This article is part of our Super Smash Bros. series.
While Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, like most games at this year's Evolution Championship Series, saw a drop in player registrations compared to last year -- likely due to the impending release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate -- there will be plenty to play for this year, and all the major players will be in attendance.
Throughout the Smash Wii U bracket at Evo 2018, we're sure to see a healthy dose of Bayonetta, the character who has been dividing the Smash Wii U community for the better part of almost three years since her introduction to the game in February 2016. Three of the top players in the scene -- Leonardo "MKLeo" Perez, Gavin "Tweek" Dempsey and Saleem "Salem" Young -- have the powerful character in their repertoire, meaning there's a good chance that we'll see the character come the grand finals on Saturday night.
Of the three aforementioned players, MKLeo is at the forefront of the conversation, as he has claimed the recently retired Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios' spot as the widely regarded best player in the scene. MKLeo is fresh off a win over Tweek at CEO 2018 at the end of June, with four other wins to his name this year. He might have had a rough EVO last year, failing to crack into the top 65, but things have been much different this year. With his healthy rotation of Bayonetta, Cloud and Marth, look for MKLeo to have a strong showing this week.
MKLeo might be on top of the scene by a healthy margin, but Tweek is the closest one to knocking him off the pedestal. After somewhat limping through the first few months of the year, he has picked up two big wins the past two months that put him in a good position heading into Evo. He won MomoCon 2018 in May and then followed that with a win at 2GG: Hyrule Saga in which he took out both Salem and Ramin "Mr. R" Delshad on his way to the title. Almost exclusively using the powerful Bayonetta, with a dash of Donkey Kong every now and then, Tweek has a major chance of making sure everyone knows his name with a big performance this year.
After MKLeo and Tweek, there are a host of players who have a chance to make a deep run this weekend. Here are two more to keep an eye on:
Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada hasn't had the greatest of years, but he's still widely regarded as one of the best players in the game. He kicked off the year with a fourth-place showing at Genesis 5 before beating MKLeo at both Niconico Tokaigi 2018 and SML: Battle for Vegas, giving fans hope that a strong year was in the works. He fell to MKLeo at both SwitchFest and Get On My Level 2018 before failing to crack into the top 16 at 2GG: Hyrule Saga and CEO 2018. With this being one of the biggest events of the year, expect Nairo to get back to his early-2018 form in Vegas.
EVO 2017 winner Salem might have been on top of the world when he pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent memory, defeating ZeRo in the grand finals last summer, but he hasn't had the same type of season in 2018. Of the eight tournaments he has attended this year, he has cracked the top four at only four of them: third at Genesis 5, fourth at Frostbite 2018 and second at both MomoCon 2018 and Smash 'N' Splash. Even with his rough performances this year, which include not making the top eight at Hyrule Saga and CEO, this Bayonetta main can never be counted out.
With 2018 expected to be the last year for this title at most major tournaments once Super Smash Bros. Ultimate steps into the picture this fall, these players have a special chance to etch their names in the record books this weekend in Las Vegas.