InkStorm 8 – The Storm is Here

The prestigious InkStorm tournament series returns this weekend with InkStorm 8.  InkStorm comes at a unique time in Splatoon 2’s competitive lifecycle.  Overall, massive international events have been at a low for quite some time, and there haven’t been very many stages where North American and European teams can face off against one another.  Also, with the increasing amount of overlap now between the EU/NA & Japanese regions, we’re setting ourselves up for a tournament that anyone can win.  As one of the Tournament Organizers for the event, I’ve been watching who’s registering, and I thought I would share some of my thoughts with you all.  Here’s a few teams who might cause a storm in this weekend’s event!

Key:
⚔ – Slayer/Frontline
⛑ – Support
⚓ – Anchor/Backline
⚖ – Flex
🏆 – Previous InkStorm Champion (Or, for InkStorm Cup, Platinum Cup Qualifier)


🌎North America

For me, North American Splatoon has been some of the most interesting to watch as of late.  And, with the amount of roster changes that have been happening at this highest level, this weekend is going to be one of the unique to tune into.  Allow me to flex my NA knowledge to show you why you should be finding someone to root for here.

FTWin

🇨🇦 Shak (⚔ – Shooters, 🏆ISCup)
🇺🇸 Kyo (⚔ – Midline, 🏆ISCup)
🇺🇸 2-D (⛑ – Various, 🏆ISCup)
🇨🇦 Burstie (⛑ – Shooters)
🇺🇸 Biscuit (⚓ – Nautilus)

All that I said about hyping up NA Splatoon can go out the window now:  Anytime you doubt the 4-time NA Open Champions, these feeders make you eat your words.  (Trust me, I know the hard way.)  Now, with the new addition of Biscuit, the roster has been completed once again and is ready to dominate.  While we aren’t entirely sure if Biscuit will be available this weekend, we can be sure that FTWin is ready to play.

Sayonara

🇺🇸 Sun (⚔ – Shooters)
🇺🇸 Bagel (⚖ – Support, Nautilus)
🇺🇸 .q (⚓ – Charger)
🇺🇸 DeeJayy (⚔ – Sloshers)

Sayonara has been one of the teams that has shown overall consistent improvement for a long time.  That said, they’re often amidst a slight roster shuffle or substitution.  For this event, they’ve brought on DeeJayy to fill that second slayer role, and on paper, he seems to round out the composition extremely well.  This is a team that always has the potential for greatness – we’ll have to see if they achieve that this weekend.

Supernova

🇺🇸 Chara (⚖ – Midline, Flex)
🇺🇸 Arashi (⚔ – Shooters)
🇺🇸 Kotetsu (⚖ – Midline, Flex)
🇺🇸 Zero (⚔ – Slayer
🇺🇸 Mewty (⚓ – Charger)

For the past few months, Supernova as a team were struggling to find their footing together at the top of North America.  That said, their results with recent acquisition Zero (yes, that 3000 X-rank power Zero) have been rather impressive.  This team has proven recently that they are finally back to throwing punches with the FTWins and the Hanrans.  They’re looking to add to their staple win list after their win at the NA Turf War July 2020, and this would be the perfect tournament to do just that.

Hanran

🇺🇸 Ant (⚔ – Shooter)
🇺🇸 bran (⚔ – Shooter, Kpro)
🇺🇸 Origami (⚔ – Shooter, CDS)
🇺🇸 ice (⚓ – Charger, 🏆ISCup)

The enigma of Hanran is always interesting. You never know when they’re going to show up, you never know what roster they’re coming with, and you never know who’s day they are going to ruin. This iteration for InkStorm 8 is arguably one of their stronger ones, where they have 3 talented slayers anchored by Ice. There’s enough flexibility in this lineup to deal with longer range compositions, and that’s exactly what they struggle with – can this be the lineup that firmly puts Hanran back on the map?

Slaughterhouse

🇺🇸 Power (⚓ – CJS, Charger; 🏆IS+)
🇺🇸 Taylor (⚔ – Shooters)
🇺🇸 Keen (⚖ – Brella, Sloshers)
🇺🇸 Soldier (⚖ – Squeezer)

Slaughterhouse is one of those teams that’s right on the bubble. They are very consistent at beating the teams you’d expect them to, but also consistently falter against the teams you expect to beat them. When this team is popping, it’s in no small part thanks to Power nailing shots on the Charger & zoning away opponents with the Stingray. Slaughterhouse is looking to continue climbing and are hoping to pull off an upset this weekend.

Dark Horses

🇺🇸 Ascension
🇺🇸 Azure
🇺🇸 Circles
🇺🇸 Enlightenment
🇺🇸 Spicy Bois


🌍Europe

The European Splatoon scene has been a little quiet from my perspective.  I guess that’s what happens when language barriers from regional leagues couples with a direct comparison to two consecutive 600+ team tournaments in North America. Nonetheless, I can point out a few teams to watch out for if you want to scream “We are EU!”

