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863 players from around the world flocked to Villeneuve-d’Ascq, France, for Temple: Hermès Edition, the biggest Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament of the year thus far. The Smash Ultimate Temple: Hermès Edition tournament attracted international attention for a mixture of reasons, from its tight quarters and questionable smell, to the boisterous crowd that gathered in a soccer stadium for the top eight.

Ultimately, Japan’s Takuma “Tea” Hirooka came out on top of a field of high-level international talent. Here’s a breakdown of Tea’s victory and other major takeaways from the event.

Tea continues his streak of top-three placements by winning Temple: Hermès Edition

Since the beginning of 2020, Tea has made a case for himself as one of the best players in Japan, if not the very best. His results have only gotten better in recent months as Tea hasn’t placed worse than third at an in-person major since March of this year. Tea kept the streak alive with his first-place finish at Temple: Hermès Edition.

He cruised into top eight with little opposition, losing only a single game to Adam “LeMonke” J. in pools. Meanwhile, he earned 3-0 victories over the likes of Mickaël “Kace” Ghaly, Tarik “Tarik” Fayazi and Ramin “Mr.R” Delshad.

In top eight, Tea leaned into Pac-Man’s patient playstyle, as he frequently set up a Fire Hydrant so he could hide behind it and charge up his Bonus Fruit. Nevertheless, the audience kept themselves entertained, shouting a high-pitched “sheesh” every time Tea threw a looping Galaxian.

Tea defeated Seisuke “Kome” Komeda 3-1 and Kengo “KEN” Suzuki 3-2 to reach grand finals. There, he faced the best player in France and all of Europe, William “Glutonny” Belaid. Their back-and-forth set led them to game five.

Tea switched up the pace by starting this game with an immediate approach, running in with a dash attack and stringing together multiple forward-airs to rack up damage and force Glutonny offstage. While Glutonny made it back, the aggressive gambit gave Tea a lead that he maintained for the entire game. This enabled him to beat Glutonny 3-2 and win the tournament.

AndresFn has his international offline breakout

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrés “AndresFn” Fariñas was ranked seventh in Spain, leaving him with little notoriety in the international scene. This began to change thanks to his solid results at online tournaments during quarantine. Still, AndresFn did not have a true offline breakout until Temple: Hermès Edition.

As the 39th seed, AndresFn had to upset Cédric “Homika” C. just to make it to top 64 on the winners side. From there, the FGC character main went on an explosive run, defeating Michael “Tilde” Tedesco 3-1 and “MoDzai” 3-2. This landed him a spot in winners quarters against European titan Glutonny.

AndresFn hardly seemed poised to make the upset, as he found himself at a major deficit in game five. However, he was able to find a combo into Ryu’s Shoryuken to level the playing field. Toward the end of the match, Glutonny messed up his up tilt into Wario Waft kill setup. As a result, AndresFn had time to find another Shoryuken, scoring him the biggest upset of his career.

AndresFn became only the fifth European to win a best-of-five set against Glutonny’s Wario in Smash Ultimate. In addition, he was the sole non-Japanese competitor on the winners side of top eight. AndresFn ultimately lost to KEN and David “LeoN” Leon, to finish in fifth place.

Raflow upsets some of Europe’s best en route to top eight

French prodigy Arda “Raflow” I. has made strides in the Ultimate scene since returning to offline competition in May of 2021. Temple: Hermès Edition marked one of his best Smash Ultimate runs to date. Raflow upset some of Europe’s best players en route to a seventh-place finish.

Raflow played Kome in the first round of top 64, resulting in a fairly early trip to the losers bracket. He went on to score 3-0 wins against Mallory “Maeda” Fontaine and Thomas “Oryon” Scalese. Raflow then eliminated the No. 3 player in all of Europe, Alain “Space” Balemba, 3-2.

After beating “Nitox” 3-1, Raflow challenged Mr.R in a top eight qualifier match. Mr.R scrambled to find the right character, losing as Snake and Chrom in the first two games. He finally seemed to find the right fit with Pyra and Mythra in game three. However, Raflow’s Palutena still came out on top after a close game four. Thus, he advanced into top eight, where he lost to LeoN 3-0.


Dylan Tate is a student in 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.


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