With a grand total of 743 entrants over three different Smash games, Low Tier City 4 has been one of the largest tournaments that Texas has ever seen! The weekend has come and gone, the competitors have clashed, and three champions have been crowned.
TSM | ZeRo has held dominance over the competitive Smash4 scene for an incredible period of time, especially considering the size that the community boasts. After coming back from a recent break, however, his dominance has waned, losing sets to players such as Ally, Mew2King, Larry Lur and Anti. Having lost the last four major tournaments he attended, the throne he previously occupied seemed empty...would ZeRo reclaim it, or would Nairo, Hyuga, ESAM or another rising star rise to the occasion?
Pools itself saw many players claim higher seeds than the projected winners. DFW's LiLPac had an exceptional run, defeating fellow DFW player FX | Dakpo and legendary DK player DKwill to claim first seed as his own. Another DFW player and Brawl veteran Y.b.M. defeated COG | Wizzrobe in the Winner's Finals set of their pool. In yet another pool, ESAM suffered an upset against Ness player Miiself, dropping down to an unexpected third seed.
In top 48, ZeRo had a clean run to Winner's Semi-finals, defeating iiGGY, Wizzrobe, and MJG. On the same side of Winner's Semis, local Corrin player Cosmos had a bracket full of fellow DFW players, and he came out on top, claiming victories over DisqoBunny, Mew^2, and P2P with Gibus. Cosmos is currently the best player in Dallas, and seeing him get to play against the top dog himself was a great pleasure. In the end, however, ZeRo's excellently well-rounded Diddy Kong was too much for Cosmos to handle, and ZeRo walked away with the set with a strong 3-0.
(Fun fact of the day: after the tournament, the Panda Gaming crew, ZeRo, the Brown Battalion and myself hung out at the hotel, ZeRo and MVD playing on Wobbles' WiiU. When they triggered the fight to unlock Dark Pit, ZeRo attempted to camp the CPU on Palutena's Temple, but mis-inputted a bouncing fish into a grenade toss instead and SD'd. ZeRo won the run-back shortly after, but shoutouts to CPU Dark Pit for being the only one to have a tied record against the Smash 4 king himself!)
On the other side of the bracket, two champions of their characters faced off. Nairo, the ZSS legend, ran through Mook, Y.b.M., and Funcrazyfish, while the Toon Link master himself Hyuga claimed victories over Cheezeballer, ESAM, and MVD. In the head-to-head match up, ZSS' speed and mobility coupled with Nairo's aggression seemed to make it difficult for Hyuga; his attempts to wall him out with projectiles and trap his landings weren't near as effective as we've seen from some other sets from Hyuga...Nairo ended up taking the set, 3-1.
TSM | ZeRo vs Liquid | Nairo, Winner's Finals. The first game was a close one, but Nairo immediately set the pace on its end, winning game one, and then ending ZeRo's stocks at brutally low percents with Up-B combos on Town and City. In game three, Nairo over-extended, attempting to finish ZeRo's first stock with another high Up-B interception on his recovery, and the mistake cost him his stock at 0% when ZeRo punished with a retaliatory spike. Afterwards, ZeRo played from a consistent lead, and finished game five of the set with a brutal low percent two stock!
In the Loser's bracket, other formidable players faced off. DKwill made an incredible run through Loser's - despite losing in the first round of top 48 - taking wins over Cheezeballer, JFK, myself (FX TLOC | Sethlon), Mew^2, and Funcrazyfish. He finally lost to Mexico's Mook in Loser's round 6, taking a very respectable 7th place finish.
On the other side of the bracket, ESAM was making waves, defeating Slaps, AeroLink, MJG, and P2P with Gibus, finally losing to Hyuga in a close 3-2 set, taking 5th place. In Loser's Semi-finals, Hyuga vs Cosmos once again ended in a 3-2 win for Hyuga.
Loser's Finals saw the rematch of Hyuga vs Nairo. The same problems that plagued Hyuga in their winners set remained, however, and in the last stock of the 3-1 set, Nairo set up for an incredibly deep offstage down-B chase, landing a B-air clear in the bubble, solidifying his place in Grand Finals!
In Grand Finals, Nairo struggled to cobble together any momentum. He managed to take game 2, but otherwise, the set was entirely ZeRo's game; patient and safe neutral play, utilizing bananas, d-tilts, and grabs to safely build up damage and set up for kills. In the last two games especially, ZeRo smothered Nairo in neutral, and frustrations for the ZSS main seemed to mount. Before Nairo could find a way to shift the tides, the set was already over; ZeRo takes 1st place at LTC4 with a final 3-1 set in Grand Finals!
With his past handful of loses, his reign has slipped a bit...but with another victory here at Low Tier City 4, ZeRo's clearly shown that he isn't going anywhere, and for the time being, the throne is still his. Congratulations to him!