, that it’s not what you win, but what you do with that win. Now I’ve found a new interest and a new game to play. I’m learning rather quickly about the other things that a gamer can do to be a professional.

My plans for 2012 are to help the further development of the Mortal Kombat community, the MLG Fighting Game Division and my personal portfolio as a growing professional gamer within Empire Arcadia. So far... so good.

You were quick to support MK and MLG. How important do you think Major League Gaming is to the community and MK tournament scene?
Most gamers from the community are not privileged to experience what a "professional" gaming environment is like. They’ve never been in an environment like World Cyber Games, Championships Gaming Series/Invitational, or Major League Gaming. I have been to all three and when I compare that to the community, it comes off like comparing the United States to a third world country. Now that sounds harsh but I’m trying to give you an idea of how I see it. Leagues like MLG bring in the development funding to help improve the "production quality" of the gaming communities to be presentable in a way which works against the stereotypes that plague our culture in gaming.

This is why I have to use this time that I have as the World Champion efficiently. I’m not God, I’m not invincible and I can be beaten. I can’t trust the next champion to look beyond their own ego and greed to help the scene grow. I can only speak for me. What matters is what I can do in the time allotted as champion. I will fight as much as possible to remain relevant and do as much constructive and productive service to both the community and industry that my influence as champion allows. So I support MLG one million percent.

Is there anyone in particular you're looking forward to facing at the Winter Championships? What are some of the obstacles you expect to encounter on the way to the final?
Since I took a break from the scene back in August, I’ve heard of the rise of so many good players with so many new characters. I try not to look at it as who I have to watch out for, because then it’s the guy that I don’t take as a threat that ends [up] putting me in the losers, and then I lose focus and get eliminated. My main goal is to go into this competition facing everyone as the challenge is presented to me.

I do however want to face off against the East Coast young champion CDJr.
I’ve heard and watched a lot of his vids where he is just destroying the competition. In fact... I made a video calling him out at MLG Ohio, this weekend. [below]

CD Jr will be there. Any thoughts about his progress in the Evo series and the prospect of facing him at MLG?
Nope... I don’t really analyze him like that. I take an interest in his performance but realistically I have to focus on me.

Who wins in a 2v2: PerfectLegend & Sawnik Fawx, or Crazy Dominican & CD Jr?
Perfect Legend and Tom Brady.

What have you thought about the Road to Evo so far, in general? How is it shaping up?
My head is now more into the community and business development of competitive gaming. I’ve taken a liking to it since coming to understand the deeper layers to competitive gaming in Empire Arcadia, other than just pressing buttons. I’m 24, and I would like to know that in three or four years from now I can sit on 6 figures working as an executive in gaming like Seth Killian, or Sundance DiGiovanni.

In the meantime, though, I guess MK has gotten the resurgence that it deserves. A lot of people think "Street Fighter and Tekken" are the #1 franchises that made fighting games what they are. The truth is, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat are the #1 franchises. Back in the day you played MK or ST. Don’t get me wrong, people played Tekken, but it just wasn’t the same. With MLG putting up this money, the players are going to come out. The competition is going to get thicker and harder, only to make EVO that much more godlike.

Who do you think will be a major contender at the 2012 Evo Championships?
I haven’t played anyone other than Tom Brady to know who’s a threat for sure. In fact, because of MLG... this 33k is going to not only bring out the killers internationally, but it’s going to breed a whole new generation of killers. Evo is going to be ridiculous. Then when you think about it, imagine MLG puts up 70k for top 16 to be paid out at the final MLG of the year. It’s already at 33K for its normal circuit so I figure that the Nationals will be ridiculous. Oh man... This is going to be a dangerous year for me.

Do you expect any dark horse contenders to emerge before July?

How much do you think the game has changed since Evo 2011? How much has your style been changed by patches and developments?
I don’t think it has changed that much besides characters moving up and down on the tier list. My play style has changed significantly because I have to adjust to what my character no longer has. It has also forced me to pick up [second] and [third] options to make up for the lack of tools I no longer have in Kung Lao.

Do you think Evo 2012 will be radically different to last year because of patches and developing experience?
In my honest opinion, I really don’t know what to expect from Evo in terms of experience, outside of the players.

