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Jacob “ThankSwalot” Waller won the Pokkén Tournament DX event at Smash’N’Splash 5 on June 1. Despite some close calls, he won Smash’N’Splash Pokkén without dropping any sets.
ThankSwalot qualified for Top 8 on winners side by defeating Shadowcat. He advanced to Grand Finals fairly seamlessly, beating Kofi “Double” Boateng and Dawson “TEC” Trepanier.
ThankSwalot had to rematch Shadowcat in Grand Finals. Shadowcat put up a hard-fought effort, pushing the final round to game five. Nevertheless, ThankSwalot came out on top in order to take home the gold at Smash’N’Splash Pokkén.
ThankSwalot also entered Singles for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at Smash’N’Splash 5. He went 4-2 in Smash Ultimate Swiss pools, falling just shy of advancing out of pools.
Smash 'n' Splash 2019 | #PokkenTournamentDX – Top 8
6/1/19 • 65 entrants
— Brendan "Burnside" Hansen (@BurnsideBH) June 2, 2019
Reigning world champion
ThankSwalot notably won Pokkén Tournament at the 2018 Pokémon World Championships. He accomplished this by overcoming Kota “Tarutaro” Aragaki in Grand Finals. At that event, ThankSwalot also won sets against players like Liam “Twixxie” Nelson and Niklas “Wingtide” Laerbusch.
ThankSwalot redeemed himself at Smash’N’Splash Pokkén after falling short of the gold at his previous tournament. He placed 2nd at Combo Breaker 2019, getting double eliminated by Chaz “Mewtater” Wright. Even so, he earned respectable wins over the likes of Simon “Adelvos” Bellemare-Savage at Combo Breaker.
Runner-up run at Smash’N’Splash Pokkén
Shadowcat was not projected to make it to Grand Finals of Smash’N’Splash Pokkén. In fact, Shadowcat had to upset Tyrone “Son_Dula” Pinckney just to play No. 1 seed ThankSwalot in Winners Quarters. Despite this, Shadowcat overcame the odds to make a huge run through losers bracket.
Shadowcat qualified for Top 4 with wins over Andrew “Zyflair” Harn, Ryan “Eclipse” Ticheli, and Patrick “Euclase” Neumann. From there, Shadowcat cruised into Grands with a 3-0 win over Double and a 3-1 win over TEC. Despite failing to reset the bracket against ThankSwalot, Shadowcat put on a respectable show, taking the set to game five.
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.