The real fight is the friends we made on the way

3rd Place
That One Fight” by Shadow Cross (feat. Sonja Gugoza)

The first entry with an official ranking! Rising from his previous rank #11 to #3! It’s Shadow Cross!
Taking the theme in his own hands and distancing himself from trials and dungeons Shadow went to display the metaphorical struggle of improving himself time and time again.
We loved the art-cinema style of this picture and the feeling of a Kurosawa movie. The glams are looking great and both frame and filter really help this along. The crystal tower looks like lightning and this is the first time I see a picture featuring rain that looks really really good.
After lengthy discussion we came up with two miniscule ideas to improve on this (as we have to do this on every picture :P):
Center the crystal tower in the back to be centered on the swords clashing for more contrast and some nice symbolism.
Choose a more dynamic pose for Sonja as there is a slight disharmony between dynamic movement (Shadow) and static pose (Sonja).
That’s everything we could find about this picture showing that this is an amazing entry, because holy shit did we feel nitpicky about those criticisms!

2nd Place
The unfortunate clash of convictions between two noble foes” by Jace Nolan

This picture jumps right into the action as Jace clashes with Ramuh in a amazing composition of colors and energy. There is so much going on that we loved:
Ramuh as a chosen trial was great as it is the one primal that actually doesn’t want to fight you.
The opposing poses with staves raised high summoning magic to destroy each other.
The blue versus red coloured contrast on each side of the screen underlining each character.
The moon being featured on the dark sky between crackling lighting.
A nicely chosen caption really rounding of the experience of the picture.
One thing though: One further click for the zoomout or -10 degrees on the camera angle would’ve prevented the cutoff on the left and right corners. The only constructive criticism we could bring up here.
Phenomenal second place! (again)

1st Place
Someone’s Nidhoggin my Estinien” by Dreydn Cael

Finally, we are here.
The man who chose a difficult In-Fight picture back in the third screenshot contest and placed just before the joke entries, is back with a revenge.
The winner of the fifth SDS Screenshot Contest: Dreydn Cael.

Really solid choice for a fight:
Everyone remembers this fight as the culmination of Heavensward which is again is considered the now-second-best expansion to FFXIV. Looking at this picture really brings the Dragonsong theme back into your head and that already is a great impact on the viewer!
Fantastic composition:
The amazing skybox in the background contrasting the battlefield and the action going on in the front helps this a lot. I have to personally admit that I never noticed the skybox in this fight until I saw this entry.
Great action:
The creativity that poured into the idea of having Nidhogg thrust a spear at the camera while the character redirects the thrust with his blade. The whole jury loved this. The depth of field effect here helped a lot as well.
We only found one thing to complain about (as usual): The contrast between Nidhogg and Dreydn could be a bit more emphasized with lighting. Again: Pre-saved lighting settings loaded in combat can really help!

To come to a conclusion…

And with this I can conclude the fifth SDS Screenshot contest. I want to thank everyone for their amazing entries and I hope you guys had as much fun taking the picture as we in the jury had looking at them.
I hope reading this inspired more people to participate in the sixth SDS screenshot contest when it comes around in the future.

Remember: The price pool is distributed by Laila Arrbyte. Please contact her in game!

So long and stay healthy!