How do you rate your chances for a second consecutive win at Evo 2012?
Well I’ve been to three Evo’s so far: 2006, 2010 and 2011.
Out of the three, I have two world championships. It’s 80 – 20 in my favor to win it again.

As it stands, where do you think the top tier characters are coming from? Which characters are best in your opinion? Which character has untapped potential?
The top tier characters are coming from the knowledge of those that can break the game and create as much advanced technology which gives them advantage over their opponents. This is why the tier list keeps changing.

Right now, the best characters in the game are Jax and Kabal. Now, you may ask, why don’t I play those characters, and to be honest, they just don’t fit my play style. The character with the most untapped potential is Nightwolf. I’ll keep the reason why to myself, though.

Do you think the game is as balanced as it can be?
No. Some characters are trash compared to the rest of the cast.
Then you have guys like Jax and Cyrax, who still have 100% combos versus the other 95% that do not have it. They still have a long way to go to balance the game. Thank goodness we are in a better age of technology where patches takes care of that problem.

How do you see the MK tournament scene evolving? What's the next major step?
Of course I see the Mortal Kombat scene evolving. When Tom Brady first introduced me to the MK scene, he told me about North East Championships 12, they were playing Ultimate MK, MK 2 and MK vs DC , and they were all shacked up in a room with less than sixty, from what I can estimate. Now... man. Final Round had over one hundred and twenty-eight. Now the game is in MLG and went from 16k to 33k in less than a month. This shouldn’t even be a question.

If there's a new MK game tomorrow, what will it need to keep? What could it add?
Keep the breaker. Fix some of the hit boxes of the characters that can duck jumping punch. Outside of that it’s really up to the programmers to decide what could be added.

Any shoutouts, plugs, or messages?
First and foremost, I would like to thank my Dad. A lot of gamers do not thank their parents for putting up with us playing video games. My Father always encouraged me and supported me in gaming and he is my #1 inspiration and driving force above all. I love you Dad.

I like to mention a couple of supporters that have been there for me even during the dark ages. I like to thank Empire Arcadia specifically Bill and TriForce for believing in me when I was trying to figure out what to do. They really tolerated a lot of the mistakes I made and I just want to put that out there. EMP for life.

I like to also thank the fans out there in the MK scene that support me and the direction that going community wise and to achieve my dream to become a successful professional gamer. I like to thank the online networking communities like Test Your Might, MK United, MK Online etc. and the hard working people like You, Mace Wynd, 9.95 Phil and even Arturo, who is adding drama to "ESPORTS!" one day at a time. I’d like to also thank my rivals, haters and trolls who work every day to bring me down. You are why I became strong enough to be the MK champ.

Finally I like to give thanks to MLG, Nether Realm Studios, Warner Bros. and Ed Boon. When I was younger I use to only see this from a gamers point of view. I’m still young but a lot more mature in understanding that you guys really do work hard to give us the best experience in gaming and competitive gaming world wide. I have a whole new respect for you guys. Thank you.

The Pro Circuit Winter Championships take place March 23-25, eminating from the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio. Mortal Kombat Online will be following the event with results update(s). Join the competitive scene discussion on the forums, where you can discuss the MLG event live. For direct updates follow @MK_Online and like us on Facebook. Thanks go out to @PerfectLegend for his time and thoughts!

NetherRealm Studios Release New Vita Gameplay Trailer
New Vita Trailer Shows Off More Action and Bonus Costumes!

Netherrealm Studios have unleashed another comprehensive gameplay trailer for their upcoming title Mortal Kombat, an exclusive release for the Sony PlayStation Vita handheld console. First announced in January [full story], this is the latest trailer in the campaign [read more] and another detailed preview of the Spring release.

This trailer demonstrates preserved gameplay from 2011's Mortal Kombat as well as the games compatibility with the Vita touchscreen. Players will be able to interact with the game in a number of ways, including several mini games such as Test Your Balance and touchscreen fatalities. Challenge Tower includes 150 new interactive missions for players to compete with, including the first opportunity to play as Shao Kahn -- a popular request within the fanbase.

As previously announced, this version of Mortal Kombat will be a mirror to the Komplete Edition [released February], featuring all downloadable contents as well as the exclusive new addition of bonus costumes for characters like Rain and Kenshi.

A confirmed release date is still not available, with unverified sources suggesting an April release. Mortal Kombat Online will keep you abrest of updates. For streaming details follow @MK_Online, or like us on Facebook.

