This weekend, MLB The Show 22 held the Grand Finals of its second official e-Sports tournament of the year. The MLB The Show 22 Fall Circuit saw players from all corners of the MLB The Show community competing for a share of more than $25,000 in cash and prizes. In the end, Zazzi28 walked away with the grand prize of $15,000 and signed Jazz Chisholm memorabilia. Before we look at how he won it all, let’s look at how the competitors got here.
To make it to the Grand Finals weekend, players competed across four weekend long qualifiers. Players were able to play in as many of the qualifiers until they qualified for the finals. The qualifiers took place across two days.
The first day of the qualifiers featured players competing in six 3-inning games, with each win earning them one point and each loss costing them one point. The 64 players (plus ties) who had the most points at the end of day one moved on to day two. Day two featured a single elimination tournament of 9-inning games. The top 16 players from each of the four qualifiers were eligible for the Grand Finals this past weekend.
Users MrPci33, IzzIJ, GOAT_RPO3, and JaydoWavy won the four qualifier tournaments and earned 1,050,000 stubs which is worth about $700.
Grand Finals Day 1
The Grand Finals started on October 1st with the first four rounds of the tournament. The first three rounds featured single elimination 9-inning games. JaydoWavy was the only one of the four qualifier champions to not advance past the first three rounds after losing a heartbreaker in round 3 to MLB The Show 22 Summer Circuit Champion KrinerMLB.
The fourth round was where the first day got interesting. Now, players faced a best of 3 series against their opponents to advance to day two. The #1 seed in the tournament, MrPci33, was upset in two games by 24th seeded Zazzi28, who was the runner-up in the Summer Circuit tournament. I asked Zazzi28 how he felt after making it back to day 2:
“Nervous, excited, determined, all emotions possible are exactly how I’m feeling, but don’t forget confident. I beat some of the best players in the game today including the 1 seed, if that doesn’t tell me I can do it, I don’t know what could. They way the summer ended for me was heartbreaking, however I knew exactly what I had to do to get back to day 2 and give myself another chance to get my vengeance. I fully intend on going into day 2 with a new mental game plan, and hopefully keeping my gameplay consistently strong and effective.”
The #2 seed IzzyIJ and #3 seed GOAT_RPO3 won their series in two games. This set up their showdown in the next round.
The only series in the fourth round that went to the third game was the matchup between Summer Circuit Champion KrinerMLB and #21 seed DirtyTown_USA. After they split the first two games, 9-innings just wasn’t enough. The game went to extra innings tied at 7 runs. The extra innings rule was turned on, so DirtyTown_USA started with a runner on second base. After a single from Harmon Killebrew put runners at the corners, DirtyTown_USA pinch hit with Willie McCovey for his pitcher.
McCovey took a ball deep to right field to make it 10-7. DirtyTown_USA followed it up with a solo home run to make it 11-7 going into the bottom of the 10th.
KrinerMLB never goes away easy though. He hit a quick two run bomb to make it a 11-9 game. After three straight singles to load the bases with two out, KrinerMLB brought in his final bench bat in Live Series Wilson Contreras. Contreras hit a fly ball to center that looked like it could do something. However, it found the glove of the centerfielder, and DirtyTown_USA had punched his ticket to the semifinals.
Grand Finals Day 2
Day 2 of the finals started with two best of 3 semifinals matchups with 9-inning games. Sadly, technical difficulties delayed the start of the action by almost an hour. The top remaining seeds in IzzyIJ and GOAT_RPO3 were the first semifinal matchup. After a disconnect cause a slight delay, the two found themselves tied late in the first game. With runners on the corners and two outs, IzzyIJ hit a ball up the middle with Miguel Sano. The SS was able to knock it down but couldn’t field it to get the third out, allowing the winning run to score. IzzyIJ took game 1 8-7.
In game 2, it was not quite as close but still plenty exciting. The game was tied at 2 in the 3rd inning. However, a huge inning for IzzyIJ, including an Andrew McCutchen grand slam, helped him open up a 9-2 lead. IzzyIJ wouldn’t look back as he took game 2 11-7 to advance to the finals.
