Banner for the tournament by こげ / Koge
In the wake of Patch 1.1.6, on 5/21 (JST), Japan's best will be competing at Umebura 23! The event is currently capped at 224 entrants and Smashboards user Djent is here once again to let us know who to watch for!
Kamemushi displays stunning consistency, rarely missing top 8 and racking up top-level wins left and right. He recently wowed everyone by winning KSB, where he beat Ri-ma, 9B, Nasubi, and Komorikiri's Cloud in both winners and grand finals. As a result, he won a free flight to compete in a large American tournament of his choosing, so you can expect to see more of him soon.
KEN has also been performing exceptionally well as of late. He won Umebura 22 without dropping a set, beating Pon, Umeki, Takera, bAhuto, Eim, Nietono, and Shuton on his way through bracket. He followed that up with a 3rd place finish at KSB after a nail-biting set with Nasubi. There's little reason to expect he won't continue to impress, as he has performed well against most other players in attendance.
Abadango was initially on the fence about attending this tournament. However, he has confirmed that he will not be attending Get On My Level, opting for Umebura instead. So if you want to see great Mewtwo play this weekend, tuning in here is your best bet! Abadango recently picked up Diddy for Mewtwo's troublesome matchups. This pairing is quite the potent duo.
DNG|Nietono came very close to winning Umebura 22. Unfortunately for him, KEN and Shuton clutched it out over him in finals. 3rd place is still very respectable, especially when you had to beat the likes of Songn and Shu on your way there. Nonetheless, it can be frustrating to come so close, yet just barely fall short. Nietono is looking to do even better this time.
Earth is coming in off of a 7th place finish at KSB, at which he beat his long-time rival Ranai in a convincing 2-0 set. A few months prior, he began using more and more Corrin in singles, but now seems to once again favor Pit for large events. When you play three characters at such a proficient level, you have lots of options available, and nobody is safe.
DNG|Rain knows both dazzling success and heartbreaking failure. He won Umebura 21 with a decisive 3-0 in grand finals, and also emerged victorious at Umebura Genesis Cup. On the other hand, his 17th place finish at SHIG Tournament was below his standard, and going 0-2 in bracket at Umebura 22 was a huge disappointment. Will he bounce back and take the sequel event?
Eim has been progressively improving his Sheik play, culminating in a 5th place finish at Umebura 22. He's managed wins over other prominent Sheiks in the ditto, and sometimes even dominates matchups largely considered disadvantaged for her. While other top Japanese Sheiks falter or switch away from the character, Eim is the rising star keeping her relevant.
Taiheitastunned everyone at Sumabato 8 and Karisuma 6, where he finished 5th and 2nd at his second and third Smash 4 tournaments ever. This catapulted him to PK Stardom. Unfortunately, Ryu and Falcon sent him home early at Sumabato 9, where he only finished 25th. Perhaps expectations were set too high? Or was it just an off-day? Tune in to find out!
Brood is surprisingly consistent for someone who mains a highly unusual character. It's not exactly clear how he and You3 do it, but they've convinced Japan (and us) that Duck Hunt is secretly good. Sadly, we didn't get to watch his recent victory over Abadango to make top 8 at Umebura. Hopefully SHI-G will be able to stream more of his matches this time.
Choco has quite a reputation as Japan's best ZSS player. He has victories over virtually every big name in Japan, and is no stranger to grand finals. Unfortunately, he seems to be struggling a bit as of late. He didn't manage top 32 at Umebura 22, where he lost to a relatively-unknown Ryu in winners. Like Rain, he is certainly capable of impressing us once again.
When Songn games, we watch. This long-time fan favorite has several impressive top 8 finishes under his belt, but sadly doesn't yet have a large win to his name. His series vs. Choco at eSR's bar event is a must-watch and shows him at the top of his game. He also has a recent win vs. Nietono, another opponent he trades sets with. Umebura 23 could finally be his time!
