Longtime Smash pro Brian 'Cosmos' Kalu was victorious at Pound Online after enduring a bracket that featured over 5,100 entrants and over a dozen sets of play. Here's how it all went down.
The tournament marks Cosmos' first tournament win since the pro Smash scene went into a fully online environment.
Pound 2020 was originally scheduled for April 3-5 in Laurel, MD, but the ongoing global situation forced the tournament’s organizers to move the event online.
— VGBC (@VGBootCamp) April 27, 2020
As a result, Pound Online was picked up by “The Quarantine Series”, an online tournament circuit hosted by content creators Jacob 'Alpharad' Rabon and Charlie 'Critikal' White.
Thus far, the ever-expanding online format has proved to be incredibly accessible for the Smash Ultimate community, as Pound Online drew over 5,100 entrants.
This trend doesn’t seem like it’s going to go away, either. Just yesterday, Smash legend Juan ‘Hungrybox’ Debiedma announced a 8,192 entrant tournament in partnership with New York Jets star Le’Veon Bell.
LETS GOOOOOOO!!! this will be the tourney of the year!! 🙌🏾🔥 https://t.co/fLIAUtnH1O
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) April 26, 2020
Regardless, Pound Online serves as a major step for Cosmos, as he had to overcome competitors like Samuel 'Dabuz' Buzby and Brett '8BitMan' Esposito en route to the tournament’s title.
The online format hasn’t been so welcoming to all of the game’s top players. Smash titans like Leonardo ‘MkLeo’ Lopez and Enrique ‘Maister’ Hernandez - two talents who faced off in-person at the Frostbite Grand Finals just two months ago - failed to reach the top 8 this weekend.
If anything, the sudden online shift is drastically changing the Smash community. Not only is the game’s hierarchy of players undergoing a massive transformation, but the game itself is being put under a microscope as issues surrounding online play are being brought to the forefront of the discussion.
Problems surrounding frame data, constant lag, and input delay have many Smash Ultimate players urging Nintendo to take a closer look at the game’s online features.
And with the foreseeable future of the competitive scene being played out completely on the internet, Pound Online might only be the beginning of a lengthy, community-altering process.