Red Bull Gladiators happened this past weekend on October 16, 2021. The unique one-day event featured two phases, an 80-player open bracket qualifier and a final phase of eight competitors. The most intriguing aspect of the event was the venue, hosted in the Roman Theatre in Mérida, Spain.
Se viene!! pic.twitter.com/3qjrEyPQSm
— KwK | RockShooter (@RicardoRockShoo) October 16, 2021
Red Bull is no stranger to hosting unique events for fighting games, as seen at Red Bull Kumite events for Street Fighter V. However, Red Bull Gladiators ushers in a new era of Red Bull events as Guilty Gear Strive enters the mix.
OPEN PHASE – LUDUS
The open phase of the event, called “Ludus”, welcomed up to 128 players in an open bracket. While 80 entrants registered for the event, only four qualified for the final phase.
Split into two groups of 40 players, BarryBones qualified from the winner’s side of pool one while Dan(dy) qualified from loser’s side. Meanwhile, GenisGod claimed the winner’s side spot in pool two and Mystic battled through the loser’s bracket to qualify as well.
These four competitors earned spots in the final phase of the Red Bull tournament this weekend. The players joined Skyll, KenDeep, Uriel and Alioune in “Munus” as the main event later in the day.
FINAL PHASE – MUNUS
The “Munus” phase of Red Bull’s event began later in the day, moving competition into the center of the Roman Theatre. Eight final contestants, nicknamed the “gladiators” to keep the event’s theme, battled in a unique format. Each open phase qualifier faced one invited player in a best-of-nine match to advance in the single elimination bracket.
The competition itself showcased some of Europe’s finest fighting game talent in a still relatively new title. Guilty Gear Strive’s tournament lifespan is still fairly young, and the game’s latest patch gives competitors more incentive to keep playing.
Veteran Soul Calibur player Skyll emerged victorious with a 5-0 sweep over KenDeep in grand finals, including a clutch comeback in the final round of the last game.
Red Bull’s latest event not only highlighted strong European Guilty Gear players, but also served as an example of the brand’s ability to push the envelope for events themselves. Though the tournament played out over the span of just one day, the impact of events like Red Bull Gladiators resonates throughout the entire global fighting game community. Unique tournaments keep players engaged with fighting games and open bracket competition, and the presence of international competitors at the event was a welcome change from the past year of missing offline tournaments.
Featured image courtesy of Red Bull Spain
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