When it comes to fighting game esports, competitors have their favorite fighters to play as whether they fit the game’s meta or not. This can range from somebody who is over-powered if you know the right button combo, to someone who can tire an opponent out and score a time limit victory.
Yet, even below them, are the underdogs - the characters who are never expected to win anything but can upset the apple cart to give fans an incredibly memorable moment. When it comes to Smash Ultimate, that underdog is Pikachu but players might just have to reconsider that categorization of the Pokemon legend.
At Glitch 7 - Minus World, which ran between September 14-15 from Baltimore, Maryland, ESAM used his Pikachu to claim the character’s first-ever Smash Ultimate Major.
In a stacked tournament, ESAM saw off top competitors in Nairo, Tweek, and Light in the winner's bracket through pretty comfortable fashion.
Yet, when he faced off against Light in the Grand Finals, he was on the back foot - falling behind 2-1. However, he pulled it back to complete the 3-2 reserve sweep - earning Glitch 7 glory.
— Glitch 8: Missingno (@Glitch_Smash) September 16, 2019
Even though the broadcast showed that ESAM was pretty emotional about the win, he celebrated by posting a message to his fans on Twitter.
“Ash finally won a league. I finally won an A-tier. Thank you so much for everyone's support,” he said, referencing the iconic Pokemon TV series.
Ash finally won a league
I finally won an A-tier
Thank you so much for everyone's support
— ESAM (Panda Global) (@PG_ESAM) September 16, 2019
Of course, an underused fighter like Pikachu claiming a Major win prompted shock and celebration from the game’s community too - especially those who have supported ESAM for a while.
“Axe wins Summit, Ash wins the Pokemon League, ESAM wins Glitch 7, this IS the year of Pikachu,” said Reddit user Gamecubed. Another, TheJimJims, added: “It's been 11 long years with the green headband, but ESAM finally wins a supermajor. Wild ride.”
Whether or not more players will ditch their favorite fighters in favor of the signature Pokemon hero remains to be seen, but at least those that do - like ESAM - can bask in the glow of some extra special glory.