Smash Factor 5, a tournament Smash 4 fans have been waiting for centered around one rivalry: if Ramin “Mr. R” Delshad could get his revenge on Mexico’s best Smash 4 player, Leonardo “SF HDG| MK Leo” Lopez Perez. After the surprising upset at Smash Factor 4 in 2015 in which Leo took home the title a week after Mr. R finished second at Evo 2015, all eyes are focused in on the rematch between these two.
The event this year provided some bigger names and had more attention going into this year than last year. Samuel “DT Dabuz” Busby made an appearance as the highest ranking player, but not even he could stop the rematch from happening in the Grand Finals. Mr. R was able to conquer his demons and send Dabuz to losers early in top 8, and MK Leo finished the job as he eliminated Dabuz in losers, beating him 3-1.
The Grand Finals were set. The moment Mr. R had waited for, for almost an entire calendar year was here. And similarly to 2015, MK Leo seemed to have every answer for Mr. R’s more methodical, zoning-type play style with Sheik. The 15-year old rising star once again seemed to take his game to another level.
Before the bracket was reset, MK Leo turned to his alternate character Marth, a character that Mr. R beat a couple months ago 3-0 at Get On My Level 2016, but that result didn’t deter MK Leo from making the character switch. He not only won on Battlefield in game one, but won both of Mr. R’s Final Destination counter-picks, despite being down a stock in both games.
MK Leo, who has one of the most efficient combo games in all of Smash 4, showed that even when he’s losing the neutral game he makes up for it by stringing together long combos and getting solid edge guards. Mr. R struggled getting back up from the ledge, and MK Leo made sure to keep him cornered with retreating forward-airs and zoning with dancing blade.
Some may have considered the switch back to Meta Knight after MK Leo reset the bracket, sandbagging (playing down to your opponent), but let’s remember this is still his main character and Mr. R still had a firm grasp on almost all three of those losses. Mr. R just got hit by well-spaced tippers and lost all of the 50-50 situations. Mr. R also took a quick two-stock off MK Leo’s Marth in the first game on the second set, so a character switch was warranted.
MK Leo was once again able to show off his consistent and deadly kill set-ups starting with his up-air chain combo’s into Meta Knight’s powerful up-B. Any time MK Leo landed a dash attack or got below Mr. R, that more often than not ended up in MK Leo taking a stock by going vertical against Mr. R’s Sheik.
The low percent stock kills took their toll and Mr. R starting getting hit by unsafe options. The mix-ups from MK Leo threw Mr. R off completely. He even got a low percent stock off Meta knight’s tornado by waiting out Sheik’s air dodge. MK Leo seemed to have every answer in this matchup and once again had his grasp on the mental game against Mr. R.
With the home crowd behind him cheering him on, MK Leo was once again able to take out Mr. R (3-0, 3-2) and win another Smash Factor tournament. The win once again opens up the question of whether or not MK Leo should be considered a top 5 player. MK Leo seems pretty sure of himself….
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