The top 8 at CEO 2015 had the crowd cheering, fans frenzied, and was showcased some of the best play of Smash 4 we have seen to date. While not all of my predictions were correct, I can say I was happy with the outcome of the entire tournament. If you somehow missed the action or just want a detailed recap of the top 8 we have match by match coverage here for you!
Larry Lurr and Nickriddle had some seriously impressive games. The first match saw Fox and Zero Suit Samus colliding on Final Destination. The first stocks went as expected getting to high damages, but the final stock was a very early down smash into Flip Jump. Larry returned to FD but this time pulled out his Luigi. This time the match was very different, with Larry pulling out a 2 stock and even ending the game with a cheeky taunt. Game three took place on Dreamland, and after the first stock was taken, Larry’s Luigi was able to press for a serious advantage, netting 95% before he finally lost his first stock. He was able to quickly clean up NickRiddle’s second stock and they headed to game four. The next game also went to Dreamland but was completely reversed with NickRiddle getting the stock lead and pressing his advantage to win. Both fighting for their tournament lives, they went to game five on Battlefield with Larry changing back to Fox. This match was a resounding win for Larry, as he managed to stay at only 21% damage for almost an entire minute the first stock, and took no damage before taking NickRiddle’s second stock as well. Winner – UGC Larry Lurr
XFire IQHQ Dabuz chose to go Rosalina and Luma while Shaky stuck to Ness as expected. Game one did not have the expected results however – While Dabuz pulled into an early lead quickly getting Shaky’s Ness to over 100%, Shaky managed to live past 170% while killing Dabuz once and tacking on 51% more damage before he finally lost his first stock. He took out Luma very quickly and managed to capitalize hard on this in the match, doing so twice before taking Dabuz’s second stock. Game two headed to Halberd and was unfortunately much less exciting. Nerves must have gotten to Shaky has he lost both stocks to SDs messing up the PK2 recovery both times. Dabuz showed serious dominance this match, keeping Shaky stuck on the top platform of Battlefield for juggles quite some time, then securing the first kill. He then managed to get Shaky off stage, using Rosalina’s Gravitational Pull to steal his PK thunder so he’d fall to his death. Game four also was fought on Battlefield and Dabuz yet again showed his strength. Both stocks were taken by Gravitational Pull shenanigans, leaving Shaky to tumble slowly to the depths. Winner – XFire IQHQ Dabuz
Recently sponsored PG | ESAM was the first in the top 8 to step up to the plate and try to take part of ZeRo’s bounty. Their first game went to Final Destination. ESAM was actually able to take quite an impressive early lead at one point having only 15% damage compared to ZeRo’s 72%. ZeRo managed to bring it back, bringing the match back using a rage fueled down-throw to up air to snag the first stock. ZeRo also made that lead seriously count dealing 94% damage before a Pika upthrow actually managed to kill (with an epic taunt from ESAM to seal the deal). That advantage was impossible for ESAM to overcome however, and ZeRo took game one. Game two went to Duck Hunt and ZeRo gained a massive lead before taking out ESAM’s first stock. While ESAM managed to take out ZeRo’s first stock the lead he had built was too massive, and ESAM died to an attack at 160%. Game three went to Final Destination, and the main feature of the game was ESAM’s Pikachu with down-throw into Thunder. It was able to take both of ZeRo’s stocks, and ESAM managed to take the first game off ZeRo during the entire tournament. Game four also took place on FD but was not in ESAM’s favor. He missed a potentially game changing early gimp stock one, and ZeRo pulled ahead moving on in winners bracket. Winner – ZeRo
Viewers got excited as Nairo teased a potential Zelda pick game one, but in the end he kept things serious with the usual Zero Suit Samus. PG | MVD took on Diddy Kong, and the first match went to Smashville. The game was relatively close, and while both players held the lead at various points in the game, the percents were close when Nairo managed to get the grab he needed to snag the kill. Animal Crossing fans would be pleased as game two went to Town and City. While Nairo got the first kill, the game was reset rather quickly as MVD punished a missed Boost Kick to take the stock. The final stock came down to intense rage and positioning as MVD with over 150% damage used his forward-throw to kill near the very edge of the stage to end the game. On Battlefield for game