Syco Collectibles Motaro Statue First Look Preview!
First-Look Preview of Syco Collectibles MKO-chosen Statue - Motaro!

As voted by Mortal Kombat Online users, Syco Collectibles are deep into the production cycle for their next big statue - Motaro!

Standing at 14", Motaro will indeed be big, to scale with the rest of the 10" line. Skull adorned shoulders reflect the most recent design of MK's resident centaur, who appeared briefly in the 2011 reboot story mode. With a sculpted gesture reminiscent of his iconic Mortal Kombat 3 win pose, Motaro joins an ever growing collection of character statues.

Members of Mortal Kombat Online will receive a 20% discount on the finished Motaro statue, with an exclusive offer of priority of purchase on pre-orders. Full details will be made available as they come. [Preview images, provided exclusively to MKO by Syco Collectibles, do not represent the finished product.]

Syco recently announced another MK3 alumnist for the series, Sindel joining the lineup soon. A second run edition of their popular Scorpion 10" polystone statue, coming with improved gold paint, has also been announced. For questions about upcoming releases and more, refer to MKO's official Syco Collectibles Q&A thread.

20% discounts are still available for other characters, such as; Ermac, Mileena, Liu Kang and more. For updates and preview galleries, follow @MK_Online or like us on Facebook.

MLG Winter Championship Cash Pool Doubled!
The Major League Money Doubles at MLG Winter Championships!

Major League Gaming have delivered a major league announcement for players heading to Ohio later this month -- the cash purse for Mortal Kombat has been doubled! revealed a total Kombat prize pool of $33.4 thousand dollars for the coming Pro Circuit Winter Championships, compliments of their partnership with PlayStation. MK officially joined the MLG lineup in February [full story], a decision that bolstered the tournament credentials of the 2011 fighter, already heading to Evo for a second year.

    Mortal Kombat Winter Championships Cash Prizes:
  • 1st Place: $12,000

  • 2nd Place: $7,200

  • 3rd Place: $4,800

  • 4th Place: $3,200

  • 5th-6th Place: $2,000

  • 7th-8th Place: $1,000

Current NRG Top 5 player, , spoke of the value of MLG and the cash prize to the tournament community, telling us in a recent interview, "Travelling for a tournament now is a huge commitment and it has to be for the love of the game. [...] With MLG's large prize pot, it's a motivator for everyone to go to these single big tournaments. We're even going to see the return of Perfect Legend at MLG."

Reigning Mortal Kombat Evo World Champion, Perfect Legend, was quick to embrace the MLG announcement, taking to YouTube and Twitter to support the inclusion. He will be one of the marquee attractions for Mortal Kombat fans enjoying spectator options available through MLG. Edit: Crossover sensation JWonggg has also confirmed his entry into the MK field [via twitter].

Edit Mar. 17: In a new update, MLG have delivered a slew of names for next week's Pro Circuit Winter Championships, including live commentators and players entering the fighting tournaments!

Ryan Harvey (@fubarduck), Timothy Fenessy (@BrewtusBibulus), Oscar Oyarzabal (@TheAnswerKOF), and Phillip Michael Siegel (@995Phil) of The Kombat Network, make up a bilingual panel of commentators with specialist interest in the fighting games featured.

Joining the already confirmed PDP and Evo Mortal Kombat Champions is Tom Brady and EMP KDZ -- a Soul Calibur 4 Evo Runnerup. Soul Calibur V and King of Fighters XIII will be featured at the MLG Pro Circuit Winter Championships, alongside Mortal Kombat.

The Pro Circuit Winter Championships take place March 23-25 from Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio. Competitor passes are currently on sale for $50, with Gold Member discounts. For more event information and spectator passes, visit

Mortal Kombat Online will be following the event as it unfolds across three big days of MLG action, later this month. Join the competitive scene discussion on the forums, where coverage of the Road to Evo is well under way. For direct updates follow @MK_Online.

Shao Kahn Koncepts Wanted for Pop Culture Shock Prop [Canceled]
Pop Culture Shock Collectibles Want YOUR Ideas for a Shao Kahn Hammer Base!