Grougrou 4 Life

🇫🇷 Grey (⛑ – Shooters, 🏆ISCup)
🇫🇷 Kiver (⚔ – Shooters, 🏆IS+)
🇫🇷 Obito (⚔ – Shooters)
🇮🇹 Hypnos (⚓ – Charger)

In the “absence” of Alliance Rogue, this “pickup” has come together. What you don’t see is that Obito has actually played with Alliance Rogue quite a bit, so the core of the primary AR synergy is still there. There was a brief period of time where that AR was the most dominant team worldwide, but recently, they haven’t quite been as dominant on the International stage. They’re looking to prove they still belong at the top and win another event.

XLSX

🇫🇷 Kurisu (⚓ – Bamboo, Nautilus)
🇫🇷 SkoXay (⚔ – L-3 Nozzlenose)
🇫🇷 Zekken (⚔ – N-Zap)
🇫🇷 Arm (⛑ – N-Zap)
🇯🇵 やしゃ / Yasyasiuu (⚓ – Charger)

XLSX has long been a team that has rivaled Alliance Rogue in the French scene. However, their most recent iteration featuring Zekken and Arm, two long-time high level players, has propelled them to even greater heights. The most recent iteration of this domestic rivalry in Finals of the eSportBrosTV League’s Season 10 went the distance of 7 games where Alliance Rogue had to fend off a last-minute push from this squad. This team is hungry to be recognized again, they’re hungry to make it to the top.

Team Mr. Clean

🇫🇮 Sendou (⚖ – Brella, Support)
🇳🇱 Brian (⚓ – Charger)
🇫🇷 Erza (⚔ – Splattershot)
🇫🇷 Kotaro (⚖ – Brella, Support)

It’s three-quarters Olive, one-quarter pickup for this squad. You came to know and love most of these players, but they’ve been rather quiet lately while Erza has taken a break and Sendou & Brian have been team hopping. Can they pull out a special run to remind us of their long-forgotten legacy?

Dark Horses

🇫🇷🇨🇦Knights of Queen
🇫🇮🇮🇸Polar Night
🇫🇷🇨🇭Remellion
🇫🇷🇫🇷Uprising
🇩🇪🇬🇧Vendetta


🗾Japan

InkStorm has had a history of attracting some of the strongest Japanese players who are looking to further prove their worth to the rest of the world.  As a matter of fact, the first 5 InkStorms were all won by Japanese teams.  This iteration of InkStorm is no different than the ones of old.  And honestly? Japan is probably back to take the title.

ザリガニ〆たん / Zarigani Shimetan

🇯🇵 しぇるたん / Sheltan (⚓ – Explosher)
🇯🇵 チコたん / Chikotan (⚓ – Charger)
🇯🇵 スリュー / Suryu (⚔ – Dualies)
🇯🇵 ちゃちゃ / Chacha (⚔ – Inkbrush)

In reality, the star-studded lineup of weapon specialists on Zarigani Shimetan has accomplishments that frankly speak for themselves. Sheltan is a Top 4 Explosher and has qualified for the upcoming Koshien final. Suryu was the first dualies player to reach 2900 X-rank power. Chikotan is a name you may previously recognize from Japanese pickups that have come overseas and won events. And Chacha has won the Japanese Zones Cup three times in a row on the Inkbrush. This unique weapon composition will be super interesting to watch against the best the West has to offer.

Robbe and Tomodachi

🇧🇪 Robbe (⚔ – Inkbrush)
🇯🇵 Yumild (⚓ – Charger)
🇯🇵 ごごちー / Gogotea (⛑ – H-3 Nozzlenose)
🇯🇵 7chan (⚖ – Midline)

It’s not surprising that Robbe has found a pickup of players to play in InkStorm with. What is surprising is the players he has behind his Inkbrush. YuMild has been a constant near the top of Japanese Splatoon, and you might recognize him from his appearance at the Platinum Cup 5 LAN Finals in Germany (December 2018) and in the NPB Esports League, a high-level Splatoon league sponsored by regional baseball teams. These two are joined by 7chan, a 2900 X-rank power midline expert, and Gogotea, perhaps the best H-3 Nozzlenose in the world.

Melon Pop

🇺🇸 Jelly (⚖ – Brella)
🇯🇵 すい / Sui (⚖ – Midline)
🇯🇵 ゆき / Yukimura (⚓ – Charger)
🇯🇵 じゅじゅ / Juju (⚔ – N-Zap)

Melon Pop is a pickup captained by Jelly, a member of the fabled Brella Gang, but highlighted by 3 Japanese players who have achieved above 2850 in X-rank power. Many of these players aren’t unknown to Japan, with multiple tournament wins to their name. Can they navigate through the rest of these teams overseas?


I hope you found this insightful and you’ll keep your eyes out all weekend on the tournament streams!  A starting prize pool of $700 and international glory is at stake this weekend – who’s coming out on top?

InkStorm 8 will be live all day Saturday on both https://twitch.tv/endgametv1 & https://twitch.tv/endgametv2 starting after the Mario Kart Wii World Cup Semifinal broadcast, and will be live on Sunday for Top 24 starting at 4 PM UTC.