This weekend, over 400 competitors will travel to the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida for the next iteration of popular—and somewhat confusingly named—fighting game tournament Community Effort Orlando. While over a dozen fighting games will be contested at CEO 2018, the cherries on top of the tournament’s metaphorical sundae are two stacked Super Smash Bros. brackets featuring many of the world’s best in both Melee and Smash 4.
The top three Melee seeds at CEO 2018 are all elite-level players: Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma, Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman, and Justin “Plup” McGrath. Ostensibly, Hungrybox is the favorite to win the tournament, and three of these top four seeds hail from CEO’s home state of Florida.
Standing right beneath the top three is another Floridian: Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett. Though he is effectively the tournament’s fifth seed due to William "Leffen" Hjelte's last-minute decision to focus on Dragon Ball FighterZ at the event, Wizzrobe has shown that he’s more than capable of hanging with the big boys, having won his last meetings over both Mew2King and Hungrybox. Even Plup has lost to the young Captain Falcon before, albeit only in a 2014 best-of-three. With four gods in his way, Wizzrobe is a dark horse to win it all—a distinction that few players could claim in this day and age.
On the Smash 4 side, any one of the top seeds could take the event, with heavy hitters such as Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez, Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada, and Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey leading the pack. Tweek is fresh off of a major victory at last weekend’s 2GG: Hyrule Saga, while MkLeo will be on the lookout for redemption after a disappointing performance at the same event. Also coming off of a strong Hyrule Saga performance is Ramin “Mr.R” Delshad, the top European who fought his way to a second-place finish at the California major. Rounding out the top seeds is Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby, the perennially high-placing Rosalina main.
As the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate dawns, many eyes will be on top Smash 4 players—both those of potential teams/sponsors and those of fighting game community members interested in jumping into the new Smash title. While December approaches, the results of Smash 4 tournaments will grow more and more important as indicators of the state of the early metagame in Smash Ultimate. At CEO, a large fighting game community event, it’s particularly important for Smash 4 competitors to put their best feet forward—and CEO is anyone’s tournament to take.