The highly anticipated Super Smash Brothers 4 Singles ladder kicked off Saturday on Day 2 of CEO Dreamland at the Wyndham Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida with 376 players whittling down to just eight finalists heading into Day 3. As moderate players were knocked out of the tournament bracket and the competitive skill level began evening out across the top-48 and onward, sets became more intensified and less predictable.
Tensions rose high in the opening round of the winner's bracket as Eric "ESAM" Lew and his legacy green-headbanded Pikachu faced Larry "Larry Lurr" Holland's Fox, an admirable matchup, early in the tournament. In a series of close games, it appeared as if Larry Lurr would make an exceptional comeback from a 0-2 deficit to force a Game 5; however, ESAM would abruptly halt Larry Lurr's winner's bracket run with an unimaginable Pikachu combo. ESAM would continue his reign against James "VoiD" Makekau-Tyson, a skillful Shiek player, who would take the seasoned Pikachu player to Game 5. Relying on a nifty jab-lock combo, ESAM would clutch up, winning the set in dramatic fashion.
Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios, widely known as the best Smash 4 player in the competitive scene, was tested early in the winner's quarterfinals by Wesley "6WX" Alexander. 6WX was noticeably in good form on Saturday, qualifying for the upper bracket with ease by phasing out Zach "ZD" Darby's Fox. ZeRo interrupted 6WX's momentum by taking the first two games in the series; however, as 6WX began to find his footing against ZeRo's Diddy Kong, matches quietly went in the favor of 6WX, eventually forcing the series to another Game 5. Although 6WX was unable to pull off the upset many spectators were hoping for, he managed to show that gods do in fact bleed in his set with ZeRo.
ZeRo and ESAM will play each other in their first set on Sunday, promising to be a matchup of high caliber. On the other end of the winner's bracket, Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada will face Ramin "Mr R" Delshad. Mr R's Cloud toppled Samuel "Dabuz" Buzby's Rosalina & Luma in Round 1 of the winner's bracket with a patiently placed cross-slash. Nairo on the other hand, would find himself in a Zero Suit Samus ditto against Tyler "Marss" Martins, who showed in pools that his ZSS was a force to be reckoned with. The more experienced Nairo would beat Marrs in a convincing 3-0 sweep, advancing to the quarterfinals in the process. Marss, along with Dabuz and VoiD are all still alive in the lower bracket and may have a shot at getting revenge at the player that knocked them out earlier in the tournament, starting Sunday at 4:30 PM ET.