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Beyond the Summit announced the first eight invitees to Smash Summit 8 on April 29. The announcement video, posted to Beyond the Summit’s Twitter and YouTube accounts for Super Smash Bros. content, confirmed that the following players were invited to Smash Summit 8: Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma, Justin “Plup” McGrath, Joseph “Mang0” Marquez, William “Leffen” Hjelte, Zain “Zain” Naghmi, Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson, Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto, and Johnny “S2J” Kim.
— Beyond the Smash (@BTSsmash) April 29, 2019
Smash Summit is a Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament series where 16 players compete in an invitational bracket in the Summit Gaming House in Los Angeles, California. Players also appear in skits and participate in side brackets. Smash Summit 8 will take place June 13 – 16.
Players can earn a spot in Summit 8 at one of three tournaments: Smash’N’Splash 5; Get on My Level 2019; and The Kid, The Goat, and The Mang0. Summit automatically invites the highest-placing player at each event who does not already have a spot. Fans will vote players into the final five slots.
After facing criticism for its expensive voting system, Beyond the Summit has revamped the voting process. Fans spend money (usually by purchasing merch) in order to obtain votes. Fans can then use these votes to try to get their favorite players into Smash Summit.
Under the revamped system, fans will receive half of their votes back at the end of each round if they voted for a player who was eliminated. Voters will be spending less money overall as a result. In addition, the final two players to be eliminated will have the chance to take a portion of the money spent on them, or to fly out to Summit and participate in commentary, skits, and high-level practice.
Who’s here and who isn’t?
Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman reportedly declined an invitation to attend this event. So far, Mew2King has only entered one Melee tournament this year, GENESIS 6 in February. He placed 33rd after suffering upset losses to Álvaro “Trif” García Moral and Connor “Bananas” Lamb.
This marks Mew2King’s first absence from any Smash Summit event, including Smash Ultimate Summit in March. Mang0 and Plup have appeared at every Super Smash Bros. Summit thus far, and Axe has appeared at every Melee Summit. Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni has also appeared at all previous Melee Summits. For this trend to continue, fans must vote SFAT into Summit or he must earn a spot.
Summit notably did not invite Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett. Wizzrobe has mostly entered Ultimate events this year and has not competed in Melee since Smash Summit 7 in November. Leffen similarly has not competed in a full Melee tournament this year. (He dropped out of GENESIS 6 Melee Singles.) Nevertheless, Summit invited Leffen, likely on account of his status as a top 5 player.
Summit invited S2J for the first time, although fans previously voted him into five Summits. His invitation comes on the heels of his strong performances in late 2018 and early 2019, as well as the inactivity of Wizzrobe and Adam “Armada” Lindgren and Mew2King’s declined invitation.
Some have wondered if Kevin “PPMD” Nanney could appear at Smash Summit 8, given his recent return to streaming. Ken “HotBid” Chen, one of the event organizers, stated that PPMD has a standing invite to every Smash Summit. Therefore, PPMD could theoretically make an appearance, but only if he is willing and able.
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.