Two rounds are complete at the Billabong Pipe Masters and the stakes couldn't be any higher. World No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA), No. 2 Mick Fanning (AUS) and No. 3 Kelly Slater (USA) have all managed to stay in the game but the next battle, Round 3, will have major implications for who becomes the 2014 ASP Champion. Here's what to watch for when the action kicks off again:
If Medina and Fanning win in Round 3, Slater will be out of the race.
If Medina wins and Fanning loses in Round 3, Medina will clinch the 2014 ASP World Title.
If Medina loses Round 3, Fanning and Slater will still have a shot if they each win their heats.
Medina won his Round 1 heat, but with a minimal two-wave points total. It remains to be seen how the young Brazilian will perform under pressure in his first elimination round. Nonetheless, his family and country are all hopeful about his odds.
The 2013 World Champ came out swinging, but only narrowly won his Round 1 heat. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) earned a nine-point ride and seemed likely to send Fanning to the elimination round. However, with fewer than two minutes on the clock, Aranburu failed to find the necessary score and Fanning won, allowing him to jump to Round 3.
The 11-time World Champ surfed well in Round 1, but his run of tough luck continued when Australian Adam Melling (AUS) sent him to Round 2 on a massive Backdoor barrel in the final seconds of the heat. In Round 2, however, Slater's Pipe skills were back in full effect. He earned a 9.57 in the last five minutes, the highest single-wave score of the event so far.
See the full breakdown of men's Title scenarios here and watch LIVE daily at this site for more action from the Billabong Pipe Masters.