The Smash World Tour resumed this weekend with one of the least-known regions on an international scale, Oceania. Here are some of the big takeaways from the SWT Oceania Ultimate Online Qualifier.
Japanese prodigy conquers Oceania
The winner of the SWT Oceania Ultimate Online Qualifier was not an Oceania native, but a Japanese player residing in Australia, “Kinaji.” He is a newcomer to the competitive scene, as he began entering tournaments in late 2019. At only 13-years-old, Kinaji has become one of the youngest players to win a major Smash tournament.
Kinaji made use of Snake to reach top eight on winners side. By controlling large portions of the stage with Snake’s grenades and C4s, he managed to restrict his opponents’ movement and rack up large amounts of damage whenever they interacted with one of his projectiles. Kinaji beat Xavier “Xav” Clarke 3-0 and Sebastian “SebPro101” Poli 3-1 before losing to “RaZe” in winners semis.
In the losers bracket, Kinaji used both Snake and the recently-released Pyra and Mythra to defeat Tomas “Luma” Parish, “Fryd Ryce” and “Ichigo.” But in grand finals, Kinaji stuck with Snake in order to win his rematch against RaZe. After Kinaji reset the bracket, RaZe’s internet went out, resulting in a DQ and an anticlimactic victory for Kinaji.
The rarely-used Dark Pit excels at the SWT Oceania Ultimate Online Qualifier
Dark Pit is a rarely-seen character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. No Pit or Dark Pit player has ever appeared on the PGRU, and only a small handful have made it onto notable regional rankings. Despite this, Dark Pit players RaZe and Ichigo met and faced off in winners finals of the SWT Oceania Ultimate Online Qualifier.
RaZe actually used Link in top 32 to beat “Radio” 3-0 and to upset Nick “Extra” Mckenzie 3-1. However, he switched to Dark Pit beginning in top eight. In winners semis, he secured a 3-1 win over Kinaji, occasionally making use of Dark Pit’s arrows to snipe Kinaji’s recoveries and keep him off stage. In addition, RaZe won the Dark Pit ditto 3-1 over Ichigo before losing to Kinaji in Grand Finals.
Unlike RaZe, Ichigo relied solely on Dark Pit for the entire bracket. He upset No. 4 seed Joshua “Ghost” Francis 2-0 in pools in order to qualify for top 32. From there, Ichigo went on a dominant run, dropping only one game en route to winners finals. He defeated Jordan “Poppt1” Ridley 3-1 and Tim “Danklin” Franklin 3-0. Ichigo also earned a 3-0 win against Fryd Ryce, who notably upset No. 1 seed Jonathan “Jdizzle” Douglas earlier in the bracket.
Ben Gold fails to qualify at SWT Oceania Ultimate Online Qualifier
Though he is not Australia’s highest-ranked player, Ben Gold is perhaps the country’s best-known player on a global scale. He gained notoriety in May 2019 when he won Battle Arena Melbourne 11 with the low-tier King K. Rool. In addition, he beat Takuto “Kameme” Ono, then a top 20 player in the world, during a California local tournament in December 2019.
However, Ben Gold was not one of the 16 players who qualified for the Regional Finals at the SWT Oceania Ultimate Online Qualifier. He relied on Wolf throughout the entire tournament, rather than his signature King K. Rool. During the regular bracket, Ben Gold lost to Anthony “Khami” M. and Ghost, who went on to place second in the Last Chance Qualifier.
Ben Gold got another chance to try out his Wolf during the Last Chance Qualifier of the SWT Oceania Ultimate Online Qualifier. However, he was sent to the losers bracket by Srikar “Sriks” Jha, who went on to win the Last Chance Qualifier. Ben Gold dropped out of the bracket after his loss to Sriks, marking the end of his tournament run.
The following players have qualified for the in-person Oceania Ultimate Regional Finals, which will take place from June 25-27:
- Fryd Ryce
- Liam Aluf
- Josip “Maplemage” Pavic
- Jonathon “Googlemaps” Gameau
The next Smash World Tour event is the Central America South Ultimate Online Qualifier. It will happen next weekend, from March 26-28.