Three takeaways from Ultimate Singles at Super Smash Con: Fall Fest
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Without Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez or Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey in attendance, the field was wide open for a brand new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate champion at Super Smash Con: Fall Fest. In the end, Paris “Light” Ramirez crawled through the trenches of the losers bracket to earn his best post-quarantine performance and win a major for the first time.

Here’s an overview of Light’s path to victory and other major takeaways from Super Smash Con.

Light slogs through losers to win his first major

Unlike many other players, Light largely avoided competing in online tournaments during quarantine. As a result, the Fox main did not initially reach the same heights he’d had when he returned to competition post-quarantine. Despite achieving solid placements at most of the tournaments he’s entered since June, he has also racked up questionable losses against the likes of Felipe “Ketchup” Arriaga and Scot “Scot” Burnett Jr.

However, Super Smash Con: Fall Fest saw Light not only return to form, but he also surpassed his previous peak in Smash Ultimate. Wins over Jon “Suarez” Suarez and Aaron “Aaron” Wilhite carried Light into winners quarters. But, he suffered a 3-0 loss to Jude “Jakal” Harris, who also beat him at Momentous in June.

Afterward, Light embarked on a difficult losers run that led him all the way to first place. He eliminated Marcus “Pink Fresh” Wilson 3-1 to enter top eight. From there, five of his remaining six sets went to Game 5. Light pushed through the likes of Tyler “Marss” Martins, Kolawole “Kola” Aideyan and Jestise “MVD” Negron to make it to losers finals.

Then, he faced Enrique “Maister” Hernández Solís. Going into the set, Maister boasted a 3-1 lifetime record against Light and had won their most recent set at Glitch 8.5. Nevertheless, Light entered the set with a confidence that carried him to victory and secured his spot in grand finals.

Unlike any of his other sets, the first set of grand finals saw Light 3-0 Edgar “Sparg0” Valdez. He concluded the set with a creative shine out of shield into an up smash to catch Sparg0’s roll in. However, Sparg0 made rapid adjustments to take the first two games of their second set. Yet, Light still managed to crawl back from his near-defeat experience. In a close Game 5, Light connected a down-air into up smash kill confirm to reverse 3-0 Sparg0 and win Super Smash Con: Fall Fest.

The space animals excel at Super Smash Con: Fall Fest

Light’s Fox was not the only space animal to exceed expectations in Super Smash Con: Fall Fest Ultimate Singles. Wolf main Jakal and Falco main Michael “Tilde” Tedesco both made it into top eight, marking the first major top eight appearance for both of them.

After a handful of ninth-place finishes in 2019, Jakal finally pushed through into top eight at this event. Despite the difficulty of his bracket, he did so with little trouble. Jakal defeated Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby 2-0 and Pedro “Kurama” Alonso 3-1. Then, he solidly beat Light for the second time this year, earning himself a spot in winners side of top eight. After losing a close five-game set to Sparg0, Jakal ultimately lost to MVD 3-1 to finish in fifth place.

Tilde, on the other hand, rose to prominence through online tournaments and has been a rising star since this summer. His biggest breakout performance to date saw him defeat Abraham “BigBoss” Slane Parra 2-0, Marss 3-2 and Brian “Cosmos” Kalu 3-1. Meanwhile, he lost to Maister and MVD to finish in seventh place.

ESAM underperforms after his Glitch victory

Eric “ESAM” Lew was rewarded with the first seed at Super Smash Con: Fall Fest, and for good reason. At his first post-quarantine major, Glitch 8.5, he had conquered Light and Kola and double-eliminated MkLeo to claim first place. However, ESAM’s second offline major of the year did not go nearly so well.

In his top 48 qualifier match, ESAM played Snake main Dylan “ApolloKage” J. On paper, it should have been a favorable match-up for ESAM. He has a great deal of experience and a winning record against Snake main MVD. And yet, ApolloKage eked out a 2-1 victory, sending ESAM on an early trip to the losers bracket.

After a few predictable victories, his next opponent was Willow “IcyMist” Barto. Although IcyMist found great success in Smash 4 as a wi-fi warrior turned offline threat, the Samus main had yet to really make a splash in Ultimate. That changed at Smash Con. After getting three-stocked with Pikachu in Game 1, ESAM tried Min Min, only to switch back to Pikachu in Game 3. Ultimately, IcyMist earned a convincing 3-0 victory. As a result, ESAM finished the tournament with a disappointing 17th place.

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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