For nearly twenty years, Shao Kahn has ruled the MK world with an iron fist and a whopping great big hammer! Be it pwning noobs in Mortal Kombat II, or just scattering kombatants in the opening scenes of Armageddon -- the hammer is always Shao Kahn's first choice for spreading mortal mayhem.

The iconic weapon will become vivid, bone crushing reality when American purveyors of pop, Pop Culture Shock Collectibles, release their officially licensed Shao Kahn Replica Hammer, sometime in the future.

We all know a hammer when we see one, but when the Emperor lays his tool of trade down, where does it call home?

Pop Culture Shock are looking for ideas for a simple, tasteful base for their prop hammer, and they're asking you, the Mortal Kombat Online users! Be it the physical shape, flourish of design, or basic insignia, we want your coolest concepts for a Shao Kahn hammer base!

Post ideas on the forum for the potential chance to see them realized in the final product. As an added bonus, Mortal Kombat Online will give away an official limited MK collectible pin to our favourite, most creative suggestion!

Edit Mar. 15: With deepest regret we must report that Pop Culture Shock Collectibles have been forced to cancel production of their Replica Shao Kahn Hammer. Fortunately for fans, they have already begun production on alternate products! Mortal Kombat Online will deliver more updates when complete information is available.

Road to Evo: Final Round XV Tournament Results
REO Ends the Streak as 126 Fighters Battle it out at Final Round XV!

Atlanta, Georgia -- An explosive meet between five-man factions representing Team 16bit and Team VSM made for a blockbuster pre-show at Final Round XV!

The much hyped March 3 exhibition brought the eyes of the entire Mortal Kombat community to FRXV, creating a championship atmosphere around the regional rivalry that ended in a shock 5-1 washout [full results]. If you forgot there was still an entire Evo Series tournament to be played Sunday, March 4, you could have been forgiven!

A massive 126 players descended on Hotlanta to compete at the fifteenth annual event, but the rivalry between the two teams would continue to shape the fate of Final Round, prolific in their spread across four pools fighting toward the final eight!

Evo Series points leader, CD Jr, finished off the 10-man match, making for a tantalizing preview of his attempt to win a third straight major on the Road to Evo! Key to the rivalry that started it all was Jr's brother, Crazy Dominican, whose claim to the best Kitana was a war of words waged -- an unresolved dream match just waiting to happen!

Final Round XV Pool B Losers Final:
Osu16bit versus Crazy Dominican

With pools spawning double elimination loser brackets, CD Jr found himself in need of a second chance after an intense clash with Big D in Class A! Big D's Nightwolf claimed a rare 2012 win over the Road to Evo's most dominant player, in one of the many noteworthy encounters. Pig of the Hut took Class B honors after defeating Crazy Dominican with his untouchable Kenshi, setting up the dream rebound match between CD and Osu16bit [featured above, via Medina4life], in the losers bracket!

Pool C saw vVv REO forced into the losers bracket after a back and forth war with KN DetroitBalln313 -- the single winner from the 5v5 whose Shang Tsung added welcome diversity to the mix. The loss forced REO into a close fought match with GGA Dizzy, who only narrowly missed out. Death had a similar path in Class D, fighting back from a harsh loss at the hands of VSM Maxter.

Pool Winners & Losers Finals:
[Pool A] Big D (Nightwolf) d. vVv CD Jr (Smoke) 2-1 2-0 0-2 2-1
[Pool A] vVv CD Jr (Smoke) d. Ikizzle (Sektor) 2-0 2-1 2-0
[Pool B] Pig of the Hut (Kenshi) d. VSM Crazy Dominican (Kitana, Nightwolf) 2-0 2-0 2-0
[Pool B] VSM Crazy Dominican (Kitana) d. Osu16bit (Kitana) 2-1 2-0 1-2 2-0
[Pool C] KN DetroitBalln313 (Shang Tsung) d. vVv REO (Kabal) 2-1 2-0 0-2 2-0
[Pool C] vVv REO (Kabal) d. GGA Dizzy (Cage) 2-0 2-1 2-0
[Pool D] VSM Maxter (Cage) d. Death (Sonya) 2-0 2-0 2-0
[Pool D] Death (Mileena) d. STB Gr8One (Kitana) 2-0 2-0 2-1

Leaving behind the hundred-plus fighters who filled the pools, the Final Round top eight would represent some of the true dangermen looking ahead to Evo Championship 2012!

