This weekend, the 2020 Smash Ultimate season kicks off in the heart of New York City at Let’s Make Big Moves. As the first S-tier tournament of the year, LMBM has the potential to set the stage for another incredible year of Ultimate. Here are the biggest storylines to keep an eye on as the tournament unfolds.
How Will the Tournament React to MkLeo’s Absence?
Perhaps the biggest factor to watch this weekend might just be the factor that isn’t present at the tournament at all. When Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez isn’t in attendance at a Smash tournament, the landscape of the event changes drastically. The field becomes wide open and suddenly, it feels like anyone has a chance to take home the title. With the best player in the world taking this tournament off, there’s potential for any of the top players at LMBM to secure 1st place. And while it would be unwise to bet against top-seeded players like Ezra “Samsora” Morris and Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey, it still isn’t out of the realm of possibility for other top players like Tyler “Marss” Martins and Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada to sneak out a win to start the year.
Will Samsora Live Up to Expectations?
On the subject of top players and the fact that there’s always going to be a void at the top of the ladder when MkLeo isn’t around, there obviously needs to be someone to fill in as the number 1 seed. At Let’s Make Big Moves, that player is Samsora. His last showing as #1 seed came at Glitch 7 where a 5th place finish didn’t quite justify the seeding. However, here at LMBM, Samsora is revitalized as he’s currently riding a bit of a hot streak. He’s made the top 8 in 5 consecutive events, and is proving that he’s worthy of being in the discussion at the top of the Smash Ultimate mountain. Perhaps a victory at an S-tier event could be enough to boost him to the peak.
Will Tristate Hold Down the Fort?
The first major of the year is always something special when it comes to regional talent. Last year we were able to see Florida dominate at Smash Conference United. This year, we’re going to see Tristate take center stage at Let’s Make Big Moves. With 15 Tristate players in the top 64 at LMBM in terms of seeding, there’s obviously high expectations for the region going into the tournament. Most notably, names like Alan “Gen” Soriano and Jonathan “Venia” Grullon will have to prove that their dominance on the regional level can translate into results at an S-tier event like this one where challengers from all over the world will be coming to take the crown.
Who Will Break the Mold in 2020?
A new year presents new opportunities. With the third season of professional Smash Ultimate kicking off this weekend, there’s a chance at hand for rising players to break through the glass ceiling, while players who were knocked down to close out 2019 could potentially rebound to kick off the new year. This weekend at LMBM, keep an eye on players like Venia and Jared “Stocktaker69” Berkowitz to break the mold and prove they belong in the conversation, while players like James “VoiD” Makekau-Tyson and Jestise “MVD” Negron will try to work their way back into it.
Photo Credit: Let’s Make Big Moves, EvenMatchupGaming, NintendoVS