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The Smash World Tour has entered its final month of online qualifiers, bringing some of the circuit’s most stacked competition to date. The final month kicked off with the NA Southwest Ultimate Online Qualifier.

Some players made breakout runs at this event, while others picked a bad time to underperform. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the tournament.

New name, same dominance

Spencer “Scend” Garner, formerly known as “BestNess,” has been dominating online tournaments throughout the entirety of the pandemic. He has been a top 10 player for the past year, peaking at No. 3 on the Wi-Fi Warrior Rank v6. Now, thanks to his first place finish at the SWT NA Southwest Ultimate Online Qualifier, he’ll get to compete at a major offline tournament before the year is finished.

Scend earned convincing victories over Matt “Midnight” R. and Dominic “T3 DOM” Carone, who ended up being the Last Chance Qualifier finalists. Then, in winners semis, he steamrolled Kiyarash “Kiyarash” Younessi with a comfortable 3-0 win.

The winners finals pitted Scend against Jestise “MVD” Negron. Once again, Scend won without too much opposition, taking the set 3-1. His run concluded with another battle against Kiyarash in the grand finals.

Kiyarash put up a better fight the second time around, forcing Scend to Game 5 for the first time all tournament. However, Scend proved how comfortable he was playing offstage and on the ledge in their final game. He ultimately punished an unsafe edgeguard attempt from Kiyarash to take his final stock, win the set and close out the tournament.

Larry Lurr qualifies with a shocking losers run

Larry “Larry Lurr” Holland is a long-standing Smash veteran, having been a high-level player in every game except for Smash 64. Despite this, he has not been a veteran of Smash Ultimate’s online tournament scene. For this reason, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Larry Lurr dropped his second set of the tournament to Corael “MrFlitcher” Thompson.

But what was surprising and incredibly impressive was Larry Lurr’s losers run that followed. Larry Lurr won 12 subsequent sets in the losers bracket to qualify for the Regional Finals at the SWT NA Southwest Ultimate Online Qualifier.

His run included convincing victories over the likes of Marco “Marvelous_Marco” Blanco, Leonardo “M.M.Leo” Mendoza, “Peckham” and Midnight. He also secured a 3-1 upset over Luis “Lui$” Oceguera.

Larry Lurr’s final win came against Steve player “yonni.” After losing the first two games with Wolf and Falco, Larry Lurr’s Wolf made a huge comeback to win Game 3. From there, the momentum was in his favor, and he carried that momentum to a reverse 3-0. Larry Lurr finished in fifth place after his Mii Brawler lost a five-game set to Kiyarash.

Lui$ fails to qualify at the SWT NA Southwest Ultimate Online Qualifier

Going into the SWT NA Southwest Ultimate Online Qualifier, Lui$ seemed like a shoe-in to qualify. He was ranked No. 8 on the Wi-Fi Warrior Rank v6, and was the No. 2 seed for this tournament. Nevertheless, Lui$ suffered a handful of unexpected upsets in both the regular bracket and the Last Chance Qualifier. As a result, he will not be able to compete in the offline Regional Finals.

Lui$’s first loss came against Jonathan “Hanayome” Azua in winners quarters. After Lui$’s Palutena traded games with Hanayome’s Sephiroth, Hanayome pulled out his Chrom for the last game. Though Lui$ took an early lead, Hanayome found brutal combos and edgeguards later on to secure the victory for himself. Lui$ then fell at the hands of losers bracket beast Larry Lurr and was relegated to the Last Chance Qualifier.

Even with these setbacks, Lui$ was still the favorite to win the Last Chance Qualifier. But his hopes began to fade away as he immediately lost to Varun “varun” Rao, who was upset earlier in the bracket. Lui$ was ultimately eliminated after yet another upset loss to Luis “Nito” Alvarez.

NA West Ultimate Regional Finals

The following players have qualified for the NA West Ultimate Regional Finals, scheduled for Sept. 25-26:

  • Scend
  • Kiyarash
  • MVD
  • Hanayome
  • Troy “BassMage” Waters
  • Larry Lurr
  • T3 DOM
  • Midnight

The Smash World Tour will resume on May 8 with the NA Northwest Ultimate Online Qualifier.

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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