West World: The Elite 8 Tier List

Editorial by Staff Writers: Francel Brito & Justin Smolenski

Get ready for the Westworld Elite 8 Tournament, where the who’s who of the West Coast scene collide in a battle for all of the bragging rights. These high-stakes battles feature a mix of seasoned veterans and rising stars, in a format where anything can happen once you clash skills, hunger, preparation, and strategies.

The tournament showcases a diverse array of familiar names and faces, each vying for the coveted title.

To add an extra layer of excitement, we have created a tier list, categorizing the talent into three distinct groups. This tiered approach is created to forecast the projection of the battlers in the tourney, but the most exciting part about tournaments is that it sets the stage for unpredictable outcomes and unforeseeable moments. 

The Tournament Winner Deserves The Most Respect

What better experience for a tourney than winning one in the past? Saynt is entering this competition as the lone former tourney winner since Real Name Brandon is no longer a part of this tournament. They both were in a class of their own. With Saynt’s run in the 2020 KOTD Grand Prix, defeating legends such as Dizaster and Marv Won. You could point to him having a bit of a disappointing Season during the KOTD S1, when he missed the playoffs, and despite his last judged battle being a high-level match between Real Deal, where he gassed out at the end and lost unanimously. The experience is still invaluable and his record in judged battles is still 7-3 over the last four years. Sayint knows how to win in this format. Saynt has been inactive since his Cali Smoov battle at the GTX Lot event, almost a year ago. Long breaks can lead to a few different predictions: one could argue an MC will be sitting on a war chest of material going into the battle while others can say they’ll be rusty and a bit out of touch next time they hit the ring.

In Saynt’s case, we won’t know till we see, with a tough 1st matchup vs NXT ahead, a rematch from their younger days; but it’s safe to say he should be given the benefit of the doubt, being in a tourney with more rounds and top names before and walking out the victor then. 

The Real Danger & Should Be The Favorites to Win

Every tournament has its favorites, and WestWorld’s looking at 2 names for this group: NXT and Hansel. NXT has been the most active of anyone on this list and has battled some of the best competition as well. NXT has possibly the best resume of anyone in the tourney, with prior tournament experience in Ultimate Madness 4, making it to the Semi-Finals, and already has battled at a high volume and he is also used to battling with limited prep time. All these things go down as advantages of experience for NXT going into it.

Then there’s Hansel, who has been making his waves on URL the past year. Although his last showing vs Mazi wasn’t his best, his showings vs Yunus and Shotgun Suge have shown peaks from him as a battler that can match or even out-match everyone in this competition. On top of that, he doesn’t have to run into Saynt or NXT on his side of the bracket and should be an extremely heavy favorite to make it out of his side of the bracket. We’ll see how he does in his 1st tourney setting but for a first-time entry, the stage is set for Hansel to make a run. The last time we saw Hansel in a judged battle was against Yunus, a high-level back and forth, which ended up making most Media’s Battle Of The Year list, and Hansel came out as the Victor.

Got Something To Prove

The remaining competitors all have around the same circumstances coming in; non favorites who must separate themselves from the pack. Aktive, Quis, Foet Dev, Da Kid Clutch, and Fate all pose different styles and varying levels of experience, but any could potentially break the bracket a bit with a win over Hansel, and NXT/Saynt. In Theory, Aktive’s longevity and experience should put him at the top of this category in terms of odds going in, but prior problems with prep and cleanliness of his rounds are a big question mark, which even more so applies to Dev. 

Fate and Clutch punch-heavy style could work well in a tourney setting but it isn’t bulletproof enough to rule out a possible loss at any time when punches may just not be hitting, as they aren’t consistently landing heavy haymakers. And as for Quis, probably the newest talent of anyone in the tourney, he has shown flashes and could gain some attention here but with maybe the lowest profile here his chances are a bit of a mystery. All these guys may not have the flashiest case to win going in, but with judged battles anything is possible.

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