“It felt kinda surreal.” Randy “RFang” Fang expressed in regards to his experience competing in Smash Ultimate Summit 2—an invite-only event with only 16 participants.
It’s no wonder it felt surreal to him. Of the 15 other players invited, 11 of them are ranked in the top 16 of the Panda Global Rankings, Smash Ultimate’s authoritative player ranking system. Two more are legends in Super Smash Bros Melee. The final two included one player ranked in the top 30 and another player who has had so much recent success that it’s hard to imagine him outside the ranking’s next iteration.
RFang is talented in his own right. He is currently ranked as the top Ultimate player in South Carolina and is one of the best Pichu players in the nation. Nonetheless, he wasn’t in the Panda Global Rankings.
Everyone getting that NOURISHMENT in for #UltimateSummit 2 Media Day! 😤
Be sure to stay tuned for more behind the scenes action all day long 👀 pic.twitter.com/6f87EgjIDD
— Beyond the Smash (@BTSsmash) October 23, 2019
RFrang took advantage of his rare opportunity learning from Smash Ultimate’s best, especially Eric “ESAM” Lew who plays a similar character in Pikachu.
But the world’s top Pikachu player wasn’t the only person there to learn from. James “VoiD” Makekau-Tyson, the world’s best Pichu player, also attended Summit.
“Honestly,” RFang said, “I didn’t play VoiD too much.”
Instead, his best opportunities for learning from VoiD came from spectating. Whenever VoiD used Pichu it didn’t go well, but RFang was quick to add “it didn’t go too well for me, either.”
Despite the Pichu struggles throughout the tournament, RFang took note that VoiD played with confidence and went for many high-risk plays, something RFang felt he needed to incorporate into his play.
RFang was unable to win an official set; in fact, he was unable to win an official game. RFang bowed out of Summit after finishing 0-15.
Despite that, RFang remained positive as he left Summit.
Y'all Please DONT feel bad for me!!!! It's been such a fun week and
Got to grind with top 10 players all week. Just came off of my first top 8 at an S tier with multiple Pgr wins, securing a spot on PGR somewhere lol. And I got some of the most supportive friends ever https://t.co/8Il1YTkIOM
— OES RFang (@RFang_SC) October 28, 2019
Regardless, there were still games he wishes he could have back. He zeroed in on his set with Enrique “Maister” Solís specifically.
“I should have won that set,” he said.
He lost the set 3-0 but felt he should have started it up 2-0. He pointed to a dropped combo on a moving platform at the Town and City stage in his first game where he lost his win on the first game. He lamented a dash attack miss-input when he lost his second game.
Despite the unfortunate mishaps, RFang held his head high.
“Having a region to represent really helped me keep my head up,” RFang said of being the lone South Carolina player at the tournament voted in largely due to the South Carolina community.
Not only does he aspire to place higher in those tournaments, but he hopes to social more with the tight-knit community of Smash professionals who all know each other so well.
After finishing in the top eight at supermajor Big House 9, he still has his confidence moving forward. Rather than be voted into Summit, RFang aims to qualify by placing, saying it’s something he can “definitely” do.
Written by Terry Spry