Three takeaways from Blacklisted 6 Project+ Singles
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Despite attempts by Nintendo to stifle it, the Project+ community held its third post-quarantine major over the weekend. With the recent announcement of the Project M Theatre, a Project+ invitational in the style of Smash Summit, the stakes at Blacklisted 6 were higher than ever as players competed for two spots at the invitational.

Here are some of the major takeaways from the latest edition of the Blacklisted tournament series.

Three majors, three new champions

Since the return of offline competition, Project+ has seen a new guard of elite players rise to the top. Kevin “The Doctor” Ascate earned his first major victory at Undertow with Mario. Likewise, Kyle “Kycse” Carrero used Charizard to win his first major at Shipwrecked. Now, Michael “techboy” Leleniewski has joined their ranks, piloting the Ice Climbers to his biggest tournament victory to date at Blacklisted 6.

In his top 24 qualifier set, techboy earned a narrow 3-2 victory over Cory “The Ivy Player” M., a Kirby player who had upset Kyle “Switch” Carlon in pools. Notably, that five-game face-off ended up being techboy’s closest set until grand finals. He beat Kevin “Blue” Rosas Hope 3-1 to qualify for top eight on winners side.

In winners semis, techboy secured a convincing 3-0 win over Malachi “Malachi” Covington, the No. 1 player on the PMRank 2019. Finally, he faced Undertow champion The Doctor in both winners finals and grand finals. Ultimately, The Doctor was no match for techboy’s grab conversions with the Ice Climbers, as techboy defeated him 3-1 in winners finals and 3-2 in grand finals.

The Doctor proves to be a consistent threat

As the first seed at Blacklisted 6, The Doctor technically underperformed by finishing in second place. Nevertheless, his performance was nothing to scoff at. As the tides of top-level Project+ are changing, it is no small feat to remain consistent from tournament to tournament. Yet, The Doctor seems to be doing just that.

The Doctor’s run through winners saw him defeat Spencer “Mr.Watch&Learn” McLaughlin 3-0, Anna “Kumatora” Mayorskiy 3-1, Nick “Stango” Stango 3-2 and Brian “dvd” Sherbert 3-1. He also eliminated dvd 3-1 in losers finals while only losing to the tournament’s champion, techboy.

The Doctor has long been established as the best Project+ Mario, all while rocking the Dr. Mario skin as his tag suggests. The California native will get the chance to confirm that he’s one of the best Project+ players period at Jailbreak, the shadow major running alongside Mainstage 2021.

Twisty pilots Wario through a deep losers run

Will “Twisty” Gomez has also emerged with consistently solid performances this season, placing in the top 12 of every Project+ major this year. However, maintaining that streak at Blacklisted 6 proved to be a difficult task, since Twisty suffered an upset loss to Brennan “Bongo” Avery in pools. Nevertheless, the Wario main made a deep run through the losers bracket to place fifth, matching his placement at Undertow.

Twisty made it into top 24 by eliminating Messiah “Phresh” Williams 3-2 and Mike “guttey” Pettit 3-0. Then, he earned a 3-0 win against “Yono,” a Knuckles main who had also placed fifth at Undertow. After defeating Nick “Boiko” Boiko 3-1, Twisty faced Blue in a top eight qualifier match.

They had previously met at the same spot in bracket at Shipwrecked, where Blue beat Twisty 3-0 to end his run in ninth place. Twisty reversed that storyline at Blacklisted, defeating Blue 3-0 to make top eight. From there, Twisty won a five-game set over Ivan “Ivayne” Castaneda before finally losing another five-game set to dvd.

Looking ahead

The following four players received automatic invitations to the Project M Theatre in March of 2022:

  • Xayya “ThundeRzReiGN” Thammavongsa
  • Jonathan “Sosa” Sosa
  • Malachi
  • techboy

In addition, The Doctor and dvd qualified for the invitational as the two highest-placing uninvited players at Blacklisted 6. The next two qualifier spots will be up for grabs at Jailbreak on Nov. 13.

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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