three, Nairo took the early lead but MVD was able to bring it back, taking his first stock with a raging smash attack. Nairo then speedily took down MVD’s stock evening things out before a bit of a poke fest ensued. Nairo was ale to find the first opening and used to wrack up damage and close out game three. Delfino Plaza was chosen for game four, and looked to be a good pick for MVD as he put on 50% damage before taking a single hit, and managed to even bring Nairo to 102% while only having 5% himself. As the stage transitioned to a separate transformation, MVD snagged the kill on the lowered ceiling. As the stage transformed back again Nairo tried to do the same but missed two Boost Kicks. As the stage transitioned again with some clever play (so much so it was shown on instant replay in the stream) MVD was able to snag a kill on the left side of a walk-off portion winning game four. Despite that epic match Nairo clutched out game five with his Dark Pit to stay in winners bracket. Winner – Nairo
The game everyone was waiting for: Nairo vs ZeRo. Many thought if any player could take out ZeRo and claim the bounty that Nairo would be that player. The first game went to Smashville and unfortunately didn’t look too promising. ZeRo was quite dominant. ZeRo managed to 2 stock him and held quite a solid lead the entire match. The second match was much better as while ZeRo took the lead early on, Nairo was able to bring it back evening up the game and eventually going on to take game two after an amazing tech that lead to the kill. While they teased going to Gamer for game three they went for the serious pick in Battlefield instead. This match was much closer with the leads changing places many times as Sheik forward air strings and ZSS combos were commonly seen. Near the end of the match though ZeRo managed to gain the lead and keep it closing out the match with a well placed up air. They went to Town and City game four, and Nairo had to fight hard to keep his chances at taking the bounty alive. The game started off with serious trades for the lead, but ZeRo heavily used stage control to pressure Nairo on the left of the stage and kept pushing until he secured the kill. He then pressed his lead even father giving Nairo losing 96%, losing his first stock, then coming back with an up air to send Nairo to the losers bracket.
MVD decided it was time for “PUPPYPOWER” donning the tag and picking Duck Hunt for game one. The first game went to Town and City starting off rather even. While Gravitational Pull took out many of the doggy’s projectiles, MVD still managed to get in quite a few hits. Dabuz was able to start quite the up air juggle and took the lead and was able to punish MVD placing down a gunman for a kill. While MVD was able to close out the stock (with a signature Duck Hunt laughing taunt), Dabuz still took the game ending it with a taunt himself. They then headed to Smashville where Dabuz started a massive lead taking MVD to 70% in under 20 seconds. He kept pushing the lead, taking out both stocks and winning the game. For game three MVD tried out Captain Falcon to try something new with his last game, but Dabuz built a severe lead off of an offstage encounter that helped him get the first stock. The lead got to an insurmountable point for MVD, and while he was able to take one stock off Dabuz, he was unable to take any more damage before losing the game. Winner – XFire IQHQ Dabuz
This match had a serious surprise! The first match was rather dominant with Larry’s Fox 2 stocking ESAM to win match one as he stood at over 150%. ESAM counterpicked to Lylat, possibly to make Fox’s recovery more difficult so Larry counterpicked character to Luigi. This match stayed close at the beginning but then Larry started to take the lead, taking out ESAM’s first stock and adding an extra 32% damage before losing his own. He used the extra damage smartly, and put serious pressure on ESAM to the right side of the stage managing a down-throw to back air to win the game. This is where things got crazy. Game three went to Dreamland. Nothing special there right? Well ESAM, known for his Samus play in Melee, pulled out a Smash 4 Samus as a gambit to keep going in the top 8. Even more shocking was that is actually worked quite well! He was able to use his Zair and projectiles to abuse Luigi’s poor traction winning this match. He went back to Pikachu for the final game however, and lost his final tournament stock to Larry’s Luigi. Winner – UGC Larry Lurr