Umeki and Kie are two long-time Peach mains residing in Kanto and Kansai, respectively. Umeki has a slight historical edge in Smash 4, but Kie prevailed when when the two faced off at Umebura 22. Neither were able to crack into the top 16 that time around. Hopefully they won't be forced into a similar predicament again; both can get quite far if they avoid each other.
Don't be fooled by past tense: kept is a present threat. At Umebura 22, he finished at an unprecedented 5th place, stunning everyone with a win over Abadango. His crew also placed 2nd at Karisuma 7, beating Ranai's squad along the way. Regardless of his predecessor's relative inactivity, kept is keeping Villager on his opponents' relevant threat lists.
Nyanko and Shu are two former top-level Sheiks now bewitched by darkness. Nyanko has both attained strong wins and faced surprising defeats with his new main. Shu is still very new to the character, but is also showing promise. Both have strong heavyweight secondaries as well. However, it remains to be seen if they will fully recapture their Sheik-era glory.
A dual main named bAhuto came from relative obscurity to place 7th at Umebura 22. His bracket threw challenging matches his way, and he pulled out several notable upsets. He certainly set the bar high for himself coming into this weekend; hopefully he can match the hype.
FILIP hails from Kyushu, though you can catch him at tournaments all over Japan. He performs quite well at his local Shulla-bra series, and has some prominent wins to his name. One can only hope for a match between him and bAhuto, who might opt to use Luigi in that case.
Daiki and Kisha are strong contributors to the Mega Man renaissance. Kisha uses the character exclusively, but Daiki has been known to use all sorts of characters. Between these guys and Kamemushi, odds are you'll be seeing a lot of pellets and lemons.
YOC is a former Sonic main who has (surprisingly) switched to exclusively using Corrin. A serious reduction in walk and run speed doesn't mean a reduction in results. He performs quite well on ranked ladders and recently knocked Choco out of losers at Umebura 22.
Takera is a rising Ryu, and probably Japan's strongest representative of the character as of now. He has several respectable finishes (including 2nd place in Karisuma's recent crews event) and some impressive character tech to boot. He soundly defeated Earth at Umebura 22.
SHIG|Shimitake is a powerful (yet inconsistent) Pikachu main most recognized for placing 5th at Sumabato 8. Apparently he has also picked up Diddy as a secondary to help with some rough matchups. Hopefully now he won't struggle as much with Mario.
Pon is one of the most recognizable Ganon players. He's never finished top 8 at anything big, but he frequently wins matchups that Ganon should definitely lose in theory. This low-tier hero always has a tough bracket, yet rarely fails to impress.
shky and Yui are two more solid ZSS reps who typically place well. In fact, shky just missed top 8 at the last Umebura while Choco went home early. However, neither has yet put on a defining performance to draw the attention of foreign crowds.
At Umebura 22, Leo surprised everyone by knocking Rain and Nyanko out of losers back to back. Neither match was recorded, so we have little footage of him and his play-style. Hopefully he keeps it up and we can see more of him in the future.
eSR|Rom surely benefits from the rule change at Umebura. He is now able to use default (1111) Gunner, his preferred character wherever Miis are legal. Will Kanto residents be ready for this unusual character? Rom is coming in with a serious matchup knowledge advantage.
In addition to the numerous top-level players in attendance, there are many more who have shown great promise and are looking to make an impact. Be sure to keep an eye on mow and Tsu-, Tamanyaso and Lucia, Raito, Kenkenpa, taranito, Salena, Pasutaa, Jyala, Onpu, P-, and more!
Pools will run from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. JST (so 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. EST). And after an hour break, the main tournament will start at 2:00 p.m. (1:00 a.m. EST). SHI-Gaming will handle the streaming of this event.
Will you be watching Umebura 23? Who do you think is going to win? Will there be any upsets? Let us know in the comments below!
Note: This article was written in collaboration with @Gearface, Djent , @Jucchan, and @juddy96.