Last weekend’s Community Effort Orlando was the last large Super Smash Bros. major before late July’s Evolution Championship Series 2018, and thus its results carried much weight regarding seeding and expectations going into that premier-level event. In both Melee and Smash 4, the presumptive champion ended up victorious—but winners Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma and Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez faced some serious competition to get to the top of the podium.
In grand finals of the event’s Melee bracket, Hungrybox found himself on the receiving end of a bracket reset by Justin “Plup” McGrath, who made the unorthodox switch to Sheik in order to defeat his number one-ranked rival. Though Plup was unable to take his Sheik all the way, his second-place finish proved that he’s still a force to be reckoned with with multiple members of Melee’s cast of characters. Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman also took advantage of unusual character picks, defeating fourth-place finisher Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett with Marth, rather than Sheik (his usual pick in the Captain Falcon matchup), and nearly taking a game off of Hungrybox in the Jigglypuff ditto in the two gods’ winner’s semifinals set. While Wizzrobe finished underneath the event’s elite-level entrants, he was the victor of the tournament’s most entertaining set, a down-to-the-wire five-game slobberknocker against Zain “Zain” Naghmi in which the Floridian Falcon clutched out last-stock high-percent victories in both games four and five.
MkLeo’s victory over Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey secured the young Mexican a likely number-one spot on the next—and most likely final—edition of the Panda Global Rankings. However, Tweek put up a respectable fight, defeating MkLeo in the first set of grand finals and dispatching high-level competitors such as Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby and Brian “Cosmos” Kalu on his way there. The event was a landmark run for the Corrin main, who sword-swung his way into winner’s finals thanks to wins over Dabuz and Yuta “Abadango” Kawamura. The event was a disappointment for top-level player Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada, who found himself out at a disappointing 17th after a loser’s bracket loss to Matt “Elegant” Fitzpatrick.
Aside from its brackets featuring the two major competitive Smash titles, CEO also gave its attendees an advance look at Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, partnering with Nintendo to have an Ultimate setup in the venue. Members of both competitive scenes flocked to the booth to take a look at the new and exciting installation in the Smash series.