Meme wins Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Singles at Smash Vertex
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Hector “Meme” Ochoa Cardenas won Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Singles at Smash Vertex in Puebla, Mexico on Feb. 9. This marked his third consecutive major tournament victory in Mexico. In addition, Meme has not placed outside of the top 2 at a Mexican event since Bit Master Mty 6 in August.

Smash Vertex was a 24-person invitational event inspired by the Smash Summit tournament series. Many of Mexico’s best players attended (although the No. 1 player in the world, Leonardo “MkLeo” Perez, was notably absent). There were also two international players in attendance: Jason “Yei” Valverde from Costa Rica and Richard “Keitaro” King Jr. from the United States.

Meme swept his round-robin pool without dropping a game. In the process, he defeated Rodrigo “Blade” Arias, Bernardo “Bernie” Maciel, and Keitaro. Meme had another flawless victory over “Emm” before beating Santiago “Chag” Perez 3-1 to make top 8 on winners side.

In Winners Semis, Meme defeated Blade a second time. However, he dropped a set to Yei 2-3 in Winners Finals. Then in Losers Finals, Meme beat Blade for the third time at Smash Vertex. He looked much stronger against Yei in Grand Finals, winning the first set 3-1 and the second set 3-0.

A closer look at the top 4 at Smash Vertex

Yei showed up big at Smash Vertex, claiming second place as one of only two non-Mexican players at the event. He had 3-0 victories over Javier “Leaf” Reyes and “Gera” in his pool. While he dropped a set to Cristian “Hyuga” Medina, he still finished first in his pool.

Then, Yei went on a tear through the winners bracket, making it to Grand Finals on winners side. During this rampage, Yei defeated Arturo “D.POLLO” Almaguer, Arturo “Joker” Ochoa, Enrique “Maister” Hernández Solís, and Meme.

Blade had an impressive run to third place at Smash Vertex. His performance was far from perfect, as he was triple-eliminated by Meme and dropped a set to Bernie in pools. Even so, he double-eliminated Edgar “Sparg0” Valdez and won additional sets against Juan “Skyjay” Pablo and Chag.

Like Blade, Chag had a rough start in pools at Smash Vertex, dropping sets to “YoungBasedLord” and Joker. However, he bounced back in the main bracket with a string of impressive victories. Chag took sets off of Hyuga, Gera, Skyjay, and Maister. Interestingly, all four of those sets went to game five.

Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.