California-based Thunder Studios produced Thunder Smash on 5/5/19 from their facilities in Long Beach, CA. Though not a PGR ranked event, (Panda Global Rankings, an eSports org with a team of analysts that ranks the top fifty Smash players,) this stacked top eight produced tons of hype, upsets, heartbreak, drama, pretty much everything that makes competitive Super Smash Bros an amazing spectator sport. Every competitor in the bracket was highly capable of taking the tournament. But there could only be one winner. And to add to the excitement, the winner of the tournament was going home with the largest prize in Smash Ultimate history, $20,000.
Loser’s Round One: TL Dabuz vs. Razo:
Dabuz picked up two wins making the most of the space that Final Destination can provide to Olimar. Razo counter-picked Pokemon Stadium Two and netted a win in the set but a return to FD proved the end for the Peach main in this tournament.
Loser’s Round One: Armada Prodigy vs. T1 Larry Lurr:
Prodigy had quite a few impressive showings with his flashy Mario play during the tournament but the Fox main shut down the dreams of a loser’s run for Prodigy with a clean 3-0 sweep. Despite being only fifteen, Prodigy shows the patience of a vet and sooner or later this young gun is going to show out.
Winner’s Semi-Finals: Salem vs. AG Wadi:
Wadi pulled out Wii Fit Trainer to try and deal with Salem’s Snake but went down 2-0. A switch back to R.O.B. proved to be a smart change, netting him a win. However, the explosives connoisseur had an answer for everything the robot could throw at him in game four, closing out the set 3-1, and sending Salem to winner’s finals.
Winner’s Semi-Finals: PG ESAM vs. WBG MVD:
Game one ESAM took an early stock lead but a cheeky uptilt and some fast damage put MVD right back in it. Tricky Nikita play fooled the Pikachu main putting him down 1-0 in the set. PG’s own took two in a row to give him a lead and forcing MVD to put up or fight his way through loser’s bracket. And put up he did, two-stocking ESAM in game four and tying things up. Game five was on Kalos which of course went to last stock and saw a final trade go in favor of World’s Best MVD and send ESAM to loser’s.
Loser’s Quarter-Finals: T1 Larry Lurr vs. AG Wadi:
Wadi took game one with a clean two-stock. Larry made a switch to his tried and true main Fox to try and outrun the robot. Larry almost brought it back game two but it became do or die once Wadi closed out the game with an off-stage Arm Rotor. The switch to Fox paid off for Lurr in game three with a two-stock of his own. Wadi secured his spot in Loser’s Semi-Finals with a back-air in game four.
Loser’s Quarter-Finals: PG Esam vs. TL Dabuz:
ESAM ran away with game one by not giving Dabuz time to breathe and set up his Pikmin lineup. Game two was much tighter, going down to a last stock situation, but a dash attack from Pikachu put ESAM up 2-0. Game three went the way of Tristate’s own, keeping Buzo alive in the tournament. A purple Pikmin sent Pikachu to the blast zone to force a decisive game five. And decisive it was. Dabuz snuck in a final-stock forward smash to knock ESAM out of the tournament.
Winner’s Finals: WBG MVD vs. Salem:
Not only was a trip to Grand Finals on the line in the set but also bragging rights as the best Snake player in the world. MVD seemed to have the upper hand after winning game one. An unlucky trade put Salem down 2-0 in Winner’s Finals. Ever the sniper, a pin-point accurate C4 kept the former Bayonetta main in the set 2-1. Salem took the next game as well to keep his winner’s run alive. After going down to a final stock situation a superkick sent MVD to Grand Finals on the winner’s side.
Loser’s Semi-Finals: TL Dabuz vs. AG Wadi:
Dabuz switched it up to Palutena for a better match-up to start the set. However, Wadi managed to sneak out game one. In the next game, the R.O.B. main put on the sniper glasses to close it out with a long-range Top to the blast zone. Dabuz decided to go back to Olimar in game three which paid off, two-stocking Wadi. Buz clutched out game four to keep himself alive in the tournament. Game five swung cleanly to Dabuz completing a reverse 3-0 and sending him to fight Salem in Loser’s Finals.
Loser’s Finals: TL Dabuz vs. Salem:
Game one was a chess match that saw Dabuz bring it back from a two stock deficit. After losing game two Salem needed to make a move. That move came in the form of a switch to Lucina for game three. Unfortunately for him, Buzo had his number and secured the 3-0 sweep and a trip to Grand Finals on the loser’s side.
Grand Finals: WBG MVD vs. TL Dabuz:
Dabuz came out swinging, continuing his momentum from Loser’s Finals to take game one. Game two was a nailbiter, but MVD’s prowess with the Nikita won it for him. Buz fought back hard and won two in a row to reset the bracket. After dropping a set for the first time in the entire tournament, MVD started to look like he ran out of gas, getting three stocked in game one of the tournament set. He showed signs of life in game two but let a stock lead slip through his fingers and went down 2-0. At this point, it was clear Dabuz was in MVD’s head. Game five was a decisive win for Buzo, earning him a $20,000 payday.