Community Effort Orlando (CEO) is one of the largest fighting game conventions and tournament series in the world, and it’s coming up this weekend. Out of the 19 separate tournaments happening, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has the largest number of entrants. A third of the over three thousand folks vying for top spots in the steadily growing major are Smash players, and it’s hard to know who exactly to root for. That’s what I’m here for. This isn’t going to be an exhaustive list of the de facto best, but it is going to be a great way to keep an eye out for some exciting matches, and isn’t that really what a tournament is all about?
Easily the best Melee player in the world right now, Hungrybox occasionally dips his toes into the Ultimate waters. He may not always place particularly high in Ultimate, but he’s a force to be reckoned with no matter which Smash he’s signed up to play. Hungrybox is also going to be commentating top 8 with Smash for Wii U’s best in the world, ZeRo.
Wizzrobe recently took the crown (or towel in this case) from Hungrybox in Super Smash Bros. Melee, proving the game still has a lot of life left in it, and placing top eight in Ultimate at Smash n Splash 5 in a series of heart pounding high profile upsets. All eyes are going to be on our sweet baby boy this weekend.
Silent but deadly, MKLeo has a choke hold on the top three. He never seems to let his emotions get the better of him, and he’s recently been stealing hearts by maining Joker shortly after the drop of the character in tournament, and continuing to absolutely dominate.
The man of many faces, Tweek is widely regarded by many to be the best Smash Ultimate player in the world right now. He’s always in his opponent’s head, and his roster of character proficiency is mind boggling, making him incredibly difficult to topple.
Chaos incarnate, Nairo tends to play rather aggressively with Palutena, and always seems like he’s able to dig deep during what looks like a losing scenario. Nairo is also never afraid to do something wild like pulling out Ganondorf when he’s down two games in loser’s semi-finals.
Dabuz donated part of his huge winnings from Thunder Smash, a winner take all tournament, by running wifi tournaments for less privileged played, and flying the winners out to tournaments. He earned that cash by literally writing the book on all of his rivals. Dabuz is an incredibly methodical player, and he takes notes on all of this opponents that he studies before any tournament. Watching Dabuz and any attempt to surmount him is always thrilling.
Methodical and always riveting, Cosmos is an incredibly adaptable player, and he makes it easy to see when he shifts his playstyle. He’ll change the color of his Inkling depending on how cautiously he feels he needs to play, and that makes watching him easy and, dare I say, educational.
The Racer X of Smash Ultimate, he doesn’t always make it out to many high profile events. But when he does, he absolutely tears through the competitions. Mr. R coming out to CEO is sure to make some waves throughout the bracket, and he’ll make for an exciting watch this weekend.
My personal favorite to watch right now. Samsora is dedicated Peach main, incredibly aggressive, and an absolute master of her incredibly technical combo game. Samsora is the king of Twitter trash talk, and his friendly rivalry with ESAM is so much fun.
ESAM is the best person on this list to follow online, his YouTube channel is very active, and full of useful Smash knowledge, making him the perfect entry point for somebody catching their first Smash tournament. But the thing that makes ESAM a must-watch is his unique Pikachu playstyle. Off of the stage, ESAM is an absolute terror, taking stocks in some of the most unorthodox ways imaginable, but if his playstyle alone isn’t enough to keep you captivated, ESAM’s on stage persona is just as explosive as his Pikachu play.
Dale Jakes is an intern at Paste.