Despite the delays, cancellations and changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about for the “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” competitive community, one player has managed to find continued success. Kolawole “Kola” Aideyan, currently the best Roy in “Ultimate” and one of Georgia’s best players, has taken home over $10,000 in prizes from both online and Lan tournaments.
Prior to the smash communities exodus to online tournaments in order to makeup for cancelled Lan events, Kola was already showcasing his skills and competencies as a top-level “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” player. Winning a number of in-person events like Kumite in Tennessee, Clash of the Carolinas III and Georgia local tournaments, Kola was already setting the stones for his success in Ultimate. Having wins against top-level competitors like Light, Mew2king, Dabuz, Cosmos and Nairo, Kola has managed to land a spot as the 46th best player in the world, ranking him among the top 50 of tens of thousands of Ultimate competitors.
Once the community began to migrate to online events in order to combat the spread of COVID-19, Kola began his winstreak, winning the $20,000 “Soaked Series Invitational” hosted by Cr1TiKaL on the twitch.tv streaming platform. Along with this, Kola also won the first $10,000 invitational tournament for the online tournament series “The Quarantine Series” hosted by Cr1TiKaL, defeating many top players in his tournament run.
Along with the shift to online, many top-level Ultimate competitors have looked towards streaming their tournament runs and have began a schedule of livestreaming for their audience. Kola has just recently began to also use the Twitch.tv live-streaming platform to share content and showcase his performance during online events, giving audience members a more personal tournament experience than what they are used to usually viewing. Averaging over 500 viewers per stream, Kola has also managed to find success as a “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” streamer and competitor, showing his flexibility with the community’s limited options for competition.
However, despite the large number of tournaments available due to the new online environment, there are still a large number of complaints about playing “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” online. One of the biggest issues that players like Kola and one Tennessee’s best players Makibaz have complained about is the lag and like of secure connection while playing “Ultimate” online. “There are too many things that can go wrong due to the connections being unstable,” Makibaz said, “Not only that, but it also much easier for people to falsify game scores and force lag upon their opponents, which makes the jobs of the tournament organizers that much more difficult.”
Regardless of the game’s issues of lag, false reporting and technical server issues, the online tournament host and bracket creator smash.gg has been the primary service many esports tournament organizers have used to create their new online tournaments. Kola’s run continues with the “Quarantine Series” online major event “Pound Online” happening on the weekend of April 24th, with already over 5,000 registered competitors competing for the $5,000 prize pool.