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After months of exclusively online competition, the Smash World Tour has had its first offline tournament of the year. The SWT Central America Ultimate Regional Finals saw Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez claim first place and qualify for the Global Finals, along with five other competitors.
Here’s a breakdown of MkLeo’s win and other major takeaways from the event.
MkLeo returns as king of Mexico at the SWT Central America Ultimate Regional Finals
During the online era, Edgar “Sparg0” Valdez usurped MkLeo as not only the best player in Mexico but also the best player in the world. While he’ll have to wait a while longer to reclaim his status as the world’s best Smash Ultimate player, MkLeo has, at least, returned to his position as the best offline player in Mexico.
MkLeo won the SWT Central America Ultimate Regional Finals; his first in-person tournament since he was sponsored by T1 in February of 2020. Notably, he did so almost entirely without his main, Joker.
MkLeo had a somewhat shaky performance during his round robin pool. He dropped games against Carlos “Sonix” Pérez and Mario “WaKa” Cervantes. In addition, Snake main Alan “AlanDiss” Carrillo pushed MkLeo to Game 5, forcing him to switch off of Byleth and onto Joker for the last two games. Nevertheless, he won his pool and advanced to the final bracket on winners side.
In the last stages of the bracket, MkLeo’s Joker didn’t have to make an appearance. Using Byleth, he defeated Omar “0mart” Rubén Cruz Mateo 3-0 and Sparg0 3-2. MkLeo then used his Pyra and Mythra duo to conquer Sonix 3-1 in winners finals.
In grand finals, MkLeo faced Enrique “Maister” Hernández Solís, whom he had never lost to offline. This event proved no different. In a repeat from their last in-person set at Frostbite 2020, MkLeo sweeped Maister 3-0, this time relying entirely on Byleth. He finished off the set with flair, breaking Maister’s shield with a down smash and landing a charged forward smash to get the kill.
I won SWT central american, i got the chance to play vs a lot of good players, 565 days without offline for me…winning this reminded me of how good i am, besides that…really happy to see my friends again! Summit next week! Excited for the future. 1st tourney as @T1 #T1WIN pic.twitter.com/vH00FHNzqz
— T1 | MkLeo (@Mkleosb) August 23, 2021
Runner-up Maister bounces back from an early loss
At the offset of the SWT Central America Ultimate Regional Finals, Maister looked like he had what it took to win the entire tournament. He won his pool without dropping a game, beating 0mart, Markus “ShinyMark” Florido and Andrik “Andrik” Gonzàlez in the process.
However, his final bracket run began with a 3-1 upset loss against Sonix, in a set that included an accidental pause from Sonix in Game 4. In the losers bracket, Maister eliminated Abraham “BigBoss” Slane Parra 3-0 and ShinyMark 3-1, securing his spot in the top six and guaranteeing he could compete at the Global Finals.
It seemed that Maister’s run might end in fifth place, as he dropped the first two games in his set against Sparg0’s Pyra and Mythra and found himself at a substantial percent deficit in Game 3. However, he mounted a comeback by forcing Sparg0 far offstage with a dash attack off of a ledgetrap situation. The win in Game 3 gave Maister the momentum he needed to pull off the reverse 3-0 and advance into losers semis.
From there, Maister beat Rodrigo “Cloudy” Arias 3-1, even scoring a three-stock in Game 3. He also won his runback against Sonix 3-1, ending the set with an aggressive down-air edgeguard offstage. While an offline win over MkLeo still eludes him, Maister’s performance at this event showed that he’s still a threat to just about everyone else.
My run at SWT ends in 2nd place after losing in my winners qualifier match.
Super happy with how I played and knew I still had it all along, Just a biiiit sloppy at the beginning
Time to rest now cause gotta drive early morning tomorrow. Lets go!!(Image below describes me rn) pic.twitter.com/uiYH1jfAL0
— SSG Maister (@Maister_SSB) August 23, 2021
Cloudy pilots Pyra and Mythra to an unexpected fourth place finish
Cloudy was seeded last in his pool going into the SWT Central America Ultimate Regional Finals. However, with Pyra and Mythra in his arsenal, he far exceeded expectations; placing fourth overall and qualifying for the Smash World Tour Finals later this year.
Cloudy earned a pair of 3-1 wins over Santiago “Chag” Perez and Jason “Yei” Valverde Mora during the round-robin pools phase. While he dropped a five-game set to Kevin “Capitancito” Rossell, his earlier wins enabled him to qualify for winners side of the final bracket.
In winners quarters, Cloudy faced Diego “Nair^” Sanchez, the Ridley main who had upset Sparg0 in pools. Cloudy came out on top 3-2, even earning a three-stock in Game 3. After losing to Sonix 3-1, he rematched Yei in losers quarters. Their set featured numerous character swaps. Cloudy tried out Pyra and Mythra, Roy and Joker against Yei’s Palutena, Meta Knight and Chrom. Ultimately, Cloudy beat Yei 3-2 before Maister ended his Cinderella run in fourth place.
— SBx Cloudy (@Cloudyos_) August 23, 2021
The following players will join Bruno “Br1 AV” Assemany at the Smash World Tour Finals later this year:
The next event on the Smash World Tour schedule is the Central America Melee Regional Finals. This tournament will take place from Aug. 28-29.
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.