A competitive Super Smash Bros. player has had his streak of 50+ consecutive tournament wins brought to an end in the MLG Grand Finals that took place over the weekend.
While the debate rages on as to whether Super Smash Bros. is a party game or a competitive fighter, its healthy tournament scene seems to suggest that the game has the potential to be both. Over the weekend the Grand Finals of the 2015 MLG Smash Bros. tournament saw quite a shocking result.
For the past year, the game has been dominated at a competitive level by just one player. While Gonzolo Barrios — better known as ZeRo — has been a pro Smash Bros. contender for several years, he only started to begin to fulfill his potential with the release of the Wii U version of the game.
Since that time, he’s been nothing less than unstoppable. ZeRo won an impressive 55 Smash Bros. tournaments in the past year, dispatching players like the world-renowned Melee and Brawl player mew2king and Nintendo World Championships winner John Numbers. Even more amazing is the fact that he won those 55 competitions consecutively.
The notoriously competitive world of fighting game tournaments has rarely seen such an accomplishment. The consensus remains that Justin Wong is still the most dominant player thanks to his run playing Marvel vs. Capcom 2, but it’s difficult to compare the achievements of competitors playing different games at different times.
However, ZeRo’s streak came to an end this past weekend in the Grand Finals of the MLG Smash Bros. tournament for 2015. Playing as his standard character, Sheik, he was bested by veteran player Nairo who was playing as Zero Suit Samus.
Nintendo will no doubt be pleased to see a spotlight being shone on the competitive Smash Bros. scene. While the company has been criticized for some of its outdated thinking in relation to tournaments — not to mention the game’s director Masahiro Sakurai being an advocate for more casual play — its policies on the matter are beginning to change.
Nairo’s win has shaken up the landscape of competitive play, but it remains to seen whether the new characters set to be added as DLC will do the same. A viable new fighter could change things up considerably, although it would certainly be a risky strategy for Nintendo to restructure the roster too much.
Super Smash Bros. is available now for Wii U and 3DS.