This past weekend, Evo dominated esports. The largest Smash Bros tournament in history had a plethora of Japan come and compete with American favorites. Unfortunately for us, many great sets weren’t on stream. Even without recordings, there were amazing sets from Evo that everyone should watch. These are the best of those sets.
Top 32: Ranai vs Liquid | Nairo
Villager vs Zero Suit Samus
Due to seeding, round 1 of top 32 was incredibly stacked. This was round 1 of top 32 winners side. Ranai and Nairo are both known to be aggressive players, limiting options and suddenly getting the one read or combo that ends stocks. This set shows just that. Nairo and Ranai are constantly going in on each other. Their punishes start from the smallest of mistakes. For a set where each moment is exciting and punishes are instant reactions, this is what to watch.
Losers Finals: Kamemushi vs TSM | ZeRo
Megaman vs Diddy Kong/Sheik
For being a 3-0 set, no game was dominating in any fashion. Post-tournament, ZeRo admits to his lack of match-up knowledge for this set, but in-game he doesn’t look clueless in terms of neutral, but in terms of kill power. The set begins with ZeRo winning neutral back and forth eventually taking the first stock. But Kamemushi begins to understand how ZeRo moves and adapts. ZeRo the whole set has trouble using his kill setups at the correct percent with Diddy Kong. Kamemushi’s ability to adapt and turn a stock around with a single forced tumble carries him this set.
Losers Top 8: dT | Dabuz vs Ranai
Rosalina vs Villager
These two use every trick in the book to face each other. Dabuz is an immovable wall, using Luma as a tank or absorbing the numerous projectiles Ranai sends his way. Ranai, in kind, shoots sling shots at anything that resembles a crack in Dabuz near impenetrable wall. When Dabuz is exposed, offstage or on the ledge, Ranai releases his fury and drops the bowling balls and fireworks exactly where they need to be. Dabuz’s wall, as the commentators note, does push slowly but surely to the corner. And, like in Street Fighter, Ranai is forced beyond simple pokes to commitment. This is where Dabuz gets his punishes. This set is back and forth with heavy conditioning and harder punishes.
Winners Quarterfinals: Earth vs Kamemushi
Pit vs Megaman
This set could have drastically changed what top 8 looked like at Evo. Both of these players are clearly familiar with how their characters interact with one another. Earth, especially in-game 1, knows exactly where Kamemushi is vulnerable in the air and after failed ledge trumps. He even shoots arrows through he gaps of leaf shield. After a close game 1, Kamemushi changes all of his timings to throw off Earth’s typical counters. He played a slower game than usual, allowing Earth to make the first move in anticipation. Game 3 is just as close. This is the best set of the weekend.