Riptide, the first open in-person Smash Bros. major of 2021, was one of the most highly anticipated tournaments of the year thus far. The tournament was a fresh start for the entirety of Smash Bros. Ultimate's player base, and IlluZion was determined to seize the opportunity to make our marks in the tournament scene. Four of our players from our stacked Smash Bros. Ultimate team made the trip out to Ohio to compete: team captain, BONK! Ismon, yonni, and Sondio.
IlluZion's Meta Knight Ace coasted through his first three opponents in his R1 pool only dropping one game. He would lose in the winners finals of the pool to Southern Wario main, Skitz (2-0), who, himself, had just come off a stunning upset over Plup. BONK! may have lost, but he was guaranteed a spot in R2, only it was in the losers side.
His first set of R2 didn't go his way because he lost to the best Cloud main in North Carolina, Dietsoda (0-2).
His run at Riptide may have ended unceremoniously with an abysmal 129th place, but this by no means paints a picture of BONK!'s true skill level. With Glitch 8.5-Konami Code around the corner, look out for BONK! to make up for his Riptide run and get rid of some doubters along the way.
After having one of the best tournament runs of his Smash Bros. Ultimate career on September 3rd where he took a set off of Fatality, Sonido was looking to cement himself as not only one of the best Southern players, but one of the best NA players overall at Riptide.
Sonido's R1 started off great with him defeating his first three opponents handedly before losing in winners finals to New York Lucario main, Vivi (2-0).
His losers run ended in R2 when he lost to North Dakotan Mii Swordfighter main, Erik (2-1) in the first round.
By his own admission, Sonido's Riptide performance was "horrendous"; and that he promises to prove he will do better next time. Even if Sonido may have done badly at this tournament, with offline majors coming back, he will have plenty of chances to show why he is one of the world's best Ultimate Sonic mains.
A more positive note to end on; Sonido got 5th place in doubles with Fatality. They defeated teams such as Emma/Doorstop and naitosharp/MKLeo.
Everyone's favorite Wario main, Ismon, made it to the winners finals of his R1 pool easily, having defeated his first three opponents while only dropping one game. He lost to Missouri Snake player ApolloKage (2-0) and would have to continue his Riptide run in the losers bracket.
His journey in R2 would prove to be better as he went on a four set win streak taking out Toland (2-0), Vexil (2-0), A Coward (2-0) and varun (3-2) before ultimately losing to one of the best Sephiroth mains in the Midwest, Ned (3-1), placing a solid 33rd at on of the biggest tournaments post Covid-19; He massively outplaced his seed where he was seeded 66th.
Texas's best up incoming Steve main managed to make it past R1 of pools only dropping one game.
Yonni was instantly thrown to the wolves in R2 pools when he had to play one of the best Olimar players in the world, Myran, who has taken sets off of the likes of Tweek, MVD, and Fatality. An opponent of this caliber right out of the gate is a tough challenge, one that yonni was fully prepared for as he shockingly defeated Myran (2-0) and sent him to the losers bracket. Next in R2, yonni fought Chicago Ness main, ATATA. The set started out dicey for yonni with him going down (0-2) to ATATA in their best of 5 set. But like the true craftsman that he is, yonni literally dug deep and rebounded with an unbelievable reverse (3-0) defeating ATATA (3-2).
(the minecart trumps all)
Having come off a crazy reversal, yonni found himself crossing controllers with the 9th best player in the world on the PGRU, Dabuz. Defeating a player like Myran in your first match of R2 is extraordinary, but taking on one of the best players in the world is enough to make even the most steel-nerved competitor crumble. Well, yonni proved to be more than extraordinary as he soundly defeated Dabuz (3-1)! With this victory, yonni not only snagged the biggest win of his career, but he also qualified for a spot in top 24 winners side.
In top 24, yonni had to play the best Game&Watch on planet Earth, Maister. If yonni could defy the odds again for the third time in a row, he would earn a place in top eight and a shot at a nice payday. Yonni fought his hardest, but in the end he wasn't able to overcome the blue Game&Watch, losing (3-0).
After losing in the winners semis of his side of top 24, yonni was sent to the losers bracket where he would have one more shot at making top eight. He would have to face Goblin who is by far one of the best Roy players in the world. Just like in his set vs ATATA, yonni started the set out rough, as he lost the first two games. But, Yonni wasn't about to let the chance of making top eight slip away easily, however, and he clawed his way back with the determination of a champion. The set proved to be one of the most electrifying sets of the tournament with both players not giving an inch during game five of their set. It all came down to a nerve-wracking last hit, last stock, back-and-forth fight with both men giving it their all. Alas, it was Goblin who came out victorious with a well placed fair, sending yonni out of the blast zone and out of the tournament (2-3).
(a ball-buster of an ending)
IlluZion made the trip out to Sandusky, Ohio with the intent on leaving our mark on the Smash Bros. Ultimate scene. And for the the most part, we did just that with all of our players making it past phase one of pools or farther. This is but a small taste of IlluZion's conquest to seize the top of the mountain in Smash Bros. Ultimate. As the world begins to recover from the pandemic, look forward to seeing our top players making deep bracket runs at a major near you.
By Hank Strandberg
Follow our Riptide players at:
Follow the writer at: