The Summer of Smash has ended. September will be a month without many national sized events outside of 2GG: Abadango Saga, much less major sized events. This weekend, however, we witnessed regional events that brought out top talent. Each of these events were filled with upsets and skillful, entertaining sets. Moving forward, more and more sets will be from local and regional events from around the country.
Losers Quarterfinals: Pulse | Ryuga vs Ksev
Corrin vs Fox
This is one of the most neutral heavy sets this weekend; there are moments in this set where no one is hit for 20 second or longer. Ryuga, though he is running an ‘imacamp’ tag, jumps between platforms, waiting for Ksev to approach and intelligently countering Ksev with movement. When Ryuga does strike it’s quick and light before retreating once more. Ksev begins figuring out Ryuga’s game-plan and begins upping his positioning mind games, dashing and stopping and empty jumping onto platforms to scare Ryuga into moving. Despite their slower play, when either player is in advantage, they push it hard, making this set slow, yet has explosive action.
Show Me Your Moves 17
Grand Finals: UR | Ned vs GNe | Renegade
Cloud vs Ryu
If Tweek bulldozes through his opponents, Ned dodges around them. However, Renegade is a slow-moving, but precise arrow, hitting Ned right where he is going to be. Ned’s movement is crisp as usual, but Renegade is able to see through when he will finally throw a hit-box and force Ned to change his style in this match-up. Ned’s play however, doesn’t lose its flare. Instead, Ned takes full advantage of his own setups, finding different ways in different scenarios to take Renegade’s stock. This set is seemingly slower than a typical Cloud vs Ryu set, but it has a strong neutral from both players as well as an optimal punish game from Ned.
Winners Finals: Tweek vs Nairo
Cloud vs Zero Suit Samus
Compared to all the other sets featured this week, Tweek and Nairo play a much faster game. If anything, the definition of this set is control. Despite Nairo’s toolbox of movement, Tweek covers and walls out Nairo, forcing and keeping a ZSS into the corner. Tweek controls Nairo for around fifteen seconds at a time, chipping away at him. If Nairo is able to get back into center, however, he only needs five seconds to deal to Tweek what Tweek did to him in that time. Nairo’s conversions are as crisp as ever, following di and implementing footstool>dair into his combo game. Both players have changed their styles and movements a lot over the summer and this set shows off where they are developing.
Winners Quarterfinals: CT | Salem vs TSM | ZeRo
Bayonetta vs Diddy Kong
The rematch of a close-set at Evo 2016, Salem proves that you should never sleep on him. His Bayonetta may be the best at gimping players off the top in patch 1.1.6 as he does it consistently this entire tournament. ZeRo doesn’t look unfamiliar in the match-up, but is still caught off-guard by just how much Salem extends his combos across the entire stage. In response to Salem, ZeRo plays slower and takes the few punishes he’s given. The set culminates to a breaking point, but an SD ruins the hype this set had.
Losers Semifinals: TSM | ZeRo vs CT | Salem
Diddy Kong vs Bayonetta
After the SD that occurred in winners quarterfinals, this match-up had to happen again. ZeRo adapts to Salem’s counter banana tactics and plays without it unless Salem is already in a disadvantage. Salem’s combos somehow look even stronger than in their quarterfinals set. Despite games going to 5 minutes multiple times, the set feels and looks intense while the players aren’t even hitting each other. Their neutral games collide as they poke and jab at each other, waiting for the opening they desperately need. Because of the well-played neutral, but still with optimised punish games, this is the best set of the weekend.