Mainstage 2022 preview: Ultimate and Melee players vie for 12 Smash Summit spots - Upcomer
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Mainstage 2022 preview: Ultimate and Melee players vie for 12 Smash Summit spots

See who the favorites to qualify are in each game

Beyond the Summit’s open-bracket major series Mainstage is returning to Ontario, California, this weekend, with huge implications for its invitational series. There will be 12 Smash Summit spots up for grabs between the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Melee Singles brackets.

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The top six Ultimate players at this event will qualify for Smash Ultimate Summit 6 in March. Likewise, the top six Melee players will qualify for Smash Summit 15 in June. Here’s an overview of which players have the best shot at qualifying for Summit at Mainstage 2022.

Ultimate players to watch at Mainstage 2022

Mainstage 2022 will be Edgar “Sparg0” Valdez’s first open-bracket major since Low Tide City in early May. Still, he has earned the No. 3 seed on account of his strong performances at recent invitationals. As a result, Sparg0 is projected to qualify for Summit, along with Paris “Light” Ramirez, Takuma “Tea” Hirooka, Shuto “Shuton” Moriya, Michael “Riddles” Kim, and Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey.

Of course, the seventh seed Pedro “Kurama” Alonso could easily fight his way into his first-ever Smash Summit appearance. At his past few majors, Kurama has not dropped sets to anyone ranked lower than top 50 in North America. Meanwhile, he has upset multiple top 10 level players, including Tea, Sparg0 and Shuton.

On paper, eighth seed Salvatore “Zomba” DeSena has a good shot at qualifying as well; all he has to do is upset Light, whom he has beaten in two of their last three sets. However, between the Panda Cup Finale and Ultimate Summit 5, Zomba has fallen just short of qualifying at four separate qualifiers since August. As a result, Zomba may have a curse to break if he wants to secure a top six finish at Mainstage.

Melee players to watch

As the only one of Melee’s current top eight players registered to attend, Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma is the favorite to win Mainstage 2022 by a large margin. As a result, he should comfortably qualify for Smash Summit 15, which he would have likely been invited to regardless.

On the flip side, the dearth of top-level talent will provide many top 20 level players with better odds of qualifying than ever before. Along with Hungrybox, Hugh “SluG” Hegarty, Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson, Dawud “Aklo” Rahman, Miles “Soonsay” Foster, and John “KoDoRiN” Ko are projected to get into Summit.

Meanwhile, SoCal natives Shephard “Fiction” Lima and Johnny “S2J” Kim, who round out the top eight seeds, both have a strong chance of securing one upset and sneaking into the top six. To do so, S2J would have to beat Hungrybox and Fiction would have to beat SluG. Both of them have already beaten these projected winners quarters opponents this year. They could very well do so again at Mainstage.

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Dylan Tate
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.