Two months after the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, there’s no way we’ve already found the game’s best character. Right?
Turns out, we actually might have. And the fact of the matter is that it may just be one of the most unlikely characters on the entire roster.
Everyone knew Olimar was good – and that he might just even be top-tier. However, after a prominent showing at Genesis 6, the first super-major to feature Ultimate, everyone’s favorite space captain might have actually been proven to be the strongest character in the game. At the very least, he’s definitely the most popular – that is, at the highest level, of course.
While it’s next to impossible to gather and accumulate the entirety of the character data for Genesis 6, we can definitely take a look at the top 64. And when you do, it’s clear that Olimar was definitely the most dominant choice among the game’s best players. Among the 64 final players at Genesis, there were six total Olimar mains present – the most representing any character on the roster. While there were 15 other characters who were mained by multiple top 64 players, none quite eclipsed or even contested Olimar’s mark of six players. The only ones to come close were Peach, Fox, Wolf, and Pichu, each of whom were played by four top 64 finalists.
With elite players like Shuton, Robert “Myran” Herrin, and Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby all taking the character to the next level in Ultimate, it’s clear that Olimar is a pick that could genuinely dominate the game for the foreseeable future. Of course, Dabuz’s top 8 placement at Genesis didn’t result in a title, and Myran and Shuton barely missed out on the tournament’s final stage, but the fact that all three players were on the cusp of success really proves that Olimar is a character to watch.
If Myran had toppled Brian “Cosmos” Kalu and things had gone a bit differently for Shuton, we could have seen a top 8 at Genesis that featured 3 Olimar players. So much for “diversity”. Had the outcomes of just a few matches been altered slightly, we could have seen Olimar of all characters absolutely dominate the final stage of the most important tournament of the year thus far.
But what is it that makes Olimar so appetizing to all of these top players?
Perhaps it’s his unrelenting barrage of projectiles. Or could it be it’s his ability to space and zone more effectively than any other character in the game? Maybe it’s the fact that he can rack up percentage quite easily, leading up to easy kills and punishes – cementing him as a well-rounded and generally safe (yet rewarding) pick in the process.
In almost every scenario, and at every point in a game, Olimar has the ability to be an oppressive headache. During the early phases of a game, he can mount some serious percentage, gaining an early advantage in the process. From there, he can take that advantage and pressure his opponents by taking an early stock and formulate a window of opportunity where he can utilize a strong spacing game and create a campy atmosphere – one that could potentially last throughout an entire game.
The fact the Olimar can get so much damage on an opponent without approaching is such an incredibly strong (and unique) aspect of his kit. On top of that, whenever you do approach Olimar, his ability to punish you with an effective ground game is a strength of his that could cripple any opposition.
And as we move forward through 2019, it’s becoming clear that the competitive meta is becoming more and more focused on an aggressive playstyle, and if there’s any character on the Ultimate roster who is perfect at combatting that approach, it’s Olimar. Perhaps the character’s natural “stay away” mentality is perfect for players who are looking for a way to potentially counter, and even beat up on, high-tier characters like Wolf, Pichu, and Lucina who favor a more reckless style. If anything, Olimar’s subdued nature is the perfect counterbalance to the hectic, rampant meta that we’re seeing throughout the entire Ultimate community.
Regardless of what the fuel for his success may be, it’s hard not to think of Olimar as one of, if not the strongest available pick in Ultimate. He’s definitely right up there with some of the most dominant characters in the game as he can most definitely stand toe to toe with picks like Wolf and Lucina, holding his own and showing some serious presence on the competitive level. And now, with plenty more majors on the horizon and countless more evolutions set for the competitive meta, it’s possible we could see Olimar continue to hold sway over all of Ultimate.
Photo Credit: Nintendo, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate