Darnell “Sleep” Walker took top honorson Saturday, defeating Kenneth “Bass” Armas to secure the title. Sleep scored a 3-1 victory over Bass in the winners’ final, then won the rematch by the same margin to secure the trophy.
Sleep and Bass, who placed third and seventh at last year’s event respectively, were the only two players from last year’s top eight finishers to reach Saturday’s finals. Three of last year’s finalists, including defending Evo champion Jonathan “Rico Suave” DeLeon and runner-up Neilimen “Gutter Magic” Alicea, were eliminated in ninth place.
Rico Suave and Gutter Magic weren’t the only favorites to fall. Sleep’s run to the title included a win over Deion “Thompxson” Thompson, who had won each of the past two Killer Instinct Ultra Tour events: Combo Breaker and CEO. Thompxson was eliminated in 17th place by Rico Suave.
Saturday’s finals included plenty of new and impressive players, with 16-year-old Jamill “SeaDragon” Boykin as both one of the newest and one of the most impressive. SeaDragon suffered an early defeat to Nicholas “Nicky” Iovene on Saturday, but he did not crumble under the pressure of the do-or-die losers’ bracket in his first-ever offline tournament. SeaDragon rattled off ten wins in the losers’ bracket, including a victory over Nicky to eliminate him in fourth place, before Bass ended his run.
Thanks to his third-place finish, SeaDragon earned a place in the Killer Instinct World Cup in March, as Sleep and Bass had already earned auto-qualification spots at previous Ultra Tour events.
Jacob “Runex” Runsewe, another teenage player, also impressed. He eliminated Rico Suave to reach the top eight of the tournament, then knocked off Jouse “Grief” Herrera before bowing out in fifth place alongside Paul “PaulB” Ramos. Grief tied for seventh place with Angel “GnarlyFeats” Gonzalez.
Just before grand finals, Killer Instinct creative director Adam Isgreen announced that Eyedol would be the final character of the game’s third season. Eyedol was the boss of the original Killer Instinct game, which was released in 1994.