Sota “Zackray” Okada won Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Singles at The Big House 9 in Detroit, Michigan. This event marked Zackray’s first S-tier tournament victory for Smash Ultimate. It was also his first ever tournament win outside of Japan.
Zackray initially advanced through the bracket with flawless victories over the likes of Mattheos “Monty” Lee and Jesus “MastaMario” Fragoza. His hot streak continued in top 64, where he used R.O.B. to 3-0 Brian “Cosmos” Kalu. He also used R.O.B. to win a five-game set over Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey.
Zackray switched things up in Winners Quarters, where he used Mr. Game & Watch to 3-0 Randy “RFang” Fang. However, he quickly fell into the losers bracket upon entering The Big House 9 Ultimate top 8. In Winners Semis, he played as Corrin and Joker and was swept by Enrique “Maister” Hernández Solís. However, Zackray was undeterred and began an impressive losers run.
His losers run started with another game-five victory over Tweek. Then in Losers Semis, Zackray busted out Wolf for the first time, using the character to defeat Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada. Zackray utilized yet another character, Sonic, in order to win his rematch against Maister in Losers Finals. Finally, Zackray faced off against Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby in Grand Finals. Zackray’s performance was rather dominant, as he won both sets while only dropping one game to Dabuz.
Using an impressive variety of characters, Zackray won The Big House 9 Ultimate Singles and earned a spot in Smash Ultimate Summit 2. Runner-up Dabuz also earned a spot at the event. As a result, only one more qualifier spot remains for the invitational. Someone will acquire this final slot at 2GG: Nightmare on Smashville on Oct. 20.
Maister had an unexpected run to 3rd place in The Big House 9 Ultimate Singles. In top 64, Maister earned close victories in five-game sets against Noah “Ismon” Gray and Shuto “Shuton” Moriya. Conversely, his Winners Quarters set was very convincing, as he scored a 3-0 win over Ezra Samsora Morris. Maister then secured his spot in Winners Finals with a 3-0 victory over Zackray. This event was another strong S-tier performance for Maister, following up his 5th place finish at Super Smash Con 2019.
Though some called him a meme pick for Smash Ultimate Summit 2, RFang proved that the opposite was true. RFang placed 7th at The Big House 9, his first supermajor top 8 in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Along the way, he defeated Anthony “Geist” Smith, Eric “Pandarian” Lund, and Alberto “Trela” Miliziano. RFang also scored upsets over Paris “Light” Ramirez and Chris “WaDi” Boston.
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.