After a star-studded weekend that featured some of the most entertaining storylines in recent history, Smash Conference United saw 11 champions featured across the most popular titles in the entire fighting game lineup. However, as was expected, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate stole the show, drawing an enormous amount of attention, kicking off the 2019 Smash scene in magnificent fashion.
The tournament, which spanned over two full days of competition served as the first major event Smash fans could sink their teeth into this year, as titans like Jestise “MVD” Negron, Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman, and Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma all competed. However, it was the return of Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios to the competitive stage that served as the primary storyline heading into and prevailing through the weekend.
In his first tournament since October of 2017, all eyes were focused on ZeRo, as his first competition in over a year saw him focus on a return to basics and improvement on form. Mainly, ZeRo spent most of his time on Cloud, taking the character to a 3rd place finish alongside Mew2King in the doubles bracket, while also flashing his long-famed Diddy Kong on occasion.
And although the self-proclaimed (and widely accepted) “best player in the world” for Smash 4 was eliminated in the 5th round of the losers bracket, good enough for a shared 9th place finish, it was Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez who took home the SCU 2019 title.
With masterful play on Ike throughout the entire competition, MkLeo was able to pick up right where he left off in 2018, proving exactly why he’s one of the most efficient players in all of Smash. And although he may not have carried the same sense of excitement or grandiose that other players brought to the table at Smash Conference United, he still rose to the occasion and got the job done. After six 1st place finishes in 2018, and one major tournament win already under his belt in 2019, MkLeo will surely be one of the most intriguing players to watch as the year goes on.
In addition to MkLeo’s proven dominance, there were also plenty of other newcomers and fresh faces making moves at Smash Conference United. Fabled Floridian Peach player MuteAce was able to crack the top 8 at a tournament for the first time in his career, while Jamaal “Samsora” Morris took home 2nd place, falling to MkLeo in the Grand Finals, the same player who triumphed over him in a Grand Final situation at last year’s Super Smash Con.
As we move forward into the lifespan of Ultimate, these early stages will be crucial for setting the tone of the competitive scene. And after an extremely successful and exciting weekend at Smash Conference United, the hype surrounding the future of SSBU is most definitely well-deserved.
Photo Credit: MVG, Smash Conference United