Zomba guarantees he’ll be 2024’s best Smash Ultimate player and end the Sonic meta

Michael Gwilliam
zomba in front of smash ultimate background

Unsigned Smash Ultimate pro Salvatore ‘Zomba’ DeSena says he’ll finish 2024 as the year’s best player after his huge win at Genesis X.

The 18-year-old ROB main bested four of the world’s Top 7 players en route to his tournament win, taking down France’s Glutonny, Cloud superstar FaZe Sparg0 and LG’s Tweek and Sonix to capture the crown only held by two others: Marss and MkLeo.

At the tournament, Zomba taunted his opponents on stage and even called out everyone in the venue, claiming that he was better than everyone else. He talked the talk and he backed it up, clutching out a W over Sonix after the Sonic main was able to reset the bracket in Grand Finals.

We had a chance to speak with Zomba after his historic win and ask him about potential sponsors, the meta and what the future holds for the young upstart.

zomba wins genesis x smash ultimate event and gives speech

You were so confident going into Genesis right from the start. It’s one thing to talk, but you really backed it up. Where did this level of confidence come from? How did you know you were going to win? Did something just click?

“As a seasoned competitor for years at this point, there should be no scenario where I’m doubting my abilities in the face of competition. At the end of the day, I can’t know for sure if I’ll always win because sometimes this game sucks and doesn’t reward the better player but I have the utmost faith in my abilities that when I put my mind to something it’ll be accomplished, and one of those things is my journey in Smash.”

You’ve been playing the “heel” or bad guy in your Smash career for awhile now, but you really took it to another level at Genesis with the trash talk and taunts. Were you trying to get into your opponents’ heads at all or was it all for the entertainment?

“Truthfully, if my fellow competitors were allowing what I said to deter their confidence versus me, then they obviously didn’t belong up there with me. The scene needs more people that will say what is already said to each other over the internet, carry the same energy, y’know? own up how good you think you are.”

Where did your bad guy persona come from?

“They hated Jesus because he told them the truth.”

Four players you beat were in the top 7 for LumiRank. Out of Gluto, Tweek, Sparg0 and Sonix, who gave you the most trouble?

“The most trouble was definitely Sonix, but all of my opponents are still tough regardless of the set outcomes. Sonix is a well-prepared player and I know we’ll have even more great sets in the future, unfortunately for him though I don’t think he’ll like the result of them.”

You called Lumirank fraudulent, but if you end up getting ranked 1 at mid 2024 will your opinion have changed?

“Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

When Sonix got the bracket reset, what was going through your mind? He’s been there before on a stage like that, but for you, this was your first. Have you learned any techniques to manage your mindset and keep your composure?

“Sometimes you gotta just lock in. I destroyed him in Winners Finals so clearly I had the right ideas – just sometimes, you gotta do slight adjustments and you’re good to go.”

Is ROB the answer to Sonic dominating the meta?

“Robs not the answer. I am.”

How much did your Japan trip help elevate your game? Would you still have won Genesis without that trip leveling you up?

“When I go to Japan I feel I gain a lot more of personal insight rather than pure gameplay and I feel that in itself helps me out a lot. The result wouldn’t have changed if I didn’t go though.”

Let’s talk a bit about sponsors. Have you gotten any offers since Genesis? Hbox seemed pretty impressed as well – would you be interested in joining TL?

“No offers yet, Liquid is a fantastic sponsor and I’ve heard great things about them from my friends who are currently sponsored by them in all different parts of the team, so I would be lying if I didn’t say there wasn’t an interest in them as they’re one of the best. But I’m still actively looking so who knows what’s in store for the future.”

Will you secure the #1 spot in 2024?

“Is the sun hot?”

You can catch Zomba in action next at Cirque du CFL 3 where he’ll have a chance to add to his God-slayer status by taking on Japanse Game & Watch star Miya after his lackluster performance at Genesis.

About The Author

Michael Gwilliam is a senior writer at Dexerto based in Ontario, Canada. He specializes in Overwatch, Smash, influencers, and Twitch culture. Gwilliam has written for sites across Canada including the Toronto Sun. You can contact him at michael.gwilliam@dexerto.com or on Twitter @TheGwilliam