Three takeaways from The Box Championship Circuit: Invitational Finale
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Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma’s brief Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl circuit concluded with The Box Championship Circuit: Invitational Finale on Wednesday. Viewers got to enjoy high-level NASB and hear about upcoming developments for the game, including several new characters and crossplay.

Here are three major takeaways from the stacked 16-person NASB invitational.

Lilybunn wins NASB’s most stacked invitational to date

Since the release of NASB, “Lilybunn” has put up consistently solid results at weekly tournaments. But, despite her many victories at smaller events, she hadn’t won a major online tournament. That changed at The Box Championship Circuit: Invitational Finale, however, where Lilybunn beat out many of the best NASB players in the world en route to first place.

The SpongeBob main had a smooth enough road into top eight, defeating Aaron “tafaar” Hill 3-1 and Nasir “BlazingPasta” Green 3-0. In winners semis, she was pitted against the No. 1 seed and a frontrunner for the best NASB player in the world, Aaron “Bodedee” Hansen. After a tight, five-game set, Lilybunn came out on top and advanced into winners finals.

Lilybunn went the distance, once again, in winners finals as she beat Jared “husky” Ferguson 3-2. Shortly thereafter, husky reversed the scorecard in the first set of grand finals, defeating Lilybunn 3-2 to reset the bracket. However, Lilybunn made the necessary adaptations to sweep husky in the final set. As it came down to the last stock of Game 3, Lilybunn put husky in an unrelenting series of jab lock into tech chase situations. Lilybunn’s slow and steady zero-to-death enabled her to finish off husky 3-0 and win the tournament.

Weger pilots his new Aang through a deep losers run

Duncan “Weger” Edge made his first big splash in competitive NASB with the controversial pre-patch Michelangelo, placing first at Toon Showdown Open and second at The Box: Juice Box #54. Even so, he managed to excel with Leonardo after Michelango’s neutral-air strings were nerfed. Now, Weger has shown off his prowess with another character: Aang.

However, Weger’s run to third place at The Box Championship Circuit: Invitational Finale was hard fought. He lost an Aang ditto to Bryan “as4p” A. in his first match of the tournament, forcing him to make a long run through the losers bracket. Weger eked his way into top eight after earning a pair of 3-2 victories over Manny “Pancake mix.” Rivera and BlazingPasta.

Despite these close sets early on in the losers bracket, Weger performed dominantly throughout most of top eight. He swept Ryan “SliceNDice” Lindsay and Tyler “mirrorman” Morgan to secure a spot in top four. Then, he earned a convincing 3-1 victory over Bodedee. Ultimately, the Aang ditto proved to be his Achilles’ heel, as he lost 3-0 to husky’s Aang in losers finals. Nevertheless, Weger has proven himself capable of using multiple characters at the highest level of competitive NASB.

Tafaar stakes his claim as the best Powdered Toast Man

Throughout this entire circuit, Powdered Toast Man has been the breakout star. Powdered Toast Man mains Brad “Remix” Cook and tafaar both shocked viewers with their top three finishes in the qualifiers. Even as an underdog at The Box Championship Circuit: Invitational Finale, tafaar proved his exceptional skill with the character, placing fifth amidst a field of some of the best NASB players in the world.

After suffering a loss to Lilybunn in Round 1, tafaar got the chance to test his abilities in the Powdered Toast Man ditto early on, since Remix had been upset by BlazingPasta in his first match. Tafaar proved to be far better in the mirror match, conquering Remix 3-0, despite being seeded lower than Remix.

From there, tafaar piloted his heavyweight character through a pair of big upsets. He eliminated as4p 3-2 to advance into top eight. Additionally, tafaar beat Mainstage 2021 champion Xayya “ThundeRzReiGN” Thammavongsa 3-1. His run ultimately came to a close after a narrow Game 5 loss to the top-seeded Bodedee.

Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.