Negotiating the winners brackets with the biggest stable of character selections in the final stages, Pig of the Hut would be the emerging hometown favourite with a great shot to win! He and Maxter would be responsible for snuffing out two of the winners brackets hot prospects, Big D and DetroitBalln313 unable to rebound as they found themselves stuck between the rock and hard place of CD Jr and REO representing the big vVv!

A destined battle between REO and CD Jr threatened the possibility of another tournament victory for Jr. Their first match was a comfortable affair for Jr's Jax, but the tide began to shift in the second as REO found footing with his Cage's intensity and frame-trapping. A switch to Sonya couldn't deliver CD Jr an out, the 100pt Dominican succumbing to a highly motivated performance by his teammate!

Best of five match-ups added an extra level to the finals as competition went to the fitting final fight place of Khan's Koliseum! Pig of the Hut and Maxter would have a main event match as they took it to a fifth match, the back and forth as psychological as it was skillful. REO and Maxter would engage in a test of nerves, their match completing the REOs return through the losers bracket and delivering him to a big win in a tournament victory.

Winners Bracket Semi Final:
Pig of the Hut (Kenshi, Mileena) d. Big D (Nightwolf) 2-1 1-2 2-1 2-1
VSM Maxter (Cyrax) d. KN DetroitBalln313 (Shang, Kabal) 2-0 2-0 2-1

Top 8 Losers Bracket Rounds 1-3:
vVv CD Jr (Liu Kang, Smoke) d. VSM Crazy Dominican (Kitana) 2-1 2-0 1-2 2-1
vVv REO (Kabal) d. Death (Mileena) 2-1 1-2 2-1 2-0
vVv CD Jr (Smoke) d. KN DetroitBalln313 (Shang, Smoke) 2-0 2-1 2-1
vVv REO (Kabal) d. Big D (Nightwolf, Ermac) 2-0 2-0 2-1
vVv REO (Cage) d. vVv CD Jr (Jax, Sonya) 2-1 0-2 2-0 2-0

Winners & Losers Bracket Final:
Pig of the Hut (Kenshi, Mileena) d. VSM Maxter (Cyrax, Cage) 3-2 0-2 2-1 2-1 1-2 2-0
vVv REO (Kabal) d. VSM Maxter (Stryker, Cyrax) 3-1 2-0 2-0 1-2 2-0

Final Round XV Grand Final:
vVv REO (Kabal) d. Pig of the Hut (Mileena, Cyber Sub) 3-1 Reset 1-2 2-1 2-0 2-0
vVv REO (Kabal) d. Pig of the Hut (Kenshi, Mileena) 3-0 2-1 2-0 2-0

The Road to Evo begins to pick up momentum in March! vVv CD Jr remains the main to beat after three tournaments, but right behind him is big time Final Round winner, vVv REO! A runner-up spot gets Pig of the Hut into the mix, while Death makes it three straight tournaments in the top twelve, proving to be as inevitable as taxes.

1. (101pts) vVv CD Jr. [3 tournaments]
2. (85pts) vVv REO [3 tournaments]
3. (26pts) LB NYChris G [2 tournaments]
4. (25pts) Pig of the Hut [1 tournament]
5. (11pts) VSM Crazy Dominican [2 tournaments]
5. (11pts) VSM Maxter [2 tournaments]
Winners at Evo Series tournaments receive 50pts toward seeding in July, while runners-up receive 25pts, third 10pts, and 4th through 12th get a single 1pt. Mortal Kombat Online is tracking the stats as we walk the Road to Evo. Discussing coming events and more on the forums!

Vita Kombat Refused Classification in Australia
Australian Censors Ban Mortal Kombat Once Again, Even As Adult Rating Nears!

Slow moving legislation has once again denied Australian Mortal Kombat fans their chance for a retail release of the popular fighter, outgoing classification standards allowed to claim one more title ahead of completed reform in 2013.

Consistent with February 2011 rulings [original story]; the newly arriving PlayStation Vita version of Mortal Kombat has been Refused Classification, effectively rendering the product illegal for sale or import into the country.

Gamespot AU report Warner Brothers felt the portable handheld system may lower the perceivable "impact" of violence that saw the original title rated beyond Australia's MA15+ classification. An unedited version of the Vita game was reportedly submitted, without accompaniment of the recently released Komplete Edition for consoles. Games currently Refused Classification are expected to remain banned, even once the adult R18+ thresholds are introduced, at least until they are resubmitted by a parent company.

