Smash World Tour Central America qualifiers delivered huge surprises
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The Smash World Tour qualifiers continued this past weekend, with eight more players claiming spots in the Regional Finals. This latest round of matches delivered some real surprises, from upset wins to dramatic drop offs and everything in between.

Capitancito uses Mii Gunner to win qualifier

Kevin “Capitancito” Rossell once played as an offline Wolf main. But since the beginning of the pandemic, he has relied more on an unconventional but effective online pick, Mii Gunner. The surprise character choice served him greatly at this Smash World Tour online qualifier, as he was able to claim first place.

After earning predictable victories against Yoshio “MyKoN!s” Nunez Palma and “Morsalsa,” Capitancito faced Carlos “Sonix” Pérez, the No. 1 player from his home country, the Dominican Republic. Thanks to several clutch plays, in addition to Sonix’s general inability to kill him, Capitancito was able to win with a 3-2 upset and advance to winners finals.

There, he faced Markus “ShinyMark” Florido, an established wi-fi warrior from Guatemala. No. 3 seed ShinyMark was slightly favored to beat No. 4 seed Capitancito. Instead, Capitancito dominated him. Using a mix of patient zoning with Mii Gunner’s projectiles and occasional bursts of offense, Capitancito defeated ShinyMark 3-0 in both winners finals and grand finals to win the SWT Central America South Ultimate Online Qualifier.

ShinyMark dominates up until top six

Though he fell short of the gold, ShinyMark had a dominant run during the first portion of the SWT Central America South Ultimate Online Qualifier. At this tournament, ShinyMark relied entirely on Pikachu, often considered to be the best character in the game.

ShinyMark made use of Pikachu’s strong combo game and edgeguarding ability, to sweep through pools and top cut. Impressively, he did not drop a single game until winners finals. In the process, he beat Marco “Kira” G., Yariel “Tuitt” Collado and Diego “Echofire” Zelaya.

Though he was unable to surmount Capitancito, ShinyMark still had a strong showing in losers finals. There, he eliminated No. 1 seed Sonix 3-2, ending the set with a convincing two-stock in game five.

Echofire is the prodigy of the day

It seems like young up-and-comers have dominated the storylines of the first few Smash World Tour qualifiers. 15-year-old Edgar “Sparg0” Valdez won in Mexico, while 13-year-old “Kinaji” won in Oceania. Although he didn’t win, 15-year-old Ness main Echofire was the spotlight prodigy of the SWT Central America South Ultimate Online Qualifier.

No. 10 seed Echofire began his run in top cut, with a modest 3-1 upset over No. 7 seed Esteban “Mtkat” Vargas. However, his real shining moment came in winners quarters against No. 2 seed, Jason “Yei” Valverde Mora. 

Yei, who is known for using a wide range of characters, switched from Corrin to Incineroar to Meta Knight throughout the set. But Echofire was unfazed, taking a game from each character to win the set 3-2. Yei later lost 3-0 to Tuitt, but won the Last Chance Qualifier.

Echofire had no answers for the other high seeds at the tournament, suffering 3-0 losses to both ShinyMark and Sonix. However, he did secure another 3-1 win over Mtkat, this time using both Ness and Dark Pit. Ultimately, his run ended in fourth place at this Smash World Tour Online Qualifier. Echofire was the only player to qualify for the Regional Finals who was not projected to do so.

Looking ahead to the Regional Finals

The following players have qualified for the in-person Central America Ultimate Regional Finals in August, where they will join the eight players who already qualified from Mexico:

  • Capitancito
  • ShinyMark
  • Sonix
  • Echofire
  • Mtkat
  • Tuitt
  • Yei
  • Roberto “Wolfen” Flores

The next Smash World Tour event is the South America Ultimate Online Qualifier. That tournament will take place next weekend, from April 3 through April 4.

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.