2GGaming’s Ultimate Nimbus event wasn’t just a premier tournament for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but it also held the final key to Smash Summit 8.
For top players like TSM’s Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey or Panda Global’s Eric “ESAM” Lew, this was their last chance to get into the coveted Summit now that the voting stage is done.
It was a competitive weekend, one that even saw some of Super Smash Bros. Melee’s best, like TSM William “Leffen” Hjelte and Cloud9 Joseph “Mango” Marquez, compete. Mango was eliminated in the losers bracket semifinals of his pool, while Leffen made it all the way to top 24, getting knocked out in ninth.
The real star of the tournament was Paris “Light” Ramirez, a player who started making noise toward the end of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U’s competitive scene—and he’s only built upon that success in recent months.
At Genesis 6, Light revealed that he was signed by Rogue after being released from Most Valuable Gaming in September 2018. He proceeded to place fifth at the event after dropping a 3-2 set to Echo Fox’s Leonardo “MKLeo” Lopez Perez.
After taking another fifth-place finish at Frostbite 2019, Light didn’t have an easy road at Nimbus, either.
Leading into the top eight, he had already faced several notable players in the bracket, like Smash Studios’ Conor “MrConCon” Ghobrial. That high level of competition only increased once he was matched up against Smash 4 stalwart, beastcoast Ramin “Mr. R” Delshad.
Things were tight early, but Mr. R held the advantage following a solid game three that put him up 2-1. In the following two sets, Light managed to negate the reach advantage of Mr. R’s Chrom, completely locking him down with Fox’s quick combos as he completed the comeback.
The winners bracket finals set up the ultimate battle of good vs. evil for the Smash community in recent months. Light, the self-proclaimed protagonist, had to face off against MVG Saleem “Salem” Akiel Young for the first spot in the grand finals.
Salem’s comments about Melee not being included in the Evo 2019 roster and his older tweets calling out Mang0 put him in the role of villain for recent tournaments. The weight of that role crashed down upon him as he was playing in front of a crowd full of both Ultimate and Melee players.
This match was a bloodbath as Salem continued to show that his recent pickup of Snake was working. They traded blows through four games as it all came down to the final stock of the set.
Light was actually down 3-1 in stocks, but he slowly made his comeback. After taking two stocks, Light played a nearly perfect final stock as he weaved around Salem’s projectiles and put the pressure on.
It all came to a head when the two met on a platform and Light perfectly read an air dodge to seal the deal.
Salem went on to lose to ESAM in losers finals in four games.
The grand finals were then set as a battle between Light, the best Fox in the world, and ESAM, the best Pikachu. And it completely lived up to the hype.
ESAM took the first set of the grand finals all the way to game five, forcing a bracket reset that would also go the distance. All but one of the games in the reset went down to the final stock, too.
It was clear that both players were fatigued after playing so many long, competitive series as they both whiffed some big chances. The most critical mistake came when ESAM did something he’s always criticized for—he was feeling himself too much and overextended.
He jumped too far out to try and take Light’s final stock and ended up self-destructing when he fell beyond the range of his quick attack’s recovery. That put things on an even playing field at one stock apiece.
Light was at a disadvantage, but his heavy hitting aerial attacks quickly evened things up.
It all came down to an epic exchange where Light managed to survive several heavy hits from ESAM. As he tried to get back on stage, ESAM went for the kill and ended up getting hit by Light’s up-air kick that ended the tournament.
With that incredible sequence, Light claimed the Nimbus title and the final spot in Smash Ultimate Summit, which will run from March 7 to 10.