Despite customs scrutiny and threat of severe fines [full story], the originally banned title was anecdotally reported to have been widely imported by dedicated and savvy fans. Video game importing has become a major issue for Australian retailers, popular banned titles placing additional pressure on a market already grappling with a strong Australian dollar, and the imbalance of expensive retail costs, versus private imports not subject to GST (Goods and Services Tax). It remains to be seen if Mortal Kombat will be resubmitted by WB in 2013, once the adult ratings take effect.

Mortal Kombat for the PlayStation Vita packs various exclusive features on top of the Komplete Edition of the game, including new costumes and interactive features, such as touchscreen fatalities! The game is set to hit worldwide in April [full details].

Final Round XV: Team 16Bit vs Team VSM 10-Man Conclusion
Team VSM Take it 5-1 as CD Jr Continues His Domination!

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!

Streamed by MedinaTV; Archive Videos Coming Soon.

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.

Final Round Preview: Sixteen Questions with Osu16Bit!
16 Questions with Osu16Bit ahead of Final Round -- next stop on the Road to Evo!

The Road to Evo leads to Atlanta, Georgia, this weekend, as top players compete for Evo 2012 seeding points at the fifteenth annual Final Round tournament! Action begins Friday, with casual fights, money matches, interviews and more streaming live [via]. Then Sunday, March 4 will belong to Mortal Kombat as pools and top eight action run all day!

"Final Round" might sound like a contradictory name for a tournament successfully run since the late nineties, but the name will have special significance for MK fans when one of the scene's biggest rivalries explodes in a 5v5 main event showdown!

It'll be Team 16Bit versus Team VSM in a turf war even the Elder Gods don't want to be involved with! At the centre of the heated feud is one of the hosts of The Kombat Tomb podcast and captain of Team 16Bit, !

With a pedigree that currently places him #4 in the NFG Rankings, and includes a much discussed victory at SoCal Regionals, he's a master of fan-thrown disaster and the perfect man to get the full story from. With the 5v5 just days away, Mortal Kombat Online ran sixteen questions by Osu16Bit to get the lowdown on Final Round and his opinions on the scene.

[MKO]: 1. Who are you and what brought you to the MK tournament scene?
[Osu16Bit]: I am Osu 16 Bit from Springfield, Illinois and I've been a hardcore fan of Mortal Kombat from the beginning with the original arcade game. I've also played fighting games competitively for years. Previously I played in Tekken tournaments. As we all know, MK has had great characters, a deep mythology and fun gameplay, but it wasn't designed or balanced for competitive play. When Netherrealm Studios decided to go in that direction for MK9, I dropped Tekken and now play MK9 as my tournament game. Overall they did a great job, I'm glad to finally be able to play my favorite fighting game series at a competitive level.

2. You're one of the very best Kitana players on the scene. What is it about her that you like?
I always thought the female ninjas were cool and Kitana is easily the best. She has the most unique weapon in the series and how can you not respect a princess who is also a trained assassin? I doubt Kate Middleton has ever decapitated an enemy of England.

From a gameplay perspective she completely suits my style of play. I am very conservative and lame, sometimes I'm accused of spamming. With Kitana I can keep the opponent away and stay in my comfort zone.

3. There's a threat of counter picks against Kitana. Do you think that's a big issue?
It's an issue but it's not bad enough to need a second character.
In Kitana's case she is good enough that even her worst match ups are still quite winnable. I've never lost in a tournament and felt it was only because of a bad match up and not that I was out played.

I am not much of a counter picker anyway. There are great players who can adjust to switching characters in an instant under pressure but I'm not one of them. I also think it's neat when players are known for their character.

4. At Final Round, you'll captain a team of five against Team VSM in a seriously hyped encounter. What has led to this intense match-up?
There's been a war of words between us for a long time now. We've gotten into arguments in forums and chats, and talked trash about each other on streams many times. For me the boiling point was when CD Jr disparaged my major tournament victory at SoCal Regionals in December. From their perspective, they're upset over some of things we've said on our podcast. There's a lot of backstory behind some of the potential match ups in this 5 on 5 too. You have me and Crazy Dominican Kitana vs. Kitana. Detroit and Morty Seinfeld defeated Maxter and CD Jr at NEC. REO came to Arizona in October and won their own major. This is pretty much the perfect storm of hype and salty runbacks in the scene right now.

