Le’Veon Bell competed in a pretty different kind of sport than usual, bringing his Mega Man to the same tournament as Ultimate royalty, with top players like Tweek and ESAM present.
Over the weekend, Hungrybox, the world number 1 Super Smash Bros. Melee player, made an unlikely partnership with NFL running back Le’Veon Bell, hosting an online Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament. The Box boasted over 8000 competitors, including the NFL star and the Melee legend.
Clearly, it’s tough to train with the New York Jets under lockdown, so Bell has been honing his skills at a very different kind of sport, trading tailback for back air and bringing his Mega Man to the big stage. Bell actually featured in a video by noted Smash content creator Alpharad recently, showcasing his Elite Smash Mega Man and telling the world he was in training for some serious Smash action. This wasn't a one-off too, and Bell showed he meant business by hosting and competing in one of the biggest online tournaments to date.
Bell’s Mega Man, as it turns out, is pretty damn clean. He made some tasty plays during the 9 matches played, and ended up winning 7 games over the course of a couple of days. Finishing in 257th place is a respectable performance in a tourney of 8158 competitors, so we’re looking forward to more NFL players taking up Smash in the future.
Of course, Hungrybox joined in with his trademark Jigglypuff, a far cry from his Melee performances but finishing in a solid 49th place.
The $10,000 prize was hotly contested between some of the best players in the world, including ESAM’s Pikachu and Dabuz’ Olimar and Rosalina, but in the end, BestNess prevailed. He overcame TSM’s Tweek in grand finals with, you guessed it, Ness, prompting Tweek to start practicing Palutena to improve that matchup.
This is just the latest of a series of tournaments hosted by the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate community to keep things going whilst in-person events are impossible. The Quarantine Series, hosted by Cr1tikal and Alpharad, has been a successful example of esports communities continuing competition as much as possible. Swedish Smash Melee legend Armada is even bringing an edition of the Quarantine Series to Europe, so EU players can try their luck as long as they have a wired internet connection.
There’s been a lot of controversy over Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and its competitive viability online, with some players claiming the unpredictable nature of online connectivity ruins the experience and makes it impossible to play to the best of one’s ability. However, under current restrictions, these online tournaments are keeping the community’s blood pumping, whilst also giving opportunities to players who wouldn’t normally be able to make it to full online tournaments. Who knows, maybe today’s WiFi warriors are tomorrow’s superstars!