This weekend is the second weekend following the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, so it’s not surprising that players and tournament organizers are congregating to give the world its first taste of high-level Smash Ultimate action. But there isn’t just one significant Smash Ultimate tournament this weekend: Sky Williams’ controversial announcement that he will be hosting a Twitch-sponsored Smash Ultimate Invitational means that viewers will be able to split their attention between the invitational and Don’t Park On The Grass 2018. Here’s what you need to know about both events:
Don’t Park On The Grass 2018
The second iteration in the Don’t Park series, this tournament is picking up where its December 2016 forebear left off—but this time, the tournament has slid in as the last event during the eligibility period for the year-end Melee Panda Global Rankings. This means that a slew of top 100 Melee players—28 of them, to be exact—will be traveling to Seattle this weekend in order to get in one last good run before the rankings are determined. Though no “gods” of Melee will be competing in the event, its bracket contains a number of high-level contenders in the second tier of players, including Zain “Zain” Naghmi, Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni, and Johnny “S2J” Kim, the top three seeds of the event. Any one of them could take it all.
But Melee isn’t the main event at Don’t Park 2018. That distinction goes to Smash Ultimate, whose bracket boasts almost 600 entrants. The event, which is the first real major-level Smash Ultimate tournament following the game’s release, will bring together top Melee pros, such as Zain, SFAT, and Swedish Delight, and top Smash 4 competitors, including Eric “ESAM” Lew and Jestise “MVD” Negron. Some Melee players, including Hugo “HugS” Gonzalez, will be focusing exclusively on Smash Ultimate for the event, though he told ESPN that he doesn’t plan to make the Switch title his primary Smash game any time soon.
Despite its faster pace and Melee-esque air dodges, Smash Ultimate is still far closer to Smash 4 than it is to Melee, so it’s likely that the Smash 4 professionals in attendance at Don’t Park will have a leg up on their Melee-playing rivals. But some Melee players, such as Rishi “Rishi” Malhotra, also have a history in Smash 4, and will be worth keeping an eye on as the weekend goes on.
The Twitch Invitational
The night of December 12, streamer and content creator Sky Williams announced that he would be hosting a Twitch-sponsored invitational tournament featuring a number of top-level Smash 4 players competing in Smash Ultimate. Though the full list of attendees hasn’t been announced, it’s not a stretch to imagine Sky bringing in big names like Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios or Larry “Larry Lurr” Holland for the event. After all, these players—and many more top competitors—attended Sky’s launch event for Smash 4, and the YouTube personality is known to be close with many top Smash players—rumors have it that his Yoshi isn’t half bad either.
Most importantly, this invitational event will feature a whopping $15,000 prize pool courtesy of Twitch, immediately making it one of the most high-earning events of the year for prospective champions. Though Sky’s announcement stirred controversy because of the fact that Twitch booked the event despite the fact that Don’t Park was the same weekend, it’s hard to blame top players for attending such a potentially lucrative tournament.
Watch Sky’s full announcement video here: