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Super Smash Bros. Melee fans voted Zaid “Spark” Ali into Smash Summit 9 on Feb. 2. He has joined the eight direct invites, as well as the five players who earned qualifier spots. Two more players will get into Summit through vote-ins on Feb. 4.
Like many players, Spark campaigned for Summit with crazy incentives while livestreaming. Incentive ranged from him getting hit in the face with a pie, to him dressing up as Zelda at Smash Summit 9. In a 24-hour stream with “Ragtime Mouse,” Spark even offered custom controller cases (courtesy of @Placebo_Rx) to those who gave him 100 votes.
NEW INCENTIVE ADDED!
FROM HERE ON OUT 100 VOTES FOR SPARK (proof pls) GETS A CUSTOM CONTROLLER CASE BY THE AMAZING @Placebo_Rx! Come thru this 24 hr stream, get NICE GEAR & make a entirely deserved dream come true.
— Rags 🐭 (@RagtimeM) February 2, 2020
Emily “emilywaves” Sun offered some interesting statistics about the first round of voting for Smash Summit 9. Fans spent over $15,000 in the compendium in the last two hours of voting. Both Spark and Nico “Ryobeat” Rodriguez orchestrated “vote bombs” of over 30,000 votes. Interestingly, Cody “iBDW” Schwab received some votes, despite already qualifying for Summit at Saving Mr. Lombardi 2.
More about Spark, Smash Summit 9’s first vote-in
Spark first appeared on the global rankings in 2017, where he ranked No. 61 in the world. His stock has continued to rise since then, as he placed No. 53 in 2018 and No. 22 in 2019. In addition, he is currently No. 1 on the NorCal power rankings, outplacing DaJuan “Shroomed” McDaniel and Kevin “PewPewU” Toy.
Spark’s standout performances last year included 4th place finishes at both Smash Camp 2019 and Smash Camp: End of Summer. He also had respectable major placements, like 13th at Shine 2019 and 17th at Mainstage.
In 2019, Spark earned wins over the likes of Joseph “Mang0” Marquez, Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto, and Johnny “S2J” Kim. While Spark has had a slow start to 2020, Smash Summit 9 could allow him to earn more solid wins.
In other news in the world of Smash, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has announced Fighters Pass Vol. 2, which will bring six new, unannounced DLC characters to the Switch title.
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.