But the biggest story here is New York vs. The World.
The guys at VSM clearly have much tournament success. They take pride in being the #1 region in the United States. However, many of us point out that their success has mostly been within the East Coast. REO did win Devastation in Arizona and placed second at EVO in Nevada but the 3 Dominican brothers have only left the East Coast once, for Season's Beatings in Ohio, and have never crossed the Mississippi river. The last time a bunch of top players from other regions came to them(NEC in December) they lost. So we're challenging them to face some of the top Midwest and West Coast players to prove they can dominate outside their home region.

This will actually be the 3rd time a VSM 5 on 5 has been planned. One was supposed to take place at Season's Beatings against Ohio and another at NEC against a group of players from across the country. Both were canceled for one reason or another. This time it's finally going to happen.

5. What are the key ingredients that will lead Team 16Bit to victory?
The great thing about my team is that it's made up of guys who have history beating VSM but also guys who VSM probably underestimates and haven't been paying much attention to.

I've known Slips for years, back to the Tekken days. His best trait for my team is his experience and his character, Scorpion. Slips was a top Tekken player for over a decade and has played in numerous high pressure situations, I can count on him to not choke or be intimidated by VSM's reputation. I've also seen VSM disrespect Scorpion. IMO there is no better Scorpion player in the world. If they don't consider that character a serious threat they're in for trouble.

Dizzy is Chicago's best and a top Johnny Cage player. I go up to Chicago for tournaments frequently and every trip there he has improved. He's the kind of player that really does his home work, he studies the frame data, he finds all the holes in other character's offense, and he's willing to grind out Johnny Cage's bad match ups until he finds a way to win. He's brining a great rush down character to the table, who can go toe to toe with their Jax. He also has a great deal of experience playing Kitana and Kabal.

Morty Seinfeld and Detroitballin I met last year when I went to Arizona for a tournament. I enjoyed playing them and knew they were great players, so it was no surprise to me when they did so well at NEC. With their success against VSM putting them on my team is a no brainer. Morty is a Sonya expert and will do well against CD Jr's Jax and Maxter's Johnny Cage and Detroit's Shang Tsung will help beat the zoners on their team like REO's Kabal.

6. What do you think of Team VSM? How will they try to take you guys down?
To be honest they're awesome players.
I've played REO before and consider him one of my toughest opponents ever. The Dominican brothers are ridiculous, no question. I especially have great respect for Crazy Dominican Sr, he's the exact opposite of me as a Kitana player, so it's always interesting to see how offensively he plays her.
I'm assuming they plan to counter pick us. I expect them to bring out their zoning characters when Morty or Dizzy are up. I predict against me they'll have CD Jr play Smoke, assuming that if I can't throw fans I'll be helpless.

7. When the dust settles, will this be the final round between Team 16bit and Team VSM? Or is this feud destined to continue?
Of course not! It never ends. That's the cool thing about the tournament scene. There's always another major on the horizon. The losers will go back to drawing board, think hard about why they lost and hit up practice mode. No matter what happens at Final Round, 3 weeks later we'll all be back for MLG.

8. Team VSM are keeping their fifth man secret until closer to Final Round. Who do you think it's gonna be? What do you think of this tactic?
It's fun, I love it. Adds to the hype and intrigue. I was going to do it myself with Detroit but I just couldn't help but reveal him early. My prediction is Tom Brady. Tom and I have been feuding since the game first came out and everyone wants to see us go at it in a big match. The only way this 5 on 5 could be any more hype is adding Tom to the mix.

9. What were your impressions of the action at Winter Brawl 6? [full story]
I enjoyed seeing Tom's new Raiden and Sawnik Fawx blow up adult top players but CD Jr needs to lose already! It's getting old seeing him win every East Coast tournament. I'm always rooting for REO, sooner or later he's bound to beat Jr.

10. Sawnik Fawx made a splash at Winter Brawl. What do you think of the kid?
It was neat. For some reason there's a bunch of kids that are good at MK. He shouldn't be old enough to be playing this game but he can beat 90% of the community?

