On March 2, top German Super Smash Bros. Melee player Mustafa “Ice” Akcakaya revealed that he is now sponsored by Red Bull eSports, joining Kelsy “SuperGirl Kels” Medeiros as one of the organization’s dedicated Smash players. Through a partnership with eSports organization Tempo Storm, Red Bull also indirectly sponsors Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson and Johnny “S2J” Kim.
This sponsorship comes at a serendipitous time for the German. In October, Ice’s previous sponsor, Luminosity Gaming, dropped the Fox main on its roster while making its way out of the fighting game community (two months later, the organization dropped its other Smash player, Yuta “Abadango” Kawamura). With travel costs from Germany to the United States, where most major tournaments are hosted, this lack of a sponsorship combined with a minor injury has prevented Ice from attending any events in America since August’s Shine 2017. Monetary support from Red Bull will allow Ice to resume his travels and take a shot at regaining his top-fifteen ranking.
Ice has been a well-known Melee player for many years, with a smorgasbord of career accomplishments that includes a Top 8 finish at Evolution Championship Series 2013 and a 3rd-place finish at The Big House 6, along with a career-high SSBMRank of 13 in both 2013 and 2016. The German is also an accomplished doubles player, often pairing with William "Leffen" Hjelte—a former Red Bull athlete himself—to defeat many of the world’s premier doubles teams.