Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Results
1st Panda Global | Jestise “MVD” Negron
2nd Panda Global | Eric “ESAM” Lew
3rd Calib “Konga” Byers
4th Dawson “Big D” Perron
5th Julian “JTails” Martinez
5th Landon “Captain L” Trybuch
7th Don “2ManyCooks” Bartlett
17th: Tra$h Koopa God
17th: Toronto Joe
25th: Dr. Robotnik
What to Take Away from Ultimate Top 8
Everyone is Broken
With 11 different characters being played in top 8, the future is looking bright for this game’s character diversity. Even characters like Incineroar, Toon Link and Dedede, while not considered top tier threats by notable players, managed to have presence on the main stage. Snake, previously believed by many to have lost his edge after Brawl, was the character who claimed first place, proving that there’s so much left to be discovered.
Experience is King
While we had many new faces in top 8, it ultimately ended with a Panda Global Grand Finals. Panda Global sponsored Brawl veterans ESAM and MVD faced off in the final two, both using the characters from back when they started playing the game. All those years of experience, combined with the fancy new tools Snake received, finally paid off when MVD claimed first place after beating ESAM 3-1 in both Winner’s Final and Grand Finals. This seems to be the case across the board, where many Brawl veterans made their triumphant return in Ultimate. We may need to get used to it.
Super Smash Bros. Melee Top 8 Results
1st Tempo Storm | Johnny “S2J” Kim
Notable Wins: Swedish Delight, Zain, Spud2nd James “Swedish Delight” Liu
Notable Wins: Hax, Captain Faceroll, Zain3rd Zain Naghmi
Notable Wins: Swedish Delight4th Griffin “Captain Faceroll” Williams
Notable Wins: Spud, Luigi Ka-Master5th Te Tuhi ”Spud” Kelly
Notable Wins: Kalamazhu, SFAT, Hax5th Aziz “Hax” Al-Yami
Notable Wins: KJH, Michael7th Kalindi “KJH” Jabari Henderson
Notable Wins: Squid, iBDW7th Ammon "Luigi Ka-Master" Styles
Notable Wins: Rocky, FictionWhat to Take Away from Melee Top 8
Spud is Criminally Underrated
If you had never heard of Spud before this tournament, you’ve been missing out on one of the best Marths in the game. The New Zealander’s cocky attitude and fast/flashy style make him an obvious crowd favorite and an entertaining player to watch. While his year may have started with a lack-luster 65th place finish at Genesis 5, Spud has shown again and again that he is more than capable of keeping up with top 50 players. Prior to Don’t Park On the Grass, Spud managed to take Bridgetown Hyper Blitz, a Portland Melee tournament that boasted a surprising amount of out of region talent, over players like Aaron “Professor Pro” Thomas, “Moky”, and “n0ne”. At DOPTG, he continued to show his prowess in a variety of matchups - beating Kyle “Kalamazhu” Zhu, Hax$, and 3-0’ing Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni.
Zain and SFAT Fell Short of Expectations
Going into Don’t Park On the Grass, Zain and SFAT were both held as clear favorites to win the tournament. In many ways, Zain and SFAT were also the players with the most to prove this tournament. Zain has been trying to prove that he’s a cut above the rest of the field, and SFAT has been trying to regain a level of consistency in his play that has seemingly been waning during the last half of the year. Both players underperformed this tournament, with Zain failing to overcome his Falcon problem, and SFAT failing to overcome his struggles with Marth. Realistically, this result will barely affect their final placings on the 2018 MPGR rankings, but it will be exciting to see how both players try to tackle these issues going into 2019.
Swedish Still Has the Fire
Swedish Delight’s Sheik is an enigma wrapped in cool ninja clothes. During the most recent iteration of Smash Summit, Swedish struggled with a lot of hand pain and it clearly showed in his play. During winner’s side, it looked like we were going to see more of the same. Swedish looked a little shaky during his set versus n0ne, but he managed to barely clutch out the close game 5 set. In losers, however, we saw a much more confident, put together Swedish. Swedish started his losers run with a dominant showing against Hax$, and he managed to use that momentum for the rest of the tournament, powering his way through Losers Semi-Finals and Loser Finals to meet S2J in grands. Swedish managed to take S2J to last game, last stock for the tournament, and while he lost this time around, this won’t be the last great run we’ll see from the Tristate Sheik.
S2J is Surprisingly Consistent
S2J is surprisingly consistent. I went into this tournament thinking that S2J was a dark horse contender for victory. Sure he had great odds against Zain and SFAT, sure he had some great showings this year, but when I actually went to check the numbers, I gotta be honest, I was blown away. S2J has finished within the top 8 of 14 out of the 19 major tournaments he’s attended this year. S2J has shown that he’s capable of beating any player outside of the top 6. The only thing that is really holding him back from overtaking players like Wizzrobe, Zain, and Axe is his inability to consistently get “god” wins. All in all, it’s an exciting time to be an S2J fan, but he is going to need to start making some big moves in 2019 to keep up with players ahead of him.
Rivals of Aether Top 8 Results
1st Vireo | Alex “CakeAssault” Strobel
2nd Ethan “Penguin” Drake
3rd Arctic Fury | Joshua “Windows” Rabow
4th Panda Global | Joshua “FullStream” Thompson
5th Cheese Gaming | Zach “Bullets” Di Giovanni
5th Zachary “ZeeBee” Benson
7th SNT | Justin “MSB” Miller
7th Cortez “Corkxx” Cochran
What to Take Away from Rivals Top 8
While all eyes may have been on Ultimate and Melee, Don’t Park on the Grass was also one of Rivals of Aether’s most important events for the year, marking the Rivals Championship Series’ last event before the championship at Genesis 6. With 8 of North America’s top 10 Rivals players in attendance, as well as some notable upsets leading up to top 8, it was quite the event to behold.
Bullets’s Breakout Performance
While he’s historically been slept on due to his inactivity, Bullets’s run at Don’t Park on the Grass has shown just how well he can do when he does show up. After losing to Eli “Dunk” Stein in pools, Bullets made it all the way to top 8, eliminating both Nathan “Jorane” Weir and Isaac “DolphinBrick” Leslie in the process, before kicking off top 8 with a 3-0 victory against Corkxx.
FullStream’s Elliana is Sick as Hell
After making a name for himself with his Wrastor and dominating with Ori throughout late 2017 and early 2018, both of whom have been considered among the best characters in the game at their peak, FullStream spent the entire tournament using Elliana, a character that’s largely been considered underwhelming, and even dysfunctional in some regards. Nevertheless, with victories over MSB and ZeeBee, his performance at Don’t Park on the Grass shows that even low-tier characters in Rivals are a force to be reckoned with in the hands of a top player.
Focusing on Other Games Isn’t Holding Players Back (Yet)
Many of Rivals’ top players - including FullStream, Windows and CakeAssault have been focusing on Ultimate for the past week, so a big question was on everyone’s mind throughout the event: how will this affect their performance in Rivals? And their performance here shows that, at least so far, it hasn’t. Perhaps it’s just because it hasn’t been long enough for any rust to develop, but when three out of the event’s top four have been focusing more on Ultimate than on Rivals, and the winner has expressed an interest in continuing to focus on Ultimate going into Genesis 6, it may be worth seeing where this goes in the future.
Update: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's results have been extended to include the rest of Top 32, as well as character icons for each player.