This past weekend was huge for smash tournaments. Between Sumabato, Chicago Summit, Breakout, Apex, Low Tier City and more, it’s difficult to choose just a few matches to call the best of the weekend.
Losers Quarter Finals: Earth vs ikep
Pit vs Bayonetta
Bayonetta isn’t dead. Against the best Pit/Dark Pit, ikep plays Bayonetta as she should be played: an opportunistic punisher. This set is a set of footsies. Earth’s movement and micro spacing is crisp, moving just outside ikep’s range in order to chip away at Bayonetta. While Bayonetta no longer has guaranteed death combos, her neutral can still be difficult, especially for characters without fast projectiles. For a great game for understanding footsies, movement and neutral, this is it.
Low Tier City 4
Losers Semifinals: Cosmos vs Hyuga
Corrin vs Toon Link
Both of these players threaten so many different options but in vastly different ways. Hyuga, because of his projectile and bomb control, often catches Cosmos in shield. From here, the typical response is to roll because of an incoming grab, but Hyuga says no to that and either gets a bomb>fair or up smashes the roll. Cosmos makes sure there’s always one of Corrin’s large hitboxes in the way, but even if one is perfect shielded, he always threatens an instant stick Dragon Lunge to keep himself safe. From there, it’s a mindgame on if shield is dropped and what he will do with the lunge. These scenarios happen over and over again, making this set one of calculated advantage states and reads on shield options.
Losers Quarterfinals: Nietono vs Marss
Diddy Kong vs Zero Suit Samus
Marss is a different kind of ZSS from Nairo and Nietono is a completely different Diddy Kong form the likes of Zinoto or ZeRo. Marss’s traps are on another level. This and his usage of flip kick as an air dodge punish make his ZSS move and punish vastly different from Nairo, who’s more known for catching an opponent in a single scenario and taking their stock with it. Nietono’s Diddy, in this set and the entire tournament, is more aerial than U.S. Diddy Kongs. He is always pushing banana and creating near inescapable scenarios between his character and the banana. These two trappers meeting leads to a high paced set of cat and mouse with both players trading positions and taking advantage of the other.
Winners Pools: John Numbers vs Mr. Eric
Wii Fit Trainer vs ROB
When I saw this match occurring on Day 2 during pools I thought something must be wrong. But nothing was wrong at all. This is a winners finals pools match to make it into top 32 on winners side. As match-ups go, there are likely only a handful of people who can say they’ve played a ROB vs Wii Fit Trainer tournament set multiple times before. Both players adapt to each other’s style, eventually settling on Mr. Eric controlling the long-range game and John Numbers wanting to stay in the mid-range, right where he can punish Eric, but can still fire his own projectiles before Eric can react. Unfortunately, this set is only a best of 3, but the adaptation to each other’s characters and play-styles is one of the best of the weekend.
Winners Semifinals: Marss vs Void
Zero Suit Samus vs Sheik
Here we are again with another wonderful Zero Suit Samus vs Sheik match-up. This one isn’t as fast paced as Nairo vs Void, but the small micro reads and decisions are still there. Interestingly, before this set, Marss didn’t think he had much of a chance against Void, but this set goes down to the wire in-game 5. By the end of the set, both players rely on educated guess and punishing moves that usually go unpunished due to their range or intangibility. The set ends in a hard call-out directly from neutral and a hug between the two players.