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Super Smash Bros Ultimate at CEO 2022: No Steve in sight

Sebastian Quintanilla
6 min

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Super Smash Bros Ultimate at CEO 2022: No Steve in sight
A tight battle that surprised the world over of Smash, as Majors seems to find some character diversification

With well over 600 entries, the first officially licensed Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tournament at CEO had a lot of weight on its shoulders. Top players from North America flocked to the Daytona beaches in Florida to find the best player among them.

With people's eyes distracted on the powerhouse that is Steve, many were not ready for the diversity we would go on to see at the top of the competition. Suffice to say that for now, the conversation surrounding Steve has simmered as supposed to boil over. Whether it will remain like that for upcoming events is hard to say.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate at CEO 2022 | Top 32

Before heading straight to the top 8. is worth highlighting the start of some of the storylines we will see come to fruition in the last leg of the event, starting with...

Sonix vs the World

Coming into the top 32, the DR representative at CEO, Sonix, was having an excellent run through the upper bracket. But Young Link main Toast put an end to it in what was a really close matchup, going 3-2 in a reverse sweep in favor of the Toast.

Relegated to the lower bracket, Sonix pulled through an outstanding, monumental performance that rivals that of many other top Ultimate performances in recent years. going 3-0 against Fatality's Captain Falco, and then securing another 3-0 victory against ZD.

Team Liquid

With Hbox now a solid co-owner of the team and it looks to solidify its presence in Smash with LaSt, and Riddles joining this year, the team had a great performance coming out of the top 32, with Dabuz passing through with only 1 match loss, while Riddle faced slightly tougher opponents while playing his more traditional pick of Terry. More impressively, Riddles was able to punch Steve main Jake out of the upper bracket and in the path of Panda's WaDi who dealt the killing blow on the last hope for Steve getting into the top 8 at CEO.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate at CEO 2022 | Top 8

Opening Winner-side Matches

Coming into the top 8 proper then it was Toast facing off a start talent in Tweek. A 3-2 series that pushed both players to their limits, even if Tweek seemed to have rebounded after the first two sets. Ultimately, Toast would take the lead in the final set and push on towards his next opponent. On the other side the bracket, it was a Liquid showdown with Dabbuz and Riddles facing one another. Even as teammates they did not let up the gas and drew up a 3-2 series in favor of Riddles that nearly went to last stock in every set.

The Last of the Lower Bracket

On the lower side then, the two final Panda representatives were up against character specialists. Marss was first against MVD, who quickly dropped the first set with his iconic snake and switched over to Diddy Kong to try to wave through Marss' luna. It was for naught as he went 3-0. WaDi on the other hand faced Bandit's Sonix from the Dominican Republic who put on a master class in patience and strategy striking out WaDi's Mewtwo and R.O.B 3-0 while only dropping a total of 3 stocks in the series.

Into the Loser quarter-finals then, with Dabuz pulling out Olimar to strike out Marss in a tense 3-1 series that could have gone either way. Tweek on the other hand, was run down by Sonix with a 3-1 scoreline, even after switching out from Sephiroth to try to control the situation. At this time, Sonix was gaining a hell of momentum, and spectators were watching closely, though not necessarily out of enjoyment.

Thus it was Dabuz versus Sonix, and once again the Sonic specialist, who had been almost undefeated all day did it one more time and in a long series, who many sets coming down to the last 90 seconds, won over Dabuz. Even as a 3-0, it is worth highlighting the tight margins at play here. Both players often found themselves in the last few minutes of the match, last stock, and with very high percentages, but only Sonix was able to see through the pressure and advance.

Winners & Loser Finals

Toast and Riddles shook hands once then a few moments later did so again. Riddle's Terry was on a tear at this point. Winning 3-0 on a 2-0, 3-0, 2-0 scoreline. A dominating win over an opponent who had proven to be excellent so far in the bracket, but this was the end of the road for him. His next opponent was an energized Sonix who at this point was at the summit of his international major performances, a man who came into CEO 2022 on a hot 51-set win streak with 3 consecutive victories in the coinbox. To say Toast was toast is to put it lightly. 

Grand Finals

Then it was back up for Riddles versus Sonix. By now a big crowd had gathered with a clear favorite being against Sonix's slow and methodical approach to the matchup and Riddle's group of supporters energized by Liquid's Hbox who was in attendance.

After a trade of stock for games one and two, Riddles decided to switch over to Kazuya, who looked rock-solid in that third set with a 2-0 stock win over Sonic. It seemed like this was the turning point in favor of Riddles. But. Just a stock later and Sonix would pull back and get the bracket reset.

It would be another 3-2 series. Though initially, it seemed like Riddles, once again after a stellar game 3, was going to take the win at the very end with a brilliant 3-stock victory over Sonix in small Battlefield. Things turned around pretty quickly, and down to the last stock in Battlefield, Sonix dealt the finishing blow and took a well-deserved major victory at the prestigious CEO.

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