I hope his success, and the success of other online players, motivates fans that only play online to come out to tournaments.

11. What do you make of the Road to Evo so far?
So far, with the early tournaments being on the East Coast, it's gone just about as you'd expect. Final Round and on should be very interesting. There will be majors in places like Canada, Texas and Illinois that normally don't have the spot light. We will probably see strong performances from players that don't travel often or haven't been to a tournament before.

I'm looking forward to seeing Konqrr play again. In the early days of MK9 he was the first top Kitana player and placed 9th at EVO. He's been too busy to travel since then but I hear he's still playing locally and remains very strong. There's all this hype about me and Crazy Dominican but watch out for Konqrr.

Placing top 8 at EVO is so difficult I don't know what to expect for myself. Last year I had the major advantage that Kitana was underrated. The community was still realizing just how good she was and even top players weren't familiar with the match up. Now every local scene has a Kitana player. On the other hand I've become a much stronger player. I believe I can place top 8 again but it won't be easy.

12. As a game, how do you think MK has changed since Evo 2011?
To me, the patches have been a positive. I agree with the majority of changes they made and I did not mind the frequency of the patches. Maybe I'm biased since my character has never been drastically changed but I don't understand the complaints that they've patched too much.

There are rumors of one final hot fix to get rid of some of the ridiculous combos and resets for characters like Jax, Cyrax and Smoke. I support this and in my opinion those characters will still be great without them and the top players using them will be able to adjust.

13. Controversy from Capcom's "Cross Assault" has brought attitudes in the fighting game community under scrutiny [via GiantBomb]. Do you have any opinions about the situation?
I did not see Cross Assault so it wouldn't be fair of me to comment. However, I will say that the MK community is amazing. One of the advantages of it being smaller is that you get to know the players more and there's less of a bridge between the "famous" top players and players new to tournaments. If you're an online player and you've wondered how you'd match up against the guys you see on stream you can do it. You can go to a tournament and play with Tom Brady.

"... MLG's large prize pot, it's a motivator for everyone..."

14. How do you see the MK tournament scene evolving? What's the next major step?
MLG is a big deal [read more]. I just talked about one of the advantages of a small scene but now I'll say one of the disadvantages is the smaller pots for tournament winners. You cannot make money playing MK. Even if you win you're not going to make enough to cover your travel costs. Traveling for a tournament now is a huge commitment and it has to be for the love of the game. Earlier I criticized VSM for not traveling but to be fair to them it's asking a lot. With MLG's large prize pot, it's a motivator for everyone to go to these single big tournaments. We're even going to see the return of Perfect Legend at MLG.

But I also feel we need to continue to support the grass roots majors. After EVO interest in MK will slow down, with the game being over a year old and at two EVO's by then. It's going to be up to us to continue to show the rest of the fighting game community we still care. Even if we don't get on stream and we can't have 100+ turn outs we need to continue to have a presence for the rest of MK9's life.

15. If there's a new game, what will it need to take into account?
The #1 thing that needs improvement is online play. There's no excuse for poor netcode in this era.

I also hope they stay on track with this engine. They have a history of scrapping the entire engine and starting over and it's one of the biggest reasons the games haven't been balanced for competitive play. I'm hoping they stick with this core game and only fix what's broken.

16. Any final thoughts/messages before Final Round?
To all the fans that enjoy watching me on stream and to my fellow Kitana players that support me...I'm ready for Final Round. I have some new tricks, I've worked on some of my deficiencies and I've got a new outlook for some of her harder match ups. I've been playing very well for the last couple of weeks. I feel better going into this tournament than I have for a while.

And for VSM, I hope they bring it. Bring their mystery partner. Bring their block infinites and resets. Bring their hitbox. Bring the New York National Guard. I want their best. I don't want any excuses about not knowing match ups, or underestimating us, or that they were hung over. We're angry, we're hungry, we're coming with our A game. I expect nothing less from them.

Final Round is the next stop on the Road to Evo! Top three winners share major seeding points as the tournament series counts down to the Evo Championship 2012 spectacular, in July!

All the MK Final Round action will be streaming live throughout the day of the tournament and before. Mortal Kombat Online will endeavor to have full coverage of the finals and rankings updates. Discuss everything Final Round on the forums. @Bambamguitar will be tweeting live from the event. Follow @MK_Online for all things MK.

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