Midwest came, midwest saw, and most of the midwest players got knocked out before the Top 8. Team SoloMid's Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios took the win at 2GGC: Midwest Mayhem Saga in Santa Ana, California in a dominant grand finals set against Phoenix1's Gavin "Tweek" Dempsey.
In the grand finals, it was a clean 3-0 victory for ZeRo. His strong control of the neutral, or ground portion of the stage, made approaching difficult for Tweek. And whenever Tweek was offstage, ZeRo would constantly be applying pressure, forcing a bad option and going in for a down-smash. By Game 3, Tweek decided to put away his Cloud and bring out Donkey Kong, and unfortunately it didn't fare much better. ZeRo was able to take on Donkey Kong's larger hitbox and deliver damage quickly.
Even though ZeRo won handedly, Tweek proved he was worthy of the recent Phoenix1 sponsorship with a well-deserved second place finish.
In losers finals, Tweek had to take on 2GG's Rei "Komorikiri" Furukawa in a tight Cloud ditto. Like a game of chicken, both players charged up their limit and were playing a game of micro-spacing, trying bait one another. Games went back and forth, until the set was tied 2-2. Tweek took the first stock in the final game, but accidentally suicided during a recovery attempt; he was able to pull out the win with a limit blade beam, leaving Komorikiri at third place.
As for midwest, only Nicholas "Ned" Devel was able to make it into the Top 8. His first game against Counter Logic Gaming's James "VoiD" Makekau-Tyson was a slaughter. Even with VoiD's strong aggression with Sheik, Ned continued to catch him on the ledge and in the air. It was a 3-0 sweep.
Unfortunately, Ned couldn't carry the hopes of the midwest to victory. During losers semifinals against Komorikiri, it was a game of Cloud vs. Cloud. Both were playing the matchup carefully, as one wrong move could lead to a stock. But Komorikiri had the match on lock and was able to beat Ned 3-0. Ned walked away with a fourth place finish.
The winner of Midwest Mayhem Saga will be granted a spot at 2GGC: Championship Saga (ZeRo's already won a spot), meaning other players will have to continue fighting for points or win another qualification event. The top-placing SoCal player at Midwest Mayhem Saga would also be awarded a free flight to Midwest Mayhem 8 in Chicago, Illinois. Since the highest placing SoCal players were Larry Lurr and Panda Global's Rich Brown at fifth place, it's uncertain if both will get tickets or if neither will.
ZeRo has already won two of the three tournaments he's attended this year. 2017 is already looking to be another strong year for the best Smash 4 player in the world.