Mortal Kombat Tournament Pop-Off Goes Horribly Wrong [Update]

Mortal Kombat Tournament Pop-Off Goes Horribly Wrong [Update]

It was the chair heard around the world, or at least around CEO 2024. Alex ‘’Dyloch’’ Ruiz had just cemented his place in the Mortal Kombat 1 grand finals at the Florida-based fighting game tournament when he decided to get up, grab his chair, and casually fling it into the audience in what might be one of the least hype and most damaging pop-offs in fighting game history.

The damage happened at the end of the Winners Bracket. Ruiz, playing as General Shao, had just stomped Curtis “Rewind” McCall’s Reiko to send his opponent down into the Losers Bracket. As the chair was flung out of the ring it smashed into a light fixture, sending shards of glass flying. According to CEO 2024 organizer Alex Jebailey, the equipment was worth almost $US3,000.

“Does anyone know @RezDyloch’s PayPal cause somebody’s paying for that broken light fixture and it’s not me,” he tweeted. Jebailey continued, “If one more person pops off throwing anything you will be banned from any event I ever do. This is a final warning to anyone in the future. Do not throw things.”

The tragedy, of course, is that even though Ruiz went on to win the MK1 Grand Finals, which ended up being a rematch against McCall, his earnings from the event were only $US565. It’s unclear if Jebailey actually plans on making Ruiz pay for the damage or has insurance to cover it and was just leaning into the unscripted moment to promote his event. The CEO 2024 Twitter account itself seemed to be playing up the chair-throwing for laughs and online clout. Some viewers ultimately weren’t sure what to make of the whole controversy.

Many fighting game fans did, however, point back to Smash Bros. pro player Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma’s infamous history of throwing chairs, which some people think is a cool expression of his personality and the drama of the competitive scene and others think is dangerous and silly. There seemed to be a big double-standard with how some in the fighting game community treated the two examples, although at least in DeBiedma’s case no $US3,000 lights were hurt in the process. Still, grown adults probably don’t need to be haphazardly throwing stuff no matter the circumstances.

Ruiz, meanwhile, seems content with his victory. “YOUR MICKY GENERAL IS CEO CHAMP!!” he tweeted after the tournament. “Taking responsibility for that light btw. THAT BEING SAID BUFF THE GENERAL IDC RUN ME MY MID!!”

Update 7/3/2024 8:48 a.m. ET: It turns out the damage isn’t as bad as people originally feared. CEO organizer Alex Jebailey reported on social media that the light fixture only needed to be repaired rather than replaced, with the total cost coming to $US365.44, less than the total amount of Ruiz’s earnings.

“He took full responsibility for the charges and I’m glad it didn’t need a full replacement,” Jebailey wrote. “So he’s all good in my book and I hope it’s a lesson learned. You should only pop off in grand finals, not winners. Whoever updated that liquidpedia can update it again now that CEO is no longer the only tournament a player had to payout instead. Reminder that I’m all for pop offs and hype moments just not with anything that can fly and hurt someone else.”

While this means Ruiz didn’t come away from the MK1 tournament owing money, it does mean that he earned less than his second-place runner-up opponent, McCall. Jebailey added that the winner still might come out on top depending on the payout from his viral tweet about the incident.

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