Team Liquid announced last night the signing of a new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate player to its roster: Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby, top Olimar player and veteran Smash competitor. The New York player has been a top-ten contender since the Brawl days, and his Team Liquid sponsorship is his second with a top-tier esports organization after a stint with Renegades in 2016-2017.
In some ways, Dabuz’s recent signing is a tale of redemption for the player, who was once infamous for his awkward popoffs and intense note-taking habits. In the past year, Dabuz has distinguished himself by engaging in well-received commentary at majors and charismatic media interviews, raising his profile and drawing the attention of organizations like Team Liquid.
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Liquid’s recent release of Saleem “Salem” Young is further evidence that the organization takes its players’ personal brands into consideration. After a dramatic victory over Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios at Evolution Championship Series 2017, Salem’s results have slipped a bit, and he’s failed to make top 8 at any Smash Ultimate major thus far.
Furthermore, the former Bayonetta main has attracted the ire of thousands of Smash players for claiming that Melee is not part of the Smash scene and tweeting negative statements towards other players. On Reddit, a Team Liquid representative claimed that Salem’s tweets had “little” to do with his release, but it’s clear that his antagonistic online presence did no favors to his image.
As Dabuz and Salem could show you: In Smash, personality matters.