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Super Smash Bros. Melee fans voted Te Tuhi “Spud” Kelly into Smash Summit 8 on May 24. Spud is the first of five players who fans will vote into this event. He beat the day one runner-up, Álvaro “Trif” García Moral, by over 12,000 votes.
Spud campaigned for Summit primarily by livestreaming on his Twitch channel. He also released a combo video to promote himself, entitled #GetSpudToSummit. Spud showed his dedication by waking up to stream at 2:30 AM Australian Western Standard Time for the first vote-in of Smash Summit 8 voting.
Smash Summit 8 is a Melee invitational taking place in Los Angeles, California from June 13 – 16. Summit initially invited eight players, while also setting aside five slots for players to be voted in. Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett earned a spot in Summit at Get On My Level 2019. Another player will have the chance to earn a Summit spot at Smash’N’Splash 5, which takes place from May 31 – June 2.
CONGRATULATIONS to the first invitee of the #SmashSummit 8 Voting Phase, @DS_Spud!
See you soon, Spud 👀
To everyone else still in, good luck and keep the votes going! pic.twitter.com/qyoZvXtHpJ
— Beyond the Smash (@BTSsmash) May 24, 2019
Santiago “Fable” Pinto and Jonathan “Bimbo” Rocha were eliminated from the Smash Summit 8 voting process on the same day Spud was voted in. On May 26, one more player will make it into Summit. Voters will eliminate two more players on that date as well.
Meet the player
Spud is a Marth main from New Zealand who now lives in Perth, Australia. He rose to prominence at Battle Arena Melbourne 7 in 2015, where he upset Alex “Alex19” Ruvalcaba to make Top 8. Spud made his North American debut at The Big House 6 in October 2016, where he placed 97th. Later that year, he defeated Michael “MikeHaze” Pulido and Daiki “Rudolph” Ideoka to place 17th at Don’t Park on the Grass.
Spud’s true breakout came in December 2018. He won Bridgetown Hyper Blitz by defeating Edgard “n0ne” Sheleby, Kurtis “moky” Pratt, and Aaron “Professor Pro” Thomas. One week later, Spud placed 5th at Don’t Park on the Grass 2018. Along the way, he took sets over Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni, Aziz “Hax” Al-Yami, and Kyle “Kalamazhu” Zhu.
Spud’s strong performances near the end of 2018 allowed him to be ranked 47th on the MPGR 2018. He has also seen a solid start to 2019, with wins over SFAT and Professor Pro already this year. Though his focus is on Melee, Spud is notably ranked 2nd on Western Australia’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate power rankings.
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.