Smash Ultimate Summit 3 - Four takeaways from the event
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A little over a month ago, Beyond the Summit set the record for the largest prize pool in competitive Super Smash Bros. history, featuring over $155,000 at Smash Summit 11. But, the organization quickly broke its own record with nearly $160,000 at Smash Ultimate Summit 3 over this past weekend.

Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the largest tournament, by prize pool standards, in Smash history.

Tweek continues his offline win streak at Smash Ultimate Summit 3

Going into Smash Ultimate Summit 3, Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey had not lost a tournament since returning to offline play in June. He bested multiple top-level players at events like Momentous and The Comeback. Despite his recent momentum, Tweek got off to a shaky start at Summit.

Tweek dropped both of his sets on the first day of competition, losing 0-3 to fellow Diddy Kong main Aaron “Aaron” Wilhite, and 3-1 to Edgar “Sparg0” Valdez. However, he began to bounce back on day two. Tweek won his final pools match over Kengo “KEN” Suzuki 3-0. Then, due to a three-way tie for second place in his pool, he played tiebreaker matches against KEN and Aaron, both of which he won. After beating Enrique “Maister” Hernández Solís 3-1 in the gauntlet phase, Tweek secured a spot on the winners side of the main bracket.

Waiting for him in winners quarters was Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez, Smash Ultimate’s No. 1 offline player and the favorite to win the event. Though he has been the victim of multiple reverse 3-0s at the hands of MkLeo in the past, Tweek was able to win 3-0 himself, this time around. Between his solid combo game and his ability to keep his opponents pinned at the ledge until he finds a kill, Tweek proved to be nearly unstoppable with Diddy Kong.

He proceeded to beat Tyler “Marss” Martins 3-0 in the winners semi-finals. Tweek also won his runback against Sparg0 in the winners finals 3-1, marking his only game loss of the final bracket. Although MkLeo has previously proven himself a beast to be feared, Tweek showed no fear in their grand finals rematch. He beat MkLeo 3-0 yet again to win Smash Ultimate Summit 3 in a surprisingly commanding fashion.

Sparg0 is more than merely a wi-fi warrior

Sparg0’s stock was rising even before the pandemic, as he found himself ranked second on the SoCal Smash Ultimate power rankings with wins on multiple top players. However, he earned a reputation as a wi-fi warrior because of his meteoric rise during Ultimate’s online era. But, Sparg0’s performance at Smash Ultimate Summit 3 showed that his improvements over quarantine have translated nicely into offline play.

Sparg0 went undefeated in his round robin pool, piloting mostly Pyra and Mythra instead of his former main, Cloud. He beat Tweek 3-1, KEN 3-2 and Aaron 3-0. As a result, Sparg0 skipped the gauntlet phase and advanced to the winners side of the top 16.

Sparg0’s Cloud made his sole appearance in winners quarters, where he narrowly secured a 3-2 victory over Michael “Riddles” Kim. But, Sparg0 quickly returned to Pyra and Mythra, a two-in-one character that many players consider to be one of the best in the game. With this duo, Sparg0 earned a 3-0 victory over Sota “Zackray” Okada’s Joker and Wario. Ultimately, Sparg0’s only losses came against Tweek and MkLeo, the current frontrunners for the title of best player in the world.

VoiD puts Sheik back on the map

In the transition from Smash 4 to Smash Ultimate, many of the previous game’s top tiers appeared to fall off in terms of their viability. Sheik was no exception. Despite her potential for extensive combos, her hits deal low percentages and she can struggle to find kills without complicated setups or hard reads. Few players had hope for her, especially as James “VoiD” Makekau-Tyson, one of the premier Smash 4 Sheiks, dropped her for Pichu.

But, Pichu incurred numerous nerfs, which precipitated a decline in VoiD’s results. As a result, VoiD has gone all in on his Sheik. At Smash Ultimate Summit 3, he only used Pichu for a single game in a failed attempt to beat Marss. While he lost that set 3-0, his Sheik did carry him to 3-2 victories against Maister and Riddles.

In the gauntlet phase, VoiD beat Aaron 3-1. This secured him a spot on the winners side of the top 16, where he lost 3-1 to Zackray. Even so, his run continued as he eliminated Charlie “Charliedaking” Antoun 3-2 and Aaron 3-0. He lost to Marss again to finish in fifth place. While Sheik is no easy character to win with, VoiD displayed just how much potential she has in the hands of a player with precise movement and a keen eye for finding kills.

Moist Esports excel in their debut event

Aaron and Kolawole “Kola” Aideyan entered their first events under the Moist Esports banner at Smash Ultimate Summit 3. They did so with their new sponsor, Charles “MoistCr1TiKaL” White Jr., watching along as the tournament’s official co-streamer. Neither player disappointed, as they both made solid runs to finish in seventh place.

Kola showed off his incredible consistency as a player, picking up a pair of top-10 wins while only losing to top-five players. He earned 3-0 wins over Rasheen “Dark Wizzy” Rose and Trevor “Atomsk” Hirschen in pools, while losing 3-1 to MkLeo’s Byleth. Kola secured a spot in the winners bracket after defeating Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby 3-1 in the gauntlet phase.

Kola had a nailbiter winners quarters set against Marss, which ended with Kola dipping too low offstage and unintentionally self-destructing. Nevertheless, his Roy carried him to a 3-2 win over Maister in the losers bracket. Ultimately, Kola’s run came to an end after another 3-1 loss against MkLeo, who leaned on his Pyra and Mythra the second time around.

Aaron started on the strongest foot possible by defeating Tweek 3-0. However, he lost to KEN 3-1 and Sparg0 3-0. In addition, Tweek beat Aaron in their tiebreaker rematch. As a result, Aaron finished last in his pool despite winning a set against the tournament’s eventual winner.

In the gauntlet stage, Aaron narrowly beat Atomsk 3-2 before losing to VoiD 3-1. Thus, he started on the losers side of the final bracket. However, Aaron showed off his own precision with Diddy Kong’s movement and ledgetrapping. He eliminated Brian “Cosmos” Kalu 3-1 and Riddles 3-2 before dropping another set to VoiD in the top-eight.

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.