Some time has passed since Curse, Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses, and Cloud9 made their entrance to the world of Super Smash Bros. esports, but buzz surrounding recent tournaments and the release of Smash 4 has even smaller organizations eyeing rising stars.
On Monday, North American organization Cognitive Gaming threw its hat into the Smash ring by signing of the prodigious Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett, whose success at only 12 months as a player is remarkable in a competitive scene featuring pros with up to eight years under their belts.
The young player was understandably elated at the news.
I am now sponsored by COGnitive Gaming! @COGnitiveSMITE I feel honored to be sponsored by such a high class team!!
— Wizzrobe (@Wizzrobe) October 20, 2014
The Florida native has been on the rise since his entrance to the scene in 2013. Hallett recently cracked the top ten of Smashboards Project M rankings, consistently finishing either first or second on his signature Sonic since March of this year. In Melee, arguably the more competitive of the two titles, his play on Captain Falcon has seen him break the top 10 multiple times since May 2014.
“He has essence of a savant,” Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma said in a recent interview with Daily Dot. “He reminds me of a young [Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman],” he said, referring to one of the game’s most successful and calculated players.
In the world of competitive Smash, sponsorship is hard to come by; a stark contrast to the big money world of League of Legends or Dota. For Hallett, the news is official and, perhaps more importantly, financial validation of his rising talent. For Cognitive Gaming the acquisition is nothing if not a value buy in an esport that is quickly gaining ground.