On the other side of the bracket was DirtyTown_USA vs Zazzi28. The first game in the best of 3 got away from DirtyTown_USA early, as Zazzi28 took it 12-4. The second game was much more exciting. DirtyTown_USA opened up a 5-2 lead with a Jorge Posada 2-run homer and a wild pitch. Zazzi28 didn’t go away though. The game was tied going into the bottom of the 9th with Zazzi28 at bat. Zazzi28 brought in Live Series Albert Pujols as a pinch hitter. The Machine did what The Machine does, as he roped one down the left field line for a walk-off home run to send Zazzi28 back to the finals.
Zazzi28, who had been this close to wining it all before, was back in the finals of a circuit facing off against the top remaining seed, IzzyIJ. The two battled hard in an epic best of 5 series.
Game 1 was a home run derby. Zazzi28 opened up a 7-3 lead thanks to moonshots from Miguel Sano, Hank Aaron, and two from Gleyber Torres. IzzyIJ put up a couple late homers with Miguel Sano himself. It wasn’t enough though as Zazzi took game 1 8-5.
IzzyIJ dominated most of game 2, leading by 5 runs before Zazzi28 was able to get on the board. IzzyIJ would score 4 unanswered runs late to win 9-3 and even the series at one game each.
Game 3 showed just how evenly matched these two finalists were playing. IzzyIJ was able to open up a slim 4-3 lead going into the top of the 9th. Zazzi28 hit a solo shot with Hank Aaron, followed up by another from Gleyber Torres. This gave him a 5-4 lead only three outs from a 2-1 lead.
IzzyIJ had some late game heroics up his sleeve though. Willie McCovey pulled a ball over the right field fence to tie the game up. IzzyIJ wasn’t looking to play extras, as a single up the middle from Yermin Mercedes walked it off 6-5. IzzyIJ was now just one win from being a champion.
Things got complicated in game 4. Entering the 7th inning, Zazzi28 was up 3-1. IzzyIJ hit a sacrifice fly that brought the game to 3-2. This is when MLB The Show 22 decided would be a good time for one of its infamous freeze offs. The two players were forced to quit out of the game. After a lengthy delay, the players started a new 4-inning game. Here, they would play the final 2 and a half innings that were left, and Zazzi28 would be given an extra run since he was up one run when the freeze occurred.
IzzyIJ was able to score one run during this 4-inning game, which means it was now tied. However, in the game, it showed IzzyIJ won the 4-inning match 1-0. Now the players had to start another 4-inning match, and bunt for outs to set up extra inning with the runner starting on second base. In the end, Zazzi28 was able to walk it off with a Josh Donaldson double to send us to a much-deserved game 5.
Game 5 started off going IzzyIJ’s way. He was able to open up an early 3-0 lead off Hank Aaron and Andrew McCutchen home runs. Those would be the only runs IzzyIJ would score in the game though. Zazzi28 would score 6 unanswered runs, 4 coming off Josh Donaldson homers, to take the final game 6-3 and become the MLB The Show 22 Fall Circuit Grand Champion and claim the $15,000 grand prize.
Zazzi28 is the New MLB The Show 22 Fall Circuit Grand Champion
The 18-year-old Zazzi28 becomes the first Canadian competitor to win an MLB The Show Circuit tournament. When I asked him how it felt to be crowned champion, he said “Priceless, losing in the finals via a reverse sweep in the summer was all the motivation I needed to win this time, it stayed in the back of my mind, and pushed me to overcome that obstacle and conquer the finals once and for all.”
Zazzi28 certainly had a lot to overcome in this tournament, from technical issues to blowing a late lead in the finals. “Honestly laughing about the fact that the game froze felt like it removed some added stress of the situat8ion, put me back in a state where I had a fresh start and could focus on my gameplan, while also maybe knocking Izzy out of his rhythm. Settled in, focused up, and came up clutch to force game 5.”
Now the question for the best MLB The Show player in the world is what to spend the prize money on. “I need a PC and a car soon so more than likely some of it will be going towards that.” Zazzi28 had mentioned the possibility of going full-time into content creation, however he told me he wants to reach Twitch partner before making such a big decision.
If you want to check out Zazzi28 or any of the other finalists from this tournament, their Twitch links are below:
Did you watch the MLB The Show 22 Fall Circuit? What was your favorite moment?