Last weekend, the final Super Smash Bros. supermajor of the year went down in Detroit’s Cobo Center. Within the sprawling convention center, thousands of Smash players and spectators congregated to watch the action unfold—and they were rewarded with quiet the exciting event indeed.
In the Melee Singles bracket, second seed Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma won the event after dropping a single game to his fellow Floridian Justin “Plup” McGrath in grand finals. In doing so, he positioned himself as the leader in the race for the year-end No. 1 ranking, winning a supermajor after failed attempts to do so at Genesis 5 and Evolution Championship Series 2018.
Plup’s path to grand finals was not the run that many would have expected. In the first round of Top 64 bracket, he found himself on the losing end of a set against top Texan Ice Climbers player Connor “Bananas” Lamb, who went on to qualify for Top 8 winner’s side thanks to wins over Hugo “HugS” Gonzalez and Ice Climbers destroyer Shephard “Fiction” Lima. Bananas eventually placed fifth after losing to Hungrybox and Zain “Zain” Naghmi, but he successfully earned himself a spot in November’s Smash Summit 7, alongside Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson, who defeated his fellow seventh-place finisher Charlie “AbsentPage” McKinley 3-0 in a tiebreaker.
Bananas was tied in fifth by The Big House 8 top seed William “Leffen” Hjelte, who lost to Joseph “Mang0” Marquez in an exciting winner’s semi-finals set before falling to Plup in a rage-inducing loser’s quarter-finals match that culminated in a missed ledgedash and angry controller throw by the Swede. Though Mang0 was unable to follow through with his victory over Leffen, losing a blowout winner’s finals to Hungrybox, his third-place finish was nothing to scoff at.
As for Zain, the Panda Global Marth main scrapped his way to a fourth-place finish, dropping to loser’s bracket early after losing to Jason “Gahtzu” Diehl in round one of Top 64 winner’s bracket and running through an epic loser’s run that involved victories over Rishi “Rishi” Malhotra, Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni, AbsentPage, and Bananas before losing to Plup for a fourth-place finish.
On the Smash 4 side, Brian “Cosmos” Kalu defeated his fellow Panda Global member Eric “ESAM” Lew in grand finals, topping off a bracket run that also featured wins over such talent as Orion “Darkshad” Wolf and Tamim “Mistake” Omary. ESAM’s run was similarly impressive; the veteran Pikachu main defeated Saleem “Salem” Akiel Young and Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey—twice—on his way to grand finals.
However, the underdog story of the event was that of Yatiyaña “Yeti” Schaper, who ran through loser’s bracket to upset James “VoiD” Makekau-Tyson, Salem, and Darkshad, all with Young Link and Mega Man. As many consider The Big House 8 to be a swan song of sorts of the competitive Smash 4 scene, Yeti’s run is sure to be long-remembered, and many eyes will be on the Minnesotan as the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate metagame develops.