Inven Global Smash Awards: Best Ultimate Player of 2021 (Nominated)
Alright, that’s it. This is the final category of our first annual Inven Global Smash Awards. We’ve spent the last month looking back at the best melee and ultimate competitive players, casters, events, and games. The people, places and moments that made 2021 special despite setbacks, turmoil and drama.
Voted for by Inven Global’s editorial team, along with some of gaming’s most respected players, casters and community figures, the IGAs celebrate the many strong facets of Ultimate in 2021 – the best players, casters, creators of content, etc.
2021 has given players a glimpse of the normalcy they’ve been craving, bringing back the rankings and in-person matches. This has allowed some of Ultimate’s best players to prove themselves at premier events, with a handful of players standing out among the rest.
Fans can also vote for the player they think deserves the most, and the player with the most votes will receive the IGA Community Award.
It’s no surprise to see MkLeo on the list of nominees. He is often seen as a one-of-a-kind player that you are blessed to see in your life, an unstoppable force that transforms the way the game is played. MkLeo is almost single-handedly responsible for putting Byleth on the map, able to take down the toughest opponents with this underwhelming fighter.
The Mexican player has had a turbulent 2021 as he looks to prove himself after the WiFi era. At the beginning of 2021, MkLeo even declared that he was no longer going to participate in online tournaments. He took Aegis and Byleth to SWT: Central America Ultimate Regionals Finals, winning without dropping a set. He then got revenge on Tweek at Riptide. MkLeo topped Glitch 8.5, Low Tide City 2021, Port Priority 6, and Mainstage 2021. He went on to win the 2021 Smash World Tour Championships, cementing his title as “World’s Best Ultimate Player”.
Sparg0 had a very difficult 2021. Despite being considered a smash prodigy, the 16-year-old struggled to finally win a major thanks to a few returning heavy hitters and the rise of new talent. Still, Sparg0 is considered the second best player in the world and the best Cloud player to ever exist. At 13, Sparg0 was already taking sets from Ultimate’s best players. Now Sparg0 is looking to be the champion.
Super Smash Con seemed like Sparg0’s chance to grab a major tournament thanks to MkLeo’s absence, but underdog Light ended up picking up the win. Sparg0 previously placed third at Ultimate Summit 3 and third at Riptide. At Mainstage, he finished second. In the Smash World Tour, Sparg0 earned third place.
While this is all unbelievable for a 16 year old, Sparg0 and the rest of the Smash community know it’s only a matter of time before the Smash prodigy starts earning majors. Until then, Sparg0 remains visibly frustrated.
Tweek has long been the best Diddy Kong player in the world. But Tweek made it clear in 2021 that he was looking to be more than the best Diddy – he wanted to be the best. Period. His shining moment was Smash Ultimate Summit 3, when he defeated MkLeo to become the winner.
As MkLeo exacted revenge on him at Riptide, Tweek was already a fan favorite thanks to his talent and incredible style of play. The 23-year-old New Jersey native was seen as a positive force in the Ultimate community and it looks like 2021 was just the start of his incredible run to the top.
Kola has had an amazing 2021, starting with a ton of first and second place finishes in online tournaments. His in-person performances have been much more varied, though he has proven himself as one of the top North American players in the Smash World Tour: NA East Ultimate Regional Finals and then CEO.
Kola has won nearly every top Ultimate player, including Maister, Shuton, Dabuz, Elegant, ESAM, and Cosmos. He took sets from Light, Mew2King and Fatality. This propelled him to the top of the rankings. But what made Kola stand out even more in 2021 was his attitude, his unique style of play, and his signing to Moist Esports.
Even Smash players who hate Mr. Game & Watch can’t deny that Maister is one of the best players in the world. Despite experiencing a fair share of toxicity for its mainline, Maister has continued to remain dedicated to Mr. Game & Watch, using the 2D fighter to dominate the Ultimate scene in chilling fashion.
Maister is the best player in Mr. Game & Watch, yes. But it is also third in Mexico (after MkLeo and Sparg0) and considered the third best WiFi player. 2021 has also given Maister the opportunity to prove himself in a bunch of majors. He finished second at the SWT Central America Regional Finals, fifth at Riptide, and third at Smash Con.
Even if you encourage Maister to fail, the talented player continues to work even harder to beat all your favorites. Kind and positive, Maister is a wholesome individual who shows no mercy in the game.
The jury of the Inven Global Smash Awards for Ultimate
- Eric Bartlet
- Austin Watts
- John “Oddball” Popko
- Michel Lalor
- Olivia Richman
- Tim Masters
*Note: No one can vote for themselves in the Inven Global Smash Awards