Don’t Drown: Smash’N’Splash Returns

The water park tournament is back with even more hype, more splashing and even stronger competition than before. The competition includes ZeRo, Ally, Abadango, Mew2King, Zinoto, Tyroy, and more high level players trying to make waves outside of pools. 

The Stakes

The second iteration of Smash’N’Splash is one of the few times the Midwest gets its chance to host a national. Last year, Ally won it all over Scatt in 2 sets of grand finals. With limited national representation, the tournament was just a large regional. Now, after the success of last year’s tournament, Smash’n’Splash is bigger in nearly every way. Smash 4 has 258 singles entrants and 69 doubles teams.

The Favorites

TSM | ZeRo has been on another streak but not exactly where he wants to be. Ever since his return to competitive smash at Get On My Level 2016, the best player in the world has received the silver medal. The first place wins the world expects haven’t been coming to him, even from winners side of grand finals. However, ZeRo has been able to bring it to game 5 in at least one set of every grand finals so far. He may not be in dominant form, but ZeRo has the pedigree to win and is the likely favorite to win it all.

Still without a sponsor, Ally has come into Smash’N’Splash hot. At his last major he defeated ZeRo in a reverse 3-0 comeback from winners side of grand finals. Even so, Ally’s biggest threat will be in his predicted winners semifinal match. Assuming no upsets, Ally will have to go through Abadango, who handily 3-0d him in grand finals at pound 2016. If these two play, it will be Ally’s chance for redemption and to defend his trophy.

Even though he shocked the world with Mewtwo at Pound 2016, Abadango hasn’t done so well in the Midwest. At Midwest Mayhem 2, Abadango lost to Darkshad, Ohio’s rank 7 Ryu player, early in winners. He made it back all the way to losers finals only to lose to E2C | Tyroy, Illinois’s rank 1. For Abadango to win, he will need to defeat some of the Midwest’s best and avoid being upset by up and coming players.

Zinoto, the Midwest’s best player, has a problem. It’s his own character. At Combobreaker 2016, had to face MVD, a fellow Diddy Kong main. A lot was at stake as MVD is ranked higher on the Panda Global rankings, but Zinoto had a much higher X-factor rank, a ranking decided by a panel of significant community figures over direct results. MVD 3-0d Zinoto. At 2GG Mexico Saga, Zinoto matched up against ZeRo. After he beat ZeRo’s Sheik, ZeRo switched to Diddy Kong and didn’t lose a stock for the rest of the set. Zinoto is lined up to play ZeRo in winners semifinals. While Zinoto is the Midwest’s best chance at first, Zinoto must overcome his Diddy Ditto curse in order to win.

The Upsetters

While MVG Echo Fox | Mew2King proved himself a major threat to top players when he 3-0d ZeRo at Get On My Level, he still has yet to take a tournament while against multiple top 10 players. Lately, however, Mew2King’s Cloud looks smooth. His movement improved since he first picked up the character. The only thing holding Mew2King back at Smash’N’Splash will be time. Mew2King is also competing in Melee and Project M against even more stacked competition.

GGA | NiTe and GGA | JJROCKETS have been tearing through regional tournaments and placing well above what was expected. At Combobreaker 2016, JJROCKETS finished third with wins over MVD, Tyroy, Triple R, and took ESAM to game 5 in winners finals. Ever since he was ranked 7th in Chicago, it seems as if JJROCKETS has been on a war path to prove it wrong. NiTe most recently took second at Midwest Mayhem 3, upsetting MVD and Loe1, then beating Ksev and Angel Cortez.

The only reason E2C | Tyroy isn’t one of the favorites to win is patch 1.1.6. With Bayonetta nerfed, Tyroy has been playing Metaknight, Sheik and Cloud to mixed success. He upset ESAM at Midwest Mayhem 3, but lost to Angel Cortez and False, ultimately placed lower than the Pikachu main. Even locally, Tyroy has lost to JJROCKETS and Star Based Fruit, two players he beat consistently on patch 1.1.5.  No one knows exactly what Tyroy will bring to the table at Smash’n’Splash, but for him, he needs to show that he can still upset top players without pre-patch Bayonetta.

Where to Watch

Smash 4 at Smash’n’Splash will be streamed by Unrivaled Tournaments on Twitch. The pool party starts at 10:00 A.M on June 11th with singles top 8 scheduled to begin at 5:00 pm on June 12th and doubles top 8 at 9:00 am. Brackets and more information can be found on Smash.gg 

Z2G

Z2G is a fantasy writer and smash 4 analyst. He's played Smash competitively since Brawl, and continues to play and write about the Smash 4 scene.

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