Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the fifth game in the franchise, has a dedicated competitive esports scene that’s in its infancy.
Of the hundreds and thousands of players competing so far, any of them could set themselves apart from the rest of the competition in the early stages to dominate the scene and potentially do what Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios did to the Wii U scene all those years ago.
Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned fan, there are some names that you should keep an eye on when you enter your next event.
Of course, this list is based on early tournament results in 2019 and assumptions, so it will be updated over time to reflect the competitive landscape.
Leonardo “MKLeo” Lopez Perez
You can’t talk about a list of the top Ultimate players without discussing MKLeo.
MKLeo was one of the best players in the Wii U scene after kick-starting his career in 2015 with a win over Ramin “Mr. R” Delshad at Smash Factor.
As a young talent, he proved himself in the Wii U scene. But he’s already started to make a name for himself in Ultimate through his first tournament win of the season at Smash Conference United, where he won 3-2 in the grand finals with Ike and Richter.
Leo has the chance to truly shine in Ultimate and become the game’s dominant player as long as he continues to showcase his current form.
Samuel “Dabuz” Busby
Known for his Rosalina plays in Wii U, Dabuz has picked up two very different characters in Olimar and Palutena. Dabuz still plays Rosalina occasionally, though, and he was known for his Olimar in Brawl—so this should come as no surprise.
A respectful player, Dabuz is never willing to fully commit to a fight until he knows he can win. He’s already showing his consistency at the top level, but has failed to get a win under his belt as of yet.
Ironically, most of his second-place finishes at events come from losses with another person on this list who we’ll talk about later. The scene is still developing, however, so there’s time for Dabuz to show his full potential and pick up that much-deserved victory.
James “VoiD” Makekau-Tyson
A top 10 player in the Wii U scene, VoiD has ascended in the first two months of Ultimate competitions to pick up impressive wins. He did, however, have a ninth-place finish at Let’s Make Moves, spoiling what was an already impressive start.
VoiD is making a name for himself with crucial tournament victories in SoCal Chronicles at the start of the year and at Super Splat Bros. Oakland, which was run a few weeks after the game came out at the end of 2018.
Those wins have seen him pocket a fair chunk of prize money, too. He has also been maining Pichu since Sky Ultimate Invitational and is already making a case to be the best Pichu player in the world so far, as long as he can keep performing consistently.
Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey
Another top competitor in Wii U, Tweek is already making a name for himself in Ultimate after his wins at Let’s Make Moves and Sky Ultimate Invitational at the end of 2018.
While we haven’t seen much of him so far in January, players should still fear Tweek’s versatile lineup of Chrom, Donkey Kong, and Wario if they compete against him this year.
Ironically, most of his final matchups in tournaments have been against Dabuz. He has only lost to Dabuz once when he finished fourth at NYXL’s Pop-Up! tournament.
Those two other wins against Dabuz translated into tournament victories, so a rivalry between the two players could be developing heading into the start of 2019.
William “Glutonny” Belaid
We feel an honorable mention has to go out to Glutonny at this early stage of Ultimate’s competitive history.
The French player is on fire, having recently won Valhalla II while going up against some of the best players that Europe had to offer. He’s making a quick case for the title of Europe’s top player in January through a character he’s mained since Brawl—Wario.
It will be interesting to see if Glutonny can achieve more tournament wins going forward, but at the moment, we like what we’ve seen from him.