This past weekend, the competitive Smash community took a massive step forward as Tyler “Marss” Martins took home first place at the 2019 installment of Collision, the latest major tournament to feature Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Marss, a Zero Suit Samus player from New England, took home the crown in convincing fashion with wins over several top players including a semifinal win over 3rd-seeded Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby and a Grand Final victory over 2nd-seeded Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada – proving once again that he could hang with the top dogs in Smash’s upper echelons.
With wins like that in mind, it’s needless to say that Marss’ win at Collision was an incredibly groundbreaking moment for the scene – one where the implications of the results will ripple throughout the community over the course of the foreseeable future. Not only does his victory at the tournament serve as a testament to his own personal skill, it showed the potential of his character, the depth of his region, and the stalwart nature of the Smash 4 “old guard” – all while adding another name to the seemingly endless list of top players who could take a tournament on any given weekend.
If there’s any one player who has shown extreme loyalty a character, it’s Marss. His Zero Suit Samus play has often been regarded as the best of its kind ever since the days of Smash 4, when the character was an unquestionable high-tier option. But as the community transitioned into Ultimate, questions began to rise surrounding the status of Smash 4’s strongest characters, with ZSS standing directly in the middle of the conversation. Consequently, Marss’ fate hung in the balance. And after experimenting with certain secondaries throughout the course of Ultimate’s early phases (namely Ike and Mega Man), he stuck to his guns and stood by his character, emerging as the premier Zero Suit player in the world.
Perhaps it’s somewhat poetic that Marss was able to prove not only the power of ZSS, but his personal power as well at the biggest Northeastern tournament thus far through 2019. The fact that he was able to capture the tournament’s top prize in a dramatic final against Nairo, the one player who stood in his way from being regarded as the greatest Zero Suit player in the world throughout the entirety of his career, supported nothing short of a storybook ending.
If anything, the rivalry that Marss and Nairo have established over the years came to a head at Collision as the stars genuinely couldn’t have aligned for a more perfect set of storylines coming into the weekend’s final face-off. Could Marss topple the man who kept him from sole ZSS glory for years? Could he represent New England well enough to triumph over the Tristate Area? Could he finally join the conversation surrounding the world’s most elite Smash Ultimate players? In short, yes, yes, and definitely yes.
And while Marss’ win at Collision is definitely a prime highlight for his own personal résumé, it showcased exactly how stacked the scene truly is. Coming into the event, if anyone had predicted that Marss would win a tournament that featured Nairo, Dabuz, Brian “Cosmos” Kalu, and Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey, they were probably lying through their teeth. What makes Marss’ Collision run so intriguing is the incredible odds he had to overcome, as well as the boundless fire and passion that fueled him during a legendary path through the tournament’s later stages.
Marss had been building up to a serious run at a major tournament for what seemed like an eternity, it only took an event like this to let it all boil over. Since the start of 2019, Marss has been somewhere near “the middle of the top”, finishing 25th at Genesis and 17th at Frostbite. Sure, he’s kept his name relevant in the local and regional scene, and of course past results have allowed him to stay in the mix, but when it came to taking on the game’s highest level of talent, he simply hadn’t lived up to his potential.
At Collision, he finally eclipsed that potential, setting him up for a massive win – one that will certainly have an impact on the way we’ll view competitive Smash for much of the foreseeable future.
This past weekend, Marss redefined the way we approach and evaluate tournaments, proving that players apart from the obvious favorites can just as easily take home the victory. This is, of course, not to say that Marss is an unproven Joe off the street – he’s a top player, for sure. However, for a man who hadn’t been able to get things off the ground, a victory like this proves that any top player still has the ability to turn on the jets almost on command. He showed how his name is just as relevant as plenty of others, and that his ability to hold a tournament with a vice grip and blaze through any potential competitors is still a deadly factor. At Collision, Marss proved that when you speak the names of the greatest players in the game right now, you must speak his name, as well.
Featured Image Credit: Mike Solinas (@PicsandPylons) – Follow him! He does some great work!