It was a glorious tournament debut for Smash’s newest iteration on December 16th. Smash Ultimate left a lasting impression in multiple ways during Don’t Park on the Grass, capturing the adoration of viewers, competitors, and commentators alike. On VGBootCamp, viewership for Smash Ultimate reached a peak of over 30,000 viewers while Melee (Smash’s most popular game historically) was only able to muster about half of that. Smash and FGC commentator TKBreezy even tweeted about how much fun the game was to commentate. To top it off, 1st place champion MVD raved about how much he has been having fun playing the game and playing his old Brawl main, Snake. MVD’s Snake was a legendary figure during the Brawl days as his Grand Finals set with ESAM took everyone back. A fellow Panda Global player, Pikachu main since Brawl, and MVD’s best friend, ESAM put on a ridiculous show for the crowd with rousing zero-to-death combos and flair. ESAM taunted mid-set with Donkey Kong main, Konga, and finished it with a set clinching up smash attack.
As exciting as ESAM’s play was, it was the two sets between MVD and ESAM that really captivated. Snake has been placed as low tier by top players of both Melee and Smash 4, yet nothing about MVD’s play suggested that Snake is low-tier. MVD was able to wall out ESAM’s uber aggressive Pikachu with a combo of grenades and up smash attacks while using the Nikita, Snake’s controllable side-b missile, to chase ESAM in the air and edge guard him. ESAM was only able to muster two wins out of the eight games that were played as MVD’s pressure was too much for the stubby Pikachu.
In addition to the Panda Global struggle, a few players made some names for themselves. Big D, a Smash 4 Dedede main, was able to come back down 0-2 on multiple occasions. Using a combo of Dedede, Falcon, and Mario, Big D established himself as a clutch master. Jtails, a Diddy Kong main from Smash 4, was a savant of the Toon Link setups and showed how the three Links will be an intimidating combination. Other notables included KossisMoss’s K. Rool, Captain L’s Pichu, and n0ne’s Melee-esque Captain Falcon. The future is bright for Smash Ultimate as it looks to eclipse the popularity and of Smash 4 in every facet.