Eric “ESAM” Lew won Smash Ultimate Singles at Glitch 7 – Minus World in Laurel, Maryland on Sept 15. This was ESAM’s most significant tournament victory in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In fact, it was perhaps his best tournament win in any Super Smash Bros. title.
Though he won the tournament without losing a set, ESAM almost lost in pools. He barely avoided defeat at the hands of “burntsocks”, a local Yoshi main. ESAM had to face another Yoshi main, Jon Suarez, in top 96. However, ESAM was able to overcome Suarez in that set with a 2-0 victory.
ESAM proceeded through the Glitch 7 bracket with a dominant 3-0 over David “LeoN” Leon. Then, in Winners Quarters, ESAM faced off against Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada. ESAM was able to win that game-five set, advancing into top 8 on winners side. In Winners Semis, he defeated Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey’s newest character, Banjo & Kazooie.
Winners Finals and Grand Finals saw an unlikely match-up between ESAM and Paris “Light” Ramirez. In both sets, ESAM came out on top, thus winning Glitch 7 Ultimate Singles. Humorously, this Pikachu main won his first major on the same weekend that Ash Ketchum won his first Pokémon League. Considering Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson also won Smash Summit 8 this year, it seems 2019 is truly the year of Pikachu.
Like ESAM, Light was not predicted to make it all the way to Grand Finals at Glitch 7. He advanced out of pools by defeating Chukwuemeka “Mekos” Anazia. Then, Light convincingly won his runback against Zamir “Juice” Johnson, who beat him at Shine 2019. Light advanced into top 16 with a 3-0 win over Luis “Lui$” Oceguera.
Light continued through top 8 with an impressive string of 3-1 victories. He was able to defeat both Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby and Ezra “Samsora” Morris. After losing to ESAM, Light scored another 3-1 victory over Dabuz in Losers Finals.
The remainder of the top 8 went fairly predictably. In fact, all of the top 8 seeds at Glitch 7 reached top 8 in the bracket. However, there were a few players who had unexpectedly good runs into top 16. James “VoiD” Makekau-Tyson placed 9th using primarily Sheik, with a bit of Pichu as well. VoiD beat Yatiyaña “yeti” Schaper and LeoN.
After losing to Ralph “Ralphie” Laurea in pools, Zack “ZD” Darby made a huge losers run to 9th place. He advanced into top 32 with wins over Jhordan “Xerom” Severance, Kirk “Blank” Rowe, and Alex “Lucky” Rust. From there, ZD defeated Mekos, Lui$, and Brian “Cosmos” Kalu.
Alan “Gen” Soriano had a strong run to 9th place at Glitch 7. He won sets over Aidan “Odyssey” Alvarez, Yves “Young Eevey” du Long, Eric “Mr E” Weber, and Saleem “Salem” Young. Jude “Jakal” Harris similarly had a good run to 9th at his second major in a row. Jakal took sets off of Lucky, Noah “Ismon” Gray, and Justin “Wishes” Magnetti.
The PGStats team faced backlash after announcing that Glitch 7 had been demoted from an S-tier to an A-tier. This announcement did not come until after the tournament had concluded. Because Guillermo “StroKaze” Martinez Jr. dropped out, the event no longer had enough PGR-ranked players to qualify as an S-tier.
The PGStats Twitter noted that, despite the change in rank, the change in value was not substantial. This is because each tournament has its own specific value that is used to determine its significance for rankings. However, people noted that this ruling was inconsistent with that of MomoCon 2019.
We don't go back and count the number of general entrants that dq because it's a lot of work with no guarantee of accuracy (because players can be recorded as going 0-2 if it's not entered into smashgg correctly)
With top player score, each individual is worth a lot & verifiable
— Andrew Nestico 🐼🌎📊 (@PracticalTAS) September 16, 2019
MomoCon 2019 had enough registrants to qualify as an S-tier. However, the event featured online registration for free. As a result, many people registered and then did not actually show up to the tournament. Although its actual number of entrants was less than that of an S-tier, MomoCon was never demoted to A-tier. Andrew “PracticalTAS” Nestico said it would be difficult and potentially inaccurate to count individual DQs in a case like MomoCon.
Dylan Tate is a student in 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, including Smash Bros., Splatoon, ARMS, and Pokémon. Dylan also writes Nintendo news articles for Nintendo Enthusiast.