Originally Posted by NoGimmicksNeeded
If you're a fan of the Smack style, check out UW Battle League, run by Arsonal. I'd just start with names you recognise and go from there.
If you haven't watched it yet, Aye Verb vs Hitman Holla is one of the best battles ever, and possibly the best through URL.
Leagues with a less street/more comedy style approach, like King Of The Dot, are worth trying. Names like Bender, Loe Pesci (chokes like fuck but still rules), Hollohan, Pat Stay, Osa, Dizaster, Daylyt are good paces to start.
Grind Time, especially the West Coast division, was the shit a few years back, 09/10 especially. Probably the best the current era has been for pure entertainment, IMO. Hollow Da Don, Conceited, Thesaurus, Illmaculate, Dumbfoundead, Soul Khan, Okwerdz all had many, many classic battles back in those days.
Don't Flop is a UK league that's had some shit hot battles, especially recently. Some guys from the league, particularly Eurgh, Cruger and Sensa, have some quality battles. I'd start with Oshea vs Tony D, and Arsonal vs Shotty Horror with DF though.
Going back a bit, there's a few old leagues it's worth watching-
- Scribble Jam, a freestyle tournament on a beat, lot of big names came up through there
- Jump Off/World Rap Championships, 'freestyle' acapella 2 vs 2 battles, it's when written material was first really accepted. Marvwon & Quest McCody vs Thesaurus & Illmaculate, or Marv & QM vs Mad Illz & Parable are classics
- Fight Klub - notable for the worst host ever. Iron Solomon vs Jin is an undisputed landmark battle
EDIT: completely forgot iBattle Worldwide. Came to my attention this year with Thesaurus vs Ness Lee being top 3 battle of the year (probably). Put out some fantastic match ups from lesser known guys. If you enjoy KOTD/GT battles, it's for you
If you want specific recommendations or whatever just ask.
As far as Arsonal vs DNA - it could possibly be, perfomance-wise, one of the best battles of the year. Arsonal is one of the most entertaining, possibly ever, to do this shit and DNA has undoubted charisma. As far as bars go, though, it could be almost disgustingly bad. As far as it goes, it's probably gonna be more Pesc vs Bender than Saurus vs Illmac.