Crown the Third preview: Maister aims to continue Smash Ultimate hot streak - Upcomer
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The summer of Smash has begun as numerous Super Smash Bros. Ultimate majors are on the horizon. This weekend, many of North America’s best and a few Japanese invaders will make their way to Orem, Utah, for Crown the Third.

The midpoint of the season is a little less than two months away, meaning time is running out for players to make their marks on the summer rankings. Here are some of the storylines to keep an eye on at Crown the Third this weekend.

Maister aims to continue his hot streak at Crown the Third

In March, Leonardo “MkLeo” López Pérez and Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey joined Enrique “Maister” Hernández Solís on the Luminosity Smash Ultimate roster. At the time, MkLeo and Tweek were both in the running for the title of the best player in the world. As a result, Maister became the butt of a joke as the apparent weak link of the newly-established superteam.

But in practice, it hasn’t really played out that way. Maister outplaced both Tweek and MkLeo at the last two tournaments all three of them attended, even beating Tweek 3-0 at Battle of BC 5. All three of them will once again compete at Crown the Third, with Maister perhaps undeservedly having the lowest seed of the bunch.

While it may require a couple of upsets, Maister will look to continue his top eight streak this weekend. Despite some questionable losses throughout this year, another strong showing at a major could be what it takes to push Maister back into the conversation for top 10 in the world.

A tough bracket for MkLeo

For the first time in Smash Ultimate’s history, MkLeo is not currently a contender for No. 1 in the world. Despite winning Genesis 9 in January, he has missed top eight at three of the six majors he has entered so far this year. As of now, Edgar “Sparg0” Valdez and Mashita “acola” Hayato are so far ahead of MkLeo that it’s all but a foregone conclusion that he won’t catch up before the summer rankings come out.

Still, there’s hope for the year-end rankings if MkLeo can shore up his unprecedented inconsistency and start winning majors again. Unfortunately for the GOAT, it doesn’t seem too likely that Crown the Third will be the bracket that starts his comeback.

His projected winners semis opponent is Tweek, who has won their last four sets and holds a 6-2 record overall record against MkLeo post quarantine. Then, if MkLeo loses to Tweek at Crown, he is seeded to face Shuto “Shuton” Moriya in losers quarters. Considering MkLeo has never taken a single game across his three sets against Shuton, it’s a bit hard to imagine MkLeo placing any higher than fifth at this tournament unless someone else upsets his toughest opponents.

Dylan Tate is an alumnus of 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.