A 22-year-old local man took home first place in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate championship tournament Nov. 14 in the game room at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
Carlo Ramirez, aka Saljay, was one of the top eight finalists who duked it out to see who would be crowned champion.
Cyber security sophomore Christopher De Leon, aka Faust, and criminal justice junior Sebastian De Hoyos, aka TheSeabass, finished in second and third place, respectively.
Hosted by the university’s esports program, the six-week tournament was open to A&M-San Antonio students and the general public.
The last two rounds were a best of five bout, meaning whoever got to three victories against the other opponent won the round.
De Hoyos came into this tournament ranked No. 3 with his only three losses coming from Ramirez, who came into the tournament ranked No. 1. Although De Hoyos looked good early in the match, he would fall to De Leon, who was in eighth place.
The final round was a surprising matchup between Ramirez and De Leon, the No. 2-ranked player.
The two had faced off in the beginning of this tournament with Ramirez taking the first win, putting De Leon in the loser’s bracket where he was given a chance to redeem himself and make it to the championship round.
With the two already familiar with one another’s choice of Smash players and styles, De Leon and Ramirez squared off again. However, it was De Leon who was the early aggressor using the character “Palutena” to get a first win in the final best of five rounds.
De Leon was looking to keep the pressure going in the next match-up, but Ramirez showed everyone why he was ranked No. 1 and ended up taking down De Leon in the next three straight matches, putting his underdog victory hopes to rest.
Ramirez got the job done in the final round using the characters “Joker” for two of those rounds and “Mr. Game” and “Watch” for the other round.
Ramirez said he was not a student at A&M-San Antonio or any other university, for that matter, but was invited to play in previous campus tournaments that allowed for any non-student to participate.
“The experience is very laid back actually, and just a fun time,” Ramirez said after his victory.
The top three finalists were given a medal and a customized A&M-San Antonio esports controller for their placements.