The second Super Smash Bros. Ultimate supermajor in June strayed from American soil, this time occurring in Osaka, Japan. MaesumaTOP#13, the bimonthly Japanese Ultimate tournament series that consistently attracts multiple top players from across Japan, took place this past weekend, and it did not disappoint.
To nobody’s surprise, first-seed Miya tore through the rest of the field, as he has been doing for much of 2023. His first-place finish marked the Mr. Game and Watch main’s ninth top-eight finish out of his 11 majors attended this year and his fourth major tournament win.
Miya’s dominance has become the new normal for him, but his consistent top-level gameplay is still astounding, especially considering the prodigy is still a teenager. He dropped just one game the entire tournament, something only done by the likes of previous number ones, such as MkLeo.
The biggest surprise of MaesumaTOP#13 was the second-place finisher, Doramigi. The 30th-seed Min-Min main just started competing last year and shocked everybody in attendance by defeating second-seed Yoshidora, third-seed Tea, sixth-seed ProtoBanham and eighth-seed Kameme en route to his second-place finish.
Doramigi has notably defeated other top Japanese and international talent in the past, such as Asimo and North American players Dabuz and Cosmos, but this was his first major tournament where he was able to string together multiple wins and make it to top eight. Doramigi’s fundamental skills allowed him to win a multitude of interactions in neutral play and capitalize on advantageous positions with huge punishments.
One of Doramigi’s victims, Kameme, finished in third place. The Sora main built upon his impressive fourth-place finish at the premier tournament Battle of BC 5 using polished combos to defeat Yoshidora, Tea, ProtoBanham, fifth-seed Asimo and seventh-seed Hero, ultimately winning a total of 13 sets in a long run through the loser’s bracket.
The fourth-place finisher was second-seed Yoshidora, who defeated Hero and 15th-seed takera before falling to Doramigi and Kameme in the top eight. The Yoshi main has carved out a place for his character on the international scene with consistently strong results in Japan, coupled with his seventh-place finish in his first North American tournament at Battle of BC 5.
Another major storyline coming out of MaesumaTOP#13 was the return of international star, ProtoBanham. The Lucina and Min-Min dual main, who is infamous for being much stronger overseas than in his home country of Japan, came out of his nearly eight-month long major tournament hiatus and didn’t miss a beat.
Although many of the top seeds fell into the losers bracket prior to top 48, ProtoBanham was able to stay on the winner’s side until his top-eight qualifier match, where he finally fell to Doramigi and Kameme to finish seventh.
One such top seed that dropped to the losers bracket early in the tournament was fourth-seed Gackt, the Ness main who placed third at MaesumaTOP#12 in April. Gackt found himself in losers after being upset by 36th-seed Shirayuki, but a valiant run brought Gackt all the way into the top eight before he eventually lost to takera to place seventh.
Rounding out the top eight as the two fifth-place finishers were a pair of Street Fighter character mains: Asimo, who mains Ryu, and takera, who mains Ken, were defeated by Kameme and Yoshidora, respectively.
Five out of the top 12 seeds finished below their seeding at MaesumaTOP#13. Most notably, third-seed Tea was out at 13th place after losing to Doramigi before top 48, then losing to Kameme, while 12th-seed KEN, who was the runner-up at Maesuma TOP#11 in March, finished in 25th place.
MaesumaTOP#13 was just a glimpse of the top-level play consistently coming out of Japan, showing off both young prodigies rising to the top and established top players holding down the fort. The focus now shifts to Tokyo with Seibugeki #14 taking place next weekend, as Miya gets the chance to face the two top Japanese players who didn’t attend MaesumaTOP#13: Acola and Shuton.