The EGLX stage just hosted an exciting Rising Stars tournament for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The top players of the tournament duked it out for a place in not only the grand finale, but also part of the prize pool of $9,000. In singles today, Aaron “Blacktwins13” Grandison-Vargas faced off against Eric “ESAM” Lew in the winners semis. Blacktwins13 won this bracket and then moved on to battle and overcome Michael “Riddles” Kim in the winners final. Then it was a repeat showdown between ESAM and Blacktwins13 for the grand final.
ESAM didn’t give in as he fought his way up in the losers quarters against Mathieu “DoctorKayh” Houle. He made it to the losers semi final and won against Zander “iModerz” Cardona, which earned him a spot in the losers final against Riddles. After winning against Riddles, ESAM was up against the force of Blacktwins13 once again, who had been confident throughout today as a player who was consistently in the winners bracket.
The ESAM versus Blacktwins13 face-off in the grand finals was intense, as it was both a rematch and had both players selecting Pikachu and Pichu and their respective characters.
The grand finals was a best-of-five set. In the first set, it was thunder striking against thunder as Pikachu and Pichu conducted a series of throws, aerial attacks, blocks, and close calls against each other. As Pichu, Blacktwins13 played aggressively, trying to catch ESAM by surprise. However, it was to no avail, as ESAM won the set.
In the second set, Blacktwins13 continued to give nothing away in terms of facial expressions as he concentrated on making a turnaround. He and ESAM battled as Pichu and Pikachu respectively again at first, but in a twist, Blacktwins13 made the switch to Mario in the following round. Against Pikachu, Mario had the range advantage that Pichu didn’t have, but that did not stop Pichu from completing three taunts after sending Mario off the screen.
After a series of Dash attacks, ESAM cleared Mario off the stage, making it a 2-0 in the best of five.
Now down to the wire, Blacktwins13 had to win set three. He switched back to Pichu again and started off strong against ESAM, who looked unstoppable. ESAM was just as determined to keep up his own win streak as Blacktwins13 was determined to win the set. After dodging Thunder Jolt from Pikachu, Blacktwins13 and ESAM engaged in close combat, with Pikachu sending Pichu off the stage with a down smash.
With that finishing move, ESAM took EGLX’s Rising Stars Super Smash Bros. Ultimate cup.
EGLX’s Rising Stars tournaments had a total prize pool of $30,000. Along with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the other games played on stage include Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Melee. Each of these tournaments had a prize pool of $9,000 each, while there was a $1,000 prize pool attributed to the Friday Night Frenzy event, where players competed in doubles and duos.
“Our vision has always been to provide a home and community to dedicated lifestyle gamers,” Menashe Kestenbaum, the CEO of Enthusiast Gaming, said about the company’s very own esports tournament.
“Until now, we’ve done that separately through our online communities as well as our live events. We have now made our first major step towards bringing our online and offline communities together in an integrated, strategic relationship,” he added.
Kestenbaum also said that the EGLX Rising Stars event provided another platform for brands who are targeting the esports industry.
Disclosure: Daily Esports is owned by Enthusiast Gaming.
Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A recent University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favourite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!