A 16-Year-Old Smash Bros. Player Is Beating The Biggest Pros On The Scene
February 1, 2017 - Super Smash Bros
In October, 16-year-old Smash 4 champion Leonardo Perez (“MK Leo”) vowed to explain initial esteem during Genesis 4, an general Smash tournament in San Jose, California. Perez, whose 16th birthday landed on a tournament’s opening day progressing this month, arrived from Naucalpan, Mexico City a few days before to use with Smash players who’d been on a general circuit given 2014. He felt nervous, though exhilarated.
Catapulting by tip 32, Perez is a youngest actor to mangle by a tip 8 during Genesis. And after a parsimonious compare opposite Elliot Carroza-Oyarce (“Ally”), who won 2016’s largest Smash 4 tournament, EVO, Perez seized initial place. Perez’s Marth, a mid-tier pick, boxed Ally’s famous Mario off a theatre with lively formerly untapped from that character. Perez took home a plush $6,000. That money, he says, will assistance support his family behind in Mexico. With it, he can means luxuries for his relatives.
“I unequivocally like to see them happy,” he told me. Perez also won Smash 4 “Doubles” during Gen 4, teaming adult with Carroza-Oyarce opposite Japanese players Rei Furukawa (“Komorikiri”) and Ryuto Hayashi (“Ranai”), an additional $1,000.
In any way, Perez is a special case, though during propagandize behind Mexico City, Perez says, his classmates have no suspicion he’s an general Smash sensation. “And we don’t unequivocally wish anybody to know,” Perez told me. At school, he is a still 16-year-old who loves astrophysics and spends a lot of time with his family.
Perez is a youngest chairman to have ever won a inhabitant Smash 4 tournament and is, though question, a best Smash 4 player in Mexico. Over a final year and a half, he’s scorched a Mexican and Canadian Smash circuits, upending his predecessors’ claims to initial place. If we hadn’t listened of him before 2016, there’s a reason: Just final October, a U.S. supervision dynamic that Perez fit a education for a visa. When Perez initial applied, a White House was still debating whether esports players can be “internationally famous athletes” who validate for a P1 visa. Twice, Perez’s visa focus was denied.
Even with a visa, there was some doubt over possibly Perez could even attend Genesis 4. Earlier this month he was prevented from withdrawal Naucalpan, his home municipality in Mexico City, after riots flooded his area following a supervision inflating gasoline prices by 20%. “There are many protests in my neighborhood. They sealed lots of streets. There was a strike,” Perez said. “It was usually an ungainly impulse to get out.” He combined that he doesn’t get really concerned in politics.
For Perez, family is his priority. He goes to school, though his family understands that, right now, a Smash community has some-more to offer. His tag, “MK Leo,” stands for “Monster Kingdom” Leonardo. “Monster Kingdom” is his brother’s diversion store in Mexico City.
At age 7, Perez’s hermit Angel and cousin Serge dragged him to a Brawl tournament in Mexico City. They had any approaching to win, though Perez took initial place. Even during a Brawl era, Perez, who was 12, clashed with Smash titans like Gonzalo Barrios (“ZeRo”). Driving him brazen all a while was his cousin Javier Perez (“Javi”), who a Cloud and Sheik main. Asked possibly he has any rivals, Perez cited “Javi,” adding that their amatory enmity pushed him to be better.
After Smash 4 was expelled in 2014, Perez toiled his approach to a tip of Mexico’s ranks with an doubtful impression choice. Perez mains Marth, who wasn’t tournament-viable until final year. Prior to early 2016 change patches, entering another player’s operation as Marth was risky, given his sword’s pitch wasn’t most of a spatial plea and left Marth flattering vulnerable. Also, he didn’t have a speed to provoke players out of their comfort zones and retaliate them with clever slashes. For months, Marth’s meta lingered between active and passive, with rival players frequency subsequent during possibly strategy. At tournaments, he was a joke.
It wasn’t a change rags that drew Perez to Marth, though something some-more visceral. Perez is austere that a character’s celebrity matters, even in tournaments when thousands can rest on their tier ranking. “Marth is heroic,” he said. “He fights to save his family, that is already dead, and to save his father’s reign.” As an contestant whose biggest fun is providing for his family, Marth’s values compare Perez’s. Once a few rags done Marth viable, Perez valid his value during contest after tournament, moving players like Eric Weber (“Mr. E”) to follow in his stead. “I suspicion Marth was a bad character,” Mr. E pronounced in a new mini-doc. “He showed me what Marth can do.”
Perez always suspicion Marth had extensive intensity for pro Smash—he was usually formidable to maximize on. Now, Marth is flexible adequate to control space, zoning enemies out of operation until he comes in for a kill. He’s reactive, something Perez exploits. In his final compare opposite Carroza-Oyarce, Perez’s Marth was grabbed and thrown down, popping him into a air. Carroza-Oyarce followed adult with some punishing aerial attacks, though got a small cocky. Perez slashed him after mouth-watering him into his strike box, promulgation him distant off a other side of a stage. Carroza-Oyarce recovered, though in moments, Perez knocked him off a edge again, and again, guarding a theatre from his returns.
“I play a small like a camper,” he told me. “I’m there to pull people into errors and gain on those errors. I’m always prepared for those errors.” Top-5 Smash 4 player Barrios (“ZeRo”) told me Perez is “very mobile” and has a “heavy retaliate game. He employs a lot of engaging tricks to stay mobile and formidable to hit.” Perez indeed confessed he’d schooled that technique, in part, from personification opposite ZeRo in a U.S.
The same passion that drew Perez to Marth repels him from Bayonetta, a Smash character widely looked down on for being too rewarding of low skill. In a Smash community, Bayonetta’s coming and playstyle will bleed clever opinions from any pro player. Perez momentarily mislaid his amiable tinge when we mentioned his recent tweet about her, job her “disgusting.” Quickly and with malice, Perez told me, “I don’t like to see a character. we don’t like a character. we don’t like people who play a character. That’s it.”
His manager during Echo Fox, Antonio Javier told me that it was Perez’s majority and level-headedness that initial struck him. In exhilarated matches, he doesn’t vary or stoop to others’ mind games. “Leo did contend he was going to win Genesis 3 months in advance,” Javier said. “Taking a step back, anyone can make a confidant explain like this, though we mix that with Leo’s mental fortitude, and you’ve got yourself a winning combination.” Mere weeks ago, Perez was sealed by Javier and Most Valuable Gaming. Perez is a usually unfamiliar Smash player sealed by MVG and one of dual Smash players sealed by Echo Fox.
Of a scarcely large 70 matches he’s played given mid-2015, Perez has dispossessed initial place usually about 10 times. “I’m gonna try to win all a majors this year,” he told me, a small modestly. And yet, notwithstanding this, he’s assured that nothing of his classmates will consider to demeanour him adult online. Matches aren’t any day, so maybe he can sojourn harmless a small longer. Until his subsequent shot during general fame, Feb 11th’s Really Feeling It in Austin, he’ll be home in Mexico City, assisting his mom cook.
Interview interpretation supposing by Victor Jeffreys.