E3 2018: Super Smash Bros. Invitational reveals and results

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate title card. Image is a YouTube thumbnail via Nintendo.

As if there weren’t enough Super Smash Bros. Ultimate today at E3 2018, the Smash Bros. Invitational showed off the game in competition.

Sure, Nintendo had some of its employees play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Treehouse stream — including Masahiro Sakurai himself — after the reveal during Tuesday’s Nintendo Direct. But putting controllers in the hands of some experienced players is probably the best impression that Nintendo could give of its new Smash game. Hence the Smash Bros. Invitational tournament at E3 2018.

Granted, these players are known more for their experience in other games. But let’s face it, the new Smash is slightly different. After all, the Nintendo Direct noted how many tiny changes have been made to the gameplay and style.

With all that being said, though, here’s who we’re going to see play, per Variety: “ZeRo, Mr. R, Abadango, MkLeo, Mang0, Lucky, Plup, and Armada.” ESPN has a better breakdown of who’s good at what — because some specialize in Super Smash Bros. Melee and others prefer Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

The big question is who will play as whom. After all, Ridley’s a new character, as is the Inkling. It might mean a little difficulty in adjusting to the character in question, but at the same time, it’s hard to adapt to a new character as an opponent. Of course, the Inkling has some resource management that might make things a bit more difficult, while Ridley has perhaps a more easily recognizable moveset.

Note: This post will update as we see more of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

About 30 characters are available to choose from in the E3 version — but there will be a “lot more” in the final version, according to Masahiro Sakurai’s opening. He also pointed out that the tournament players haven’t had much time with Smash Ultimate.

There are multiple match types — doubles and singles alike.

The fighters draft:

Each player has a stable of three fighters and must use all three characters before reusing characters.

ZeRo: Sheik, Mario, Ike

Armada: Pokémon Trainer, Kirby, Samus

Abadango: Mewtwo, Corrin, Pac-Man

Plup: Ridley, Pit, Villager

Mr. R: Cloud, Ryu, Little Mac

Lucky: Marth, Bowser, Fox

MkLeo: Bayonetta, Snake, Sonic

Mang0: Inkling, Link, Ganondorf

Winners’ Bracket

Winners’ Bracket Round 1 (Doubles; Smash Ball on, no items; 3-stock)

ZeRo (Mario)/Armada (Samus) vs. Abadango (Corrin)/Plup (Ridley): Playing on the new Great Plateau Tower stage, Armada scored the first KO by taking out Plup’s Ridley but was the next to lose a stock. Eventually, Plup and Abadango were down to one stock apiece — with Armada and ZeRo quickly following suit.

That’s right, it came down to one stock for each of the four players. But Armada and ZeRo quickly cleared out both of their opponents.

Mr. R (Cloud)/Lucky (Marth) vs. MkLeo (Bayonetta)/Mang0 (Ganondorf): Moray Towers from Splatoon 2 was the stage, and the damage started flying fast. Lucky was first to lose a stock, but quickly paid it back by KO-ing Mang0. However, Mr. R and Lucky both lost stocks quickly, with Mr. R the first to go. Lucky had several recoveries — but couldn’t handle the two-on-one onslaught.

Winners’ Bracket Round 2 (Singles; Smash Ball on; no items; 3-stock)

ZeRo (Ike) vs. Armada (Pokémon Trainer): Moray Towers was the stage yet again, and ZeRo and Armada kept things relatively high in the vertically-oriented stage. ZeRo took the first KO, with the commentators noted the aggressiveness of the game. Armada managed to repay the KO, but quickly lost his second stock thanks to a Great Aether Final Smash from ZeRo. The two danced around each other, but ZeRo did enough damage to knock Armada out.

MkLeo (Sonic) vs. Mang0 (Inkling): Saffron City was the stage of choice. Mang0 took a little more damage in the initial minute, with MkLeo taking the first KO. We saw Sonic’s revamped Final Smash, and it looks a little easier to avoid this time. Mang0 repaid the KO with an up smash — and then an edge guard sent Mang0 flying yet again.

It was down to 2-1, MkLeo, and MkLeo provided a master class in how to play Sonic. Even though Mang0 covered Sonic in ink, MkLeo absolutely paid every hit back.

Winners’ Bracket Round 3 (Singles; Smash Ball on; no items; 3-stock)

ZeRo (Sheik) vs. MkLeo (Snake): It was back to Frigate Orpheon from the Metroid series to show off this battle. ZeRo showed off how Sheik’s a force to be reckoned in the early game, though MkLeo repaid the KO in kind quickly. There was a tussle after for a Smash Ball; MkLeo got it, but missed.

With each on their second stock, ZeRo brought the damage, eventually edge-guarding to a KO and quickly losing his own. That meant it was down to one stock and no damage each. That meant the game was fast and furious, and ZeRo fell a little behind in damage.

But with the aerial combo, ZeRo brought the thunder and took the match.

Elimination Bracket

Elimination Bracket Round 1 (Doubles; items and Smash Ball all on; 4-stock)

Abadango (Pac-Man)/Plup (Villager) vs. Mr. R (Ryu)/Lucky (Bowser): Playing in the Animal Crossing Town stage, Lucky took the brunt of the first fray, but it was his teammate Mr. R who took the first and second KOs. Lucky broke out a Final Smash to send Abadango flying — but quickly took a stock loss as well. Plup finally took his first stock loss, but it came in with a Mr. R stock loss too, putting him down to his last stock.

Even when the match slowed down, Mr. R was eliminated first …. and Lucky had to fight alone. Suffice it to say, he didn’t survive long. Both of them went home.

Elimination Bracket Round 2 (Four player free-for-all; Smash Ball and items on; 4-stock)

Armada (Kirby) vs. Mang0 (Link) vs. Abadango (Mewtwo) vs. Plup (Pit): Moving things to the Battlefield, Mang0 took the first KO in an absolute melee … pun intended. Plup rocked a down-air to send Armada flying, and Abadango also lost a stock. Mang0 got a Smash Ball, but the Ancient Arrow didn’t connect with anyone.

A Nintendog came to make things just that much more chaotic, but Abadango managed to pull out the KO on Plup. Mang0 and Abadango fell to two stocks apiece. Bomberman made his appearance as an Assist Trophy, and he does some huge damage. Mang0 was down to his last stock, but everyone’s attention turned to others.

Armada broke out the Final Smash to send Mang0 out — and then Abadango accidentally KO’d himself (and Armada). That meant Plup and Armada had one stock each. It looked bad for Plup at a moment, but he pulled out a timely dodge.

But dodges only do so much, and Armada racked up some damage. Plup brought out some sweet recoveries — and so did Armada — but finally, Plup made it through.

Elimination Bracket Round 3 (1v1; Smash Ball and items on)

Plup (Ridley) vs. MkLeo (Bayonetta): Green Greens showed off Ridley’s solid jab attack early on, but Bayonetta brought Witch Time for a Final Smash and the first KO. MkLeo then took an even bigger lead with another pair of KOs on Plup. Although MkLeo nearly had the combo, he couldn’t recover and took one KO — but quickly handled Plup’s last stock.