In front of a packed house at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Saturday night, Bharat "Lima" Chintapall took home the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U championship. Losing only one match the entire tournament, Lima proved that his Bayonetta was superior as he locked down what is likely the final Smash Wii U title at Evo.
While there were some clear favorites heading into the event, the field was blown wide open when both Echo Fox Leonardo "MKLeo" Perez and Gavin "Tweek" Dempsey didn't even make it to Las Vegas. With MKLeo sidelined due to lingering medical issues and Tweek stymied by travel issues, it was anyone's chance to shine.
As expected, those that had the most success utilized the oppressive strengths of the best, but most hated, character in the game, Bayonetta. In the top-8 alone, there were three Bayonettas and they all ended up laying waste to the competition.
DetonatioN Gaming Yuta "Nietono" Uejima had the crowd behind him in full force when he took down Tamim "Mistake" Omary in the losers semifinals with his flashy Shiek, but the crowd alone wasn't enough to lead Nietono to victory. Taking down one Bayonetta granted him the pleasure of running up against another Bayonetta in the losers' finals. Sticking with his Shiek, he was simply no match for Zack "CaptainZack" Lauth's Bayonetta as the latter tore through Nietono in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it 3-0 sweep. Much to the crowd's chagrin, CaptainZack's victory meant that the stage was set for a Bayonetta mirror match in the grand finals, a rematch of the winners' final between CaptainZack and Lima.
From the outset of the grand finals, it looked like everyone would be packing it up in a hurry as Lima rushed out to a 2-0 lead and appeared to be in full control of the set. But then CaptainZack dug into his bag of tricks and pulled out three straight games to reset the bracket. He even had to wade through a tense moment where he flubbed an off-stage recovery move and ended up losing a stock at zero percent, only for Lima to give up his own life in an incredible play of sportsmanship to even the score. While the move may have cost Lima the game, he had the last laugh before long.
As the grand finals opened, the players locked themselves into a stalemate as they agreed to wait out the match and go for an exciting sudden death. It wasn't long before match officials stepped in and made the two play the remainder of the match to avoid any cries of collusion. Getting back down to business, CaptainZack won the first game outright before Lima woke up and rattled off three straight games to claim the title.
While Lima might have taken home the top prize, the crown of crowd favorite went to none other than Tetsuya "Raito" Ishiguro and his exciting Duck Hunt. In a sea of Bayonettas, his Duck Hunt was a breath of fresh air that had everyone cheering from start to finish. He couldn't pull out the win against Panda Global Jestise "MVD" Negron in the end, but it was certainly one of the highlights of the night that fans won't forget anytime soon.
The future of Smash Wii U may be a bit cloudy with the impending release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, two things are clear: Bayonetta rules this generation and Lima stands head shoulders above the rest.
-- Wyatt Donigan