Town and City was the home of this losers bracket match that started off even with both players slowly trading the lead. Larry managed to grab the first stock with his Sheik but cannot withstand Dabuz as he quickly manages to take the first stock as well. Larry manages to regain the lead shortly, but Dabuz takes it right back and managed a double up air to kill off the lower ceilings. Larry then made an unusual counterpick to Halberd and made the switch to Fox. The risky pick did not pay off, as Dabuz pulled off another double up air to land the first kill. The large laser eventually targeted Dabuz, snagging his Luma. After a brief “light show” of Halberds laser combined with Fox rapid firing into Gravitational Pull, Dabuz still pulled out the win with yet another up air. After his resounding defeat it came as quite the surprise to see Larry return to the stage even with a character change to Luigi. It didn’t work well the second time either, as Dabuz stopped MVD’s run in the final game. Winner – XFire IQHQ Dabuz
Dabuz wanted a shot at ZeRo, and Nairo wanted a second chance. Neither of these players wanted to settle for third place, and they both came in ready to fight. The first game went to Smashville with Dabuz drawing first blood. He then started to press a small lead until he lost his Luma, though Nairo was unable to get anything out of it. Nairo then manages to even the match out and gain a 50% lead and take the first stock. He managed to give Dabuz 65% before losing his own first stock, and pressed his lead even further before finishing off his final stock with an up air. The second match goes to Dreamland and Dabuz starts with an incredible lead, at one point with 17% to Nairo’s 109% before managing the kill with an up smash. This was too much for Nairo to get past, and Dabuz was able to two stock him for the win. Nairo gets the first hit in on Town and City for game three, but is then heavily punished for the missed grab. Nairo managed to bring it back however taking Dabuz’s first stock. Dabuz then got Nairo offstage, trapping him with his unique Luma jab setup for the kill. Nairo managed to keep a serious lead going after however, having over 100% less damage than Dabuz before the killing blow. The final game took place on Battlefield. They both were hitting past the 100% mark, and a thrilling battle took place off stage, but neither died. They then crawled towards the 130% mark before a strong Up B made Dabuz lose his first stock. Dabuz then managed to take Nairos first stock, and even starts to mount somewhat of a comeback. In the end, Nairo takes the game, and the win for the set. Winner – Nairo
In a repeat match, Nairo tried to break out of losers, reset the bracket, and take home the bounty and glory of first place. This was an incredible motivator going into the grand finals set. ZeRo arranges his signature scarf around his neck for luck, and the match begins. Nairo takes the first blood and broke into quite an impressive lead, with 26% to ZeRo’s 104%! ZeRo started to take things back however with solid strings and needles play, but Nairo managed a strong up air to take the first stock, and the lead. He managed to push for 65% before ZeRo took a stock of his own. This advantage is soon lost however as ZeRo fights back to even up the game. They both reach about 100% and Nairo gets the grab that leads into the game winning up air. The next match goes to Town and City with a slight lead being taken by ZeRo. He manages a tricky kill to take out Nairo’s first stock rather quickly, and while Nairo fought back hard to regain a shot, ZeRo managed to win in the end with a Bouncing Fish. Game three heads to Dreamland and the match stays even for the start. Nairo manages an epic Boost Kick near the top of the stage, but ZeRo’s DI was just strong enough to stay alive. ZeRo then managed to get an even stronger lead, keeping Nairo out and securing the first stock. Nairo took heavy damage, a whopping 113% before taking a stock himself! The lead is just too much however, and ZeRo takes game three. They head back to Town and City for one final match. Nairo fights hard for his tournament life, but ZeRo goes in on an aggressive offensive to take the first stock. Nairo quickly counters back, but is then beaten down hard by ZeRo pressing a 7% to 127% lead before Nairo can land another hit. Nairo then goes for an airdodge at an inopportune time, and ZeRo manages the punish with a well placed up air to win CEO 2015’s Smash 4 singles.
So how did my predictions fare? Let’s give them a look side by side:
7th – Shaky (CORRECT!)
7th – Nick Riddle (CORRECT!)
5th – MVG (CORRECT!)
5th – Larry Lurr (WRONG! ESAM)
4th- Dabuz (WRONG! Larry Lurr)
3rd- ESAM (WRONG! Dabuz)
2nd- ZeRo (WRONG! Nairo)
1st- Nairo (WRONG! ZeRo)
While I had a strong run near the start it seems my predictions bit the dust at the end. How were your predictions? Was the Smash 4 top 8 as exciting for you as it was for me? Be sure to leave a comment below, and tell me your favorite moment from CEO 2015!