Super Smash Bros. experienced one of its most exciting tournaments to date this weekend. The Big House 9 found great success in both the Ultimate and Melee side. On Smash Ultimate, 17-year-old Sota “Zackray” Okada took down giant after giant on his way to the biggest Smash tournament win by a Japanese player.
He did it. He ran through the gauntlet and came out on top.
It means the world to him.
— The Big House (@TheBigHouseSSB) October 7, 2019
Zackray is Here to Stay
Zackray’s journey through TBH9 starts off tough. He matched up against Tweek, one of the best players in the game, in just the second round of the bracket. A long set ensued with Zackray’s R.O.B. edging out Tweek’s Pokemon Trainer in five games.
After using Mr. Game and Watch to dispatch RFang, Zackray found himself against Maister. Zackray tried running Corrin into Maister’s Mr. Game and Watch, but to no avail. He fell to loser’s bracket after a 3-0 loss.
Once there, Zackray had the pleasure of playing Tweek again, this time with elimination looming in the distance. Even with this pressure, Zackray proved the better player of the day, taking another five-game set. He sent Tweek home and made the top four.
His next opponent would be Nairo, winner of the most recent Ultimate major at Mainstage. For this match, Zackray pulled out Wolf as a counter pick to Nairo’s Palutena. After going 2-2, Zackray switched to Joker for the decider game. The change paid off. Zackray won the match in five. He advanced to losers’ finals facing Maister again.
With his Corrin pick unusable in the Game & Watch matchup, Zackray pulled out Sonic, his sixth character played during the event. Unfortunately, the pick proved equally ineffective. After going down 0-2, Zackray swapped to Joker again. Using Arsene to overpower Game & Watch, Zackray won, reverse sweeping Maister out of the tournament.
Grand finals saw Zackray face off against Dabuz. Earlier in the event, Dabuz’s Olimar experienced issues dealing with Nairo’s Wolf. Knowing this, Zackray used Wolf himself and demolished Dabuz 3-0 resetting the bracket.
Realizing the matchup was no good, Dabuz switched to his secondary Rosalina. However, Zackray prepared for this too, taking R.O.B. into the matchup. His momentum couldn’t be stopped. After four games, Zackray became the winner of TBH9 Ultimate.
Not only did Zackray take home his biggest win ever, but he also has the chance to do one better at Smash Ultimate Summit 2 later this month. He and Dabuz punched their tickets to the event as the top two placements by unqualified players. No matter what happens there, Zackray made a name for himself in this blossoming competitive scene. His young career is just getting started.
Written by Zakaria Almughrabi