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For many players, Smash Ultimate’s online era has finally come to its end. As the SWT NA Northeast Qualifier has passed, the Smash World Tour online qualifiers are complete.
The online era ended with a victory for one of the world’s best offline players, Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey. Here are the details of Tweek’s win and other major takeaways from the event.
Tweek bounces back from an early loss to win the SWT NA Northeast Ultimate Online Qualifier
As a top 10 player both online and offline, Tweek seemed like a surefire pick to qualify for the Regional Finals. But, when “Quidd” used PAC-Man to reverse 3-0 him in the first round of the top 32, Tweek’s bracket became much more difficult.
In the losers bracket, he quickly earned predictable victories over Jaiden “BlueJay” Miele and “Mj.” However, his next match was against Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby; another potential favorite to win. Dabuz had just lost to David “LeoN” Leon. Tweek’s Diddy Kong piloted him to a 3-1 victory against his Min Min and Rosalina.
In his qualifier match, Tweek had to face another PAC-MAN player, Ricardo “Sinji” Mathison. Tweek lost Game 1 with Wario, then relied on Wolf for the remainder of the set. After a slog of a set where there were two timeouts, and all but one game, lasted longer than six minutes, Tweek beat Sinji 3-2.
From there, Tweek had a smooth run to grand finals using only Diddy Kong. He defeated Chris “WaDi” Boston 3-1, John “Armadillo” V. 3-1 and LeoN 3-1. Finally, Tweek won the SWT NA Northeast Ultimate Online Qualifier by beating Andrew “Syrup” M. 3-1 in the first set of grand finals and 3-2 in the second set.
— Smash World Tour (@SmashWorldTour) May 24, 2021
Another prodigy breakout
All throughout the Smash World Tour, younger players have taken the opportunity to cement themselves among the game’s elite; from the established online threat Edgar “Sparg0” Valdez to lesser-known competitors like “Kinaji” and Diego “Echofire” Zelaya. Now, 13-year-old Ness main Syrup has joined their ranks after his second-place finish at the SWT NA Northeast Ultimate Online Qualifier.
Syrup initially benefited from other players’ upsets, which gave him a relatively easy bracket path into the top 16. He earned his first upset of the tournament over Nicholas “Ned” Dovel’s Sephiroth in winners quarters to secure his spot at the regional finals.
And yet, the little-known up-and-comer was not satisfied with merely qualifying. In winners semis, Syrup earned a commanding 3-0 over WaDi; defeating his Pit, his Mewtwo and his R.O.B. Then, in winners finals, his risky plays at the ledge paid off as he beat LeoN 3-1. Ultimately, Syrup’s breakout performance ended after two respectable losses to Tweek.
Second at the north east smash world tour… what could’ve been a tweek win wasn’t but like it’s all good really, i’m rlly grateful that i got so far in the first place :p ima be training offline at my locals 😎 hopefully my parents let me go every week
— Armada | Syrup (@Syrup_nair) May 24, 2021
Armadillo qualifies after a hard-fought losers run
Although he’s found success in online tournaments before, Armadillo’s chances of qualifying seemed slim after his early loss to Dominick “NickC” Cuccurullo. However, the Lucario main found early success in the losers bracket, eliminating Myles “Myles” McKenzie 2-1 and Elam “Pokelam” Rosario 3-1.
Next, Armadillo took the most exhausting path to success as possible, winning five straight sets that went to Game 5. This unexpected run included wins over Ryan “Ravenking” McDonough, Alec “Amante” D., Quidd, Ned and Michael “Riddles” Kim.
Throughout these sets, Armadillo took full advantage of Lucario’s aura mechanic, finding the right hits while he was at a high percent to deal devastating amounts of damage and knockback. In addition, he made use of the occasional Pyra and Mythra counterpick. Ultimately, Tweek defeated Armadillo 3-1, ending his five-game set streak and eliminating him in fourth place.
i cant fucking believe it…….
i didnt think id be making this tweet ever
this doesnt feel real
thank you all so much for the support
— Armadillo (@LucArmadillo) May 23, 2021
Top offline players Marss and Light fail to qualify at the SWT NA Northeast Qualifier
Smash Ultimate’s online metagame is quite different from its offline metagame. This means that the best offline players do not always excel online. Still, it can be jarring when top 10 offline players fail to advance to the deepest parts of online brackets. And that’s exactly what happened at the SWT NA Northeast Ultimate Online Qualifier, as Tyler “Marss” Martins and Paris “Light” Ramirez both failed to qualify for the in-person regional finals.
Marss came into the event at a disadvantage as he skipped the first day of competition to get the second dose of his COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, while everyone else had the benefit of a quadruple-elimination format, Marss’ only hope of advancing came during the double-elimination Last Chance Qualifier. Ultimately, he finished in 13th place after losing to Michael “Tilde” Tedesco and Ravenking.
Meanwhile, Light entered this tournament while being entirely unfamiliar with online competition. After competing in a single online tournament in March of 2020, Light did not enter another until early May of 2021. In addition, he had to deal with the fact that his main, Fox, is substantially worse online. As a result, Light lost to Tyrell “NAKAT” Coleman and Pokelam in the main bracket. He then lost to “RuskiNurd” and John “John Numbers” Goldberg in the Last Chance Qualifier.
Just posting this to flex on wifi players 😎 pic.twitter.com/qySM2fQ7Q8
— ⚡ Marss ⚡ (@Marss_NE) May 23, 2021
Finally out of the LCQ it's so bittersweet losing on wifi but also being out of bracket. Don't hit my line next online qualifier 😂😂
— Light (@Light_S21) May 23, 2021
The following players will join the competitors from last week’s online qualifier at the NA East Ultimate Regional Finals:
- Noah “naitosharp” McCulley
The Smash World Tour will resume with the in-person Oceania Regional Finals for both Ultimate and Melee on June 25.
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.