Just a week after Miya’s dominant run through MaesumaTOP#13 in Osaka, Japan, all eyes turned eastward to Tokyo, where Seibugeki #14 was being held. This time around, Miya wasn’t the only top three Japanese player in attendance — Japan’s No. 1 and worldwide No. 2, Acola, and Japan’s No. 3 and worldwide No. 9, Shuton, made the trip.
Coming into Saturday, some mix of those three were expected to finish in the top three. However, those expectations were thrown out of the window when Miya lost in the first round of the top 64 to No. 31 seed Terry main, Ezs, sending Miya to the loser’s bracket extremely early.
Miya did not let the early loss deter him, though, as he proceeded to rattle off five straight set wins in the loser’s bracket to make it into the top eight, including impressive victories over No. 17 seed Motsunabe, No. 6 seed Umeki and No. 4 seed Asimo.
Acola and Shuton wouldn’t fall victim to an upset, however, as they didn’t lose a single game en route to the semifinals on the winner’s side.
Acola’s opponent in the semifinals was surprising. No. 45 seed Byleth main, Reno, managed to make it all the way into the top eight after defeating No. 13 seed Kaninabe and No. 5 seed KEN. However, his run was stopped short by the whirlwind that is Acola’s Steve.
After breezing through Umeki to get to the top eight, Shuton was matched up against No. 7 seed Tsubaki, a Joker main who has been inconsistent but deadly when he finds his rhythm. With clean execution, Tsubaki took the set in game five to set up a winner’s finals match with Acola.
On the loser’s side, KEN and No. 8 seed Eim went face-to-face, with KEN advancing to a match against Shuton for fifth place. Meanwhile, Miya earned a rematch against Ezs and didn’t let any time go to waste with a swift 3-0 set win, pitting Miya against Reno.
Winner’s finals, featuring the undefeatable Acola and the sensational Tsubaki, went just as every other set Acola had Saturday. Tsubaki was simply no match for Acola in the 3-0 sweep, and the Joker main was quickly sent to the loser’s finals.
Continuing the trend down in the loser’s bracket, KEN and Reno were both swept, meaning the sudden death matchup of Shuton vs. Miya had arrived. Miya had won the last four sets the two played against each other, but his valiant seven-set run through the loser’s bracket left the Mr. Game and Watch main weak enough for Shuton to exact his revenge in a game five victory.
With the win, Shuton was rewarded with a rematch against Tsubaki — and Shuton did not let it go to waste. With three straight wins by two stocks after dropping game one, Shuton moved into the grand finals to face the immovable Acola.
Grand finals went as expected, which was unfortunate for those at the venue hoping for an incredible upset. Shuton did what no other person could at Seibugeki #14 in taking a game from Acola, but ultimately faced the same fate every other competitor did. Acola won the tournament after only losing a single game the entire day, something that was previously relatively rare yet is now the second occurrence in the last two weeks.
Despite it being Acola’s first major tournament in over a month, it didn’t look like the Steve main missed a step. In the last year, no one else has won a tournament that has both Miya and Acola in attendance in over a year, besides current worldwide No. 1 Sparg0, so to say that this outcome was unsurprising would not be farfetched.
As 2023 passes its halfway point, Seibugeki #14 holds the title as the last major tournament before official halftime rankings roll out. The Smash world will be analyzing those rankings and waiting patiently for the next supermajor tournament taking place in Ontario, Canada, at Get On My Level 2023 in three weeks.