MkLeo joins T1 for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Upcomer
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Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez joined T1 on Feb. 26 as the organization’s next Super Smash Bros. Ultimate player. He now makes up half of the team’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, alongside Jason “ANTi” Bates.

T1 first teased that MkLeo would join its ranks in a tweet on Feb. 25. The tweet, depicting a Joker playing card emoji, references MkLeo’s main character in Smash Ultimate, Joker from Persona 5. Sejun Park, a Pokémon VGC player for T1, also hinted towards a Joker main joining the organization. He replied with “You’ll never see it COMING,” which are lyrics from Persona 5’s main battle theme.

MkLeo formally parted ways with Echo Fox on Feb. 21 (though the company became defunct as early as November 2019). In the meantime, he remained a member of Most Valuable Gaming, which is partially owned by Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman. However, given MkLeo’s status as Smash Ultimate’s No. 1 player, it is hardly surprising that another organization quickly signed him.

MkLeo is the fifth top 20 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate player to join a new esports organization this month. Another three top 20 Melee players have signed with new teams during the month of February as well.

More about T1 | MkLeo

It’s hard to overstate the dominance of T1’s MkLeo in the current Super Smash Bros. Ultimate metagame. He has been the highest-ranked player two seasons in a row, with no signs of dropping off any time soon. He hasn’t placed below 2nd in over eight months. And in that time period, he has won more tournaments than not.

To be fair, MkLeo is nowhere near as dominant as Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios was at the beginning of Smash 4. ZeRo went nearly a whole year without losing a tournament, winning more than 50 tournaments in the process. While MkLeo boasts no such streak, he is still far more consistent than anyone else in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

MkLeo first rose to prominence in 2016 after winning Smash Factor 4 over Ramin “Mr. R” Delshad. Mr. R was considered a top 5 Smash 4 player in the world, while MkLeo was little more than a hidden boss from Mexico. At only 15 years old, MkLeo had established himself as one of Smash 4’s rising prodigies.

MkLeo finished Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ranked No. 3 on the PGR 100. In addition, he was No. 1 on the PGRv5, becoming the only person besides ZeRo to finish as No. 1. As we continue through Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s third season, T1’s MkLeo stands as the incumbent champion of the game.

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.