Last weekend, Charlie “AbsentPage” McKinley traveled to the tri-state area in order to compete in back-to-back regional tournaments featuring top talent such as Jack “Crush” Hoyt, Ryan “La Luna” Coker-Welch, brothers Rishi “Rishi” Malhotra and Arjun “lloD” Malhotra, and many more. To almost everyone's surprise, he was able to take sets off of every one of them.
The Minnesota resident—ranked No. 1 in his region and No. 74 in the world—is a relatively quiet 21-year-old who turned heads in the past with wins over Kalindi “KJH” Jabari Henderson and lloD. However, few expected him to perform as well as he did in Long Island and New Jersey where he placed 4th and 2nd respectively at the subregions’ regional events. At Long Island’s GEMINI, AbsentPage went on a loser’s run that included conquests such as Jacob “JFlex” Pinto, Rosario “Darktooth” Fuschetto, and La Luna; at New Jersey’s The Scarlet Classic IV, he defeated James “Swedish Delight” Liu and Rishi before resetting the bracket against the SSBMRank No. 15-ranked Crush. Although Crush managed to stymie AbsentPage’s momentum and win the tournament in the second set of Grand Finals, AbsentPage’s patient neutral and solid punish game inspired Crush to tweet out his admiration for his fellow Fox main:
After this weekend, AbsentPage boasts eleven SSBMRank Top 100 victories in 2018, with his lowest-ranked loss coming to 50th-ranked Sam “Laudandus” Rohrer. While time will tell if his recent increase in skill will last, it’s clear that AbsentPage is currently playing at a level far above his ranking.