Here are the main takeaways from this tournament’s exciting third round:
The top 4 players are within 2 points (one game) of each other.
Fwwwwibib, Ally, Abyss, and NohatCoder are all the highest rated players on Playtak.com and, unsurprisingly, make up the top four spots on the leaderboard at the close of Round 3. Fwwib, Ally, and Abyss all played against each other and split their matches 1-1, so Fwwib is no longer undefeated. Fwwib is hanging onto first place with 28 points, but Ally, Abyss, and NohatCoder are on his heels, only 1-2 points behind.
Rookie player threatens to upset expectations at 4th place.
Newcomer to the Tak world, Alion02, is known for creating incredibly difficult puzzles that have set the top Tak talent scratching their heads for days before finally finding the solution. Although he has skill in puzzle-making, he has never competed in a tournament before. Now, he is in striking distance for 4th place with an overall 12-4 record and 24 points this tournament. But with this higher spot on the leaderboard comes tougher competition, which may ultimately doom Alion02's bid for 4th place.
Nevertheless, the fact that this virtually unknown player even has a glimmer of hope for a spot in next year's Championship tournament is surprising. Alion02 only played his first online Tak game in late August of this year. At the start of the tournament, he had an ELO rating of 1548, which would have placed him in the top 70-80 of players. Since then, he has rapidly climbed to an 1800+ ELO and is sitting at #20, just behind the far more experienced players Nitzel, Ajxi (phase_spaced), and ManaT. In the likely event that Alion02's bid for 4th place ultimately fails, even a top 10 finish will still be impressive.
Missteps dimming other top-rated players' hopes
Although there are still two rounds left to be played, some top-rated players are seeing their path to a top 3 or top 4 finish getting tougher and narrower. Veteran player Simmon has had one of the toughest lineups so far. Currently sitting at number 9 with 22 points, he has played against the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 11th place players this tournament, but split his matches against Nitzel and ManaT in some surprising upsets caused by some terrible blunders. Similarly, PlutoTheBrave split his match against Ineria caused by a missed road threat, and now sits at 11th place on the leaderboard.
Round 4 and 5 will no doubt bring more excitement and surprises, but the opportunities for a route to victory are shrinking and may be entirely foreclosed for some players who entered this tournament with high ambitions.