Three takeaways from Jailbreak Project+ Singles
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As hundreds of Super Smash Bros. and Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl players gathered for Mainstage 2021 in the Ontario Convention Center in southern California, another 100 or so Project+ players met in the same venue for their latest shadow major, Jailbreak.

Here’s an overview of the biggest takeaways from the tournament.

The Doctor adds another major win to his resume at Jailbreak

Two months after winning his first Project+ major at Undertow, Kevin “The Doctor” Ascate established himself as one of the best Project+ players in the world. After finishing in second place at Blacklisted 6, The Doctor returned to the top of the podium with his first-place finish at Jailbreak.

The Mario main cruised through most of the bracket, dropping games to only a single player throughout the entire event. He flawlessly defeated the likes of Manny “Dumshiny” Carrillo, Joseph “Qtip” Hallowell and Eric “Sneez” Stanton en route to the winners side of top eight. Though he lost his first games of the tournament in winners semis, he still came out on top after a five-game set against Jonathan “Sosa” Sosa, the former No. 1 player in the world.

Winners finals saw The Doctor score yet another 3-0 sweep, this time against Kevin “Blue” Rosas Hope. He re-matched Sosa in grand finals in another set where Sosa pushed him to Game 5. Even so, The Doctor defeated Sosa 3-2 in order to become the first Project+ player to win more than one major this year.

Blue is a master of Singles and Doubles

Despite falling to The Doctor, Blue has been one of the most active Project+ players this year, attending all four of the game’s majors up to this point. In the process, the Link main proved to be a nearly unstoppable force in Doubles. He placed first in all four Doubles brackets, even doing so with four different partners: Zachary “Lunchables” Sain at Undertow, Noah “Nogh” Sundook at Shipwrecked, The Doctor at Blacklisted 6 and Parker “Boringman” Boring at Jailbreak. All the while, Blue has accrued solid Singles results.

Still, none of his previous showings were as impressive as his run at Jailbreak, where he finished in third place. He swept players like “Boat” and Brennan “Bongo” Avery to secure a spot in winners quarters.

There, he had to face his own teammate, Boringman. After a close five games, Blue narrowly trumped Boringman 3-2 to advance into winners semis. Next, he defeated “Cloudburst” in another set that went to Game 5, earning himself a spot in winners finals. While he faltered against both The Doctor and Sosa, Blue has proven he’s a force to be reckoned with in any Project+ format.

Fearless traverses a difficult losers bracket to qualify for the Project M Theatre

Shahid “Fearless” Jivani made his way into top 32 on winners side after winning a close, three-game set against Robert “PotatoesAreYum” De Dios’ Ganondorf. However, he dropped his first set of top 32 to Cloudburst, 3-1, forcing him into the losers bracket fairly early. Nevertheless, Fearless piloted Lucario through a deep losers bracket run.

Starting on a solid note, he eliminated Boat 3-0 and Justin “Jagz$” Epstein 3-1. To qualify for top eight, the No. 7 seed Fearless had to defeat the No. 8 seed Sneez. As expected, considering the proximity of their seeding, the set went the distance. Ultimately, Fearless secured a 3-2 victory over Sneez to advance into top eight.

Fearless’ first upset of Jailbreak came in top eight, where he beat No. 5 seed Peter “Pikmon” Woodworth in another set that went to game five. Afterward, he had to rematch Cloudburst, the player that sent him to the losers bracket in the first place. In their second face-off, Fearless reversed their original score, defeating Cloudburst 3-1 to advance into top four. Despite losing his next set to Sosa, Fearless notably made it far enough to earn a spot at the Project M Theatre, an upcoming Smash Summit-style invitational for Project+.

Looking ahead

Blue and Fearless qualified for the Project M Theatre as the two highest-placing, non-invited players at Jailbreak. The next two qualifier spots will be up for grabs at McSmashter 5 in Ontario, Canada, in February of 2022.

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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