At the Umebura Japan Major, Kengo “Ken” Suzuki was on a tear through the winner’s bracket. MkLeo, his opponent, was down one elimination and needed a new plan to take the grand finals, and he found a winning strategy in the strangest of places: his old main.
Leonardo “MkLeo” Perez was the banner carrier for Meta Knight players in 2015, but in the time since, has moved on to other characters like Marth and Cloud. In his previous match against Suzuki, Perez had lost 3-0, dropping two games on Cloud and one on Meta Knight. Perez must have seen something in the last match-up however, and matched up against Suzuki again in the grand finals, he went straight for the Meta Knight pick.
Because Perez was playing up from the loser’s side in a double elimination tournament, he had to win two best-of-five’s to emerge victorious, while Suzuki only needed one. In the first match, it went back and forth until the players were tied at 2-2, when Perez made the play and caught Suzuki in just the right spot for a juggle and forced him out of the ring.
With the bracket reset, you might think it would come down to the wire again. But Perez seemed to have figured out most of Suzuki’s game plan when the second best-of-five rolled around. Not only did he start taking stock after stock, but he wasn’t dying for it.
On tournament point, Perez was holding the high ground with Suzuki trying to hold on. Suzuki leaps up for the ledge and a lifeline, but Perez calmly reads the play and slams his Sonic off the map, securing a major win in Tokyo.
This wasn’t only a great win for a top player, but with a character he’s had in his pocket for some time. His most recent outings with Meta Knight were rocky to say the least, but this win showed that not only is Perez a threat on multiple characters, he can adapt to the match-up quite rapidly.
Also, for a bonus, here’s a clip of Echo Fox teammate Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman coaching Perez during his grand finals match-up. After this quick huddle was when Perez started two-stocking Suzuki.