After a three-week lull in major tournaments across the world, Toronto, Canada, blessed the Smash Ultimate scene with the final supermajor tournament before the halfway point of the 2023 rankings. Get On My Level 2023, featuring seven of the current top 10 players, including potential No.1 Sparg0, was sure to shake up the rankings.
Chaos already started to unfold before the tournament even started — five of the top 32 seeds were unable to attend — and by the time day two rolled around, pandemonium reigned all around.
It all started with a player who had a seemingly fake name, but real skill: BIGDUCKHUNTFAN7000, or BDHF. Known for their play in online tournaments, BDHF made major waves as the 159th seed, first taking out 31st-seed Mega Man main MPg, then pulling off one of the largest upsets of the entire year by defeating second-seed Tweek.
Other highly seeded players were also sent to losers before the top 32, including 6th-seed FGC-aficionado Riddles. 13th-seed Ice Climbers main Big D, 16th-seed Snake main ApolloKage and 22nd-seed R.O.B. main Anathema all fell out of the tournament prematurely, placing 49th, 33rd and 49th, respectively.
Top 32 wasn’t any kinder as more and more top seeds fell like dominoes. By the time the top eight rolled around, six of the top nine seeds were represented, but many were on the wrong side of the bracket. Fan favorite and fourth-seed MkLeo, in what he later announced to be his last tournament outside of Mexico for the foreseeable future, placed ninth.
Ninth-seed Zomba, fresh off of upsetting first-seed Sparg0, faced fifth-seed Sonix for the first match of winner’s semifinals. In a 3-0 sweep, Sonix took the win to move on to winner’s finals. The second match of winner’s semifinals was much wilder than that, though. 26th-seed Falco main Tilde was pitted against 86th-seed Atreus, a Palutena main from SoCal who wasn’t even ranked in the top 150 in 2022. Tilde ultimately stopped the Cinderella run in its tracks with a 3-2 victory.
The two matches on the loser’s side of bracket were a bloodbath — first-seed Sparg0 took the win over third-seed Light, and Riddles, who was juggling both Smash and Street Fighter 6 matches at the same time, continued his hard-fought run through the loser’s bracket with a victory over Tweek. Riddles eventually lost to Zomba, who then fell to Sparg0 in dominating 3-0 fashion.
With Sonix taking the winner’s finals set in a clean 3-0 sweep over Tilde, the Sonic main was waiting in Grand Finals to either rematch Tilde or face Sparg0. Sparg0 quickly defeated Tilde in four games, and the stage was set for the impenetrable wall that is Sonix to face the unstoppable force that is Sparg0.
Even though Sparg0 has the upper hand in the character matchup to go with a 38-18 lifetime record against Sonix, something was different this time in Toronto. Sonix edgeguarded Sparg0 mercilessly again and again, and in just four swift games he overcame the world’s best player at the time, becoming the Get On My Level 2023 champion.
Despite Sparg0’s best efforts, his second-place finish likely means Japan’s Acola will be rewarded with the honor of worldwide No.1, thanks to his consistency at major tournaments. Sonix’s dominant victory also gives him a great boost for his rankings, potentially placing himself in the top five globally.
In a quick turnaround, Smash Factor X in Mexico will kick off the second half of the 2023 season. The tournament will be headlined by four-time Smash Factor champion, MkLeo, and multiple other worldwide talents. As first-half rankings roll out from various committees and multiple major tournaments such as Smash Factor X are held throughout the rest of the year, the Smash Ultimate scene continues to grow.