2018 has been an up-and-down year for Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson, who started his year of by being ranked for his fourth consecutive year and scored a win over William “Leffen” Hjelte at April’s Flatiron 3 amidst low points including his fifth-place finish at hometown tournament Esports Arizona: Talking Stick Resort 4 in late June.
On Sunday, however, Axe looked to be in peak form, defeating a gauntlet of top-level players to take first place at Runback 2018. Though he won the tournament from winner’s side, Axe’s path to victory was far from easy; he withstood game-five challenges from SSMBRank top ten players Johnny “S2J” Kim and Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni in winner’s finals and grand finals after completing a 3-0 over Dajuan “Shroomed” McDaniel in winner’s semis.
Runback marks another middle-of-the-road tournament for SFAT, who’s spent the last few months floating around the top-ten level while being unsuccessful at upsetting anyone ranked above him. His run to grand finals, which involved wins over both Shroomed and S2J, was perhaps aided by the fact that his rival Weston “Westballz” Dennis disqualified himself from their loser’s quarters match due to illness.
As for S2J, the Falcon main’s third-place finish reflects his strong run at the Arizona regional, which involved a victory over SFAT in winner’s semis. S2J, SFAT, and Westballz were joined in Top 8 by their SoCal brother Jeremy “Squid” Deutsch, who tied with James “Duck” Ma at 7th place after losing a tight loser’s quarters set to Theodore “Bladewise” Seybold.